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I am thinking of collecting and organizing recipes that turned out to be good.

The first thought I had is to write down the recipes in a word processor, print them out and collect them in a thin ring binder. My system would have only one recipe per page (including simple to complicated versions). I would make handwritten notes on the printed recipe whenever I feel the need to update it. Eventually, I would modify the recipe in the word processor if there are too many handwritten notes. This way, I would keep a clean and tidy recipe book for reference. What do you think?

How do you organize your recipes? What works best for you and what does not?

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I hadn't started it, they all are in my mind still.. You give me a good idea. –  Himadri Jul 17 '10 at 11:44
    
you might want to check cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/98/digital-recipes-storage –  Cornelius Jul 17 '10 at 12:50
    
I am now looking into evernote.com. I will try it for a while and see how I go. –  Markus Jul 18 '10 at 8:57
    
Alton Brown recommends the system you mention, with the addition of plastic page protectors to protect your printouts while you are cooking. –  John Roberts May 17 '11 at 14:06
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23 Answers

I use my iPad in the kitchen. All of my personal recipes are text files in a DropBox folder in a markdown-like format. I wrote an iOS app to view and edit them, but I can also edit or view them directly as text files. When cooking from a book, I will take a photo of the page with my iPhone and then view it on the iPad for cooking. This keeps the book from getting soiled, and creates a permanent record of the recipes I've used. If I cook a recipe from a book frequently, I will retype it into my collection as text file. I will sometimes use the iPhone when shopping to double check a recipe to make sure I don't leave out ingredients.

You could use Evernote in a similar fashion, but you might want to consider a paid subscription so you get offline access on the iPad/iPhone.

To keep a record of things I've cooked, I use a google calendar (shared with my wife, who does most of the data entry). It seems to play nicely with iOS and it has a nice web interface and API. (We also have a calendar of Restaurant visits.)

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I use http://pasplore.com It is an online digital cookbook that does not require you to open up, or copy and paste when you find a recipe. It has a button of its own and extracts not just the webpage, but the actual recipe and stores it to the cookbook and category of your choosing.

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I focus on learning underlying principles so I am free to ad-lib my way through my pantry. This approach releases me from the struggle to conquer organization in yet one more area of life, and provides a happy outlet for my half-scientist, half-artist brain. The main two resources I rely on continuously are

1- the book, "On Food and Cooking: the Science and Lore of the Kitchen" by Harold McGee. The original edition first came out in 1984...so this is pretty much an industry standard for understanding how food and fire work together.

2- the website, www.cooksillustrated.com. There's an annual membership associated with this site, so it's not for everyone -- but it provides a wonderful service to us intuitive chefs. Every kitchen task imaginable is tested in almost countless ways, and their results are provided in simple, engaging formats. Their site is easy to navigate, as well.

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I keep most recipes in an Evernote notebook. If I'm planning a big meal I add a tag to the recipes I'm going to make and then save a custom search so everything is one place.

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I don't keep recipes at all, instead I work to learn the fundamentals of something (cookbooks, TV, internet), and then apply the techniques based on the ingredients and my fancy.

That said, for the small number of food facts and dish ideas I can't fit in my head, I use a moleskin notebook, as well as aa binder for family classic recipes (to pass on to my kids). I also research a specific technique before applying it (braise), though once learned it's just a matter of reminding myself the next time I need it.

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I'm using Springpad. Coupled with the Chrome browser extension, it's lightning fast to send something to my recipes notebook, or look something up and add notes to it. The learning curve was a bit steep, but since I was already using it for general organization adding recipes to it was basically painless.

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I organize my recipe in http://www.howdoeshedoit.com/recipes.php. Also to get good reviews and ratings of our recipe...

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Welcome to Stack Exchange even though you're probably long gone by now. This doesn't answer the question or offer any reasoning; it reads more like spam trying to promote a web site. –  MargeGunderson Nov 22 '12 at 2:40
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I don't. I let google do that for me. =) For most recipes that's what I do, I know where I got them in the first place, so when I google for it again I sort of know which result has worked before.

My mom will print them and leave them all in a drawer for (not so) easy access.

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I use SousChef for OS X. Plenty of online recipes.

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I use google notebook, and add tags to the recipes to make it easy to find/organize them. I like it because it's pretty fluid and lends itself to random searching for something generic or finding a specific recipe.

