Friday, November 20, 2009

Helpful Tip - Cookbooks

Have Too Many Cookbooks?

If you're like I once was, you probably have dozens of cookbooks or cooking magazines that you have kept over the years because you've seen a recipe that you like in them and hoped to give it a try one day.  Unfortunately, if you're really like me, you forget about the recipes you had encountered previously and when you get stuck and need an idea for dinner, you have to go through all of those books just to find something to make!  It is, no doubt, a pain in the booty!!!

One way to get organized in your kitchen is elimate a majority of those books and consolidate them.  To do this, you'll need: a 3-ring binder (or more depending on how many recipes you have), plastic sheet protectors, and index dividers.  Label your dividers with categories of your choice to keep your recipes organized.  Here are the categories I have used: Appetizers, Salads, Soups & Sandwiches, Breads & Brunch, Side Dishes, Entrees, Desserts, and Drinks.  Spend some time going through those cookbooks and tearing out the pages with the recipes that you like, putting them into piles under the category they belong to.  Now one issue I had was that certain pages may have an entree recipe that I liked on it, but also a dessert recipe that I wanted.  In that case, I would make a separate pile for those pages and go to the local copy center and make a duplicate copy so I could put one in the Entree section and the other in the Dessert section.

When you're ready to fill your binder, simply go through each category pile you've made and place 2 recipe pages back-to-back in a platic protector and file it behind the appropriate divider in your binder!  Once you've completed this, you can just toss (or recycle) the books you no longer want; this prevents over-crowding of your cookbook cupboard and eliminates the hassle of having to go through dozens of books to find 1 recipe.  All you have to do now, is determine what it is you want to make, go to the appropriate section in your binder and flip through those recipes to find what you need!

One thing I would like to note is that I only do this with cooking magazines and not my big, hard cover cookbooks.  I like to keep those the way they are!


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