Taste | Get Planning

As I've said before,  I've only been cooking in earnest for about a year now. Aside from chopping onions, one of the biggest hurdles for me is the actual planning of menus and keeping of recipes. These are two things that have helped me enormously, and  I  think you'll find they make life in the kitchen a little bit easier.

For years I've collected recipes from a million sources - online, magazines, newspaper articles - and they all just ended up that same kitchen drawer that's home to everything else you don't know what to do with. And then last summer I decided to get my act together and organize them all as part of my renewed commitment to family dinners. So I went out and bought a binder, plastic sheet protectors and dividers and made my own recipe book. I cannot tell you how incredibly helpful it's been. I now have everything organized and protected so I can take pages out when I'm using a recipe, and I can add to it as often as I want.  And if you really want to make it official, check out these binders that you can personalize yourself. They make great gifts, too.


Here's the other thing that drives me nuts about cooking: planning what to cook. I found that I was forgetting to deal with dinner until it was too late to get groceries, so I turned to the Skinnytaste Meal Planner, which has been a lifesaver. I'm a huge fan of the cookbook and website, so was excited about this planner, and while I don't use every part of it (there's a section for tracking calories and points which is great if you want to check that), the actual weekly meal planner is fantastic for forcing me to sit down on Sundays and plot my meals for the week. There are also a ton of great tips and even some recipes thrown in here and there.