Top 10 Tips for Recipe Organization

April 11, 2014 , In: Design, Living , With: No Comments

RecipesI love reading through magazines (with a bag of chips by my side preferably) and the recipes are always my favourite part.  I subscribe to a few magazines which are exclusively food related where I keep the entire issue.  These are currently Bon Appetit (less practical but beautiful & trendy) and BBC Good Food (totally practical and very useful).  I used to subscribe to Fine Cooking but I kind of just fell out of love with it. I keep these magazines in order on a shelf in the basement for access.

CookbooksI also have quite a few cookbooks.  These are the cookbooks I’m currently digging, and I also have about 30 more on shelves in the basement.  I’ll rotate through them so I don’t get bored.

But back to those magazine clippings!  Here’s how I make sure they are always handy and not just hanging about in a drawer in the dining room… (anyone reading recognize this…?)

Top 10 Recipe Storage Tips

1. Get yourself a large binder or two.  I don’t condone corporate stealing, but often offices have a bunch of these sitting unloved in a pile somewhere behind a cubicle.

2. Buy yourself a bunch of sheet protectors.  Staples sells a pack of 100 for $13.72 which is very reasonable.  I’ve reused mine for about 10 years.

3. If you want to get fancy, also buy some tabs so you can separate the sections into whatever suits your fancy.  I have two binders.  One is mains and sides, the other is desserts and brunch.

4. Whenever you come across a recipe you love, rip it out and set it aside in a designated box.

5. One day when you have time put the recipes in the sheet protectors in the binders!  But as you are doing so, ask yourself are you really going to cook it?

6. Every so often flip through the entire binder and pull out recipes that no longer appeal to make room for new recipes.  It’s amazing how tastes change.  Sometimes I wonder what I was thinking when I pulled a recipe.

7. When you find a recipe you want to make that week, put a little sticky tab on it so you can find it later.  If you have a  full binder, this will save you from searching for that recipe.

8. Remember to get the full recipe.. there’s nothing like missing the final steps because you forgot to get it off the next page.

9. For ease of choice, I make notes every single time I make a recipe and write it down on the recipe – either in the cookbook or on the clipping.  I categorize it by good, very good or never again.  ‘Never again’ clippings go in the garbage.  ‘Never again’s’ in the cookbook never get made again.

10.  I also use this time to make adjustments.  For example, I find recipes often recipes are very weak on herbs and spices so I may write ‘great but must make adjustments and taste along the way.’  It just makes things easier next time for myself, or if I leave the recipe for someone else to make.

That’s it!  I have recipes for magazines, flyers, the back of products and just about anywhere I could find them.  It’s an easy system and by constantly getting rid of stuff I perhaps thought I might make but know I really won’t I’m able to keep it down to just two binders.

Do you have any tips for recipe storage?

On Monday I am going to talk about MEAL PLANNING!  (How do people grocery shop without doing this??)


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Michelle Little

Writer & Photographer

Originally from the prairies and now in Montreal, I love exploring new places, eating great food and modern design. I'm mom of two wild things and paper and cake make me happy. Photographing your cutie family would make me very happy.

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