Gather your recipes, menus, and ideas in one notebook
Watching a cooking show the other day, I began to wonder what I was going to make this holiday season.
I am sure you have the same experience. Something triggers a train of thought and soon you are are trying to plan a holiday party menu, figure out what to bake for the neighbors, wondering what to have for Christmas day brunch and trying to think of appetizers to carry to various events.
During the month of December, the amount of food events can be staggering, even for those of us who love to cook, and especially so for those of us who only cook a lot during this time of year.
A great way to feel confident about this month’s cooking extravaganza, tweak your memory and give you great ideas is to create a holiday notebook. A notebook is just the place to store all those once-a-year recipes, party menus, decorating and invitation ideas and more. Having your party and holiday recipes in one spot is a great time saver. If you need an appetizer recipe during the coming year, you’ll know right where to find it.
For this Christmas Holiday Notebook project, you will need:
One 3-ring binder, clear pocket sheet protectors, and printer paper.
Place the clear pocket sheet protectors into your binder. You can use them to hold all your menus, recipes and ideas.
Create dividers for the sections of your notebook. This will help you find what you need, when you need it. You can print out titles for your notebook division on your computer printer or just hand print them. Slip the paper into the pockets to divide the notebook.
Some of the divisions in my notebook and a list of what each contains. You can customize your notebook to suit you.
It’s That Time:
Each year we repeat tasks. This year, keep all your to-do lists for decorating, entertaining and household chores in the notebook. Next year, they will serve as great checklists for you.
Holiday Menus – What you served for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Christmas Breakfast or Brunch, family gatherings and New Year’s. Note the traditional or favorites. Try something new? Make a note of where you found the recipe.
Copies of Menus
Copies of invitations
Any to-do lists you made to get read for the party- such as polish the silver, mail the invitations, order the flowers and so forth.
Any ideas that you wrote down or tore from a magazine for entertaining.
Holiday Recipes –Family favorites, traditional recipes, recipes printed from What’s Cooking America or torn from magazines or newspapers
List of what you usually bake and the quantity.
List of anyone you take baked goods to.
Baking recipes or list of cookbook and pages.
Reminder checklist for pantry baking staples
Home Sweet Home:
Household Chore List – for getting ready for the holidays.
Decorating- any to-do lists for decorating and any ideas you gather from magazines can be filed here.
Traditions- record of family traditions.
Gifts and Cards:
Christmas card mailing list
Master Gift List- keeps your list of what you give each year
Stocking Stuffer list
Wrapping- ideas or information for wrapping
Travel – Going or Coming:
Arriving guest information – To-do list to prepare for guests
Travel plans – Dates, directions or reservation for going away
Master checklist – Going out-of-town? Create a checklist for the house for before you leave.
Author Lea Schneider, a columnist for What’s Cooking America, is a freelance writer and organizational expert whose organizing ideas have been published in many magazines including Woman’s Day, Better Homes and Gardens Kitchen and Bath Ideas, Family Circle, Parents Magazine, as well as numerous newspapers and websites. She is a member of the Association of Food Journalists.
Getting organized is all about living simpler and making things easier. The bonus is it often leads to saving money. Lea Schneider’s kitchen organizing columns tell you how to organize the many things that relate to kitchens, menus, meals, and special food events.
Check out all of Lea Schneider’s helpful home and kitchen columns at Organizing Kitchens, Pantries, Menus and Meals.