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    • #158211
      LauraCore
      Member

      So, I really enjoy cooking new things. That said, I have a lot of recipe clutter both digitally and otherwise. My current method for obtaining and saving recipes is to just bookmark what I find appealing on the internet. I have tried to organize my bookmarks based on what kind of dish is to be prepared (main course, dessert etc.) but this isn’t working well. I have tried a cooks program which I hated because it didn’t let me copy and paste from a website. What is a better digital format to use? I want to stay away from a platform that would take more than 2 minutes to add a new recipe or to print out an existing one. I have thought about using Evernote but I’m not sure that I like that very much. I have also thought about a word document but that can be taxing to format correctly.

      Any thoughts?

    • #160661
      Sheryl
      Member

      Uncluttering Your Cookbooks and Recipe Stash!

      I started using allrecipes.com about a year ago to keep track of my recipes, and I love it!

      I used to use a free basic recipe program, but then my hard drive went south and I had to replace it. I re-installed the program from the web site and discovered that it had been “updated” and no longer used the same file format as my backed-up recipe files, so I lost all of my saved recipes! πŸ™

      I’ve also used a couple of programs like MasterCook, and didn’t like them at all – too complicated.

      I registered for free on allrecipes, and it’s great. VERY user-friendly! You can not only save recipes from their site, but it’s very easy to enter your personal recipes too. You can then print them out, and even email them to friends and family. You can also save references, like the recipe name, page number, and magazine it’s in.

      You can save weblinks too, and it’s very easy to copy and paste recipes from other sites. They also make it very easy to sort your saved recipes into categorized folders. I don’t worry any more about my computer crashing and losing all my favorite recipes. (Unless allrecipes goes under, God forbid… :P)

      For recipes that I want to save on my computer, instead of bookmarking, I use cutePDF (a free pdf printer), and save them as a pdf in a “Recipes” folder on my desktop. When I have the time, I go through and copy and paste the ones that we’ve tried and liked to allrecipes.

      I also have a big binder in the kitchen, and when I print out and try a recipe, it gets slipped into a plastic page protector in the appropriate section of the binder, so I also have a hard copy of the recipes that I use the most.

    • #160663
      EraserGirl
      Member

      Uncluttering Your Cookbooks and Recipe Stash!

      this is where Evernote rocks. Highlight and save, tag index etc..you get the page, the photos the formatting everything. the free Lite version is enough to get your started.

      Personally I used AZZcardfile for my personal recipes.
      the newest release has a ton of features

    • #160664
      jukie
      Member

      Uncluttering Your Cookbooks and Recipe Stash!

      Why don’t you want to use Evernote? I use it all the time and don’t see a downside to it. I only use the free version, which does have a monthly limit, but I’ve never had a need for more. If I see a recipe I like from a magazine, I don’t even scan it, I just take a photo of it (using the “close up” setting on my camera, a steady hand and plenty of light so you don’t have to use the flash). Then, when I put it into evernote, the recipe text becomes searchable. Furthermore, it syncs on your desktop and the internet, so the recipes can be accessed anywhere. They have a free app for the iphone. Oh, I also have this “clip to evernote” bookmarklet installed on my browser toolbar. So every time I see a recipe I like, I just “clip it” to Evernote. You can even put in folders and tag right from this bookmarklet. Through evernote you can alway access the original recipe and the site that it came from, which is a nice feature, too.

    • #160672
      ExpatTX
      Member

      Uncluttering Your Cookbooks and Recipe Stash!

      I have found that a word document works best for me. It takes a little work on the front end, but I have been using this method for years and have been really happy with it. I have a card file in my kitchen so I print my recipes on 4 X 6 blank index cards (set the page layout so every page is formatted to 4 X 6), but you could just as easily do it on a full page. I like being able to copy and paste from any source and then re-write the recipe to suit my cooking style (often shortening instructions to just a few steps) and keep it to one page (card). I use the outlining and document map features in MS Word to quickly navigate and keep things organized. After I make a recipe for the first time, I can then easily make notes about changes I want to make next time. I still use the recipe box feature in several of the online sources like AllRecipes but only as a reference for when I’m looking to try something new. As I run across things that look interesting, I’ll save them to the recipe box until I’m ready to try it. Then, I copy it to my word document, edit and print. It takes all of about 5 minutes, if that. Hope that helps.

