Yay! I've finally gotten down to writing about my new recipe folders!
The one really good thing about it taking me a while is that I've really been able to test how these folders work for me on an every day basis. Here they are ...
Last year I had one recipe file that housed all my baking recipes and a small recipe book my mother-in-law gave me that had all my favourite main meal recipes in it. These were working well along side my favourite Jamie Oliver cookbook that we use quite a bit. I was meal planning for five nights a week, anymore in one week is a waste in our house as our plans change all the time.
So what changed? Well Amelia arrived. Amelia is my Thermomix. Yes I named mine. Why Amelia? Well one of my favourite series of books when I was little was Amelia Bedelia who was a maid and she worked for the Rogers family. If you read them as I child you would probably think 'what the' as she wasn't exactly very helpful at all. But anyhow that's how the name came about.
Back to the point ... I had a whole different set of recipes that came from a number of different thermomix recipe books, blogs, facebook pages and the Thermomix forum itself. I stopped meal planning as I was still learning and experimenting non stop with the Thermomix. It was also the Christmas and Summer period where we are at our most social and go camping a lot (although not as much this year as we had hoped). I found myself sifting through recipe books for far too long looking for what to make for tea. So in order to get back into meal planning I decided to get organised first.
I decided on 3 categories (Mains, Sides and Baking). I went to Officeworks and bought two 2 ring white files for just $2 each, a pack of 100 plastic sleeves and some file dividers. I only bought 2 files as I had one spare in the office and I'm going to convert my old recipe file into a special occasions folder with recipes for Christmas, Easter, Valentine's Day, ANZAC Day etc.
I chose extra wide file dividers as these stick out and and can be easily seen and grasped between plastic sleeves. I made up the file labels in photoshop using my favourite digital paper as a background. I used the same paper to make the spine labels for the files.
The categories I choose were all based on what I knew what work for me and what I would most likely be searching for.
Mains: Beef, Chicken, Mince, Lamb, Pasta, Pies, Pizza.
Sides: Soups, Salads, Side Dishes, Sauces/Dips, Breakfast, Lunch, Pastries, Desserts, Drinks, Misc.
(Breakfast has CADA, omelets, eggs and bacon pies etc while lunch has mini-quiches, zucchini slice etc)
Baking: Biscuits, Muffins,Slices, Bread, Cake, Scrolls, Pancakes, Scrolls, Party.
Some recipes may fall into more than one category, some I've just put it in one category and some in both. I'm the kind of meal planner and baker that will be 'I want to make a bread today or I need something different for the kids to have for lunch so that's why I choose these categories. It may not suit everyone but I suits me and the sometimes nutty way I think.
My recipes are all kept in individual plastic sleeves (back-to-back) so that they are kept clean. I'm always accidentally splattering recipes and recipe books. I also have left a few blank plastic sleeves in each category to easily add more recipes I find.
Some of my recipes are either printed straight from the Internet like this yummy chocolate and coconut slice from A little delightful, from the Thermomix forum. I lot of my recipes have been retyped (cut & pasting from websites is super easy and quick) and printed out just the way I like them. I always try to remember to reference the original source down the bottom of the recipe too.
As for new recipes I used to have a special pocket in my file for new untested recipes but I confess I never went through them. My strategy this time around is to choose recipes that are recommended or have great feedback. I simply pop them in and if we don't like them or they fail miserably I just toss them out.
I'm still to tackle changing my menu planning method but that will come all in good time now that I have all my recipes organised in one place. I'm also waiting on hubby to remove all sorts of random things including fish carcases out of my deep freezer so I can do a bulk meat shop to go with my menu plan.
I have made my recipe divider labels free to download.
You can find the divider labels here and I added some extra categories that I though others might use (such as seafood, vegetarian and more) as well as a couple of blank ones.
The file labels are here. I simply printed them both onto car stock and trimmed them to size using my paper cutter and scissors.
Cheers to easy recipe searching!!