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A new recipe project!

Ruth Lafler Nov 20, 2010 05:38 PM

I was going through reams of recipes I've clipped, copied or printed out from the Internet, and it struck me how many I saved because I thought they looked delicious, but never made them.

Maybe as an alternative to a new cookbook, we should each pledge to go through the recipes we already have that we've never made and actually make some of them!

  1. blue room Nov 20, 2010 05:45 PM

    Wow what a good idea. I'll be happy to participate.

    1. mamachef Nov 20, 2010 05:47 PM

      If we can start after the holidays, I'm in. Great idea.

      3 Replies
      1. re: mamachef
        Ruth Lafler Nov 21, 2010 12:28 AM

        Considering the number of cookie recipes I have, I'm going to start before the holidays!

        1. re: Ruth Lafler
          mamachef Nov 21, 2010 06:27 AM

          Now how did that blow right by me? Cookies!! Baking! Ok, I'm in starting now. I've got enough to keep me going till this time next year with NO new additions.

          1. re: Ruth Lafler
            chef chicklet Nov 21, 2010 02:45 PM

            Me too, that's why I'd brought up the Far Breton, sometimes the recipes read so good I;ve cut them out for day that I'm feeling confident or in this case I tagged it. But now with moral support, or someone's experience to contribute helpful hints I'm far more motivated.

        2. j
          jeanmarieok Nov 20, 2010 05:53 PM

          Yes! I'd love the chance to try some of my neglected recipes. I have things I've had clipped for 20 years,,,

          1. todao Nov 20, 2010 05:54 PM

            I try to do that several times each week but my recipes outnumber the days in the year ... it's hopeless.

            1. beekeroc Nov 20, 2010 06:12 PM

              Agree. I have had a recipe for an East Indian lamb chops with tumeric cream sauce saved in my favorites bar for over 6 months and finally made it. It was good but I prob. would not make it again. Now I am glad that I cleared it out and now can move on to the next recipe saved.

              1. s
                smtucker Nov 20, 2010 06:17 PM

                I am not sure I will live that long! The original thin folder has grown to about 5 folders brimming full with print-outs, clippings and hand written gems from friends.

                I am still trying to figure out how to organize them to be honest.

                17 Replies
                1. re: smtucker
                  s
                  swfood Nov 20, 2010 06:33 PM

                  My system needs further refinement, but I've started with a 3-ring binder with plastic sleeves and have several sections soups/pastas/sides etc. Still not perfect but makes it much easier to review and actually make from time to time

                  1. re: swfood
                    Ruth Lafler Nov 21, 2010 12:23 AM

                    Yes, I've been stuffing everything into a couple of accordion folders, but I think I'm going to start organizing them in 3-ring binders, maybe get some photo-sleeves so I can have recipe cards in there as well. What's really really annoying is the number of times I go looking for a recipe I know I have, but I can't find it and have to print it out again. I found not one, not two, but three copies of a recipe for Meyer lemon bars from an old chowhound post.

                    1. re: Ruth Lafler
                      Breadcrumbs Nov 21, 2010 02:39 AM

                      I too have set up binders and have them organized by typical categories: Appetizers, Soup/Sandwiches, Breakfast/Brunch, Pasta, Ethnic (which is subdivided w tabs by country), Fish...etc. Until recently, I also maintained a master list of the recipes I placed in the binders but in the end, found it was easier just to flip through the binder to find what I'm looking for. I do move all the recipes that are T&T to the front of the books and I laminate the ones I use again and again. I tape smaller clippings/recipe cards to sheets of binder paper so there are no loose bits falling out. I have 14 binders in total and this system seems to work well for me. I've had to discipline myself though. I used clip/pull anything that appealed to me and then would let clippings etc pile up. It became a daunting, time-consuming task to file everything. Now my rule is that I have to file it right away so I always ask myself "do you really want/need this recipe? Will you really make it any time soon?"

