Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day #9 of 30 Days to a Simpler Life --- Fix Quick and Healthy Meals

Day #9 is here.  Today's task is:

Organize your recipes!  Make a three-ring binder for Favorite Family Recipes and another for Recipes to Try.  You will need two binders, two divider sets with tabs, a three-hole punch, and a few clear vinyl sheet protector pages.
Notebook #1.  Favorite Family Recipes: Gather all of your recipe cards, recipes from magazines, and your favorite dog-eared recipes in cookbooks.  On 8 1/2 x 11-inch paper, photocopy recipes you use frequently.  Divide them into hors d'oeuvres, salads, entrees, and desserts.  Place them in your notebook.  This notebook will contain all those old favorites like Mom's Apple Crisp and Uncle Charlie's Chili.  It will not contain untried recipes.
Notebook #2.  Recipes to Try:  Create another binder with dividers and add a top-loading clear sheet protector to each section.  Recipes collected from magazines and friends are placed inside the sheet protectors.  When you have several odd sizes collected, photocopy them onto 8 1/2 x 11-inch paper, punch, and put into the notebook.  After you have tried a recipe from this notebook and know it is a keeper, transfer it to your Favorite Family Recipes notebook.

OR for serious simplifiers only...

Make a list of your top twenty simplest dinners. Select dinners with the fewest ingredients.  Choose recipes with five or fewer ingredients.  Post this list on your fridge and use it to plan dinners during the work week.  (30 Days to a Simpler LIfe, p. 63)

As always if you want more help simplifying, do the author a favor and buy the book!
Amazingly, I already have a pretty decent system for this which I'll share with y'all tomorrow.  Unfortunately, it's not helping me too much right now since I can't eat dairy or nuts anymore...and my husband is gluten free and dairy free...and I'm trying to be a vegetarian.  When did making dinner get so complicated?!?!

Here is part 1 of my day #8 results.  I had TOO much going on yesterday.  Red had a vocal performance last night and subsequent potluck that I had to cook for.  That doesn't sound too bad, except I had to go grocery shopping with my two monkeys to get the stuff to make for the potluck.  Then I still had to go to the post office to mail some stuff I sold on eBay, and I had to do an extra load of laundry so Red would have the proper clothing to adhere to the performance's dress code.  *sigh*

This is the before shot of my packed to the gills thus I can find nothing pantry:

While I was waiting for dinner to finish cooking yesterday, I reorganized and consolidated the spices.  I now I have one beautiful shelf out of four.
I'm going to try to do the rest of it today.  I'm feeling a little bit overwhelmed right now with the company arriving on Thursday night.  The house is not the most clean at the moment, and I wanted to steam clean the bedroom carpets (well, at the bare minimum Tom Thumb's carpet since that's the room they're staying in and it looks pretty sketchy).  Take a few deep breaths with me--- in, out, in, out.  
Can I have a massage after this is all over?


Carri said...

Now THIS is something I need to do!!! A few years back my mom started this for me and my sisters. She gave us each a 3 ring binder with several recipes we enjoyed growing up. I think secretly it was to get us to stop calling her every time we went to cook something. At this point however, the recipes are jumbled, a lot I don't or can't use, and the binder needs replacing. Not to mention there are several that I still get out of my cook books. With all the dietary changes going on here this is great timing! I can't wait to see your method.

Faithe said...

Your pantry looks awesome! Thank you so much for posting these daily. I look forward to them so much. It is like getting a small present each day.....Faithe