A box of magazines and organization

Why yes, that is a box full of a ton of old magazines!  My mother cleaned out her shelves of cooking magazines, and gave me a whole box full of them.  Some had been around almost as long as me!  They were mainly Taste of Home and Quick Cooking magazines, with some others mixed in.  I didn't count how many magazines there were, but I know that it did take me weeks to go through and clip out all of the recipes that sounded yummy to me.

Check out those leg warmers!  And the date on the magazine!  ...and only 99 cents
It was hilarious to look through the magazines and see how times have changed.  Several things that had me laughing:

1.  There were photos of "newly remodeled, modern kitchens."  If I was house shopping and saw this as the kitchen in a house, I'd run screaming!  

Trees and fences and clouds, oh my! 
2.  So many of the recipes were filled with cream of mushroom/chicken soups, or two cans of  condensed milk, or three cups of cheese or two cups of sugar; things I can't imagine putting into my dishes.  Literally some of the least healthy recipes I could imagine.  And we wonder why obesity in such an issue in America.

3. Women would write in questions, looking for a recipe or suggestions, and the magazine would print their addresses for other readers to write responses to them.  Can you imagine your name and address being printed in a magazine???  It was a safer world back then.

4.  Next to each recipe is a photo of the woman who submitted it.  These photos were hilarious: the hair, the glasses, the clothing...I laughed, but wonder what younger generations will think of us??  (I'd love to put in some examples, but what if I accidentally used a photo of someone's mom or aunt?!?). 

5. Feature section: Microwave Magic.  I kid you not:

Entire meals cooked in microwave!  How easy!  How convenient!  How...disgusting!  Make me vomit.  Chicken should never be allowed near a microwave under any circumstances - not to defrost, not to reheat, not to cook.  I can't imagine eating meat that was cooked in the microwave.

So what the heck did I do with the thousands (slight exaggeration) of recipes I clipped out?  I finally got around to organizing them in this handy dandy recipe binder:

This was actually a wedding shower gift from my mother-in-law; she found this pretty binder and put in some of their family recipes, and had my mom put in some of our family's recipes.  It was such a sweet idea!   Even though I'm a firm believer that recipes should be used as guidelines, they always inspire me to make something new or different.  Honestly, aside from baking (which terrifies me, because I'm a terrible baker), I don't think I've ever actually followed a recipe.

Never-fail piecrust?  Oh have I proven that title wrong!

It's nicely divided into sections to keep me organized, and has cling pages (you know, like the kind that old photo albums have), so you can just pop a new recipe into the binder easily. 

And I'm doing a fairly good job at keeping it up-to-date and putting in recipes as I find them

Except there is still an occasional recipe that ends up on the back of an envelope...

(Anyone recognize this recipe? Slightly adapted and oh-so-delicious!)
My sister had made me an awesome database to store my recipes in on my computer, and the bulk of them are cataloged on there.  It rocks and it is so nice to have them all safe on my computer (in case of some freak kitchen accident where my recipe book ends up in flames-don't put it past me!).  However, I'm beginning to think that I'm the same way with my recipes as I am with my clothes: if I can't SEE them, I won't WEAR them (or make them, in the case of the recipes).  

So now that I have tons of recipes organized and at my fingertips, I'm going to challenge myself to share at least one recipe each week on the good old bloggy blog this summer, so that I don't get stuck in a summer cooking rut (grilled chicken again? Okay....).  Tasty Tuesdays will be the theme around here on Tuesdays this summer...hopefully I can keep up with it!  Anyone want to take the plunge with me?

How do you keep your recipes organized?  Any suggestions to keep from getting stuck in a cooking rut?  

Sharing the yummy goodness with some of these lovelies!


  1. So funny! Old magazines make me giggle. I can't believe some of the recipes. So much butter and cream of whatever soups and microwave meals! Gross! Times have changed! My mom found one of her old People magazine from back in the late 80s a few years ago full of SO much outdated celebrity gossip and styles. It was fun to look at!

    I'm impressed with your recipe organization. I think you are right that you'll use what you can easily get to! It looks great!

  2. I agree...out of sight and never make it to the table. I finally created an index and printed it out to keep with my weekly menu. When I'm planning the week, I take a peek at the index and include something different each week.

  3. Erika, you are the QUEEN of recipe organization and I only wish mine were as beautifully done as yours. Maybe someday???? ;)

  4. I gasped when I saw that kitchen!

    I "bookmark" recipes that I'd like to try & try to make myself make one new thing a week. If it's a hit then I'll put it in my recipe binder.

  5. I am just like you and store the bulk of my recipes on my computer. Makes it so easy to search for them and not worry about them getting yucky. Thanks for stopping by my blog as well! I appreciate it.

    Jill of oursevendwarfs.com


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