Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I have a problem. . .and I hear admitting it is the first step in solving it. 

I love recipes, cooking magazines and cookbooks.  The irony is I only have a passing interest in cooking (I'm no foodie).  It's the kind of interest that lies in having to prepare meals for my family or we'll go hungry.  I guess I sort of enjoy it 9 months of the year - one more reason to hate summer - heating up the kitchen when it's already fires-of-hell hot.  What I do like doing is eating.  My collection shows the kind of cook I am. . .fast, 30 minutes or less, semi-homemade, freezer pleasers, pre-prep, easy, no-frills, down home, comfort food kinda cookin'.  Me and my slow-cooker have a close relationship in the cold months.  The grill and I have a love-hate in the heat.

My problem comes from I'll clip almost anything that sounds good - I have a pretty decent sense of what should taste good just from reading a recipe.  For the most part I've succeeded there; there are always a couple, "Well, this didn't work."  I'm also a strict recipe follower.  It annoys the crap out of me when people want me to add more of this or that.  I can alter things once I've followed the recipe, but it needs to be followed once to see if it's any good.  Chances are, though, if it's good, I'm not touching it. 

All this leads to the picture below. . .a giant binder of recipes I've printed, snipped, cut and generally collected.  Behind the binder is my collection of cookbooks - though that's only a portion.  My pantry has a full shelf dedicated to cooking magazines and other cookbooks.  I rotate seasonal ones and keep my baking and specialty cookbooks in there.  The good side is I use a large portion of my collection.  The bad part. . .if I make a good recipe, especially from my magazines or this printed mess, I forget where it is. 

My question. . .what's the best way to deal with this?  The binder that is.  Nothing is even in the binder rings, it's just all shoved in there.  I need a way to store them (I, at one point, actually attempted to rewriting them into the provided pages, hahahahahahah) and they're all different sizes:  full pages, 4x6, 5x7.  I can sort them into categories, but it's still a mess of papers.  What do you do?  What would you do?  Don't tell me to transfer them to cards.  Please, have you seen my posts lately?  That's just another "to-do" I can't deal with right now.  LOL

And now we're heading into the season of cooking.  The magazines with mouth-watering photos, sweet treats, coupons with recipes.   AAAHHH!!



Patchi said...

Think "kitchen scrapbook".

What I do cut & paste the cut-outs into the notebook-style cookbook, section by category. Now with a full-size binder you could also just get page protectors and slip the sheets in. Then they won't get floured and buttered while in use.

good luck!

Beth Fries said...

Hi Lori! I have a binder too, but I use those page protectors to keep it all together. No hole punching necessary, just slide them in, no matter what the size. For smaller clips of recipes you can quick tape them to a sheet of paper. The page protectors are the answer.

JLP said...

I am with Patchi and Beth, page protectors are your friend. I have my binder filled and separated by content (a wonderful gift from my MIL). Recently, I went through and finally realized that I was not going to cook some things that I had collected. I weeded stuff out. It is another to do list, I know. Hang in there!

Kristin - The Fifth Sparrow No More said...

I am with everyone else -page protecters. They come in all sizes -full sheet, seperated into pockets of all sizes - i have the same mess ummm I mean collection at my house! Good luck!

Briel said...

I gave up on the binder. Too hard to find things! I've become a big fan of myrecipes.com. Seems easier to organize that way. Also, one trick that works well for me is to write on the inside cover of my cookbooks the recipes I made and liked. That is a quick way to find an old favorite. Good luck!!!