Friday, June 17, 2011

Recipe Storage.

I mentioned in my post yesterday that I have a 3-ring binder that I keep on my 'inspiration shelves' in my kitchen (I just named them that). This was one of those HOT items on my to-do list during week 39 of my second pregnancy, because God forbid a baby come into the arms of a mother who hasn't alphabetized her recipes! Seriously, what is UP with the hormones?

No matter how crazy I was (on this same to-do list, the hubs was assigned the job of vacuuming out the window wells of our exterior and WASHING THE ROCKS...YES, WASHING THE ROCKS in them...I saved the list for Gloria's baby book) I need to give mad props to my previously pregnant self for taking on this task. I absolutely LOVE using this binder. Here's how it works...

FIRST, you need a Russell + Hazel 3-ring binder.

I specify R+H because their stuff is so luxurious...really brings out the organizational diva in all of us. If you are lucky enough to live in MN, you can visit their flagship store on 44th & France in Edina and pick out your favorite pattern in person (I'm loving their latest metallic binders). Inside the front and back covers of the R+H binders are dry erase boards.

As I'm picking a recipe out of my binder, I love using my dry erase marker to jot down necessary ingredients. I also would suggest picking up their page protectors while you are there. They are a pretty penny, but will hold up to the amount of splatter that gets on them and wiping that occurs during a routine meal prep (they are SUPER thick and heavy duty).

Next, I created dividers for my binder. Here's the order I have mine:
- This Week
- Appetizers
- Breads
- Soups
- Side Dishes
- Main Meals
- Desserts
- Cocktails/Punches
- To Be Printed
I used dividers that had pockets in them for additional storage.

The next, more tedious step I did was to page through the STACK of magazines I had stored up with recipes I was SURE to get around to trying (yeah right!). I tore out the pages and gave them a trim with my paper cutter. Next I sorted them into categories and slid them into the page protectors. I did them back to back so my pages are double sided.

After I was able to ditch the pile of mags in my office, I gathered up all the miscellaneous recipes I had laying around (from friends, scribbled on a napkin during happy hour, etc). I created a Word template for my recipes and typed each and every one of them up.

Besides all the regular recipe info, I was sure to include who I got them from (for questions) and notes on adjustments I made or appropriate occasions for the dish. Although it was time consuming, it's SO wonderful having my recipes stored on my computer. Rather than having to scribble them down when someone asks about a particular dish, I can just email it off to them and it includes all my little tidbits on successful preparation.

The 'This Week' tab is where I place all the recipes that I have chosen for that particular week.

I ran into problems with grocery shopping for 3+ meals...and not being able to remember what I was even making in the first place. This keeps me on track for meal planning and gives me an excuse to play with my 3-ring binder

My last tab is the 'To Be Printed' tab where I slide in any recipes that people have hand written for me. That way once I get a few stored up in there, I can type them all up at once and file them into the binder.

If at this point you are calling me a freak, please refer back to the hormonal disclaimer above. Have an absolutely fantastic weekend!

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