Today I want to share with you one of my favorite things from my kitchen: My Recipe Binder!
Back when I was a newlywed, I didn’t really have a lot of recipes. I had a few family favorites written down in a little book my grandma made me, but that was about it. I love to cook, but let’s just say I “perfected” the three or four meals I knew how to make. 😉 Even though I wanted to cook well, I needed more ideas and recipes. I could have gone out and bought a bunch of cookbooks, but I’m kind of picky. I’m a visual person, so unless the cookbook had a picture with every recipe, I stayed away from it. I don’t like trying a new recipe if I haven’t seen what it looks like yet. (Anyone else like that? Please say yes!) Around this same time I had a pretty good collection of magazines that I just couldn’t seem to part with. They were starting to take over, and it was time to purge. I decided to go through each one and pull out any pictures or ideas or articles I wanted to keep (this was BP – Before Pinterest). There were a ton of recipes, too, so I began pulling out those as well. Over the course of a few years I had quite the recipe collection (with pictures!!), so my next step was to protect them with plastic sheet protectors. I bought a large box of them at an office supply store and started arranging the pages to form a book.
The thing I really like about this part was that I arranged my recipes the way I like looking up what I want to cook: by main ingredient or what the dish actually is. So if I want to make a chicken dish, I look up chicken – not main dishes. If we want to eat pie, I go to the pie section – not desserts. This is easier for me because I can choose what I am cooking according to what ingredients I have. That’s what so great about making a recipe binder for yourself – you can tailor it to how YOU want it to be. It’s like making your own cookbook without having to buy one from Barnes and Noble. So, my cookbook is alphabetized and arranged according to what I would look for in the glossary of other cookbooks.
Once all of the recipes were in a protective sheet, I added them to a binder. Another cool thing about making your own cookbook: you get to decide the cover! I chose the flower because it is vintage…ahem…I’ve had it since I was a teenager and really really love it!
When it’s time to cook something, I just pull the recipe out of the binder and put it on my recipe stand. Once the dish is complete, I can wipe the page off and put it back in the binder.
When creating your own recipe binder, it really is all about how you would like a cookbook to be if you could create your own. Some people need dividers or tabs. Some people want handwritten recipes. (There are a ton of cute recipe card printables online.) Maybe you only like recipes with pictures like me. Anyway you look at it, it is YOUR personal binder, and you can make it any way you like it! Once you create one, you have a very personalized cookbook with all of your favorite recipes. This collection will take time and will evolve with you. But it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to create your own recipe binder using recipes you find online, in magazines, or passed down from family members.