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Finding that elusive recipe

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More and more, I find myself turning to my computer when looking for a recipe. This isn’t surprising when I’m seeking a new recipe, but it is when I’m looking for a recipe I know I already have.

The issue is my recipe organization system. Developed over several decades, it’s a decidedly low-tech series of three-ring binders. The pockets are stuffed with recipe cards from relatives and friends, pages torn out of cooking magazines, or ripped from the back of product packages. It’s a system that’s less than perfect, as finding a recipe involves shuffling through many scraps of paper (an enjoyable task on a Saturday morning with a cup of tea at my side, as I leisurely contemplate what to cook that weekend; less so when I’m just in the door on a weeknight and want to eat in less than 30 minutes).

All the more reason I love the My Favorites section here on FineCooking.com. Because not only can I bookmark all the Fine Cooking recipes I make again and again, but I can also add my own recipes. Yes, it will take some time to type many of them in, but the idea of being able to instantly search through my collection of tried and trues makes it worthwhile.

How about you? Do you have a recipe organization system that works?



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  • Pam | 04/06/2009

    No affiliation - just a very happy customer - try Living Cookbook (free trial download available)- accepts scans, copy and paste, and the best support I've ever seen. Have posted on their bulletin board a couple times for help and got, not just a response, but an actual conversation!

  • eatdrinkmanwoman | 03/27/2009

    I wish I had a system. There is the computer, my magazines, my cookbooks, my newspaper articles. I also have MacGourmet. EEEKKKK. I wish someone would develop a program that would allow scans, recipes from the internet etc. to be accepted. It would make life so much easier. I really don't enjoy manually typing everything in.

    One idea is to have a file of index cards that lists the location of recipes. That has helped on occasion but it's not the end-all solution.

    Would love to hear from others on this.

  • Cdn_Kiwi | 03/24/2009

    Other than my FC magazines, which I use all the time along with a few favourite cookbooks, I use an accordian file system. I have a set of two very nice box-like accordian files on which I have labelled the total of 24 sections: everything from appetizers to preserves, ethnic dishes, pasta, cookies, bread - whatever suites your fancy (and your style). When I find an interesting recipe to clip & save, I simply file it under the appropriate section. When I want to make a particular dish (ie chicken), I simply pull out the recipes from that particular pocket and find a suitable one.

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