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    COACH_NICOLE   72,921
60,000-79,999 SparkPoints

Cook Like Me: Recipe Organization

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

I'm a highly organized person. I love calendars and spreadsheets and file folders (and my SparkPeople co-workers can attest to that!). Needless to say, all of this organization comes in handy when you're busy and trying to fit in healthy habits, like cooking and exercising. I love cooking all kinds of foods from scratch and that sure takes a lot of time. So every small thing I can do to stay organized and make healthy cooking easier is a plus. One of thing that helps me is my "Recipe Door" (I may be organized but that doesn't make me very clever at naming things).

The picture above is from my very own kitchen. It's the inside of a cabinet door. All those little pieces of paper you see are actually recipes taped to the inside of the cabinet! Some are clippings from magazines, others are photocopies, and the rest are my own recipes, written on small pieces of paper or index cards. These are the recipes that I really like, but also the ones that I make on a regular basis.

To me, this method saves time (no foraging through the kitchen cabinets or cookbooks to find my recipes) and space (again, no books, cards or magazines sitting around in my limited cooking space), making following those recipes a little bit easier. If you think you'd benefit from gathering your recipes on a door like this, here are a few tips:
  • Use a door that is out of the way (you don't want to hit your head on it while you're getting your recipe together), but close enough that you don't have to walk back and forth constantly to read the recipe and do your cooking.

  • Organize the recipes. As you can see I have some way up at the top (those are seasonal recipes, like Pumpkin Pie, that I don't need currently but will want when the time is right). I keep the things I use most often near eye-level. Try to group things by course (such as breakfasts, dinners, snacks, etc.) so you can find them more easily.

  • Place them near your cooking supplies. This door is to a cabinet that holds some of my measuring bowls, baking dishes and food processor, for example. I'm going to be opening the cabinet to get that stuff out anyway, so it makes sense that my recipe is right there.

  • Be careful not to mess up the finish. I'm not too worried about my cabinets and I use regular tape to stick the recipes on the door. But if you have a special finish or solid wood cabinets, use something that won't damage the interior of the door.

  • Keep recipes text small and to a minimum. Sometimes recipes from books and magazines are full of details and can take up a lot of space. Often, I'll re-copy them with just the essential instructions, so that they take up less space. That means there's also less to read and scan each time you cook.

When it comes to eating healthy, we could all use a little more time on our sides. I hope this tip helps you stay organized and cook more healthy meals at home!

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
TENNISX92 5/2/2012 8:13AM

  I live on a college campus where they offer a weekend shuttle but to the local Walmart. Lately, I've been ignoring this and walking the 2 miles to a different store and carrying my groceries back. It's nice to get out and see part of town.

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JODIANN421 7/16/2010 11:56PM

    My gramma used to do this... She was the best person ever :)

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SNOWFLAKE_NZ 8/8/2009 6:45AM

    Hi Nicole
thanks for a great tip. I started sorting out recipes into groups. Ones I'll never make, will make one day, someday, and budget friendly recipes that I can/will make. The latter are the ones that I kept out the rest I put in a box into storage (sentimental).
But this is a great tip, because I don't have the space for a recipe file/folder that opens in my kitchen which is small, but practical.

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MEACASE2001 7/18/2008 9:18AM

    I really like this idea....

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JSSMITH20 7/4/2008 2:37AM

    Very cool! I've actually put my recipes on the side of my fridge since it's near the stove and can refer to it while cooking.

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LM.JACKSON 6/10/2008 7:48PM

    I've taped many recipes to my kitchen doors over the years ... But never more than a couple at a time. It is a good way to a recipe handy for something special.

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4HEALTH4LIFE4ME 6/9/2008 4:49PM

    I love this as well and will have to try it. I already have the perfect door. It's the one to my spice cabinet and the door opens away from the stove and against the fridge, so it's completely out of harms way. emoticon

Thanks so much for the idea.

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SHORTCHANGE 6/8/2008 4:14AM

    What an awesome idea~ thanks so much for sharing it!

