Photo: Jen/Something Turquoise
Do you keep your recipes stuffed in a folder? Tucked in an old box? Bookmarked in your browser? Or buried in your Google search history?
It’s time to show them some love.
Like framed photos, and special souvenirs from your travels, your favorite recipes (and the stories that go with them!) deserve a top-shelf spot in your kitchen. And it’s never been easier to give them one!
Here are seven tips for organizing your recipes to let your culinary memories shine.
1. Think of recipe organizing as culinary scrapbooking
There are so many reasons you might choose to organize your recipes: making them simpler to find at a moment’s notice, decluttering your kitchen, or preserving them for future generations.
But compiling your recipes in a meaningful way can also help tell a story through recipes. What you create as a result can be a keepsake you treasure forever, the perfect gift for a loved one, or the makings of an heirloom you can pass down to future generations.
2. Arrange your recipes for practicality
Sure, you can categorize your recipes by course (appetizers, salads, meats, desserts, etc.) — the way most traditional cookbooks are written. But there are other, more unusual ways to categorize your recipes that may help you better tell the story your recipes are conveying.
- Organize recipes by day of the week. Think “Meatless Mondays,” easy weekday lunches for the kids, Friday night pizzas, Saturday date night recipes, or Sunday meal-prep “projects”!
- Group your recipes by season. Asparagus quiche in spring, ratatouille in summer, apple everything in autumn, root vegetable gratin in winter.
- Arrange foods by by holiday. Do you have special dishes you prepare for a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner (your partner’s favorite dessert, maybe?) or recipes you make every Christmas for a family brunch?
3. Use your recipes to tell a story
The recipes you’ve fallen in love with or been handed down throughout your life aren’t just lists of ingredients and instructions — they’re memories! Organize them in a way that creates a narrative through food:
- By era. If you have recipes from multiple generations, compiling them chronologically can tell an incredible story of the history of food in your family.
- By theme. The sky’s the limit here. You could organize your recipes by concerts you’ve been to or create a golf-themed cookbook organized by hole (hot dogs at the turn!), or even cr
- By location. Food and travel go hand in hand. So many recipes evoke the memory of a place — and you can organize the recipes to tell the story of a journey you remember through food.
4. Create a recipe lending library
Now, to physically organize your recipes. Once you’ve decided on a theme, it’s time to put them somewhere you can refer back to them over and over.
Creating a binder full of recipes, organizing them in a box (the old-fashioned way!) or even creating a framed decoration out of your most prized recipes can be wonderful ways to keep them close at hand.
If you want to create a digital lending library of recipes, you can make a community collection on Cookbook Create, which lets you add your recipe to a public catalog that’s available for other food lovers to try, enjoy, and save to their own account.
5. Find the format that works best for you
How do you prefer to cook? If you’re an iPad-by-the-stove home cook, you’re probably better off digitizing your recipes to use them regularly. If you prefer a tactile recipe card or a heavily dog-eared cookbook, having hard copies will be your best bet.
6. Use social media to keep your digital recipes organized
Lots of home cooks use a Pinterest account, organized with boards for each recipe category, to keep all their recipes in one place. There are plenty of other places to store your digitized recipes — and share them with others, too.
Two of the best-loved recipe management tools are both named after spices:
Our website is a great way to keep your go-to meals easily at hand (in a user-friendly digital format). Try it now!
7. Make your own cookbook
Cookbook Create can also help you tell your story in a culinary scrapbook you’ll keep forever.
Our cookbook-builder platform is easy to use, lets you create custom categories for your recipes, and walks you through all the steps necessary to make your personalized cookbook. Give it a try!
What are your tips for collecting and organizing recipes?
Paige Worthy is a Chicago-based digital marketing strategist, writer, yoga instructor, and avid home chef. Visit her at paigeworthy.com.