Organizing Recipes
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The Water Cooler
Organizing Recipes
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Today I decided to clean out my cookbook cupboard.  (When we redid our kitchen 20 years ago I included a cupboard just for cookbooks).    OMG what a mess!  I can't believe al
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Organizing Recipes

posted at 7/2/2011 2:39 PM EDT
Posts: 1038
First: 10/1/2008
Last: 4/19/2014
Today I decided to clean out my cookbook cupboard.  (When we redid our kitchen 20 years ago I included a cupboard just for cookbooks).    OMG what a mess!  I can't believe all the stuff I have kept over the years.  So today I am going through all the cookbooks I have accumulated and all the recipes I have down loaded and never used.  I have been given cookbooks that I have never used, and I always thought " Oh what a nice gift, I'm sure I will find something in it that I will want to make"  Never Happened!!  Besides that my cooking has evolved over the years, and recipes that I used when the kids were around just don't seem so wonderful now.
In any case all this stuff is just taking up room!   As for my kids and grandkids, they all eat differently now..more healthy now ( I hope).  My only concern is what to do with these cookbooks that I have never used.  Any Ideas?  Has anyone else come across this same situation?   What did you do?

Re: Organizing Recipes

posted at 7/2/2011 3:06 PM EDT
Posts: 4948
First: 6/4/2010
Last: 4/30/2013
Hi Barbara B.I live on a very friendly street with a lot of great ladies we have gotten together and have exchanges like coupons,kids clothing,our clothing.Why not a book exchange?We have fun,coffee and some times goodies.You could also donate them to Goodwill,Salvation Army or a church rummage sale.I love to go to second hand stores and that is one thing that I always look for,cook books.I found an almost new The Joy Of Cooking for a couple of dollars.You couldn't own a better cookbook.Just remember one man's trash is another's treasure.

Re: Organizing Recipes

posted at 7/2/2011 3:36 PM EDT
Posts: 7304
First: 6/23/2010
Last: 4/20/2014
Your local library would love to have them too.   Some will go on the shelves and some will be saved for their next book sale.
Every fiction book I buy I carry to the library when finished.

Re: Organizing Recipes

posted at 7/2/2011 4:33 PM EDT
Posts: 1038
First: 10/1/2008
Last: 4/19/2014

Thanks Gale and Nancy.  Those are both good ideas,  I think I might start with the library.  With budget cuts, I'm sure the "Friends of the Library" could use them for their book sales.
Now, here is another.  What is your favorite way of keeping recipes in order?  I have so many recipes that I have down loaded or clipped out of the newspaper, that there are scraps of paper all over.   I do have a computer program where I can enter recipes, print them out and keep them in a loose leaf folder, but it takes so much time.  I tend to put in only the well used ones that are tried and true.  Later I think of something I made ages ago and  would like to repeat and then it takes forever to find it.  Any good ideas?

Re: Organizing Recipes

posted at 7/2/2011 8:17 PM EDT
Posts: 1823
First: 9/9/2008
Last: 4/20/2014
Great idea Barbara.   I need to do some cleaning out of cookbooks and recipes too.  Even the ones I printed out from here and elsewhere need to be put in some kind of order.

Since I still have some 3 ring binders, I was thinking of putting them all in binders with divider tabs for type of recipe( appetizer, entree, dessert, etc).  Now I just have to find the time to do it lol.

As for the old cookbooks, I'll bet your local food pantry might even take them to pass on to their clients.  I know our township food pantry will take coupons for various items to pass on.

Re: Organizing Recipes

posted at 7/2/2011 8:50 PM EDT
Posts: 4948
First: 6/4/2010
Last: 4/30/2013
In Response to Re: Organizing Recipes:
Great idea Barbara.   I need to do some cleaning out of cookbooks and recipes too.  Even the ones I printed out from here and elsewhere need to be put in some kind of order. Since I still have some 3 ring binders, I was thinking of putting them all in binders with divider tabs for type of recipe( appetizer, entree, dessert, etc).  Now I just have to find the time to do it lol. As for the old cookbooks, I'll bet your local food pantry might even take them to pass on to their clients.  I know our township food pantry will take coupons for various items to pass on.
Posted by H. M


I think the three ring binder is the way to go,I have been thinking about doing that myself and I have to write down the things that I make and don't have recipes for to pass down to my boys.Most of the things that I make I learned from my mom and there aren't any recipes.I also have a book stand for my recipe books when I do follow a recipe and that is really a handy gadget to have it holds the book upright and you don't have to touch it.My friend always gives me her taste of home magazines and I tear the pages out that are interesting to me,the binder would work well for that also.Thanks for the great ideas.

Re: Organizing Recipes

posted at 7/2/2011 9:26 PM EDT
Posts: 7304
First: 6/23/2010
Last: 4/20/2014
In the office supply dept. of your WalMart you'll find clear plastic "pockets"  (wish I could remember the correct name) that go in a three ring notebook.  Anything printed gets put in the open top of this page-size thing and it's safe forever.  These are really great for saving anything.

