All For the Love Of a Lost Dumpling

Several weeks ago, I lost the recipe card that held my chicken and dumpling recipe.  That may not sound particularly tragic to you, but then again, you’ve never eaten my chicken and dumplings.  If you had, you would understand the magnitude of the loss.

I was so frustrated by this.  I dug through my over-run recipe box, through every section, even the non-dumpling related ones.  The recipe was gone. 

This helped me decide something I’d been thinking for a while, that the index card method of storing recipes probably isn’t the most efficient one.  It’s too easy for cards to get misplaced, and, even if they’re in the right section, it still takes too long to dig for the one you want.  There had to be a better way.

So I’ve spent the last several weeks transferring my recipes to a Word document, one I can print out and store in a three-ring binder, compete with page protectors to protect from the cooking mess.  It’s my own personal cookbook, if you will.  I know there is software that helps with this, or even does it for you, but I felt like keeping my own hands on the project.  And I’m glad I did it.  Even though I’m not a lover of cooking or recipes, and even though this whole project had its tedious moments, I’ve really enjoyed the process.  Here’s why.

First of all, I have chuckled at my own ambition as a young bride.  Most of the recipes crammed in box had been clipped and saved from my earliest newlywed days.  I can still picture myself, hunched over our tiny table in our 500-square-foot apartment, dreaming big dreams of made-from-scratch meals. 

I got over that one pretty quickly.  In this most recent purge, I tossed just about any recipe that had more than seven or eight ingredients. 

Another reason this task has been so fun is browsing my collection of family recipes–those recipe cards I could never part with, not in a million years.  I have recipes handwritten by both mine and my husband’s grandmothers.  Hubs’ grandmother, a grand Southern lady in the truest sense of the word, provided commentary on hers.  When she shared with me her mama’s Karo Nut Pie Recipe (which, incidentally, is made entirely of "a pinch of this" and "a dash of that" and thus dooms me from the start), she noted that over the years she finally caved and "used a store-bought pastry."  But, she added, in a voice I can positively hear through the recipe card, "Mama didn’t."

And lastly, reading through all these recipes has reminded me a thing or two about writing down recipes for my own future generations.  Lesson number one?  Keep it simple.  I think that sometimes recipe authors are a little bit control-freakish.  I’ll admit that I roll my eyes a little at recipes that read like this:

Add half the flour, and stir eight times counter-clockwise.  Add two pinches of salt, one egg and remaining flour.  Stir as you pour, but not too fast, and only blend until moistened.

Really?  If a recipe truly requires that much choreography, I’ll just enjoy it at the bakery.

(And, by the way, have you ever noticed how many recipes tell you to "add eggs one at a time"?  Unless you’re, I don’t know, an octopus, is there any other way to do it?)

Here’s my finished product.  In the left-hand picture, my new cookbook is the tallest one, in the center.  In the right-hand picture, you can see an inside shot, since I have it propped ever-so-artfully open.  I thought I should make it look like I was in the middle of cooking.  Might have helped if I’d actually put something in the bowl, don’t you think? 


I love my re-organized collection, and now that I’ve culled down to the basics, I’m really enjoying some old favorites I’d long forgotten.  In fact, I’ve stumbled across so many recipes I love that I will probably be sharing a few of them here on the blog over the coming months. 

But I promise, I will not tell you how many times to stir.  You’re on your own.

(P.S.  Yes, I found the dumpling recipe.  Stay tuned…)

111 thoughts on “All For the Love Of a Lost Dumpling

  1. Kari says:

    Maybe you’d come here and do this for me? I don’t have cards though. I have sheets of printed and handwritten. Usually full sized folded in half and stashed in a cookbook. Then there’s the current stash of simple recipes involved in the current menus…these lay on top of the cookbooks..I did throw one out though after I didn’t like it…is that a good start?
    I have copies of my grandmothers handwritten…very tedious directions of layered jello. I’m the only one in the family patient enough to read the entire thing and figure out what it looks like in this generation! (I think it is three full pages!)