                      1. re: Breadcrumbs
                        coll Nov 21, 2010 02:49 AM

                        Lately I've been organizing my recipes in folders marked with people's names, for the next time I see them. Or for certain holidays, or seasons, vegetarian/vegan or whatnot. It helps a little. My main files go back to the mid 70s when I got married; the really old ones being filed in a file cabinet and are mostly all newspaper and magazine clippings, of which I've probably tried 10% over the years. What a joyous day when I do try one and can move it to my recipe boxes in the kitchen, or throw it away. Some in there are also from the old Chowhound, when it just looked very plain typewritten. I didn't know how to file on the computer back then. It's like a museum now, I've culled it once or twice but guess I'll be taking it with me to the end now, it's like a family photo album to me.

                      2. re: Ruth Lafler
                        Ruth Lafler Nov 21, 2010 11:47 AM

                        Hey, I already reaped some benefits: I pulled out some photo albums to see if there were any empty pages I could use, and ended up looking through photos I haven't looked a for 20 years.

                        1. re: Ruth Lafler
                          t
                          tomatoaday Nov 23, 2010 03:44 PM

                          But had you made the recipe from any of the three copies? :)

                          I am always amazed how many recipes I have for lemon curd, cookies, tarts, cakes, pudding cakes etc yet cannot remember the last time I made a lemon based dessert. Or just about any dessert for that matter...

                          1. re: tomatoaday
                            Breadcrumbs Nov 23, 2010 03:50 PM

                            That's funny tomatoaday, when I was writing my post above I was thinking something very similar. My "Desserts" binder is over-stuffed and I need to expand to a second binder yet, I rarely make dessert!! In my case, I have an abundance of recipes w some sort of caramel . . . filling, topping, drizzle....

                            1. re: tomatoaday
                              Ruth Lafler Nov 23, 2010 06:29 PM

                              Actually, yes, I've made that recipe!

                          2. re: swfood
                            n
                            nvcook Nov 21, 2010 09:36 PM

                            I currently have 5 three ring binders with plastic sleeves that I have organized into apps, salads, soups, mains etc. However, When I find the recipe I want, I pull it out of said binder. Alas, the recipe never makes it back and is seldom seen again. I really gotta work on my organizational skills.

                          3. re: smtucker
                            blue room Nov 20, 2010 06:54 PM

                            I just use those (usually very cheap) colored folders for schoolkids --

                             
                            1. re: smtucker
                              chef chicklet Nov 21, 2010 02:49 PM

                              True confessions time. I have a file cabinet with folders that fill the entire rack of lateral cabinet. A could of file folders, 3 big binders, shelves with cookbooks, and the entire double closet stacked with (in mag and date order) gourmet, bon appetite, southern living, donna hay, martha, etc.... and that's just my office. They've migrated to the guest room, my bedroom, the livingroom all in various well hidden places. Oh and the kitchen has it's own cupboard all shelves filled.
                              Crud I forgot the computer, oodles of recipes I've transferred to it too..

                              1. re: chef chicklet
                                Breadcrumbs Nov 21, 2010 03:51 PM

                                I printed your post chef chicklet and gave it to Mr bc....That made my day! Glad I'm not alone.

                                1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                  chef chicklet Nov 23, 2010 04:17 PM

                                  lol! So gland I made someone's day, and to know I am not alone in my obsession.
                                  I noticed that when I was confessing to you all that I was so nervous I made several typos and just went on confessing and didn't correct them. Jeez that was stressful, even reading it now, I swear~ especially to tell someone. I'm not a hoarder I swear!

                                  1. re: chef chicklet
                                    Breadcrumbs Nov 23, 2010 04:45 PM

                                    Oh, you're definitely not alone! So, my turn to confess. After reading your post Mr bc didn't miss a beat, he quickly said "I bet this person doesn't have cookbooks in their laundry room" Sadly its true, I actually had a bookshelf made for my laundry room to house the cookbooks I wanted to have close to the kitchen!! I'm sure I've heard hoarders don't know where their things are...

                                2. re: chef chicklet
                                  Breadcrumbs Nov 21, 2010 03:54 PM

                                  btw, forgot to mention, I also am a huge fan of Donna Hay. Not sure if you know this but she has a master index of all the recipes in her magazine on her website...(something else to print and store in a binder!!)

