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Recipe Reorganization

I am in the final stages of a project I have been working on for months now: reorganizing my recipes.  I moved from the old system of a Mod-Podged index card file box to the new system of a binder containing typed-up recipes.  I really wanted all my recipes on the computer because, well, I ♥ the search function (definitely helps with menu planning!). So, I painstakingly typed up this giant stack of recipes.

All my recipes are categorized in file folders: breakfast, side dishes, chicken dishes, pasta dishes, etc.  This is helpful when I plan the menu;  I can pull recipes from several categories so we're not eating chicken four nights in a week.  (However, I do have LOTS of chicken recipes!)  I also use tags so I can easily look up meals I have tagged as quick dinners.  Also, I don't like to waste food so let's say I'm making Hawaiian Ham and Rice, which calls for 1/2 can of pineapple.  With the other half, we could eat it straight up (and we do occasionally) OR I could go to my recipe folder and do a search for pineapple to find that if I put Sweet and Sour Meatballs on that week's menu, I could use the rest of the pineapple for that meal.

By typing up my recipes, I can put the steps in the order I need to do things.  For example: in the ingredient list, a recipe calls for chopped vegetables (implying they should be chopped and ready before you begin).  Reading further in the recipe I find you need to cook the chicken before the vegetables are even needed.  So I would put step 1 as cutting and cooking the chicken and then step 2 to chop vegetables while the chicken is cooking.  I also like to put the amounts of ingredients down in the steps.  So when step 7 calls for chili powder, I don't have to scan the ingredient list up top to find out how much.  I feel it streamlines my cooking.  Each step is pretty detailed, which is great for when Dan asks how he can help.  I can tell him I'm on step 4 and he can take over from there.

I keep a recipe binder for all the printed recipes.  It is so nice to have all the recipes in the same format!  I didn't put each recipe in a page protector because I felt that was a bit much.  I have two page protectors on the fridge and when I'm cooking, I pull the recipe from the binder and put it in one of those. That way, the binder itself is not taking up precious counter space while I'm cooking.  This system that is working so well for me right now.

Also pictured is our dry-erase board detailing what leftovers are in the fridge and when they were made.  Below that are items for the grocery list. Note: my wonderful husband often writes the leftovers on here and the second meal's original title was Pasta with Grilled Peppers and Onions.  Sounds more appetizing that what is written...

Now I can easily print or email you a requested recipe!  However, right now I thought I would have some fun with my old recipes (the ones on index cards).  If you want a few random recipes, let me know and I'll mail some to you.  Yes, real mail!

Goodbye, old friend!


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