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I used to use Google sites, but recently found Foodfolio (http://foodfolio.net). It lets you import recipes by url and manage them via categories and tags -- or you can add your own. Right now it supports importing recipes from allrecipes.com, epicurious.com and foodnetwork.com.

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I have an index card box and write the recipes on individual cards. Doesn't take up as much space as a binder.

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I have some recipes stored in SousChef on my Mac, a pretty good recipe program. Some recipes I get from various recipe sites, and if I want to make them again I'll go back to the site. A lot of times I just wind up making a dish by looking at various recipes for the dish and picking and choosing parts from each, making sure to include the common elements. Then their are my main dishes, those that I make on a fairly regular basis, where the recipe only exists in my mind.

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I just use a blogspot blog to post them on, works pretty well.

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I use a Wiki now and used to use a phpBB forum. There are free Wikis on the Internet, e.g. Wikispaces and Wikidot. Forumer provides free hosting for phpBB forums.

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This just popped up on my feed this morning: http://www.goodlifeeats.com/2010/07/making-magazine-recipe-binder.html

I also use instapaper.com to quickly snag and store recipes that I read online (I've got a recipe folder on instapaper).

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I prefer to have a printout or written recipe, rather than store them online. I like the idea of compiling them on the computer and then adding handwritten notes etc to an actual printout. If I had them solely on the computer or online I know I would find it too annoying to go look for them and I don't trust my memory to do more complicated recipes without having it in front of me. I don't have a lot of confidence while cooking yet, so for me compiling an actual set of sheets of recipes to consult would be the best way.

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I am using a combination of Simplenote (http://simplenoteapp.com/) with Notational Velocity on my Mac (http://notational.net/) to store my recipes as plain text. I am syncing this same library with my iPhone, which I have with me while I am shopping, and with my iPad, which I am using in the kitchen to work off of. So far, this has worked out perfectly.

Then only downside to this approach is that there are lots of recipes that come to me as paper of some kind, and I end up having to type up the ones that there's no electronic version of.

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I use two systems. First, for my complete recipe collection I use MacGourmet. This keeps track of everything that I like or want to try. I will enter things into MacGourmet from magazines and cookbooks so that I have a single repository to find things.

Second, I keep a 3-ring binder with plastic sheet protectors. This binder contains basically my "everyday" cookbook. Recipes that I make often enough that pulling out the computer would be a pain. This binder is organized by course mostly. When I make things I can just pull out the plastic sheet protector and put it on the counter while I cook.

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The majority of my favorite recipes come from www.allrecipes.com so my collection naturally lent itself to a binder system. I put all of my recipes in page protectors before putting them into the binder. In additional to making everything uniform, it has prevented cooking spills from making a mess of the recipes.

To make recipes easy to find in the binder, I organized the recipes with 5 large colored dividers and 30 numbered dividers. I then made a table of contents corresponding to the dividers. The color dividers represent a dish type (i.e. appetizers, soups, main dish, desserts, etc) and the numbers will represent a sub type (i.e. beef, poultry, pasta, etc). To make things easy, I put a table of contents at the front of each dish type section.

If you become a member of allrecipes you can save your own recipe in their recipe box tool. You can also modify recipes on their site and save them to your box. I usually prefer to have mine printed out, so I really only use their recipe box as a "bookmark' or "favorites" tool.

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I keep all my recipes on http://www.justrightmenus.com - and you could, too! Just create a login and start adding. There are many community recipe sites that allow you to create a "recipe box", if you will, of recipes you like or that you personally have added.

On justrightmenus.com, the recipes are organized both alphabetically and by category (chicken, easy, vegetarian, etc.).

Another great site is epicurious.com.

In both these cases, the solution is electronic. If you cannot easily access a computer (or iphone-type device) from your kitchen, they won't work as well for you.

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I publish most recipes I try and like on my blog, and then I save the link in a dedicated Delicious account using tags for all the ingredients, style of cooking, country of origin and whether it entered into my limited range of favourite recipes.

Using Delicious also has the advantage that as I surf around the web and come across something nice to try I can save it away tagged with for example "TryThis" for easy retrieval when I need inspiration for something new.

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I've started keeping mine on a wiki. Google Docs would probably be a great alternative for someone who doesn't want to set up a server somewhere.

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Thats awesome, I love this idea. The hard part for me is how to get my girlfriend to use it. –  Chris Aug 22 '10 at 17:08
    
Even with minimal/occasional participation, our extended family wiki works very well. –  zanlok Jun 1 '11 at 7:26
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