Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Little Organization Please!

I don't know about you, but I find a lot of awesome recipes online. It doesn't help that I subscribe to quite a few blog feeds that have recipe posts. I also e-mail myself recipes and get e-mails about recipes! For a long time I never knew what recipes I'd gotten that had looked interesting or which e-mail address I'd sent a particular recipe to or which blog had posted what -- aack! It was getting to be a little overwhelming and out of control.

So I started a system of reigning in the plethora of recipes. Any time I see a recipe I need or would like to try I print it off right then, three-hole punch it and stick it in my big ol' binder of recipes - a 3" hideous marroon-colored thing that I got at my university's surplus shop for 50 cents. This system has been the saving of my sanity! What helps even more is that I have the recipes divided into sections that are custom picked based on the recipes I like and use:

- Mixes/Canning
- Breads
- Side Dishes
- Main Meals
- Desserts
- Condiments/Drinks
- Dairy (I have a lot of cheese recipes and hope to add ice cream soon! Oh wait.. should that be under Desserts?)

As you can see, the system isn't perfect. There's always room for improvement. Sometimes I can't remember which section I put a certain recipe under. Not to mention I still have to flip through a lot of pages sometimes to get to the recipe I want. (alphabetical order someday? - Lately if I use a recipe I stick it up at the front of the section. That way the most-used recipes are at the front.)

Not perfect, but it's a lot better than it was. It's great to have a hard copy of all the recipes I love and even ones I make up all in one place. It's amazing the peace a little organization can bring.

Tip: For recipes of my invention I have a separate TOP SECRET notebook that I scribble ideas into and later type into Word to save and print out when perfected.

Another tip: For magazine recipes I've torn out, I have a separate binder where I put the pages into sheet protectors. It's harder to organize these as they have different kinds of recipes on the same page, but it certainly beats having to flip through the magazine.

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