  2. Vicky says:

    I have had the exact same plan! (right down to the Word document and page protectors) Except I’m single and don’t have the index cards… though I do have a file full of random pieces of paper. And I often read a recipe on a blog and think “that sounds good” but don’t actually write it down. So now I’m working on getting it all in one document and then organizing it. This post has made me even more excited to work on that project. Thanks!!!

  3. Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates says:

    That looks wonderful! I really need to work on my recipes. I DO have a recipe and cookbook issue and include even difficult recipes. Currently, I manage to have them separated – tried and true in one box, haven’t attempted yet in another. I tear recipes out of magazines constantly, so it’s quite a mess to dig through.
    I’ll start that project…soon. šŸ™‚

  4. Desert Diva 2005 says:

    I’ve started a project like this so many times… only to get stumped by organizing the meals/recipes… so I have a dining table full of recipe books, cards, binders, page protectors and notecards — all just waiting to be perfectly organized.
    All that to say — kudos to you — I lay prostrate at your feet because through it all – You Done Did It – šŸ˜€ šŸ˜€

  5. Cassi says:

    Actually, the reason it says to put in eggs one at a time is because a lot of people crack however many eggs they need into a bowl first, and then they pour them in. this is to prevent from bloody or rotten eggs getting into the mixture. Then you would have to start all over!
    Also, i luuuuv chicken and dumplings. if you ever find the recipe, please post it!!! šŸ™‚

  6. goodfather says:

    Mmmmm, chicken and dumplings. Yum!
    Is the ‘organize-things-in-a-three-ring-binder’ a sign of getting older? I just did the same thing for my sheet music, lol! I got tired of digging through my collection of unorganized music lying around, and put it all in page-protected sheets in a binder.
    Please add me to the list of people hoping to get your recipe!

  7. Kim @ My Journey says:

    Oh, I so hope you find your Chicken ‘n Dumplins recipe! There is nothing better than a pot of dumplins on a cool day….
    LOVE the recipe binder idea. I bet it took a ton of time, but well worth it! You’re family will be blessed I’m sure.
    Happy Monday and start to your week…

  8. monica says:

    oh, i’d be so sad if i lost my chicken ‘n dumplins recipe. it’s a family favorite. the best comfort food in the world. my great grandmother used to make them for us. hope you find yours. if you don’t, i’m willing to share mine. but i can’t promise it’s the same as yours…

  9. Damsel says:

    My Granny did something similar for all of us girls for Christmas this past year. She scanned and printed copies of recipes written in our great-great grandmother’s handwriting, all the way down to our mother and aunts’ recipes, then put them all in a binder. She even got my OTHER grandmother into the process, so we have a precious collection from both sides of the family!
    Some of them call for ingredients that don’t even exist anymore, so she made notes in the margins… Some of them are favorites from holidays past that we’d all forgotten about. It was such a neat idea, and I know we’ll treasure the cookbooks!

  10. edj says:

    Here is my method. Stand in awe at my amazing organizational skillz.
    I type the recipe into my computer, or I google it.
    I print it out.
    If I don’t have a printer, I scrawl it on a piece of scratch paper.
    I put the recipes in a haphazard pile in a cupboard.
    The pile grows, daily.
    I can never find anything.
    Whaddya think? Go ahead and imitate me, if you dare.
    Seriously, I’m impressed but not surprised.
    And did you ever find the dumpling recipe? My husband loves those. Me, I’m not Southern, and have no idea how to make them or even what they really are.

  11. alli says:

    It is so sweet, tedious, and amazing for you to have accomplished that task. I have tried and tried to get into the same sort of thing, but I run out of steam. Good for you!

  12. Toni says:

    I typed all our family recpies on word a few years ago and then used hallmark scrapbook studio software to design a cookbook / scrapbook. Then made copies for the family and put together one for each of my kids. Then my husbands family saw it and asked for one so I repeated the process for them. It was a very enjoyable process.

  13. Kay says:

    Now I’m curious to go check out my recipe posts and see if I included any “offensive language”. I may be editing all day! (lol!) I enjoyed your post and inspiration!

