Thursday, August 4, 2011

Creating a "Tried and True" Recipe Book ~ A Family Heirloom

{Update: Visit here for our new and improved INSPIRATIONAL RECIPE BOOK.}

Do you have recipes scattered all over the place? A recipe card here, a magazine clipped one there, and a printed recipe off the computer somewhere? Yes, that used to be me too! If you have a nice, three-ring binder, then the answer to organizing your recipes is that simple. I call it My Recipe Book and have had a lot of fun making it. We did one for my daughter as well so she will be able to take it with her one day when she manages her own home. Here is how we created ours but keep in mind that this is a very flexible project so use what system works for you.

List of supplies I used but you can adjust to your own needs and budget:

First of all, make a cover page to slide into your binder (Above is a sample of mine with recipes sticking out that I want to try first prior to filing...). I found a pack of some vintage looking, rooster, computer paper at Big Lots for 99 cents and used this for my cover page and section divider pages (look in stationary section of store).

Next, I printed off "sections" for each category of cooking that I do.  I placed these printed pages into plastic protector pages and added tabs which label each "section" below so that recipes are easy to find. Here are the labels I used:
  • Main Dishes
  • Side Dishes
  • Salads
  • Appetizers
  • Breakfast
  • Desserts
  • Yeast Dough
  • Canning 
  • Freezing
For some inspiration, I added pertaining Scripture to each section. Here are some of the pages with tabs to give you an idea.

Lastly, insert your favorite recipes into the plastic protector pages and file them in the correct section. I try to make it a rule to include only the "tried and true" recipes. Otherwise, you get overloaded and overwhelmed and the book loses its appeal. The recipes in these books should be trusted. Once you have tried a recipe out successfully, then simply add into your book. I place all my recipes inside the plastic protector pages so that they can be wiped off if flour or liquid gets spilled on them. What is also nice is that you can just remove the page from the book when you are working on a recipe and don't have to deal with bulky items on your counter taking up extra space.

EXTRA CREDIT *** And, because I am a homeschooling mother and my mind thinks in terms of books for the occasion… If you choose to do this project with your children, read to them the cute picture book, Fannie in the Kitchen: The Whole Story from Soup to Nuts of How Fannie Farmer Invented Recipes with Precise Measurements by Deborah Hopkinson. This is a great way to add a painless history lesson to your day!
Incidentally, Fannie Farmer was the first person to create the cookbook as we know it today which has actual "measurements" instead of "a little bit of this" and "a little bit of that"…


  1. Your recipe book is beautiful! I use a binder as well, but mine isn't decorated at all and I just used pre-made dividers from an office store. After seeing yours, I want to go back and pretty mine up! The protective sleeves are a good idea as well--some of my recipes have stuff splashed on them. I know I have some of those sheet protectors somewhere...I'll have to go dig them up!

  2. Thanks! Those protective sleeves are helpful, the amount of flour that has been wiped off all my pages can fill a one pound bag!

  3. There is a REALLY cute book at our library. Fannie in the Kitchen. It is very neat story about the beginning of her cookbook. You should scan it.

    1. Hi Annie, It is already mentioned in the EXTRA CREDIT SECTION ABOVE :) We actually own the book :) and I agree that it is really cute!