    • #160675

      Uncluttering Your Cookbooks and Recipe Stash!

      Some great advice here. I’ve dealt with recipe clutter before and haven’t much decided on a conclusive way to store them. My dilemma boils down to whether I should be storing recipes digitally or in a binder. Usually I would prefer the digital route since it minimizes clutter and enables me to instantly search through a database of recipes. But inevitably whenever I have to use a recipe, I’ll have to print it out and thus produce a paper copy anyway, which defeats the purpose of digital storage. I’ll have to try out Evernote and see how it works for me.

    • #160677
      LauraCore
      Member

      Uncluttering Your Cookbooks and Recipe Stash!

      These are all great ideas! I think I will try out a hybrid system. I didn’t know I could clip things to Evernote, so maybe I’ll have to look at that again. I want to avoid wasting paper as much as possible so maybe an index card box in the kitchen with my printed recipes would be best with a digital back up. The ones in the box would be for the ones I have already tried and liked and would make again, otherwise it goes in the recycle. Now it is just a matter of doing it.

    • #160688
      EraserGirl
      Member

      Uncluttering Your Cookbooks and Recipe Stash!

      at first i used to print out my recipes..even my OWN collection..but then i would make alterations and print them again..and the collection grew…i was wasting a lot of paper. the binder would be larger than my toaster. now i only print out recipes i cook regularly..like breads …besides i always get foot all over them anyway.

    • #160691
      mickeyg
      Member

      Uncluttering Your Cookbooks and Recipe Stash!

      I use Evernote and like it, especially the clip feature in my browser. I also had an extensive list of saved recipes in Epicurious so those are the two places online that I manage. My problem is less about corralling them, and more about trying them. Between those I’ve clipped online, those I’ve clipped from magazines and the 30 cookbooks I have it takes a good afternoon to go through and find the one I am in the mood to try that week/night. What ways do you have of figuring out when you’re going to try them and marking your favorites?

    • #160693
      EraserGirl
      Member

      Uncluttering Your Cookbooks and Recipe Stash!

      i have a question…how many of your cookbooks do you actually use? how many new recipes do you try a week? a month? do you use recipes when you cook? I have actually been studying this..and if you look at yourself realistically, you will probably find that you don’t ‘use’ most of your cookbooks that much and rarely incorporate new recipes into your lifestyle.

      that said..i have been collecting cookbooks for 30 years. there was a time when i had shall i say…a scary number.then i moved. i took a serious look at what i had and why. I culled my collection down to JUST the cookbooks I reference and the ones i like to read for pleasure…then there are the ones i need for research…and i STILL have about a quarter of what i used to.

      interesting thread http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/666472

      i think my point is not to confuse cookbook clutter with a cookbook collection
      they use different parameters to trim to a reasonable size. if you like your collection curtail it and manage it like a collection. if you just accumulate them because you MIGHT use it someday..that’s clutter. a book has to have a reason to be in my collection, otherwise out it goes.

    • #160711
      BT
      Member

      Uncluttering Your Cookbooks and Recipe Stash!

      I’ve converted to digital – it just makes it easier to share. I group my recipes by topic into livebinders. I can upload pdfs, as well as bookmark any recipe site. I can also type in my own notes. Here is my binder on Salmon recipes http://livebinders.com/play/play?id=1105 and here is one on brownies http://livebinders.com/play/play?id=1886 and one more on pork loin http://livebinders.com/play/play?id=221

    • #160714
      Sheryl
      Member

      Uncluttering Your Cookbooks and Recipe Stash!

      Wow, BT! That’s great! I’d never heard of Livebinders before – so many things you could do with it!

      Thanks! πŸ™‚

    • #160739
      elledee
      Member

      Uncluttering Your Cookbooks and Recipe Stash!

      I use Evernote for all my online recipes, though for things I cook often, I still have a small stack of index cards, which I can spill on (versus my iphone).

    • #160747
      deb_in_oz
      Member

      Uncluttering Your Cookbooks and Recipe Stash!

      I am not a digital person (still use a moleskin dayplanner etc and a basic cell phone) so for me I like to have hard copies to look at and have in the kitchen.

