The Creative

  Now you can end the frustration of misplaced recipes. Some loose recipes may already have become favorites before they've found a secure place. Give them a home before they get lost!

    Here is a system to put clipped and borrowed recipes into a
finger tip resource ready for your own culinary experimentation.

    Set up your Creative Recipe Organizer to suit your own interests using the tabs and suggestions provided. Next, put in your loose recipes and index them. Leave space (there are over 200 blank pages)
 for notes, alterations, and evaluation. It's that easy.

    With a set of organized recipes you'll be ready for those occasions when the inspiration to try something new comes.

How to Develop Your Own Recipes

    Almost every recipe in the SueGreggCookbooks began with a recipe I acquired from somewhere. Some of them I grew up with. Many were favorites from Betty Crocker. A variety came from friends, newspapers, magazines, and, of course, from other cookbooks. By the time I was ready to make nutritional changes I had a card file of about 100 standbys.

    For several years I accumulated cookbooks from a cookbook club. When my family began our adventure in better eating, I packed them all up except my Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook and gave them to the Salvation Army. Then I began to purchase "health food" cookbooks. What a shock! I was disappointed. These new recipes did not suit my family's tastes! What to do? I laid these new health-foody resources aside and began to plow through my recipe card file, one recipe at a time, to see what I could do to change the nutritional quality of the ingredients and still come out with family-pleasing taste.

   One of the first recipes I experimented with was my Minute Bran Muffins. I changed the white flour to whole wheat pastry flour, the sugar to half as much honey, the shortening to one-fourth as much oil, and used plain bran in place of boxed bran cereal. It worked! My success encouraged me to try making changes in other favorites. The process hasn't stopped yet!

   Since that time I have followed the same plan for developing new recipes. I start with any recipe that promises appetite appeal. Most of these do not meet my nutritional standards, but by following guidelines for changing the quality and amounts of ingredients I develop my own healthier version. If it doesn't meet our family taste-test, I make adjustments in the recipe if I think it can be improved. If not, I discard that recipe.

    Years of following this pattern of recipe development have accumulated into many cookbooks. Even after all the recipe experimentation I've done, I am only too happy to follow my own recipes, knowing they are going meet my taste and nutritional standards.

    Yet, even with a good set of cookbooks, I still enjoy collecting new recipe ideas. I've discovered that I am not alone! Practically every woman has a drawer or box full of recipe clippings and notes she doesn't quite know how to organize. I came up against this organizational dilemma early on. I tried a variety of ways to organize them--scrapbook, 3-ring binder, file cards, or just fighting with the disorganization in the drawer! None of these worked to my satisfaction. What to do?

    I developed The Creative Recipe Organizer for my own use. I wanted a small recipe book for these recipe odds 'n ends where I could quickly find what I was looking for. I wanted a book in which I could decide what each recipe section would be and the length. I wanted it to be the right size for easy handling, to get lots of recipes into it, and for the pages to turn easily without tearing at the holes (a constant headache with a 3-ring notebook). I also wanted to be able to easily remove a recipe I didn't want to keep, and put another in its place (or tape another on top of a discard). I wanted enough room on the pages for writing in my own comments and ingredient changes. I planned it to be a workbook of recipe development. Once the recipe was developed it would then be written on a file card or put into a new Eating Better Cookbook.

    All of these features have been built into The Creative Recipe Organizer plus helpful ways and examples that you can use to change recipes along with other extras.   
                                        Sue Gregg


Most cookbooks put all the recipes of a kind (e.g. main dishes, salads, etc.) together. Instead, we recommend that you fill the pages consecutively from front to back as you collect recipes. The organization of the recipes occurs in the table of contents. That is the secret to making this system work for you!

Tabbing Your Recipe Organizer
Organizing Contents Pages
Organizing Recipes
6 Keys to Recipe Revision Success
Passing the Family Taste-Test
The Making of A Recipe
Almond Crunch Coffee Cake
Sample Revision of a Main Dish Recipe
Revising A Recipe for Living
Prayer Incense
Ingredient Changes You Can Make
Best Appliance Bonuses
Kitchen Helpers
Measuring & Measuring Terms
Increasing or Decreasing Recipes
Calculator Equivalents
Food Measurement Equivalents
Storage Secrets
Stocking & Storing Herbs & Spices
Herb/Spice List
Food and Cooking Terms
Fabulous Foods Chart

Over 200 Blank Pages


Six Keys to Recipe Revision Success
Many ingredient changes can be made in recipes to improve their nutritional value while maintaining, and even improving, taste appeal. Use the 6 Keys below for each recipe revision. The Ingredient Changes You Can Make Chart (pp. 10-14) details how these 6 keys can be implemented.

1. What can I do to increase the fiber content of this recipe?

2. What can I do to increase the vitamins/minerals in this recipe?

3. What can I do to reduce the amount of fat and improve the quality of fat, if added, in this recipe?

4. What can I do to reduce the amount of sugar and improve the quality of sugar I use in the recipe?

5. What can I do to reduce the salt content without sacrificing flavor?

6. What can I do to reduce additives/preservatives in this recipe?

   You may need to experiment 2 or 3 times with making changes in a recipe to get appetizing results. You may not always get tasty results, but often you will be surprised at how tasty and nutritionally improved the results can be. Experience will improve your skills so that often you will have successful results the first time!

