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View Full Version : Best way to keep track of recipes I've made...?



Kuvy
12-30-2002, 09:54 PM
OK. Right now there's a ton of "shopping list"-style pieces of paper clipped together from the years listing what I've made.... stuck in a pile in my cookbook shelf.
:eek:
But no longer! You've inspired me to keep some kind of record of what I've made and what it was like... starting with 2003. :D
What's the best way to do this? I don't have Mastercook (or whatever).
TIA!!!!
:cool:

Holly in KC
12-30-2002, 10:40 PM
I've posted my method before (so- sorry if I'm repeating myself!), but its worked for me since '96, so here goes:

I maintain my list in Excel. In each column, I note: name of recipe, date made, score (1 - 10), type (i.e.: pasta, meat, salad, etc.), Cuisine (american, asian, etc.), and comments). It works great to sort by "type" or score (when I need a "10"!), as well as by source (I keep a second worksheet of my "source" acronyms (i.e.: CL, 1/00 is obvious, but JOC = Joy of Cooking, etc.).

It's a great "searchable" reference if I want to repeat a dish, but can't remember where it's from (i.e.: where did I find that great shepherd's pie recipe???). Its also useful to keep track of how many new recipes I'm trying (and a good kick in the pants when I'm slacking off!)

If you don't have Excel, I think Microsoft Works also has a spreadsheet application that would work.

Sami
12-31-2002, 06:36 AM
What I did was start a notebook. I took dividers and labeled them, and bought clear plastic sheets. When I make a recipe I want to repeat, (esp from this BB), I mark it and then insert it in the transparency. So far I have been able to easily put my hands on several recipes that I wanted to make again.

Sami

cherylopal
12-31-2002, 06:56 AM
i do something like sami. i keep a notebook writing every month the recipes i want to try from cl (or others). if i don't like the recipe, i cross it out. other comments are written in too like needs more this, less that or whatever. at the end of the year, i transfer this info into the back of the cl annual or into my binder for other recipes. i actually enjoy doing this- i remember things i haven't made in a while or those recipes i never got around to making. i'm finding i need a master list of some sort though.
cheryl

cherylopal
12-31-2002, 06:58 AM
Originally posted by Holly in KC
I've posted my method before (so- sorry if I'm repeating myself!), but its worked for me since '96, so here goes:

I maintain my list in Excel. In each column, I note: name of recipe, date made, score (1 - 10), type (i.e.: pasta, meat, salad, etc.), Cuisine (american, asian, etc.), and comments). It works great to sort by "type" or score (when I need a "10"!), as well as by source (I keep a second worksheet of my "source" acronyms (i.e.: CL, 1/00 is obvious, but JOC = Joy of Cooking, etc.).

It's a great "searchable" reference if I want to repeat a dish, but can't remember where it's from (i.e.: where did I find that great shepherd's pie recipe???). Its also useful to keep track of how many new recipes I'm trying (and a good kick in the pants when I'm slacking off!)

If you don't have Excel, I think Microsoft Works also has a spreadsheet application that would work.

holly
would you mind sending me privately a copy of your columns? i think this might be a great way to sort and find etc?
thanks
cheryl

stefania4
12-31-2002, 07:35 AM
I'm adopting the 3-ring binder approach. Costco has clear plastic sheet protectors - $8.99 for 200 - and I got a great deal on binders from Office Depot. Unfortunately Cooking Light doesn't always print the date at the bottom of the page, so I have a lot of recipes that I know are CL but I have no idea when!

Anyway, now that I've gotten my recipes somewhat organized I've attached those little colored flags to the recipes that we've tried before, so that we can more easily find them. I think I'm just going to keep a running list for each month so that I know what I've made.

Dahlia
12-31-2002, 08:26 AM
There's another thread on the same discussion, in case anybody's interested. Some good ideas over there too...

http://community.cookinglight.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=34858

gperls
12-31-2002, 09:06 AM
For the cost of the office supplies, you could purchase the latest edition of MasterCook and save your recipies that way. It has a "Favorites" feature that lets you quickly add your favorites to the list, along with your notes about it. Then, you can print it out whenever you're going to make it again, give it to a friend, attach to an email, etc.

I resorted to MC after I had filled a couple 3 ring binders and could never find/remember what I had. At least MC allows you to search, based on recipe title, ingredient, etc.

