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How do you keep track of all the recipes you want to try?

blkery Jun 1, 2010 08:57 AM

I love trying new recipes ... I feel really unfulfilled when I repeat a meal to excess just because I have it memorized. I often book mark things and forget about them, rather than setting a game plan to try them for the week. I then realize I forgot to plan for them when I go grocery shopping and end up getting staples for meals I remember how to make. How do you manage your ambitions and enable the search for variety?

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    CocoaNut RE: blkery Jun 1, 2010 09:17 AM

    I keep 2 main cooking folders on my PC. One is "Recipes", the other, "My Recipes" - both are further divided into sub folders (apps, meat, fish, etc). As I see a recipe of particular interest, I'll copy it into "Recipes". It doesn't always happen, but once a week, I like to browse the "Recipe" file and choose something new for the week. Sometimes, re-reading a recipe, I'll wonder why I saved it and delete it.

    So I make the "recipe". If I like it and it's worth making again, it is moved to "MY Recipes", otherwise, it's 8ighty-sixed.

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      Eloise RE: blkery Jun 1, 2010 09:28 AM

      I recently started using a site called ZipList. It combines recipe storage with grocery-list making -- you can click a recipe and place the ingredients on your shopping list. It also has mobile options and a free iPhone app. Many recipe sites have a ZipList button that automatically stores recipes for you, and you can also download a menu-bar tool that lets you copy and paste. I love the ability to put all my recipes in one place, since I tend to gather them from various blogs and websites. I'm less enamored with the shopping list-making function -- it's clunky. But it might be a good reminder for you.

      Meal planning is a different process for me. I signed up for the weekly specials email from my regular grocery store. I go through to see what's on sale that week and plan meals based around at least some of those items. That's the starting point for my shopping list. I also gather recipes I want to try in a folder online (or put printouts in an actual folder) or tag them in my RSS feed reader, etc. When it's time to make the week's menu plan, I pull that file out for ideas.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Eloise
        goodhealthgourmet RE: Eloise Jun 1, 2010 11:50 AM

        Eloise, i just wanted to say THANK YOU for tip about Ziplist. i just set up an account and downloaded the app, and it's terrific! i typically keep my lists on my iPhone in a Notes form, with a separate list for each store - i *love* that Ziplist allows you to organize by store.

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
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          Eloise RE: goodhealthgourmet Jun 2, 2010 08:14 AM

          Glad it helped!

          1. re: Eloise
            faddyarbuckle RE: Eloise Jun 2, 2010 11:56 AM

            I was going to suggest Evernote, or Checkvist, but I like the sound of ZipList (more focused to the task at hand). I'll have to try it. Thanks.

      2. ChristinaMason RE: blkery Jun 1, 2010 09:58 AM

        I have two strategies. First, for recipes I want to try (most of which I find online), I copy and paste the recipe into an email, along with the link where I found it (so I know where to go back to read comments, ask for help, cite the source, etc). I use gmail, which makes searching for recipes a breeze. I also created labels within my emails, such as "vegetarian," "gluten free," "healthy," etc. and apply as appropriate. That way, I can either search for recipes for "chocolate cake" or filter my recipes by category.

        Second, I keep a blog where I publish successful recipes I want to remember. [MODS, please don't delete...this is actually an ON TOPIC reference if you read the OP. Cheers]. Between the two systems, it works! And I feel your pain...I can never seem to remember to go back to my internet bookmarks when hunger strikes.

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          MyKitchenBroke RE: blkery Jun 1, 2010 12:34 PM

          My method is about the same as ChristinaMason except I never bothered to even use labels (I probably should have). Gmail search is for those of us who don't want to bother with a long term organization strategy. As long as you put the right keywords or tags in your emails, you'll be able to find all applicable recipes with an easy search. I use this method for every recipe I have tried and want to come back to and I haven't lost any of them yet.

          The other method I use (occassionally) is StartAid. It's a Firefox browser online bookmarking add-on, helpful because you can access your bookmarks from anywhere. I use this for many recipes that I want to try.

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            dct RE: blkery Jun 1, 2010 12:47 PM

            I have a large accordion file--the kind with many pockets, a rigid frame, and a handle--it gets heavy! Most of the recipes I want to try I've ripped from magazines or photocopied from cookbooks. They are sorted by categories: cakes, candy, meat, vegetables, soup, etc.

            When I feel like making something new, I'll just browse through the relevant categor(ies) until I hit something that inspires me.

            Once I make something, it gets filed in my three-ring binder cooking journal with any notes on how it came out, whether it was liked, etc..

