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Food and Cooking...or lack thereof

Organized Recipes

Ok.  I finally organized my recipes.  Don’t expect to be blown away.  You know me when it comes to cooking! 

Which is why for the past few years I have simply thrown all of my recipes into this lovely little red folder titled:  Recipes.  I know.  My creativity with this one is unmatched.  

But lately my little red recipe folder wasn’t cutting it.  I had no room to add new recipes and papers were spilling out all over my neatly organized kitchen drawer.  I can’t have that now can I?  :)  Finding the recipe I needed was becoming such a pain.  But here’s the thing.  The reason I have never organized my recipes is because aside from the fact that I hate to cook (which makes me also despise recipes), I have never seen a system that I thought would work for me.  I know there are hundreds of ways to organize recipes,  but I didn’t want anything that would take too much time (like typing them all up in a binder) and I wanted something that I could easily add to without any work.  
Most of my recipes are torn out magazine pages,
handwritten from the kids like this recipe from Addison when she was in pre-school and just learning to write her name.  They are print outs from recipe blogs and e-mails from friends…  

OR they are typed or handwritten by me and totally trashed from having them out while cooking. 
 **Banana Bread recipe is here by the way and they are delicious!  You can tell I’ve made these a time or two.  I keep thinking I need to re-type this, but I kind of like it.  Looks vintage, don’t you think?  ;)
I wanted something that I could use to easily slip new recipes into their categories without much time or energy on my part.  

So remember when I went nuts in Staples over Martha Stewart’s office supplies?  
 And I bought this lovely little purse organizer?
And then I went back and bought a bigger accordion file…  

and I used it to organize all of my home decor inspiration pictures?  And I called it Pinterest – old school.  Remember that?  Well.  I’m sure you know where I’m going with this.  Those accordion files have worked SO well for me.  When my recipe folder started getting too full I knew one of these babies would be a great solution.

So I went back for a third one!  Because everyone knows the third times a charm.  And everyone also knows that if there is an excuse to go browse through office supplies, you take it.  (Ok – maybe not everyone knows that one…)

My recipe categories are:


I know.  Super simple.  Maybe not the best system for someone who is a major chef, but for me, this is perfect.

It opens so wide – plenty of room to add more categories and recipes once I get into my new kitchen and start cooking up a storm!  And by cooking up a storm I mean using the stove at least once a week. (I’ve always been a firm believer in baby steps.  What About Bob – have you seen that movie?  Personal favorite.  Baby steps to the recipes… baby steps to the fridge… baby steps to the stove…)

And of course it closes so nice and compact fitting perfectly into my organized kitchen drawer.  
And just to prove I actually DO cook once in a while.  This is what we had for dinner last night – 

The crock pot and I are the best of friends.  I just tossed in some chicken breasts and diced a few potatoes and some onion.  Then I sprinkled Parsley on it all because Parsley makes it look like you really know what you’re doing.  Made my house smell SO good!  My girls were like “mom!  what are you making!?  it smells so good!  is someone coming over?”  Then Kenny came home… “mmmm!  smells so good, is someone coming over?”

HA!  Made me laugh.  :)
Nobody was coming over, but we all enjoyed this simple meal (and the smell!) regardless.
Would love to hear how YOU organize your recipes! 
xoxo, Erin
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27 thoughts on “Organized Recipes

  1. I love how honest you are about not enjoying cooking & your comments really made me laugh:)

    I can’t stand cooking either, in-fact I mainly have ready-meals & fish fingers etc.

    Slow cookers/crock pots are a great idea. I loved your family’s comments:). Don’t do what my Mum did years ago – she was cooking a stew in her slow cooker (she was brill at stews) & we smelt something burning. We checked the slow cooker & found the recipie book underneath the cooker part of it. It was very slight burnt. We kept it to remember that day:)

    The organization file is great.

    I haven’t seen that film. I’ll have to google it for more info.

  2. Love the someone coming over question. That is the only time I cook these days with the two of us around! I’ve had to get more creative with kids living nearby now. (awesome, I’ll take it!) My recipes are organized on the computer so I can pull out my ipad and have it read them to me! Love it. Also makes it easy to share the recipes (have about 4 that are regular repeats :). Have a great day! WE are off to St. George!

  3. You know how you get all giddy about organizing? That’s how THIS post made me feel! I almost got teary when you mentioned how your kids and hubby noticed the smell and how you guys all loved it.

    That’s how I feel about cooking! (Most of the time) :)

    Erin, you have come SO far! And your family will have great memories because of it. Thank heavens for our crock pots!!!

  4. I second Amy, a few comments back. I just use a 3 ring binder and slide them all into the page protectors. Works for all of the handwritten ones and all of the ones that I’ve ripped out of magazines. I can print off any new ones I come across on the web and they fit perfect. I leave it open on the counter when I cook and it wipes off so easy. If I have recipe cards that are too small, I just glue them to a piece of cardstock and slide them in.

  5. I actually just organized my recipes, too. I just took a 3-ring spiral notebook, added some subject dividers and put my recipes in page protectors. This way I can take the individual recipes out and they won’t get messy while cooking.