                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                    chef chicklet Nov 23, 2010 04:18 PM

                                    No I didn't., thank you!
                                    She had me with her food shots.

                                3. re: smtucker
                                  LindaWhit Nov 23, 2010 09:58 AM

                                  Ditto that. I just need to combine them all OR throw them out!...piles on top of cookbooks, piles on my coffee table.....

                                4. g
                                  gfr1111 Nov 21, 2010 03:29 AM

                                  I'm not very computer literate. I'm an old guy. Folders and hard copies of things are what I am accustomed to. I'm surprised that most people commenting here seem to do the same thing. I thought that in this age of computers, everyone (except me!) would have all their recipes organized in their computers, with backup copies on key drives or disks.

                                  Ruth, I accept your suggestion that we try making some of these recipes which we have kept but not made. As Mamachef suggested, it will be easier after the holidays, but I will try to do a few during the holidays and report back here.

                                  20 Replies
                                  1. re: gfr1111
                                    ZenSojourner Nov 21, 2010 06:26 AM

                                    It's fine to keep recipes in a file on your hard drive, or burned to a CD, but when I actually want to cook I don't want to haul my computer into the kitchen, LOL!

                                    1. re: ZenSojourner
                                      blue room Nov 21, 2010 07:38 AM

                                      Yeah, I like the recipe on the refrigerator, at eye level, secured with a cute magnet!

                                      1. re: ZenSojourner
                                        Jen76 Nov 21, 2010 01:51 PM

                                        I have recipes up on my laptop all the time in the kitchen because I hate hard copies! A friend of mine has an iPad. If I could spend $500 for one, it would be pretty nifty to have in the kitchen.

                                        1. re: Jen76
                                          Ruth Lafler Nov 21, 2010 02:13 PM

                                          I agree. I covet a tablet for my kitchen!

                                          1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                            ZenSojourner Nov 21, 2010 04:54 PM

                                            Pffft, iPads!

                                            You can get a netbook that does more for $300 or less.

                                            I still don't want to haul even my netbook into the kitchen. If you spill something on a cookbook, you get some wrinkles and stains on the pages.

                                            Spill something on a netbook - you're liable to get sparks and that hot-iron smell of burning electronics.

                                            1. re: ZenSojourner
                                              Jen76 Nov 21, 2010 05:00 PM

                                              Hence the reason the iPad (or a tablet) would be so nice! Put it in a ziploc bag and it's safe from spills and drips!

                                              1. re: Jen76
                                                Ruth Lafler Nov 21, 2010 08:54 PM

                                                Or hang it on the wall -- I saw a set up where they used peg board and a couple of hooks. Then it's both safe and out of the way.

                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                  MinkeyMonkey Nov 22, 2010 07:31 AM

                                                  I love my eee pc netbook for reading online recipes! It is much lighter and much faster than my old ibook and was only 1/4 the price. We set it on a counter or table we are not using and so far have not spilled anything on it! Also, I use evernote for storing my loose recipes online--it is free. I keep my sewing patterns in there too so I don't buy two of the same ones...which has almost happened more than once.

                                                  I like this idea! There are quite a few recipes I've saved and wanted to try but haven't.

                                                  1. re: MinkeyMonkey
                                                    ZenSojourner Nov 22, 2010 08:47 AM

                                                    Mine's an ASUS EEE PC netbook.

                                                    Still won't take it in the kitchen. Not that there's a spare inch of countertop space for it anyway.

                                                    What's evernote?

                                                    1. re: ZenSojourner
                                                      MinkeyMonkey Nov 22, 2010 10:28 AM

                                                      Mine's an Asus too!

                                                      Evernote is one of those free internet storage sites like remember the milk or listmania. I like evernote because I don't need reminders, I just like to go there and pull up info. All those sites are kind of fun, you can google them and see what they offer. I prefer typing in recipes to evernote because it keeps them from falling out of the cookbooks I tend to shove them in to. Plus, unlike a document, if you are somewhere without your computer, you can always pull up anything from that site.

