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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

25 Reader Space: An Organized Baker

My girl, Becky, she can bake.  And I know this because my tummy has been personally blessed with her baking skills.  And she runs a great blog sharing her recipes and creations, which you may notice I pin frequently.


I actually featured her incredibly cute and organized baking cabinet awhile back...


So when she emailed me letting me know the organizing bug struck again, I was ecstatic!!

Here she is now:

"One of my very favorite places to be is in the kitchen.  So when something isn't working efficiently, it drives me batty!   I recently tackled a couple of projects to help me keep things running smoothly.  They're small fixes, but they make a big impact in my day to day life.

First up, a seasonal recipe binder.  I really can't believe I didn't think of this one sooner!  As a {self-proclaimed} foodie, I love, love love cooking magazines!  I try to resist their lure but sometimes I am just powerless.  However, I really don't like magazines piling up.  I needed a way to process them that would:
  1. Avoid clutter
  2. Ensure that I would actually try recipes rather than lose them FOREVER {dramatic much?}
So why a seasonal recipe binder?  In the past, I have used a recipe binder organized by category.  While this can work well, I found that it wasn't perfect for me.  I was forever coming across delicious recipes at less than ideal times.  The Best Ever Christmas Cookie... oh wait, it's June.  Oh my... look at that divine recipe for pumpkin bread.  Sure would be better in October than in April.  The seasonal recipe binder is a great solution!


The ingredients for creating your very own new recipe binder are super simple.  All you need is a binder {pick a fun one!}, 12 tabbed index dividers and page protectors to hold the recipes.



I also found the most perfectly adorable calendar pages to use with the index dividers.  Which makes this binder even sweeter if you want to plan exactly when you'll be making a specific recipe... just schedule it in!



I'm pumped about my new binder.  Now I can tear out the recipes I want to make and file them according to the month I'd like to try them.  The rest of the magazine can be recycled.  Goodbye clutter!  Hello, more time to bake!




This next one has been a long time coming!

I was very suddenly introduced to the world of food allergies five years ago when I discovered that my son {just a baby then} had several food allergies.  I won't go into all the details, but two {of my four} kiddos now have a number a food allergies.  This has been a challenge when it comes to baking, but hey, I'm always up for a challenge!  One thing I discovered when I dove into the world of gluten-free baking was that one needs a variety of gluten-free flours in order to replace all-purpose flour.  In most recipes, you can't substitute traditional flour with a gluten-free version one for one.  You need to "blend".

So it isn't unusual for me to have a wide variety of flours stashed in my fridge.  Oh yes!  I like to keep them in the fridge for freshness.  They don't have quite the same shelf-life as their traditional counterpart.  Anywho, I was finally fed up with all the bags of flour!  I was tired of rifling through them to find what I needed.  I was tired of flour spilling in the fridge.  I was tired of the general lack of organization.



It took me awhile to hit on the perfect solution.  I knew I needed some good storage containers but didn't want to pay an arm and a leg for them.  Then, I {finally} realized that I had a bunch of mason jars that were not currently in use.  Jackpot!

A quick Pinterest search later and I was led to the perfect labels.  I love them!  I printed them out and jotted down what I wanted to keep in the jars... flours, as well as a few other fun ingredients.



Then I laminated the labels for durability.  Victory!  I am so happy with this storage solution!  I can easily find what I need, there is no spilling, and it's cute!



Thank you so much, Jen, for letting me share my kitchen escapades!"

Thank ya right back Becky!  I always love what you come up with in the kitchen, both baking and organizing!


  • Recipe binders have always been my favorite solution to cutting down magazine clutter in the kitchen.  
  • I love that Becky didn't take the traditional approach when organizing her binder.  She thought about what makes the most sense for her, and went with it.  Organizing it by season is simply genius!
  • I also adore that she placed a calendar within the binder for quick baking plans.  Especially since she blogs about her goodies, so I am sure that calendar is especially helpful in her planning.
  • She always takes that extra step to make her organizing look oh so great!  
  • The mason jars are a quick, inexpensive and all around fantastic solution for her baking ingredients.  The clear storage allows her to quickly see the contents and always know when she needs to add more to her shopping list.
  • She problem solved.  She first recognized what slowed her down and frustrated her, and then came up with great organized solutions to remedy the situation.
  • She used items she already had to save a little cash.  Even if she didn't have the mason jars, they are fairly inexpensive storage that is very durable and lasts a lifetime.
  • The labels, sigh, my heart is in happy flutter mode.  So adorbs!

