Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Organize Yourself: Neaten Up Your Recipes

Are you a recipe collector like me? While this is a tasty hobby over all, usually it ends up looking like this:
I have quite a little mess of recipes, sometimes I keep the whole magazine together so I can clip out several so I usually have a big stack of magazines and papers. This can take up a lot of space and it really isn't efficient. What are the odds of you remember which magazine and on what page a recipe you read once is on? Not very good, I can tell you that. So, I have devised a way to still keep all my recipes, but to organize them into a usable collection.

What you will need:
  • A composition notebook (I like to grab the cute ones after the back to school sales)
  • A pair of scissors
  • A roll of clear tape
Basically, I just cut the recipes to fit and tape them in the book like so.
Things do get a little more complicated when you have a double sided recipe, but with a little cleaver taping and folding, you can just tape one side down and then you can fold out to see the opposite.
Sometimes, you will have to change the direction of your tape so you can flip upwards, etc.
Another issue I have run into is sticky recipes. I have found some that are stuck on products or newspapers as peelies, so I take cellophane and stick the peelie to it, then cut it back out of the cellophane and tape it down - now you can clearly see the recipe, but it won't stick to your other pages.
Also, I like to try and keep the pictures of the finished recipes if I can. Sometimes this takes a little rearranging, but you can usually make them all fit together.
Cut the pictures off and tape them individually wherever they will fit.
This can occasionally become more like a puzzle...
...but with a little moving around, you will always be able to make them fit. Don't be afraid to cut down the pictures. If you notice, I cut just a corner off this picture of the soufflé, but you can still see how delicious it is even smaller :)
Every now and then, I come across two recipes that are printed back to back in a way that I can't harvest both to put them in the book, so I will have write one and tape the other in. You can even try to keep a small portion of the picture to go along with the hand-written version.
So, now that you have all of the recipes in your book, how can you tell which one is where? Well, as soon as I get a book full, I start working on an index. I start by giving each page a number.
Then I make a list of them all with their page numbers, alphabetize them, and write them in the back few pages of the book.
The index does take a little time, but it will save you so much more time in the long run. It's so nice to look in the index and know exactly what page the recipe I am looking for is on.

So, now you can go from this:
to this:
Now doesn't that fit a little nicer on your shelf?
By investing a little time now, you can call on any recipe you want with little effort later on. Hopefully this helps to keep you a little more organized!

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