Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Organizing the Recipes in Three Steps

Martha Stewart blue recipe box

Thanksgiving thoughts often turn to food, and food thoughts lead to recipes. For all of us who love to cook, recipe organization can become a challenge. Here's a basic 3-step approach.

1. Decide what to keep.

2. Group like with like. This may mean salads, main courses, side dishes, desserts - or maybe you want a finer sort (meat, fish, poultry, veggie, etc.) Maybe you want
categories for everyday recipes vs. those you make for special occasions. Separating tried-and-true vs. not-yet-tested recipes is another common approach. This categorizing can be highly individualistic; pick whatever works for you.

3. Decide on the right tools for storing the recipes. Here are some of the options.

2-drawer recipe box A-M and N-Z

Recipes boxes are what I personally use. I've mentioned the ones from Cucina Tatutina before. Smith's Fine Wood Products makes recipe boxes in cherry, oak, walnut, and tiger maple; other places sell boxes made from bamboo. The Martha Stewart recipe box is the blue one shown at the top of this post, and Room Service Home sells the lovely two-drawer one. And of course there are more basic ones; I got mine at the local drugstore. Update on Feb. 15, 2011: The Room Service Home web site has disappeared.

accordion recipe file tied with a ribbon

Accordion files are another option - either generic ones, or ones designed specifically for recipes. The recipe ones come in basic brown — or in decorative styles like the one shown above, which is from Pat Richter. Update on Nov. 7, 2014: Pat's website has disappeared.

recipe binder

Recipe binders, books or journals can be made using any 3-ring or lever arch binder or something like an Itoya Profolio. And of course there are specialized products, including those from russell+hazel, Aspinal of London, Renaissance Art, and C.R. Gibson. Over on Etsy, Inky Livie sells recipe binders, too - that's hers above. Another option, suggested by Michaela Strathman, is a photo album! Update on Feb. 15, 2011: I'm no longer seeing recipe binders on Inky Livie's Etsy site.

recipe card storage called Recipe Roundabout

The recipe roundabout is an interesting option I stumbled upon recently - sort of a Rolodex for recipes. Update on Oct. 23, 2012: I'm no longer finding this product anywhere.

personalized recipe book / cookbook

Computer-based solutions, including recipe software programs, are another fine option - but there are so many choices that I won't even try to cover them. But I will mention, which uses computers to help you create a personalized cookbook, using your own recipes and/or ones from magazines like Bon Appetit. [via Popgadget]


Rae said...

Thank you so much for linking to! This is the exact type of gift I've been looking for. You have a lovely site, and some incredibly useful tips. Thanks again!

Jeri Dansky said...

You are very welcome, Rae! Thank you for your support.

swift said...

Try its free/easy to use and you can access all your recipes where ever there is an internet connection

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeri,
I was looking online for a recipe box for my daughters shower and came across your blog and the white two drawer box from Room Service Home. How might I go about looking for this box - I guess don't know how Room Service HOme works. Thanks.

Jeri Dansky said...

Anonymous, I'm sorry, but you are out of luck. Room Service Home has disappeared, and I'm not seeing this box anywhere else.