Creative Ways to Organize Recipes
Even your kitchen's paperwork deserves a filing system
By Cathy McClellan
If your kitchen contains piles of scraps of paper with recipes scribbled on them, then it's probably time to get organized. Invest some time and a few bucks into a filing system that will allow you to easily locate your precious recipes. Next time, you may even be able to locate that one recipe that you copied from a magazine in the doctor's office or your aunt's secret bread pudding recipe.
Purchase an index card box and as many index cards as you need. Decorate the outside of the card box. Write or tape a typed recipe on the index card and file the card under the type of recipe, by holiday or by family member who provided it. Use the divider tabs to write a heading for the type you are filing the card under. For example, Aunt Emma -- then file in alphabetical order all the recipes you love from Aunt Emma. Cover each complete index card with clear sticky paper to protect it from greasy or dirty fingers while cooking.
Purchase three-ring binders and clear sleeve protectors. Use a basic graphics program on the computer and type as many recipes as desired with a different background on each recipe. Print each one and slide into a sleeve protector. Insert into the binder by recipe category.
Store the magazine and books in a long cardboard filing cabinet that is one drawer. Use hanging files and folder to store each magazine by either type or the kinds of recipes that are in the magazine. Slide the magazines into the hanging files. At the back of the filing cabinet, store hardback cookbooks. Stack two or more filing cabinets on top of one another if there are a lot of magazines and cookbooks to store.
Use a paper clip attached to a hook on the cabinet door to hold the recipe off the countertop or use a typing stand or book stand to set recipes on while cooking to protect the recipes. No matter what filing method you use, always store recipes in alphabetical order. This makes it much easier to find that one particular recipe. Combine the methods above for recipes that are most often used and for those that are rarely used but you still want to keep. For example, use the card box to store recipes that are used most often. Use the loose-leaf notebook or the filing cabinet to store other recipes that you have not tried or are not often used.
About the Author
Cathy McClellan is a regular contributor to DexKnows.
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