During this COVID 19 epidemic many people are cooking more at home. Every newspaper and magazine is chock full of recipes for comfort food or recipes to spice up your life. Cookbooks are getting big promotions. (I succumbed to Skillet Love Cookbook myself.) Perhaps you already have a plethora of recipes lying around waiting to try.
Here are a few tips to handle all those clipped recipes:
· If you have been holding on to a few recipes like the 4-hour barbeque chuck roast but felt, you were never home long enough to fix it – try it now. If you are not going to do it now, you will never do it, so let it go.
· If your recipes are all in a jumble, take some time to divide them into categories and put them into folders or notebooks. Some of my categories are main dishes – divided into beef, chicken, pork, seafood, vegetarian; sandwiches; sides; salads; soups; deserts; parties. When putting a menu together it is a lot easier to find the recipe you want with a system.
· When you come across a new recipe you want to try, cut it out and try it within a week or two. Do not file it until you try it. I try a lot of new recipes and often find them in the just OK category. If the recipe is too much bother for its taste or is a bit bland or dry, I know I have others that I enjoy more so I am glad to try it once for the variety but then I just toss it.
· If you have a recipe you want to try that has you buy an item but you are not going to use all of that item in the recipe, look through your file for a recipe to use the next week that will finish up that can of tomato sauce or artichoke hearts.
· Use your recipe files when making up a menu for the week. When you plan for the week and have all your recipes pulled, you can make a grocery list that will send you to the store only once. This keeps you from the store more often. Also, have in the back of your mind, if something the recipe calls for is not available, what you might substitute.
· If you plan a recipe that will have a lot of leftovers, plan to freeze, use, or share those leftovers to avoid food waste.
· If you need to buy a large piece of meat for a recipe but only need a part of that meat (think split pea soup where I had to buy a large ham to get the bone for the soup) immediately cut up the leftovers into 2 cup packages or single slices and put into the freezer for later use. Then use those recipes from your files to use up that meat in a reasonable amount of time.
Having your clipped recipes organized as you would find in a cookbook makes meal prep a lot easier. It’s like having your own personal cookbook with only recipes that you have tried and love.