I decided to go with a three-ring binder approach--one for desserts and one for everything else. I started with "everything else." Here's my super-cute binder from Target. Oh, if I had all the money in the world, I would spend most of it there...
One of the things I'll never forget my Mom teaching me was that you could easily identify the "good" recipes in family cookbooks by finding the pages with food splatters and stains on them. The sheet protectors will prevent this (hopefully) but then again, no bad recipes will make it into the book, either.
The binder dividers that I got on Amazon just arrived and I'm so pleased. It took some searching to find attractive ones that also were wide enough to stick out past the sheet protectors, but I found them. Bonus: the dividers also hold loose pages! Now I have a place other than the fridge-clip to put the recipes I want to try. Love this!
Since the photo isn't so hot (I really need to learn some tips from my amateur-turning-pretty-darn-professional photographer hubby), here are the categories I decided on:
- Appetizers, Drinks and Snacks
- Beef and Pork
- Breads and Breakfast
- Chicken and Seafood
- Meatless Meals
- Side Dishes
- Soups and Salads
- Desserts...for binder #2
I typed the recipes using separate Word files for each category, and alphabetized the recipes within the document. Based on the number of sheet protectors that I used, I have about 200 recipes. I can't wait to expand that amount!
I had a lot of fun making the template and rewriting the instructions to be as close as possible to my work style in the kitchen. I also wanted to make them a little more explicit so they make sense when my boys start helping prepare meals in a few years, and add recipes for more obvious stuff like roast beef, sandwiches, etc. I'm excited that someday I can just re-print this information and hand them a cookbook from Mom!
What do you think? I'll let you know how many dessert recipes find their way to the binder. :)
Here is a sample recipe for your enjoyment, from my dear Mom. I will never again pay $7 and up for Creme Brulee at a restaurant now that I know how stinking easy it is (and without the blow torch)!
Ingredients2 c heavy cream (one pint)
5 egg yolks
½ c sugar
1 T vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 275.
2. Set four ramekins inside a 9x13 baking pan.
3. Whisk together cream, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla.
4. Divide the egg mixture among the ramekins.
5. Using a liquid measuring cup, carefully fill the pan with hot water so that ramekins are about two-thirds submerged in water.
6. Bake at 275 for 45-60 minutes or until set.
7. Refrigerate overnight, or to serve warm, go to next step.
8. Just prior to serving, preheat the broiler. Spread a thin layer of brown sugar across the top of each ramekin. Smooth with the back of a spoon.
9. Place under the broiler for 3-5 minutes or until sugar has caramelized. Keep a close watch on the progress!