                                                  2. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                    ZenSojourner Nov 22, 2010 08:46 AM

                                                    You have spare wall space in your kitchen?

                                                    Lucky!

                                                    1. re: ZenSojourner
                                                      Ruth Lafler Nov 22, 2010 09:04 AM

                                                      I have more spare wall space than I have spare counter space to put my laptop on while I'm cooking! You don't need much to mount an iPad (or similar, I sort of boycott Apple products). There's actually a bit of wall next to the stove that would work fine. It's small and light enough that you could mount it on a cabinet door.

                                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                        ZenSojourner Nov 22, 2010 02:28 PM

                                                        Any cabinet door would be above my eye-level. I'm (almost) 5' 2", LOL!

                                                        This kitchen is tiny. There's less than 4' of usable counter space. The wall between the hall and the kitchen has an opening cut into it so no real wall space over there. There really isn't space to hang so much as a potholder in here without it being in the way of something else, or too hard to reach (at least for me)

                                                        1. re: ZenSojourner
                                                          j
                                                          jrjmedia Nov 28, 2010 11:07 AM

                                                          I have been using Pepperplate for my recipes online - you can put your recipes up for free and they have an Ipad app for the kitchen. I'm thinking about mounting an iPad in the kitchen with a Griffin Ipad cabinet under mount - It swings up under the cabinet so I don't lose any space in there.

                                                          1. re: jrjmedia
                                                            Breadcrumbs Nov 28, 2010 01:03 PM

                                                            jr, I'm intrigued. Can you import recipes from Word and pdf files into Pepperplate or must all recipes be entered manually?

                                                            Can or, are recipes from elsewhere on the web be imported?

                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                              j
                                                              jrjmedia Nov 30, 2010 07:24 PM

                                                              You can copy and paste recipes from word into the manual recipe entry on the Pepperplate website. That's how I got my other recipes in there. After that they synch to the iPad app. You can import recipes by copying a URL from a list of recipe sites - Epicurious, Real Simple, Martha Stewart and a few others.

                                                              1. re: jrjmedia
                                                                Breadcrumbs Dec 1, 2010 02:08 AM

                                                                Thanks jr. I looked at the site but was unclear on how they handled the intellectual capital. It seemed like their Terms and Conditions had you giving them permission to own the copyright for any recipes you posted there. I'm not sure about this and will have to look again when I have more time. Thanks again for the info.

                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                  j
                                                                  jrjmedia Dec 1, 2010 06:01 AM

                                                                  That's a good point - I checked again too - it looks like the ownership terms are probably about the website itself - I just contacted Pepperplate to clarify - they said they would make some updates to the terms to clarify that they don't own the recipe content. Thanks.

                                                                  1. re: jrjmedia
                                                                    Breadcrumbs Dec 1, 2010 09:29 AM

                                                                    That was very kind of you jr, thanks so much. I'm really looking forward to spending more time on the site. Much appreciated!

                                                            2. re: jrjmedia
                                                              ZenSojourner Nov 28, 2010 07:41 PM

                                                              I don't see the need. I jot what I need down on a piece of scrap paper (like the back of an envelope or something) and take it into the kitchen. If you own I guess it's one thing. THis is a rental.

                                        2. v
                                          Val Nov 21, 2010 03:44 AM

                                          Yeah, my achin' "to try pile" of recipes is almost up to the ceiling...heh, I actually have stopped printing them out. I keep saying...just try one a week or one every other week...hasn't happened...I tend to stick to favorites!!! This would be a good new year's resolution for me, though, I'm pretty sure I've resolved this before...but there could be strength in numbers here!

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Val
                                            chef chicklet Nov 21, 2010 02:57 PM

                                            I tried that too, and I found that I never got around to them either so I stopped. But when I do use a recipe online and it works, I print it and it goes into a folder. I've had a computer crash and lost all my recipes and had to redo them.. That not only is scarey, it's a lot of work.
                                            I now backup but it's time consuming.

                                          2. THewat Nov 21, 2010 05:29 AM

                                            Yay! I'd love to participate.

