Whether or not you’re a serious cook chances are you will find yourself wanting to make a favorite recipe. Often, the challenge can be finding it in an efficient manner.
Recipes are part of a family’s history. Most of us have handwritten cards passed down from mothers and grandmothers, favorite cookbooks, recipes torn from magazines and printed from the computer. Keeping track of all the different shapes and sizes can feel overwhelming.
The best thing to do is to find one method that works for you and stick to it. Here are five solutions that will appeal to everyone from the sentimental cook to the high tech chef.
Solution One: Mark the pages. Use book darts to mark your favorite recipes in any cookbook. Book darts are small metal clips that won’t wrinkle or mark pages and won’t fall off. They come in three colors so you can distinguish recipes you have tried from ones you haven’t or appetizers from main dishes. Post-its also work well for marking as the name of the recipe can be written in plain view. Great for serious cook book collectors.
Solution Two: Use an index card file to keep track of handwritten recipe cards. Use blank index cards to keep track of recipes in your favorite books. Simply write the name you are likely to remember, the cookbook and the page number. File the cards alphabetically in the box, dividing them into sections such as appetizers, desserts, holiday favorites, etc. This method appeals to those sentimental cooks who love the grease stained recipe card that grandma used.
Solution Three: Three ring binders. Create one binder for ‘Recipes to Try’. Use binder pockets labeled by category to capture each type of recipe you tear out of a magazine or print off a computer. When you are in the mood to cook something new they’ll be easy to find. After you have tried a new recipe, toss it if it’s a dud. If it’s a keeper, put it in a page protector and transfer it into a binder of your favorites. This method works well for those who love cooking magazines. Keep track of the recipes that sound appealing and toss or pass on the actual magazine.
Solution Four: File folders. This works well if you have a file drawer in your kitchen that can be designated for recipes. If you don’t have a drawer, there are many attractive portable files you can use. Simply create a folder for each type of recipe and a folder for recipes to try. This method will appeal to extremely busy cooks as it’s easy to catch all shapes and sizes within a folder. The caveat is the tendency to overstuff the folders making it hard to locate the recipe you want.
Solution Five: Online. Scan favorite recipes and keep them in files on your computer. Easily ensure the security of all your prized dishes by ensuring your computer is backed up. For easy and continual remote backup try www.carbonite.com. You can also use software such as www.bigoven.com or Cook’n www.dvo.com to organized all your favorite cookbooks online, create shopping list, watch cooking videos and even figure out what to cook for dinner by entering what’s in your refrigerator. The demo at dvo.com is a must watch. Amazing!!! This method is great for all types of cooks but especially appealing to those who don’t have room for cookbooks in their kitchen.
Realize that the initial organizing of your recipes will be a time consuming process, albeit a worthy endeavor. The next time you find yourself looking out on a cold rainy day you may just want to grab a cup of something warm and snuggle up with your recipes, just in time for holiday cooking