  14. Lauren says:

    I did the same thing a couple years ago. I still have the recipe boxes from my Granny and Grandma, but my recipe binder is so much easier. And if someone wants the recipe, I just print it out rather than copying it by hand.
    Since I’m still young and single, I don’t add any recipe to my book unless I have tried it and loved it already (unless it’s in a cookbook I own). I love this system! In fact, my mom once told me to make her “her own binder” … even though she rarely cooks anymore, she still wanted one. šŸ™‚

  15. Edwina says:

    You made me realize how much I need to organize my recipes. I have so many cookbooks and S.L. Cookbooks and I have even written recipes on the inside of them. Thanks for reminding me of what I need to do and keep putting off.

  16. Minnesotamom says:

    What fun! This is the second post I’ve read this weekend that has inspired me to get organized…
    And I, too, was one of those ambitious brides. While I do often cook from scratch, when it requires 8 ingredients I don’t have or have never heard of (Martha Stewart Living, anyone?), I will most likely not be making it.

  17. pam says:

    What a great idea, and I truly admire your perseverance in getting it accomplished! Now, will you do mine? : )
    I’ll look forward to the posts with the recipes. I’m always looking for new things to try with my family.
    BTW, did you ever find the chicken and dumpling recipe?

  18. Carrie says:

    The finished product looks great! I was getting so far behind with all my recipes too. I cleaned them out one day, organized them, and put them in a recipe book. Now, when I cut out or find a new recipe, I immediately put it in the recipe book so I don’t get so far behind again.
    BTW, I almost never use recipes with a lot of ingredients either!

  19. Tara says:

    So did you find the chicken and dumpling recipe???
    I have something like that, but it isn’t nearly so pretty. I call it my “kitchen notebook” and woe to the person who steals that baby!
    When I cook I prop mine up in my kitchen windowsill. Don’t know why you needed to know that, but its an idea!

  20. Cindy says:

    When I grow up, I want to do something like this! I have folded recipes in a Martha Stewart box, and it’s worked ok for the past 7 years, but I know there are a lot of recipes I’ve never even made in there!

  21. Charissa says:

    My motivation to organize recipes was a curious toddler who was eating the recipes, not the food. I’ve also recently lost one of my husband’s favorite recipes, frozen lime pie. So sad, I do love making his belly happy!

  22. Mrs. H says:

    Wow – looks good! I am doing some (paid) work like that for a friend… she bought a cookbook program and loaded in all 462 recipes herself, but now wanted me to proof them and get them printed at a local print company. The printing options are not very “friendly” and for the simplicity of her book, I wish she would’ve just used Word as well! (But I’m looking forward to a copy of the cookbook. She’s got some good ones!) Way to go on your project – happy cooking!

  23. Michelle says:

    Great idea for organizing those darn little cards! I should do it. I’d love my recipe book to be like the card catalog at the library. I could just sit down, search by title, and wallah. Maybe if I get ambitious I’ll start typing out my faves too.

  24. Julie at Elisharose says:

    I’ve been working on my own cookbook for 8 years now. No, it’s not that fabulous. I’m just that slow. I need to just sit down and do it. I do love to cook and have been know to make quite a production of it. I need to get all of my favorites in an easily accessible location. Maybe I’ll be inspired by our diligence. Maybe.

  25. Sara says:

    Thank you for helping me release the guilt of loving my 4-ingredient recipes. lol My favorite wedding shower gift was a photo album filled with recipes on 4×6 index cards. It stays clean and I can add clippings easily.

  26. Lisa T. says:

    Regarding the eggs: If you’re clumsy like me, incapable of breaking eggs without getting tiny pieces of shell in them, you break them in a separate bowl and pour them in later. That’s how you add several eggs at a time. šŸ™‚ Glad my lack of grace could be helpful.

  27. Amy says:

    What a wonderful idea. I want to make something with my mother’s recipes -the ones in her handwriting. I have a great scanner so I see this in my future! Thanks for the idea and for the inspiration and encouragement to try. I am looking forward to also being able to share family recipes easily just by printing it out!