Kuvy
12-31-2002, 09:32 AM
Well here's where I finally admit my ignorance on this subject!
:o
What is MasterCook exactly? I've only ever heard it mentioned on this BB. I can tell it's a computer program... but where do you get the recipes from to put into it... etc. What does it do... etc etc.
Plus, I have an iMac, so some possibility they don't make one for Macs. :rolleyes:

And while I'm at admitting my ignorance, what does "ISO" at the beginning of thread titles stand for?
:eek: :o :eek:

lisas3575
12-31-2002, 10:08 AM
Originally posted by Kuvy
Well here's where I finally admit my ignorance on this subject!
:o
What is MasterCook exactly? I've only ever heard it mentioned on this BB. I can tell it's a computer program... but where do you get the recipes from to put into it... etc. What does it do... etc etc.
Plus, I have an iMac, so some possibility they don't make one for Macs. :rolleyes:

And while I'm at admitting my ignorance, what does "ISO" at the beginning of thread titles stand for?
:eek: :o :eek:

ISO stands for "in search of". TIA stands for "Thanks in advance."

Mastercook is indeed a software program that manages recipes. It comes stocked with about a million, but you can import your own in very easily. I'm on a Mac too, and they quit developing for Mac several years ago and have no plans to start again. The last version that works for Macs is 4.06, and you usually can find it on Ebay if you're patient.

If you do a search for threads with "Mastercook" in the title you'll find all the info you wanted and then some. Good luck! :)

Kay Henderson
01-02-2003, 06:59 PM
I had the same problem with clippings and recipes from others. Here's the system I developed which I have now used for thirty years.

1. FOR RECIPES I WANT TO TRY. I go through my cooking magazines about once a year and clip recipes to try. I put them into folders with recipes of a type paper-clipped together. (This also includes recipes from the newspaper and those given to me by others.) If I plan to keep a recipe, it goes into a "To File" folder. Recipes from books are listed on a notepad, also in this folder.

2.RECIPES I HAVE TRIED AND WANT TO ADD TO MY COLLECTION. About once every two years I paste the clippings in the "To File" folder into binders divided into sections. The pages have become more precise as the years have gone on. For example, in the vegetable section, each vegie has its own page(s). (If I were starting today, I would probably go electronic, but since my binders will likely last the rest of my life, I plan to stick with them.)

3. INDEX. A good index makes a big difference. I list all the recipes I have tried and added to my collection by category in a small binder. (This includes recipes from cookbooks.) About twenty years ago I typed the handwritten index up on my first computer. (If I were starting today, I would investigate a database program for this use.) When I paste a recipe into a binder, I write it on the index by hand. About every five years, I update the word processed index, typing in the hand-written entries.

Here are a couple of examples of entries:

Dede's Buttermilk Bread Bread Machine Magic, p. 16.

Orange Wheat Bread cl [means clipping pasted into a binder] Bread "Bread Machine Recipes"

I'd sum up by saying that for me there have been two keys to keeping track of a large recipe collection:

First, no recipe goes into the binder unless I have tried and liked it. This helps to keep the number down.

Second, having the index include cookbook recipes means that all of the recipes of a given type are listed in one place.

cherylopal
01-02-2003, 07:30 PM
Originally posted by Kay Henderson


3. INDEX. A good index makes a big difference. I list all the recipes I have tried and added to my collection by category in a small binder. (This includes recipes from cookbooks.) About twenty years ago I typed the handwritten index up on my first computer. (If I were starting today, I would investigate a database program for this use.) When I paste a recipe into a binder, I write it on the index by hand. About every five years, I update the word processed index, typing in the hand-written entries.



yes yes yes!! i agree and have been working on my lists today- well when i wasn't on the board!:D

Kuvy
01-02-2003, 11:29 PM
I'm humbled by the fact that there are others out there who more...(ahem! errr....) organized than I am!!!

I started an Excel (Appleworks) spreadsheet today. Here are the column titles I came up with, thanks largely to Holly in KC:

New? (y or n)
Name of recipe
Where it's located
Date made
Score (1 - 10)
Type (i.e.: app, entree, soup, salad, dessert, etc.)
Comments

So far so good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
:D :D :D

Deanna
01-03-2003, 08:49 AM
MASTERCOOK is my recommendation.

