November 9, 2011

Recipe Index 101 – A How To Guide


A personalized recipe index is a WONDERFUL thing to have.  It is an amazing resource when starting to plan menus. I couldn't live without mine!


When I started planning my weekly menus about a year ago I found myself getting very bored with my dinner choices.  I felt like I was cooking the same thing every week and didn't enjoy the process of planning or cooking. 

When I would feel myself starting to get into a rut, I began thumbing through my recipe cards and recipe binder to look for new ideas.  This worked for a bit, but then my enthusiasm dwindled when I had to look in a million different places to find recipe ideas.  There had to be an easier way.


As I was reading some of my favorite blogs, I began to notice how their recipe pages were set up like an index.  I decided to make my own "Recipe Index" to have as a jumping off point for my weekly menus. 

My index is basically a compilation of everything I can make with ease for weeknight cooking. 

It took me a couple of days to get all of my dishes on paper (not the whole recipe, just the name of the dish).  But once the meals are compiled, it is an amazing resource to have at your disposal!  I am still adding to mine every time I try a new meal that passes the easy/simple/yummy test.


I would recommend making your own recipe index to anyone trying to plan their menus. It has made my life a million times easier!

Here's how to do it:

I started by typing the following categories in a Word Document:

  • Breakfast/Eggs
  • Breads
  • Hors d'oeuvres
  • Salads and Dressings
  • Soups/Stews/Chili
  • Chicken and Pork
  • Beef
  • Seafood
  • Sandwiches
  • Sides
  • Baked Potatoes
  • Pizza
  • Pasta
  • Vegetarian Mains
  • Snacks
  • Sweets

Then, under each heading I just started writing down the names of the recipes that I knew how to make.  Not the actual recipe, just the names of the dishes.  See below for a snippet of the Breakfast/Eggs category in my recipe index:

               Egg, ham and cheese sandwiches on Whole Wheat English muffin
               Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes
               Cinnamon French Toast
               Whole Wheat Bagels with Peanut Butter, Honey and Banana
               Cereal mixture with skim milk/vanilla yogurt
               Breakfast Burritos
               Breakfast Pizza (eggs, cheese, turkey sausage)
               Crescent Cheese Danish
               Sausage Egg Casserole
               Ham and Egg Tarts
               Overnight Banana-Nut French Toast Casserole
               Fruit Dip with fresh fruit

To see my full recipe index click here.

When you are finished, print a copy for the fridge for handy access! 

Good Luck!


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