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Are you a recipe hoarder?

I am. A lot of the hoarding is on the computer but I’ve printed several that I KNOW I’ll never make. But for some strange reason I can’t throw them out. Cause maybe one day when I’m feeling inspired I’ll make that “interesting” dish.

What about you? Any confessions?

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  1. I used to clip recipes and have box but now...with a computer ...I have a book all organized and now with pinterest. I love to look at them and get ideas.

    1. BIG TIME. Recipe boxes, 3-ring binders, computer, 450 cookbooks....you get the idea.

      4 Replies
      1. re: sandylc

        me too

        and can't bring myself to get rid of any of them - even though I know I could never find a recipe again sometimes if I wanted to - especially in my 3 ring binders.

        1. re: thimes

          Ha...I can't even remember them all, much less locate them!!!

          1. re: thimes

            Oh! I forgot to mention....I have 20+ years of Gourmet magazine, also!

          2. re: sandylc

            Sandy, You are my secret twin!!!! :-)

          3. If I want a recipe, I save it in .doc within a folder on my desktop. And to be honest, even though I am relatively young/just-starting-out, I have no interest in acquiring paper-cookbooks--I have a small apartment, and they just take up space.

            1. Oh by gosh, yes. I have two binders full of handwritten, typed and computer typed recipes. Recipes ripped from newspapers, magazines...plus I have multiple recipes for the same item. For example, I know I have at least 5 recipes for crab cakes, 3 for ratatouille, 4 for chicken francais and on and on.


              1. humbly suggest you test them, fix 'em up, and publish them here so we can all benefit. Eh?

                1. I'm more of an idea hoarder. I have a spreadsheet with dishes that I hope to make someday, or have already made and loved. If I want to make something I usually look it up on the internet or in cookbooks and tweak it to my own liking. I have about a dozen recipes of my own of dishes that I want to replicate exactly, but I rarely make the same thing the same way twice.

                  1. I started recipe hoarding when I was 11 years old. I was so interested in cooking and my favorite past time was reading recipes from the books I checked out of the library. I started typing the ones I wanted to try on index cards. My mother encouraged me. I learned how to type by typing these using an old Royal Standard manual typewriter. I have never stopped loving to read recipes, collecting recipes and books, and cooking new ones all the time. I still have all of those index cards I typed.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Wtg2Retire

                      I confess! Besides owning maybe 200 cookbooks, I also have hundreds of cooking magazines and boxes full of recipes either clipped from magazines or printed from th computer. I have notebooks full of recipes I've written down and lately I've been copying and pasting to my iPad. I just can't bear to part with any of them! I'm single, but if one day my boyfriend and I decide to get married, I'm going to have to get rid f some.

                    2. I am a recipe hoarder. But I don't print nearly as many as I used to. I keep an Excel document and it is basically an ever-growing list of recipes to try. Some I have made a dozen times for weeknight dinners, some I have still yet to make and some I have made once and my family didn't like it.

                      I basically just list the name of the recipe and in another column I put the link to where I found it. When I am ready to make a given dish, I just print out the recipe.

                      I keep a separate sheet for desserts, since I don't really make desserts that often. And for things like July 4th, when we host a big party, I keep a separate Excel file for that with recipes to make and/or try.

                      Oh, and then if for some reason I didn't get the recipe from a website, I will create a word document for that recipe and those go in a folder on my computer.

                      So I guess I have become an electronic recipe hoarder.

                      1. I'm just terrible and unorganized too!

                        I have approximately 40-50 cookbooks.
                        Two accordion folders divided into categories. I magazine box full of clippings I didn't have room to file.
                        Two smaller recipe journal binders with mostly family recipes.
                        One three ring notebook of recipes that I have mostly already made.
                        A few scattered word documents.
                        Links on emails of recipes I found that I wanted to be able to find quickly.
                        Internet browser bookmarks from before I found google bookmarks.
                        Google bookmarks
                        One or two google Docs
                        A couple items on pinterest
                        Online recipe boxes at Allrecipes, Myrecipes, epicurious, weight watchers, food(formally recipezaar), food network, gojee, and most likely some I've forgotten.

                        I used to make something new every night but i getting bad about using recipes.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: melpy

                          I know, I just can't help myself, AND I am single so though lots to try, I keep things thinking I might make them for a dinner party "some day." I have been able to keep the cookbook thing under control due to space limitations in my apt but food blogs are my DOWNFALL. I read them at lunch at work, print out and then take home where I put them in to plastic sleeves in a growing series of ring binders organized according to first/main course/sides/ desserts & appetizers. My one way of vaguely managing them is to periodically sit down and remove anything I haven't made or is too much like something that I think is better. I do admit it can take years before I will throw one out! Not perfect, but somewhat helpful. I periodically flick through to remind myself of things I loved making and just forgot about. The nice thing with the glycines is that they are spatter proof.

