Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Time at Home Tuesdays: Creating an Electronic Cookbook

I get stuck in food ruts VERY easily. Throughout my almost 4 years of marriage, it's gone something like this: I find something my husband likes to eat, he asks for it each week, it becomes one of the main staples in my weekly menu plan. Currently, it's hamburgers and chili dogs. In the past it's been tater tot casserole, corn dogs, and various pasta dishes. In my opinion, avoiding food ruts is a REALLY good read to start menu planning. And if you do menu planning on a weekly basis, then it's even easier to avoid food ruts.

One of my goals is to create healthier meals and to try new foods. So over the course of a week, I sat down and went through every magazine, cook book, and recipe I had stashed away in my cabinet. Back when the Kraft Food Magazine was free, I was a subscriber. The magazine came out 4 times a year and I had about a dozen of these, and other, magazines. I would flip through the magazine and see things that looked good but then the magazine was set aside with the plan to go through and collect the recipes one day. I also had a small collection of regular cookbooks, which I must say is nothing compared the amount of cookbooks my mom has!

As I went through the books and magazines, I dog-eared or stuck a post-it to pages with recipes I was interested in. After going through them, I sat down and start typing them up. Each new recipe went into it's own document. I set up a system of folders on my computer that goes something like this:
  • Appetizers
  • Beverages
  • Breads and Rolls
  • Breakfast
  • Casseroles
  • Dessert
  • Dressing & Sauces
  • Entrees
  • Holidays
  • Miscellaneous
  • Mixes
  • Pasta, Potatoes, and Rice
  • Soup & Chili
  • Veggies & Sides
All of the above are their own, individual folder, which is in a larger folder, simply called "Recipes." Each recipe is filed in the appropriate folder. When I need a recipe, I pull it up on the computer and get to work. We have a laptop and tons of counter space, so I can easily move the computer into the kitchen where it's visible while I'm working.

I could have also removed the recipes from the magazines and cookbooks, but I didn't want to have a bunch of loose papers laying around right now. We don't have a lot of room in our little apartment (but we have tons of counter space) so having all my recipes on the computer make my life easier.

Eventually, I'll probably have to print out the recipes and compile them into a 3-ring-binder. We don't plan to have a laptop forever and it won't be very easy to move a desktop computer around. And I really don't want to be running back and forth from the computer to the kitchen while I'm cooking. For now though, I love the ease of having the recipes on my laptop.

What's your method for storing recipes? Do you have an overstuffed cabinet with various books and magazines that you're going to eventually go through? Do you use the old recipe card method and simply flip to your favorite recipe when you need it?

No comments:

Post a Comment

I would love to hear from any readers out there. Please feel free to share any advice or give me any suggestions for future posts. However, please remember that this is not a place for debate or rudeness. I do moderate all comments. Anything questionable or inappropriate will not be published.