  6. Love your blog – read it daily. Love the life tidbits and advice. Love the organization ideas. Love watching you design your new home (I’m doing that too!) But annoyed at the political ads…do you have to do that? I’m bombarded with ads on TV, ads in the mail, ads on the phone,etc. I’d like a place to escape from all of the political campaigning for a little while.

  7. Sister, we are on the same page! I have LOVE the Martha Stewart stuff at Staples and have gone back THREE times over the past couple months because I think of something “new” that I need! Ha ha! I have the big folder thingy on my desk for my kids papers and things I need to get my hands on right away, now I think i might just have to go get another one for my loose recipes. Great idea!

  8. What I posted on facebook last night. I’m right there with you Erin. I do try though!!

    Well, dinner was an epic fail. I should of known this morning when I went to put the chicken breast into the crock pot w/ cream of chicken soup only to realize they were legs w/ thighs connected. I don’t even eat those. I was going to make chicken with mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans and rolls. Sounds good Ugh??? Ya. We had the sides, but, when I went to get the chicken out of the crock pot. All that was left were bones!. I left the chicken in there way to long. Good thing Marty isn’t old fashion and expects his wife to cook We would all starve. Marty is such a great cook. He will resume that duty tomorrow and I will stick to cleaning the house and organizing.

    Lessoned learned!!

  9. Organizing my recipes is on my to do list as well. I don’t think an accordion file will work for me, so I am thinking of using a few binders and sheet protectors (original, I know!). I do love those accordion files you have. I might have to get one for receipts that I save. :)

  10. My recipe folder looks just like your red one, only mine is pink! I also HATE cooking but somehow amass recipes thinking one day I will magically love this chore. But I do LOVE LOVE to organize, so those recipes should look pretty when they aren’t being used 99.99% of the time – gotta go to Staples later, anyway – think I will stand in wonder at the Martha supplies (love those, too!) and get myself a pretty blue accordian file :)

  11. Over here, I have quite a few recipies and am always adding more as I do love to cook. What I found works great for me is having 3-4 binders in which I have plastic sheet protectors and I simply slide my recipes in them. I have dividers for my different sections; beef, chicken, pork, seafood/fish, soups and salads, apetizers, deserts, marinades/sauces. I love the sheet protectors, because like you I have a bunch from magazines and they all fit so nicely and don’t get ripped. I really do like the Martha Stewart collection though, I keep adding to MY collection! haha BTW the house is coming along great…your excitement level must be going up a notch!

  12. Thats so funny that everyone asked if someone was coming over when you cooked! Im the same way & the crockpot is my best friend too!
    Here is a good one:
    Package of boneless chicken breast,s Jar of salsa, package of taco seasoning . 4-6 hours on high & all done! The chicken shreds right up when its all done & you can serve on soft tacos. Yum ! Super easy & good. And from Pinterest LOL

  13. Oh my word! Thanks for the fun comments everyone! I haven’t been able to check in until now and I’ve had so much fun hearing from all of you! Sounds like a lot of you are using binders with page protectors. That’s a great system too. I think part of what I love about the accordion system is that it doesn’t take up much room in my drawer. We are so short on space in my current house!

    Julie I love that story! Totally sounds like something I would do! And I love how you say things are “brill.” You never hear that in the states. I think I’m going to use that word and start a new trend. :)

    Honest Answer – that meal is SO easy. I used whole chicken breasts – straight out of the bag (after I rinsed them off). I didn’t add any liquid but it was really moist by the time it was done – I think because of the potatoes and onion? It literally took me 5 minutes (to cut the potatoes) and toss it in. My kind of meal! :)

    Becky – have fun in St. George! I’m jealous!

    Changelivlife – LOVE that Chevron iphone case! Thank you for sharing it! I think I may need to add that to my Christmas list. :)

    Reenie – That recipe sounds so good and easy! Thank you! I’m going to try it this week! Isn’t Pinterest the best? :)

  14. We have an incredible family cookbook printed and bound, but that’s because my Mum is an incredible cook – when I attempt to cook from it, it rarely tastes the same, so I’m generally following some sort of ‘easy cooking’ website recipe. My problem is that I love eating so very much, I’ve really had to step up my complete lack of talent in the kitchen!! I am in LOVE with my slow cooker – it feels like somebody else made dinner for me by the time it’s ready, which is really what I’m after :) And I LOVE What About Bob lol :) Wish we had all the same stores here, such cute binders!!

  15. I didn’t realise you don’t say brill in the US:).

    Apparently another word we use a lot is “lovely”. After tea (dinner) we often say, ” That was lovely”.

    Cheerio for now:)

  16. Hi, My name is Gaby, I live in México (this is the first time I write, because my english is not perfect ) and I would like to say that I LOVE your Blog. Thanks for all the things that you share in it, you are an inspiration for me ( and for many people) I have learned about organization, scrapbook, cooking, and when you share your family stories or your cooking adventures ( I am not a great cooker) I feel happy and makes me feel that I am not alone, because there are so many womens, wifes, mothers all around the world that feel like me and that we share the same stories and situations about our kids, our husband, house, cooking and the same hobbies… Thanks for everything you share.

    -I hope you can read it because my english is not good, I did my best :) –

  17. I have to try this! You should also know that many Orthodox Jews in New Jersey are making your cashew chicken–I made it for a potluck and it was such a hit!

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