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A few months ago, I talked about how we plan meals in our house. But, where do I find the recipes that I make? I’m definitely not a cook that can just make something on the fly. I need a recipe. Directions to follow.
Well, lots of places, but here are a few of my favorites
- Food Network Magazine (and the Foodnetwork.com website)
- Allrecipes.com and the AllRecipes magazine.
- Cooking shows (my favorites are 30 Minute Meals, Pioneer Woman, and Alton Brown’s Good Eats)
- Cooking Blogs and Pinterest
- Cookbooks. I usually buy a few cookbooks every few months, depending on what catches my eye. Some of my more recent cookbook purchases have been the Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook, the Chinese Takeout Cookbook, and Fix, Freeze, Feast.
- And even in the most random of places. My mom definitely did not like to cook, but after she passed away last year, I found recipes clipped from countless newspapers and magazines that she had collected for decades. She never actually made the recipes, but apparently she loved clipping them! By the time I had gone through many of the drawers and other things at my parents house after she died, I found nearly 500 recipes! How insane is that!
I find that organizing my recipes is just as important as searching for new ones! If my recipes are all over the place and saved in multiple formats (bookmarks, Pinterest boards, cookbooks, magazines, etc.), I have zero motivation dig through that mess to make one of the new recipes I found!
I use a recipe manager called Paprika. I download the “Save Recipe” bookmarklet, and every time I find a recipe online that I like, I click “Save Recipe” and it automatically imports it into my desktop and iPhone versions of Paprika! I’ve been using Paprika for about 18 months now. Prior to that, I used a program called YummySoup, but I eventually ditched it because they never developed an iPhone or iPad version.
Organizing recipes from magazines
- When I find a recipe that I like in a magazine, I bookmark it by folding down the corner of the page in the magazine. The magazine then goes into my “Reading Complete” pile. Every few months, when I have a spare 15–20 minutes, I open up the completed magazines again. I go to the bookmarked pages, and search for the recipe online. This is usually very easy to do simply by Googling the name of the magazine together with the recipe name. The recipe will usually appear in the first or second search results. Once I’m on the webpage containing the recipe, I click the “Save Recipe” bookmarklet for Paprika.
- If I think I’ll make the recipe some time soon (like within the next month), I will rip out the page of the magazine and put it in my recipe binder (discussed later). After I reviewed all the bookmarked magazine pages, imported the recipes into Paprika, and ripped out any pages I want, I throw away the entire magazine.
Organizing Recipes Found Online
For recipes that I find online, as long as I used the “Save Recipe” bookmarklet, I don’t have to do any importing or Googling. It automatically ends up in Paprika. I’ve also been trying to get into the habit of Pinning recipes that I find as well, you know, to share the love with everybody else on the recipes I’ve found!
Organizing Recipes Found in Cookbooks or Other Hard Copy Media
For recipes that I find in cookbooks or, for instance, the recipes that my mom had collected from newspapers, I just have to enter those manually into Paprika.
Prepping to Cook Using a New Recipe!
I usually try to make a few new recipes every month, although more recently I’ve been trying to increase that to at least one or two new recipes a week.
So, when I plan out my meals for the month, I will print out the new recipes I will be trying (if I didn’t rip out the page from the magazine). The recipe then gets slipped into a page protector and placed in a recipe binder that I keep in my kitchen. I have tried to become more environmentally friendly and just referring to the recipe in Paprika on my iPad, but I am just too paranoid about spilling something on it!
My recipe binder doesn’t have much organization to it, although I will probably need to work on that soon. But in general I keep dessert recipes toward the back and main meal recipes in the front.
When it’s time to make the meal, I just take the recipe out of the binder (leaving it in the page protector, which is key for protecting it from spills, that way I don’t have to re-print it every time I make the recipe), and use it! There are several recipes that I’ve been making for years and don’t need the printed recipe for anymore, but I still like to keep it in the binder.
If we make the recipe and don’t like it, I usually just take the recipe out of the page protector and through it in the trash. I’ll usually keep the recipe in Paprika, but that’s more out of laziness than anything else!
How do you find and organize your recipes?