  28. MommaChelle says:

    I’m laughing because I did this same thing a couple of years ago. I was quite impressed by my 3 ring binder and it’s sheet protectors. But now, the same recipes are there, but the pocket folders on the front and the back are filled with slips of paper and recipe cards that I have accumulated over the past 24 months.
    I guess I should have been diligent about keeping things up to date, but I’m afraid I can’t claim to be that organized.
    Ask the photo organizers that I started…

  29. Thea @ I'm a Drama Mama says:

    That’s how I have my recipes, too!
    Please tell me you still have the handwritten heirlooms! Did you keep them in the recipe box? If you want to keep them all together, you can get page protectors designed to hold index cards…

  30. Betsy says:

    Oh, my Mom did this with all her favorites and made everyone a copy. Then, she took both of my grandmothers’ recipe boxes and did the same thing with both of them. She even scanned the ones that were handwritten, and added some old family photos as well. Now, every time someone in our family graduates and moves out on their own, or gets married, she gives them copies. It is always their favorite gift!

  31. Brenda Boston says:

    I reorganized my recipes once and regretted it because I got rid of recipes I later wanted to revisit. Now I keep all the ones I used most in a photo sleeve and keep my hand written cards in a box that I can refer back to if I want to.

  32. miche says:

    Wow, that is an awesome idea! I have recipes all over the place-and I am probably still in the dream state of trying to cook difficult recipes….keeping ingredients limited is good advice!!
    Where did you get the plastic covers for the recipes to put in your notebook?

  33. Liz C. says:

    For those with paper accumulated: get a binder, and a box of sheet protectors, and stuff them in! You can arrange them later, and if they’re in page protectors, they won’t be floating around the kitchen.
    I’ve been meaning to get to this, too… it would sure simplify my life to have computer files with the recipes, because I’m *constantly* sharing a few of my favorites, and I get bored writing them out.
    One of my favorite wedding present ideas the past few years has been recipe cards… I think I’ll start doing them as recipe sheets, in a binder with extra page protectors and customizable, tabbed dividers.
    (The Ultra-Crafty Girl in me says… oooooh… scrapbook recipes!! Then I smack her with a stick until she shuts up.)

  34. Suzanne says:

    I did the same as you recently. I hated to just toss out the old recipes that my mother, grandmother, and aunts had written (complete with stains) so I found some inexpensive frames and some pretty scrapbook paper. I framed them and hung them in my kitchen. I love them! It reminds me of my rich Southern heritage every time I look at them. Just thought I’d share that. . .

  35. Melanie says:

    I can’t remember where I saw it, but one idea for treasuring those old recipes is to frame them and hang them in your kitchen. I thought this was precious!
    Will you share the dumpling recipe? My daughter LOVES them. I have tried Paula’s recipe. I like the chicken part and I am sure the dumplings are wonderful when Paula cooks them. So far, I am stuck with Mary B’s dumplings with Paula’s chicken and broth.

  36. Pam says:

    I made a booklet up not too long ago, with all our favorite recipes and then make a copy for each of my children to have to take with them, its so nice to be able to go to one place to get the recipe I wanted.

  37. Lori Drumm says:

    What a great idea! A perfect winter project. I, too, have clippings of recipes from magazines that I read in my newlywed days. I don’t think I’ve ever made any of those recipes – ever. Think I’ll do a little recipe box purging myself this week…

  38. shane_onegoodie says:

    I would love to try your chicken and dumpling recipe. That sounds delicious. I love to cook and I have picky kids (and husband) but this is our kind of thing.
    Creating a keepsake cookbook is so important. I truly believe recipes are the traditions that keep families together. Years ago, when my grandmother died, my mother and I created a cookbook of all her recipes so they wouldn’t be lost. All the relatives have one to pass on. Hang on to that book, and keep adding to it.

  39. Jen says:

    I can trump your cards with my papers, cards, post-its, & pictures collection strewn about in my too-high-to-see cupboard. I’m more of a “hmmm, what do I have an how can I artfully throw that together so my husband thinks I invented a recipe” person. BUT, I had a similar moment this weekend and shoved all my recipes back into the cupboard. I think I have a new project; thanks for the inspiration!

