I love to cook, but I’m not really a cookbook kind of gal. I like looking at cookbooks and gaining inspiration, but for whatever reason, it’s rare that I actually make a recipe out of a book. My go-to sources are the members-only sections of Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country, and I’ll sometimes cook recipes from the Food Network website or The Pioneer Woman. (I get a lot of food “inspiration” from Pinterest, but avoid recipes from there since many of them seem to be of the quality of “I made this once and it worked so I’ll post the recipe” – I have better luck with ones that have been tested a bit more!)
Anyway, so most of my recipes are here, there, and everywhere on the internet, and really it is quite a pain to access them! A few months ago, I started organizing them into a simple binder so that my tried-and-true recipes are easy to access. I’ve tried keeping them in a file on the computer, but even though I can see my computer from my kitchen counter, it’s still not easy to use them on the computer since I’m usually needing to change windows or type when my hands are dirty. I also really wanted to get them all in one place so that if I needed to tell Jeremy or one of the kids to start a recipe, they would actually know where to find it.
I considered doing a photo book as a recipe book, but realized that was going to get really expensive, really fast – plus, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to add new recipes. (Though, now that I have all our family recipes in one place, I can forsee printing a nice book for my kids when they are older!)
I decided to just format all the recipes nicely in Apple iWork’s Pages, print them out in color, and then laminate them at Mardel.
It costs $0.25 per foot to laminate at Mardel, so it’s really cheap. It’s also self-serve and there’s not usually a line, so it doesn’t take very long to go in and laminate just a few pages at a time, which is what I’ve been doing as I add tried-and-true recipes to my book.
I’ve also been working on typing up the recipes that I’ve developed on my own and don’t follow a recipe for – mostly so that the aforementioned husband and children can start a recipe if needed!
I added the pages to a simple binder that we had lying around. At some point, I might buy a pretty one; but my white one is doing just fine (though it’s one of the smaller ones and I need a bigger one!).
I’ll need to figure out a better way to divide it into categories, and perhaps create an index. The pages aren’t numbered, but in the future, I will be re-printing and re-laminating the whole thing as I tweak recipes and fix typos, so I may add the page numbers and index then.
I only put recipes that I’ve made at least a couple of times in the book. It seemed to be a whole lot more useful to have a book where you know you like every single recipe, than to have your tried-and-true recipes mixed in with magazine clippings and printouts of ones that you thought looked good enough to try.
All in all, I’m really happy to finally have my recipes organized! My only problem has been remembering to use the cookbook and not look them up on the computer as I’m accustomed to. :)
How do you organize your recipes?
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