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recipe organization?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Ok so - do you organize your recipes? how? I've been trying to get a long term meal plan going so I don't have to ask myself what's for dinner every day (stresses me out). I don't even like the once a week thing so I've been trying to keep a calendar of what I made so I can reuse it. But I'm also trying to organize my recipes so they're not in a big cluttered file on my computer, in various cookbooks, in magazines (I have a few dozen : ) and in my head to be forgotten. So I've been typing them up and I was going to try to put them in a photo album that fits 3X5 pics. I am putting a crockpot symbol and an easy or simple icon on those that apply for reference.

What else should I do???
post #2 of 22
I personally prefer a 3 ring notebook with index dividers for my recipes. I like a bigger font to read.

Whenever I see a recipe here on MDC or elsewhere online I'll copy and paste it and print it out on a regular sheet of paper. Then I punch it with 3 holes and put it in the correct section of my recipe binder.

I'm TRYING to weed out the recipes we didn't like or don't use so that the binder (which is currently 2 volumes) stays manageable.

I'm thinking of taking the time to type up our other favorite recipes and eventually compress it all into just a few binders of recipes.

I love my cookbook collection but since it's now taking up four shelves in the pantry and I rarely use any of the books it might be time to declutter and let some (or most) of the books go.

--Kari
post #3 of 22
Wow! Really sounds like you have a system going. Here's what I do:

1. If I like a recipe in a book I write the recipe name and page number on the end paper of the book so I can find it quickly

2. I have a divided folder for recipes I have clipped or copied, but haven't tried yet - don't want them cluttering:

3. My main recipe file. Giant 3 ring binder with photo sleeves divided with pocket dividers. Lots of catagories help me have fewer to look through at any one time.

4. I keep a binder with my weekly menus saved in it for reference. If a menu includes a recipe from a book, the name of the book and page number are noted.

5. I also keep a small folder for "kid" recipes. My dds love to cook and I like to save special ones for them to look through.
post #4 of 22
I have a notebook with plastic pages. this works great! index cards and a photo albulm would work too!
post #5 of 22
I use a three-ring binder (well, actually 3 three-ring binders!) too, with the plastic page protector thingies. This allows me to put in pages from magazines (I get a lot of cooking mags) and 8x11 pages printed off the computer. I keep recipes I haven't yet tried loose in a manila folder -- OK, well, and sometimes just stuffed in the front of the binders. :
-- and then once I've tried them, they go in the binder if we like whatever the food was, or in the trash if not. But I need to clean my stuff out, too. I have recipes from way back when that I know I"ll never make again -- guess I'm just afraid that someday I'll remember "oh, that eggplant dish, where was the recipe for that" and not have it, and not remember enough about it to be able to research it on the 'net again. Come to think of it, a lot of my recipes aren't so much instructions that I follow to the letter, but reminders of ideas for meals, kwim? So when I'm paging through my binders I see something and say, "Oh yeah, we haven't had chicken cacciatore for a while" or whatever.

The only other suggestion I have is to make notes on the recipe: if you changed anything or subbed anything, what you served it with, who in the family liked or disliked it, if it needed more cooking time or a different cooking method. I always think I'll remember these things, but unless I write them down, I don't.

HTH~
~Nick
post #6 of 22
I use notecards and clippings from magazines and they go into one of two boxes. If they are tried and true recipes they get filed in my box alphabetically. But if they are new and I'd like to try them, they go in a decorative box I keep in my kitchen. If I don't like a recipe, I just throw the card away. If I do like it, it gets filed.

But, I'm still a newlywed, I guess and I don't have stacks of recipes to deal with yet.

Also, I keep track of my menus by week. I plan my whole week before I go grocery shopping by what I'm craving, what other things are going on that week and what's easy to make, or what new recipe I want to try. It cuts down on the grocery bill, and I'm prepared every day with my list that's on my cookbook stand in the kitchen.

Good luck organizing your recipe cards. I hope I was helpful.
post #7 of 22
If I have tried a recipe and liked it AND my family liked it AND it wasn't too time consuming to make, I write it in a notebook that I keep in the kitchen. I don't really organize them, just keep adding the best recipes to the book. Still only takes a second to find them. I also keep the recipes for my household cleaners and the cats special mega-vitamin mix and things like that. I try to write the changes I make to the recipe in there too. That way my husband can make more or less the same thing. I usually forget the changes, though. Once we invited friends for dinner and I had my husband start some spaghetti sauce. When we served it it was far spicier that I usually make it and we realized that I never changed the proportion of the chili powder. :LOL I change most recipes!
post #8 of 22
I have all my favorite recipes on MasterCook on my computer. It's really great! I will never go back to any other system. They are all categorized (appetizers, vegetables, bread, etc.) and I've added my own categories (favorites, holiday/entertaining, new recipes to try, etc.)

I print out whatever recipes I need when I need them. I can scale the recipe up or down to serve more or fewer people. It also gives you the nutritional info (calories, fat, etc.).

