Eight Reasons to Give Your Mom a New Recipe Binder This Mother’s Day

A new recipe binder will make Mom’s day!

There are few people in our lives more important than our moms. She’s the one who helped you with your homework, hugged you when you fell off your bike (after she had scraped the grit out from the wounds ooohh!). She encouraged you and supported you, even with your craziest plans, and, maybe the most importantly, she’s the one who brought your family together around the dining table every evening to talk over the day’s pleasures and pains. When Mother’s Day comes around it’s sometimes hard to find a gift that really acknowledges her hard work. Here are eight reasons why we think a recipe binder–or a recipe box–make a great Mother’s Day gift.

Recipe Binder Selection

A selection of some of our newest half-page recipe binders.

 

1. Help her organize her recipes. 

Dotted Cottage Rose Recipe Binder Tabs

Tabbed dividers from Dotted Cottage Rose recipe binder

Chances are your mom is still busy when it comes to cooking – even if you’re not relying on her to feed you anymore, there’s still those special family holidays and reunions! Organizing a meal can get overwhelming very easily though, even for her – especially when there’s family over she hasn’t visited with for a while. With a recipe binder she can have all those recipes stored in one place – and all our recipe binders come with tabbed dividers to help categorize them. Page protector sleeves make adding more recipes to the recipe binder a snap! No more rummaging through bookshelves and in cupboards!

 

2. Help her pass on family favorites.

Pass a recipe binder on for future generations!Nothing takes you back like the taste of a cake or pie your mom made regularly when you were growing up – and few things matter to her more than passing on these precious traditions that she worked so hard to cultivate and maintain. It’s more than just a cake – it’s your family’s cultural heritage. As time passes and those family recipes are used less regularly, they’re all too easy to forget – what was it she used to make every Thursday after soccer practice? What was the frosting she always swore by for that chocolate cake? A recipe binder will help her document all these important details for future generations.

 

3. Help her get started on creating a family recipe collection.

Like many of us, your mom may have been meaning to collect all her recipes in a family recipe binder for years but hasn’t gotten around to it yet. She may not do the school runs any more, take you to ballet class or football practice, but hey, she’s a busy lady still! A recipe binder will help her out – you can fill it with recipes you know she loves to make, or you might want to give her a recipe binder with just page protectors and dividers, so she can decide what recipes go in there. From a selfish point of view it’s in your interest don’t forget – it will make it simpler for you to crib those favorite recipes if they are easy to find!

 

4. Show her how much you value those meals she used to make.  

If your mom doesn’t cook so much these days now that you kids have all grown up (well supposedly!) then a recipe binder that you’ve filled with some of the most cherished family favorites she’s made over the years can still be a wonderful gift. What better way to show her how much all her hard work has meant and continues to mean to you? Maybe she’ll be inspired to make those cinnamon rolls you all used to enjoy every Sunday again – but even if not, it’ll still bring back some great memories.

 

5. Help ensure a favorite recipe doesn’t get lost forever.

Favorite Recipes for your Recipe BinderYou remember those things…oh what were they, you know, they were sticky and brown and sort of flattish and…we had them that time when… Well,you get the picture. My own mom used to bake a cake that we all loved and for years after her passing my sister and I would check her old recipe books, bake something that we thought might be ‘the one’ only to find that it wasn’t. Was it just the way she made it, we wondered? Did she even have a recipe or was it in her head? Then, one sunny Sunday in my sister’s garden and we were talking about mom, I saw a coy look on her face. She half whispered, “I’ve found it!”. And there it was in an obscure recipe book, the dull title ‘Sultana Loaf’. Mom had even marked it with a pencil and we hadn’t noticed! So the moral of this story is; if you still want to taste those things that you so loved when you were younger, make sure Mom writes those recipes down and hands them on! Buy her a recipe binder or box for recipe cards, and buy yourself one too so that you can duplicate her recipes.

 

6. Share and pass on your own recipes.

Recipe Binder helps share recipesOkay so what about new young moms! Come on Grandma! Share those recipes of yours with your family so that all the little things that you have learned over the years get passed along. The most precious present a young mom or mom-to be can have is the knowledge that she is carrying on, not just the family genes, but those most important hints and methods and nutritional meals that will make her life a little easier when she is worried about what to put in the hungry little mouths around the table. With so many young moms having to work to make ends meet, those old recipes are coming into their own again. You can keep on giving her advice and tips and jot down a recipe for her once in a while, but if you organize it all for her in a beautiful recipe binder, she’ll be able to keep consulting it for years!

