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
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)
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.
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!
Your Recipe Organizer
200 Blank Pages
Keys to Recipe Revision Success
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!
The Family Taste-Test
Do you like the way it looks?
What do you think about the way it feels in your mouth?
3. What do you think about the flavor?
a. Sweet enough?
b. Too bland? Need more seasoning?
c. Too strong? One flavor too dominant?
Do you like how it is served?
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
cups all-purpose flour
Blend flour, sugars, salt, ginger, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon; blend in oil until evenly mixed. Remove ¾ 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.
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.
13" Pan (12 to 18 pieces)
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
3. Thoroughly blend dry ingredients in small mixing bowl:
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
4. Thoroughly blend liquid ingredients together with a wire whisk in a large mixing bowl:
2 eggs or 4 egg whites
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)
Cost $.11/ $.085 based on 1988 prices. With inflation, however, the comparison will stay the same.
What Others Are Saying...
recipes have really encouraged my cooking. My husband is pleased. Happy
husband means a happy wife!