Cooking Notebooks

I work full-time.  So does my husband.  I'm also in grad school.  So is my husband.  When it comes to planning meals and cooking dinner, we don't have time to mess around looking through shelves full of cookbooks.

Which is great, because we don't have any shelves full of cookbooks.  Years ago, I decided that cookbooks were meant to be ripped apart page by page.  Really.  Every cookbook/cooking magazine I own will eventually be torn apart.  I keep the good recipes, and I throw away the ones I will never try.  The good ones get put into one of my four cooking notebooks:


These notebooks are full of page protectors and recipe card holders, so when I find a recipe that I like, no matter what format it's in, I can put it right into the notebook.  No copying recipes onto tiny cards.  Who has time for that?  Here are some of the recipe types you'll find in my notebooks:


I love that last picture because it shows a scrap of paper where a friend scribbled down a recipe for my husband one day.  I really don't rewrite anything- I just throw it in the notebook.  

I also don't put recipes into my notebooks until I've tried them at least once.  Every time I find some new recipes I would like to try, I stick them in the front pocket of the appropriate notebook.  I don't put them into the notebook until I know we like them.  And if something doesn't turn out well, the recipe goes in the trash.  Why bother keeping a recipe you're not going to use again?  :)
My dinner notebook has been especially helpful for planning meals.  When it's time to go grocery shopping, it's really easy to grab the notebook and page through it in order to choose dinners for the week.  It's great to know that my husband and I both like every recipe in there (unlike a regular cookbook.)


I hope I've given you some ideas to think about.  If you decide to make your own set of cooking notebooks, let me know how it turns out.  Happy organizing!


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