 

7. Make it easier for her to save money and eat healthily with good, home-cooked meals.

I remember when I was a girl that eating at a restaurant was a really big deal. It was a time when there was not much spare cash around for treats. We have got more used to going out to eat in the last few decades (or do I mean half century – whoops! where did that time go?!) but of late we are all having to tighten our belts (literally and metaphorically!) and the cheapest way to eat wholesomely is around the kitchen table. Mom, Grandma and Great Grandma knew all about thrift and nutrition. They may not have learned these things in schools or in magazines or on on TV, but if you look at some of those old recipes you’ll see that Mom ( and Mom’s Mom) really did know a thing or two about eating healthily, cheaply and probably most importantly, satisfyingly. A recipe binder will help ensure that those recipes don’t get forgotten even when the lean days are over – and will make the prospect of cooking dinner rather than ordering a pizza a lot less daunting!

 

8. A recipe binder is beautiful – and will remind mom of how special she is longer than flowers will!

Dotted Cottage Rose Recipe Binder

Full-page recipe binder – Dotted Cottage Rose design

A binder that you invest in now will last a long, long time. I have talked to many of our customers in my time with The Cookbook People, who tell me that the old one they have had for the last thirty years (seriously!) is at last falling apart and they are ready to start again with a new binder and maybe add some new recipes to the old ones. Well, maybe help them out with one of the most thoughtful gifts you can give this Mother’s Day. And remember that , yes, we all have computers but those recipe websites have a limited life span and the surest way to keep those precious foodie moments alive in the memory is the hard copy! So, feel free to buy the candy and the flowers, Mom will love them, and you, just as always. But how about that extra little gift that can say ‘I love you, Mom’ and show her that you recognize how truly special she is.

 

Happy Mother’s Day!

Make a Recipe Box For Your Spring Recipes!

A recipe box that’s just for the Spring and Summer months can be a great tool in helping you uphold your favorite family traditions for the Spring holidays.

It's that time of year again!

It’s that time of year again!

The winter holiday season lasts a long time, involving a lot of work and a lot of eating!  Come March, it sometimes feels like we’re still recovering from it all – I know at this time of year I tend to stick to very simple meals for my family, both to save hours in the kitchen and to save my bathroom scales from the result of more feasting.  My poor recipe box sits neglected at the end of my counter, still crammed with recipes for pumpkin pies, chocolate pies, cakes, tips on roasting the perfect turkey – and I’m no longer very inspired by them.  Stuffing? I’d rather nibble a stalk of asparagus.

Spring recipes for your recipe boxes

Mom’s Hot Cross Buns. I didn’t make these!

So when Easter comes around it often seems all too soon, and many of us can feel somewhat unprepared.  If you celebrate Easter, you may remember some wonderful cooking from Easters past – I especially remember my mom’s hot cross buns – but after all the work of Thanksgiving and Christmas it’s easy to feel reluctant to head back into the kitchen for another day of cooking and baking.  Last year I was full of good intentions – but with all the fuss of coloring eggs with the kids, finding a decent ham, inviting family over and preparing the traditional egg hunt, those hot cross buns never did get made.  All the cherished traditions from Spring are starting to get overlooked, and of course it makes me a little sad – I don’t want to deny my children of the delights my own mother passed down to me!

 

Is there a solution?  Of course there is!  With Easter only a week away, I’m starting to do what I probably should have done sooner – I’m setting up a new recipe box that’s specifically for my lighter, simpler Spring and Summer recipes.  Having a couple of separate recipe card boxes can really help keep things cooking –  your recipe cards aren’t all crammed in one place, and you can look for your favorite ways to prepare an Easter ham or rabbit-cookies or carrot cake without having to wade through all the hearty, rich recipes of winter.

 

To make things more fun, there are so many beautiful designs to choose from when purchasing a recipe box for the Spring – some that seem just perfect for the season!  So take an hour, collect your favorite recipes for Easter, Spring, and Summer together.  Read through them – get inspired!  If you can, do it with your mom, sisters, or friends – you can exchange great ideas and keep some of your fondest family memories alive.  And finally, give these treasured recipes the home they deserve.  Suddenly, the prospect of preparing the meal to celebrate Easter sounds like a lot of fun.  Doesn’t it?

Spring Lemons Recipe Box

My Favorite Recipe Box for the Spring!

