I have the world's most adorable recipe box (thanks to my mama) but it has been working overtime, unsuccessfully, to keep my zillion-plus recipes in check. I used to be super organized and always re-copy a new recipe on coordinating cards…and have since decided life is too short. I print full pages directly from Real Simple online, or I tear them out of Food Network magazine. I still use traditional recipe cards to copy family/personal recipes, but all in all, the full pages combined with too many dishes to try was making my recipe box an overflowing disaster zone.
Enter the recipe binder.
I have been meaning to put this together for quite some time. Last week's snowstorm was just the break from everything else that I needed, and I got to work. I had a very hard time finding page protectors with 4×6 slots to hold my recipe cards, so those are still on their way from good old Amazon. Until then, the binder is not quite complete, but here are some shots of what I have so far. It's nothing too flashy or glamorous, as I figure it will get some messy hands-on treatment in the years to come. In fact, as I post this, I realize I still need to find some creative way to label the front/spine.
I divided tabs according to what makes sense to me, and stuck a clear velcro folder in the back as a "catch all" when there's not time in the moment to put recipes in the appropriate spot, or to stick meal plans/menus until they can be 3-hole-punched in the back (is that a verb?). Anyway, I went with page protectors rather than just punching the recipe pages, because I figure that will save them from some spills and smudges in the kitchen. In doing so though, the tabbed dividers I started out with (any standard tabs, as I found out) didn't project far enough to be seen past the page protectors. So, if you are planning to do a project like this (recipes or any other), I recommend Post-It brand adhesive file tabs. They're very strong and stay put, and I placed them directly on the first page protector of each section, followed by a label from the trusty label maker. Voila! Now, what's for dinner??