                          1. re: preppie foodie

                            Preppie Foodie... food blogs are also my downfall! I live in a small condo, and my biggest problem is printing off recipes... pretty much all dessert recipes. I need to sit down and purge them for duplicates etc.. God knows about brownie/chocolate cake/chocolate chip cookie recipes I have!

                        2. I am so bad that I have a few of other peoples recipe collections-handwritten recipe books-one very early written in beautiful script all of cake recipes.

                          1. I've posted several times before re. organizing recipes. Please please please check out Evernote and make sure you also add webclipper.

                            It's so easy to use, you see something, you just hit the webclipper and it clips the recipe and the web address of the recipe. Added to that everything is searchable, no need to index or anything although you can add "tags" if you wanted.

                            Get rid of the excel or word documents. Added to that you can save to the "cloud" and you can access your recipes from your phone/table/laptop at home, at work or even at your friends house.

                            Trust me, once you've started using it, you will not go back.

                            For your old recipes, you can scan to pdf and save the pdf in Evernote as well.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: LUV_TO_EAT

                              Appreciate all who replied. Guess I’m in good company.

                              LUV, thanks for the tips re: Evernote. Must investigate.

                              1. re: LUV_TO_EAT

                                +1 Evernote. It doesn't , however, keep me from clipping paper recipes out of magazines and putting them in my dossier. < It's French for 'file,' literally, but it is so 007 even though it's a grey paper file folder !

                              2. Yep. I copy them into Windows Notepad and save them as text files. Small file size, a lot of recipes that don't take up a lot of space. Organize by folders. Copy folders to offline hard drives, cd's or thumb drives.

                                If the recipe has an unusually good webpage with a lot of pictures and graphics I print it to a PDF file using Primo free PDF creator.

                                1. I own a fair number of cookbooks, and more food science books, but I don't buy them unless I plan to use them. I know they take up space, but I like to be able to read and peruse them at my leisure.

                                  Now with MacGourmet, all new recipes created by me or someone else get loaded in.

                                  I do, however, still have a stack of "blue recipes," as my friends call them (because they're all written on blue pieces of 8.5x11" paper), not all of which have been absorbed into the database. on my computer. i absolutely detest that I haven't taken the time to sit down and input them all. especially if i'm trying to remember a recipe that is in the stack... there's no search function there...

                                  1. Yep - completely a recipe hoarder. I have way, way too many cookbooks and food magazines, and I can't help but look at the cookbooks whenever I go to a thrift store.

                                    DH and I are hoping to be able to afford to buy our first house soon. We have a tiny kitchen now, and one of the things I want is to have a kitchen with enough room to put a bookshelf for my cookbooks in. (Or, lets be serious...at least some of my cookbooks.)

                                    1. I have been collecting recipes even before there was an Internet. Back when getting recipes on-line meant frequenting a BBS that carried recipe threads. Then I used a DOS based recipe manager called Qbook. When I quit using Qbook, it had 12,000 plus recipes in it. I now use a Linux recipe manager that currently has about 4,000 recipes in it. I also have many cookbooks in multiple book cases. Is this a hobby or a disease?

                                      1. We've got approximately 50 cookbooks and a folder containing perhaps 100 recipes, most of them created by me based upon other people's recipes. Out of the above resources, there are between 250 and 300 recipes that are part of our repertoire. Each dish is printed in a small card and placed in a file. We simply cycle through that file, making whatever dish happens to come up. Hence, we don't have to make decisions and we don't wind up making the same thing over and over again.

                                        1. (Standing up) Hello. My name is Suzi and I am a recipe-aholic. ( Sitting down.) I must also confess, I rarely use them. Just use them as a guide mostly. I also need an intervention for cookbooks. The only thing I asked for after my ex MIL passed were her cookbooks. Jewelery, clothing furniture the works were up for the taking and I wanted the books. Cannot go yardsale hopping without at least one coming home with me. I think this why BF doesn't want to go much anymore. Went two weeks ago and got a Better Homes And Gardens ringbinder style from 1943 for four dollars. Score!! Oldest I have is from 1893. As you can see, I am fully immersed in my love of all things food.

