Last month I shared on Instagram my custom cookbooks. There was a lot of interest in them so I thought I would share a little more information about them.
I have collected a huge amount of loose recipes over the years. A lot have been passed on by friends and family, I've printed a whole heap off Pinterest and there are hundreds that I have photocopied from magazines. Problem was, that huge stack of paper was so uninspiring. With no system or order to the recipes it was just plain daunting. So I decided to get organised and make my own custom cookbooks.
I began by splitting all my recipes in to one of three categories - main meals, sweet/baking and seasonal celebrations. I used four Kikki-K Cloth Lever Arch Binders - one for main meals (although this one is bursting open and needs to be split in to two), two for sweet/baking and one for seasonal celebrations.
I then broke down each of the three main categories in to subcategories. For example the "Main Meals" category was broken down in to breakfast, brunch/lunch, nipples/dips, soups/stews, salads/sides, pies/pizza/tarts, pasta/rice, drinks, fish, chicken, beef, lamb and pork. I made labelled dividers for each section.
From there I sorted each recipe in to the subcategory I thought was most relevant, popped all of the recipes in clear files, numbered each even numbered page and filed each recipe in the appropriate divider.
Then I created an index for all of the recipes. I cross-referenced each recipe using the two main ingredients in each recipe so I'll be more likely to find what I was looking for each time I used my cookbooks. For example I have a fantastic Mexican rice recipe so I indexed this under "chicken" and "rice" plus "Mexican".
I highlighted all our family favourites so if I am lost for dinner ideas when I do my weekly meal planning then I have a quick reference of ideas.
If I try a new recipe and it's not so great then I remove it from the binder straight away and cross it off the index. Those Funfetti Cupcakes were a disaster! I update the index in Excel every few months.
It was a pretty big job as I had such a huge amount of loose recipes but now that they are all filed and indexed I can safely say that they are my "go to" cookbooks. I use them almost every day. I love them!
I had a couple of people email me asking if I they could send me their loose recipes to make them a custom cookbook. Absolutely! I love organising and would love to do this. I haven't figured out the pricing details of this yet but just contact me for more information.