                                            I do have a lot of my recipes in MacGourmet; I do it when I'm avoiding all the other organizing I should be doing in my life. It allows me to print out "to try" compilations, so I have actual spiral bound books of recipes I want to try, and I work my way through them. Or not. :-) It would be fun to be sharing the delight of an occasional good find with all of you!

                                            1. THewat Nov 21, 2010 05:35 AM

                                              You know now that I say that... IF a handful of people wanted to post successes, I could pull them into my program, compile them, and make them available to each of us as a set - as a PDF document for free or for sale from the company that spiral binds them. Just a crazy thought. It would be pretty easy to do.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: THewat
                                                Ruth Lafler Nov 21, 2010 10:23 AM

                                                Just what we need: more recipes! Seriously, that's a nice thought.

                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                  THewat Nov 21, 2010 11:28 AM

                                                  LOL

                                              2. nomadchowwoman Nov 21, 2010 10:32 AM

                                                Excellent idea; I'd definitely participate in that.

                                                1. onceadaylily Nov 21, 2010 02:13 PM

                                                  I love this idea, because I'm already doing it by myself. A few months ago, I resolved that every week I would buy one new-to-me item at the market to work into my repertoire, and *also* to make one new dish that I've been wanting to try (the new item doesn't always go toward the new recipe). But I've gotten lazy with it these last few weeks. I would love to participate, and see what everyone else is trying in their kitchens.

                                                  1. p
                                                    paprkutr Nov 21, 2010 02:36 PM

                                                    Sounds good to me, but may not be able to start until after holidays, but I will try. My question is, where are we going to post our responses to our tests?

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: paprkutr
                                                      blue room Nov 21, 2010 02:48 PM

                                                      The OP suggested this as an alternative to a new cookbook. I figured that meant replacing the Cookbook of the Month for one month in the future?

                                                      1. re: paprkutr
                                                        Ruth Lafler Nov 21, 2010 02:53 PM

                                                        I'll start a thread, link it back here, and ask the moderators to sticky the topic at the top of the board. But first I have to decide what to make -- it's apple season and I found three recipes for apple galette in my collection, so that seems like a good place to start.

                                                      2. chef chicklet Nov 21, 2010 02:41 PM

                                                        I like that idea very much, I really would love to cook some of these dishes/recipes that I've saved for years. I have been trying to do just this, but this far more motivating than doing it alone. thanks for the great idea!

                                                        1. chef chicklet Nov 21, 2010 03:55 PM

                                                          RuthL, since you've brought this project up and I for one am looking forward to it.
                                                          Will we be cooking in some what of an organized fashion? Apps one week, salads etc. in other words by course, then posting our results along with the recipe and where we got it from?
                                                          Or are we going to just cook and post, etc. No pressure.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: chef chicklet
                                                            Ruth Lafler Nov 21, 2010 08:55 PM

                                                            Just cook and post -- the point is to encourage and support each other to explore their recipes. No pressure!

                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                              coll Nov 22, 2010 04:51 AM

                                                              I volunteer to do the weirdest ones, hey you never know! It will be fun to rifle through the old folders once again.

                                                          2. bayoucook Nov 22, 2010 04:28 AM

                                                            Great idea, Ruth. Been going through some of my cookbooks again, but have tons of loose recipes to re-visit. Let's post the best ones we've tried!

                                                            1. Georgia Sommers Nov 22, 2010 04:52 AM

                                                              Brilliant! Not only will it be great to finally try some of these recipes, but it fits in with my current goal of lessening the clutter, going through files and papers, etc. I'll set up a small station (probably just a box or two and some folders, actually) by my reading chair and sort and pitch as I go.

                                                              Really, this is a fantastic idea Ruth, and doing it together and learning about how others sort and save theirs as we go will be great.

                                                              Now, if you could just come up with a way for us all to get our mountains of photos organized... ;)

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: Georgia Sommers
                                                                m
                                                                millygirl Nov 22, 2010 11:13 AM

                                                                Hear, hear.....

                                                                I just spent about 2 hours trying to find the perfect recipe for grapefruit sorbet. I have many versions that I've saved, clipped, bookmarked, etc. but the one I used last year was the absolute best in terms of texture. Do you think I can remember which one it was? All I know for certain was the one I used last week just wasn't the same. I drive myself crazy trying to keep track of my clippings.

