Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Picking and Storing Your Recipes

My husband is guilty.
He brings home recipes torn from everywhere.
And I know he is like all of you out there...
But, you see, he is a cook...so he has access to loads of recipes.
"This looks fun!"
"This one will taste awesome!"
"Wow looks tasty!"
The funny part is he has no intention of making these recipes.
He just hoards them.
Like I know we are all guilty of from time to time.

I don't know about you...but couldn't take it anymore.
So I have come up with a system!


First, you have to be honest.
Pick a recipe you will ACTUALLY make.
If you don't normally make meals like the one in the recipe...chances are you won't start now.
If you have never tried Indian food...don't grab a recipe first...try it in a nice safe restaurant.
THEN you know what you're shooting for 
BEFORE you shell out a ton of money on weird ingredients you may never use again.
I'm not saying you shouldn't be brave and try new things.
I'm only suggesting you bring it back to reality.

Second, price out any ingredients that you don't already have.
If you need to spend $20 on saffron and it only calls for 2 threads...pass.
If you don't already have the staples to build your recipe...
you need to ask yourself if the price of buying new ingredients is worth it.

Third, if you already have a wad of recipes flying around your house...
gather them up and try sorting through them using the above method.
You will be thinning down your mess.
You will be brutally honest about your cooking intentions.
You will get the recipe paper beast under control.
You'll feel like a superhero.
(okay...maybe not...but getting rid of piles and waste always make me feel good)

For me, I had to reel in our obsessive need to keep every recipe that ever crossed our path.
(The same method was applied to our cookbooks too.)
When I grab a recipe I like, it usually has to meet a few prerequisite standards:
1 - at least 2 foods that I grow
2 - involves pantry and fridge staples I already purchase in bulk.
3 - no more than 1 ingredient has to be newly purchased (preferably none)



So now you have some recipes.
There are probably a billion storage solutions on Pinterest right now.
Here is what I do:

I label my folders based on the main ingredient.
 I have folders like "Tomatoes", "Fish and Game", "Zucchini", "Foraging" etc.

You can use any labelling system that works for you.
For example:
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks.
  • Slowcooker, Oven, Microwave
  • Pork, Beef, Fish, Veggies
  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc
  • Raw, Vegetarian, Paleo, Dairy free
  • Entertaining, Home meals, Work meals

Once I make a recipe, and decide it is a hit...I move it to the BINDER.

I have a binder full of plastic page protectors.
There are magazine recipes, handwritten ones, forwarded emails from friends.
All of our beloved family favorite recipes are in the BINDER.
Now, with this system, Handsome Husband can still find the recipe for 
Gramma BJ's Johnny cake...even when I'm not at home.

I have yet to organize the BINDER itself...that will be another post for sure.

How do you store your recipes?


  1. very good idea :) my recipes are a big mess...my mom sends me lots from Germany...ripped out of magazines. I always think I should sort them out ... put them into a binder and translate them...so nit only me can use them ;) one of those things u never get around to do it. should be fun for a long cold winters night. this inspired me :) thanx !!

    1. germany awesome! what kinds of stuff does she send you?