Peace in the Kitchen: Write In Your Cookbooks!

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Have you ever made a meal only to find out it was the same recipe you used last year that no one liked?  Or is it just me who does that?

The recipe pictured was one of those occasions.  I was so happy to have dinner prepared when my husband came home, the house smelled good,  the dishes were out.  I took a taste and…crunch! The rice was still hard! I put it back in the oven for a while, and it still didn't soften.  I can't remember what we ate for dinner that night, but it wasn't Texas One Dish!

You'd think a girl would remember an occasion like that, but no, it was to be repeated.  In my defense, I do cook a lot, so really, how can I be expected to remember little details like that?

As the picture shows, I wrote down the problem so we wouldn't have crunchy rice for a third (or fourth time).

I've adopted this habit now and it serves me well.  This is such a simple, effective way to avoid mistakes in the kitchen.

You can write all manner of helpful (or sentimental) notes in your cookbooks!

Here are a few examples:

  • Loved! I like to use this one when we all enjoy a recipe.
  • Terrible! This is really helpful when browsing for a recipe 🙂  Because clearly I will not remember!
  • Made for SugarBean's 2nd Birthday – It makes me happy to see these notes and remember the occasion. I think I won't forget, but I'm not counting on it!
  • Recipe Variations. Do you ever play with a recipe and wish you had written down what changes you made?  Yep.  I still think about those wonderful enchiladas from 10 years ago.  Seriously!  I'm on a mission to find the best enchilada recipe.  If you have a super duper one, send it to me.
  • Alternate Preparation Methods. This kind of goes with the above, but is more concerned with how a recipe is put together.  This is something I am working on with adapting recipes to more traditional preparation methods (as I mentioned in the kamut cookie post). For example, with baked oatmeal, I might jot down some notes about adding a little whey or apple cider vinegar to the oat/water mixture and letting it sit overnight.

This is a very simple tip, but it can really save you a lot of time, wasted food, and a big headache.

So tell me, do you write in your cookbooks?

This post is linked to Kitchen Tip Tuesdays at Tammy's Recipes.  Be sure to visit for more kitchen tips and lots of yummy recipes.

Also Shared on Works For Me Wednesday @ We are THAT Family

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  1. Great tip! I do this a LOT! 🙂

    Thanks for participating in Kitchen Tip Tuesdays — would you mind adding a link back as well? 🙂

    Have a wonderful day! 🙂


  2. This is a simple tip and yet it is something that no one ever thinks of. I do not do the the cooking, but oddly enough I’m the one who buys the cookbooks. I a good at cooking, my husband just enjoys it more. I’ll have to tell him to do this. LOL! I’m having one of those “why didn’t I think of that?” moments.

  3. I have never done this and I should because you’re right…you think you will remember things and don’t. Great tip! I’m adding it to my Saturday round up of posts!

  4. I have some of my mother in laws old cookbooks, she wrote lots of notes, very interesting to read.

    I like to write in my cookbooks and also use a highlighter on the index pages so that I can easily find my favorite recipes again.

  5. YES!! i always write in cookbooks next to the recipes! when i was about 10, i visited a friend and saw her mom’s cookbook with notes all throughout….about what was going on the day she made this or that, how cold it was out, that is was the first day to run through the sprinkler that summer, whatever….it impressed my nostalgic little heart even then. so, when i had cookbooks of my own i began to do that. i LOVE my cookbooks and TOH magazines and they are now like a living, interactive diary of my family. maybe the original “blog”? ha! in addition to that, i have this inability to actually FOLLOW a recipe, so my recipes have ingredients crossed out, amounts changed, things added into the margin, notes about the cooking time, etc. sometimes i wonder if this is weird, but i love doing it…so do it i will…

  6. I’ve done that for years. It really does help when you haven’t made the recipe in a while.

    I have several of the Fix it and forget it cookbooks. I write in the front of the cookbook which recipes I want to try. If we try one and it’s not very good, then I simply cross out that recipe so I know not to do it again.

  7. This is one of my favorites! But I still forget to write things down, so this is a good reminder. Then I don’t have the, “Oh, the potatoes are crunchy again” syndrome. I have one recipe where I wrote basically, “If you make the whole thing, you will never get through it.”