I DON'T KNOW ABOUT ANYONE ELSE, BUT MY SHELVES ARE SIMPLY BULGING WITH COOK BOOKS.
From Nigella and Jamie's latest, to old fashioned classics like Julia Child and Joy, I have dozens of them. I even have the very first book I cooked from - the classic 1920's Barossa Cookery Book.
I'm also a little bit ashamed to admit how rarely I actually cook from any of them at the moment!
More often than not, at dinner time I'm trying to get something, anything on the table that is reasonably healthy, isn't too expensive, and that a fussy child (and husband!) will actually eat.
Gourmet, gorgeous and creative, even though its not that hard, is simply last on my list of priorities.
And, also often, before I know it we've had meat and steamed veg for a month, and if I have to eat any more mashed potatoes I'm going to cry. (Missy and Dan already are.)
Its so easy to get into a rut with cooking, especially weeknight dinners. A friend was telling me just the other day that she never cooks boiled carrots because her mother cooked them too often when she was a kid. I also know a guy who will not touch lamb chops with peas for the same reason. And me? I will never cook a beef stir fry. Utterly loathe them.
So today, in the interests of not forever harming our children's palates, I have recipe printables!
1. RECIPE IDEAS:
For the times you see or think of something awesome to try, this is the place to jot it down so you don't forget. Honestly, every year for the past five or so, I've said I want to try making a real fondue and a real mulled wine; but I only seem to remember during summer. Now I have a place to put them, and this page is great to look at when you're feeling bored and uninspired.
Also, I know this printable is just lines on a page, but I love things to match and look pretty together with pretty headings - it means I'll actually use it!
2. RECIPE INDEX:
Many years ago (pre-child), I had the brilliant idea of going through my recipe collection and tabbing all the things I wanted to try so I could find them easily... (I know, I don't know what I was thinking either.)
Anyway, three jumbo packs of sticky notes later, my cookbooks were full of little color and letter coded tabs, and bristled so much they barely fit in the cupboard. But try as I would, the system never worked. I promptly forgot the letter coding. It was annoying to flick through the tabs. They all bent and creased and looked messy.
I still couldn't find any of the inspiring ideas I knew were hiding in there. So, I finally pulled all the little tabs out, and put them into a Recipe Index.
This is quite similar to the Recipe Ideas above, but is more for navigating through your own collection of cookbooks; you could use either one or both. It has a big category swatch at the bottom, so you can categorize your ideas however you like, and I've used the term 'reference' so you can jot down a book or author, or remind yourself that its on Pinterest.
3. NEVER COOK AGAIN!
I like to think of this as the companion page to the Recipe Ideas.
This printable is for those ideas that absolutely failed. No one could eat it it tasted so bad. I may be the only person that needs one of these, because, sometimes I forget about the absolute disasters I have made my family eat. Like every so often I think I'd like to try cooking French Onion Soup - until Dan reminds me what it was like last time (maybe I had a dodgy recipe lol).
It's also for those ideas that in theory are awesome and amazing, but in practice are just ... sad. For example you cannot hollow out the middle of a pavlova and expect jelly to set inside. No, no. You can't substitute raw sugar for white when making jam. My attempted gravlax was not good. And pickled eggs... I have no words. Anyway, here it is.
4. RECIPE PAGES
These are pretty standard pages to record all your favorite recipes. I've included the notes section instead of individual prep time, serves, cooking time, oven temperature etc, as it makes them much more flexible for different meal types. If you have lots of these, you may wish to use a separate recipe binder to hold them all, in which case, use the Recipe Index above as a section divider :-).
Also, just quickly, why not write down all your regular weeknight dinners in there as well? You know, the ones you could make in your sleep, that are so basic you will never forget how to make them?
Because, over the years, I find many of those old favorites are accidentally forgotten, like the quick tomato pasta recipe I used to make in my uni days. We loved it, and it just fell off the radar somehow.
Truly, write down your family's everyday classics; it'll make meal planning much easier, and if nothing else, in years to come your children will (hopefully...) treasure them.
To download these pages, simply scroll down to find the links - and don't forget to sign up for my newsletter on the way!
All the best for now,
Click the links below to download printables in this post: