Recipe Scrapbook: New 2011 Project

Posted 5 January, 2011 by Trish in Crafty, In the Kitchen / 49 Comments


I’m not creating any resolutions this year.  I started to write up this big post about all the issues I have with resolutions–the fact that they’re mostly unattainable lifestyle changes that no one really ever keep–but then I felt all smart-assy and so I decided to scrap it.  2011 for me needs to be about calmness and peace.  At least until the end of April when that baby comes…and then all bets are off. 

So, instead of telling you about why I’m not going to make any New Year’s Resolutions for 2011, I thought I’d instead randomly tell you about projects I’d like to work on this year.  I figure if the projects are “out there” then I’ll feel more compelled to actually work on them?  It’s a nice theory, anyway.

Recipe Scrapbook.


Please tell me you do this: tear out recipes from magazines or gather emails from friends or even have odd scraps of papers with recipes scrawled on them.  Surely I’m not alone.  My recipe stack has grown exponentially since subscribing to Real Simple [LOVE that magazine…even if I’m several months behind in reading] and it’s time for me to do something about it because I’m not going to cook any of those recipes when I have them all tucked away in a folder. 

So, the plan.  I’ve already bought the binder, dividers, and page protectors; have my sections worked out (you know…meats, salads, desserts, appetizers, etc); and even bought the fun colored paper to make the binder fun and exciting.  So, now I just need to go through the [hundreds of] recipes I have snipped over the years and compile them very neatly in the binder. 

The end product?  Being able to cook yummy and delicious recipes from a variety of sources!  Nevermind the dozen cook books I already have in my pantry. 

Neurotic? Maybe. But I’m at least trying to be an organized neurotic.  And besides, I’m convinced that my neuroses are what makes you love me so much?

What do you do with recipes you’ve collected over the years?  Do you have a system that works well for you?  Share your suggestions!

49 Responses to “Recipe Scrapbook: New 2011 Project”

  1. I need to get my recipes under control. Right now they are in a small shoe box sized rubbermaid. Everytime I need a recipe, I have to dig through it. So annoying! Maybe I’ll have to create a binder like you. Good luck.

  2. I was doing the same thing for the longest time. Finally I sat down and put together a recipe binder with tabs, sheet protectors and everything, and it was such a great decision. Now all my favorite recipes are in one place and I can use them all the time! I highly recommend you doing this project. :)

  3. I can hold my hands up to be just the same. I actually made a folder like yours many years ago, before the girls came along and found it worked really well. I may make a new one this year too. I already have the dividers and a spare folder in need of a new identity.

  4. Those REal Simple recipes get me too! I keep tearing them out and putting them in random places. I need to at least collect them all in one spot. I have a recipe box, but I don’t find it convienent to use. Years ago I had a journal type book, but that just gets fatter and fatter with clipings.

    What if you put one in the binder and then don’t like it? Do you need to try it first? Will they be removable?

    And what about links to recipes? I can’t figure out a way to remember what I’ve saved so I never go back and try those.

    It’s not giving me the option to have followup comments emailed!

  5. You know, I’m actually pretty good at setting attainable new years goals and completing some of them. I usually set quite a few, so that I have some flexibility, and I usually fail about half of them, but that means I still complete half. But I try to be very specific, rather than general as most resolutions are, and that really helps. I never used to keep resolutions, but starting about a decade ago I kept my first one and have done really well in the years since.

  6. Yep, do that too. Have hundreds upon hundreds of torn out of magazines and printed off the internet recipes. All shoved into labeled folders (desserts somehow seems to be the fattest :P ). But I refuse to actually copy them down and add them to my recipe files until I’ve actually tried them. Which means my folders grow fatter all the time…because I’m way better at collecting recipes than I am at actually trying them.

    Good luck, Trish!!! And I can’t to see what other projects you have up your sleeve. :D

  7. Trish I am guilty as charged. HEHE I am really bad on going through magazines and ripping out recipes to keep plus with friends sharing their recipes I have a ton printed out. What a need idea. Hmm gives me an idea to do that with my favorite recipes.

    Like you I have a ton of cookbooks.

  8. Oh my! I do the EXACT same thing. I just finished ripping out recipes from the new Rachael Ray issue LOL. I have some “handmade” cookbooks where I just organize in a 3 hole punch binder and I have folders and folders with paperclips or post its just waiting to be organized! Maybe I’ll tackle that project with you this year!

  9. Oh my. Seems that this problem is very popular. :-) I too have loads of recipes torn out of various magazines – I’m addicted to cooking magazines and to cookbooks and have tons of both. I have some magazines organised by month so that I use seasonal ingredients but what I need to do is go through them, tear out what I like and trash the rest.

