My name is Holly and I am a recipe hoarder. It started out innocently enough with just collecting cookbooks. Then it grew to tearing recipes out of magazines. And then it spilled over to the internet. I would watch Food Network instead of studying for exams, make desserts instead of sleeping, and spend a lot of money on ingredients I had never heard of and only used once. Then, about five years ago, I realized that I had amassed so many recipes that I felt like it was beginning to take over my kitchen.
It was at that point that I realized something had to give. Did I actually try at least 1/3 of the recipes in the 30+ cookbooks I had? When was the last time I looked through the numerous manila folders where I stashed all the magazine and internet recipes? And then it hit me. I had to do something. It started with going through the cookbooks and deciding what to really keep, and what to give away. (And the cookbooks that I never even opened were re-gifted.) So after years of tinkering, I have come up with an organizing system that works for me. And for those of you who are recipe hoarders as well, hopefully this will help you too.
My secret? I use binders, (many, in fact–and I have one solely dedicated to desserts), and manila folders.
For the recipes that I love and use (whether it be consistently, or just a few times), I put in a binder. They are organized by subject and placed in sheet protectors. I use Post-Its for tabs.
I like using sheet protectors because that way, if I spill food on it while cooking or baking, I can just wipe it off with a damp cloth and move on. No harm done. In the binders I’ve also included tips and tricks. I especially like using information from the magazine Cooks Illustrated. Continue reading