February 9, 2012

Recipe Book

I haven't gone into much detail about our plans after the new baby arrives. We have told close family and friends and our current employer that we are officially moving back home (I'm working on a post about that soon, it's harder to write about leaving White Mountain than I thought it would be). In the process of deciding whether or not to stay here or go, we also had to make the decision on whether or not I will be working. Both my husband and I feel that the best thing for our children is for me to stay home. While I stay home I'm going to start my Masters in Early Childhood Education.

I'm nervous, excited, and a little scared about becoming a student again and a stay-at-home-mom. I have never done it. How am I going to take care of 2 children under 2 and go to school and keep the house clean and make sure all the meals are prepared and find time to get in shape-yet, again-and have date nights to reconnect with my husband and find time for just...me?

While I am a little nervous about being burnt out, I think of how amazing it's going to be to watch Bria and our new baby grow up everyday. All those little things that I missed with Bria because I was at work, I get to watch through our next baby :) ... I'm so so excited. As long as we are taking care of our babies, and I'm taking care of my husband, I figure all of the other things can go undone until I can figure out a solution to accomplish all of them. I know it's possible, and there are so many women out there who do everything, but I don't want to be overwhelmed in the beginning since our baby is coming soon!

I have started a goal for next year (when we are finally living in the house we built four years ago). My goal is to be more organized. So, my first attempt at becoming organized was to create a Shultz Recipe Book. I wanted one place for all our favorite recipes we have found online and our favorite family recipes. I swear I had stacks of recipes in the kitchen, spare room, I had my allrecipes.com account and I had a file on my computer for recipes. It took me forever to find what I was looking for. But now? I can just look into the book and find exactly where it was. Now, you are probably thinking, well duh Tory! Of course a recipe book is easier! But, I'm actually not that bright when it comes to managing a home...

Click "Read More" for free printables and the step-by-step process I used:

 My first step in creating a recipe book was to search on pinterest for ideas on the easiest and most organized way to create one. Here are some fabulous sites that helped me along ( I will link specifically to the post or page that deals with the recipe book):

Prudent Baby
Just Sweet and Simple
Finding Home

Second Step: I took our recipes that we already loved and put them in a word document with absolutely cute font from Kevin And Amanda.com. so they are all unison in the way they look. I took the recipes we already had and the combined them into categories. The categories for our book are as follows:
                              -Meat 'n Potatoes
                                     -For Kids of All Ages
It sure looks like a lot, but it's really not. I then have It so I have at least 6 recipes for each category.

Third Step: I then took Colleen's Menu Planner Page over at Just Sweet and Simple who created the entree categories and put her favorite recipes down while she is menu planning for the week. I took this as inspiration to find recipes for each of my category (and it gave me an idea for an index page, which will be discussed in later steps).  I searched online for the recipes I thought we would like based on the ingredients used and the reviews. I made sure to get recipes for each category

Fourth Step: Once I had every recipe I wanted to use, I printed them off and then organized them in their appropriate category, this is perhaps the longest part of the process (for us anyway, my husband has been the cook up until this point and never uses recipes..He's amazing).

Fifth Step: After every recipe was in it's category I then created a Recipe Menu. This will help me when I am menu planning for the week (I'm going to start making a weekly menu for our breakfast, lunch, and dinner to help prepare me for the meals and to organize our shopping so we don't buy excess stuff and forget important ingredients).

Here is my Recipe Menu for all the recipes that I have in the book. The ones with the circle bullets are the recipes that are in the book. The ones with the 3 stars are healthy/vegan options, and the ones with the dashes are just ideas but don't need a recipe.  Of course I wanted more lines for additional recipes.
Recipe Menu

I have given you the downloading option, but obviously every family is different with different taste buds, family recipes, and ideas on what they would like to eat. Please use this as a reference guide if you so wish to.

Sixth Step: After I created our recipe menu, I created a list of all the ingredients that we would need for  each recipe. It actually turned out to be most everything we would ever get at the grocery store! So, I named it: Kitchen Items this will be a not-so-quick reference guide. (It actually was a mess-up, but I wanted to share in case it was useful for some- I kind of got carried away with our Kitchen Staples!) :

Kitchen Items

Again, this is a list of what my family will use. Not every family is the same. Feel free to download it for use, or just as inspiration :) ....

Seventh Step: Now that I created the not-so-quick reference guide, I thought we needed a quick reference guide for Kitchen Staples. The things that are really good to always have in stock in your pantry, fridge, or freezer. Here is our list of Kitchen Staples:

Kitchen Staples

I am almost positive I am probably forgetting a few ingredients or staples and may have misspelled some things, but I promise I did use spell check...and my husband, so it's not totally my fault :) ...

Please, please, please comment if there is anything you guys think I should add. I am always looking to improve this binder, and it probably will never be complete, but it's a good start!

I have started using this book already up here and getting good practice on my menu planning for the week. Most of our fruits and vegetables come from Full Circle Farm and we are able to add and delete and substitute everything in our box. So, I go through my Recipe Menu and go through and select a few (3-4) dishes we would like to eat that following week and choose the fruits and vegetables we need. I have been doing this for three weeks and it has helped us not waste vegetables or fruit and has cut down on wasting left-overs! I really really dislike wasting food, so I have been so happy with the result of menu planning.

I have been using the awesome BusyBodyBook that I ordered in the beginning of the year and it has been a life saver! It has five columns for each day and you can change it any way you like. I currently have these columns: Tory, Clint, Bria Food, Work, Menu.

Here is our menu for this last week (I know sushi isn't in our recipe book, but we love it so much it would never be forgotten...)

Here is to the first step in getting organized!
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