I haven’t talked much about cooking/ meal planning on this blog, because generally speaking, my meal planning and cooking style is pretty “fly by the seat of my pants”. We (mostly, I) cook at home often, but it’s honestly not super organized (though I have made more attempts recently to plan our meals).
A few issues:
I feel like our lifestyle, especially in normal times, is not super well suited to a strict meal regimen. We are busy, things seem to change constantly at the last minute around here, our “moods” for food also seem to vary, and, we do like to eat out a fair amount.
Not necessarily an “issue”, but more of an observation: I don’t cook from recipes very often. We eat a lot of either Mexican style food (stuff I’ve just learned to make/ adapted over the years), basic meals (i.e. fish, a vegetable and rice) or “recipes” I’ve made in the past but now just make out of habit (i.e. the chicken parmesan I made last week).
However! I LIKE cooking from recipes sometimes, because it’s a great way to find and try new, different ideas. I actually included a “made new recipe” line in my monthly habit tracker this past year. I just flipped through my records for 2020, and according to this, I have made a total of nine new recipes in the entire year so far (and this may be a generous count). Many months I have 0 recorded. I’m so adventurous! Ha.
Related to #2- my recipe storage is a mess. This might contribute to me not making new recipes. I have Pinterest, and I have a ton of recipes saved on there. I have a recipe box. An old notebook. A couple cookbooks. Favorite recipes are….somewhere in one of those sources. If I know what I want to make and it’s an older/ tried and true recipe, I can probably find it. Maybe. But if I run across a really great recipe, and I try it and love it, I cannot currently guarantee that that recipe will get saved in any kind of organized fashion to ever be found again.
ALSO, when it comes time for me to pretend to be an organized mom and make a meal plan for the week, my recipe situation is so overwhelming that I don’t even really know where to start.
The reason I’m talking about this today is because yesterday I decided I want to make chili on Tuesday. Which meant I needed to find my chili recipe. Which led me to realize (again) what a mess my recipe situation is.
I may have had a little epiphany though! I was doing a little online searching and thinking about ways that I could organize my recipes more efficiently. I ran across MANY blog posts from (much more organized) bloggers saying that Evernote is an amazing recipe storage resource.
That caught my eye. I have an Evernote account! If you don’t know what it is, it is basically a cloud-like notes storage app, accessible from your phone/ tablet/ computer. It syncs across them all. I use it (sporadically) to keep track of some misc. household items, like when we last had eye exams, my Christmas card address list and lists of certain household brands I prefer to buy.
As I read, I learned that Evernote can be an excellent way to organize recipes! I actually already had a “Recipes” notebook in there from years ago but it was mostly empty.
The cool thing is that you can “tag” your recipes (i.e. “Mexican” “Chicken” “Favorite”), so you can sort by that AND there is a great search bar. Many people say they don’t even bother tagging the recipes because the search function works so well. You can copy and paste a recipe in from Pinterest or, my favorite part: you can just take a picture of a hand written recipe. The search function will read the words in the photo!! I tried it and it works.
I also like that since each recipe is basically inside a “note”, you can type whatever you want in there. So if you copy a recipe in, you can make notes about things you’ve changed, or add photos/ comments/ etc. It seems pretty slick!!
Here’s a screenshot of how it looks in the app on my phone (I’ve only added a couple random recipes so far):
Below is a screen shot of my chili recipe in the app (taken in poor lighting and a pencil written recipe, but you get the idea). I didn’t add any typed in notes, but now to find this all I would have to do is type in “chili” in the search bar and my recipe would pop up.
Here is a recipe I copied in from Pinterest. It lets you edit the font, colors, make notes, etc. I also like having the actual recipe in my possession, because in Pinterest, you are really just pinning the link. If the original source ever disappears, your recipe does too!
Anyway, I’m very intrigued by this! It seems like it could work really well for me. I already have the app on my phone, and it’s so easy to access on my desktop too. I love the search feature best of all, I think! That makes it a piece of cake to find things.
What’s your favorite recipe storage method?? I’m leaning toward trying this but am open to other suggestions!
I’m grateful for Sunday night football, my couch and the fireplace. I was tired for some reason last night and sort of collapsed in a heap on the couch. It was nice. 🙂