Making a Family Cookbook: A Unique Story

 Make your family cookbook special by including the most memorable family recipes – good and not-so-good!

The idea of making a family cookbook is a popular one.  Actually starting one “from scratch” is a process that will include talking to family members old and young, and organizing all your information in a way that beautifully displays your traditions and heritage.  Everyone’s family has traditional meals that are served every year.  This is especially true for the holidays but also includes special times like birthdays and anniversaries.

It's a great story for your family cookbook.

You’ll laugh about it one day!

In my family stories of lasagna from scratch and homemade pasteles abound.  In my husband’s family, their favorite story is grandma making corned beef and boiling it long enough to make leather out of it.  Oh, it was served every March for St. Patty’s day, but instead of eating it they chewed on it and spat it back in their napkins.  In fact, the eldest daughter didn’t know she could actually EAT corned beef until she had it at someone else’s house in her twenties.  Grandma’s corned beef recipe probably won’t make it to the cook, but that’s part of the fun!  Should I exclude it from the cookbook altogether?  I think I’d rather include a section for stories like that at the end of the cookbook.  Or maybe a story like that should be paired with one of grandma’s more successful recipes.  Maybe I will include my father’s stuffed peppers and next to it include the story of his split pea soup.  We were drinking water with green pebbles that night!

 

The love and effort it takes to mess up a meal for your family and keep on cooking is something to be admired and remembered.  That is part of the beauty of making a family cookbook.  It becomes a part of the history of your family that you can pass down to your own children.  Whether you are using cards in a box, or binders with page protectors you can create and add to your own family cookbook with grace, elegance and humor that will become a unique work of art for your family to cherish for generations.

 

Take a look at our many styles and contact us to see how we can help you capture your unique family traditions.

A Recipe Binder Can Prepare Your Teen For What Lies Ahead

They’re about to head out on their own – but a recipe binder you’ve put together for them to use will help them stay healthy and organized.

As teens move through the high school years, we want to prepare them for what’s ahead.  We want them to be able to fend for themselves when they are out on their own, especially if they’ll soon be heading off to college.  Here’s one way you can help them get started – put together a recipe binder.

Some great recipe binder designs your teen will love!

Some great recipe binder designs your teen will love!

recipe binder can contain all the dishes you fixed for them over the years – perhaps starting out with the simpler ones.  Since organization is key to getting anything done, that’s where to start.  Simply label dividers for your recipe binder, preferably with pockets, to have a place for the different types of recipes that you want to put in.

You might want to include how to read food labels and price information.  How to select the right equipment.  How to measure dry versus wet ingredients.  A glossary of cooking terms is helpful too.

You might also want to include an extra section for general household tips.  These might cover how to do anything, from sorting laundry to putting together a grocery list to polishing shoes – or even tying a tie!

To make the binder extra special, add photos of your teen making the dishes and cleaning up. The illustrations are important, especially in a how-to manual.

Making a recipe binder is a fun and practical way to prepare your child for the things to come, and it’s a nice way to spend time together and build memories,too.  And, wherever your son or daughter are heading, enabling them to enjoy those great meals you provided for them as they grew up will mean they’ll always feel close to you.  What better way to stay connected?

For more information about creating a recipe binder, contact us.

A recipe box or binder that’s just for you.

A recipe box just for you can make cooking dinner a joy.

Recipe Box and Binder

Have your own personal recipe box.

You may have given quite a few recipe boxes, recipe binders or recipe card sets away to relatives or friends as gifts this year. But have you thought about how much you might benefit from a simple recipe keeping solution yourself? Now a new year is well underway and it’s time to think about your own kitchen needs – and maybe give yourself a gift for once!

 

Recipe collections are often passed down through the generations, but not everyone has a Great Aunt Sally who made the world’s best mac and cheese. Some of us were raised by busy single parents who just didn’t have time to cook. Some simply don’t have a family legacy in the kitchen. Many of us may still have the family recipes, but still want their own collection to help them find their style as a cook. It’s great to keep passing down traditions, but all great traditions change and grow with time. After all, it is your family too!

 

Another reason to start a personal collection is if you or someone close to you has a special diet. After all, grandma’s collection from the 40’s probably doesn’t have too many vegan options, to say nothing of gluten-free possibilities. Sometimes diet restrictions can feel overwhelming and isolating. Starting a collection that fits your needs can empower you to handle your specific needs.

