My recipe organization has always been lacking. A lot of the recipes I use (when I use a recipe, lol) I have printed off the internet or scribbled on a scrap of paper. Then they got shoved in a drawer, or cubbie, or pretty much wherever I could find when I was done with it! The biggest problem with that system was finding it again later. Here are some examples of my recipes:
This is a bunch of them laid out on the counter.
Here is a close up of one. You can't see it very well in the picture, but this one is actually splattered with Teriyaki sauce!
(This one got me a new kitchen floor, but that's another post, lol)
Here's another close up of a recipe. Can you tell what it's for? This would be one of the times I just scribbled the ingredients on a piece of paper rather than printing off the recipe.
I also have a few favorites in these cookbooks.
And this shelf has the rest of my cookbooks, which I only use occasionally.
So, back to the organization issue. The other night I looked everywhere for a recipe. It happened to be one that I had scribbled on a piece of paper and I didn't even know what site I had found it on so I could look for it again. It was imperative that I find the recipe, our dinner depended on it! I did finally find it (it was on top of the paper towel holder. Great place for it, I'm sure), but it took me close to 20 minutes.
Since I'm also the type of person who suddenly goes "Oh shoot! I should have started dinner 10 minutes ago!", spending 20 minutes looking for a recipe can be a real drag. So, I decided it was time to do something about it (finally!).
I went to Michaels and got these cute recipe cards for $1 a package.
Then I went through all the recipes I had stashed different places and wrote the ones I use frequently on the cards. I then filed them in this old picture album that I already had.
For a couple of bucks, my recipes are now organized! I do still have a stack of recipes I want to try and one of recipes I only make rarely (like desserts). But they are all together in the SAME drawer. I will, also, probably add recipes to my book as I go.
Another thing I discovered while working on this project; I don't actually USE a recipe very often! I didn't realize it because it always seemed like I was searching for a recipe. But I went through a bunch of old menus to see what recipes to gather, I kept passing meals by because I didn't need a recipe for them! I guess most of the things I cook, I know what goes into and I just wing it, lol.
This realization of my cooking does pose a new problem, however. I'm trying to be more diligent about having my kids in the kitchen with me when I cook, so that I can teach them how. But I don't have a recipe to hand them for the majority of the things I cook. So, I will be getting more recipe cards and as I cook something that I don't already have a recipe for, I will write it down on a card. Eventually I will have a collection of recipes that Munchkin can take with her when she marries. I will also be able to use them as copywork, since she will need to make a copy of the recipes for her sister :o)