Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday - Free Cookbook

I have a few old cookbooks around the house but I rarely use them. I find that most of the recipes call for ingredients I don't have (hair of a werewolf) or combine odd things together (steak burgers with banana-spinach topping) or feature recipes that undoubtedly are WONDERFUL but would take up my calorie allotment for the next 3 days (2 sticks of butter, 1 cup of heavy cream, 2 cups of sugar, 15 egg yolks) - well you get the picture.

So most of the time I get my recipes FREE from online sites. If I want to bake some whole-wheat bread - I just search for whole-wheat bread recipes. Sometimes they turn out good, sometimes not so good. Sometimes I combine one or two recipes when I like some things in one of them and some things in the other.

Once I find a recipe I like I print it off, make it and if it's a winner it goes in my 3-ring binder. The recipes in my binder are loosely sorted by desserts/main courses/side dishes etc. Not only are they loosely sorted but sometimes just loose. I'm a bit lazy with the filing (never did like filing in my once-along-time-ago job before I was married and worked in an office) so sometimes the recipes just get "deposited" into the binder until someone is ready to file a batch.

If I think of it at the time, I'll write the date I tried the recipe and any alterations I made and a little review of it like "tasted great!" - which most would have to say b/c otherwise they would have just been filed in the trash can.

I also include in the binder recipes I've torn out of magazines and hope to try "some day" and recipes that have been given to me. My mom's handwritten recipe for "No Cholesterol Bread" that she gave me, and showed me how to make just before I got married. Or a recipe that my maternal grandma used to have in her cookbook (a similar binder type deal) - also cut out from a magazine or newspaper, for Lefse which I've never tried and I don't know if I'll ever try, but it's special b/c it was grandma's and she probably made if before.

A couple of specific sites I like for searching out recipes are:

allrecipes.com

cooks.com

I really like the allrecipes site b/c it includes a rating on the recipe and you can read what others thought of the recipe and any alterations they made or thought should have been made to the dish.

Let me know what your great online recipe source is...

This binder system is convenient for me b/c all my regular recipes are in one book - if I'm making the "Upside-Down Berry Cornmeal Cake" - I don't need to hunt through a 1/2 dozen books trying to find the right one.

Check out "Rocks in My Dryer" for more Works For Me Wednesday" tips.

12 comments:

Phyllis Sommer said...

i do this too. i love allrecipes also. but i can't give up my wonderful cookbooks. i take them out of hte library first to see if i want more than 5 recipes...only then do i buy...but i probably use my binder recipes far more...

Angie said...

I love getting recipes online -- my favorite place is at kraftfoods.com.

I also have a couple of binders of family recipes, recipes from online, recipes from magazines, etc. They are definitely my go-to source for dinner time most often.

infinitygoods said...

I have a binder full of tried and LOVED recipes that I got from magazines or online. I only have the absolute winners in there.

koprime said...

tastespotting.com

Heather said...

I have binder full of favorite recipes (and have recipe cards in there too stored in plastic photo album sheets.)

Mom2fur said...

I have very few cookbooks, mostly because I'm lucky if I use even 10% of the recipes. Most of them come from garage sales for a buck or so...then I don't feel so bad getting rid of them. I prefer on-line and magazines. I love allrecipes.com, especially the ingredient search!
Recipes I use more than once go on index cards in a box. But I love your notebook idea, too--it's very cute!

CC said...

I do this as well! I keep my favorite recipe in cards in a large file box. Whenever I decide that I'm really never going to use a recipe again, I toss it! Way easier to store than a million cookbooks1 :)

Beth said...

I also get all of my recipes online. Allrecipes.com is my favorite too. I love the ratings and the comments. Instead of a binder I have folders for each category. That way I can just shove each recipe into the folder.

Mrs. Mordecai said...

I do the same thing! I even take favorites from my cookbooks and include them so everything's together.

Some favorite online recipes sites are

epicurious.com
tasteofhome.com
http://digital.lib.msu.edu/projects/cookbooks/

Hairline Fracture said...

This is exactly how I store my recipes! I have plastic sleeves in there too, to keep all the ones I've torn out of magazines. I'm gradually typing up all the "best of the best" to put in a cookbook for my extended family.

Jen@BigBinder said...

I like RecipeZaar. I have a "Big Binder" of recipes too.

Thank you for stopping by earlier! I am really enjoying your blog - I have the same sense of adventure with food that you do, I think! I drag my kids all over to try new things. Sometimes ya win, sometimes ya lose.. but it's always good to play :)

Jen@BigBinder said...

I like RecipeZaar. I have a "Big Binder" of recipes too.

Thank you for stopping by earlier! I am really enjoying your blog - I have the same sense of adventure with food that you do, I think! I drag my kids all over to try new things. Sometimes ya win, sometimes ya lose.. but it's always good to play :)