  40. Rachel says:

    I recently went thru the same thing – except I printed mine on index cards and stored them in a slide-in photo album. I made little tabs for various sections and now I can rearrange them whenever I want. It always drove me crazy to be looking for a recipe and find that I’d written it in a section that totally didn’t make sense to me at the time. Now I can simply move it and keep my sanity šŸ™‚

  41. Tay says:

    Old recipes are like dear friends, but grandma’s recipes just feel like a bunch of busywork! And i’m so excited that you found your chicken and dumplings recipe – that is a fantastic dish!

  42. Teresa says:

    I had the exact same revelation with my recipe card box a few weeks ago and also made a binder. However, I just stuck the cards in instead of retyping them so it isn’t quite as neat as yours. Some friends and I started sharing recipes because we are all young wives who are trying to learn how to cook more things. If you go to my blog, you will see the recipes on the sidebar. I am excited to see your dumpling recipe.

  43. Missus Wookie says:

    Congratulations on finding the dumpling recipe and the project completion. I have a Rolodex with either the recipe title and where to find it, or a brief overview of the recipe to remind me of exactly how much flour…
    Preferred that to the index cards as of course the cards don’t tend to wander.
    Both kids are starting their own folders of recipes for when they leave home, the handwritten cards are in my scrapbook albums if they were in any fit state. Figure that way I can always go and look at them.

  44. Melissa says:

    I made a book just like that with all of my husband’s collected recipes. He is the foodie in the family and likes to try new recipes. Whenever he finds one that is “binder worthy” I add it.
    One thing I really love about the page protectors is that I can take the recipe out of the binder and use a bit of tape to tape it to my upper cabinet. Then it’s at eyelevel and off my (limited) work surface.

  45. Erin says:

    I have been wanting to do this with my recipes. Apparently I just haven’t WANTED to do it badly enough to actually do it. I look forward to seeing the chicken and dumpling recipe!

  46. Barbara H. says:

    I did something similar with recipes I clipped out of magazines — just stuck them in with scrapbooking glue — but some of them have very small print, and I would like to put something together with all our favorite recipes in one spot.

  47. Barbara H. says:

    I did something similar with recipes I clipped out of magazines — just stuck them in with scrapbooking glue — but some of them have very small print, and I would like to put something together with all our favorite recipes in one spot.

  48. Taryn says:

    I keep a binder of empty page protectors and add recipes as I come across them: printed from, printed from emails from my mom, torn from the pages of Real Simple, etc. When I fill up one binder, I will get another! And I also go through and throw recipes out when I make something and it stinks. šŸ˜‰

  49. Marian says:

    This exact project has been on my To Do list for a long, long time. Congratulations on the accomplishment. I, too, was a very ambitious (aka delusional) young bride. =)

  50. nicole says:

    I have something similar to this. I keep my recipes in page protectors in a binder, but I still need to do some streamlining. Right now some recipes are cut out and glued to paper, while others were printed from websites, and still others are just loose cut-outs. I keep thinking I need to make things better, to find more recipes and stuff. Great work on yours!

  51. Our J'Ollie Home says:

    add me to the Waiting for the Dumpling Recipe line…..
    I have a few treasured recipes from my grandmother, handwritten on recipe cards. I wonder what our children and grandchildren will think when they look at our laser-printed recipes? Are they going to get all sentimental?

  52. Alicia says:

    Another Okie here. It’s funny that you talk about chicken and dumplings, because that’s on my menu plan for this week. The recipe is one my grandma gave me, and it’s my fave!
    But, alas, it’s written on a plain little piece of paper without even “Dumplings” written on it, so if someone else saw it, they’d have no clue what it was.
    Guess I need to get mine organized too! Great job on that book, want to come do mine? LOL

  53. Karen says:

    This is one of the things I’m most enjoying about having a cooking blog – I can go back and find the recipe later!
    As for the “add eggs one at a time” type of instructions, that is the born cooks trying to listen when others say “I don’t understand a pinch of this ….” šŸ™‚

  54. Khaki says:

    I was flipping through a magazine recently at the salon and saw a super great idea about framing and hanging those beloved splattered, yellowed, crumbing recipes. It looked like such a groovy decorating idea while being very practical…I promise you won’t lose it hanging on your wall!

