Thursday, June 16, 2011

Creating a Recipe Notebook

      When I married I thought I was somewhat knowledgable and skilled in the kitchen. It wasn't long before I discovered that that confidence was founded in the fact that only I had to eat what I created. Meal preparation growing up frequently involved opening frozen packages and some cans. Meals had to fit into the description of quick, convienent and cheap. My new husband, on the other hand, was used to more country living of hefty meats, fresh vegetables and lots of homemade items. Needless to say, I was completely lost and stressed as to how to provide for us in the home in regard to meals. He has actually been the one teaching me in the kitchen! My desire is to continuously grow in my abilities in the home and build a foundation or collection from which I can teach my (future) children.

     I began with creating a recipe book. I used a standard three ring binder, sheet protectors and tabs to create mine. You can do it with tabbed dividers and no sheet protectors, but you have to be more cautious of getting the pages messy which is hard to do in a kitchen. I following images are of a book I put together based on my needs:
     I used about 20 tabs for the sections. They include: Planning, Shopping, Recipes to Try, Homemade, Hospitality Meals, Appetizers/ Snacks, Beef, Beverages, Breakfast, Breads, Desserts, Fish/Seafood, Meatless, Pork, Poultry, Salads, Sides, Soups.

 The first section houses all my meal planning sheets. I love using these! You can find them for free at the Organized Home website. I keep all my previous sheets because I can use them again this time next year as a guide. Make meal planning simple on yourself!

       The next section is for shopping. If I have any coupons or know of any good sales then I record them here. I also like to keep food or nutrition information I find in this section as well. I like to have the fact sheets on foods or ingredients just to expand my own knowledge base of what I'm consuming. As you can see, I keep a list of organic vs. conventional produce. We can't buy organic exclusively, so here is my list of produce that is acceptable to buy conventionally and those that would be best organic.

   The third section is for that messy stack of recipes I've collected but have yet to actually make. I prefer to try to do a new recipe a week and keeping them organized in the binder helps me see what's up next. Again, if it's good then it gets typed, photographed and placed in the book for repeated meals. This sheet is also found at the Organized Home website (link above).

   Finally, I have the recipes themselves. I try to include what sides I served with a dish when I type it out. Again, make meal planning and preparation a simple and joyful activity. When I need the recipe, I can just snap it out of the binder and carry it to the kitchen with me without the need to tote a clumsy binder along. If something spills, then just wipe the cover clean. Once used, I return the page to the back of the section so that when I meal plan I can select the one on top without fears of having just eaten it last week.

    Providing budget-friendly, nutritionally sound, and tasty meals doesn't have to be a streasful activity. It sould be joyful as an element of service within the home. Adequate organization and planning are so important. As I grow in areas of homemaking I desire to share what I've learned with others now (and hopefully daughters in the future). I recently recreated my book for a relative soon to wed. When I thought of what would've been most needed when I married I quickly landed on one thing- guidance! So, made a starter book for her and then sewed some napkins and an apron. It's not a flashy gift from a store registry, but perhaps the gift of restoring the home and family is by far more valuable.

Just my simple little ideas that I hope will serve as encouragment :)


  1. GENIUS!!!! I am totally doing this. I have recipes written down all over the place. I definitely need to start organizing them. Plus I think it will be a great tool for my daughter someday.

  2. Thank you for your sweet comments on my blog. I love seeing godly young women like you doing it God's ways! I am a new follower and am happy to support you. May God bless you richly!

  3. I love your idea! I would have loved that as a present when I got married... perfect!

  4. I loved your story and how you came to putting together your cookbook. It is great! I am learning to cook for two (again) after rasing a family! Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed my visit today. (Thursday)
    Have a great day,

  5. Wonderful bridal gift! Thanks for sharing.


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