 

So, consider starting a personal collection of recipes, in a recipe box or binder. If you’re starting out, starting over, or just getting adventurous in the kitchen, a personal collection can be a great way to encourage you to develop your skills. A recipe box is good place to start – recipes written on smaller, easy-to-find cards can make things seem less daunting! Most recipe boxes come with subject dividers to help you keep things organized, and you can buy dividers and protective covers for the recipe cards separately too.

 

To start, don’t over think the project. Choose a system that lends itself to easy organization, and then start collecting recipes. You can find them online, of course, but don’t stop there. The library often has a large selection of cookbooks, including specialty books that you might not consider buying for yourself. Take them home and try them out, then copy your favorites to cards for your recipe box or binder.

 

A personal collection can be an empowering aid in the kitchen. It can help you to break out as a cook in your own right – and it keeps cooking fun! Even if you already have the family cookbook, it’s never a bad time to start your own collection to be passed down for generations to come.

Create A Family Cookbook from Your Printed Recipes

It’s easy to create your own family cookbook.

 

In the past, pre-printed cookbooks used to be one of the main sources of recipes.  The other source was passing the recipe from one individual to another on a 3” x 5” index card.  What’s more, people had time to hand-write their recipes out in notebooks, creating a family cookbook to sit on the shelf along with their favorite recipe books.

Organize Printed Recipes into Family Cookbook

Pages of recipes printed from the internet get disorganized – make them into a family cookbook you can feel proud of

Nowadays, things are not so simple, or organized!  With less time to spare and more information available, many of us still haven’t gotten around to writing out those old family recipes – but have started turning to the internet to find ideas. That’s no bad thing – the web has many excellent recipe sites bringing an a vast range of recipes right to our fingertips.  But of course, computers, tablets and smart phones aren’t too good around food or liquid – besides the risk of spillage, it’s not easy to scroll through the instructions (especially with a touch-screen device) when your hands are covered in flour!  So, when it comes to putting these recipes to the test in the kitchen, printing off the recipe is still the best option.  The result is we have a wealth of fantastic new recipes and ideas, but many of them end up scattered around the kitchen printed on loose pieces of paper with no way to organize them.  Meanwhile the family cookbook, once shared through the generations, seems to be falling by the wayside – ironically at a time when preserving, sharing and passing on recipes has never been easier.

 

Maybe you’re someone who wants to rekindle the family cookbook tradition, or perhaps you simply want a tidier kitchen.  Either way, with all these great recipes – whether it’s something your mom wrote out for you or from your internet research – you have a wonderful opportunity to create and maintain an organized collection of recipes that you can feel truly proud of.  Instead of being overwhelmed by the all the print-outs you’ve kept, the scraps you’ve been given, and the bookmarks to more great recipes you’ve saved on your computer – you can collect all these favorite finds and bind them together to make your own, new, family cookbook.

 

Making a family cookbook that is customized to your family may be simpler than you think.  First of all, place each of these printed recipes into a page protector.  This allows you to wipe off the page if any food or crumbs should get on it during food preparation.

 

Pick out a recipe binder in your preferred color or design.  This can be your favorite color, or it can be coordinated with your kitchen.  You may choose a simple, plain binder which will allow your family to decorate and customize the outside of it with craft paint or markers.  Many ring binders allow for a paper insert for the front, back and the spine, so you and your family might want to try drawing a design together.  Alternatively you might prefer to select a more ornate binder that your family all will love.

 

The next question you may ask is how to organize the inside of the book.  There are different ways to do this.  Some may want to organize by type of dish such as appetizer, casserole, soup, stew, cakes, or cookies.  Others may want to organize the book by what is contained in the dish such as having a section for beef, chicken, or pork.  Using basic tab dividers which are made for binders, organize the cookbook in a way that will be easiest for your family.  Some more expensive binders include pre-printed tabs.

 

Putting together a family cookbook is an activity in which the entire family can become involved.  If you have children, they will enjoy decorating the outside of the binder and the dividers for the different sections.  They also may enjoy helping to place the recipes inside the plastic page protectors.  In the end, you will have a product that your family will use and will remember the joy of making.

 

For more information and ideas, please visit us!

Planning to Get Organized This Year? Start in the Kitchen with a New Recipe Binder

A recipe binder might not help you keep all your New Year’s resolutions – but it’s a great start!

After the New Year celebrations died down, was one of your resolutions to ‘be more organized’? So many of us start the year with good intentions, only to get overwhelmed before the first month of the year is out. When it comes to organization in the home it can be hard to know where to begin. If you’re anything like me, that feeling starts when you look around your kitchen.