  55. Angie says:

    I keep all mine on my computer, and since we have a computer in our kitchen, it works out splendidly. I just look up the recipe, enlarge it, and work right from the computer. But I do want to start writing them down on pretty recipe cards for posterity. So many fun family recipes!

  56. Normal to Natalie says:

    oh i love the idea from suzanne! i am going to scrap and frame some of my grandmother’s handwritten recipes in my kitchen!!!
    on another note, i love your idea! i am getting very frustrated at the many places i have recipes…in my in-box, on bookmarked blogs, in my recipe box, in several different cookbooks with sticky notes marking the place. ugh. guess i better get started on my word document!

  57. Bonnie says:

    Great story. I once typed up a bunch of our recipes, because some favourite cookbooks had fallen apart. Recently I discovered what great ideas you can find in recipe books, and I’m having fun experimenting! Though more modern cookbooks are better about the quick and easy part!!! šŸ™‚

  58. Christine says:

    I just did this myself! There must be a recipe fairy flying around whispering inspiration into those of us with recipes stashed hither and yon!
    Most of my recipes are on 8 1/2 x 11 paper that I either typed on the computer myself to share with other people or I printed them off some website. I had piles of these things all over the kitchen. In a fit of irritation at printing off some recipe for the 58th time I finally did the binder thing and, like you, made my very own cookbook!! I LOVE the thing! It makes me so happy seeing it there on the shelf and knowing that come Christmas, I won’t have to look high and low for the molasses cookie recipe I wheedled out of my boss’s wife several years back! Oddly, the chicken and dumpling section is a little thin in my binder…
    Now be honest…when you did this little task did you too find yourself with 14 recipes for salad and/or vegetables and about 87 for desserts and another nice pile of cookies and candy? Was that just me? Please say it wasn’t just me šŸ™‚ I’ll need a new binder before long, just to contain my sweet tooth. Sigghh….

  59. Trena says:

    I’m also in the process of this, but I keep changing my mind about what format to use, binder like you or 4×6 cards in a photo album. Okay, time to spill the beans…you mentioned a long time ago you lost 20-something pounds. Did you use WW? I saw your coookbook so I’m curious. I recently joined and am loving it for lots of reasons but mostly because I’m learning self-control and actually losing weight! Yah!

  60. Melissa says:

    I have done the exact same thing with my recipes! Whenever I find a new recipe that my family LOVES, I add it to the binder. I plan to send a copy of “Our Family Favorites” recipe binder with my kids when they go to college.
    I really like how easy this system makes it for me to find our favorite recipes.

  61. Stretch Mark Mama says:

    I’m a big fan of MasterCook, if you ever want to Take It To The Next Level.
    I keep all my “keeper” recipes in a photo album with 4×6 slots. Makes it easy to add new recipes. I use the stick-on tabs to make categories.

  62. Laurie North says:

    The same thing happened to me this summer. I went the recipe program route and am trying to but in a recipe every day or two, it is tedious! Your entry made me think of a shower gift I did for my best friend. I sent a recipe card out with the shower invitation and then collected them at the party. I bought a photo album in the same pattern as the recipe cards and stuck them in. She really liked it and uses it often.
    Great idea to print them and put in page protectors. Did you arrange into sections?

  63. britney says:

    Losing a chicken and dumpling recipe would be tragic at my house. It’s one of my all time favorites since I was a wee lass. My mom could attest to my love for dumplings; my birthday meal is ALWAYS chicken and dumplings. šŸ™‚ I’m glad you found the recipe.

