Last weekend I had a chance to reorganize my recipe binder. I'm picturing you reading that in a monotone voice because it doesn't look like a very exciting sentence. But let me assure you that for this organization-loving gal there are lots of implied exclamation marks. When I read it, it's more like this: Last weekend I had a chance to reorganize (!!!!) my recipe (!!!) binder (!!!). See? So fun!
I first wrote about my plan for recipe organization here. Even though I think the system will work well for me I haven't been using my binder a lot. This is mostly due to lack of time but also to needing a bit more work on organizing my recipes. Back to last weekend. We got together with good friends and the dads watched the babies while my friend and I happily worked on recipe organization. Don't we all wish every weekend could include a few hours of an organization project?
In a way I started over again because I decided to transfer the contents of my binder to a smaller version. I picked up this cute little number at Staples; it's holds half-sheet size pages and I bought dividers, velcro pockets, and page protectors in that size as well. I also took time to print out several recipes from food blogs. I made use of my Pinterest Foodspiration board to find the recipes I've been meaning to make or ones that were great but I had forgotten.
I'm still using the approach of only putting a recipe in a page protector if I've tried it and decided I would make it again. I'm keeping recipes that I want to try in a velcro pocket at the front of each section. For now my sections are: main dishes; starters, sides and salads; breads and breakfast; dessert; salad dressings, pickles, other things that don't quite fit elsewhere; and drinks. If the secitons become very full I might break out the main dishes into it's own binder. Who knows how crazy I could get?!
For recipes that I printed from blogs (Shutterbean is a favorite) I created a multi-page PDF and chose the option of printing a booklet. This will print two half-page recipes per page. I also found that I could create a landscape-orientation Word document with two text columns and copy and paste the recipe text with the same result.
I wondered if the half-page size binder might be hard to work with but I found it wasn't a problem at all and I'm really glad I went with this size. I had lots of recipes from the now out-of-print Everyday Food (I can hardly say the name; I miss that magazine so much!) which were half-sheet size and other recipes from magazines could easily be cut to fit. The compact size is easier to manage and somehow the binder is more fun to flip through.
My complete recipe/meal planning/grocery shopping organization is still in progress but I'm happy with any steps in the right direction. Next up is creating a standard grocery list template that I can use every week. Stay tuned!