 

Recipe Binders

Cooking for guests and family can be a joy, but it sometimes results in your kitchen looking like a hurricane blasted through it. When you write down notes for recipes, they can become scattered across your kitchen counter and even get lost in the mess. Cooking your favorite recipes gets extremely difficult when you have to look through heaps of disorganized notes. One thing that can save you from this is a specialized recipe binder.

 

There are various types of recipe binders that can work in your favor whether you’re a big time chef or someone who is new at cooking up meals. Full page recipe binders have 8.5″ x 11” paper dimensions as well as 4″ x 6″ and 5″ x 7″ recipe card holders. You can easily organize these binders with divider tabs that state what each recipe is for.

 

If you or someone you know is getting the hang of cooking and needs a little extra help, why not try a mini recipe binder? These binders are small enough to stack on a tiny shelf for safekeeping. Each binder comes with protective sleeves that will guard your precious recipes from the grease splatters and sauce spills. A handy-dandy recipe binder in any size will carry on the family tradition of home cooked meals for generations.

 

If you’d love to keep your recipes well adapted and organized, contact us! We’ll help you and your loved ones find the perfect binder for all your cooking needs.

Customer Writes about our Cookbook Software

“Um Mom, what’s for dinner?”

This is usually the first sentence I hear when my kids get home.  Sometimes I know what dinner is going to be…sometimes I even have all the ingredients and everything prepped and ready.  But some days this daily ritual gets away from me, and my answer is “well, it’s a Mommy invention”.

This used to strike fear in the hearts of my children.  They’d look at each other, communicating with glances as only siblings can, expressing their trepidation at the idea.  You mean that woman can look at what she has in the house and miraculously turn it into dinner?  Is that even possible?  “Mom, don’t you need a recipe?” one of them would ask quietly…

They’ve learned though that Mom can cook.  They’ve asked me to keep track of some of these “Mommy Inventions” for when I can’t think of what to cook.  My youngest has even requested his own cookbook to take with him when he’s grown.  Gulp.  That means I need a way to organize all these recipes…the ones we like, the ones we’ve made up, the ones we’ve made our own adjustments to…yikes!

Since organization isn’t exactly my forte, I started looking for some options.  I needed something simple, that I could periodically update, and where I could make more than one copy.  While the boy child is the one who wants the cookbook, presumably the girl child will eventually move out and need to feed herself too, right?  That’s where cookbook software comes in.

Matilda’s Fantastic cookbook software allows you to customize your cookbook exactly the way you want it.  You can add in your recipes as you find them, and when you’re ready just print the whole thing out on your home computer as many times as your little heart desires.  The system is user friendly, comes with several pre-loaded templates, and even has measurement converters for those of us who aren’t so mathematically gifted.  It’s a simple way to share your family traditions and keep track of those recipes that tend to get lost in the shuffle.  This is a great tool, and even comes with a free trial so you can try it out.  Genius!

Suddenly the idea of my kids being able to cook for themselves seems a little less daunting.  Now if I could just get them to not grow up…

Organize your treasure trove of family cooking secrets with recipe software

Where do you keep your favorite recipes? Are they in cut-out form, floating freely in a shoe box in a cabinet somewhere? Maybe you’re more organized and use an arbitrary alphabetical system. Is your apricot pudding recipe filed under “a” or “p”?  Or you might own a slowly disintegrating library of specialty cookbooks and only have a few favorites from each one. If you rely on your favorite recipes, why not get it together and load up some recipe software?

 

But I’m no computer geek, you’re thinking…

To the average computer user, the term “software” conjures up equally scary terms like “downloading,” or “customizing” or even paying large amounts of money for something that gums up your computer requiring a visit by your computer geek nephew, who just makes things worse. But good, robust and user-friendly recipe software – namely, an application that uses the power of a database to do one thing well (organizing for retrieval and printing) – can be just the thing to keep you from having to file your apricot pudding recipe under “a” and “p” or float free in that shoe box.

 

The best software does what?

Well, it’s not so much what the software does; rather, it’s what the software makes the user do to make it do what it does. Computer geeks call that “UI” – or user interface. The rest of us call it “the stuff we have to do to make the software work as designed.” If the stuff we have to do is so complicated and difficult that the return on the effort is outweighed by the effort itself – well, you get the picture.