    I’ve done a binder before, but still didn’t cook from it. I think that only tried recipes should go in the binder, no? Although I recently read that someone would put one recipe per page so that they could get rid of that recipe easily if it was tested and not that great…

    I hope loads more people answer you plea for suggestions. :-)

    Maybe we should create a challenge! :-)))

  10. My wife loves Real Simple too.

    She has recipes scrawled on sheets of paper, printed out emails, and many recipes that were printed out from Food She gathered it all and made this tabbed/indexed binder so she can find them all. Plus she has probably 25 cookbooks in our pantry.

    So no, you aren’t alone. :-)

  11. Ugh – we used to get Taste of Homes magazine, and we would snip the recipes. I hate it, thouhg. We have teh recipes aroudn, and everytime I need to use one I have this illogical aversion, knowing I’ll have to dig out the recipe, that 95% of what I’m digging through we may never actually cook, not because recipe collecting is a bad thing, but I’m not capable of it.. I’m not a ery good recipe person anyway, which is unfortunately awful for Amanda, because it makes my cooking terrifically inconsistent…

  12. Recipes, yea I quit collecting because I knew that nothing would ever happen with them. I went through my scrap recipes not that long ago and put them in my book if I thought that they were easy enough to try. We don’t try new stuff very often because Chaz is so dang picky, and I always forget to put the new ingredients on my shopping list.

    I think that projects are kind of resolutions. The recipe book is something that you were wanting to do, but you kept putting off. In 2011, you have decided to at least start it. I think that projects can be good goals too.

  13. Wow–I just realized what terrible pictures those are! Oops!

    *Kristi – LOL–hopefully you at least keep your shoebox close to the kitchen? My pile is in the TV stand. ;)

    *Heatherlo – Yes! And endorsement! Glad this worked for you, too–will take time but otherwise what’s the point, right?

    *Vivienne – Until your girls came. Uh oh. ;) Since you already have all the stuff, why not create one too!

    *Lisa – And there’s SO many Real Simple recipes. And they all look so good. Glad I’m not alone. I’ll make them removeable or someone below suggests one page per recipe–though some are so small! Ya, links–never go back to those. Or recipes in Google Reader that I’ve starred. Shameful!

    *Amanda – Hope I didn’t offend with my statement–I’m just really lousy at keeping resolutions so I don’t make them. Know they work for others!

    *Debi – LOL–yes, the desserts. ;) I have quite a bit of those, too. I’m thinking we need a cooking challenge. Forget books–let’s cook!

    *Cindy – At least we’re all in good company, huh? Maybe we need a book AND recipe support group. ;)

    *Kristina – Yup, I have several of those Rachel Ray recipes as well! If you continue with the binder, let us/me know how it goes!

    *Joanna – Ok, I’m thinking you’re right about the challenge. “Whip up something new” challenge where we all cook one new recipe (from our stash) a month? ;) I like the idea of one recipe per page but some are so small. Not sure what to do if I don’t like the recipe–cover with paper or a new recipe. Yikes–great point!

    *Paxton – Any chance you can convince your wife to start blogging so that we can be best friends? Recipes, quilting–think there’s something there. ;)

    *Jason – Don’t cook with recipes!?! I think you need to write a post an explain this to me. If I cook something enough I can improvise (though never with baking) but unfortunately I’m not creative enough to do recipes on my own.

    *Brooke – Yes, you’re right that secretly these little projects of mine are goals and resolutions. Though, I guess the resolution is to be a more produtive person than a better/skinnier person. ;) Anyway–at least you have a recipe book already! I don’t even have that.

    *Stephanie – Oh no, “Expectant Mom Nesting Instinct”! Ha! Maybe so. Mostly I’m just trying to keep my hands busy since I’m not reading as much lately. If I find any good recipes in the stack I’ll share!

  14. I do exactly what you are doing. I have a three ring binder with page protectors divided into sections. New recipes just slip right in. Have fun and good luck!

  15. Duh, I have been so dense. I put them in page protectors in a binder but haven’t bothered sorting by entree, dessert, etc so I’m constantly flipping through the book looking for the recipe I want. I have to do this now. thanks! :)

  16. My daughter and I have a scrapbook for all the recipes we want to try. One of our new year’s resolutions is to try one recipe out of our book every week.

  17. You are much more intelligent than me. Rather than ripping the page out of the magazine, I save the whole magazine…. then I have to remember what’s what, and that never happens so I never use the recipes. Crazy, huh?

  18. Not neurotic at all! When Carl asks me what I want for a gift, I tell him that I want my recipes organized. You could probably make a business out of this!

  19. I used to do something similar – although I went for clear pages in a boring binder, not a scrapbook – but nowadays I’ve got a program on my computer that I type ’em into.

