Tuesday, November 4, 2008

organize your recipes

If you are like me, you love to cook...and even if you don't love it, you probably still do it from time to time. This time of year, when the Holiday is just around the corner, I seem to collect recipes from every party or place to go, not to mention all the magazine and newspaper recipes I've clip! I need a place to put these new recipes and a place where I can go to find my tried and true recipes.
Below, I've listed several different methods for storing your recipes. They all have pros and cons but are all excellent ways of storing recipes for easy retrieval. Pick which one is right for you and your cooking style and set a date to get your recipes under control by the end of the year. It will make Holiday baking so much more enjoyable!

  1. Binders - Purchased a binder specifically for organizing recipes. They usually have very good dividers for categories and pretty papers to use to place your recipes on. This is nice because you can compile all your recipes…the ones from mom and grandma, magazine and newspaper clippings and computer prints outs all in one place…no matter what the size of the recipe.
  2. Recipe Box - Using a recipe box when organizing recipes can be handy. But is can also become difficult when the amount of recipes you have exceeds the box space. So, choose carefully and pick one that has more space than you currently need to allow space for your growing recipe list.
  3. Small Photo Album - If you would rather organize recipes in a smaller album but like using index cards then consider a 3x5 or 4x6 photo album. You can easily slide the recipes cards in or out yet they stay protected when not in use.
  4. Laminated Cards - For those recipes you use all the time but still can't memorize, place the recipe on a index card of your choice and laminate it. Punch a hole in the corner and place an office "ring" through it. You can place it on any hook in your kitchen where you cook.
  5. Your Computer - If you have a computer - great! If you have one in your kitchen that's even better! Here are some ways to incorporate using your computer for organizing recipes:
    • If you have a scanner, scan your recipes to your computer. After that you can either place them in folders for the main categories (pasta, chicken etc.) and in subfolders for the actual recipes. This is a good way to find recipes using the "search for files or folders" option on your computer. Just type in the name of the recipe and up it comes on your screen ready to go.
    • In case of a computer failure it is best to back them up. Burn them to a CD if you computer has that capacity and you will always have a copy to fall back on.
    • Purchase software made specifically for organizing recipes. Some come with recipes built right in others do not. Some help you organize a grocery list and basic pantry list also. So, read the software carefully to make sure you are getting what you want. Don't forget to check out the system requirements to make sure the software is compatible with your computer.

Organizing my recipes was one of the best things I did. It helped me organize my meals, grocery list and significantly cut down on my preparation time because I could actually find the recipes I needed.

So, start by choosing the method you think will work for you and start organizing recipes. Even if you can only do a handful at a time you will end up with a great system that saves you time and energy.

For more organizing ideas, visit my website: www.andreadekker.com

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