A few years ago I bought a beautiful binder and tabs from Target to organize all the recipes I'd printed from the internet or ripped from magazines.
This was before my Pinterest addiction took hold.
Before I began browsing blogs with thousands of delicious recipes.
Before long, my recipe binder was brimming with clippings and print-offs and recipes I received from my lovely mother and mother-in-law. And for a girl that loves homogeneity (only in my organization projects, y'all--I'm all for non-conformity in people!), this was a no go.
It was high time for a recipe binder revamp. Lucky for you, I'm also sharing my printable templates, so you can organize your own recipes, too! Here's how.
1. Remove all recipes from the binder. Holy smokes, I had A LOT:
2. Split recipes into 10 categories: Poultry, Beef, Seafood, Pasta, Pork, Starters, Sides, Soups, Desserts, and Breakfast. Label binder tabs accordingly.
3. Create a template and begin the arduous task of typing out all those recipes. (Remember all the ones you printed from the internet? Good thing is you can look them up and copy/paste the ingredients & instruction into Word.)
I matched my templates to the colors of the binder tabs. Because I was able to eliminate the images or any unnecessarily wordy instructions, typing out the recipes allowed me to majorly condense the huge pile of papers--over 30 pages of chicken recipes, for example, was cut down to 5 double-sided pages in my new binder. However, retyping the recipes is very time consuming, so I recommend spreading out the process over a few weeks. Whenever you have a little spare time, just type away. I watched a lot of Netflix as I typed & formatted the recipes. Multitasking for the win! Now whenever I find a new favorite recipe in a magazine or on the internet, I just add it to the template & print the new pages.
Here are my recipe templates for each category: Poultry, Beef, Seafood, Pasta, Pork, Starters, Sides, Soups, Desserts, Breakfast.
3. Create "Recipe Index" pages for each category in the binder. Print & use your cookbooks to fill out.
This way, when you're menu planning, you won't limit yourself to the recipes collected in your binder--you'll also have a list of ones from your cookbooks! I'm the type that never remembers a recipe (even if I've made the meal 20 times), so I always need to grab my cookbooks when whipping up a meal--thus, having the page number at my finger tips is so helpful! And sometimes I honestly forget about the delicious dishes in my books--this sheet helps ensure that I don't.
Want your own? Download the recipe indexes for each category here: Poultry, Beef, Seafood, Pasta, Pork, Starters, Sides, Soups, Desserts, Breakfast.
4. Create "Recipes to Try" index for the front of the binder. Print & Laminate. Use dry erase marker & fill with recipes from Pinterest or elsewhere that you want to try, but haven't yet typed up. (I always like to taste test before I commit to reformatting & printing out the recipes). Since I pin so many tasty-looking dishes to Pinterest each month, I often forget some of the yummies--so this is a way of reminding myself to make these!
Download the "Recipes to Try" printable by clicking here!
Instantly know that you must make your own. Buy printable magnetic sheets at Staples and create your own magnets on Word to fit the color scheme of your kitchen. Be sure to make some "New" magnets so that you can test out some of those recipes on your "Recipes to Try" list! Print onto magnet sheets and cut out.
Plan out your monthly menu. (Yes, this month's menu is easy because we're honeymooning next week (!!!!!!!!!!!) so we're obviously eating out then, and before/after we go, I don't feel like dealing with tons of dishes.
Pop your board on your fridge with velcro 3M Command Strips and admire it from every angle.
I'll be sharing my recipe for cream-topped tilapia next week! It's delish :) Ryan prefers the BBQ salmon, though, and I'm not a big salmon fan, so I just make my own fish on salmon nights.
I especially love staring at our new menu board from this angle--you can see how it matches the colors in our gallery wall (and in the prints to the left of the fridge). Please ignore the pile of dishes:
6. While at Staples buying magnetic sheets, also buy 10-pack of Martha Stewart secure top sheet protectors in this lovely aqua/emerald-ish color. Place extra meal magnets in pockets and put in the back of your recipe binder for easy access when meal planning.
7. Admire your lovely, svelte new recipe binder! Tuck it lovingly on the shelf next to your cookbooks.
Are you inspired to DIY a menu board now? We've only been using ours for the past three weeks or so, but I'm already in love--it's way better than my old system in which I'd plan for 2 weeks and write it out on a dry erase board. This way, I can easily shift around the magnets if plans change!
Linking up to Weekend Bloggy Reading at Serenity Now:
Head to both of those fabulous blogs to check out all of the other cool projects!