This is the third post in a series on organising your recipe collection using binders. In part one we sorted your collection and organised a “tried and true” binder. In part two we culled and organised your collection of recipes you want to try.
Now in part three we use your “to try” binder to get out of a food rut. Set yourself a goal to get these recipes into your scheduled meal plan rather than further cluttering your house.
When I first began experimenting with cooking I aimed to try 1 new recipe per week. Once I got going, I averaged 2-3 per week as I was starting to uncover hidden gems that had been waiting for me all that time. When I started, I was not a big cook as my husband is talented in this area and had been cooking 5 out of 7 days on average. In 2007 I went from a repertoire of maybe 8-10 recipes to 30 that I felt comfortable cooking regularly. Today I have a wide range of recipes to draw on depending on the season, my mood, our schedule. Some of our absolute favourite recipes today came from that “to try” binder and we would have missed out on them if I stayed with what was quickly becoming my routine of dishes.
What goal will you set yourself and how will you make it happen?
Maybe you will start a food blog as you test new recipes. Can you form a food club with some neighbours where you meet once a month for a pot luck dinner featuring new recipes you all tried (swap the recipes there and then). Will you spend a month trying loads of new slow cooker recipes and another focusing on a new seafood dish each week. You can use summer to test out your salad and grilling recipe stash. Be creative and push yourself even if it is simply – Wednesday or Saturday night is new food night.
As you start to test new recipes use this process:
If you try it and love it as written – move it to the tried and true binder (and update your records).
If you try it and it is just “okay” – decide if you can tweak it and give it one more shot. Add it to a future meal plan. After that, if it is not a winner recycle it and move on.
If you try it and it is terrible – just get rid of the recipe and think of your decluttering progress. You no longer dream of that dish wishing you had made it.
If you notice a recipe languishing in your binder and never making the cut to actually add it to your meal plan ask yourself what is holding you back? If it is an intimidating challenge, decide when or if you might be up for trying out something harder. If it just sounds good, but never truly grabs you it may be too out of your comfort zone or lifestyle.
Make sure you continue to cycle recipes out of this binder if you are adding new ones in.
I can honestly tell you that since creating binders for my recipe collection I can menu plan in minutes, we try new foods regularly and I no longer have hundreds of unrealistic recipes taunting me and cluttering up my house. The main point is to menu plan for the life you live now and not the life you wish you had!
Whether you use binders or a recipe box or online planning system the same principles apply. So make sure you go through your recipes wherever they are stashed!
Having gone through your recipes and selected at least 2-3 to try this month? Let me know how organising your recipes has impacted positively in your household management.
Any tips you want to share?
Find your simple,