As many of you know, one of my goals this year is to work on my cooking skills. Matt and me were in a bit of a rut when it came to meals, so I have been working hard to find new recipes to work into our meal rotation. The last couple of months have been a blast!
One of the things that I wanted to do was organize the binder Matt's mom gave me for Christmas this past year. Since there are 4 of us girls on that side (Matt's two sisters, our sister-in-law, and myself), she bought us all a binder and wrote out family recipes for us each to have. I was really excited about it-since some of the recipes are family secrets-and I've slowly been trying them out. I also had a big recipe card box filled with recipes from my wedding shower. I wasn't sure how I was going to combine the two until Matt knocked the box off the counter and it broke. With recipe cards flying everywhere, and the cats batting them around on the floor and under the fridge, I decided to reorganize the binder and add in everything. After purchasing page protectors and going crazy from categorizing, I finally got it all set.
Since the binder was a set and meant for recipes only, I followed the categories that it came with on the dividers. The dividers included:
But now that the binder is all organized, I like flipping through it to decide if a recipe is going to be our next dinner. I also love that the cards come from multiple people. There is something about seeing old recipes written in others' handwriting that makes me smile. There are old family favorites, new recipes I've discovered on my own, and some clipped from magazines. Let me show you bits and pieces from the binder.
One of the best parts of putting this together was looking at recipes I got from my wedding shower. A blank card was included in with the invitations. This was a great way to get a lot of recipes for my newly wed self, and get a lot of variety! The one at right comes from my friend Kyla. I've made this one a couple of times and it is uber-delicious.
There are also a lot of recipes and things I've pulled from other places. While I'm not a huge magazine reader, I do flip through on occasion and pull out things I think might be useful in the future.
I'm starting to look for things to challenge myself with when I'm cooking. Little ideas like the marinades and toppings on this page are helpful. The casserole clipping is actually from Matt's mom. :)
Another thing I really loved about the binder from Matt's mom were the family recipes she included. I've been with Matt for almost ten years, so I've come to love quite a few of these as well!
This corn casserole dish comes from one of Matt's mom's relatives, and I've had it every holiday with them. :) It is definitely a good comfort food recipe!
She also included the names of family members who loved some of the recipes. It was kind of neat to flip through to see everyone's favorites. I haven't made the Confetti Meatloaf yet, but knowing it is Sarah's favorite (Matt's younger sister), makes me anxious to give it a try.
One of the last things she included in the binder were recipes from her time as a profession pastry chef. She met Matt's step-dad while working at a restaurant (he was the head chef), so some of the recipes they created while working there have become some other family favorites.
I also spent a day at my mom's plowing through her recipe cards so I could steal some family recipes from our side. My mom makes a bazillion kinds of Christmas cookies around the holidays, so I definitely needed to copy those down.
I was excited that she had some doubles in her recipe cards, so I just took the extra of a few. :) Seeing her handwriting will make the actual cookies even better. These, the Apricot Brandy Cookies, are hands down my favorite cookie. Ugh, SO GOOD. Believe me, these are addicting.
The other cookie recipe I was happy to snatch are another favorite from my family: Belgian Waffle Cookies. These are wafer thin cookies you cook in a press over a stove. They have lots of fatty goodness in them, but egads, these are AMAZING. I can't wait to try them on my own.
There is something really comforting about having all of these family recipes together in one place. I'm one of those people who likes to hold on to memories. And knowing that I have all these in one place means that I can build on them and pass them down to my own kids. Cheesy? Heck yes! :)
I also love that I can continue to add to my binder as I learn new recipes. Already, Matt and I have tried new things found online and recommended by others. I'm sure those items will also become family favorites.