                                                                Makes me think we need an RA club - Recipes Anonymous.

                                                                1. re: millygirl
                                                                  blue room Nov 22, 2010 09:39 PM

                                                                  The one you liked isn't with your clippings, you put it somewhere else special so you'd be sure to find it!

                                                                  1. re: millygirl
                                                                    Ruth Lafler Nov 23, 2010 10:23 AM

                                                                    You know, it never even occurred to me that one benefit of the project is that if you try the recipe and don't like it, you can throw it out, thus lessening the clutter!

                                                                2. b
                                                                  bettymydear Nov 22, 2010 06:53 PM

                                                                  let's roll

                                                                  1. Ruth Lafler Nov 22, 2010 10:46 PM

                                                                    I started a thread for Recipe File Project reports: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/749006#

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                      bayoucook Nov 23, 2010 09:59 AM

                                                                      Fun! This is going to be so interesting!

                                                                    2. k
                                                                      Krislady Nov 24, 2010 02:42 AM

                                                                      This is such a great idea! I've spent, off and on, several months sorting through the piles and boxes and stacks and folders of loose recipes - now they're stuffed - PACKED! - into a filing cabinet, filed by specific food group. I, too, have yellowed recipes that I clipped from newspapers years ago - I even found a recipe that I remembered clipping for this wonderfully decadent-sounding thing - breaded, deep fried cheese! Yeah. . . that one's been around a while. (But it still sounds SO GOOD!)

                                                                      As I make each of these filed recipes, I decide then and there whether I'd honestly ever make it again - if not, it goes in the trash, and if so, it goes into a binder (one of several, unfortunately). That way, at least if I want to make something I've made before, I know it's got to be in one of the binders.

                                                                      I haven't even begun to address all the recipes I've bookmarked, Google-noted, and saved on various cooking sites. . .someday. First the paper clutter, then the electronic clutter. :)

                                                                      1. BabsW Nov 25, 2010 05:46 AM

                                                                        What a great idea. I have 6 three-ring binders (appetizers, meat, breads, desserts and two vegetarian) with my clipped recipes. I went on a major organizing spree when I was nesting during my last pregnancy and sorted through and organized all of the recipes I'd collected up to that time. That was 8 years ago though and I now have a huge stack of unorganized recipes which I've collected since then. Plus thre are a ton of those recipes in the binders which I have never used.

                                                                        Then too, there are all of the recipes on my computer which never made it to a printout. I just bought the Living Cookbook software and plan to put all of my favorite recipes into that format and save them on a thumb drive which I can hook up straight to my pritner if need be. I usually bring my laptop into the kitchen when I actually cook from a recipe, but it will be nice to have everything streamlined and in one place.

                                                                        1. buttertart Nov 25, 2010 02:40 PM

                                                                          I saw this very nice article today and thought it might resonate with you folks...
                                                                          http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/25/nyr...
                                                                          I imagine some of you have been left with a similar collection in addition to the ones you've saved. Food is love.

                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                          1. re: buttertart
                                                                            LindaWhit Nov 25, 2010 03:13 PM

                                                                            I love this, buttertart. Food is love, most definitely. And enjoying it with family makes it all the better. Thanks. :-)

                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                              buttertart Nov 25, 2010 03:18 PM

                                                                              I love it too. Wanted everybody to see it.

                                                                            2. re: buttertart
                                                                              Georgia Sommers Nov 25, 2010 03:28 PM

                                                                              Sweet and moving. Thanks, buttertart.

                                                                            3. w
                                                                              walker Nov 28, 2010 05:30 PM

                                                                              Great idea. I, too, have recipes inserted into plastic sleeves in 3 ring notebooks. I don't think anyone has more recipes for fried chicken and yet, I've never tried ANY of them...afraid of the grease and mess. Someday!

                                                                              I am happy that I have not let cooking magazines pile up: I used to get Gourmet still get Bon Appetit and I only rip out recipes I think I really might try and then throw the magazine OUT.