I can also include notes about the recipe: substitutions I made, notes about how the recipe came out, and other stuff I want to know next time I make it.
post #9 of 22
My recipes are also a mess. I think the ones I have printed out (they are kind of splattered from cooking) I am going to scan back into the computer. Then print them on recipe cards or notebook size. Then keep in a binder.
post #10 of 22
I use a three-ring binder with those plastic plastic insert pages. All of my recipes, whether handwritten, photocopied, or ripped from magazines, fit nicely in the pages. I can also pull out a plastic sheet and keep it on the counter while I cook or bake and it won't get soiled. I keep the recipes in order of starters to desserts.
post #11 of 22
I didn't realize how many of us like the 'ol 3 ring binder method!
post #12 of 22

Recipe Binder - Recipe Paper

B"H

I have also decided to combine all my recipes in a big three ring binder but I would like to print them out on nice 8 1/2 by 11 computer recipe paper. Any ideas on where I can purchase it? I've searched high and low on the internet and have not found anything yet...

Thanks...
post #13 of 22
I use a 3-ring-binder and a photo album. I have a little photo album that allows me to slide my index cards in and out and it works great. I have several album that have catagories written on them and it's a great thing I started a few years ago!
post #14 of 22

I also use the three ring binder system

With plastic sleeves. The recipes are sorted into the kind of entree -- meat, seafood, veggie and then separate sections for side dishes and desserts.

It's so convenient to just remove the recipe from the binder and use that in the kitchen. If I spill on it, I can just wipe it off before I put it back. Easy to share, as well!
post #15 of 22

recipe files

also check microsoftword.com templates. i think ive seen some good templates for recipes there. some online receipe sources also have a great way of printing out receipes for receipe books, but i use a loose leaf binder with the plastic inserts for protecting the receipes. i usually staple smaller recipes.
who has time to write them down in the pretty recipe books?
post #16 of 22
My mom was complaining about her old school recipes, that have been passed down from generation to generation, falling apart. Not wanting to have to re-write them every few years, I decided to make her an online recipe organizer to keep her recipes.
While figuring out how to make it/what features I should implement, I decided to make it so that anyone can register a user and upload their recipes as well.

I invite anyone who is having the same problems to go to
http://recipe.gauzza.com

and make a user to back up your recipes and be able to access them anywhere with an internet connection.

Also you can view other recipes users have uploaded to get new idea's and add new recipes to your cooking repertoire.

Organize - Print - Email
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by MommyChani View Post
B"H

I have also decided to combine all my recipes in a big three ring binder but I would like to print them out on nice 8 1/2 by 11 computer recipe paper. Any ideas on where I can purchase it? I've searched high and low on the internet and have not found anything yet...

Thanks...
Just go to a regular office supply store and get pretty stationary.

The important thing about the 3 ring binder method (as opposed to photo albums) is that you can REORDER and ADD recipes to the correct sections easily without taking everything out! If you don't need your recipes organized alphabetically this isn't an issue, of course.
post #18 of 22
Okay, I know I'm in the minority here, but I *like* keeping recipes in the original way they're written down. Scrawl, crayon, whatever. I understand that this is a different story if the recipes are in bad shape, and at some point I'm going to have to copy down some of mine again. But I like opening up my 3-ring binder and seeing all sorts of different recipes. Most written down by me, some cut out of magazines or othere publications, and some copied. It's kind of like a little time travel for me. I can look at my writing or the paper it's written on and think, "Oh, that was when I was living in that apartment and I had that little stove". Or that's my first banana bread recipe. Whatever. I know I'm weird.
post #19 of 22
I am in the "3 ring binder" camp also. I use the plastic page protectors, and can just slip a recipe in there in whatever form it's in. If I cut it out of the newspaper or a magazine, I can just stick it in there. I also have a folder where I put recipes as a "holding pen" until I can slide them into one of my binders. I have multiple binders because I have a lot of recipes. One of them is a "reference" binder for recipes that I haven't tried or only use occasionally. I don't want them to clutter up my other 2 "main" binders. I keep menu plans in there and also have blank copies of my grocery shopping list that is organized by store aisle.

(Bearsmama, I don't think you're weird. I have recipes from when I was a kid, and little recipe cards from relatives, etc. in my binders. It's a trip down memory lane...)

I also have some other binders ("Home and Garden", etc.) because I go a little nuts over researching things and I like to keep it all in one place.

Any system that suits you (like using a computer program) will work. I just like binders because I do clip a lot of recipes and it's the best way for me. It just depends on how you like to keep your own recipes organized.
post #20 of 22
Quote:
I personally prefer a 3 ring notebook with index dividers for my recipes. I like a bigger font to read.

Whenever I see a recipe here on MDC or elsewhere online I'll copy and paste it and print it out on a regular sheet of paper. Then I punch it with 3 holes and put it in the correct section of my recipe binder.

I'm TRYING to weed out the recipes we didn't like or don't use so that the binder (which is currently 2 volumes) stays manageable.

I'm thinking of taking the time to type up our other favorite recipes and eventually compress it all into just a few binders of recipes.

I love my cookbook collection but since it's now taking up four shelves in the pantry and I rarely use any of the books it might be time to declutter and let some (or most) of the books go.
This is my goal. I've just started doing this.
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