 

What good recipe software does…

It’s simple, really. Good recipe software loads up ready to use so that the user can start amassing a collection of favorite family recipes immediately. And here’s the kicker: the UI – did you forget that abbreviation already? It stands for “user interface” – has to be intuitive. That means the software design is so straightforward that you can start using it without going through a week’s tutorial with your geeky nephew.

 

Good stuff in, great stuff out…

Now that we’ve got the intuitive UI (see previous paragraph if you’ve forgotten that abbreviation again) issue settled, the real reasons the user puts all the recipe information into the recipe software are these: (1) instant access of everything now; (2) total organization with no paper clips, shoe boxes or grease-stained, torn cookbooks; (3) a variety of print options that allow things like “A Book of Favorite Recipes Enjoyed by my Computer Geek Nephew.”

 

The Cookbook People have the recipe software you’re looking for. It’s easy to use, feature rich, and also has a wonderful family bio section that makes it a truly unique product. Visit us to see our demo and download our sample application. You’ll love what this software does, and at a really reasonable price.

Use Page Protectors! Crusty food does not always add vintage charm to cookbooks

Busy cooks can be proud of themselves for creating a custom cookbook in a binder.

 

Sometimes, when you are busy creating the kind of recipes that cause your family members and houseguests to declare you the World’s Best Food Maker Ever, you can lose sight of the importance of organization.

 

Once you’ve spent time putting all of your culinary inspiration on paper and dragging out the ever elusive three-hole punch so that you can file them away in your super tough sexy kitchen binder, it’s natural to just want to sit back and enjoy the feeling of awesomeness that is sure to follow.

 

Not to rain on your parade, but you aren’t finished. Unless you made that cookbook to sit on a high shelf and look pretty, it’s going to get splattered. You will crack an egg and inadvertently drag mucus across its pages. Your dog will bump your knee while begging for a drop of cookie dough and you’ll accidently toss a shiny chocolate chip onto the recipe page where it will go unnoticed until it becomes one with the paper. Even if you do manage to carefully scrape it off, it’s gonna leave a mark.

 

Do you want this kind of crusty chaos mucking up your beautiful collection of culinary inspiration? No. Don’t try to add vintage charm to your cookbook with unidentifiable splats and splatters. Go the extra foot. Drop your recipes in recipe page protectors. Hey, you won’t have to bother with the elusive three-hole punch that way, either.

Some Handy Tips for Making a Family Cookbook

Every family has favorite recipes. Some people keep their go-to formulas taped to the inside of a kitchen cabinet, some keep them tucked neatly into color coded binders. Some people write in their cookbooks so the changes they’ve made to traditional recipes will be accessible in the future when their kids want to recreate the taste of home.

 

Whether you family is living in the same town or scattered all over the globe, making a family cookbook can be a source of joy for years to come.

 

It may sound like a big project but it’s really quite simple. First, you need to pitch the idea to several members of your extended family that are in charge of their own home’s menus. Make a list of favorite dishes that they are known for, and ask for those recipes first.

 

They can submit them as handwritten, photocopy or scan them directly out of the cookbook they use, or retype them into a document and email them to you. Don’t worry about making the format consistent or perfect. Families aren’t perfectly formatted. Your family cookbook will be cherished all the more for its individuality.

 

personalized binder is a perfect way to store the components of your family cookbook. Each person participating gets a binder with a personalized cover, spine, and inserts. Pick a designated time of year to “add” to the binder. Some families make a recipe exchange part of their holiday tradition. Tastes change so much from year to year and new recipes are always being discovered and created. It’s a wonderful way to record the history of your extended family’s growth.

The Family and Recipe Organizer

Pavarotti once said, “One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.”

 

I have to think that the type of eating he refers to here is not the type that most of us succumb to on a daily basis. When Pavarotti said, “stop,” I don’t think he was talking about the few seconds that our car is in park at the drive-through window. I don’t even think he was talking about the half hour we have at the office to eat the turkey sandwich with mustard and tomato that we so rarely think to bring with us. I think he was talking about dinner.

 

Dinner. When I was a kid, we sat at the table. We may have eaten spaghetti, but the sauce was at least mostly homemade: canned tomatoes with ground beef, mushrooms and peppers, garlic bread on the side with a salad to boot. We sat down. We passed the food around the table. We waited until everyone’s plate was full, and then we ate. We didn’t always say grace, but we were thankful for our meals and for our seats.

 

I know what you’re thinking: “Well, that’s beautiful but someone’s got to do the cooking.” “I’m a working mom.” “I’m a busy woman.” “My family’s schedule is too crazy. We don’t have time to sit down together.”

