My Most Unique Cookbook

My Cookbook


My brother Brett and his wife Julie can cook. When you go to a family gather that they are hosting, there is more food than you can shake a stick at. I was always asking for a recipe for this or that. Their desserts are out of this world!

When we got married Brett and Julie gave us a unique and treasured gift. They gathered all their favorite recipes and made a cookbook for us. Not only that, each dish comes with a picture. My niece Gabby scrap-booked the index pages. They added extra sleeves for us to add to the cookbook. A lovely note wishing us well on the inside cover. Weights and measurements and other tips throughout the book. . To go with our love of Halloween my brother added an image of a skull on the spine of the cookbook. He told me that it would make it easy for me to find it amongst my cookbooks.

Let me tell you this family did a TON of work. We were both touched at the amount of time it must have taken to make this. Recipes from appetizers to desserts. Julie also included two recipes that are family secrets. I’m not allowed to share them with a soul. It made me feel warm and fuzzy that she would include those as well.

Tonight after work I had an urge for their Salami Pasta Salad. We have made this several times and its wonderful. A great dish to bring to a potluck or just have for lunch. It’s always better the next day.  Last night I whipped up a batch so we could take some to work tomorrow. This is a recipe I can share without fear of being maimed.

Salami Pasta Salad


  • 3 cups uncooked penne pasta
  • 8 oz. hard salami, cubed
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 4 tsp. minced fresh oregano or 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 4 tsp. minced fresh basil or 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese


  • In a large saucepan, cook pasta according to package directions; rinse in cold water and drain. Transfer to a large bowl; add salami, parsley and onions.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar and seasonings. Drizzle over pasta mixture and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Just before serving add, stir in Parmesan cheese.

If you end up trying this, I would love to hear what you think.

< <


  1. What a great idea! I love that they made something for you, and I love that that something is so useful! Nothing is better than sharing recipes…..Speaking of which, thanks for sharing the pasta salad!

  2. What a wonderful gift – and I love the skull image. That would certainly stand out amongst the other cookbooks!

  3. You need to be careful. You might have a lot of people start beating a path to your kitchen looking to share your meal.

  4. This has to be the best cookbook ever. So special and unique. I can imagine how much you love it. And what a great recipe! I love salami!

    I was given a family cookbook for Christmas this year, and I think it's my most prized possession. It means more to me than a thousand cookbooks by anyone other than my family :)

    • I so agree. A cookbook that has a family connection in some way beats all other cookbooks hands down.

  5. What a fantastic gift!!! I have to wait until someone dies before I can gain access to a couple of the secret family recipes.

    That salad looks fabulous. Now I want salami. :-)

  6. I purchased a cute binder and plastic sheet protectors with the intention of organizing my messy folder of recipes into a cute homemade cookbook. The project has sat on a shelf for the last 2 years. The folder is even messier now with an additional 2 years of recipes and I can never find what I am looking for! Can you recommend some software so I can make all my recipes consistent looking? Something really easy?

    • Oh, lord. I have no idea. I have never made a cookbook myself. I would suggest Googling it or asking the foodies if they have an idea. I will ask my sister in law if she used a program to do the cookbook and if she did, which one. I'll get back to you.

  7. What a wonderful treasure!! I just love it when someone puts such thought into a handmade gift like that, it really makes you realize how much they love you :D.

    My husband has been on to me about getting a cookbook together for him and the kids ("what we will eat after you're gone?" he chimes). I never thought of doing it in a scrap booking format, how very cool! Not that I would ever get around to anything like that.

  8. That cook book was so amazing when you opened it, I remember your huge gasp of shock, I think Mr. B thought something dreadful had happened until he realized it sas a gasp of joy! There were quite a few yummy things in there as remember, maybe you will share another one next week too. ;) Hope you two are having a great day.

  9. That looks wonderful! Not Paleo, but as soon as I looked at it I thought it would be delicious over blanched zucchini. Mmmmmm…..

  10. That cook book's a real treasure. Such a great family you have. That pasta salad looks mighty yummy. I'm sooo hungry right now, too.

    • It surely is. I'm touched they went to so much work.
      The bad thing about reading food posts on blogs, they do make one hungry. *lol*

  11. Yummo! We adore salami and pasta – great salad!!



  12. What a fabulous wedding gift! This will (and obviously is) be such a treasured item. You have some pretty great in-laws there :) I would love to do this with my grandmother's old recipes. Have it a kind of picture/story/cook book.

    • Oh, you should! They have computer programs to help you. Also some scrapbook kits to jazz up the pages. You go girl!!

  13. My mouth is watering. I love pasta salads! So nice of you to share! And I love the idea of getting a recipe book together for a wedding gift! That does take some time and prep! Kudos!

    I hope to be sharing a recipe soon. Maybe towards the end of the week. Poor, Sara……her birthday cake ended up on the bottom of her oven.

    • Oh, good I look forward to seeing what you post.
      I know, poor Sara. Got to give oldest a little atta boy for trying. *lol*

  14. Gifts like the cookbook from your brother and his family are among the most treasured. What a gift from the heart.

    A cousin of mine is tackling an extended family cookbook, which will be a major project. I have a big extended family on my mom's side with some 40 cousins…

    What wonderful recipes I'm sure will be part of this collection.

    • Good sweet lord. That would make for a ton of wonderful recipes. Bless your cousin's heart for taking that on!!

  15. Oh that looks delicious!!! I love that they made that cookbook for you!!! How neat!!! I made cookbooks for our boys a couple of years ago and I didn't think to put pictures in!!! I should have done that!!! One son uses his all the time, the other one uses one recipe for a snack mix that he loves. But maybe someday he will branch out!!! Will have to file this recipe away !!! Thanks!!!

    • Oh, I'll bet your boys will treasure those as they get older. How funny that each of your boys use the cookbook in different ways.

  16. Oh, yum! That pasta dish loves delicious! Funny 'cos I've posted a cooking related treat today, too!

    That's a fabulous idea for a present – looks like I could've written that cookbook because of the skull on the spine! :-)

Speak Your Mind


Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.