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Use All of Those Recipes!

August 28, 2011

I LOVE to cook and have an entire shelf of cookbooks. However, I have discovered that some of my favorite recipes are the ones given to me by friends or the recipes that I clip from random newspapers and magazines. I also love clipping recipes off the packaging of groceries that I buy. Even better though are the ones that I create myself – either because I don’t have all the ingredients and I need to improvise or ***ahem*** because I goof on the recipe and accidentally make something surprisingly delicious.  

I had tried many different ways of organizing all these little clippings. I’ve used recipe boxes, but I had simply TOO many recipes for that! I also had a hard time searching through my tiny shreds of paper to find just the right recipe for the occasion. So I ended up barely ever using these fabulous recipes that I had been collecting since I was fifteen years old.  

Here is one of my Ministers of Disorganization, Oliver.

Then I had a brilliant idea! Why not turn a photo album into a recipe book?? I bought three very plain albums that were set up as three ring binders and could hold two 4×6 inch photos per side. Many recipe websites such as and allow you to print recipes in a 4×6 inch format. Other recipes I taped onto note cards so that they would not slip around so much. Sometimes I use scraps of cardstock that you can find at almost any craft store. They add fun bursts of color to the recipes. Click here for the brand I use.

 I still found that I had some recipes that were entire magazine pages that I didn’t want to cut apart. I decided to fold them so that I could still see the name of the recipe but so that they would fit into the photo slot.

 Then I organized the albums into categories similar to a cookbook. Of course, I made some of my own categories so that it would be user-friendly for my purposes. For example, I have an entire section just for pancakes since I have so many recipes for them and never think to look for them under “bread.” Since I am a HUGE fan of chocolate, I have also separated my desserts sections into spots for brownies, cheesecakes, bars, pies, etc.

I put little tabs that you can find in any office supply store onto the first page of each section and put a white sticker on the outside of the album to show which categories are in each book.


Some people might prefer to use larger folders that hold 8.5×11 paper and slip full sheet recipes into page protectors. Whatever works for you. I prefer the shorter photo albums since they are closer in height to my other recipe books. Whichever option you choose, the shiny pages let you easily wipe off any splatters… not that I EVER make a mess when I cook!

I have used my recipes SO much more often since I have done this! 

Do any of you have great techniques that have helped you organize your recipes?


From → Cooking, Organizing

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