                                          1. Totally! I have a binder, a stack of print-outs and entire folder of .PDF files! I used to print out the recipes as I found them, but now I save them in the folder (as .PDFs - use CutePDF it's free) and print them out as I decide to make them. I'm so overwhelmed with recipes that I've had to stop looking at food websites as much!!!

                                            1. I don't consider myself a "hoarder" in THAT sense of the word. I DO collect cookbooks and share freely. I like to be the "go to" guy for recipes. And, as was prevalent in another thread, I do NOT change recipes before giving them out so yours doesn't come out the same as mine.

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: njmarshall55

                                                Good. I do not understand keeping a recipe a secret.

                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                  I like to give my recipes out along with the specifics in method or type of ingredients..BUT..people change what you told them, which is fine, and then complain"It didn't come out like yours. You didn't tell me the real recipe."

                                                  1. re: wekick

                                                    Understood and agreed. My initial reference was about people who INTENTIONALLY change a recipe before giving it out. There was an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond about that specific situation. And I HAVE known people who do that.

                                              2. Am a big-time cookbook collector (have HUNDREDS - from old-time first-editions to newbies) & also a recipe collector.

                                                Ones clipped from newspapers/magazines I have in looseleaf binders; have hundreds on the computer. If I try one from either of these venues that I don't like - out it goes.

                                                1. I admit it; I am a recipe hoarder. This subject came up recently on another board and led to a bit of self-examination on my part. I have less than 50 cookbooks but Explorer informs me that my Cuisine file contains 4,962 recipes in 31 folders. Even more because some of those recipe files, like Spice Blends or Salad Dressings, each have many dozens of actual recipes inside. I have more recipes than I will ever make and many, many iterations of some favorite foods. Crab Cakes, for instance: two tried & true fine-tuned favorites (one for canned, one for fresh) with perhaps half a dozen variations on the theme, three or four radical alternates, a couple of volume recipes, and probably ten more untested but interesting looking "try it that way someday" versions. Some foods are infinitely worse, especially sweets- brownies, chocolate chip cookies. I bet I have thirty recipes for chocolate cake alone. All seemed worth saving to experiment with. Yet out of all those I've actually baked probably seven. Ahem... Er, well okay, maybe five. But do I go through them all once in a while and weed out the unlikely candidates? Never. Just like Spice_zing, I can't let 'em go.

                                                  The real irony is, when I cook I mostly don't work from a recipe at all. Baking is the exception- I'm not experienced enough in that area to fly by the seat of my pants. I follow the old adage to cook by ear and bake by the book. A further irony is that as I evolve and tweak my favorites, I don't think to go and adjust the ones in my files. So many of the recipes I have stored are really only the original departure points that I've since left behind and don't refer to anymore. I never take the time to write out my own recipes, of course, and so have more trouble sharing my own version than I do sharing somebody else's recipe that I may have started from years ago. It's the mirror image of those aforementioned turds who deliberately maladjust a recipe when they share, so others can't duplicate what they do.

                                                  I do enjoy browsing the files for ideas sometimes, or surfing the Web for something new & different. But I confess that it's more an entertainment than a practical matter- I'm seldom uninspired when it comes to food. It certainly stimulates the appetite though. Yeah, that's it : it's a mental appetizer! I feel better already!

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. Now that I've got that off my chest, I have a question about Evernote. All my recipes are stored as text files in my PC, and automatically get backed up to an external drive. The Evenote website says "files are saved to your account." Does that mean they're out in the cloud somewhere, or is there a provision to keep things local? The files are small and I'd much prefer to have them saved and safely backed up in my own hardware.

                                                    1. I not only save recipes (computer, magazines, 4 x 6 cards, print outs, etc.) I love cookbooks too. And I love reading suggested menus as well.

                                                      1. So, after reading all of these posts, I don't feel so bad about my recipe collection. I have newspaper and magazine clippings in plastic sleeves sorted by categories such as chicken, dessert, side dishes, fish, etc. I have clippings in small boxes that are waiting to be used and put in sleeves. I lost count of how many cook books I have but I bought "Extra Virgin--Cooking with Olive Oil" by Clare Ferguson today for #2.99 used. There are also baking books and cake decorating books galore! There are computer print outs and the links I've sent to my email.

                                                        I mostly cook without a recipe but I like to have them for technical assistance.

                                                        1. Yes !! 3 bookshelves. 90% cookbooks. I make my own books with cut out recipes glued into spiral notebooks (which I've been doing since I was 15). And let's not get started on the huge file titled "recipes to try" on my computer....