Putting it All Together: Organizing My Recipe Book

I love me a good cookbook. I have a bunch of them - so many, in fact, that Brian had to build me a whole shelf dedicated to them. 

Even though I have a ton of cookbooks, I still am always printing recipes online - either things I’ve seen friends post or things I’ve found while browsing around. For a long time, I just shoved them under the cover of another cookbook. After a while, I realized something needed to be done to better organize the dozens of printouts I had. So I went to Staples and got a binder, a set of dividers and a bunch of plastic page protectors, stuck everything in, and called it good.

Except it wasn’t good. The recipes weren’t organized, they were just bound together. I still had to flip through the whole book to find anything I wanted since there were no categories.

This week I decided to do something about it. I decided what categories I wanted and used my label maker to designate each one. Now I have this:

Right now I only have four sections:

Mom's: These are photocopies of recipes my mom hand wrote. She gave each of her children a handwritten book of her favorite recipes, but she passed away before she could finish mine. Thankfully I got a copy of my sister’s book.

Favorites: These are recipes that we have tried and love. 

To Try: This is where we put anything we find and print out we want to try. It makes it really easy to flip here and look for something new if we’re feeling adventurous. Then, if it’s a hit, the recipe is moved to the favorites section. If it’s bad, it goes in the recycling bin!

Desserts: What can I say? I love sugar. And baking. And chocolate. Therefore, desserts get their own section :)

That’s it for now. I still have one tab, but haven’t decided what I want to use it for yet. I considered just having it be “miscellaneous” but I figured I’d wait and see if I thought of anything I’d rather have when it’s really put to use. 

Do you print out recipes? How do you store them?

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