Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Reorganizing the Recipes

Recently, Karen shared her method of collecting and managing her recipes. I thought it was appropriate that I share my method.

Several years ago, I found myself with a Recipe Card Box, a Recipe Book that was a ring binder, a Recipe Journal that I was given by a friend in France, and an online account at  Whenever I went to find a recipe, I couldn't.  I would have to think back on when I acquired the recipe and usually I would remember which recipe system I was using and I could find it, but I was always searching and was often forgetting great recipes.

To try to streamline the recipes, I entered frequently used favorite recipes into The website has an option to add your own recipes. I also started two other online files, the first held recipes from the website we had tried and liked which I labeled Keepers! and the second was filled with recipes I wanted to try.

Over the years, updated their website, but in the process, many of my recipes were duplicated or moved.  I began to have as much trouble finding my recipes with this system as I had with the old system. On our first cold and snowy day last week, I set about to figure out a better system.

First I looked for a new online recipe file for my recipes from all the cards/books I  had with hard copy recipes.  I came upon  I was able to cut and paste my recipes from fairly easily. Once I had done that, I emailed all the recipes to myself and created a backup file on my computer in the event the website ever closes.

The next challenge was how to create a database of all the online recipes I have collected over the years, from and other websites. Google Bookmarks was the solution.  I was able to make a List on Google Bookmarks and divide it into sections.  The sections were categories, ie Appetizers.

Now all the recipes I have deemed "worthy of a card", in Karen's lingo, are safely housed in one of two locations, or Google Bookmarks.  I know if I was given the recipe by someone else, it is probably on RecipeThing...otherwise it is probably on Google.

Now you may wonder what I will do with all the cards/books/journals...I still have them.  I still have recipes I haven't tried that I still want to try. Once I make the recipes, they will either become "worthy" and be entered online, or they won't and the card will be tossed.

While the day seemed to be "wasted" on this project, I am glad everything is more streamlined.  During the process I also came across recipes I haven't made in a while which will help with meal planning.  I also came across some recipes I thought sounded good that haven't been made, so I will have options when I get into a cooking slump.

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