Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Recipe Organization

How do you store your favorite recipes? Are they hand written on recipe cards and stored in a box? Do you have ready access to all of your cookbooks and find yourself desperately trying to remember which book had that one recipe you need right this minute? Do you have a massive stack of recipes you've torn from magazines, just waiting to be organized? All of the above used to describe me.

Until, I started a recipe binder.


My version of recipe heaven.


Everything I need, right at my finger tips.


Gone are the gazillion cookbooks in the kitchen. I still have them of course, but now they are stored in a closet ready to be pulled out for inspiration when it's convenient.


Inside the front cover is a list of our top 30 meals. This list may change over time, but it's an easy scan when planning out a week or month worth of meals.


I took the time a while back to type up all of our favorite recipes. It includes the ones that I never want to loose. Things like the davinity and caramel corn my grandma used to make for us every Christmas. The book has grown a lot since then.


Tried and true recipes posted by blogging friends, that I can't wait to make. Because she uses the real stuff, ricotta, not cottage cheese. Love that!


Recipes from blogging giants that I can't wait to make. Because everything she makes is fabulous.


Recipes I've torn out of magazines. Some I've made a million times (l-o-v-e Hummingbird Cake)


Some that I have yet to try, from favorite restaurants.

{Hey, Rachel, does it taste like the real deal?}


There are recipes especially for the holidays (this is super tasty).


All conveniently placed in plastic sheet protectors which means they will withstand even the messiest of recipes. I pull out the ones I will need for the entire week, making getting food on the table even faster.


Here is a list of the tabs in my book: Beverages, Breakfast, Bread, Appetizers, Salad, Sides, Soups, Seafood, Chicken, Pork, Beef, Meatless, Desserts, Holiday, Birthday Cake Ideas.

The only thing I have left to do is add little colored coded tabs at the top for recipes that use ingredients like buttermilk, heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk, and fresh herbs. You know, those ingredients that don't get fully used up by just one recipe. So you might as well find a few recipes to make within a couple of days to maximize your purchase.

I would love to hear your tips for storing recipes.


Kacey said...

What a great idea! All of my favorite recipes are in a shipping envelope! I need a new system for sure!! I'm planning on starting a "What's for Dinner Wednesday" on my blog (probably next Wednesday)LOL with a little giveaway at the end of the month for those who enter recipes...once I figure out the Mclinky thing... Have a great night!! P.S. Thanks for featuring my lasagna! :-)

Colleen/And Baby Makes Five said...

Yes! Yes! Yes!

This project is on my wintertime "To Do" list. I have the binder and the plastic sleeves ready and waiting. I just need to start setting aside time for typing and organizing.

At the moment I have a sweet little recipe box that my husband gave me years ago. It's well-organized, but it's also bursting at the seams. I've tried and accumulated so many new recipes over the last few years ... and I really do need a better system. Especially since I have a pile of printed/scribbled recipes shoved in a manila folder and stored in the cabinet with my cookbooks. No good, I tell you -- even though I know where all of my must-have recipes are.

LOVE your notebook! And now I REALLY need to get on it ... before I'm drowning in papers. I especially like the "Top 30" favorites idea... Thanks for the inspiration.

shoppin4sophia said...

We have a lot of cookbooks, too. Even though I don't do really any of the cooking, for some reason I can keep a "mental" catalog of which recipe comes from which cookbook. We also keep recipes in a binder. I learned from a cooking class to always make a photo copy of your recipe before you start cooking so that way don't get your cookbooks messy while you're working. I just made out my menu for the week featuring your wild rice soup and chicken squares. My husband is from MN (Shoreview), so he always longs for wild rice soup this time of year. Thanks for helping me switch things up next week!

Angel said...

That sounds fun Kacey! I'll definitely play along. )

Colleen, you could also just tape your cards to paper, rewriting (or typing the backside below it) and slip them in the sleeves. My goal was to not have to pull anything out of the sleeve to make it visible. I've got a few card in mine that way.

Shoppin4Sopiha, at one point (before I typed a bunch out) I kept a list of favorites with the name of the cookbook and page # they could be found on. This helped a lot too. But then I found the time to just type them out. We live in Eden Prairie, not far from where he grew up. I bet he is going to LOVE that soup!

Young Adventures... said...

Between your cleaning system and are so organized!!! I do have a notebook with a list, but most of it is in my head. And yes, the cake is that good. Just make it the day before you plan to serve it. I actually have never made sister is the one that makes it. Thanks for sharing!

Cheryl said...

Love your cookbook! I had already started redoing mine last month because my card box is overfloweth.
I will steal some of your tab ideas :)

I also want to let you know that I just you love your play lists. I sometimes just click your blog to hear the music!


Angel said...

Oh thanks Cheryl! You are so sweet. :)

holly_rapley said...

Hi Angel. I have a single page sheet with our meals on it too. It's made life easier when we figure out what we're going to eat every week. Once I made it, it's kind of fun. We try new recipes and then we decide whether it makes the list or not.

Currently all our recipes are in one of those portable file paper, keeper things. I don't know what they're called. It works well, but I've been meaning to move it to a three ring binder like yours, but haven't done it. It would probably take about 10 minutes.

Here's our "menu".

Also, you might like this blog I've been reading lately... I like to read about uncluttering, although I haven't done that much yet.

Lisa said...

I love your recipe organization idea. I have so many recipes laying around in a folder. I will have to implement your idea. My husband will be forever grateful if I (a) par down my recipe folder (b) actually start cooking more (he does a majority of our meal making)...I know I'm truly blessed!

Kim Sue said...

I was blog surfing and a blog I read frequently had a post about organizing your recipes and she had a link to your post. When I clicked over I had to smile because a couple years ago I started a binder to organize my recipes and it is the exact SAME binder as yours :o)

MJ said...

I LOVE this idea! I'd love to know the labels for your tabs...I'm going to set up my own recipe binder tomorrow! :)

Angel said...

MJ, these are the tabs I've put in my book.

Beverages, Breakfast, Bread, Appetizers, Salad, Sides, Soups, Seafood, Chicken, Pork, Beef, Meatless, Desserts, Holiday.

I might add "Birthday Cakes" too as I have a collection of fun ideas I'd like to remember as the kids get older.

Scott and Mary Jo Smith said...

Thanks for updating your post with the list of tabs! :)

Rhonda said...

Angel-I store my favorite recipes the same way-only yours are a lot neater and your binder is nicer than mine (I used an old one my son got rid of after high school). I love that they are in protective sheets and can't get ruined, but can easily be changed out or moved around. I do have a lot of recipe cards that loved ones have written out for me and are very smudged, so I retyped their recipe, but glued the original recipe card from them right beside it before I put it in the protective sleeve.
Great ideas here on your blog.