    …although I also have a folder called “Recipes” on my hard drive waiting to be typed, which is not so different from the folder of recipes waiting to be scrapbooked. :)

  20. That is such a great idea! And that’s for your comment on my blog a couple weeks ago. I’ve been meaning to email you but the holidays have been a bit crazy. I’d love to get your input. I’ll be in touch soon!

  21. I am very bad both at general and to the point New year Resolutions!

    I like this idea of yours. This year I want to create an album for Aarya’s every year in photos :) I am thinking how to do it, though.

  22. :-) I’d do a challenge!

    As you say, one recipe from our stash per month and we could rotate who hosts it and collects the links from participants each month to get people involved and to highlight others’ blogs? They do this rotation thing on cooking blogs for their challenges and it works really well!

  23. I love Joanna’s idea! I would love to participate in a challenge like that. I had planned on trying on trying at least one new recipe per month anyway.

  24. What a great idea! I’m terrible about making the same few meals over and over again. I just started receiving the magazine Southern Living (Christmas gift), and I already have marked a few recipes to try out. They have been added to my jumble of recipes. I really like your idea! Plus it’s a fun excuse to go to Hobby Lobby to buy fun paper! :)

  25. *Mawbooks – Glad it works out for you–gives me hope!

    *Debbie – LOL! I think the only reason I thought of the dividers is because once upon a time I was going to create a recipe book with family recipes for my mom and sisters so already had the categories separate. Otherwise they’d probably all be in a jumble (once I got them in the binder that is).

    *Vasilly – I love the idea of a new recipe every week! Let us know if you find anything yummy to share.

    *Kate – You keep the WHOLE magazine? Despite the clutter in my house (have you seen Scott’s stack of magazines?), I can’t hold on to magazines anymore. Funny mommy.

    *Bermuda – Hmmm–how to profit off other people’s disorganization without having to get too organized myself. ;)

    *Fyrefly – I call it a scrapbook but I’m definitely not that fancy–I’d have to give up precious reading time! ;) Do you test drive the recipes before typing them up?

    *Steph – We’re thinking about a recipe challenge–if we do I hope you’ll join!

    *Veens – I’m not a scrapbooker so I don’t have any suggestions for Aarya’s album. Except start NOW! Don’t wait until your kids are almost 30 like my dear mom. ;)

    *Joanna – I like your idea of rotating blogs. I tweeted about a challenge idea yesterday and got some bites. Are you wanting to take the reigns?

    *Lisa and Kristi – Yay! Like I told Joanna, I tweeted about a recipe challenge yesterday and got some bites, so it sounds like we might have a little group of us!

    *Laura – ANY excuse to go to Hobby Lobby is a great one! ;) I’ll be curious what you think of Southern Living! They always have such pretty covers.

  26. Probably about half the time? I’ll usually try a main-dish recipe before typing it up, but desserts and appetizers and things I’ll type up and go back to actually make them later when I’m in the mood for cookies or need fingerfoods to bring to a party.

  27. I do this! Sort of. I have a folder of loose recipes, but the ones I’ve tried and liked get typed up (I like having everything matchy-matchy…and I love having the digital file I can just send via email if anyone ever asks for a copy) and put into a binder. My binder also includes a lot of my family’s classic recipes, so it’s a great reference!

    Good luck with your project…and if you find any especially good recipes, you’ll have to let us know!

  28. I love this idea so much Trish :) What I do with my recipes is transcribe them into a notebook. To sort of make my own personal cookbook. I’ve always loved reading handwritten recipes. There’s something about them that just warms my heart *sappy*. So I had a nice journal handmade by a friend a while back to hold my recipes. But the problem is, I end up LIKE YOU with a pile of recipes that I haven’t transcribed yet :p I LOVE this idea :D And I’m totally with you on resolutions by the way…hate them :/

  29. Hi Trish – Guess what? You won a journal and art kit! When you get a chance visit my blog and check the link to my Etsy shop. You can choose any journal you want :)

  30. shall i send you the real simple recipe for cranberry cream pie i’ve had magneted to my fridge for THREE YEARS? lol. i’ve never gotten around to making it and recently checked it out online. it got terrible reviews! ha. glad i never made it.

    love your binder idea, though. very organized. show finished results, won’t you?

    hope you’re feeling great!

    –nat @book, line, and sinker

    ps. would you be able to allow comments from NAME/URL? it’s easier for self-hosted bloggers. thanks.

  31. I totally did this a couple of years ago! I used those page protectors that hold photos so that the recipe cards fit perfectly. I actually have two. One has the recipes that I’ve tried and copied onto cards, the other has regular page protectors with the recipes that I’m still hoping to get to someday.

  32. Hey, Trish! I came here from Veens’s blog, and am loving your space. Really. It’s such a nice mix of books and life in general. :) I’ll be coming back for more, that’s for sure.

