{Guest Post} Pam’s Pantry

Guest post for everyone today!  Pam Sultzman from Pam’s Pantry!

I met Pam for coffee a few weeks ago, and we gabbed for hours!  She helps people organize their recipes {which I love}, as well as runs a virtual assistant business!  She is sharing tips on how to organize your recipes! 🙂 Thanks Pam!

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Organize Recipes Once & For All

For many cooks, “recipe collection” is defined as a pile of cookbooks, magazines, yellowed news clippings, computer printouts and spattered note cards that requires patient sifting when looking for that recipe you know you have somewhere.

I came into my new career in a way that is familiar to many these days: I was laid off in 2004.  I had some time on my hands, so I took control of my own recipe collection.  After weeks of sorting the recipes by categories, typing, printing and laminating them to keep them clean, I was ready to put them in my new recipe box. I loved it, so I thought others might as well!!

I enjoy helping others so I started doing it for other people, charging $1 a recipe.  I also put together recipe books for families, often including personal pictures and stories, and fundraisers for schools, churches and organizations.  I especially like doing heirloom recipes because it is so important to carry on your family traditions.  My clients hand me their collections, usually in a shoe box, and I take it from there.

Tips for the Do It Yourselfers:

  • Gather all of your recipes in one place.
  • Divide the recipes into categories that make sense to you and your family.
    • The more detailed you are, the easier it will be to find a recipe.
    • Make a category for family favorites; recipes to try; family heirloom recipes and handy hints and cooking tips.
    • Throw out any recipes that are incomplete or illegible.
    • Purge the recipes you think you’ll never cook. Be honest with yourself. (♥ this suggestion!)
  • Go through your cookbooks.
    • If you only cook a few recipes from a book, save only those recipes and donate the book.
  • Organize the cookbooks you are keeping.
    • Arrange them by title or author.
  • When you try new recipes, mark the book with notes that will help you find it in the future.
    • A recipe journal works well for tracking these recipes, or take a card and fill out the recipe name plus the cookbook and page number where it can be found.
    • File the card as you normally would in your collection of recipes.
    • You no longer need to search through or remember which book had a certain recipe, just look it up in your recipe card system.

Tips on controlling that overwhelmed feeling:

  • If you are having trouble getting motivated – consider getting a pal to help you.
  • Start small – just do a little bit at a time.
    • Don’t feel you have to do the job all at one time, it should be an ongoing process.
  • Don’t get distracted – following through is important to keep on top of the situation.
  • Pick it up only once – find a place for it.

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Pam is a vendor at numerous craft shows where she sells recipe boxes, small kitchen utensils and dip mixes.  She also does home parties.  If you would like more information on how she could help you, please visit her website or send her an email.

Pam Sultzman
Pam’s Pantry
Let Me Organize Your Recipe Collection Today!
704-549-4863

www.pams-pantry.com

www.facebook.com/Pams-Pantry

What is your favorite way to organize recipes? 🙂

Until next time…

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Organizing Your Recipes…

Anyone who knows me, knows I love binders.  I love to store all kinds of information in binders: holiday binder, decorating ideas binder, plants & garden binder, workout binder, and RECIPE binder! 🙂

I subscribe to roughly 6 monthly magazines (Southern Living, BH&G, Self, etc).  I love to tear ideas and recipes out of the magazines and then recycle them when Im done.  (No piles of year-old magazines sitting around my house!) But what to do with all the pages once they are torn out?  Here is my (refined) system:

1.  Tear out any recipe that you might like to try from the newspaper or a magazine, or print one online.

2.  Three hole punch the paper and place in your recipe binder

3.  Any new recipes that you have not tried and tested go in front of each section.  Recipes that you constantly use go in the back of each section in sheet protectors.

— This helps you keep track of what you have tried and like

4.  Once you have tried a new recipe

A. Throw it away if it tastes awful

B. Cut out the recipe and tape to a white piece of paper.  Place the paper in a sheet protector

How to Make a Recipe Binder:

1.  Buy a 3 ring binder (1″ or 1.5″ is best) — I like white binders with clear pockets in the front

2.  (optional) Create a cover sheet for the binder on your computer (slide in pocket on front of binder)

3.  Create different sections within the binder with tab dividers.  Ideas of sections: Seafood, Chicken & Beef, Side Dishes, Desserts (always the largest section for me), drinks, breakfast, etc

4.  Start adding to your binder!  

Ive seen some interesting ways of ‘storing’ recipes — Ive even seen a recipe drawer that I immediately labeled ‘A Hot Mess’.  The binder is a great way to keep track of recipes that you love and recipes that you might want to try.  The key — throw away a recipe if you hated the way it turned out OR store it in the binder in a sheet protector.  Make a decision right away when you try a new recipe — it will help keep the madness at bay.

Another idea – vow to try at least 2 new recipes a week.  Your family will thank you for mixing it up.

The reason I recommend cutting the recipe out and taping to a white piece of paper is to cut down on visual clutter.  Most recipes from magazines are on the same page as pictures, other recipes, and ads.  I dont need to check all that out when Im searching for a recipe.  Cut out the recipe — trash the rest!  I take it a step further and organize the recipes that I plan to keep by style.  Example:  all apple pie recipes are taped to the same page (multiple pages for me because I love to bake).  When I want to make an apple pie, I flip to the dessert section and then to the apple pie section.  Now the decision can easily be made! That might be a little over the top for some…

The binder is very helpful when it comes to planning your weekly meals and making your grocery list.  (Tips on this next week)!