The holidays are suddenly upon us and what’s the best part of holidays? FOOD, of course! Every Thanksgiving and Christmas I make my (world-famous) baked corn pudding, an old favorite that has been gracing my family’s holiday table since I was a little girl. I love carrying on the tradition with my friends and family today, but believe it or not I still need to refer to the recipe every year. (Was that four eggs or six? Heavy cream or half and half?) Because I haven’t committed the recipe to memory and it’s very important to me, I have to keep my favorite recipes organized so I can find it easily.
Bear in mind that when storing recipes, you may need to use more than one system because some recipes arrive in your life on the pages of a magazine, while others are shared word-of-mouth and still others come to you online. The secret of recipe success is using a system (or two) that make the most sense to you.
Low-Tech Solutions for Physical Recipes
- Fill a pretty 3-ring binder with clear plastic sheet protectors to store the recipes you tear out of magazines. Sort them by meal category using binder tabs (breakfast, entrees, appetizers, soups) or by their main ingredient (chicken, vegetables, fish). When you’re ready to cook, pull out just the page you need and lay it right on the counter, since the plastic sheet protector will wipe clean easily.
- If you love your cookbooks but can never find your favorite recipes or even remember which books they’re in, attach a piece of paper to the inside cover listing the recipe names and page numbers of the best recipes in the book. Then put a sticky note on each page as a bookmark. This will save you tons of time searching the table of contents. Over time, if you notice one of your cookbooks has no bookmarks sticking out, you’ll know you aren’t using it and can donate it to someone who will.
High-Tech Solutions for Recipes On Demand
- Search for and save recipes at one of the many online recipe sites such as Epicurious, The Food Network and AllRecipes, just to name a few. I only print off each recipe as I need it, and no worries if the paper copy gets messy while I’m cooking, I just toss it out and print another one next time.
- My favorite recipe hub is Pinterest. The entire Pinterest universe is searchable, plus it’s a great way to store your own recipes, save friends’ recipes to your boards and see pretty pictures of the finished product you’re making.
- Scan paper recipes into digital form and store them on your computer in a recipes folder or pop them into Evernote or Dropbox, where they’ll be accessible from any computer in the world. Evernote and Dropbox are also handy for looking up your recipes while you’re at the grocery store to verify ingredients or quantities.
If you struggle to keep recipes organized and easily accessible, I hope this advice will be helpful to you! And if you’ve discovered a great way to organize your recipes, hit the comments link and let us know what works for you.
Monica Ricci founded Catalyst Organizing Solutions in 1998 and has been helping people change their lives ever since.
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