New meals

I have a lot of cookbooks



Plus two shelves in the living room, and a second stack of magazines on the other side of the island.

That is a lot of meal ideas, and honestly they are pretty much useless to me shut up in those books where I cannot easily flip through the ones I like when I am doing my meal planning. So I have been slowly but surely (since 2004) moving the recipes I do like to my card catalog to save me time.

My goal is to have all the books & Cook’s Illustrated in the card catalog and all the other magazine recipes torn out & put in a binder


First I mark up the cookbooks


Then I go through and copy the basic details to a card


And I make notes on the card when I make the recipe. (I grew up with library books. You are absolutely not allowed to write in those & to this day I am afraid to make notes in books I own)

Now I have to go through that stack of Cook’s Illustrated magazines (4 years worth) from the second photo & do the same thing

Plus I have go through all these.


And tear out all the recipes I like.

I realized about two years ago that this is a goal with no end. I will not stop buying cookbooks or cooking magazines, so I will have to keep writing up recipe cards.

The best I can hope for is “Caught up for now.”

Do you have any on going projects that never really quite end?

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26 comments to New meals

  • Darcy@Somewhatmuddledmusings

    I write in books. I won't apologize. Especially in cookbooks where I make note of how it turned out, what to change for us, etc.

    My recipe box is like yours, a neverending project, but I love it. I don't reference the books, though. I write out the whole recipe because there may be a day I no longer keep the book, especially if I find that it's not a go-to book for me any longer. My freezer cooking books are like that. I have my routine down to a science that works for us, and I rarely even look at those books anymore, but do have a couple of recipes that I kept in the box. Those books will probably go to the library on the next great book purge. *sigh*

    It's a fun project to have!!

  • Cheri Andrews

    That looks like quite the project, but will surely be worth it once you have it all done!

  • Beverly

    Scrapbooking seems to be a neverending project since we are continually moving through life and new experiences. I would think ya'll never get in a meal rut at your house :)

  • Wendy Bukowski

    Wow, I'm impresses with how many you have done. Like you I can't bring myself to write in books, it just does not feel right lol

  • scrappysue

    Oooh I am so impressed with how organised you are with your recipes. I have to admit I really dislike cooking, so its a huge struggle for me. I do have some cookbooks, but its usually DH that opens them and he only used Delia Smith most of the time! My on-going projects include organisation, de-cluttering and memory projects. All seem to be never ending!

  • Emily Hammann

    I need to start a project like this. It would take me forever as well and be ongoing. Although I do not have near as many books or magazines as you!

  • LosingBrownies

    I love Rachel Ray. I own all of her cook books, but so rarely pull them out.

  • Rinda1961

    I realize my scrapbooks are a project with no end but that's okay.

  • Comfy Mom

    If I find myself making a recipe a few times I do copy the whole thing out to my recipe notebook & note the change on the card. I'm working on creating a personal Taste Book cookbook with that…someday….

  • SciFi Dad

    My MIL writes in her cookbooks… dates she made things (if the event was "special" like a holiday or birthday) as well as notes or modifications. She also writes notes to her daughters that she hopes they will find after she's dead, which is kinda creepy.

  • Heather

    I cannot bear cooking :(
    My OH is the cook around here except one night a week when I do my spaghetti bolognaise :))

  • Gingerpussycat

    I have so many UFPs! And you have a LOT of recipe books. I've been trying to type mine up so that I can print out the ones I regularly use (that I need measurements for) so that I can laminate them. I've had to shelve a lot of my recipes though because of my diet. I now have a load of Slimming World cook books instead! Good luck with the ongoing project. (from BFS)

  • Irene Fitzpatrick

    I think that scapbooking itself is a never-ending project, like some of the other commenters. I'm afraid I'm not as organised to do this with recipes!! I'd love to see your menu for the week, it must be scrumptious! Thank you for the comment on my blog.x

  • Kes

    On going projects – has to be the very definition of scrapbooking, no..? The only scrapbooker I've ever met who is completely up to date with her photos is my sister – I'm not sure whether that's because she's a less fussy scrapper than me or she takes less photos than I do – possibly a combination of both!! I like that I'm fussy though and I like that I'm not likely to run out of photos to play with any time soon – I like the process and when I'm at home I love that it's social with my girlfriends, it's certainly not something I want to rush through to get 'finished'.

  • Amy

    I haven't even started on this particular one …. I have a cook book mountain too! Last year, for the first time, I dog eared a cook book, it was such a break through because I am a library person too!

  • Mari Sterling Wilbur

    I love cookbooks (and books of all types) but we downsized our home and bookshelves. I love online cooking sites but they just are not the same as a good cookbook. Can't write in the margins of the recipe on line for starters. I did keep my fave recipes in notebooks though. Can't part with those. Now that I'm retired cooking is a joy.

  • Heather Aynne

    Does cleaning count? I love your collection! I have exactly one cookbook. I would love more but can never seem to bring myself to pay for them.

  • scrapchick

    Wow – so organized! And yes – what seems like many never ending projects going on here!

  • Andrea @ The Creative Junkie

    my whole house is a never ending project. although, speaking of cookbooks … the perfect cookbook for me would be one filled with easy recipes, spiral bound, lots of colorful pictures with pages that are easily wiped clean.

  • robbieandmelissa

    Thanks for stopping by my blog a couple of days ago! We love cookbooks too. I've started scrapping my very favorite recipes in a 6×6 book and we have a small try-it-soon file on the kitchen counter for the recipes we tear out of magazines. This too is an ongoing project.

  • humel

    I love that we posted about cookbooks on pretty much the same day! I'm trying to transfer the 'keepers' to recipe cards too – I started out with a big notebook, but recipe cards can be re-ordered and categorised so much more easily….

  • Comfy Mom

    Yeah, scrapbooking is a never ending project.

  • Comfy Mom

    yeah, a bit. But I do have a number of books from my mom & grandma so I suppose it's not too strange.

  • Comfy Mom

    I can dog ear them without much guilt, unless it is a brand new book. After a few weeks I feel better about bending down pages.

  • Comfy Mom

    or just those ready to cook meals at Wegmans. If I lived near one I'd be bringing home pre marinated, pre stuffed, pre measured things from the meat & seafood depts all the time

  • Comfy Mom

    I had a notebook at one point too. Now it's just for cookies. It was too hard to find things. cards are much more portable too