I want to tell you a little something. Go into almost anyone’s kitchen, and there in a drawer, or a cabinet or in the desk you will find a pile. A pile of what? A pile of recipes that have been clipped and saved thinking that “someday I’m going to try this.” Yes, I’m guilty. Well, not anymore. Because I did something about it. I waited until we had a nice dinner one night. Where I had no cravings, I was full and content. And then I sat down in front of all my clipped recipes and began to sort. The first time I sorted them, I sorted them into two piles – Yummy, I know we’ll try this, and DISGUSTING – what was I thinking? This made it easy. Because amazingly enough, when you are hungry, you will think something sounds good to you even when it won’t. Another way I sorted the disgusting one’s was to think about my children and whether it was something I thought they’d try or not. I don’t make dinners for them. I make them for the family. However, I keep their individual likes and dislikes in the back of my mind when I’m looking for new recipes. If it’s something I know that they are really going to hate, then I usually can it (yep that would be the trash can). No reason to hold onto it if I’m not going to use it. I saved ANY recipes that sounded good, or would be good for “adult only” meals though.
After I had my two piles- the disgusting one’s made their way to the trash. But then I was forced to face a HUGE pile of recipes that I wasn’t quite sure how to organize. Those would be the Yummy ones. So the next thing I did was sort through them in three piles – this time I sorted by my favorite cooking methods – freezer, crockpot & onedish. Everything else went into a fourth pile of “different cooking methods”. After I had my three piles of my favorite cooking methods, I organized them by category – main, side, appetizer, etc.
Then I had to deal with this fourth category – this was a lot more of a challenge. I made several piles (yours might differ), I created a pile for recipes with hard to find ingredients or ingredients that were pretty expensive (ie. some steak recipes calling for wines, etc), and then a pile for recipes containing ingredients I always seem to have on hand, and then my favorite pile of that sort – quick and easy meals. I had a few more piles, in which I cannot think of at the moment, but just use your judgement when you’re doing it. The pile with the “expensive ingredients” actually went to the trash. Why? Because I was looking for budget benders, and quick and easy meals to make for my family. Somehow spending $20 on ingredients for one meal, that most likely wouldn’t be used on any OTHER meals, seemed silly to me. So into the trash for my family. The piles I was left over with, I sorted them into their respective categories in a recipe box. In the front of the recipe box I had 3 tabs for my Freezer recipes, Crockpot Recipes, and One dish recipes already. (I also have a separate section for my home business recipes.
Want to know what happened after all this? I actually started USING all those recipes I had collected up. I discovered things about my family, through trial and error and different recipes – my daughter will eat most seafood if properly presented to her, my son isn’t a total meat and potato kid, he will actually eat veggies when they are seasoned and cooked to his liking. So it was fun, and I got them involved in cooking a lot! That also helped them try the foods they wouldn’t normally have tried. After cooking a meal, who isn’t going to at least TRY it! LOL
So my tip is ORGANIZE those recipes you have all over! Pare down your cookbooks and magazines and really be honest about what you will or will not try.
Get rid of the rest! No reason to clutter up your beautiful sparkling kitchen. I mean you did organize it two weeks ago – right?