 

Arts & Crafts style recipe organizer

A recipe organizer can help your family come together

To that I say, dinner should be relaxing; family time is rare but not impossible. I believe a great dinner begins with the cooking. When there is time to cook a meal for the whole family, why not relish it? Cooking can be a chore, but what if it weren’t? What if we put on a little of our favorite music? What if our recipes were organized so that we could actually make the recipes that make our families? What if we served dinner in glass dishes instead of in the pots and pans which we cooked? What if our kids set the table? What if everyone cleared their own dishes?

 

I know what you’re thinking: “Well, that’s beautiful but it won’t work in my house.”

 

To that I say, why not?

 

What about our dinners differ from those of Pavarotti? Effort. Pavarotti obviously loved to sit down and eat, and he would not have traded those moments for anything else. Let’s start making an effort. Let’s stop whatever it is we’re doing- the dishes, the homework, the arguments, the worrying- let’s think about good things, and let’s eat dinner together.

 

Please feel free to contact us regarding our recipe organizers. This is what we do. We want to help you and your family become experts at dinnertime. 

 

The Recipe Card for Keeping that Holiday Flavor

While the holiday season has many virtues including gift giving and receiving, as we get older much of the focus turns to the foods we get to enjoy at this time of year. Cookies, candies and even some side dishes and meats are only prepared in this narrow time span. Which is probably a good thing considering that many of the dishes we look forward to are not exactly health conscience.

 

So you had a really great time and maybe you overindulged a bit and raided the cookie jar or candy dish a few times too many. Now it is time to face the music and the resolutions you will make going into a new year. Out comes the scales, the water bottle and those low calorie meals that will quickly seem boring and routine. Time to hit the treadmill and attempt to come up with menu options that are appetizing and will pare down some of that spare tire or muffin top you’ve acquired. Oops, muffin is a dirty word in the world of healthy eating. Or is it?

A way to ease the painful transition from going all out and preparing those scrumptious high calorie holiday treats to the more mundane world of healthy eating is to keep that recipe card handy while in the kitchen.

 

Most of us need to have our top-secret extraordinary recipes in front of us when making those memorable holiday specialties. To turn that dish into a healthier treat you can enjoy year-round; as you are peering over the ingredients, think of ways to tweak that recipe into more diet-friendly fare. Keep your recipe cards handy and jot down reduced calorie or lower fat alternatives that might just work as well as those less healthy ones.
Easy replacements include alternatives to real sugar and fat-free dairy products. However, what about making some substitutions for that traditional turkey dinner and enjoying a lighter version a few months later? Roasted vegetables in place of those fat laden buttery mashed potatoes with gravy makes a perfect accompaniment to a lovely turkey breast. The holiday aura is there but without the guilt associated with the high calorie version.

 

When you reach for the rolling pin, bowls and luscious ingredients during this holiday season, make sure to contact us for more ideas and keep those recipe cards handy to jot down healthier ingredient options to help you keep those New Year resolutions.

 

Please take a look at our selection of recipe keepers as well as recipe cards.

Tidy Caramel Apples

Makes 24 slices
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cool time: 20 minutes

Ingredients
• 3 large Granny Smith apples (or any apple of your choice)
• 1 large lemon
• 2 cups caramel squares, unwrapped
• 2 tablespoons corn syrup
• 1/4 cup chopped pecans
• Chocolate sauce (optional)

Directions
Cut your apples in half and use a melon baller to scoop out the insides, leaving the walls intact at about 1/2 to 1/4 inch thickness.

Squeeze the juice from the lemon onto the apples and allow to set. (This will keep them from turning brown right away.)

To make the caramel sauce, melt the caramel squares in a sauce pan over low heat, with the corn syrup. Allow to cool for about 10-15 minutes.

Using a paper towel, wipe your apples down, removing the lemon juice as much as possible. If the inside of your apple is too wet, the caramel wont stick.

Pour the caramel into the hollowed out apples until just below the top. Sprinkle with pecans.

Chill in the refrigerator until the caramel has set, about 20 minutes. Cut into slices and drizzle with chocolate sauce, if desired.

 

Love my chickens!

Having chickens in an urban environment can be a great way to get fresh eggs for all those recipes! Here are some advantages to consider when owning your own mini flock!

  • Fresh Eggs Delivered Right to your Backyard!
  • You always know how your chickens were treated (With lots of love!)
  • You know “eggs-actly” what went into making those eggs!
  • Chickens provide lots of entertainment!
  • Natural weeders and bug eaters (to help protect your garden)

Do you own your own chickens? What are some of the advantages YOU find to having them?