Passing The Family Taste-Test
Give each member of the family opportunity to rate each new recipe served from 1 to 10 (10 is most delicious). Ask for a reason for each rating e.g. "Too, salty, too slippery, make more colorful." "I don't like its and yucks" won't help you much in bringing the recipe into line with family taste buds. Discuss the following points to learn what might be done to further improve the recipe.

1. Do you like the way it looks?
   a. Colorful?
   b. Drab?
   c. So-So?
   d. Would serving it with colorful food or garnish or adding an ingredient or two improve it?

2. What do you think about the way it feels in your mouth?
   a. Too mushy, pasty, or soupy?
   b. Too coarse or crumbly?
   c. Too heavy or firm?
   d. Uninteresting? Would an ingredient addition help?

3. What do you think about the flavor?

a. Sweet enough?

b. Too bland? Need more seasoning?

c. Too strong? One flavor too dominant?

4. Do you like how it is served?
   a. Is the menu that is served with it right for it?
   b. Would you rather have something else with it?

5. Is this recipe worth trying again with some recommended modifications?

The Making of a Recipe
The Cafe Beaujolais' Buttermilk-Cinnamon Coffeecake chosen by the Los Angeles Times Food Staff as one of its featured most delectable 12 recipes of the year looked tasty! I clipped it out and put it into my Recipe Organizer. What would I do with this high fat, low fiber, nutrient-depleted recipe?

Here is a copy of the original: Cafe Beaujolais' Buttermilk-Cinnamon Coffee Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar, packed
cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
teaspoon salt
teaspoon ginger
cup corn oil
1 cup sliced almonds
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk

Blend flour, sugars, salt, ginger, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon; blend in oil until evenly mixed. Remove cup mixture and combine with 1 teaspoon cinnamon and almonds; set aside for topping. To remaining flour mixture, thoroughly blend in baking powder and soda. Blend in egg and buttermilk until smooth.

Pour into a buttered 13" x 9" baking pan. Sprinkle with reserved nut mixture evenly over surface of batter. Bake 350 for 35-40 minutes.

I made three basic changes in this recipe:
1) substituted whole grain flour for the white flour
2) reduced the amount of sugar, using a more wholesome source
3) reduced the amount of fat

    For my first trial I didn't worry about achieving exactly what I wanted. I knew that the family taste-test would suggest further changes that could improve texture and flavor.

    I used whole wheat pastry flour which gives a lighter texture than bread flour since the gluten content is lower. I cut the sugar in half. Either honey or fructose are about twice as sweet as white sugar. Since this cake has a crumbly topping, I used granulated fructose in it to retain the crumbly texture. For the cake itself I used honey.

   As for the fat, I usually leave it out altogether in the first trial, hoping that the natural oil of the whole grain flour will be sufficient for a pleasing texture. I did need a little to hold together the crumbly topping, and found that a tablespoon would do the trick. Next, I cut the amount of nuts in half--that was plenty for nutty enjoyment. The remaining ingredients I left as is except for the addition of an extra egg.

   The final result after the third try was Almond Crunch Coffee Cake, a taste-tested light-textured family approved winner (now one of the recipes in More than Breakfasts with Blender Batter Recipes). You can check the nutritional improvements on the chart below.

Revised Recipe
Rewritten for easier reading and error-free assembly:

mvc-747s.jpg (37225 bytes)

Click to view demonstration

Almond Crunch Coffee Cake

AMOUNT: 9" x 13" Pan (12 to 18 pieces)
Bake: 325 for 35-40 minutes

1, Preheat oven and grease or spray baking pan.

2. For topping blend first 3 ingredients with a fork and stir in the nuts; set aside:

    1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
   2 tablespoons crystalline fructose
   1 tablespoon soft butter
1/2 cup chopped or sliced almonds

3. Thoroughly blend dry ingredients in small mixing bowl:

    2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
    2 teaspoons cinnamon
    1 teaspoon baking powder
(low sodium preferred)
   1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
(unrefined sea salt preferred)
   1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger

4. Thoroughly blend liquid ingredients together with a wire whisk in a large mixing bowl:

    2 eggs or 4 egg whites
    3/4 cup honey

5. Alternately blend dry ingredients into liquid ingredients with:

    1 cup buttermilk or nonfat yogurt

6. Pour batter into pan. Spread topping evenly over top. Press topping slightly into batter with tines of a fork.

7. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until knife comes clean out of center.

Nutritional Comparison of Original and Revised Recipes

Amount: About 2" Square (18 per pan)

Calories    261/ 150
Protein    3.6 grams/ 3.5 grams
% of Calories    13.6 grams 47%/ 3.6 grams 21%
Dietary fiber    0.6 grams/ 2 grams
Calories of sugar    77/ 48
Vitamins/minerals    60-65% removed from the refined flour/
                                60-65% restored in the wholegrain flour

Cost    $.11/ $.085 based on 1988 prices. With inflation, however, the comparison will stay the same.

1999 SueGreggCookbooks, Publishers  ISBN 1-878272-05-5 Creative Recipe Organizer $7.Buy Now

What Others Are Saying...

    Your recipes have really encouraged my cooking. My husband is pleased. Happy husband means a happy wife!
            Christa, San Bernardino, California


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