My name is Crystal, and I’m a recipe-aholic.

Recipes are my life. I’ve stopped counting my cookbooks. I have several years worth of recipes clipped from Gourmet, Cooking Light, Bon Appetit, and Martha Stewart Living, plus Everyday Food and the occasional Vegetarian Times. I have photocopies of recipes I’ve found at the library, and slips of paper with handwritten recipes from friends, doctor’s offices, or television shows. I have printouts of recipes from the Food Network, and word documents with hundreds of recipes pulled from websites, bulletin boards, and emails.

I have tried organizing my recipes many times. I have a huge 3-ring binder filled with neatly-typed favorite recipes placed into plastic sleeves and organized by recipe type (main dish, sides, salads…). I have computerized files with lists of recipes I’ve tried and old menus I’ve put together. I have little post-it notes sticking out of cookbooks and magazines reminding me of recipes to try.

Unfortunately, none of these organization systems seem to stick, and I end up sitting on the couch every weekend, surrounded by open cookbooks and magazines, clipped recipes and printouts, trying to pick the perfect seven recipes to make for dinners that week. I get out one of my notebooks (my notebook collection is another blog topic in itself), and dream up menus and lunches and breakfasts and snacks and “projects” (homemade bread, cookies, food gifts), then narrow them down to the fabulous seven for that week. I then begin the process of making…the Grocery List. The Grocery List is a highly specialized tool that brings together all the needed ingredients and toiletries in a very useful manner…I organize the Grocery List according to location in the grocery store. Yes, I am aware that I have issues.

Anyway, I just wanted to share with you my newest form of organization. I was lucky enough to receive Giada de Laurentis’s new cookbook as an early birthday present (thank you, Leti!), and quickly tore off the hideous book cover (I never keep those covers on…books are so much prettier without them!) and scarfed down the recipes, logging them somewhere in my cranial rolodex. I realized that there were a few of her recipes I liked from the Food Network website that did not appear in the book, and I was a little upset that I would have her recipes spread out throughout my home, in various forms. So, I printed out 4 x 6-inch recipe cards for the online recipes, and attached a little cardstock pocket at the front of the book to hold them. Voila! All of Giada’s recipes in one spot.

The real question is: Will I remember where these recipes are during my menu planning madness next weekend? Probably not.

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