Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Recipe Systems - How I handle Magazines & Cookbooks

I love cooking magazines! At present my favorites are EVERYDAY with RACHAEL RAY and Cook's Illustrated.

In the past I have had trouble remembering to try the recipes that looked good in magazines. By the time I thumb thru them and find a recipe to make, my window of grocery shopping opportunity is over. After having this happen repeatedly I've devised a method for working with cooking magazines.

When I am ready to do my first reading of the magazine I sit down at the table with my magazine, a lined post-it tablet, a pen & a cup of tea. As I go thru the magazine I note recipes that I think I might like to try in the future. I write one on each line. I include Page Number then the name of the recipe.

When I have gone thru the magazine I stick the list to the front cover of the magazine, then when I am doing my menu planning & grocery list I can quickly find recipes I'm interested in, without having to read the whole magazine. As I try the recipes I star or highlight recipes I like, and mark out the line of any recipe I didn't like so I don't forget and make it again.

My method for cookbooks is similar except that I use a regular tablet instead of post-it style and I tuck the paper into the pages of the cookbook. I update the list with new recipes because I find new things appeal to me on later readings (and I seldom make my way thru the whole book in one sitting.) After I have made a recipe I star or highlight recipes on the list & in the cookbook index. I also write comments in the book next to the recipe such as "Great, Ethan love this one", "This is nice with Asparagus" or "Ick, Never Again!" When I mark in the book I use my scrapbooking journaling pens, I learned my lesson on this one as I have had ink bleed over the years some of my cookbooks when using regular pens. To my way of thinking, a well marked Cookbook is a well-loved cookbook.

How do you do it... I'd love to hear your methods!


Anonymous said...

Wow, what a great system, thanks for sharing it! I have NO system so this is great for me!!
Hope you are having a great Thanksgiving!

Cynthia said...

Great tip! I have sticky notes sticking out of all my magazines and then I have to thumb through to find what I want. I will try the list on the front cover.

April said...

Glad to be of help! I have done the sheet of paper thing in cookbooks for years (thinking back I now remember that my Mom used to list recipes she had tried on a sheet of paper she kept in each cookbook.) At one point I was making lists in a notebook, but that didn't work very well. When I saw that they sold lined post-it pads - it was one of those "Aha" moments!

Carrie said...

Great tip! Love the idea! TFS!

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