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Recipe Overload

Like most of you, I'm feeling overwhelmed with recipes! From cooking magazines, Chow, other web sites, cookbooks (that are ever creeping into my shelf from bookstores and friends), and finally recipes that are already in my recipe box.

How do you keep up? Short of making a huge feast every single day, I don't know how to keep up with all the recipes I want to try out, not to mention going back to solid recipes that I've already made.

Help for a young-ish cook! (I can only imagine what will happen after 10, 20, 40 more years of this!)

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  1. Keep up??? There's no keeping up, who said anything about keeping up??? (hee, just kidding)...Personally, I've flat-out stopped acquiring cookbooks since about 2 or 3 years ago. The rest is still out of control, though...so there really isn't any keeping up for me, anyway. I do feel better if I can actually TRY a few new recipes each month, though.

    1. i stopped clipping recipes years ago. all the little bits of paper became too unwieldy, even after i'd pasted them in notebooks. nearly everything is on-line now and a quick search and copy to a specific folder keeps decent order. i donated a huge surplus of cookbooks a few years ago to charity, after copying my tried and true to my pc.

      but seriously, it's just dinner! don't stress, lol.

      1. I have a large binder with sheet protector pages in it. When I find a recipe that I think we'll like I cut it out and put it in the protector sheet. When I make the recipe, I make notes on what was good, and what needs to change and stick it next to the origianl. When I have it perfected I put a checkmark on it, or, if I have made many changes, I rewrite it and toss out the original. I have done this for years, and have 2 daughters who are already arguing over who will get it when I'm gone! Guess I'm going to have to make 2! I do recommend that you get a heavy duty binder. Mine is in terrible shape and I need to replace it. I really need to get another as this one is stuffed!

        4 Replies
        1. re: danhole

          I just started my own binder as a means to organize the ziploc bag'o clippings that was taking over my kitchen. It's nice because with the plastic sheet protectors, I can slip a page out and take to the kitchen and prepare without ruining the piece of paper that the recipe is on. I found to that many of the recipes I'd clipped a year or two ago I'd never tried. So, I really only keep those reciped around that are practical for daily use. Self-editting is a must. So, a recipe for some extravagant item that is time and ingredient expensive is not something I'll keep around....I'll likely never use it.

          1. re: danhole

            Maybe it's time to take The Binder online? An coworker (who is a generation older than I) shared a recipe by emailing it to me and returned the favor by giving her a handwritten copy of one of my favorites, she exclaimed "Oh! Aren't all your recipes on your computer??"

            1. re: laurendlewis

              Yes....but I spend so much time on the computer (as a grad student) that there's something soothing in the whole cut-and-paste-arts-and crafts-activity of my binder. But yes, my mother, in her fifties, has her stuff online.....more advanced than me.

              1. re: ashes

                I've been working on putting my family cookbook together and going through my great grandma's enormous collection of recipes. I love seeing her handwriting on the recipe cards, and I love seeing her recipes that she cut out of the newspaper and carefully taped in her countless books. It's not quite the same when you look at my countless print outs from the internet or Microsoft Word! I was thinking about that the other day... no one will look at my Food Network printouts someday and get tears in their eyes thinking about me, so I've decided to write down more of my recipes, if not for me, then for future generations.

          2. I'm never going to cook all the recipes from all the books that fill my bookshelf. So to cope I decided to cook every recipe from one book and see where that gets me. It's been nine years, and I'm 75% of the way through Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen. I have a ton of tamales left to make. I cook these recipes when I get inspired to entertain, and go to other sources the rest of the time. I make a yearly trip to the restaurant to see if I'm close to the mark.

            1. Oh lauren, I only wish I could be your age and go back and start over again. I've got a collection of cookbooks that I rarely look at. I have clippings, printouts, you name it. You really have to do what is right for you. I've found that there are certain cookbooks that I use all the time. Others just for fresh ideas, but more often than not I'm searching the internet for inspiration, or just chowhounding. What I've started to do is a collection or printouts, of favorite dishes and compile into a personal cookbook. I know places like Michael's Arts and Crafts, or A.C. Moores have blank books that make it really simple and have indexes already set up. I know I have one that was given to me as a gift and it's great.

              You do have to sift through every so often though. I mean seriously am I really ever going to make creme brulee....:???? Probably not. Or whatever the case may be, and as stated before the search engines can bring up anything in the future.

              Best of luck to you.