Friday, February 18, 2011

Recipe Binder: Success!

In addition to collecting recipes for friends, I've also been working on my own recipe collection in the past few months. Specifically, I was fed up with the huge bulging folder that held little torn-out magazine pages and scraps of paper with recipes scribbled in ten different inks. Those of you who cook will likely know what I'm talking about, right?  It was a mess to find anything in there.

And so, I decided to bring some organization to the whole thing, by creating a recipe binder. Here are the steps I went through in my search for order:
  • The first thing I did was go through all of the pages and tape or staple all the little scraps onto 8.5"x11" sheets of scratch paper. 
  • Then I numbered all the pages, in the lower right corner.  
  • Then I typed up the titles of all the recipes into a Word document, along with the corresponding page number. 
  • Finally, I organized these recipes by general category (Sauces, Appetizers, Salads, Soups, Sides, Main Dishes, Breads, Desserts, Gluten-Free Baked Goods), leaving space at the bottom of each category.
Here is what the table of contents then looked like:
  • I then slipped all of the pages into clear sheet protectors (which I happened to have left over from a scrapbook project from long ago), front and back, and put them all in a three-ring binder (which I also had lying around). Just for this photo's sake, I slipped in a frozen pizza box cover, but I'll likely replace this with something else before too long:

To give you a sense of the range of recipes in this book, here are a few images.  The first page, which displays the table of contents, is on the left, while scraps from magazines and recipes from the back of boxes are on the right. If you click to enlarge the image, you can see where I've written in a recipe title (Oat Soda Bread) and page number under "Breads," as I've added to this collection:
Some of the recipe pages were ones I'd printed out on a common theme (the one on the left is from a Mexican Sunday dinner night), while others are recipes I'd written out by hand over the years (as with the one on the right):

Some were whole pages out of magazines (as on the right):

And I also included these wonderful newsletters from our CSA farm, Harmony Valley, which have suggestions on how to use seasonal vegetables, stories from the farm, and recipes:

And I stored all the extra sheet protectors and extra scratch paper in the back of the binder, so I can keep building this collection:

Anyone else have recipe-organizing ideas, or plans in the works? Do share!

--
P.S. Happy half-birthday to my big brother!

2 comments:

  1. can you please come organize my random recipes? like i said before, we have a mid-sized box with all sorts of pieces of paper (much like yours) stuffed inside it. i also have post-it notes that are lining the edge of the hood over the stove. i put those up there and leave them when i am frequently using a particular recipe. anyway...we need help. i can pay you in food and hugs.

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  2. Yes yes! Let's try to schedule a recipe-organizing, hugging fiesta some day soon! But first, must go protest the Tea Party protesters: http://www.examiner.com/political-buzz-in-national/wisconsin-protesters-face-tea-party-counter-protests-today

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