Cooking-up a Recipe Book with MagCloud

It’s that time of the year, which means it’s time to start thinking about gifts…

I used to spend 3 days making dozens of batches of home-made biscotti to give to the neighbors and friends who unexpectedly drop by during the holiday season.

But this year? Well, let’s face it–I’m too busy to spend 3 days baking, packaging and crafting these little masterpieces.

Instead, I have decided (Sorry friends, your surprise is ruined!) to give my loved ones and neighbors a custom cookbook, filled with our family favorites, printed by MagCloud.

Today I will share with you a template that I have made in InDesign and a few tricks for customizing it for your own use.


You can start with my custom-designed template that is already formatted for MagCloud settings, or create one of your own. MagCloud’s InDesign document settings and a blank template are available at

Download my InDesign Template.
Preview my cookbook on MagCloud.

Transforming this template into something of your own is pretty simple using style sheets. Before you start entering your own information, I suggest your go through the template and adjust the colors and fonts to your choosing.

Change your Spot Color
1. Open the Swatches Panel
In CS6 or higher click Window > Color > Swatches
2. Double Click on the color named “sweet red”
3. Adjusting the C,M,Y and K values will change the “pop of color” on all of the pages where it is used in the template.

Adjusting Paragraph Style Sheets
Open the Paragraph Style Panel.
In CS6 or higher click Window > Styles > Paragraph Styles.

Once you have the Paragraph Styles Panel open, you can then go through the document and change your fonts and colors. You will notice that the style sheets are divided into subcategories based on where they are in the document.  (Tip: by opening up all of these sub-tabs you can easily see what style affects each block of text you select on the page)

To adjust the settings of your paragraph styles:
1. Select the text you want to change
2. Identify which Paragraph Style you are selecting within the Paragraph Styles Panel
3. “Right Click” or “Ctrl + Click” on the highlighted style in the Paragraph Styles Panel
4. Using the Paragraph Style Options Dialog box, adjust the font details

Add Your Own Photos and Personal Touches
Change the title, insert photos, recipes and update the intro letter to reflect your own personal style. You can even include a photo of the person who gave you the recipe or a special quote from them.

(Tip: to include more recipes select a “spread”–2 side-by-side pages–within the Pages Panel, and [ctrl + “click”] or [“Right Click”] on the highlighted pages within the panel. Select “Duplicate Spread,” this will insert a set of identical pages in your document.)

**Note that you will want to have a page count that is an increment of 4 pages to print with MagCloud… such as 16… 20… 24… 28… You get the idea!

Want a quick easy way to be sure your export settings are correct?

DOWNLOAD the MagCloud PDF Export Job Options file

*If you are on a Mac: double click on the file, it will open in an Adobe application and add it to your presets. You can then close that application and return to InDesign.

*If you are on a PC, within InDesign go to File > Adobe PDF Presets > Define > Load
Find and Select the file you downloaded called “MagCloud_PDF_Export” > Click Done

To use these imported settings, with your file open in InDesign,
Select File > PDF Presets > “Adobe PDF Preset for MagCloud”

Name and Save your PDF and you are ready to publish!

Other Fun Ideas for Your Cookbook:
– make your cookbook themed with all family classics or recipes from a particular family member like “Granny’s Favorite Recipes”
– make a genre themed cookbook, like “Sweets,” “Holiday Dishes,” or “Brunch”
– make a cookbook for a school fundraiser and call it “Bake Sale”
– Ask friends to contribute recipes and do a collaborative cookbook

Magazines Offer A Holiday Helping Hand

The holiday season is in full swing which means time to decorate the house, bake some cookies, figure out what to buy Aunt Nan, take Cooper and Lucas to see Santa, pick out an outfit for the office party and find a new doggie plush toy that will have Kai jumping for joy.

The good news is that MagCloud publishers have put together lots of great magazines to help you with these and many more holiday activities. The best part is that many of these magazines are on sale through Dec. 31st.

Here are just a few of our favorite holiday magazine gems:

Home Decorating and Cooking:

Sweet Paul Magazine’s holiday issue is filled with easy and tasty recipes, great craft projects and holiday shopping ideas.

Creating Vintage Charm features Artist, Abi Monroe ~ White Christmas at Sandy Foster’s Studio ~ Create your own Sugar-Plum Christmas with Debi Huntsman and much more.

Chocolate Book is a collection of 135 delicious chocolate dessert recipes from the culinary cooks of 100 years ago.

Gift Guides:

Silver Spoon Magazine, a children’s luxury magazine, features John Galliano, Ralph Lauren, Janie & Jack, Gymboree, Matilda Jane, Hula Mula, Knuckleheads, Shirin NYC in this issue and offers a variety of gift ideas for children.

Inside Look’s holiday issue offers an ecco gift guide and ways to simplify the season with a Green Christmas.

My Petz Magazine offers gift ideas for pets.

Regional Shopping and Holiday Event Guides:

Brink Magazine offers a fresh approach to Florida lifestyle, with over 50 gift ideas and suggestions for things to do and wear in Orlando this holiday season.

Mi Local Perks Magazine is a gift guide for Michigan shoppers offering great tips and deals.

–The good folks at Style Sample Magazine have put together the Dress for Success Style Tour shopping guide in Cincinnati.

Asheboro Events Magazine provides lots of choices for holiday shopping, including festivals and stores in the Asheboro, North Carolina area.

Black Twin Cities Magazine shares health and menu ideas for this holiday season.

Holiday Fashion Trends and Tips:

E’LON Couture Magazine highlights the season’s prettiest After-Five party dresses, and offers beautiful holiday hair ideas, and makeup looks.

MAMi Magazine premiers an offbeat holiday issue and gift guide.

Style Sample Magazine offers tips for shopping your closet, see the most stylish ways to add some sparkle to your holiday look, and impress your friends with a dope holiday party playlist.

Hush Chicago Magazine is celebrating the upcoming Party Season in a unique and fashionable way! They have 3 unique fashion editorials, At The Party, Party Girl and Getting Ready for The Party.

There are a wide variety of other magazines (with new ones added regularly) to make this season both fun and functional including holiday literary and art collections in the latest issue of Dream Chaser Magazine as well as do-it-yourself children’s holiday outfit ideas from Sew WOW.

Enjoy the tips and have a happy and fun holiday season!