Sunday, October 7, 2012

Recipe and hard copy

I am slightly obsessed with my recipe binder....okay not so slightly I am flat out obsessed. When we move I actually pack it in my suitcase instead of with my cookbooks. I love this thing! I get meal ideas from all over the place. From magazines, online, cookbooks, etc. When it comes time to make my meal plan I do not have time to sit down and go through all these sources to get my meal ideas. I needed a one stop shop for the meals our family likes to eat. That was when my recipe binder was born.

For cookbooks I make a copy of the recipe I think we would like to try and slide it in the sheet protector and file it according to category. This allows me to pick meals quickly without having to go through countless books. Another great idea is to borrow cookbooks from friends or the library and do the same thing. You get lots of new recipes with no cost to you!

Online recipes have always been a pain for me. They are saved all over the place. Emails and the favorites tab being the top two place I keep the web address for the recipes I want to try. The trouble is who wants to click on dozens of links to see what the meal is before you can even decide if you want to use it or not. Such a pain. Instead I now use pinterest as my online recipe binder. I love pinterest. I find a recipe I want to try and pin it to the appropriate board. Easy peasy and I can find it again with a picture when I want to look through them! Then when I am going through making my monthly meal plan I can just make a board for that month and send a duplicate of that pin to that board. Meals are easy to find when I am ready to print them and add  them to my hard copy recipe binder. I do like to have the hard copy when cooking since I don't trust myself or my daughters not to drop something wet and messy on my laptop while cooking. There is a reason my recipes are in a sheet protector! Having a digital board of all the online recipes is also a great resource for when friends and family want a copy of your recipe. No more searching and trying to remember where you saw the recipe. It is right there under that months board.

My hard copy binder is broken down into the normal categories with two extra special categories at the very front. The first category in my binder is titled "meal plans" and it contains ALL the meal plans from the previous months including the current month. I keep them all because they are great for getting ideas from. I like being able to look back and see "oh yeah that pasta dish we had 4mths ago was a big hit and we have not had it in a while I should make that this month". These are in sheet protectors as well and I keep a  dry erase marker in my binder as well. Sometimes I don't make meals in the order they are outlined. Some times I just REALLY don't want to make what is on that days menu, or I forget to start the crockpot in time. When that happens I pick a meal from later in the month to make. With this in mind I use my dry erase marker to mark off the meals as I make them. That way I know what I have made that month and what I still have to make. And the marker wipes off so I can still read the menu months later when I need ideas.

The second unique category in my binder is the "This Mth" tab. When I am making my meal plan I pull out all the recipes I want to include. I then put those pages in the tab "this month" That way when it is time to make dinner I don't have to search through the entire binder to find the one recipe I want to make. It is right there in the front. Saves a bunch of time and frustration! At the end of the month those recipes get put back in their appropriate tab and I pull the new ones to put in the front.

Since all my pages are in sheet protectors the pages overlap the divider tabs and make it impossible for me to find the different categories when I am looking for something specific, like my muffin recipe. So I used these printable tabs. I printed them out, used packing tape on the front and back to make them sturdier, and taped them to the TOP of my divider pages. The tabs stick out nicely now and it is super easy to find the sections I am looking for.

Here it 10th baby. I love this thing ;) 

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