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Tips on organising recipes?

(26 Posts)
evertonmint Wed 20-Mar-13 09:52:21

DH and I are into our cooking and try lots of new recipes. Consequently we have a crazy selection of books, magazines kept just for the 2 recipes somewhere on page 63, bits clipped from newspapers shoved in drawers, bookmarked online recipes.

The problem is we end up doing the same few recipes time and again because we can never remember things we tried a year ago that we loved. This is because nothing is organised and we just grab one or two old faithful recipes and use those or try that thing in Sunday's newspaper that we happen to have to hand.

We want to be a bit more organised - have some sort of way of recording everything we try with notes on what we thought, changes to the recipe etc. and then be able to find that when we are looking for something to do.

Any ideas on how to organise our recipes? This has been bugging us for about 5 years now, and I have a little bit of spare time over the next few weeks to start getting more organised.

So any tips on what I should think about before I embark on this mammoth, probably doomed to be abandoned halfway through for sheer difficulty, project?

Nipitinthebud Wed 20-Mar-13 10:14:52

This site might --make you drool--interest you! Was recommended on here by someone. Fab site for cataloging recipes from recipe books and magazines online. You do have to pay an annual subscription (think its about £15/yr?), but can try it out for free with just a few books. Not sure if you can also add in your own recipes though for things that aren't currently catalogued?

dreamingofsun Wed 20-Mar-13 10:47:46

i have an A4 folder with dividers for main meal, deserts etc and put recipes in here. if there's only 1 recipe in a book then you could photocopy. i add notes onto the recipes themselves.

SlatternismyMiddlename Wed 20-Mar-13 11:38:52

My system is probably too simple for your needs as it doesn't allow for comments, but what I do is - I keep a list of recipes I want to try and when I do and if its successful (and only if it is successful) do I write it in my recipe book. Therefor I know that all the recipes in my recipe book are tried and tested and most importantly enjoyed.

evertonmint Wed 20-Mar-13 11:56:45

Slattern - is your recipe book sorted by type of meal etc or just written in one recipe after the other? That would probably work if I left space for comments, but want to be able to e.g. look at all my chicken recipes.

SlatternismyMiddlename Wed 20-Mar-13 12:18:12

I was given a recipe folder thing as a present which I use. It is split into starters, fish, meat, vegetables, deserts and baking. TBH if I was doing it again myself I would split the meat section into chicken, pork, beef etc. also, in my head potatoes are not a vegetable so I feel weird putting any potato recipes in the vegetable section but that is just me. You could create your own folder and design the sections you want.

Also be ruthless, if you come across a recipe that you know you aren't going to try or have tried and didn't like it, bin it. Otherwise you forget, try it again and still don't like it.

Nipitinthebud Wed 20-Mar-13 12:29:48

For magazine recipes or things I've written down I keep in those clear A4 pocket display folder books with 100 pages. I put them back to back, so have space for quite a lot. I have several of them and have different ones for starters, mains, sides, puddings and cakes/biscuits. The mains is divided into chicken, beef, pork, lamb and veggy. If I want to comment then I just write on the recipe. I think if I was to do over I would use A4 ringbinders though, as you can just keep adding rather than display folders which can fill up pretty quick.

Trouble is I've got so many recipes in there I still end up just doing the old faithfuls, bastardising the recipe from memory, or spending hours leafing through various folders and books trying to find something. That's why I was interested in eatyourbooks as you can type in a recipe ingredient and it will show you all the recipes from your own collection that has those ingredients in it!

But the lo tech way, if I was starting over I'd try to make a database of all the recipes I had (or maybe just the ones I'd tried and liked) on Excel or wherever and say name of recipe, marks out of ten and where the recipe was (file A, page X, or book name and page number).

SlatternismyMiddlename Wed 20-Mar-13 12:54:05

Nipit - I'm impressed - but that's way too techie for me grin

Nipitinthebud Wed 20-Mar-13 13:15:39

Ha....I myself am the lo tech way. And my well intentioned filing system often goes through months of being 'in development' (aka pages of magazines ripped out stuffed into bookcase awaiting being put into folders). Nightmare....meanwhile its spag bol again for tea! grin

ladymariner Wed 20-Mar-13 13:17:17

I have an A4 folder divided into sections eg chicken, beef, pasta, desserts, soups etc and put the recipes in to there as I come across them. For my cookbooks, I have those pointy post-it notes stuck in the pages to show favourite recipes in there.

crazy8 Wed 20-Mar-13 13:18:11

I copy and paste online recipes into the notes section of iPad/iPhone.

evertonmint Wed 20-Mar-13 14:21:21

I love excel (it is how I earn my living!) but always want something more tactile for food, that I can take to bed and peruse or sit on sofa with over a cuppa.

