Recipe organization

My recipe collection is insanely disorganized.  I have:

1. a recipe box.  It includes recipes my mom copied for me onto index cards when I was about 21 (aww), more index cards with recipes I devised, adapted or copied, and about seven thousand pieces of scrap paper with recipes, notes, and stains.

2. Cookbooks. I don’t buy many cookbooks anymore, but when I do I dog-ear new recipes I’d like to try.  Those recipes are chosen based on what I like to cook and eat, but also on whatever mood I’m in that day.  If I’m feeling up for trying something new, or in the mood for comfort food, I’ll choose completely different recipes.  Anyway, my most recent cookbook purchase was the Essential New York Times Cookbook, and there is no way I will ever make half of the fifty (hundred?) recipes I marked.

3. Blogs and the internet in general.  This is where it really gets out of hand.  I have Word documents and text files stored all over my computer, bookmarks in my browser that I never look at and don’t back up, and at any given time, several tabs open in my browser with recipes I want to try.  I probably look at ten or twenty recipes online every day, sifting through for something I’d like to cook.

The problem is that I rarely try new recipes.  I make the same dinners over and over–not even using recipes in the first place, because most of these dinners are in my head.  I drop dishes from the rotation and add new ones all the time, but I can’t possibly keep up with the “recipes to try” file…especially since that file exists in several different places!  When I bookmark a recipe, I have more than a passing interest in it.  I have to really, REALLY want to make it to bookmark it.  And yet I never do make it.

How do you organize your recipes?

Today’s Firefox tabs:
Pasta Carbonara, which I have never made and have only eaten once or twice.
More pasta with bacon.
Butternut squash with red peppers and rosemary. This doesn’t sound all that appealing, but the intro says, very enticingly, “this is one of those deceptively simple recipes that rises above the ordinary to the extraordinary and I’m still not sure how or why.”  I’m in!


2 thoughts on “Recipe organization

  1. i have a box, lots and lots of cookbooks, plus the thing i use most often: a three-ring binder with printed-out and torn-from-magazines recipes. that’s what i use the most! i go through and purge it every year or so to keep it fresh.
    i find that i don’t like to look at the computer to follow a recipe, so i print them out and file them in my binder.

  2. I use Microsoft onenote, which is like a digital notebook, I copy and paste the recipe and photo, or use the snip-it tool to copy and paste. I think it save the url you pasted from, but I’d have to double check on that. You can have different notebook sections for different categories of recipes .

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