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Collecting and Organizing Recipes and Inspiration

Let’s talk recipes. No not sharing them, just letting you know how I store them and use them. First let me talk about my favorite places to get inspiration for new meals.

Everyday Food by Martha Stewart
An excellent source for information about herbs, shelf life of pantry items, descriptions of ingredients and of course delicious recipes. I’ve taken so many things from these little magazines like Shaun’s favorite meal of Penne, Peas and Ham in an Oregano Mustard sauce. I know it doesn’t sound like something a kid would like but he gobbles it up. The online version isn’t as good as the paper version, this is why I keep all of my issues. It’s one little “readers digest size” mag a month but they are stuffed full with great ideas and pictures and helpful hints.  Trust me this will inspire great meals for years to come.
Most of the recipes listed on this huge database are from regular people. The ability to leave and read reviews from others who have tried a recipe in the past is my favorite feature. Also the option to change serving sizes works great when you need to feed a crowd or just 2. My favorite recipe from is Best Chocolate Chip Cookies (without nuts). We make this recipe quite often and it never fails to please.  Tons of articles and holiday tips, an excellent source for real eaters and home cooks.

Pioneer Woman

courtesy of Pioneer Woman

Ree Drummond is a food blogger extraordinaire! Her recipes come from her heart as well as her ranch and the photography that goes along is enough to make your mouth water. Her Salted Caramel Apples look divine and I’m hoping to make them for Halloween with my family.

When I find a recipe I want to try online, I print it or if it’s in a magazine I rip it out and it goes in sheet protectors. They then go into a binder that has been outfitted with dividers labeled:

  • Breakfast
  • Soups & Stews
  • Appetizers
  • Sauces & Seasonings
  • Sides
  • Main Dishes
  • Desserts
  • Breads

I’ve collected so many recipes over the years that every couple months I have to weed out what I haven’t attempted or what we didn’t really like. If I’ve altered a specific recipe (I often do) I make notes right on the page so that I remember for next time.

My routine for meal planning was to go through and pull out the pages and hang them on the fridge so I knew what we were eating all week. I recently took cut index cards and wrote our most fave meals on them and randomly pull them for meal planning. This should work well to keep the menu fresh and different. I’ll add more cards as I remember meals we like or try new recipes we like. Maybe I’ll make cuter/neater cards in the future but this is just an experiment so I didn’t want to put too much into it.

What are your meal planning tips and tricks? Where do you find food inspiration?

I Disclose