Senior Living Cookbook – a healthy, local, and beautiful collection

IMG_9596Start of an idea…

Ender Rouse, a breast cancer survivor, member of the Keenagers, and Red Hat Society wanted to create a cookbook project for her groups to bring the family recipes together and preserve them. Simultaneously, at the quarterly meeting of the Senior Advisory Board for the Dekalb County Public Library, members voted to create a senior project for this year’s May event that celebrated older Americans. A quick chat between Tracie at Active Living and Myguail at the Decatur library and a plan was hatched!  Ask seniors to submit their favorite family recipes and print the collection as the Decatur cookbook. Then hold a luncheon to eat some of the tasty recipes and distribute the books!

IMG_9597Collecting the recipes

Ender led the charge to encourage seniors to contribute their family recipes and tell a short story about each one. Myguail created a standard recipe form and Sally, a registered dietitian on our Active Living board oversaw the inclusion of healthy substitution tips and recipes.10372013_684392874962421_1463292570431628367_n

Designing the book

Myguail invited library staffer Jerri Wilson to design the cookbook and organize the content. The result is a beautiful, easy to read, spiral bound and portable cookbook that everyone just loved. Contributors of recipes and tasters at the luncheon all received a free copy. The library will have a few copies as well.

 Cooking up the favorites

IMG_959410301046_684393021629073_2297443820852467289_nGuest chef Ahmed cooked up two of the favorite recipes in the book: Chicken Breast w/Ginger, Masala & Herbs by Mary Plantt (p.23) and Artichoke and Olive Pasta Salad by Michelle Griffith (p.8). 25 seniors attended the luncheon on May 22 and enjoyed the tastings, meeting Chef Ahmed, autographing each other’s cookbooks and winning a few door prizes. Prizes were awarded for answer to questions about healthy substitutions and fresh food choices.


Thank you seniors for sharing your family recipes, to Ender for the idea, to Sally Brozek, MS, RD, LD  for her guidance and door prize contributions, and to the DeKalb County Public Library – Decatur branch for sponsoring and producing this lovely collection!IMG_9598