                                                                              One that I love is Asian chicken patties with water chestnuts (I use fresh ones).

                                                                              1. inthekitchen Jan 1, 2011 12:53 PM

                                                                                Earlier this year, I went through all my stacks of recipes that I had saved and never made. It took several weeks, but I cut each recipe out, and then organized them by category. I now have two recipe files, one with recipes that I have made, and would make again, and the file of untried recipes, all filed in the appropriate categories. I take one recipe, make it, and make comments on the recipe regarding alterations that I made to the recipe. If I like it, I may make it again, shortly thereafter, if it needs to be perfected. Once I have finalized my version of the recipe, I place it in my personal recipe box. If there are significant changes, I will type up the new recipe, print it on an index card and keep it in my file. I do maintain an electronic copy of any of my typed recipes on my computer, as well as a list of all my favorite cookbooks. The electronic copies serve two purposes, allowing me to easily share a recipe with a friend; and, since the electronic copy is saved somewhere other than my home, it acts as an off-site back up, for my more recent recipes. Now, I just have a lot of cooking and baking to do! (And so far, I have been cutting out and filing any new recipes, as I find them.)

                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                1. re: inthekitchen
                                                                                  Ruth Lafler Jan 1, 2011 09:14 PM

                                                                                  I bow down to you!

                                                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                    inthekitchen Jan 2, 2011 05:39 PM

                                                                                    I had an incentive. My ladies luncheon club was compiling a cookbook late last year. It was much easier to have all my recipes (and those that I had not yet made) organized, while submitting my own recipes for the cookbook.

                                                                                  2. re: inthekitchen
                                                                                    blue room Jan 2, 2011 06:01 AM

                                                                                    inthekitchen, what are your categories? I'm never completely happy with my divisions.
                                                                                    I look for Hot Sour Soup under "Soups", and find it later under "Chinese". Or look for Waffles under "Breakfast" and find it later under "Chicken" (the topping).
                                                                                    I'm talking about paper here, not the computer.

                                                                                    1. re: blue room
                                                                                      Breadcrumbs Jan 2, 2011 06:30 AM

                                                                                      I have the same issue br. I've concluded its because I have a mixed my categories (ie. ingredients and courses/dish types).

                                                                                      I did create a Word file so I'd have a list of all the recipes along w the binder I filed it in however I found it was a pain to keep up and, I'd rarely refer to it, instead, I'd just start searching through the binders. In the end, I stopped updating the list and now just file the recipes.

                                                                                      FYI, my categories are:

                                                                                      Appetizers
                                                                                      Breads/Muffins
                                                                                      Brunch
                                                                                      Cooking Classes/Family/Friends
                                                                                      Desserts (2 binders)
                                                                                      Ethnic (sub-divided into various countries) - this is now 2 binders
                                                                                      Fish/Seafood
                                                                                      Meat (sub-divided by type)
                                                                                      Pasta/Rice/Grains
                                                                                      Poultry
                                                                                      Salads
                                                                                      Sauces/Condiments/Spices
                                                                                      Soups/Stews
                                                                                      Sandwiches
                                                                                      Special Occasion/Entertaining
                                                                                      Vegetables
                                                                                      Tips/Menus/Decorating

                                                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                                        blue room Jan 2, 2011 07:32 AM

                                                                                        Thank you, breadcrumbs, you've suggested several that will make a difference!
                                                                                        "Special Occasion/Entertaining" will especially help me find the ones I use rarely.
                                                                                        And "Tips/Menus/Decorating" is better than trying to match each little detail to its own food.
                                                                                        Haha I know I'll never be able to see it all at once. I just want to be more aware of what's available so I don't always week in week out make the same same.

