My wife and I usually meal plan for the week on Sunday mornings. We get a stack of magazines, I pull up a recipe planning site on my iPad, and we pick items that are simple and drool-worthy. With our selections made we go grocery shopping, often returning home with a pile of fresh produce. About midweek, though, we'd forget some of our recipe decisions and leave our veggies to veg-out beyond edibility. We needed a more prominent visual reminder. We needed a chalkboard meal plan menu! Here's how we DIYed one.
I'm not a fan of cute crafty things, but I love a good DIY project, especially when it has a practical purpose. This menu board is a helpful way to plan your grocery needs for the week, and to get the family involved in the process.
Settling in to cook a recipe isn't what it used to be. Instead of pulling out a worn recipe from your recipe box, you're probably more likely to pull out an iPad, or a few printed sheets of paper from an online recipe. Nevertheless, we continue to associate handwritten 3-by-5 cards with recipes, particularly treasured recipes. How did the recipe card come to be?
Original recipe cards passed down from older relatives are invaluable, but like any physical object, they don't always survive the passing of years intact. If your family recipe box resembles the photo on the left—a mishmash of old cards, splattered and stained, the handwriting faded after many long years of storage and use—then you might want to try this preservation trick from Martha Stewart.
If you've been cooking for awhile, you probably have an arsenal of go-to recipes, dishes you can whip up from memory, but sometimes — especially when it comes to baking — you need to reference specific ingredient measurements. You can crack open your cookbooks or pull up your bookmarks online, but bartender and blogger Jeffrey Morgenthaler uses a more portable tool for storing all his most-used recipes: a Moleskine address book.
I love the idea of collecting my favorite recipes on adorable cards, complete with the amendments I make to the ingredient lists and instructions. Every time I see a cute set of recipe cards my heart skips a beat, but I've never actually purchased a set because I'm not quite convinced they'd be used. So, I wonder...
With all the hustle and bustle in the kitchen this Thanksgiving, I quickly realized the insufficiency of my recipe organization. Cards and clippings were floating everywhere, getting sprinkled with water and gravy, and disappearing in the chaos. So before Christmas arrives, I've decided to devote some time to reorganizing my recipes in the hopes of making my life easier and facilitating better use.
We get a lot of questions and requests for advice on recipe organization systems, so we were excited to see this recipe binder from Jaime and and Jacinda at Prudent Baby. It's very practical and inspirational, and they've included some free downloads to help you create your own version.