Friday, July 20, 2012

Minimalist Kitchen and Recipe Binder Project

Hi Friends!  Today I thought I would share a recipe binder project that I completed at the very start of summer break.  No, it's nothing especially beautiful to look at....but it is beautiful because it is simple (see my quest for more simplicity in my life here if interested).


Have you ever found yourself with too many cookbooks, too many diet and nutrition books, magazines, websites, and even cooking/dieting advice?

Anyone know what I am talking about?

It's excessive and it can also be obsessive.  At least, it can be for me.

Rather, I want things to be simple.

Simple....and healthy.  Yup, that's what I am after.

So, with the exception of one very old and very faithful cookbook that my husband and I scraped our pennies together to purchase many, many, many years ago, I got rid of all the others.  Yes, I purged them......I gave them away, sold a couple back to amazon, and recycled a few that were in bad shape after snipping out my favorite recipes.

You know all those recipe cards and bits of paper you've written recipes on?  Well, I kept those that I have repeatedly used....they've a new home in my recipe binder.  So many of them were on post-it notes!

And you know all those recipes that you think you will make someday?  GONE.

What remains are all of my favorite tried and true recipes that I use with at home.  Healthy, simple recipes.

I figure if I need to cook up something gourmet, I will just google it.  Why should I have 20 cookbooks taking up space that could be better used for something else?

Plus we now have so many virtual cookbook sites as well as Pinterest!

So here we are.....

It did not take me too long to assemble.

Here is a look inside....I used tabs for all the categories I felt I would need.  Yes, there is a tab for "Cookies..."  :)

I stuck each recipe onto a plain sheet of thick paper that I had on hand from an old design project with double sided tape, maximizing space by placing multiple recipes on a page if they would fit.

I covered each double sided sheet with sheet protectors to help with splatters.

If you are into a minimalist kitchen, I would recommend this project.  I cannot tell you how good it felt to purge the cookbooks and diet books.  A chronic dieter, I already know what works, what doesn't, and what I need to do to best care for my body and to help keep my family healthy.  Enough with buying the latest "whatever" diet or cookbook.  I'm afraid it's been a tremendous waste.

Next up, I will be simplifying my kitchen cabinets and all of my cooking and baking gear. 

For anyone interested, I posted earlier this year about my pantry organization and attempts to reduce waste buy buying in bulk and reducing processed snack foods.  Let me know what you think!



  1. very cool idea!!

  2. A recipe binder is so smart. I need to get my recipes organized and this is the solution. Thanks for sharing!

    I would love it if you would share this at the Smart Solutions linky party. You can link up here:

    Have a great day!

  3. What a smart, smart idea. I agree that it all gets to be a bit much. I purged some cookbooks at the beginning of this year AND the biggest thing - I've stopped buying cookbooks. I do still have a collection and add some to my collection thru reviewing but think I will be trying this out on paring down the cooking magazines that are everywhere and I hang onto because of one or two recipes I have made or might make, etc.... Thanks for the inspiration :)


  4. I recently purged about 75% of all my cookbooks. The ones that I had recipes in "tagged' I scanned and copied to add to my cookbook binder as well. It really feels so much better to have so few cookbooks and one main one I actually use!

  5. This is a wonderful project and you can see some recipes you want to make while you're organizing!

  6. I KNOW you're loving this! I put my recipes into binders several years ago -- but I divided them up and used multiple binders: Soups/Salads, Entrees, Breads, Side Dishes, etc. Soooo much easier than digging through the disorganized box.

    Stop by if you get a chance and check out my Vintage Linen & Dish Auction for charity. It's my way of celebrating 2 years of blogging!

  7. I just found you through The Nester and I love your blog. I have wanted to do this for years. I think you have inspired me to clean up my recipes and purge all the cookbooks that are just gathering dust and may be of better use in someone else's home.

  8. I find myself looking up most recipes online now so I too got rid of over half of my cookbooks. I love the idea of one binder for loose recipes. Thanks for linking this up to the party. Always lots of inspiration over here.

  9. Oh curiosity has gotten the better of me. WHICH cookbook did you keep??

    1. Vicky you crack me up. :) I kept Better Homes and Gardens (red and white checked cover) circa 1985ish. I need to pass that one down. I still use it all the time because the recipes are classic and simple!

  10. Thank you all for the lovely comments! XO. I just used the recipe binder this evening, in fact. It has been very handy.


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