Best Timesaver for Your Kitchen

By: Mark Hester

Anything that saves time is welcome in my kitchen.

That's why I was so excited a couple of years ago when I created the best kitchen timesaver since the microwave. It's not an appliance or even a tool. It is simply a notebook. But it has saved me countless hours and stress.

HAS THIS EVER HAPPENED TO YOU?

"I made this recipe about a year ago. Do you remember?" I yelled to Blake as I pulled yet another cookbook down off the shelf. "It had new potatoes and two or three different kinds of mustard in it. It would be perfect for Todd's barbeque tomorrow. But I can't find it!"

Unfortunately neither Blake nor the latest cookbook I tore through were any help and it took another seven books and about a half an hour to locate the recipe, Triple Coated Mustard Potatoes, in the cookbook Jane Butel's Hotter Than Hell.

Unfortunately this had happened all too often to me. I would remember an excellent dish that I had made in the past but could not remember which cookbook (out of the 75 or so I own) that it was written in or, sometimes, even the name of the recipe. Another 45 minutes wasted looking and sometimes I could not even locate the recipe at all. I knew something had to change.

So I sat down at my computer to solve my problem. What I created really is the best timesaver for my kitchen since the microwave!

It saves me countless hours in the preparation of meals and acts as a quick guide to future delights. Yet it is so simple that you have probably thought of it yourself or even use some form of it.

WHAT IS IT?

I called it the Everyday Easy Recipe Finder. It is simply a binder that I have divided alphabetically with some tabs. You can make your own very easily with note book paper and store-bought tabs (a-z).

After preparing a recipe from one of your favorite cookbooks, simply write down the recipe name and location (but not the whole recipe) on the appropriate page. I like to then record the recipe a second time. This time I write it under the main ingredient (if different from the name) or the secondary ingredient. (Example: For Triple Coated Mustard Potatoes, I would record it under M for Mustard and then under P for Potatoes.) This makes my life much easier when I go to look up the recipe later.

Next I give each recipe a rating. This comes in handy when I try use my recipe finder for ideas.

Then when it comes time to cook I can use the recipe finder in two ways:

1) If I have a recipe in mind that you know would be just perfect, simply look it up in the Recipe Finder and start cooking.

2) If I am stuck for a recipe idea, I pull out the Recipe Finder and skim through it. This is where my ratings really come in handy.

THINK ABOUT IT

Before you roll your eyes and go away, consider how much easier life would be if you could find the recipe you are looking for in ONE book instead of searching through dozens everytime. After all you are probably just like me: You have more cookbooks than you can reasonably keep up with and too many important things to remember to clog your head with where recipes are.

Remember that often the simplest solution is still the best solution.

Give it a try and see if you don't agree that this is the greatest timesaver for the kitchen since the microwave.

Kitchen Design
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