Think it's going to have to be a trip to the stationers and various files...

Ill report back on what I decide. This is giving me. Good ideas on categories smile

HazeltheMcWitch Wed 20-Mar-13 15:34:28

There's lots of lovely recipe folders in stationers. I found them a faff though! I didn't like the categories that I was presented with. But then I am very contrary.

I use Evernote, an app into which I've scanned all my bits of paper, my web clippings etc. Its pretty/tactile enough to be a pleasure to use, and the search functionality is good. Also I've got rid of loads of scraggy bits of paper, and it's easy to email recipes across.

The downside is I guess the lack of security - ie if Evernote folded tomorrow, I'd be stuffed.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 20-Mar-13 15:36:58

Another vote for EatYourBooks!(They have lots of magazines too and you can input your own recipes)

HazeltheMcWitch Wed 20-Mar-13 15:37:01

Oh, I use Pinterest a LOT too.

erowid Wed 20-Mar-13 15:42:34

Similar system to everyone else really except I use an index card organiser rather than a A4 ring binder.

djelibeybi Wed 20-Mar-13 16:05:08

I have a folder on my laptop called "Recipes".

Within that folder are other folders:- Biscuits, Bread, Cakes Tarts Puddings, Chutneys and Pickles, Curry, Dried Foods, Fish, Ice Creams and Sorbets, Jams Curds Jellies, Liqueurs, Meat, Pasta, Sauces, Soft Drinks, Soups, Sweets, Syrups, Veggie Meals, Wild Food, and Wine Recipes.

If I find a recipe online I copy the text and save it as a file in the relevant folder. Handwritten ones and recipes in books and magazines are scanned in and saved as a jpg (picture) file.

tigerlilygrr Wed 20-Mar-13 17:30:11

Eatyourbooks is really good, I picked it up from mumsnet too - think it was fellationelson's tip. I use it all the time now - very handy if you're shopping as you can just search for recipes you know you like to check you have all the ingredients etc.

ellesabe Wed 20-Mar-13 18:58:38

When we try a new recipe, I write at the top of the page in the recipe book wheher it was any good, which family members liked/disliked it and how I'd improve it next time.

I have a recipe portfolio like the one slattern described. It's from paperchase and we put our perfected recipes in there.

cakesaregood Wed 20-Mar-13 20:32:56

I got fed up of having to dig out a recipe book (which would cause an avalanche of books and unfiled recipes) just to check the bicarbonate/cream of tartar quantities, so I wrote a sticky label out and stuck it on the flour container.

I've now taken this one step further and have blu-tacked the recipes onto the inside of my cupboard door - it's open while I cook anyway! It's sort of like a scruffy Pinterest board, without the beautiful pictures!

I still need to do something with the random unfiled recipes though..

idlevice Wed 20-Mar-13 21:57:20

I've got one of those multi-sectioned folder-things with a handle that opens like a concertina (they must have a proper name but I've no idea). I think it's got 26 sections as it's supposed to have one for each letter of the alphabet but I've named the sections for different categories of recipes like soups, savoury pastry,sweet pastry, fish, slow cooker, fruit desserts, large cakes, tray bakes, etc In each section I have a transparent wallet to contain all the recipes so when I want to find a recipe I just take that out & leaf through & there are enough categories that there are not too many in each section to look through. I'm also quite ruthless & don't keep something I never make. I guess you could always use two or more such folders if you had loads of recipes.

evertonmint Thu 21-Mar-13 06:35:32

Loads of good ideas here - thank you! DH and I need to talk about exactly what we want - electronic, folder, just a list and references etc - I think and then get organised!

HazeltheMcWitch Thu 21-Mar-13 11:02:17

OOh, another point in Evernote's favour is that if I'm out and about and I see a recipe (or anything really, but we're talking recipes here), for example in a mag in a dr's surgery, I can just snap a scan of it and upload it there and then. All the text is searchable, I can add tags etc. It's great!

BeCool Fri 22-Mar-13 16:43:26

Another vote for Evernote - I use it mostly for recipes - clips directly from websites, photograph Mum's handwritten chocolate cake recipe etc. Really trying to get out of the habit of printing them off, but I do have a ringbinder for the bits and bobs.

And I have Evernote on my phone too so easy to check whislt shopping for any ingredients I might need to buy.

Iwantmybed Sat 23-Mar-13 10:50:18

I have A5 coloured cards, different colours for each type (chicken / pasta etc.) I write the ingredients on ones side and simplified instructions on the other. They go in a clear zipped wallet so I can read the recipe card on top and wipe clean.

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