    As for your question, I used to collect a lot of recipes from newspapers earlier,but hardly do so now. Now, I usually bookmark recipes from food blogs. Of late, I’ve started noting them down in my diary. Whenever a friend or colleague teaches me a recipe, I put that down in my diary too. Later, after I’ve tried and tested them, the final version goes on my cooking blog – with due credit to the person who gave me the recipe. :)

  33. I’m the most unorganized recipe collector myself. This actually sounds like a really good idea and a project that I could begin as well :) Good luck with it!

  34. Oh recipes…you delightful little things that just pop up everywhere and mamke me want to keep you.
    Several years ago I had a recipe culling, weeding most of the crap I knew I would never make.
    Noe that time has passed, I have a recipe folder in a filing cabinet, a folder in my kitchen drawer, email folders at work and home with recipes, and then there’s AllREcipes, where you can save crap in there. Oh yea and Pillsbury.

    I make very few recipes. Hopefully you will have more success than me :) You do cook though, I have seen those fantastic pics.

  35. I don’t cook much, anymore, but I do occasionally tear out recipes that look good. Most of them end up on the fridge till we try them and if they’re good we’ll write them down on recipe cards. I used to tear out interesting articles, recipes, craft ideas . . . anything and everything . . . and put them in page protectors in big notebooks, but not long ago I took those ancient things and pitched them all at once. It was pretty funny looking at business and fashion tips from the 80’s and 90’s. My, how things have changed.

  36. I LOVE this idea! I am not a scrap-booker but I always think they look so neat and this is a really great concept. Plus, it’ll give you some practice before little Miss arrives in April! Perhaps once you get the book in order you can start bringing the taste sensations to work. Eh? EHHHH??!?! :)

  37. Well, if you’re neurotic, then so am I! I have one binder like you describe, and now I’m working on a second one because I’ve run out of room. I am a recipe clipper…and once I’ve clipped out the recipes I want, I pass the magazine on to another cook to share. Right now I have a folder with about 60 clipped recipes and I need to get started at sorting them! Thanks for the reminder :)

  38. Sorry to be so lame in my late response!

    *Fyrefly – Brave girl experimenting with food for parties. ;) Your method, though, sounds much more organized than mine!

    *Erin – In a perfect world I’d love to have all the recipes typed up. I have about 50 or so family recipes typed and it is so nice to email them if I need to, but the thought of typing all these sends me into panic-overdrive! :)

    *Trisha – LOL—well, there’s time for organization in life and time for not so much. No worries, right?

    *Chris – I absolutely ADORE the idea of your handwritten recipe journal, Chris! So romantic in a way. Though, like you, I’d be seriously backed up—thought of hand cramps, yikes!

    *Michelle – I wish I had received your organizational genes. Those and the tall genes must have skipped my family! :P

    *Iliana – Eeeeeeeeeeeee! So excited about the journal!

    *Natalie – Well now, you need to join the Whip Up Something New Challenge and make that cranberry cream pie! ;) About the comments, you are the first to ask about name/url abilities since I removed them. I initially removed because I was tired of dealing with the spam—and actually it’s easier to return comments when people use their open ID rather than name/url. But, they’re now allowed. Strange to make an exception for a first time commenter, but there you go. Although, if the spam gets too bad, I’m going to have to restrict again since there have been no previous complaints.

  39. *Lisa – Great idea about having two binders—one for the tried and true and one for the possibilities. I hadn’t thought about not liking the recipes until writing up this post and seeing the suggestions!

    *Priyaiyer – Welcome. ;) A cooking blog!! I’ll definitely have to check out your blog as I love seeing new recipes. Your methods sound so organized.

    *Samantha – I hope you’ll join us for the monthly cooking challenge! Think you already said you did (lame Trish responding to comments late).

    *Jenny Girl – LOL—you crack me up with your overflowing recipes. Sounds like my books—try to cull them but they seem to multiply before I can get them read. is a sneaky little site, huh?

    *Bookfool – I think even recipes have changed a lot over the years. Sure there are classics but I found my mom’s Betty Crocker cookbook at a booksale and had to have it. It’s a 1970s edition and I have to laugh at the addition of Microwave Recipes! Does anyone bake casseroles in a microwave anymore?

    *Joanna – Thank you so much for organizing the challenge!!

    *Meredith – Scrapbooking. Love the idea but you’re right—in reality who has time! ;) And perhaps I’ll bring some creations up to work. I’m always so nervous bringing goodies for other people, though!! Ha!

    *Wendy – Glad to hear this type of method works for you! Do you cook from the recipes? And what happens if you discover you don’t like them? (something that hadn’t crossed my mind until the comments on this post). Love hearing everyone’s suggestions!!

    *Beth F – Ooooh, can’t wait to check out how you’re organizing your recipes!