Friday, May 23, 2008


I confess--I'm a compulsive recipe clipper. Some people clip coupons to save money (I do, too, I just forget to bring them with me half the time); I clip recipes to make "someday." I have it down to a system now. I mark the recipes I want to save the first time through a magazine. After the magazine has been lying around a few days, I go back to those pages I've marked and determine if I still want the recipe. If I do, I clip it. I put all the recipes I clip in one place and when they've sat around a while, I go through them again. I usually end up tossing half of them. The ones I keep, I put in a special location in my kitchen. When I've actually made the recipe, I rate it. My rating system is very simple: a dish gets a 0-10 and I only keep 7's and higher. I write on the recipe any changes I've made and any comments and then and only then does it enter the collection. If it's a recipe for everyday use, it goes into my album. I use a large photo album with the clear sheets. I've divided it roughly into appetizers, entrees, side dishes, and desserts. It's a simple matter of putting it under the plastic on a free page. If it's a recipe for a special occasion (e.g. holiday, birthday, brunch, etc.), then I make up or add it to a folder.

These file folders have made my life soooooo much easier. I have one for Weight Watcher recipes, one for Thanksgiving, one for Christmas, one for Easter, and one for Cookouts right now.
Thanksgiving's folder, for example, holds the following:

  • Thawing/Roasting Guidelines

  • article on "Hassel-free Thanksgiving"

  • article "Making Gravy the CIA Way"

  • Thanksgiving Shopping List

  • Menus from previous Thanksgivings

  • To Do list for the day before and the day of (a timeline)

  • recipe for "Classic Make-ahead Gravy" (the best!)

  • recipe for Sausage Roll Puffs (appetizer)

  • recipe for Quick Candied Sweet Potatoes

  • recipe for Smashed Rutabagas with Ginger-roasted Pears

  • recipe for Corn Casserole

  • recipe for Mashed Turnips with Nutmeg

  • recipe for Bourbon-Pecan Tart

  • recipe for Puree of Roasted Pear and Fennel Parmesan Soup

  • recipe for Spicy Sausage in Carozza

I can see at a glance what I served the year before and I have choices for some of my side dishes. The shopping list may be altered slightly depending on dishes added or subtracted, but a lot of the planning is already done for me. Believe me, this organization has saved me so much time. I highly recommend it.

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