It is relatively cheap software and works GREAT!

d

cherylopal
01-03-2003, 01:27 PM
:) :) I did it! I did it!! :) :)

thank you so much to holly!! :D i now have 3 lists in excel- one for favorites or the stuff i cook, one for recipes to try, and one for the stuff that i cook this year. i also set up a word file to download recipes from the bb in case i see some when i'm home and not at work (no printer at home- i can email them to me or dh instead of remembering and searching.) i feel so organized and happy. :) no more losing recipes or forgetting (my problem, huge problem anymore).

ok- big question- how do i sort or search in excel?

cheryl

ps i'll miss being on the board as much as i have been the last several days. back to work on monday. all the more power to people who stare at a computer screen all day. i found i needed lots of breaks. i really only sit for long periods at the computer 3x year when i write report cards.

Holly in KC
01-03-2003, 08:42 PM
Yay! I'm glad the spreadsheet idea has been helpful.

To search: Select "Edit", then "Find". (obvious from there...)
To sort: My preference is actually to use the "autofilter" function. Select "Data", "Filter", and click on the "autofilter". You should "magically" see little arrow down buttons appear in the "title" row of your spreadsheet. Click on one of the arrows... you should see all of your entered categories. For example: If you wanted to see all of your "10" recipes, click on the little arrow next to "score", then pick "10". You should now see a list of all of the "10s". Go go back, just repeat, and select "all". You can also select "custom"... you'll get a box that lets you play around a bit... like you could select all recipes >= 7. Pretty cool - I use this feature all the time.

If you want to sort w/o autofilter, highlight the entire data entry portion of the spreadsheet, including the title row. Then select "data", "sort". You should get a box that lets you easily sort by any of your columns.

Let me know if this doesn't work for you.

TeriK
01-03-2003, 10:29 PM
I like seeing all of your ideas. I was getting ready to start my own three-ring-binder solution, but I may look in Mastercook too. I hate the idea of spending any more time on my computer than I already do, but...
Here's to organization!

Karenf
01-04-2003, 01:33 PM
It's interesting to see everyone's methods! Mine is similar to a couple of postings and works really well for us. We used to have a great meal and not remember the source if we wanted to repeat a recipe.

1). I have food category lists (appetizers, soups, beef, salads, etc, etc.)in a simple table format in Microsoft Word. Two columns; the name of the recipe and the location. Each month I note the recipes that I want to try (from CL, BA, Gourmet, Sunset, websites, etc.) and add them to my lists. This takes very little time. I use the lists as indexes (each a separate tab) in what I call my "food files" - 3 large three-ring binders where I store only (printed) recipes that I have on the list. Not all recipes from my category/index lists are in these binders. Sometimes I printout recipes that I get on the internet, this BB, etc and put them in the binders. ALL recipes in the binders are on the lists/indexes.

2). I typically make out a monthly menu using my "food files" - looking at hard copies or looking up recipes from my indexes. It makes it easy if I want 4 vegetarian, 4 poultry, 4 pasta etc., then accompaniments, an so on. My resources are really great for putting together dinner party menus or if I need to bring an appetizer or dish to a party.

3). I have a daily food journal that I use after each dinner. I note the menu for each day and highlight the repeatable recipes. I also make simple notes plus the date in each cookbook or magazine. (AN ASIDE: I buy the CL annuals and toss the monthly copies. Each year I transfer notes from each issue to the annual. I got my CL 2002 annual at Costco yesterday for $21.99.)

4). Lastly, I enter the repeatble recipes into a "Tried and Proven Recipes" cookbook in Mastercook. I can usually import them from the miscellaneous websites but occasionally I have to enter them myself. Mastercook has a NOTES category where I can make any comments that I want. You can also EXPORT from Mastercook so when someone asks for a recipe - which they seem to often, I can easily e-mail it to them from Mastercook.

I have been developing this method for many years but using it as listed for 4 plus years. I may have to weed out some recipes that sounded good 4 years ago but with changing times wouldn't be as interesting today. I love to cook and always say -"so many recipes, so little time".....

ElinorC
01-04-2003, 01:49 PM
I also use MasterCook but in addition, I use the index at the back of every issue. (I keep my magazines.)I mark the index with the ones I want to try and then after I've tried them, I mark them with the appropriate mark for whether I liked them and would repeat or not. I also mark the ones that have received good reviews on the BB.