Recipe Organisation

I’ve gone a bit OCD on my recipe collection. I say ‘a bit’. Some may say ‘a lot’. I’ll let you decide.

I shop once a week. It’s so much better. If it’s all planned out I save money because I only buy what I need. Plus, I can go on the weekend without the kiddies. And shopping without children is like a holiday in itself. So amazing. 😉 So, once a week, I plan. I look through my big cookbook collection and choose 6 recipes and make my shopping list. I have a tick-what-I-need shopping list (inspired by my parents-in-law) that is organised aisle-by-aisle for my local supermarket so that I don’t have to back-track and can be super-dooper efficient.

A while back I found these awesome free printables and I started a post it note system. Basically, I planned out 6 meals for each week (1 night of leftovers) and wrote the name of the dish and where I could find the recipe. This was working great – until I ran out of wall space!!

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I wanted to keep this reference system of recipes I wanted to repeat, so, I needed to go one step further. I watched this video about recipe planning and organisation. And I was blown away by this woman’s system. Wow. But, I decided I just couldn’t keep this one up… I figured I’d slack off and it would fall by the wayside. So, I compromised. I got myself a ring binder and laminated blank sheets of paper. Then hole-punched. And bought an AWESOME binder divider that sticks out past the pages (why are they not ALL like that????). So, all my pretty little post-its had a home.

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Hint: Buy the “super-sticky” post-its. It’s totally worth it.

So, my kitchen corner looks like this. The orange and green binders have my post-its (one for parents, one for kids). The blue folder is my savoury recipe collection and the red is dessert. The cookbooks on the bench are the ones I need for the week. And loose recipes (from the blue and red binders) that I need for the week go in there. It’s also a good place for loose ones to wait until I get around to filing them.

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And I printed one more planner for the kids since the little munchkin is just starting on baby-led weaning, and the big munchkin is needed more interesting food!

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Recently, I also managed to buy a second-hand chest freezer online, so I’m trying to keep track of what is inside (this is just another white laminated page that I can draw on with whiteboard markers) so nothing gets forgotten.

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And finally I have created an excel file for recipes I want to try based on this website’s ideas. As I read through a cookbook or magazine, I can file away the ideas, rather than having notes and scribbles floating around the kitchen.

And it’s all working well! But there’s always room for improvement – hit me up with any other cool ideas!!

Transportation birthday party!

For Adella’s second birthday we thought we’d aim for her lastest obsession… transport! Her favourite place to sit is at the cafe next to the train station and give us a running commentary of the trains going past. “Blue train! Purple train! Blue train! Blue train!”.

Despite her being older, I still didn’t see any reason to go nuts on sugar and things that she doesn’t usually eat. So we made banana pikelets, vegemite and cheese scrolls, sausage rolls and fruit platters. And we just drank water. Nobody complained!

She’d pointed out the train cake in THE Women’s Weekly children’s cake book. So I based it around this one, but I improvised a bit. First, I made a sugarless banana cake. I figured if we were going to have insanely sweet icing, the kiddies weren’t going to need any extra buzz! I made the cake the night before and got up stupidly early to put it together… I figured toddlers wouldn’t be so much help in the construction! I also filled the carriages with much healthier options, such as puffed corn and sultanas. The wheels were baby corn snacks and the train track was made from cut up fruit-rollup-tape-stuff. I originally did want to use licorice, but I just couldn’t find the string one anywhere!

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(See all those cake offcuts in the background – they made fantastic banana bread icecream and bread & butter pudding!)

At Kmart, I found little plaster cars and trucks, and we painted these after lunch. This was a GREAT activity to get them all to focus and calm down for a while. It was just like being at the Plaster Fun House again. I made sure I had a ziplock bag with the kid’s (and adult’s!) name on them, so when they’d dried off enough, we could just slip them inside.

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I planned an activity using the big long roll of IKEA paper. I drew a big road and some trees and buildings. We were going to make toilet roll cars with split pin wheels to drive along the road. But, guess what? The kids just went nuts and ran around the yard and in and out of the cubby house.

Our “lolly bags” were brown paper bags with car and truck stickers and stamps, and some sultanas and more of the fruit tape.

I was so happy to receive so many nice comments from parents later on, who said how nice is was to have a home birthday, and a lack of crazy party foods!!

Last year, we did A Very Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Party!