printable recipe writing template

printable recipe writing template

Effective Strategies for Writing Printable Recipes

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1. Introduction to Recipe Writing

Chances are, you have either written or are going to write a recipe at some point in your life. Whether you are creating a personal cookbook, writing recipes for a food blog, or submitting a recipe to a magazine or app, you will eventually be responsible for communicating the details of a dish to your readers. What type of instruction do you provide to your audiences? What should a recipe look like and how should it be arranged and formatted? What kinds of photography or imagery do they expect? And in what format and medium are you communicating these details? Answers to the above questions depend on the audience. Recipe writing is communicative and relational in nature. The creator or the author and the receiver or the reader are a part of this mediated relationship. Audience begins with the writer but continues through to the reader and assumes several guises depending on context, interests, and needs. Different audiences or readers expect different types of instructions, formats, and assumptions from a written recipe in different contexts.

1.1 Recipe Writing

2. Formatting and Design Tips for Printable Recipes

Whenever possible, use a sans-serif font for the entire recipe and any anecdotal information. This style font is easiest to read. The actual instructions and lists are still in black 12 point sans-serif font for the entire recipe, including the title and instructions, but there’s a little more space between these items. Ingredient preparation information is the section that contains a list of alphabetically ordered ingredients followed by clear, concise preparation instructions. Here’s a simple recipe blueprint that demonstrates each section but still, some recipes require ingredient preparation instructions. Examples of ingredients that need preparation instructions are nuts or foods that are cooked prior to being used in a recipe. Avoid using bunched lists if there are only three or four ingredients that can be included in the main ingredient list.

Consider whether a list works best for your recipe and its preparation instructions, or whether a combination list/narrative is more effective. If you notice that when you’re making a particular recipe yourself, you may also want to use predominantly one method or the other. Notice as you’re cooking and baking: do you find it easier if your favorite recipe is in your favorite cookbook; is it hand-written on a file card; or is it a photocopy from a magazine? Is one of the most important features that it is available in your recipe box and can it fit either in a page protector or folded in half? If you run out of one ingredient, might it be easier if the recipe is one that can be printed from the computer with very wide margins, and shows not only the ingredient list but the amount used (in case you’ve forgotten, or so that a friend can help you), and with all of the instructions included – minus the advertising? Try all of the recipes in this book. Are there a list of ingredients, and then paragraphs of instructions? If so, is there a quick and easy way to re-format so that the recipe becomes instantly easy to use – without losing any of the information? Is there anything in there that is special, unusual, or especially difficult?

3. Key Elements to Include in a Printable Recipe

Secondly, a recipe should present the cooking or preparation instructions in a clear, easy-to-follow manner. Each instruction should be composed in such a way that the user knows exactly what to do. Ingredient names should only be used once before all instructions (use words like “it” and “the mix” instead of the primary ingredient thereafter), and ingredient measurements should not be included unless necessary (such as when using shortening and butter within steps). Instead, measurement quantities should be included if they originally appear immediately after the ingredient name. Instructions are most clear when the words in the recipe imply that the user who follows the recipe step-by-step will be successful and not make mistakes. Allowing one line per step will ensure that users can easily match up steps to their progress and are not accidentally repeating steps.

There are a few key elements to consider when writing a recipe for end-users who intend to print it. First and foremost, a recipe should list the ingredients necessary for the dish, generally in the order in which they are used. Ingredients should be listed with the primary ingredient first (such as “2 cups flour”) and followed by modifiers (such as “sifted”) if necessary. Each ingredient and subsequent set of modifiers should be on its own line in the recipe. Allowing one line per ingredient will enable users to easily cross items off a list without accidentally crossing off other line items.

In order for recipes to be usable, i.e. for people to be able to do something with them, they need to contain certain relevant pieces of information. As America’s Test Kitchen often says, “The recipe is a contract between the cook and the reader. As long as the reader follows the recipe exactly, the finished dish will turn out exactly as the author intended.” When the information is there and legible, steps will be easy to follow. When the information is not presented in a clear manner, the likelihood of errors and other problems increases.

4. Enhancing Clarity and Readability

Furthermore, providing a serving size is helpful in deciding what size container to use or what tools go well with a gallery of photos. Use descriptive adjectives when listing packaging size or ingredient type so that the reader doesn’t inadvertently purchase the wrong item at the store. List all ingredients in the order they are used so that the reader doesn’t accidentally omit or mis-measure something. Remember to provide the storage temperature and duration to protect the consumer. Recount any preparatory phases that can be accomplished simultaneously, with related sous-chefs or cooking equipment, or even by future you.

Use gerunds or “ing” punctuation in your action verb phrase to make the recipe easier to follow. They make imperative statements clearer, and save space on the recipe. Use stepwise cues to indicate optional steps or components. Number steps where ordering is critical. Provide the number of servings and the serving size, and provide corresponding volume, weight, or portion. This information can save time and eliminate potential confusion as the reader shops and plans transportation, storage, or budgets and not risk any Oompa Loompa size results.

Be as detailed and specific as possible within the space constraints of a small, impactful recipe. Do not assume the reader possesses any more prior knowledge or experience than what is customary. Remember to consider food safety. Inform the reader of underlying changes they can detect to gauge the recipe’s progress and make sure things are going according to plan. Address the relative difficulty in presentation, preparation, and follow through.

Avoid run-on sentences; instead, use headings to break a longer procedure into easy-to-follow and digest-sized chunks. Within the sections, use numbered or bullet point lists instead of prose. Recall that the steps are the most critical in composing printable recipes, for the reasons of sample size, procedural time, process control, and learning.

5. Conclusion and Final Tips

It is common for newspapers, marketing companies, and other businesses to need printable recipes. Whenever you are surfing the Internet and come across a recipe that includes intermerised fonts, long text lines, or any other problems related to making it easily printed, you could provide them a link to the food service website on Indiana University Campus, as it may have the recipe they desire in a format that can readily be printed. Because people have different skill levels, varying cultural diagrams, as well as different educational experiences, developing a recipe that everyone will appreciate is often challenging. But the reward of seeing your recipe in action and learning the enjoyment others receive is worth the effort.

To conclude this paper, providing an easily understood, yet comprehensive product should be the goal for all persons creating materials for public use. And since people have different skill levels, varying cultural backgrounds, as well as different educational experiences, developing a recipe that everyone will appreciate is often challenging. But the reward of seeing your recipe in action and learning the enjoyment others receive is worth the effort! In the world of providing successful, printable recipes, following the guidelines outlined within this paper will hopefully bring better results to those who use them. For those who do not currently have the technology resources and expertise available to create easily read recipes, another option you can employ is to create your recipe and then give it to a business or organization that has the expertise for printability.

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