August 17, 2009


Recipe Organization

After being gluten free for about five years, I found that I had recipes all over the place.  I had numerous cookbooks because I kept all my old ones and added new gluten-free cookbooks to the collection.  I had my old recipe box with index cards, and I had notebooks of recipes I printed from the Internet.  I wanted a system, a way to organize the recipes I used most. 
I decided to try using Microsoft Access database.  I had used a more simple database before, and since I had Access on my computer, I decided to use it.  I have to admit, it wasn’t easy to learn, and I only learned what was necessary to accomplish what I wanted.  In the end, though, I was happy with the results. 
1.  I created a form in Access that I use to enter new recipes.  It allows me to create categories and subcategories that I use for sorting the recipes.  I have drop down options for several things such as the categories and oven temperature.
2. I created a report which is used for printing the recipes.  I opted to print them on half a page so I could print two per 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper. 
3. I bought two binders at an office supply store that hold 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 sheets of paper.  One binder holds only dessert recipes, the other holds all remaining recipes which are divided with tab pages. 
4. I used the database to create a table of contents for each book.  It is particularly helpful when I want to look over my recipes and decide what to make for dinner, or dessert.
I’ve used this system for several years now and I’m very happy with it.  Periodically, I type up new recipes that I’ve created or found on the Internet.  I included a place on my form for recipe source so I can remember where recipes came from. 
If you’re looking for a way to organize recipes, this is a great one.  The drawback is learning to use the database.  If you don’t know how already, see if you can find a friend who does or get a book from the library.  I’ve already forgotten much of what I learned when I set it up.
How do you store your recipes?


Oh, how wonderfully efficient it sounds to have all your recipes all filed on your computer! The majority of my recipes are stuffed inside one of Bette Hagman's cookbooks which is therefore overflowing and so I use a strong rubber band to keep them all together! The strange thing is..I do seem to find any recipe very quickly this whatever works, right?
Hopefully you're backing up your Access file on an external media/another PC. You don't want to lose all your recipes at once!

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