Here are some of my favorite Chicken and Rooster Recipe Binders:

Where is that recipe? No, that’s not it. Maybe…no, that’s not it either. Forget it. Let’s order pizza.

Sound familiar? It’s the route I often took after pawing through a pile of haphazardly folded computer print-print outs, scribbled-on notepapers, and the other odd assortment of scraps of paper that composed my recipe collection. Little did I know there was a simple solution that could take the frustration out of my time in the kitchen and bring back the fun: a recipe box.

I know…it’s not exactly rocket science. And yet we so often don’t take the time to find the tools that will make our life in the kitchen easier. A lovely recipe box and a stack of recipe cards go a long way in putting the joy back in cooking. Here’s what I love about my trusty recipe box:

No fuss, no muss

Yes, there’s a little bit of time that goes into transferring recipes to a card and organizing them in your recipe box. Just a little bit. But this little bit of time leads to a no fuss, no muss experience down the road. All of my recipes are at my fingertips. And if I’m heading out to the grocery store I can grab that card and go. The result is that I actually use my recipes, instead of just looking at them and thinking, “Someday I’ll make that delicious sounding dish.”

It’s a solution that works

I’m a fairly digital person. I have about every device on the market. And I love the idea of all of these recipe websites that allow you to create digital recipe boxes on their site. I have happily clicked away and archived many recipes. Then I leave the website and forget they exist. Why? It’s just not the right solution for the problem! When I’m in a cooking mood I’m in the kitchen, not in front of my computer. Nothing compares to being able to grab my recipe box and flip through until I come across something that strikes my fancy. So now I save the computer for emails and spreadsheets and keep my recipes where they belong.

It sparks my cooking creativity

Cooking is an art. And the kitchen is the place of inspiration. Being able to flip through all the recipes in my recipe box easily and quickly gets those creative juices flowing. It makes meal planning an adventure instead of a task. And the end result is a meal that is infused with all of the creativity, adventure and joy you felt while planning it. Delicious!

If you’re feeling inspired to ditch your pile of stained and scribbled papers, find the recipe box and recipe cards that will keep you feeling inspired.

Tips for making your recipe binder work for you

Yes, it sounds a little like something a kitchen overachiever would have; a vast collection of numbered, color coded, perfectly filed recipe binders filled with insightful, witty, precise notes on successfully executed dinner parties, wildly popular family supper ideas, and go-to instructions on everything from how to properly remove the flesh of an avocado to which method for peeling an entire head of garlic is the fastest.

A very durable leather recipe binder.

Let’s leave that image behind for a moment and discuss reality. In a real, working kitchen, you write stuff down. Whether you cover your refrigerator with sticky notes or fold down the edges of your favorite cookbooks is entirely up to you. If you’ve entertained the idea of making your culinary discoveries a bit easier to access and share, a recipe binder is probably in your future.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you make your recipe binder a part of your cooking life.

  • Use tabs. You know, the kind that stick out on the side of the pages. There may not be much to it at first but before long, you’ll be wishing you could hire a professional indexer to handle your out of control binder. Label now, cry less later.
  • Perfectionism will hold you back. Your binder works for you. You do not work for it. Misspellings, inexact measurements, and little notes in the margins about which kid likes which dish best aren’t all necessary to the function of your binder, but they give it character, which is priceless.
  • Go for durability. This binder is going to get dropped. You will probably spill something on it at some point. Make sure it can stand the test of time.

For more information on how to create a recipe binder that will stand the test of time and serve you well in the kitchen, please contact us.

Check for Fresh Eggs

How to Check for Fresh Eggs

#1. This is just what my Mum once told me. If you do this test and get sick and die, well, please don’t sue the Cookbook People. We sell delightful recipe binders and recipe boxes and write cookbook software. We aren’t organic biologists.

#2. That said, if you use this test, cook the good eggs immediately. Bacteria can get in through the water through the shell once you submerge them.

#3. Fresh eggs are harder to peel after boiling than older eggs.

#4. Always spin your eggs a little in the grocery store. If one sticks to the carton, you’ve got a bad egg. Nobody likes a bad egg.

#5. Please buy Free Range Eggs. They taste better, they only cost a little more, and the lovely birds shouldn’t spend their whole lives in little boxes. #6. Place this useful tidbit inside your recipe binder! 🙂