Monday, May 5, 2008

Organize Your Recipes

Some of you may be laughing at this post, asking yourself "Does Deb even own any recipes?!!" Well, technically, the answer is yes. I own a Rachel Ray 30-minute meals cook book. I've used it once. Go ahead and make your snarky remarks.

Moving on. This post is inspired by my monkey of a signficant other's wonderful mother. I recently helped her pack her kitchen and I encountered a drawer full of recipes. She has mountains of them. When I asked how she acquired all these recipes, she explained that she clips and prints any recipe she finds that she wants to try. She admiited that there were probably some that resembled recipes she already had, but she doesn't know where to find them.

Lightbulb, organizing post.

Don't get me wrong. This woman is pretty organized and did have a recipe book with recipe clippings strategically placed near appropriate food categories. So we discussed going through her clippings and printed recipes one day and binding all her recipes and making it easy for her to find and add recipes. Yet to happen, but I am hopeful. :)

So, what would I do given the opportunity? Categories! Just like other recipe books. Stick to specific categories that work for you: Snacks, Soups, Chicken, Beef, Fish, Salads, Crock Pots, Chocolate, Fruits, Vegetables, Rice, kid food. You can keep it generic or make it more specific and fun. ...of course, alphebatize the categories once you have decided on them. You will probably figure out categories as you sort through all your recipes.

Sort through your recipes and keep like recipes together. Take note of repeat recipes and please THROW them away. Or, if you just have to have them, staple them together. :)

Now, here comes the binding. What do you do with all the recipes once they are sorted? Find a binding strategy that works for you. I would simply buy a binder that fits the recipe needs and future recipes. Idealy, I would copy or type up all the recipes so that they can be put in a nice order when bound. Some of you recipe nazis out there will probably want to keep acutal clippings. Completely ok. Get some binder inserts that you can just put the recipe clippings in and label the insert with some cooking cuteness if you want.

So, catergorize, sort, alphabetize, copy or type or use inserts, and bind.

Or get this shnazzy Recipe Binder Set by russell+hazel if found at

How do you organize your recipes?


jmcqueen82 said...

this is something I have put off and put off. It all seemed so daunting to me. I had a ziploc gallon size bag full of clippings, hand written pieces of paper, sticky notes, you name it, all mixed in with take out menus and anything else you could imagine. (aka your worst nightmare) Finally, about a month ago I poured them all out, went through them, transfered them to index cards, and filed them. Took me hours, but I am glad it is done.

This little notebook thinggie looks marvelous though. Kind of expensive, but man, it is slick!

C said...

Oh, Deb! I think you need to move in with me for a while and organize my life! LOL! Have you ever thought of a career in being a "life organizer"? LOL! You can organize people's closets, recipes, offices...EVERYTHING! You'd have your own TV show...It would be awesome! Or you can just come here and organize my home for me! LOL! ;)