It feels like a lifetime since I have written a post. I have been super busy these past couple of months with a half marathon, the Avon Walk, and freestyle cruising on Norwegian Cruise Lines…did you see my Postcard From Bermuda? With all that going on I FINALLY found some free time to work on a project that I have been putting off now for quite some time…organizing my recipes. On the rare occasion that I do cook (my boyfriend is the cook at our place), I need a recipe to follow. I am no Iron Chef or Chopped star who can create something out of nothing. No, I need step-by-step instructions.
I collect recipes like it is my job, you could consider me a recipe hoarder. And though Pinterest has been my main source, I still do occasionally rip them out of magazines or print them off from the internet. For a while, I collected them in a folder. As time went by and the folder got bigger, I started to put them in a three-ring binder. Three-hole punching recipes and sticking them in my binder with no organization wasn’t working well for me anymore. I kept saying that I needed to organize these but I just continued to put them in the binder with no rhyme or reason. When I did want to use a recipe, it was taking too long to find anything. The madness had to end!
The first thing I did was collect my binder and take everything out. I spent time purging recipes that no longer interested me or that I had repeats of. I found that over the years, I collected 7 different recipes for “Baked Macaroni & Cheese” and I had never even made one of them! All I could do was shake my head and move on.
Once the purging was over; I separated what I had left into the following categories:
- Appetizers/Side Dishes
I was originally going to make dividers for the binder. However, since I have some recipes that are oddly shaped or difficult to hole-punch, I decided to try something else. I picked up this 13 pocket organizer at Target which had the perfect amount of dividers to match my categories. I figured why not give this a whirl.
I used the blank side of the file tabs that were provided and wrote out each category.
Since I doubled up on some of the categories (Ex. Soup/Salad/Sandwich) I used some binder dividers that I already had and stuck them in the pocket organizer to separate them and find things a little quicker. For my “Desserts” category, for example, I decided to bunch up similar recipes and paper clip them together to find them easier. For example, I took all the pie recipes in my dessert pile, ripped an index card I had in half and labeled it “Pies”. Then paper clipped the bunch and stuck it in the “Desserts” pocket of my binder.
Once everything was placed in the organizer, I placed it with all my recipe books in the kitchen cabinet. I love this system so much more. It forces me to put recipes in a category and if I am looking for something specific, it is much easier to see. This system is working well for me currently so I am one happy chef-in-training! 😉
How are you keeping your recipes organized? Are you a paper hoarder like me or are you all digital? Let me know what’s working for you!