Mangia Mondays:: Organizing Recipes

Good Monday my friends! I hope you had a wonderful weekend and a happy Easter if you celebrate it!  We are lucky enough to have lots of family nearby and enjoyed not one, but two Easter dinners yesterday! 

It was determined on Easter Sunday that my eldest child, at age 12, is officially taller than all his grandparents, mother and possibly father (who is in denial about this!)

Since I wasn’t hosting either dinner, I had oodles of time to spend going through all my recipes and realized I have an issue with collecting them.  I’m a recipe hoarder, it’s true!  I have tons of cookbooks but am always pulling recipes out of magazines or printing them off blogs like yours!  I love trying what you link up to Mangia Mondays, this fun blog hop masterminded by my fabulous friend Kristin of Delightfully Dowling!  

I was overdue for a recipe file clean-up, and thought I’d share with you a system that has worked for me for several years, which I’m now handing down to my niece.

As a gift for Angela this past Christmas, I started pulling together all my favorite tried-and-true recipes for her.  I bought these two cute quatrefoil binders at Staples that are pretty enough to keep on the kitchen counter or shelf, along with dividers, and copied recipes from my files to put in them.  I love having my own recipes in binders that I can open on my counter or put on a plate stand when I am cooking. 

As I do for myself, I have Angela’s binders divided into categories that haved worked for me (I need more dividers!  I went crazy dividing these recipes into categories!)

starch veggies (potatoes, risotto, corn)
cookies and bars
desserts (of the non-cookie/bar variety – cakes, etc.)
take out menus
 “other” for miscellaneous food-related articles or kitchen tips.

Other sections you might consider:  vegetarian dishes, allergy-friendly,  meatless entrees, holidays (cakes and treats specific to Halloween, for example).

I also added a plastic sleeve for storing food and tablescape photos that might be inspiring. 

This first photo below is a beautiful veggie & dip display on tiered plates. 

Each binder is labeled with the contents:

I made sure to buy binders that have pockets inside.  Before I officially add a recipe to my own books I pop it into the pocket until I have a chance to try it and determine if it’s a keeper or not.  In the past I would have 50,000 recipes that I never tried clogging up my files.  When I’d go searching for a recipe I would find myself feeling overwhelmed – the exact opposite feeling I want to get from a hobby I love!

I keep a 3-hole punch in a drawer in my kitchen, and if a recipe is a keeper it has the honor of joining the binder. 

I also make notations on the recipe about changes or if a dish was greatly enjoyed.  (I do this in my cookbooks too – very helpful the next time around!)

It’s a bit of work to organize your recipes initially but once you do it it’s a breeze to maintain. 
Do you have a system for organizing your recipes?  What has worked for you?
I love chatting with you about food every Monday and can’t wait to see what you’ve got cooking this week!
Mangia Mondays Guidelines:

• Add a link to your recipe or food post {not your blog homepage} & visit some of the others who have linked up before you!
• We appreciate you not linking to giveaways, other link parties or items you are selling.
• Link back by putting the Mangia Mondays button in your post or anywhere on your blog to let others know you’ve joined the party.
• Help spread the word about Mangia Mondays with others by sharing this post!