As I've mentioned before, Sam's brother is an amazing artist, so I wasn't about to try taking on something artistic that he could have made ten times better and ten times faster for himself. Instead, I decided on a simple little project that I thought would be fun, which was a DIY cookbook based on dishes that he's cooked before. He enjoys cooking for himself and often posts photos on facebook of his finished creations with little descriptions, so I collected all the photos and had them printed through Picplum, an online service that specializes in Instagram photos (since the dimensions are different than normal prints from a place like CVS). I was very happy with the quality of the prints but I have to say I wasn't a fan of the customer service -- I got an error message the first time I clicked "submit" on the photos so I did it again, and then was immediately charged for two orders. I emailed five times over the course of a week to say I only wanted one order, but never heard back from anyone at the company (and there's no other way to contact them). Eventually I just had to fight the duplicate charge through my credit card company (and Amex was very good about reversing it), but it irks me that no one ever wrote back. So that's just a little note for anyone who is thinking about what service to use for printing Instagram photos -- I don't really endorse Picplum.
Anyway, once I had the 4x4 photos, I bought a simple blank notebook and attached one photo to every other page using double-sided tape. Then below the photo I wrote the description of the meal, and left a little space for notes. There are still a lot of blank pages so Isaac can add to it over time if he wants. Here are some sample entries:
For the front, I cut out a square of white lightweight card stock and mod podged it to the cover. I decided to call it "The Tried and True Cookbook."
The idea is that if Isaac is thinking about what to cook, he can flip through it and see things he's successfully made and enjoyed in the past as inspiration. Maybe I'm just projecting what I would find helpful for my own cooking adventures, but I think it could be handy as he's developing a repertoire of dishes. And looking at this has reminded me that I haven't eaten lunch yet....