Home Cooking · Recipes

4 Create an idea book.

Compile a book of your own that contains ideas, recipes and pictures. A simple binder filled with
plastic-insert pages. Get a set of tabbed plastic pages to organize your book alphabetically. It’s
great to have this for easy reference and you can cut out recipes and pictures from magazines to
insert into the pages. Post recipes that have worked with your variation to them. Use this as a
quick visual aid to see your inspirations. Also, it’s a great place to keep track of menus for holidays. Keep your family heirloom recipes in here; meals that were your favorite from your mother,
grandmother or whoever has created meals for you that you have loved and have fond memories of.

Make a personal repertoire of recipes and meals that you know how to cook well—Your signature
meals. Keep lots of notes for yourself. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just place your notes in a
plastic page after you jot something down. It is your place to go to for ideas and recipes that have
caught your eye or look or sound good to go back to time and time again. Cut pictures from magazines for presentations you’d like to try.

I have a huge book that I’ve had for over twenty years. When I feel like I want to try something
new I will thumb through it leisurely. If I’ve cut some recipes and just stuck them in the side
pocket, I organize them. I love to go through my book, it’s a part of me, over the years, the
clippings I’ve collected and recipe ideas I’ve jotted down. I still have some things I wrote
down on notebook paper years ago, all incorporated with recent printouts and clippings.
I had to get a larger binder after the smaller one rusted and broke, but I loved making the transfer
and putting it all together. It’s like a labor of love for me. I even keep my Christmas lists in here for gifts and baked goods I’ve given for gifts. How much I spent on dinners and gifts and what I need to put aside for the next year and who I need to add to my card list. It is the most amazing
thing I have kept up over the years.

Build your collection of ideas and resources to make your life easier. This is your inspiration
when you want to be creative. Use it and love the fact that you’ve taken the time to fill it and create a system that works well for you.

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