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Let's Dish: How Do You Organize Your Recipes?

Let's Dish: How Do You Organize Your Recipes?

From recipe card filing systems to customized innovations like the tastebook, there are many ways to organize recipes. Still, if you own more than a dozen cookbooks, keep some of your family's recipes on record, and have limited kitchen space, maintaining an organized cooking library can be tough.

I've always struggled to arrange my kitchen paperwork — treasured family recipes, cookbooks, personal creations, recipes I've come across online, and appliance instruction manuals — all in one place. The closest thing I have to a solution is a binder full of sheet protectors that are sorted by course, so that I can insert any printout, clip, handwritten recipe, or manual. It sits next to a shelf full of cookbooks with recipes that have been tabbed.

How about you? Have you found a recipe organizing solution that works for you? I'd love to hear about it!


haute77 haute77 9 years
I usually clip recipes from magazines, so I slide them in plastic covers with a 3 hole punch and put them into a binder. Then I bought some dividers (old school) and categorized them by dish. (pastas, fish, chicken, beef, sides, dessert.) Seems to work perfectly.
verily verily 9 years
Hahaha. Organize? I do need to look into getting a cute little recipe box or a 3-ring binder to put all my printed recipes in.
Deadly-Lemur Deadly-Lemur 9 years
I do the binder with sheet protectors thing. I just roughly group similar recipes together, I would go crazy over-organizing it if I let myself. I'm still sort of new to cooking, so I don't have a ton in there yet. One thing I like to do is buy a food I've never bought, let alone prepared, like parsnips or savoy cabbage. Then I spend awhile looking up recipes that fit within my nutritional outlook & cooking capabilities (nothing too complicated), print them out & put them in the book. I usually try the simplest one right away, and if it's good I feel confident trying it with other recipes. I also try to see what things are common amongst the recipes to get a handle on what will probably work the best.
digigirl digigirl 9 years
I use a recipe software called Big Oven - I love it because I can scale recipes easily and it will give me nutritional breakdowns when I want them. Plus I can search by keyword for quick and easy retrieval. I also have a binder with printed recipes in sheet protectors that I keep in the kitchen with my most often used recipes - quick & easy last minute dinner, often-asked-for cookies, etc.
justanerd1975 justanerd1975 9 years
I have a recipe box and I just use a clothing pin to clip my recipe card onto something eye-level (usually the cord from my under the counter kitchen radio) so that it won't get all messed up...
rachmolly rachmolly 9 years
i've been saving recipes in gmail which makes searching for them easy :)
LadyLiLa83 LadyLiLa83 9 years
I have all of mine saved on my laptop, in a folder of recipes, but organized into subfolders (appetizers, mains, sides, desserts, etc.) Then I take my laptop with me into the kitchen and I don't have to use paper that can get dripped on, ripped, lost, etc.
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
my mom, grandmother and future MIL all have those boxes where they organize recipes - and that works for them. interestingly enough, im still of the computer age where i have a recipe box online - and when i know that i'm going to want to make something, either i pull it up on my laptop right there, or i remember to print it out before i go shopping or go home so i have the paper right there with me. i think that that someone should invent a counter top computer that you can store your recipes in and just have the screen up as your cooking. that way you don't waste the paper for the cards - and you can always access the database for any recipe at the touch of a finger. you want chicken - you type it and poof - all your chicken recipes are right there for you.
BrunetteSugar BrunetteSugar 9 years
i have a binder with tabs for the different courses. i type them up in a template that i have saved and put them in plastic covers. just like so many of you have said... please there is so much stuff that i make that i know by heart or just made by habit!
kscincotta kscincotta 9 years
My Hubs is the cook in our family and he has piles and piles of recipes that he finds online and then scribbles all over. I compiled all of his best ones into a Tastebook for him for Christmas last year and it was a huge hit. Now I'm saving his newest finds to order additional sheets for next year.
Sun_Sun Sun_Sun 9 years
in my brain :S haha and a whole bunch in my favourites
kia kia 9 years
I suppose I have a "tastebook." My husband and I bought a thick fabric-bound journal a few years ago to write down recipes, our thoughts on the dishes, and memories associated with them. This was inspired by the movie "Like Water for Chocolate". Our first entry is our first Thanksgiving together where we hosted about 15 people and they all brought great stuff then wrote about their recipes as well.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
I have a recipe scrapbook I'm making to give to my future kid someday, so when I find a new recipe I like, I put it in there with photos or illustrations.
ragus ragus 9 years
I found this adorable recipe box that looks like a mini wooden bread box... it has a little sliding door and all, I used to have just hundreds of recipes all over the place... but then I came up with a rule, I can't keep the recipe unless I have attempted it. This makes my box a lot neater and helps me explore new recipes.
Liss1 Liss1 9 years
I want to start a binder of recipes i have been given or have gotten online. I have tons of cook books also.
partysugar partysugar 9 years
I have color coded folders. But I have SO many recipes its insane. About a million printed from online and cut out from the newspapers.
Red-Sharpie Red-Sharpie 9 years
I also use the binder with sheet protectors method. I put both the things I've made and like and the things I want to try in there. Makes choosing what to make a whole lot easier.
tsp tsp 9 years
i use binders, too. a few years ago i bought some super cute russell & hazel binders and sheet protectors for my recipes. of course...i also "designed" a layout and type all of my "keepers" into that format and print them out for the binders. the nice thing is having a digital file/backup for all those recipes. the downside is the backlog i get when i can't be bothered to type things up in a timely manner. shout out for tastebook, though. gave those as gifts last year and they were a big hit.
hyzenthlay20 hyzenthlay20 9 years
I've been using OneNote for all of my recipes. It helps because I don't have to be online to use them, although I am not sure how I feel about having my laptop in the kitchen as I prep . . . It's just the best thing I have come up with so far.
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