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Weekly Plan Tip #1: The Recipe Temple

June 25, 2010

The other week I went looking for a recipe I made three years ago. I knew it was in a cookbook, but was it one my Mom owned or one of mine? I knew there was a white bean mash involved, served under some meat, but was it lamb or steak? I don’t know about you, but not being able to find a recipe is not only mentally frustrating, but I crave that meal that “I don’t really know whats in it but it must be amazing I want it so badly” It puts me in a tough spot, both physically and emotionally. Just ask Z. Julie Powell breakdown alert.

Becoming a recipe enthusiast is a dangerous habit. Once you’re hooked, your Mom’s library of cookbooks becomes a new closet of Jimmy Choo’s (yet more affordable!), the internet a smorgasbord of calorie-free food porn. You mark pages, make photo copies, print index cards. You must have dinner parties! You must make souffle! Your supply of post-its dwindles away…

And then, you go crazy. Its just too much.

At least that how it went for me. I have a half dozen notebooks with recipes scribbled down, and I can’t count the number of bookmarked websites (I could say around 200, but that might be generous). Once you are “bitten by the bug” you end up with duck confit overload. As you can have too many guests at a party, you can find yourself with too many recipes in the kitchen.

It has taken me a long while and a lot of cookbook group therapy (“I promise I’ll cook with you next, Gordon Ramsey!“) to master the way to pick and choose recipes from week to week. I promise you, it can be done! No matter how many posts are starred in your Google Reader.

The only way I can manage recipes is by making the most awesome list ever. The way to reserve recipes your find anywhere, all in one convenient place! And if I had started this earlier, I wouldn’t still be hunting for that sundried tomato dip I know I copied somewhere when I was 12. Blast!

So here, my friends, I share my secret. The Recipe Temple. The most awesome recipe list ever.

1. Find a place to keep it. I chose a Google doc in my gmail account. That way I can access it from anywhere and it can be easily edited!

2. Decide how you want it organized. I like it by meal type (breakfast, dinner, dessert).

So you found yourself an amaaaaazing recipe!

(Yep, this is pretty amazing. I’ve made it before. Now, so should you!)

3. Go to your recipe temple.

4.Write down what the recipe is called (word for word, trust me!) and who its by/where its from under the correct category.

5. If its online: add a link to it. If its from a cookbook: see if you can find the recipe online and then create a link. I love looking at cookbooks, but it is so much easier to search for them quickly on the web. If you can’t find it, put the cookbook’s name. If its by word of mouth: write that recipe down!

6. Copy a list of the main ingredients and add them under the name.

Now all of your recipes from all of your favorite places are in one, easy to use spot!

There is so much more to say about how awesome having this list is (which I will get into as the weeks go on!). It almost makes me have the urge to cross reference. But if I really wanted to do that I probably should have gone to law school. Instead Z just chops it up to “I’m a girl and I like to make lists.” Yeah, he’s the one in law school πŸ™‚

12 Comments leave one →
  1. June 25, 2010 6:07 pm

    Sigh. In my next life, I will be this organized. You are very impressive!

  2. Lauren permalink
    June 25, 2010 6:42 pm

    I love this! I have all my recipes in two Gmail drafts, recipes and dessert recipes. But I love the idea of listing main ingredients in something more easily searchable! Will definitely work on setting this up soon, since printing out all the recipes would take hours… or days…

  3. June 25, 2010 8:01 pm

    I’ve been working on making my recipe doc FOREVER. Most of my recipes are from my mom, so I need to write them all down and every time I start I get lazy… and never finish. Hmm. I think I have a weekend project!

  4. June 26, 2010 11:45 am

    I do this! It has made life so much easier…never thought to share with my readers…you’re the best! And I am having a burger round-up – if you would like to add your Caesar Salad burger to it that would be great!

  5. June 27, 2010 4:28 am

    I love this idea! I’ve been trying to keep notebooks for recipes and it’ just isn’t working like I want it to. It’s hard to add recipes in the right place and then I don’t remember if I wrote the recipe down or if I printed it and all those little pieces of papers get lost real easy.

    I’m definitely going to start one of these. Thanks for sharing!

  6. June 27, 2010 9:59 am

    Soph, I love this! I’m always trying to keep organized and file recipes away for that special time when I’ll want them, but inevitably, they get lost in the shuffle and I have no clue where they’ve gone! You are a genius. THis is super helpful and what I absolutely need to be doing. I saved all of the as a Word doc but then my Word program got all messed up and now they’re all “read-only” so I can’t even edit them or copy and paste them! I’m doing this from now on! THanks, my darling!! LOVE the layout of your blog. Everything looks so amazing!

  7. June 27, 2010 12:00 pm

    You’ve reminded me that I should organize things a bit more πŸ™‚

  8. June 27, 2010 8:00 pm

    i have a working recipe document but it isn’t nearly as organized as that! I consider my blog my recipe book πŸ™‚

  9. June 28, 2010 1:00 pm

    Gahhh, I totally NEED to do this!!!!! You have no idea. I have probably about 200 recipes bookmarked on my comp. and I always mean to sort through them, but obviously never do. I was planning on sorting them in a bookmark system in Firefox, but your idea is fabulous too! Way to be the most organized person ever πŸ™‚

  10. June 28, 2010 7:12 pm

    I have so many saved too, it’s ridiculous. Like you said, we just need time (and empty bellies!) to cook them all!

  11. July 6, 2010 11:14 am

    Google Doc. Great idea! I always forget about Google Docs.

    You could take this one step further and make a whole recipe database so you can search by ingredient, meal, type of cuisine, etc…

    Also, thanks so much again for the Boston travel tips! Matt and I had an awesome time there. Boston is such a gorgeous city– the kind I could totally see myself living in.


  1. Weekly Plan Tip #2: Assessing Your Stock « Yumventures

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