March 12, 2010

get your homemade cookbook binder right here

We hosted a very impromptu birthday party here this week. It was a super blast and I figured out two things:

Number One: always keep an eye on the birthday girl/boy (no matter how old they are) because you might lose them.  At one point, we did indeed lose our birthday girl who should have been sitting

 eventually I found the guest of honor and sat her back down with bribes of birthday cake and presents.

Number Two: I am terrible at taking pictures during birthday parties.  My goodness!  I think it's because I get so excited about whatever the gathering is, that I can't focus and think like a photographer.  Instead, I just whip my camera this way and that hoping some shoot might turn out.  As you can see from above- this method doesn't work so well.  
I'll have to develop a, um, better technique.
Back to the gifts- I swear by my homemade cookbook binder and since had been eyeing mine up, I made her one of her very own.

Listen up because they are easy to make and handy for a) anyone who likes to cook  b) people who tend to be disorganized with their recipes c) someone who has way too many Internet recipes or Cooking Light magazines lying around.

To begin with you need a 3 ring binder.  Get the size that would work best for you. 

Decorate the outside to suit your fancy.  My personal one is plain Jane, but I snazzed J's up a bit by wrapping it in brown paper and embellishing with stickers and scrapbook paper that I got at Michael's.

Gather up some tabbed file dividers, I got mine at Staples, decide what categories you'd like in your binder and then label the tabs.  Mine are:
breakfast, appetizers, soup/bread, rice/pasta, drinks, meats, chicken, seafood, pork, veggies, fruit, sauces etc, cakes, pies, cookies, desserts/frostings etc

You now have the skeleton outline of your cookbook binder.  The next part will take some time as you pick and choose what to add into each category and gather up all those recipes from your assorted sources.  
Once you're all moved in, it will feel wonderful and all your favorite recipes will be at your fingertips!  If you don't watch though, new recipes will slowly begin to take over your kitchen (and your life) again.

Remain vigilant people! 

My method for dealing with new recipes involves a few folders.  I've labeled them general/drinks, winter, spring/summer, fall.  Whenever I find new recipes to try, I put them in one of these folders and then eventually get around to trying them.  You don't necessarily need to organize seasonally, but it works awesome for me. 

If I like the recipe, it moves into the binder.  Otherwise, it moves on to recycling; leaving my cookbook binder, neat, tidy and full of recipes I know and love.  Mangia!


Kate@And Then I Was a Mom said...

T.J., do you ever sleep? You produce more gorgeous things and host more guests than anyone else I know. Please: Immediately send whatever vitamins you are taking my way.

Kate said...

I agree with Kate! You are amazing and I need your vitamins. You even cook with leeks! Non of us can keep up!

Pam said...

Love the binder idea. Somehow the index cards in a hand made box with recipes taped on, get yellow and dried out over the years, like some of the dishes ......... imagine that!
Smiling ...........

T.J. said...

You've figured out my food that provides superhero like powers, girls! LEEKS the WONDER VEGGIE, but Shhhhh, don't tell ;)

Jennifer Campbell said...

Wow... what a great gift... love your creations!!!

lady macleod said...

Wonderful photographs in spite of your difficulties! The homemade cookbook - great idea and I'm sure your friend appreciated the gift. I love giving gifts that are unique or that I have made. Nice blog, thank you for the visit.

Jennifer said...

I am soooooo into my cookbook! Thank you! The first recipe I want to put in there is the chicken dish we ate that night! I showed it to Tom today and he said, "oh, I read about that online"! :)

Jennifer said...

Followed by this recipe, which you can eat after lent!

Colleen said...

I also have a binder full of my favorites and family recipes, but it's not nearly as organized as yours. I often think about organizing them, but haven't yet. Maybe I never will. shrug

T.J. said...

Mmmmm, I'm on that Jennifer as soon as bacon is back in my daily *ahem* I of course mean monthly, meals ;)

Erin said...

I have a binder for my recipes, too, but they're not nearly as organized as yours---I think I only have 5 dividers and I can never seem to find what I need quickly. Clearly I need a few more dividers---and a fun/fancy cover!

p.s. thanks for publicly admitting (in the comments) on my blog that you have a lovey, too! I don't feel so stupid & alone now!

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