I tend to be on the receiving end of a lot of cookbooks on holidays. Thick or thin, I have them all. The ones from my vegetarian days, the one with instructions on how fashion a sheet cake into the Easter bunny, and an entire collection of Barefoot Contessas are all on the shelf next to the fridge. While there’s a certain excitement that comes from flipping through the glossy pages of each cookbook, next semester I’ll be moving into my first off-campus apartment with three roommates and there simply isn’t space for my entire collection. So this winter break I created my own consolidated cookbook of a few recipes from each of my many cookbooks for my new apartment. It’s a great summary of what I loved in 2011 and inspiration to cook for all of 2012.
**Tips & Tricks**
Collect Recipes. Flip through cookbooks, request family favorites from relatives, scour BGSK and other food blogs. Choose recipes you’ve tested and know are good, as well as ones you’ve been dying to make but haven’t gotten around to yet. Select a broad range of recipes. You don’t want an only dessert book, or instructions solely for party cocktails. This is also your time to note your edits to any recipes you might have tweaked. More garlic? Less broth? Write it down!
Format, format, format. Choose a format for your chosen recipes and stick with it. Type up the recipes with a big and bolded title so they are easy to find while quickly flipping through your book. Include the source of the recipe and how many people it serves. Then, list the ingredients in the order you use them and write out step-by-step instructions. If you’re using recipes from cookbooks or blogs, just copy and paste their directions into your format. Maybe even make a template, this way when you want to add more recipes to your cookbook, the new and the old will all look uniformed.
Find Pictures. Whether you take them yourself, find them on Pinterest or scan them in from your cookbooks, pictures are what will give your collection of recipes a little excitement and make your cookbook seem like the real deal.
Organize in a Binder and Voila! Print and hole punch your recipes, and decide how you want to arrange your cookbook. You could put the recipes in alphabetical order, create chapters by meal, time needed, or source of original recipe. The Cookbook Binder also allows you to keep adding new recipes. On my first page, I created a table of useful kitchen conversions like how many teaspoons are in a tablespoon. If you want to get fancy on me you could even create an index.
Lucy Dana is a junior at Duke University, who just got home from a semester in Cape Town, South Africa. Read More…