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PARAMEDIC8 6/7/2008 4:29PM

    I LOVE THIS IDEA!! I can't wait to get home and try it. However, I may end up with two or three cabinet doors emoticon

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NONNYCAROL 6/7/2008 12:08PM

  Hello Nicole,
Great Article & useful idea about putting inside kitchen cupboard small recipes that everyone likes & you use most. At the moment all I have is the grandchild's pictures from time to time!!I also like your exercises on the Ball I did yesterdays & felt really good afterwards THANKS New Member nonnycarol.

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PEGGYLUVSCUBS 6/7/2008 10:51AM

    my daughter has three young children, a small kitchen and a lot of looking talent-she will love this idea!!!!!Thank you, emoticon

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AUSSIEMOM2 6/6/2008 3:57PM

    Wow, Nicole! emoticon
Super idea! Thanks so much! I have favorites, too, and usually am rushed in making them. I could use a friendly recipe spot like this...rather like having a sous chef hand it to me. Keep up the good work!
Smiling from a new Sparkle,
PS The idea of the cork board is a good one. I have narrow cork board up on my computer cabinet doors and it's great. They have all the darling push pins available now, too. :)

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KRZYKAT3 6/6/2008 11:52AM

    Good idea,

IF you want to protect the door more and make it easier/cleaner to move recipe to eye leve, you could glue a piece of cork board to the door, then you can tack, tape or even staple recipes up!

Another idea, if you are not into having an immaculate refrigerator, use magnets and the front or side of your refrigerator door.

Thanks - as you can see your ideas have mine working over time! emoticon

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JOANJELEE 6/6/2008 11:52AM

    Very clever, thanks for sharing.

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SHARON_AHAUS 6/5/2008 10:54PM

    emoticon This is a clever idea, and I'm always interested in reading good tips. sahaus49

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MJWEBB6200 6/5/2008 10:44PM

    Thanks for sharing your tips!

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CINDYLYNN19 6/5/2008 9:34PM

    What a great idea! I will use it. Thanks.

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TIGERBEAT 6/5/2008 9:00PM

  I do this too, I also have a small white board calendar on the door (stuck up with double-sided tape) to plan our meals.

Comment edited on: 6/5/2008 8:58:54 PM

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SUSANHOL1 6/5/2008 6:00PM

  What a Great Idea!!!!!!!,I am NOT organized so need every tip you organized people have. Keep those ideas coming!

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DDOLLURU 6/5/2008 3:39PM

    What a great idea. I am completely unorganized and can never find my recipes lol. I like this idea a LOT :-)

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GRAMMABANANA1 6/5/2008 12:08PM

    this would be a good idea for recipes and menus for the week. I'm not very organized so any help I can get there is great.

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LAB-LOVER 6/4/2008 8:34PM

    Duh... I'm an organized person too... why didn't I think of that!

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LATEBIRD 6/4/2008 7:36PM

    I really like this idea! I currently but my recipes in a 3 ring binder. But I do have several that I use all the time. This would save me some time. Thanks.

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CELTICLADY16 6/4/2008 6:02PM

  I love this idea. I am definitely going to try this, thanks. emoticon

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TZH4145 6/4/2008 1:58PM

    This sounds like a great idea. I think I could give it a try with some of these Spark recipes. I usually do substitutions in recipes. emoticon

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RAVON27 6/4/2008 1:53PM

    Great idea. My kitchen is so small I sometimes hang them on my fridge and take them down when done.

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KRISCHICK 6/4/2008 1:48PM

    This is a neat idea and may have to look into incorporating this into my own cooking.... Right now I have a 3 ring binder that I use for recipes. If I print off of the computer I just hole punch it and stick in the binder. If it's one from the paper or a magazine I tape it to a piece of paper and hole punch it and stick it in the binder. Eventually I may even get the notebook dividers and categorize them but for now I'm glad I've got more than just a pile of loose paper. Whatever works best for you so that it's easy and at your finger tips!


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