Monday, November 21, 2011

My Recipe Book

My recipe book has evolved over the years.  It started out as a box.  There were index cards crammed in there of all shapes and sizes.  Cards that people gave me and recipes I wanted to try, along with of course our family favorites.  Meal planning was difficult: picture dozens of cards scattered all over my table.  Then there were all of the recipes I was printing off the internet that just weren't index card size.

I moved up to a three ring binder and page protectors.  With different categories (breads, dinners, soups, etc), I would slip recipes in the page protectors under the correct section.  That too soon became overcrowded, so I set out to get things under control.

One weekend I typed all of my recipes into the computer.  I selected only recipes that we had tried and I knew my family enjoyed.  I typed each recipe in the same format, in a way that is easy for me to read and follow as I am cooking.  (Like this recipe where I list ingredients and instructions for those ingredients, and under that more ingredients and instructions for those, instead of all the ingredients at the top.)  I got the idea from the book Simply In Season, and love having my recipes typed that way.

I still have categories (breads, breakfasts, side dishes, soups and sandwiches, dinners, and desserts).  Recipes that I want to try go in a pocket in the front.  If we try them and like them, I type them into the recipe book and print out that page to add.  Sometimes I will try recipes a couple times or tweak them a bit before I type them in.  I've also gone through and purged my book of "junky recipes" a couple times.  The recipes in my book are healthy foods that I feel good about serving my family.  

I love having my recipes all neatly typed up!  My book is simple to use.  Meal planning is much easier when I can flip through our tried and true favorites and then select one or two new recipes from the front pocket.  Having everything on the computer allows me to easily print off a recipe for a friend or email it.  I also plan to print off copies of our family recipe book for all of my children when they are old enough.  Its fun to add to my book and watch it grow - that finally perfected salsa recipe, the whole wheat crackers that turned out well, and so on.

What does your recipe book look like?  Does it need an overhaul?

linked to Kitchen Tip Tuesday


  1. When I got married, everyone, at all of my showers, were sent recipe cards to bring with a family recipe. My cookbook is filled with hand written, family recipes, from all of my family members. I am a bit sentimental over my cook book. :)

  2. I have a little bit of everything. A binder for printed recipes and a box for cards and then there are all my cookbooks! :) I look for variety so much that I welcome the different formats and different kinds of recipes and ideas. Plus, I have no routine or meal planning. I've never found one that works because we are always so sporadic with our meals. I have learned what to buy that we use often and if we want to make something special we run out and get what we need.

  3. What a cool keepsake Kelly! I think I kept my handwritten cards from people too, I just stored them away.

    KLW, I love that you do what works best for you. :)