Country Kitchen: Organizing Your Recipes

Country Kitchen: Organizing Your Recipes
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"How do I organize my recipes?" a reader asked me. She had printed off recipes she liked and enclosed them in plastic sleeves. (for details on how to print pages that aren't printer friendly click here)
"What should I do now?: she wondered.

She has a number of choices:

*Three-Ring Binder - Many of the plastic sleeves come ready punched for 8 1/2 x 11-inch 3-ring binders. Organize the recipes in categories that are handy for you to use in this binder. Then get separator sheets with taps. This method also enables you to add pictures to the recipe book if you like.

You can print your recipes off on smaller sheets and arrange them in smaller 3-ring notebooks. The size you select and use will determine on your preference and which type you find easier to manage and to file. However, you may not find plastic sleeves for all of the smaller sizes.

*Filing System - Purchase a carrier with handle designed to hold 8 1/2 X 11-size sheets. Place your recipes in plastic sleeves in this and separate into easy to locate sections with dividers. This would work somewhat like an oversized recipe card box.

*Scrapbook Journal - You might want to do this only with your favorite recipes or ones that have a family significance. By including recipes, stories about family occasions when they were served, even photos of family get-togethers or the food itself you will develop fun family projects and books you can give as gifts.

*Recipe Cards - Write the recipes on index cards of desired size. Place in a recipe box separated into sections. This entails more work, but gives you a very concise filing system.

*Cookbook - Eventually you may want to organize your recipes into a book format. This often includes your recipes and other family favorites.

My family has done this by printing the recipes onto 8 1/2 x 11-inch sheets, making photocopies of the desired number, and putting together with a comb binding.

We also designed a cover and back and laminated them.

(When you begin printing recipes, make sure you're aware of copyright as applies to that situation. Often you'll find you can print off a copy of a recipe for your own use. When it comes to making cookbooks to distribute to others, you should check into copyright rules and get permission, if necessary. )

These are some recipes I've collected and adapted for my use over the years:

PEANUT BUTTER KRISPIES - Cook 3/4 cup corn syrup and 3/4 cup granulated sugar in pan over medium heat until it bubbles. Add 3/4 cup peanut butter (chunky, if desired) and stir until melted. Pour over 4 1/2 cup krispy rice cereal. Put into a buttered 9 x 13-inch pan. Melt 3/4 cup chocolate chips and spread over top. Cut when cool.

APPLE CHEDDAR APPETIZERS - Dip apple slices in cinnamon/sugar mixture. Place teaspoon shredded cheddar cheese on snack crackers. Place apple slice on each.

Place on cookie sheet and bake in 350 degree F. oven for 4 to 5 minutes until cheese is melted. (They can be placed under the broiler instead.) Serve warm.

Article (C) 2005 Mary Emma Allen

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About The Author

Mary Emma Allen researches and writes from her multi-generational NH home. Check out her new site, Tea Time Notes

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