Organizing Recipes

Thursday, May 31, 2012

I volunteered to bring pasta salad to a cookout last weekend. My favorite version comes from a recipe that I tore out of Cooking Light about two years ago. Darn thing is hard to keep up with. My search for it inspired this week's William Morris project.

I've had that binder with recipes mish-mashed in it for years. I've also maintained this:
They don't work well together. I never remember if I put a recipe in the binder, or in the box. Then there is the question, is the pasta salad filed under "pasta" or "salad?" Dilemma! I haven't fully polished the filing issue, but now I've at least got all my recipes in one spot.
I started by culling the recipes - anything I never cooked got tossed. I'm not sure why I saved so many recipes from a Pork Council flyer, but hey . . . I applaud young Courtney's naive efforts. One delightful discovery was my husband's old recipe cards. He took the time to write down many recipes in his bachelor days, and this just tickles me now. He is a good cook, just out of practice.
As usual, I took the "use what I've got" approach to this project. I have a pile of three-hole-punched paper that was waiting to be recycled. I taped recipe cards onto it and then clipped the papers in the appropriate sections. I hole punched any recipe cards with writing on both sides so that they can stay in the binder and still be read. 
I used pink post-it notes for the "tabs" and card stock for the dividing pages. I spent about 2 minutes searching for a free printable cover sheet, then I got tired and made my own with Word clip art. My mom loves pineapples, (and cooking is a hospitable act, right?) so that choice is a nod to her. I'm sure there are much cuter recipe notebooks out there, but this one works for me for now. 

In case you are still wondering, I found the pasta salad recipe, and it was a hit. It was filed under "salad" and I suppose I'll keep it there. This project has motivated me to cook more this summer, now that I've "found" so many favorite recipes. Also, it's given me more counter space and a feeling of less clutter. Love that. 

How do you keep your recipes organized?

Linking with:
The William Morris Project @ Pancakes and French Fries
One Project at a Time @ Bowl Full of Lemons
Frugal Friday @ Life As Mom

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13 Responses to “Organizing Recipes”

  1. ell done! It's great tohave them all organized and accessible.

    I keep my small collection of recipes in two binders--one for cooking and one for baking. I keep everything in sheet protectors though as I'm a messy, messy cook.

  2. Great job Courtney! Funny timing, I too was looking for a pasta salad recipe for this past weekend. When I opened my 'recipe cabinet' an avalanche of printed out/cut out recipes flew all over my kitchen. I carved out some time then purged, hole punched, sorted/categorized and created a 3 ring notebook with index tabs. I haven't gotten to my recipe card holder, but it's next on my list. I like your idea of just hole punching the double-sided and mounting the single sided.
    We should trade salad recipes, now that we both have a spot for them!

  3. I really like your idea of hole punching the double-sided ones directly into the notebook. I have both a notebook and a recipe journal. The notebook is for those recipes I collect from magazines or other people. The journal is for those recipes I create. That recipe journal is my pride & joy.
    Happy Cooking!

  4. Nice job! Hope you get plenty of chances to revisit your favorites :)
    A few months ago I started putting all of my recipes in Evernote, from the favorites to the stuff we want to try. We've been going through magazines as well and scanning them in which is becoming really great for saving space. Plus with Evernote, you can take the recipes with you everywhere you go. :)

  5. What a great idea! I have a binder full of torn out magazine pages, folded and shoved in:) Thanks for sharing!

  6. I also have a few different spots that I stash recipes... I would love to condense them down  to one!  Your post was a great motivator! Thanks!!!

  7. This is great, I love how you thought to hole punch the cards with writing on both sides- thats a good tip!  Its funny, I just recently organized my recipes along the same lines, but I just happened to have a photo album sitting around unused so I used that.  I put all my recipe cards into the photo sleeves and if I had any larger pages I trimmed them and folded them as needed.  Now Im putting all new recipes on cards and they go right in the photo album.  It is SO much better than the mix of things I had going before.

    And Im finally catching up and using Pinterest to keep track of new recipes until I have a chance to get them onto cards. 

    Found you through Frugal fridays, thanks for the great share! :)

  8. Oh and also, it looks like i am follower 139.. really like the look of your blog.  Love meeting fellow Christian stay at home mom bloggers.  God bless!

  9. This project looms in my future.  I just keep procrastinating!

  10. Awesome idea.  I have most of my recipes on the computer.   It's not always convenient as your book would be.  It's funny how recipes are favorites for a while, are forgotten, then come back around as favorites. 

  11. Yes - I've tried keeping them on my computer, but having my laptop on the kitchen counter is a recipe for disaster. Pun intended :)

  12. Hi Suzanne - Yes, we should! I see a pasta salad dinner in our future :) 

  13. Hi Jessica - The double sided cards were the whole reason I kept the little box, but I realized it was just getting to be too much. Hole punching the corners seems to have been a good solution. I am such a recipe girl - cannot imagine creating my own like you do!