Organizing Recipes and Cookbooks

It’s Foodie Tuesday

Cookbooks by Holy Farrell Found via ohsobeautifulpaper

Here’s the situation, it’s six o’clock, you are just back from the grocery store and your belly is rumbling impatiently. You were planning on making that amazing looking risotto that you clipped out of a magazine, but where on earth did you put the recipe? Has this happened to you? I’ve definitely been there more times than I care to admit. We all have our systems for keeping track of favourite recipes, but just in case you (like me) are looking for an organizational update, here are some helpful digital and real-life solutions.

Good Old Fashioned Recipe Box

letterpress recipe cards and wooden box by  1canoe2

A recipe box is a classic way to keep recipes neat and tidy. The only disadvantage is that you need to spend time writing out every recipe, which may not always be possible on a busy weeknight. I like the recipe box approach for your standby recipes that you use most frequently. Aren’t the letterpress cards and dividers pictured above wonderful? And this simple wooden box is functional but also looks great on a counter top.


via Springpad

If you find yourself frequently cooking from recipes found online I’m sure you know how big a pain it can be keeping all your bookmarks in order. Springpad is a free application that lets you save anything you find on the web, and it’s also great for organizing and collecting recipes. I’ve only begun to delve into this application, but one of the features that I especially appreciate is that it lets you edit recipes yourself  if you are always changing ingredients or modify directions.

Turn an old photo album into a recipe binder

Old photo albums that hold 3×5 photos can be upcycled as a recipe binder. Just use regular sized index cards, or use some fancy designed ones which can be found at many stationary stores. I purchased these vintage recipe cards from allsfairyvintage because I loved the cuckoo clocks. If you don’t already have a spare photo album to use they can be picked up cheaply and easily at garage sales or thrift shops.

A shelf of their own

elle decor

A collection of cookbooks is a kitchen staple, but they’re not very useful if they’re not easily accessible. Dedicating an over the counter shelf to cookbooks and recipes means that the book you are looking for is only an arm’s reach away come dinner time. When organizing your cookbook library it helps to group similar books together (soups, brunch, baking, general recipes etc.)

Eat Your Books

image via cookbook addiction

If you’re a cookbook collector you may know how hard it can be to find the recipe you are looking for amongst all those pages. Eat Your Books lets you build a virtual cookbook library from the books you own, and then lets you digitally search for where those recipes are in those books, saving countless minutes of flipping through pages when you could be cooking. This is a pay service, but if you just want to give it a try you can add five books for free and see how it works.

These are just a few ideas for organizing your recipe and cookbook collection, but I’m sure many of you have others. Are there any tricks or online solutions that you’ve picked up and found useful along the way?

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3 Responses to Organizing Recipes and Cookbooks

  1. Lauren Reid says:

    I use an antique recipe card flipper. I mark holes on regular index cards for the cards I cannot purchase any more. It takes up very little room on my counter and adds a touch of history to my kitchen!

  2. Kristi says:

    Following my mom’s example, I have a 3-ring binder full of recipes handwritten on loose leaf paper as well as (increasingly) ones I’ve typed on my computer, & printed from the internet. My subject dividers are much more diverse than my mom’s, but she also keeps a loose leaf paper behind each subject divider to jot down the recipe names & page numbers that can be found in her cookbooks.

  3. Jen says:

    For online recipes, I have a bookmarked section so I can easily find them. For recipes that are written on paper, they are all stored in a magazine file next to my cookbooks :)

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