Monday, August 17, 2009

Recipe Organization

This is a project I've needed to work on for some time, but I just didn't know what I wanted to do with my recipes.

I am not a recipe card in a recipe box girl.

I am not a cookbook girl. I have very few cookbooks. Most of my recipes come from people I know, magazines where I've torn them out, or ones that I've printed from the internet. Otherwise it's just stuff I make because I know how and there is no recipe.

This is where the majority of my recipes live. And if Reese reads that, she'll crack up since my inanimate objects are living again.

That's a horrible picture, but this binder is about two inches thick. Here's an idea of what the Main Dishes section looks like.

The main divider tab has a pocket, so I've used it for chicken and pork recipes I want to try.

I have some plastic slash pockets that don't have the label tab built in located directly behind that one, each for a different main dish category including fish/seafood, pasta, and beef.

Again, those are recipes that I have not tried yet. For the ones that have passed the family test, they go in page protectors behind all those slash pockets, not in any particular order.

Back in the Desserts category, I have lots of older recipe cards, so I use some photo page protectors right now for those in addition to page protectors for the larger pages.

I also have recipes written down in these three little journal-type books.

Don't let me fool you for a second into thinking that they are even remotely close to being filled up. From our first home in college to military moves, I decided I'd have a different one each place we lived. Obviously that didn't last forever, because we moved more than three times.

At the back of each book I made my own little index, because I'm organized like that.

At the beginning I would only write in pencil, being an accountant and all, because it all had to be the same. Eventually I got over that. Sort of. I kind of get twitches looking at that picture with different colored inks.

Then I'd just write the recipe in the book and number the pages myself.

I need to get those three books into something else, or into my other binder. I've toyed with doing a Tastebook, but then I'd just have a cookbook. I want something I can manipulate myself and add things whenever I want to. Basically the binder I have now, just better.

My plan is to either copy the recipes I've already put in a blog post and paste them in a Microsoft Word document, or type them in if I haven't already. If I have a picture I'm going to add it also. Then I'll print it out and put it in a page protector, pretty much like I do now. Here are the first five, not in page protectors yet:

I'll probably alphabetize them eventually too. Because I'm weird like that. I do alphabetize my spices, but I don't alphabetize my canned goods. Probably because I don't keep too many canned goods on hand at once.

The ones I've printed off the internet I will probably retype so they match the others, but I'll save those for last. I will probably have to get a couple of binders when it's all done because I anticipate that it will take up more space than it does now. I don't really have any spare room in that binder right now anyway, so it's a good idea to split it up in some logical way.

The other reason I opted for this instead of a Tastebook was because I thought that someday my girls might like to have some of these recipes. This way they could pick and choose and instead of having to pay to buy a cookbook, they could just put their own recipes together in a binder. With page protectors, of course. They are a girl's best friend.

Well, that and a labelmaker.


Kimberly Kihega said...

That looks great! I need to do something like that, my recipes are scattered everywhere from my kitchen to different notebooks.

JAEAEAJ said...

Great idea! I use a leather like journal I have tabs on the sides and I tape in all my recipes. It works for now.

Bonnie said...

what is a tastebook ? just had to ask before i forgot ...

i looooooove your binder !! i have one too but i am getting ready to do a book on blurb because so many of my recipes are on my blog now. i find i'm having to print them all out each time i want to cook. and the new recipes i try are mostly on line, again, always having to print. so ... i'm compiling a cookbook that i'm going to have printed. all of recipes i love to cook over and over ....

Mari said...

I have a recipe box that I have all my old recipes in, but I also have books like you have. I have 3; one is for slow cooker recipes, another is for recipes that can be made in large batches and frozen and another has a little of everything. Mine are all typed, but not many have pictures, and I like that idea.
I noticed you have beautiful handwriting - I'm jealous!

MomE said...'ve been busy! I'm impressed...wanna come do mine?? HA...I actually have them in a Longaberger recipe basket...of course when you open it up you can see it's exploding with papers...not necessarily cards.

Betsy said...

My eye immediately went to "Sinfully Delicious Chocolate Icing" tee-hee!

I do think it's nice to have photos along with the recipe. Once a recipe is a tried and true family favorite I type it on an index card and it goes in a box. I have a huge file of recipes not yet tried, though!

Cherylann said...

Kayren, I use MasterCook ( for my recipes.

They already have cookbooks with recipes in them, but you can also add your own cookbooks and/or recipes. I have my tried & true printed and put all organized like in a binder. If I decide to try a new recipe from MC, then I print it. If we like it, it goes into our binder, if not it goes in file 86 (i'm sure you know where that is), and I delete it from MC.

And, yes, MasterCook does allow you to import pictures, too.

Ronnica said...

I like that idea! I converted a photo album into a recipe book. Some recipes are on index cards, so they fit quite nicely. The rest are printed from the Internet, and I can just fold them and pop them in a slot. They're organized into sections, so they're easy to find. It definitely works for me!

Kayren, Pink Daisy Girl said...

Bonnie - Tastebook is where you can create your own cookbook with your own recipes, other people's recipes that they've entered and shared, or recipes from the web. You can custom design (to a degree) your cover, but it is bound where you can't add pages once you buy it

Cherylann - That looks really interesting, kind of like a database for all your recipes.

Cherylann said...

kayren, i love my mastercook, could not live without it, lol

Controlling My Chaos said...

I love your OCDness. :)

Love Bears All Things said...

I have a similar system to this. Since I started blogging, I've accumulated quite a file of recipes in word that I've either typed myself or copied and pasted there. Recently, I put them on disk.
Years ago, I came across a blank cookbook and copied many family recipes into it. I made similar ones for friends and family. Both of my children have one with their favorite recipes from home.
Mama Bear

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