This morning I posted about the recipe book I made for the DLW Document What You Eat challenge. I also wanted to post a little bit about how the recipe book, which I made using the Document Life Workshop Recipe Template Set, came together. This isn’t a tutorial on how to use the templates (look for that post from Allie later in the week at the Document Life Workshop blog!), it’s more of a before and after process post on how I went from a stack of unorganized recipes in an old folder to an awesome recipe book.
Here’s what I was using before. It’s an office folder with literally just a stack of loose recipes.
Side note: my Grandmother, who passed away in 2006, taught me to cook and made this folder for me. Because of its sentimental value, I cut down the front of the folder and slipped it behind the title page of my new recipe book. I love that I have her handwriting, and all the memories that go with this folder, in the new recipe book as well.
Anyway, this is what I was working with. Every time I wanted to find a recipe, it took like 10 minutes of turning through all of these pages. They’re a combination of stuff clipped from magazines / the back of boxes, recipes printed from the internet (I’m much to messy to trust myself with an electronic device in the kitchen), and handwritten recipes jotted down by me or by other family members. It’s was a mess, everyone!
I knew it needed to be fixed, not only for the recipes-as-family-heirlooms reasons cited in this morning’s post, but also for my own sanity and efficiency needs. Allie and I collaborated on the templates (we make such a great team!), and I knew that I wanted to use them in a way that made sense for my workflow / needs.
Requirement #1 was that the pages be easily added to / removed. If this was a gift, I think it would be super cool to make a Blurb book to give someone using digi recipes (that would be an awesome graduation or wedding gift!), but this is something I’m going to use. I’m going to add in recipes (mine and from other sources), and I’m going to take them out and throw them on that little clipboard there while I’m cooking.
I decided to go with a We R Memory Keepers Classic Leather 3-Ring Binder. The cover will be easy to clean, the 3 rings will make it easy to add and remove recipes, the 8.5 x 11 size makes the templates less work and allows the book to easily fit on my recipe book shelf, and the bright orange color is really fun in combination with the soft colors in the template.
For the page protectors, I just used cheap, thin ones from Office Max. They’re going to get food splatters all over them anyway.
After my album was in hand, the next step was to sort my recipes. The template comes with six categories in a printable .pdf: Beef, Poultry, Seafood, Side Dishes, Vegetables, and Desserts. I have a ton of recipes, so I decided to add in a few extra categories of my own with the .psd recipe category template: Appetizers, Soups and Stews, Salads, Pork, and Bread. I might add in a few more later (like Rice and Beans, Vegetarian Mains, and Other Meat), but this will do for now. I decided on my categories and started moving the recipes around into piles for each category. The pages with multiple recipes from different categories went into a pile to be the first to be typed up.
I slipped all of the categories into page protectors and then I slipped all of the magazine clippings / Internet recipes in too. I don’t want to use the templates for every recipe I have (that would be a crazy undertaking). I just want to use them for family recipes / recipes I’ve tweaked significantly / family favorites.
Then I started on making the recipe pages. I’m not done (I’m going to make two a day until I am!), but I got a good start on them. We’ve got the recipe pages in two ways: a layered .psd for completely digi pages and a printable .pdf to which you can add in a printed photo and handwritten ingredients and instructions. I opted for a hybrid approach and used the templates to add in the text, printed off the text on cardstock, then added 4 x 6 photos of the recipes. I don’t have photos for all of my recipes yet, so I’m leaving that space blank for now. I’m also planning on handwriting where all of the recipes came from at the top of the page after the words “From the Kitchen of…” once I track down the sources through family members.
Last I added the tabs for the book. I added text to them in Photoshop and printed six out per page, then I cut them down using my paper cutter and cut the non-straight parts with scissors. I adhered them to the outside of the page protectors with Scor-Tape so I can easily get to each category! I didn’t measure the placement; I started with the first tab and the last tab and eyeballed the spacing of the rest from there.
How do you store your favorite recipes?