"To the world you may be one person...but to one person you may be the world..."

About Me

I grew up in a village of 500 people and now live in a beach town of 10 000. Wife to Jeff, Mama to Makenna and Jack. This is my place to share what's up with us, and the place where I sometimes need to pour my heart out about the not so sunshiney moments. This is my happy place. Thanks for stopping by :) Copyright 2012 by Melissa Wormington, that no part of this blog may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, without permission from the publisher.
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The Wormingtons

The Wormingtons
Jeff, Makenna, Jack and Melissa. Spring 2012. Photo credit: Tricia Denomme/Hope Photography

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Bowl Full of Lemons Challenge 3: Recipe Binder!

This week's challenge at A Bowl Full of Lemons is to create a Recipe Binder.

I'm actually ahead of the game on this one as I started back in the summer.

As you know, I am a foodie. I love to cook, bake and eat. Both Jeff and I enjoy experimenting in the kitchen and trying new things. Over they years I had collected tons of recipes from different sources - online, magazines, emails, etc. I would file whatever would fit into my recipe box, and keep entire magazines for years, just for one or two recipes.

I had stacks, upon stacks of magazines. You can imagine how often I actually used those recipes buried within them.
Then I would get ambitious and clip the recipes out of the magazines, storing them in file folders. I could then recycle the old magazines, but now had stacks of file folders.

Finally last summer I bit the bullet, bought the biggest binder I could find, and got started. I store everything in page protectors, to keep it as neat and tidy as possible. I know some people who take all of their handwritten recipes and type them all out, so as to create a neater, more modern and uniform looking binder, but I like the originals.

When I see this recipe for "Prentice Potato Soup" it always makes me smile; the email was sent to me in 2005 from a good friend and is written in her words, reminding me how her (now) husband hates celery.
There are recipes in my mother in law's handwriting, on her paper,

as well as recipes in my grandma's handwriting

and my husband's.

I want to keep those items in their original forms, stains and all. as I think they add so much character to my collection.

But I'm sentimental like that.

I have noticed while blog surfing that others have many binders, sometimes even a different binder for each type of recipe (main dishes, desserts, appetizers, breads, etc) and I actually have 2 other beautiful recipe binders that are sitting empty right now,
because so far I like having mine all together in one giant binder. It's like my Kitchen Bible.

The sections in my binder:
Main Dishes

Fun stuff for Kids.

Having my recipes all together in a binder like this, easily accessible and visible, has added so much variety to my weekly meal plans. I enjoy flipping through it and looking for something new to try. These recipes have been collected over the last 10 years or more and have come from family, friends, magazines, online, free mailings, on the backs of food labels, the list goes on and on.

I found the templates for my binder's front cover and spine here. Toni has a beautiful set you can download on the Bowl Full of Lemons site as well.
Just for fun, I added scrapbook paper to each divider. So that I can actually see the different tabs, I followed these instructions from Clean Mama.

I read about others who, since creating their Binders, have photocopied recipes out of cookbooks, added them to their binder and then got rid of the cookbooks.

I have a few cookbooks.

I can see the merit in this idea, from a "minimize clutter/simplify" point of view, but I am not prepared to go that far right now. I love reading through my cookbooks.

I also still have the recipes written on recipe cards in my recipe box. I could add them to the binder, but I need to to be able see both the front and back sides of most cards. I need to find some sheets like the trading card organizer cards I used for my Home Management Binder that are 3x5 sized. Those would work perfectly...anyone have any leads on where I could find something like that?

Also, I didn't distinguish between "favourites", "maybes" "haven't tried yet" or anything like that. If it caught my interest for any reason, it's in the binder, simply filed under what part of the meal it is. Our kids are still young and their tastes will continue to change, and it is a well known fact that it can take up to 15 times of offering a food to a child before they will accept it (Susan B Roberts, PhD, Tufts University). I will periodically go through it and weed out the recipes I know I will never use again, likely when I run out of room for the new ones ;)

I am very happy with this, compared to the "system" I used to have. The only cost was the Binder and the Page Protectors, both items that can be found at Dollar and Discount Stores.

Challenge # 3 ~ Recipe Binder: Done!


jen said...

I am finally doing my recipe binder challenge. =) I saw somwhere that you can buy plastic dividers with 3x5 or 4x6 slots directly from Avery.