            2 Replies
            1. re: dct
              goodhealthgourmet RE: dct Jun 2, 2010 10:07 AM

              i can't handle all that paper anymore. it takes up too much space, and i never get around to filing it in any sort of manageable fashion. when i moved across the country again last year, as painful as it was, i gave away about 7 or 8 years' worth of food magazines...i just couldn't deal with schlepping them 3000 miles again and finding somewhere to put them. i've started a new system - if i i see a recipe in a magazine or the newspaper that i want to try, i go to the publication's website and bookmark it online. in the rare case when a recipe in the print version isn't available online, i tear it out and store it in a file.

              now if i could just get around to organizing those bookmarks...

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                The Dairy Queen RE: goodhealthgourmet Jun 2, 2010 12:03 PM

                The only risk with that bookmarking system, ghg, is that sometimes those links go bad. :( Which is a bummer. I still bookmark them (and, no, I have no method of organization either. A lot of serendipity is required in locating a recipe again.) But, I also I cut and paste those online recipes and either email them to myself or post them on a private blog. I always include a link to the original source, in case the link is still active and I want to go back and look at the recipe in context later.

                [EDIT: I see ChristinaMason uses the exact same system I do, except I bet she's more organized about it than I am.]

                Also, I've bought a scanner, recently (an awesome one that does fantastic character recognition and it's my plan to scan all of the paper copies of the ones that don't have online links and store those somewhere (Haven't gotten that far.)

                I've only recently joined Eat Your Books, but they have a great system for marking recipes you want to try in any cookbooks you own...

                ~TDQ

            2. melpy RE: blkery Jun 2, 2010 12:13 PM

              Apparently I'm a little haphazard (like all my attempts at being organzied). I google bookmark and label (on my home computer, although I used to just favorite into folders on my Firefox browser and still have a few I haven't transferred over into the google ones) for recipes I find on the internet at home. At work I email the link to myself (don't have time to try and copy the recipe usually). If I know I really need to keep the recipe I will try and copy and have a small (maybe 10-15 recipes) folder on both my computers. I paperclip mark cookbooks. I tear out of magazines and put into a labeled accordian folder (ok 2 accodian folders). I blog recipes I make (both good and bad so I remember). I have a couple 3 ring binders for things I've made that are good. Whew! I wish I knew how to streamline the process but I don't like to drag the laptop into the kitchen unless I only have electronic copies. Sometimes I end up with duplicates because I get the magazine and also browse the recipes online. Oh plus I have accounts with folders on allrecipes, recipezaar, myrecipes, and epicurious!

              1. Will Owen RE: blkery Jun 2, 2010 01:46 PM

                In our backup hard drive, in my Hobbies folder is a Foodies folder containing a Recipes folder with a whole BUNCH of folders, each one containing recipes for different categories of food, from Beverages to Vegetables, with entries ranging from two (Condiments) to fifty-five (Meats). Some are original or adapted, some transcribed from books, but most have been copied/pasted from online sources into text documents. That's my easiest source to get to, and when I find the recipe I want I just print it out. Then I have 500-some cookbooks... Wait, you say, That's not a system! How very right you are. I do have a few core cookbooks - all of Julia's, for instance - and they have slips of paper sticking out of them: Pommes de Terre à la Huile, codfish balls, skillet cornbread, all things I like to make and can't ever quite remember the exact details. But searching for a recipe is always a SEARCH, through the computer files and then the books. If I were a busier man, if (for instance) I had a real job instead of a once-a-month hobby publication, I could never run a kitchen like this. But as it happens this kind of informal research is one of my favorite hobbies, almost as much as cooking itself, so I guess I do have a system. It's one I've cunningly devised to make this food thing as much fun as possible.

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                  evbart RE: blkery Jun 20, 2011 07:53 PM

                  I clip everything I find on the web to a recipes folder in evernote - evernote.com

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: evbart
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                    Blancmange RE: evbart Jun 20, 2011 08:39 PM

                    +1 on Evernote. A highly intuitive and user-friendly organizational program for anything, but particularly great for recipe organization. Synchs beautifully for iPhone and iPad.

                    1. re: Blancmange
                      The Dairy Queen RE: Blancmange Jun 21, 2011 06:17 AM

                      Sounds very intriguing. Is this just for online recipes or can you put your own recipes in it, too?

                      ~TDQ

                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
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                        Blancmange RE: The Dairy Queen Jun 21, 2011 06:29 AM

                        Ohhhh yes---you can add your own recipes/photos/links and/or easily clip from the web! I can now easily look up by notebook (ie cakes, tarts, doughnuts).....or search by tag , if I want to see all my Alice Medrich or Nick Malgieri recipes....or by ingredient - if I am looking for coconut pound cake etc. I can not recommend it enough!!

                        Here is a link that shows some videos:

                        http://www.evernote.com/about/video/

                  2. pdxgastro RE: blkery Jun 21, 2011 01:33 AM

                    I put clipped recipes into a manila folder stuck into the book shelf holding my cookbooks. Sometimes I go in search of one, but mostly they just sit there. :-(

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