      My system is this:
      when i find recipes online i just bookmark them if they are not ones i want to try soon (just don’t want to lose them). ones i want to try I also print out and file in my binder of recipes. This binder is divided into 2 sections TO TRY and FAVOURITES / TRIED AND TRUE. i have a list of the recipes, they are filed in page protectors and subdivided by category (red meats, white meats, soups etc). As i try recipes i decide whether they are instant keepers (they get added to the other section), need work on my part (i make notes and they get put on my meal planner for upcoming weeks to try again) or tossed immmediately if a failure.

      Now when i meal plan (family of 4)i go through my favourites (have about 30-40 recipes now so simplifies meal planning) and then pick 1-2 new recipes to try each week. If i notice recipes hanging out in the to try section for many months i either try it or dump it as something is holding me back (too fussy, too costly etc) and it is simply clutter then. i really look at recipes now – just because something sounds great does not mean i will cook it now (maybe pre-kids but not now) so I have to let go of the fantasy version of cooking and stick to the practical and that eliminates clutter.

      No longer hanging onto endless cooking magazines (just rip out the ones that sound different so i don’t have 20 pumpkin soup recipes on file) and cookbooks (i have bought many that i find have only a few good recipes and now take out from the library to supplement what is online and in magazines).

    • #160840
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Uncluttering Your Cookbooks and Recipe Stash!

      I definitely agree with everyone who recommended Evernote. It’s a great way to keep your recipes (among other things) under control.

      If you’re more paper-based, try the Recipe Nest at http://reciperelish.com. It’s a containment system that stores full page recipes (8.5×11), has a built-in easel with a clipboard, comes in fab colors, and can be stored upright on a bookshelf or counter top.

    • #160842
      Linada
      Member

      Uncluttering Your Cookbooks and Recipe Stash!

      I am using Evernote, Epicurious.com and the like for collection, or should i say amassing recipes.
      For organising them for use i use a program called Scrivener. It’s designed as a novel writing program, but it is very freeform and adaptable. I use it for blogging and for university a lot.

      It has two sections for storing information, a text only draft folder, and a research folder, which can have text, photos, urls etc. My versions of recipes go in the research folder, with a note of where i got it from, and a photo if i have, as well as any cooking notes i made for myself. They get sorted by folder into categories. Which categories varies, but reshuffling the recipes is very easy. When i do my mealplanning i copy the current recipes in the draft folder. It makes them easy to find, and if need be i can print out a week in one go, if for example my SO needs to take over the cooking.

    • #160864
      Dev
      Member

      Uncluttering Your Cookbooks and Recipe Stash!

      Seconding allrecipes. They make it very easy to format your recipes. I imported all of our family recipes in a day or two, copy+pasted the nicely-formatted recipes to text files and saved them to Dropbox.

    • #160887
      Lelah
      Member

      Uncluttering Your Cookbooks and Recipe Stash!

      I use Delicious to bookmark my online recipes. After using it for over two years, I have standard tags that I use over and over to designate the kind of dish and its ingredients. You can use the notes feature to write your thoughts about the recipe after you’ve made it. It’s isn’t as sophisticated as Evernote, but since I already use it for my other bookmarking needs, it serves the purpose quickly and easily.

      For hard copy recipes, I use page flags and a pencil to identify and write notes on recipes in cookbooks that I’ve made or want to try. I strong recommend photocopying or scanning frequently made recipes so you can just pull out a single sheet instead of a big book. If you only make one or two recipes out of a given cookbook, you should totally feel free to copy them and give the book away. No sense in it taking up a bunch of space.

    • #160897
      Zora
      Member

      Uncluttering Your Cookbooks and Recipe Stash!

      I don’t bookmark recipes — I just copy them into a Word document. Sometimes that gets a little complicated (save as HTML and then as a text file and then convert to doc) but I’m happy with my organized recipe folder on my computer. If I’m trying out a recipe, I’ll print it out and put it in the binder I keep on my kitchen counter. If I find that I’m not cooking the dish, I tear out the page. The binder contains ONLY the recipes that I actually cook fairly often. The much more extensive recipe folder on the computer is there in case I want to experiment.

    • #161000
      anna
      Member

      Uncluttering Your Cookbooks and Recipe Stash!

      I have my mother’s cookbook from the 1940’s and I am not going to part with it. The binding has come off of it. Anyone know where to find bookbinders? Just yellow pages/online “book binding”?
      Also, many of my recipes are on cards written by someone I love, so I want to be able to touch them vs electronic. I got a 3 ring binder to put them in in plastic sleeves but not too pretty. Anyone have any other ideas?