  64. Lisa says:

    Turned out very nicely! I started transferring my favorite to Word as well, but quickly got bored. Now that I see your finished project, I must get back to it! Can’t WAIT for your chicken & dumpling recipe! Mine never has too much flavor, so yours just might make my family happy šŸ™‚

  65. Tara W says:

    Thanks for sharing! I did a cookbook using a free online program two years ago and printed my grandmother’s recipes, added pictures and gave one to each family for Christmas- 19 in all. Everyone loved it. Okay I am waiting on this chicken and dumplings recipe……………

  66. The (Almost) Amazing Mammarino says:

    Your comments about the directions from recipe authors reminds me of the time I tried to make my great aunt’s famous grape jelly. She said to “cook it until it made a ‘chugging’ sound.” What does THAT mean? I did what I thought she meant and ended up with grape-flavored tar!

  67. Liz C. says:

    Mammarino, my great-gran’s sugar cookie recipe calls for “two heaping teaspoons of MILK.”
    The first time I made it myself, I had to call my Mom (who had made the cookies with Great-Gran in person) HOW does one go about HEAPING Milk??
    Found out that’s Great-Gran Code for “Don’t fuss if you spill over a little.” Now, that tidbit gets passed along with the recipe, too.

  68. Shannon says:

    Are you going to share your dumpling recipe? You ARE, aren’t you? My poor (ha) little pregnant self does not desire many things to eat, but I had a sudden craving for chicken and dumplings recently. Alas, no desire to actually MAKE them though.
    I’ve got to get organized with my recipes one of these days. I like your idea of the binder.

  69. Headless Mom says:

    DUMPLINGS??!!! You must share! No one has been able to recreate my Granny’s recipe but I’m willing to try anything, and I mean ANYTHING that might just come close. *on knees begging* Pleeeease, Shannon? Will you share it with me/us?

  70. Becky says:

    How did you organize it? I have thought of doing something like this but just can’t kill the perfectionist beast in me enough to decide how to organize the book. Ugh!
    Oh, your book looks GREAT, but I LOVE that it is beside a Weight Watchers book. How real is that??

  71. Bethany says:

    I’m a highschool student doing home ec with my friend and her mom. I’ve been assigned to get some sort of recipie holder, and I’ve been thinking of doing just this. You totally nailed my decision for me. Thanks!

  72. CarrieZ says:

    I do something sort of similar. Instead of retyping them, I just use them as-is unless they’re from a cookbook (in which case I just shoot a copy on the printer). I have dividers for each section that have pockets. Recipes “to be tried” are stuck in the pockets. If they’re keepers after I try them, then I stick ’em into a page protector. If not, to the trash they go. Small recipes from magazines and stuff I just slip in whereever they fit with another recipe in that section. When I make my grocery list, I just pull out all the pages (in protectors) for that week and stick ’em in a clip on the fridge for easy reference.

  73. Heather G says:

    I’ve taken it in a different direction and gotten rid of all written copies of recipes. I keep my laptop in the kitchen/hearth room of our home. It is great when I find recipes online, I just move my laptop to where I’m cooking and the recipe is right there. I treated myself to MacGourmet. I’m in the process of putting all my recipes in that program. I’m loving it! So much easier to type in a few keywords than dig through papers or cards.

  74. kristi says:

    I have a similar system, but I didn’t bother re-writing all my recipes in Word (that would take too much time). Instead, I bought a bunch of photo-holder inserts for the binder–clear plastic pages with pockets intended for 4×6 or 5×7 photos, plus a few full-page protectors. Then I just slipped all my old recipe index cards into slots in the pages, and put them in my binder. I found a great 3-ring binder that had pockets all over the cover (so you could add more photos)–and I stuck my most frequently used recipes on that, so I don’t even have to open the book to make chocolate chip cookies or my favorite coffee cake recipe–it’s right on the cover.
    Since half of my recipes were cut out of magazines or off of boxes or packages and were all odd-shaped, it worked really well.

  75. Heidi says:

    I have a lost and mourned-for recipe too: Manicotti. I got so many compliments on it, and I’ve never seen another recipe that was as good. Unfortunately, I think I may have thrown it out when I was lactose-intolerant, which I thought would be forever, and wasn’t.
    And I’m with Hubs’ great-grandmother: store-bought pastry is just not even close to as good.
    Also, you can get a 3-ring binder whose cover folds in half, so you can use it as a stand, and then you don’t have to read a vertical recipe. Of course, you’d have to redo all those pretty flowers…

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