Re: Organizing Recipes

posted at 7/3/2011 5:03 AM EDT
Posts: 1072
First: 10/2/2008
Last: 10/4/2013
If you have other things you don't want like clothes, other books, etc. you could have a garage sale.

Re: Organizing Recipes

posted at 7/3/2011 5:06 AM EDT
Posts: 1072
First: 10/2/2008
Last: 10/4/2013
Perhaps you could have a garage sale and include other things you don't need, including the cookbooks.

Re: Organizing Recipes

posted at 7/3/2011 7:06 AM EDT
Posts: 1101
First: 8/8/2008
Last: 11/28/2013
I collected many cookbooks and still find myself checking out the cookbooks in the stores. I have given some of the books to family and friends which is really appreciated. I kept my favorites and have two big looseleaf books filled with recipes that I organized into catagories just like a cookbook, but this is also a big deal since there are usually only two of us to cook for and I have been cooking for so many years that I tend to return to favorite recipes that I have used forever! Go figure.

Re: Organizing Recipes

posted at 7/3/2011 7:18 AM EDT
Posts: 959
First: 1/30/2010
Last: 1/22/2013
I like the idea of donating better than a garage sale.  While the money is nice, it is a lot of work.  Your library or other organizations will give you a receipt for your taxes too.

Re: Organizing Recipes

posted at 7/3/2011 8:09 AM EDT
Posts: 3547
First: 1/16/2009
Last: 4/20/2014
I'm facing the same problem. Organizing willl be a major problem.

Re: Organizing Recipes

posted at 7/3/2011 8:13 AM EDT
Posts: 2519
First: 6/4/2010
Last: 4/19/2014
when I am ready to organinizing my recipes .

Re: Organizing Recipes

posted at 7/3/2011 8:46 AM EDT
Posts: 1203
First: 9/10/2008
Last: 4/18/2014
You are not alone Barbara B!!!  I have the same scarey cupboard in my house!!

Re: Organizing Recipes

posted at 7/3/2011 9:36 AM EDT
Posts: 3406
First: 10/6/2010
Last: 4/15/2014
If you are going to be doing recipes that you like to make in a 3 ring binder Nancy's suggestion of the page protectors is a good one.  It keeps "gunk" off the pages and makes them easy to wipe down.

If they are recipes you have yet to try then just put them in a binder and when you try it and like it move it to the protected binder.  If you don't like it toss it or cross that recipe out so you don't waste time or money again.

I just went through many many of the recipes I had cut out and I tossed most of them out realizing that I will most likely never try the recipe that sounded good at the time I cut it out.  If it sounded good while I was going through again then I saved it yet again and put it in a binder to try.  I will make a concentrated effort to try at least one new recipe from the binder at least once a month.

I do make notes in my books and binders as to the outcome of the recipe and any changes that need to be made. I don't  write in books but cook books are the exception to the rule.

Re: Organizing Recipes

posted at 7/3/2011 9:54 AM EDT
Posts: 2168
First: 8/8/2008
Last: 4/20/2014
I do also have many cookbooks that I just don't use ant more

Re: Organizing Recipes

posted at 7/3/2011 12:01 PM EDT
Posts: 1333
First: 8/8/2008
Last: 4/16/2014
i wouldn't know where to start have a sale. ask at your school they might be able to use them for cooking classes

Re: Organizing Recipes

posted at 7/3/2011 2:04 PM EDT
Posts: 1856
First: 10/8/2010
Last: 2/12/2014
I have the same messy recipe collection that some of you do.  I used to clip many from the newspaper thinking "this looks good", but then, how many recipes does one need for brownies.?  I usually make the same recipe--the one my mother made when we were kids.
What my sister has done and I"m trying to do, is in a 3 ring binder, put the recipes that she makes a lot into the plastic sleeves and put tab categories for the sections.  That way she doesn't have to hunt for a recipe she makes often.
I've had the problem of making something once and then not being able to find the recipe next time i want to make it.

I started on the binder project when I was recovering from my hip surgery and couldn't do much else.

Re: Organizing Recipes

posted at 7/3/2011 2:27 PM EDT
Posts: 725
First: 12/31/2009
Last: 3/21/2014
I have the exact same problem.  I have an entire cupboard filled with cookbooks and recipes that I have printed off or cut out of magazines.  Many years ago, I started going through it and got rid of some of the duplicates that I had, but it is still a huge mess.  I just haven't had time to go through it all.  So, I guess I don't have any advice for you, but at least you know you are not alone!

Re: Organizing Recipes

posted at 7/3/2011 5:30 PM EDT
Posts: 3406
First: 10/6/2010
Last: 4/15/2014
Old photo albums also make a great place to keep recipes, some have the sticky pages that might be good for recipes printed on one side only.  Some have pockets that a 3X5 card would fit into.  Since most people use scrap books for photos the old photo albums might be good for recipes.
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