    • #161002
      Bobbi
      Member

      Uncluttering Your Cookbooks and Recipe Stash!

      Anna:

      Re: recipes on cards. Go ahead and scan them electronically just so you have a copy in case something happens to the original. Scanning saves the handwriting as opposed to typing them into a word processor.
      Sorry – no other ideas other than the 3-ring binder you mentioned. I’m culling my recipes so they all fit into a 4″ deep box that holds 4X6 cards.

    • #161008
      Claycat
      Member

      Uncluttering Your Cookbooks and Recipe Stash!

      I’ve got a small box with the recipes I use the most and a few cookbooks.

      I wish I still enjoyed cooking. πŸ™

      I used to love it. I don’t know why I feel the way I do about it. It’s just a pain now.

    • #161012
      karmatir
      Member

      Uncluttering Your Cookbooks and Recipe Stash!

      I recently got all of my most used recipes organized and printed into a Tastebook (http://www.tastebook.com/). I am now culling the pack so to speak on the rest of my recipes. The problem, of course, is that I collect vintage cookbooks. So I have a hard time deciding when something is vintage and not just clutter and useless.

      What I do for recipes I want to try is print it out, rip it out (magazine) or copy it so that all my recipes can be put into one manila file folder. I’m a paper person – if I leave it digital it gets lost and I forget about it. Besides I can’t cook with digital – gotta have the paper anyway. Once the file folder gets too full I start culling it and deciding if I will actually cook some of them or actually just cook them and decide if the recipe is a keeper. If it is (very few pass the one time test) it goes into a second file folder of used recipes. Only when it makes it out of that folder a few times does it make it to Tastebook for organization (and maybe future printing).

    • #163866
      MellieTX
      Member

      Uncluttering Your Cookbooks and Recipe Stash!

      I have a subscription to Taste of Home and love using the website. I have a tiny laptop that I can place on the kitchen island if I’m experimenting with a new recipe so I don’t have to print it out. If I like it I’ll save it in the online recipe box. In cookbooks, I write comments on the recipes I’ve used. If a cookbook isn’t marked up it needs to go. For handwritten recipes from loved ones or things I’ve clipped I have an expandable folder that is coming apart. I’m in the process of moving it to a better organized expandable folder and culling recipes that no longer fit our needs.

    • #164379
      mamadawg365
      Member

      Uncluttering Your Cookbooks and Recipe Stash!

      I am looking for, in book form, a recipe index for my vast collection of cookbooks and the recipes that I have used from them….I have, by chance, found them, but need more books. I went to Booksamillion and they did not have a resource shown for such a book….does anyone here know where one can be ordered?
      I honestly could not find the recipes I have used in cookbooks, without knowing exactly where to look. Thanks

    • #164387
      vjb
      Member

      Uncluttering Your Cookbooks and Recipe Stash!

      This is actually my current project – getting all my recipes into digital format. I bought a little program called YummySoup! for my Mac (http://hungryseacow.com/) and it’s the best. It has this feature called an “Any Site Importer” which allows you to save online recipes very easily. I had a ton of bookmarks and just tore through them. (Now I’m on to the recipes I have to type in. Groan.)

      Highly recommend!

    • #164394
      chacha1
      Member

      Uncluttering Your Cookbooks and Recipe Stash!

      I’ve just realized that I hardly ever even USE recipes! I rarely bake, and everything else (oven temps, etc) I mostly seem to be able to remember without consulting a book. Of course, my dishes are usually extremely simple and I don’t bother to measure spices (“that looks about right!”).

      I think I’m going to make myself a tiny little book of basic reminders and get rid of half of the cookbooks in my pantry.

    • #164415
      HelofaMess
      Member

      Uncluttering Your Cookbooks and Recipe Stash!

      I’m a big fan of MacGourmet Delux. You can download a free trial and then after that you need to pay but your purchased code works on 2 computers. You can import from websites pretty easily using Safari (it’s the only thing I use Safari for) and there is also an iphone/ipodtouch ap to go with it. On top of this you can also create menu plans, wine notes, input your own recipes, and create a recipe “book” that can then be printed and bound and sent to you.

      I promise they haven’t paid me to write this! I spent a long time looking at all of the different programs out there and downloading all the free trials and this one was the best for me by far.

