Like most avid cooks, I have a deep, unending love for recipes. I'll cut them out of magazines, print them off the internet, gather favorites from friends and family, and scribble my own creations on scraps of soon-to-be-lost paper.
Then, I'm never able to find the one I'm searching for because it's stuffed in my giant unorganized binder of recipes.
Last year I sat down over the course of an entire week (seriously, I had THAT many recipes) and decided to de-clutter my collection.
I thought about how I wanted to contain them, and most importantly,
how I would like to pass them down to the Jelly Bean.
I came up with these adorable square little journals. Each has three pocket dividers. With a pencil, glue stick and scissors, I got down to business.
My goal was to keep all of my favorite and handed down recipes, then clean out the rest of my recipes with these rules:
- Will I ACTUALLY ever make this recipe?
- Are the ingredients whole foods or does it contain processed packaged food items? (if the latter, it got tossed)
- Are the ingredients easy to find?
No matter how delicious the recipe sounded, if the likelihood of me ever making it was slim, it got tossed.
I divided my books:
- Sweets, treats, and desserts
- Appetizers, Side dishes/salads, Meals
- Homemade (jams, jellies, condiments, healthy snacks and treats)
While this may not seem like it's the most organized way to deal with recipes, my goal was to contain them, and create a working journal of my best loved recipes. I wanted space to write notes and make alterations and craft something that my daughter would cherish someday.
I keep articles and references for foods that I use in cooking. Some lift and flip out to reveal more goodies underneath. It's very multi-layered.
In the pocket folders I keep handwritten notes for recipes I'm not quite ready to commit to, and other recipes that I'd like to try, but if they are not used within the season they are intended, they get tossed. I try to keep clutter out of these books.
One thing I make a point to do, is identify where the recipe came from, friends, family, etc.. Their names are added to the title of the recipe.
I love the personal connection each time I make it.
I even have a few pages that the Jelly Bean drew pictures on, I dated them and enjoy looking back at them.
In addition, I keep a binder where I keep articles and important references that I cannot cut down to keep in my little recipe books.
All recipes that I hand write, are written in pencil, so I can make changes or update them as I desire. Making little personal notes about taste are added along side each recipe as well, so I know each time I make something if I need to tweak it, or it if is perfect as is.
One of these days I'll get around to adding the little stick on tabs I bought to make finding frequently used recipes much easier.
But for now, it's really quite fun to flip through, stumble across a recipe I haven't made in a while, and get excited to cook... with my Jelly Bean.