52 Projects is an adventure in discovery. Every week, for 52 weeks, do something. Something you’ve never done before. Something you’ve always wanted to do. Something that scares you. Something that inspires you. Something that inspires others. Something that tickles your fancy. Something that caught your eye. Something that just popped into your head. It can be big. It can be small. It can be whatever you want it to be. Find out how doing something can lead you to discover things about yourself, your world, your God. Then, come here on Sundays and share it with others. I'll write about mine here, you write about yours on your blog, then use the tool in my post to link to your something. Please feel free to jump in and participate anytime throughout the year!


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Week 13: Major recipe organization

I almost felt a little guilty for not posting something pretty and colorful this week but my project was one that has been long overdue. For nearly 15 years I’ve been storing old cooking magazines, snips of paper with handwritten recipes and lots of printed recipes from the computer. All said and done, there were hundreds and I had absolutely no system of organization for them. You know the drill. You’re sitting in the doctor’s office waiting for your appointment when you come across a great recipe in a magazine, tear the page out and stuff it in your handbag. Or you print out a recipe from the Internet and throw it on top of a mail pile. We always think we’ll put them away but most of the time we never do. Overall, I’ve really needed to start getting some organization in my life and this was a great way to jump in and get my feet wet.

All week I spent an hour here and an hour there sorting them in to piles: chicken, fish, meat, veggies, desserts, soups, pasta dishes, etc. It was a great opportunity to trash about half of the recipes that I’d never looked at or made in all these years. At some point during the early 90's I must have had a fixation with crab cakes, pasta fagioli and African peanut soup; I had at least a dozen recipes for each one of those things. I even found an old flyer that I made when my son was a toddler and thought he lost his stuffed Barney. The biggest challenge with this project was determining how I wanted to group all the recipes. I had enough stir fry recipes to feed half of China and within that some were chicken, some were shrimp, some were beef; did they deserve their own binder?

To finish the project, I went to the dollar store and purchased a handful of binders. I sat down at the dining room table with a three hole punch and made new homes for all of the recipes. Thankfully 80% of my recipes were on full sized pages or paper but I've still got to work on getting the stray ones mounted on paper and put in with the others. Yes, I’ve still got more work to do and a few more binders to purchase but the initial groundwork has been done. I never discovered my "inner chef" until a few years ago after a divorce. I love that I finally have a nice system in place to find and look at some yummy potentials. At some point I’ll go in to each binder, make sub-categories and alphabetize them. I'd also like to work my way through each and every remaining recipe and only keep the tried and true. But for now, I’m going to sit back and bask in the glory of organized recipes.



What did you do this week? Take a visit over to The Painted House and see what I grilled this week!


  1. ~such a familiar sight this is!! i finally started working on mine last year...put it in a box with dividers...all organized by food types...yet the box is now plum full and i have a huge pile again...like the binder idea...neat and tidy and i am sure quite easy to find a recipe in need...great job at such a time consuming project...happy cooking and baking to you! warm wishes and brightest blessings~

  2. love the binder idea...so much neater.

  3. Another idea I could add to my list of things that I would like to eventually get around to doing :) Looks very efficient, well done, hope you found some long forgotten favourites amongst your recipes :)

  4. I love that you did this 'cause it means more of your good cookin'!

  5. Oh way to go! And thank you! I've been pondering how to attack this exact project, and now I know where to start.

  6. I'd been trying to do that for at least 6 months now :( mmmmm. maybe you can help me!

  7. I SO SO SO need to do the same thing!! Well done!

  8. First the baby book, then the recipe file... thanks for the inspiration.