Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Works for Me Wednesday: Sorting summer recipes

I am a notorious recipe clipper. I tear them out of magazines, print them off of various blogs, and stash them all into my recipe binder. All "to-try" recipes go in the inside flap, until it either becomes a winner (thus finding a permanent place in my divided binder), or gets tossed into the recycle bin.

Because so many recipes are seasonal, I wanted to figure out a way to see all my summery meal inspiration at a glance, especially so I can take advantage of our garden produce. I went through all my untried recipe clippings, and sorted them into winter/fall/spring and summer. Then, I took all of the summer recipes and made a quick reference list, using categories such as main dish, snacks and breakfast. I jotted the name of each recipe down under the proper heading, and then underlined or wrote in parentheses the types of fresh produce needed for each one. When blueberries were on a super sale last week, I consulted my recipe list and knew exactly what recipe I wanted to try (Oatmeal Berry Bars). And when Eric brought home a bag full of green beans from our garden, I immediately pulled out the directions for Fast and Fancy Green Beans.

I think the list has served me pretty well. I pull it out when I'm making my meal plan, and it's nice to insert some new flavors into our usual round-up. Creating a recipe index might seem like a lot of work to some, but I wanted to be able to try new recipes while taking advantage of seasonal produce, and this approach is working for me. I'm anxious for our tomatoes to be ready for picking--there are so many salads I want to try. (Solo, that is. You probably remember that Eric is unfortunately allergic to this lovely fruit/veggie.)

Do you have a method for sorting recipes by season?


mer@lifeat7000feet said...

That's a smart way to organize things, Carrie! And some of those recipes look yummy.

Katie said...

What a great menu-planning tool, Carrie! I, unfortunately, do not have any organization like this for my recipes. I did start a recipe book once that has dividers for desserts/sides/main, etc....but it's very unorganized with many recipes that I make once in a blue-moon! I love your idea of seasonal organization ~ makes sense to me!

Kendra said...

I'm nowhere near your level of organization and would love to be! Maybe I'll get my recipes in order one day!! :)

Dee said...

Do you mean that shoving mine into a manilla file isn't a good idea? ;) Love the tip. Now I just need to do it!