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If you’re looking for a very special gift to make for a bride-to-be…something she’ll cherish forever…this is it.

My God daughter Aileen’s bridal shower is featured in the current spring issue of my e-mag (http://noramurphycountryhouse.com/magazine/spring-2014/country-house-wedding). As the shower was winding down, one gift (and probably the most personal) was saved for last – a homemade cookbook made up of Aileen’s family and friends’ favorite and heirloom recipes. Holly (Aileen’s mom and my dear friend of 40+ years) was the brains behind this idea, and I was her sidekick in the operation. I’ve never considered myself a crafty person. Little did I realize that this cookbook project would turn me into one.

We started very simply by requesting recipes to be e-mailed to us (or sent via snail mail) in the bridal shower invitation. The typed or handwritten recipes came flooding in and included breakfast, appetizers, main courses, side dishes, desserts, and drinks. Many of the recipes are Aileen’s childhood favorites, including Aunt Babu’s Tea Time Tassies.

With supplies in hand, Holly and I got busy and started our production. I never thought I would deliberate so much over what patterned paper was best suited for each recipe (a spicy chili recipe has a very different vibe from a frosted cake recipe), as well as the perfect placement of every little decorative doo-dad. The further along we got, the more obsessed we were to make this the most charming recipe book ever.

The ingredients:

  • Photo/scrap book from your local craft store
  • Extra filler pages
  • Patterned paper (ours was packaged as a pad)
  • Good quality stickers (fabric flowers add a lot of dimension)
  • Spray adhesive
  • Metal straight edge
  • Cutting board

It truly was a labor of love…and best of all, Aileen loved it.

Love, Nora


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