    • #164427
      bandicoot
      Member

      Uncluttering Your Cookbooks and Recipe Stash!

      i was a chef for years.
      i hoarded foodie magazines! and cookbooks! and hand written folders of recipes!
      i got rid of a lot of them when i changed careers, but i still have a couple of shelves of them.

      realistically, if i cooked a different recipe from the collection, at every meal, i’d still be going in ten years’ time.
      this helps me to buy no more new cookbooks.

      on my macbook i have sous chef and it’s an ok program.
      it’s a bit buggy here and there, but on the whole, it works alright.
      i cannot complain, but you can tell i am not in love.

      the funny thing is that 99% of the time, i don’t cook with a recipe anyway.
      i just cook.
      unless i am baking. then i am pedantic.

    • #164890
      rontoledo
      Member

      Uncluttering Your Cookbooks and Recipe Stash!

      Hello I work with Evernote. (http://www.evernote.com). I actually took on a project a while back where I digitized my Grandmother’s old paper recipe book using a digital camera and Evernote. You can check out the blog post and view the actual cook book here. — Cooking Up Memories with Evernote http://blog.evernote.com/2009/10/08/cooking-up-memories-with-evernote/

    • #164927
      chacha1
      Member

      Uncluttering Your Cookbooks and Recipe Stash!

      Just curious … so many mention using computer-based systems … do you all have computers in your kitchens??

    • #164929
      JuliaJayne
      Member

      Uncluttering Your Cookbooks and Recipe Stash!

      I bring my laptop in the kitchen. I have a special place for it so it doesn’t get spattered or dusted with anything.

    • #165000
      bandicoot
      Member

      Uncluttering Your Cookbooks and Recipe Stash!

      chacha, i take my laptop into the kitchen as well.
      there is a feature on the souschef that blows the recipe up to full page….i can read it almost across the kitchen.
      well, almost.

    • #165009
      JuliaJayne
      Member

      Uncluttering Your Cookbooks and Recipe Stash!

      The souschef software looks great. Is there anything about it that you don’t like?

    • #165016
      ninakk
      Member

      Uncluttering Your Cookbooks and Recipe Stash!

      Only a couple of days ago did I download Gourmet Recipe Manager and it rocks! It arranges recipes according to tags you’ve assigned, you can import scanned pictures (basically the whole original recipe) and/or download stuff from the net. You can make shopping lists based on what you have in the cupboard vs. what you need to buy to make the dish. It has a built-in unit converter (if you like to cook in “languages”) and you can count nutritional values directly from recipes. The software is on my laptop (Linux) so I can keep it in the kitchen while cooking – no need to kill trees πŸ™‚

      http://grecipe-manager.sourceforge.net/

    • #165887
      Patch
      Member

      Uncluttering Your Cookbooks and Recipe Stash!

      Years ago I discarded the large paper grocery sack of all the clipped recipes I had collected, and kept only a manageable number of recipes whose ingredients are foods I like (what a concept), and were easily obtained at a grocery store. These “keepers” I immediately pasted it to a 4×6 card and put it in my nice wooden hinged recipe box.

      That process worked fine even up to the present day, but just recently I realized that since that big wooden recipe box does not fit my goals for a minimalist lifestyle, I decided to (1) sell the nice wooden box, (2) find new home(s) for the packages of blank 4×6 index cards, and (3) discard all but the small handful of recipes that I was raised on, that I was able to get from Mom.

      Being single I really don’t cook much anymore, and eating in my minimal lifestyle will be more of a whole foods/unprocessed regimen, so I am finally ready to release this part of my life. But I still get to keep only those recipes from my family history, where the memories are.

      Everything else: if I need it again someday, I can probably find it (or something even better) online and print out a temporary copy.

      Be patient with yourselves, de-clutterers: Stuff did not enter our homes overnight, and some things take time before we are ready to release them.

    • #165889
      Patch
      Member

      Uncluttering Your Cookbooks and Recipe Stash!

      @ anna: “Also, many of my recipes are on cards written by someone I love, so I want to be able to touch them vs electronic. I got a 3 ring binder to put them in in plastic sleeves but not too pretty. Anyone have any other ideas?”

      Howzabout one of those pocket-size small photo albums? The individual pages are usually 3×5 or 4×6, which is the usual standard recipe card size.

      Hmmm, I think I just decided to do this with the small handful of Mom’s recipes I am keeping (re-my post just above this one) πŸ˜‰

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