I walked into her kitchen and saw it simmering on the stove – my mom’s homemade Sloppy Joes. My mouth watered, and memories came pouring back, bringing me right back to my child hood.

FAmily Recipes The Perfect Gift: Your Family’s Treasured Recipes

“Oh Mom, it’s been forever since I’ve had your homemade Sloppy Joes. I just love them.”

It’s amazing how one simple recipe can do that, isn’t it?

There’s something so special about the way family recipes create lasting memories. Typically, there are stories surrounding them,  and yet often we don’t take the time to gather those recipes until it’s too late. Originally, this Sloppy Joe recipe came from my Aunt Lori, passed onto my mom and then served at so many of our family get togethers and birthdays.

Family Recipe Album The Perfect Gift: Your Family’s Treasured Recipes

Last year, I shared how I am slowly gathering up recipes because one of the heirloom treasures I want to pass on to each of our children when they leave the nest is a Family Recipe Album, complete with handwritten Recipes for Joy. (I’ve attached a template for my Recipe for Joy cards, for those interested.)

When I saw my mom’s handwritten recipe cards this past Christmas, I began brainstorming ways I could use them to decorate in my kitchen.  I love the drops of sauce, the fingerprints, the scratched out spots where she was figuring the math for extras – so many memories inclosed in those few lines.

decorating with family recipes

Framed Recipes

I don’t have a full wall to dedicate for special family recipes like this, but for those who do, what a wonderful way to add a cherished bit of history and personality to a wall.

recipes framed in pie tin


I love the fact that these are all handwritten. I have a few typed recipes that I am going to ask my mom to write out in her own writing, and it would be special to create a large collage.

This is my plan for decorating with recipes.  I will probably just mat and frame a few small cards to spruce up under my cabinet. It will be a small area, but one that carries such sentimental memories and will be such a great conversation piece.

Recently, I began collecting just a few vintage kitchen tools. I love imagining living in more simpler times, but I haven’t been able to come up with a good way to display them.

Amy shared her friend’s wonderful idea of mixing a favorite recipe with vintage utensils for one adorable Shadow Box. I love that.

I’d love to hear if you have any neat ideas for using family recipes?

Do you have a specific recipe that every time you eat it or smell it or see it, you’re brought right back to a specific time or place?