Cherry Pie Idea

A friend sent me this pic when I told her the rascals devoured my cherries before I got around to picking them to make a pie. New idea: Next May I’m setting out several pounds of sunflower seeds. Either they’ll be too preoccupied, or they’ll be too fat to climb the tree.

Meanwhile, my cherry pie recipe card goes unused for the year. I refuse to give in and go and buy them.

If you’re a cherry pie fan, you might check out this nice cherry recipe card design:

Wedding Custom Recipe Binder Gift

Wedding Recipe Binder gift

First off, yes, that is my own wedding photo. 🙂 Happy, happy day.
Now then, if you’re reading this, you like recipes and you like to organize them. And maybe, just maybe, you are lucky enough to be attending a June wedding this year. Why not give the gift of a nice customizable recipe binder or personalized recipe box that lets the happy couple add a photo to the front? The merging of two families represented by the joyous co-mingling of two recipe collections! Glorious! (The groom’s collection may only consist of  Del Monte Sloppy Joe mix and the phone number to Domino’s, but never mind. I’m trying to be romantic here!)

*Bonus* Well, nobody asked for it, but here’s my wedding party. I love this photo.

Octodog: A simple, yet questionable, addition to your recipe box

I’ve lived in America for many years, I’m a US citizen now with American children, and I’ve sold many recipe binders and recipe boxes with my little company to many lovely fellow Americans. But sometimes there’s this little doubt that creeps into my British mind that perhaps some things I’ll just never understand about this country.
This…is one of those times.

The 7 Commandments for Avoiding Muffin Armageddon: Recipe Box Tip

1. Thou shalt not filleth muffin cups more than 3/4 full. Beyond that gets you the dreaded flat frisbee top.
2. Preserveth thy pan. Put 3 tablespoons or so of water in any unused muffin cup. This keeps the pan from warping.
3. Round mound must abound. To get a rounded top on your muffin, only grease the bottom of the cup and halfway up the sides. It’s the bottom that always sticks anyway, and that upper grease-free part gives the ingredients something to “climb” on.
4. Feareth not the sticky muffin. If your muffins stick to the pan, put the hot pan on a wet towl for two minutes or so.
5. Cast false geological artifacts aside from your muffins. Your muffins have tunnels or peaks? Probably either too much mixing or liquid.
6. Go not into the muffin genesis without donning protection. Paper liner in cups make it much easier to clean up.
7. Seek ye the perfect muffin. The ideal American muffin has a rounded top, a thin brown crust with a slight cruch (add a little sugar glaze for this effect) and a nicely moist center.

Cold soup for you!

The New York Times has a fantastic collection of cold soup recipes on their site. The secret to cold soup is that it has to be ICE COLD, not luke warm. Not even kind of cold. It must rattle your teeth with its icy goodness!

I took the above screenshot of the page because I just loved the layout. Follow the link to learn all the recipes, but here’s my favorite:

Vichyssoise
Ingredients

Butter

Potatoes

Leeks

Stock

Cream

Chives

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large pot. Add 3 peeled and cubed potatoes and 3 trimmed and chopped leeks. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring, until softened. Add 4 cups stock. Boil, cover, lower the heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Purée, then let cool. Stir in 1/2 cup or more cream before serving. Garnish: Chopped chives.

(And yes, the title of this post is a slight allusion to one of my favorite Seinfeld episodes.)

Free Grocery Shopping Checklist to Keep in Your Recipe Binder

Want to show up at the grocery store with a pre-filled out shopping checklist? Download this simple acrobat file and you can print it out and fill it in by hand, or just click the check boxes on your screen and then print it:

We posted about this about 4 years ago, and since then it’s become a top result for the google search “grocery shopping checklist.” But as we add a lot of visitors to our blog and users on Facebook, it seemed like a great time to let people know again.

Our focus is really on getting you the best recipe binder or recipe box or other recipe organizer possible. But I had to make this for my own binder, so I thought I’d give it away to everyone!

Recipes That Should Be In Every Recipe Box

tomato sauce recipe for your recipe box

There are some basic ones that are so frequently used you almost wonder why you ever wrote it down. But why not take a few minutes and write it down for the rest of us?

I’ll start:

Basic Tomato Sauce

• 3/4 cup chopped onion

• 4-6 cloves minced garlic (minced)

• 1/4 cup olive oil

• 2 (28 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes (yes, I know fresh is better. But sometimes…)

• 2 teaspoons salt

• 1 teaspoon sugar

• 1 bay leaf

• 1(6 ounce) can tomato paste

• 3/4 teaspoon dried basil

• 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:

1. In a pot over medium heat, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until onion is soft.
2. Stir in tomatoes, salt, sugar and bay leaf. Cover, reduce to low, and simmer 70-100 minutes.
3. Stir in tomato paste, basil, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and simmer 30 minutes more.
It may take a while to cook, but the whole house will smell like nice Italian steamy goodness!
Add your own suggestions on Facebook here or our blog here.

12 Quick Lessons from a 5-Star Chef

1. The best cuts of meat are the ones that scare you. Buy them anyway.
2. No milk in scrambled eggs. Creme friache, if you can, and if not then just butter.
3. Restaurant cookbooks dumb down recipes for you.
4. At fine restaurants, everything goes through a mesh sieve after leaving the pot or pan.
5. No matter how good the restaurant, in-season veggies will always taste better.
6. Don’t crowd your pots and pans! Put too much food in a single pan and it will decrease the heat more than you want.
7. Never let a sommelier push you into overpriced wine. He’s there to serve you, not be impressed by you.
8. Being a cook in a restaurant has little to do with creativity and much more to do with consistency, speed and efficiency.
9. One great knife is better than a whole block of mediocre knives.
10. Always keep lemons, onions, garlic, vinegar, oil, and butter in your kitchen. Especially butter.
11. We blanche green veggies to get them to stay green. It’s really the only way that they wont look grey and lifeless after they’re cooked.
12. Fat and salt are your friends. They can be healthy in moderation, and our palates are designed to love them.

Bonus: Keep some extra recipe cards around. Somehow scribbling a note on some scrap paper or emailing a recipe just doesn’t have that personal feel of a real, printed card. Writing it out by hand on a pretty card tells the recipient how much you value the recipe (and them!)

Print Free Recipe Cards

Our latest and greatest invention is the Recipe Card O-Matic. It’s simply the easiest way possible to type up 30 or 40 recipe cards, each with their own beautiful design. And it’s FREE!
Well, the free version includes four templates. For a mere $14.95 you can unlock over 60 more. But even if all you do is use the free version, you’ll have the best recipe card maker on the internet!
Follow this link to begin downloading free recipe card software!
Here are some samples of cards you can print out:
Recipe card template collection

Make a Cookbook for $8

After buying our cookbook software, you can easily print off your cookbook at home for free. But of course it’s not really free, what with toner and paper and such. And you still might want to bind it together in something other than one of our nice recipe binders.
So here’s a great place where you can make your cookbook for around $8/each (6 books). The specs I’ve set out in the link give you 50 pages (black and white) with a color front and back cover, spiral binding and a clear plastic protective sheet over front and back. These folks do great work!