Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Keeper Cookbook!

A couple of years ago, I started a blog about surviving in the kitchen with 6+ kids. Mostly as a sort of recipe keeper/cookbook for the kids to inherit one day. It didn't last. Way too much to type out. Way too much work when I was doing pictures alongside. Way too time consuming. And probably more obvious to others than me, but simply unrealistic for a mom of now 7! I actually tried to change it up a bit and use it more for kid recipes, organizational stuff, crafts, homemade cleaning recipes, etc. But, reality is, I'm busy. Again, way too time consuming. So, I deleted that blog and gave up on the whole darn idea. I really am trying to simplify my life. But, who can resist an new and different organizing idea regarding cookbooks? So, here I am again, tackling this issue.
You see, in the end, I do love to cook and experiment with new recipes and my family loves to be the test subjects. Problem is that I have TONS of recipes, lots of recipe books/magazines and more than a few recipe websites I like to visit. So, there are times that I frantically search for that particular recipe, cookbook or magazine for a specific recipe, etc. It's just a mess, really. I've tried to organize them, to no avail. I mean, some have post it notes on them to mark the favs or as the hubster likes to call them: "a keeper". Also, some loose recipes have been glued into composition books and printed out ones have a binder. I also have my Family Fun magazine recipes in one binder. But, as you can see, they are simply all. over. the. place! Something had to change and it wasn't gonna be with a blog. That's for sure. At least not right now

One day while perusing one of my favorite menu planning websites (I think?!?), can't remember which one right now, I came across something and voila, the "Our Keepers" cookbook binder was born!!
It is in the preliminary stages, but in it I have the family favorites. So far, there are just more than a few recipes in there and that is why it is in a small binder for right now, but as I add, I'll expand. (Rest assured with 6 kids in school, there is NEVER a shortage of binders in this house.) But, I want to only keep it as big as it needs to be. The whole idea is to de-clutter the recipes without having to toss my cookbooks, magazines, and other homemade recipe contraptions I've made over the years. I mean, I do still use the cookbooks for other purposes, special occasions, and of course to try out new recipes, etc. Basically what I do is take the recipe that we love and use over and over again and make a copy of it and store it in here. (I am doing this as I go along....not rummaging through my recipes for the "keepers". That would of course, defeat the purpose of this whole idea.) I am sure that eventually I'll have to add dividers and tabs to sort the recipes and that maybe some of them will be more difficult to copy, but for now, this thing is GREAT!! A humongous time saver. Something I not only love, but really do need right now. Maybe one day, one day not too long down the road, I'll be completely organized again.
Yeah right....

Although, this was like a complete light bulb to me, this apparently isn't a new idea. There are even websites out there that will make it for you, where you can order a kit as a DIY project, and how to organize one. All you have to do is search things like family cookbook binder and up they come. Me being the frugal sort of person, well I just chose to make my own. They'd even be a great gift for a family member or friend!

So, tell me, how do you organize your recipes, menus, and cookbooks?

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