                                                                                      2. re: blue room
                                                                                        inthekitchen Jan 2, 2011 06:04 PM

                                                                                        Blue Room,
                                                                                        For me, simple is better. When I am in the kitchen, I don't like to think too much ... I use a couple of different sets of categories. For my own recipes, it is slightly more detailed:
                                                                                        Appetizers
                                                                                        Bread
                                                                                        Eggs
                                                                                        Sauces
                                                                                        Salads
                                                                                        Soup
                                                                                        Vegetables
                                                                                        Main Dishes - Vegetarian
                                                                                        Main Dishes - Fish
                                                                                        Main Dishes - Beef
                                                                                        Main Dishes - Pork
                                                                                        Main Dishes - Chicken
                                                                                        Main Dishes - Other
                                                                                        Fruits
                                                                                        Cakes
                                                                                        Cookies
                                                                                        Pies
                                                                                        Desert Miscellaneous
                                                                                        Drinks
                                                                                        Other

                                                                                        For the untried recipes I use a slightly broader list:
                                                                                        Breakfast
                                                                                        Appetizers
                                                                                        Salads
                                                                                        Soups
                                                                                        Bread
                                                                                        Vegetables
                                                                                        Main Dishes Vegetarian
                                                                                        Main Dishes Meat
                                                                                        Main Dishes Fowl
                                                                                        Main Dishes Fish
                                                                                        Desert
                                                                                        Miscellaneous

                                                                                        While I do cook ethnic dishes, quite a few actually, I do not categorize the foods under ethnic categories. Many of the recipes are maintained in my various ethnic cookbooks. If I modify an ethnic recipe, most often, it is written in pencil on the side of the original recipe in the cookbook. If it is a recipe that I have modified from a magazine, I may type up the recipe and maintain it in my card file.

                                                                                        My electronic file is significantly smaller than my hard files, so organization is not yet an issue for the electronic files.

                                                                                        Organization is really what works for you. ;-)

                                                                                    2. iL Divo Jan 2, 2011 06:04 PM

                                                                                      I'm in and agree that after the holidays would be best.
                                                                                      That way we'd have some free-ish time.
                                                                                      Say when

                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: iL Divo
                                                                                        onceadaylily Jan 4, 2011 09:35 AM

                                                                                        You might have found out already, but I just wanted to let you know that it's already underway. CH was nice enough to make it a sticky topic on the home cooking board: The Recipe File Project Reports (I think it's called).

                                                                                        1. re: onceadaylily
                                                                                          Ruth Lafler Jan 4, 2011 11:03 AM

                                                                                          Yup. I've started with some reports, as have a few others.

                                                                                          1. re: onceadaylily
                                                                                            iL Divo Jun 18, 2011 07:41 AM

                                                                                            thanks OADL, I didn't, infact, know that it was underway, but then, I'm slow .................. :)

                                                                                            1. re: iL Divo
                                                                                              onceadaylily Jun 18, 2011 09:01 AM

                                                                                              I'm the slow one. The thread prompted me to make a few things out of my files, and then I forget to report on what I made. The thread is such a good idea too!

                                                                                        2. v
                                                                                          vickstersb Jun 18, 2011 06:17 AM

                                                                                          Just discovered this thread. I have an entire file drawer filled with recipe clippings from about the last 30 years organized in folders by category. I have never used these recipes. Once in a while I look through some of them intending to toss, but the recipes look just too good. I tend to use my cookbooks and the internet more and ignore these clippings, so this is a good project for me.

                                                                                          1. iL Divo Jun 18, 2011 07:37 AM

                                                                                            my husband got a hair brained idea about our new house and the breakfast nook area that had just the perfect place for an extra large table utilizing every square inch with built in opening benches, you know, for storage. well it was the dumbest most expensive idea my man had had in forever and remember thinking the entire unit looked like a child's work station. the lidded benches appeared as cheap toy boxes BUT WERE a great place for stashing anything and everything. the whole thing ended up in the backyard for years until I relented to send it off to "Good and Willing" or "Sally Annie's".
                                                                                            when I went through it though, the treasure trove of cut out recipes I'd saved blew even my mind. like you say, "they looked delicious but I never made..." 99% of them.
                                                                                            funny thing was, they didn't look so delicious reading them all those years later and I wondered why I'd cut them out to begin with.
                                                                                            wonder if anyone else thinks those thoughts? hahahahhh

                                                                                            funny thing is, I still cut-clip-collect-save

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