One last shameless plug for the Becky Bakes blog.  I promise, you will fall in love with something she has shared!

Anyone else saying "Hooray!" for mason jars and recipe binders in the kitchen?


ATTENTION!!  Want to be featured in a Reader Space edition?  Have an awesome organizing story to share?  I am looking for projects that have made a positive impact to your life.  Please submit your story and photos here and I would heart to feature them right here, on the blog!!  Photos should be high resolution and unedited.  Please include a description of the project, including any costs, inspiration, and how it has changed your life and routine for the better!  Oh, and no worries my friends, we will NEVER judge "before" pictures because that just wouldn't be nice!  Only love goes on at this blog!

25 comments:

  1. Love the idea of mason jars! I have several sitting around the house that are just begging to be filled.

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  2. Love it!

    Again, makes me remember I need a laminator! Any suggestions or are they all about the same?

    Bobi
    http://westernwarmth.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. do you have a costco nearby? They have one called purple cow, and it comes with ALOT of the sheets, and its 19.99!! works great too!hope you find it

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    2. I just bought the Purple Cow laminator this week at our Costco. I love it! After finding this blog, I needed to have one to keep up with my new label making obsession. : ) All the other laminators I looked at ran about a $100 for a small one. I couldn't believe it was only $19.99 at Costco. I hope you can find it, too. : )

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  3. I love my recipe binder so much that I made one as a Christmas gift last year, http://bonnieprojects.blogspot.com/2011/12/vegetarian-cookbook.html

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  4. Great Post. As an avid Baker myself, these are great tips. I am off to pop over the Becky's site for some inspiration.

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  5. Love the seasonal Recipes binder. Sharing with all my Facebook readers.

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  6. As a fellow baker - I'm in love with her ideas! thank you!

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  7. Great ideas and she does have great blog!

    One tip for organizing recipes- I've had 2 binders I use for recipes I tear out of magazines, etc. but now that I have so many recipes on Pinterest, I either scan the recipe or take a pic with my phone and upload to Pinterest! Sometimes easier than cramming yet another recipe into my already overflowing binders.

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  8. Where can one buy that adorable calendar and binder?

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  9. i always need help getting organized and since i love to bake this is perfect!

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  10. Me too, love the calendar and binder! Sources please?

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  11. I know all too well about dealing with food allergies. My daughter is allergic to eggs, nuts, and oats. I'm constantly looking for recipes (especially ones for baking where eggs are a key ingredient) and I love how she put together a binder that worked for her needs.

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  12. Mason jars? Why am I not already storing flour in them!?!?!?! Genius. :)

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  13. I think Becky is a girl after my own heart. Baking AND organizing?! Ideal! I use mason jars for my little-used baking ingredients, too, but I love the idea of the laminated labels on top. I have a pull-out baking pantry and look down on the containers from above, so this is a really great idea! Her seasonal recipe binders are so unique, too. I have LOADS of recipes I'd like to make "someday" and have been slowly posting them on my Pinterest boards to in an effort to get rid the massive collection of paper copies filling my cabinets! Becky's method is definite food for thought! Thanks for sharing!

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  14. Seasonal recipe binder? It is genius! :) I keep seeing projects with mason jars, but never heard of them! Must not have them here in Australia, shame, they look great! And the labels ARE devine.
    Kim xx

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  15. Where did u find that cut calendar? Would heart it!

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  16. What a great idea with the seasonal recipe binder, I am also thinking you can either add a party tab or do a separate binder just for party food ideas!

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  17. I just love the idea of a binder of recipes. This not only makes recipes easy to find, but also cuts down on recipe books, paper clutter, and just plain makes life easier. I'm definitely hitting this project this week!

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  18. I've been using that calendar and love it too! It's actually available as a free printable from this blog:

    http://www.cottage-industrialist.com/blog/2011/12/10/come-here-often-or-bloglessness-of-the-long-distance-runner.html

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  19. I'm in the kitchen this week reorganizing. The baking cupboard is "good enough" but I know I can do better. I have a ton of Mason jars - perfect solution for my powders, flours, etc. Thanks for sharing!!

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  20. What works for me: tried and true recipes go into the recipe box, and are listed on a meal list that I use for planning my weekly menus. (Usually pick out 5/6 meals for a week, buy all the ingredients I don't have, then pick which one we want mid day so I can thaw meat, etc, then have the leftovers for lunch the next day) Recipes I want to try go in a magnetic clip on the fridge, and if they're keepers I add them to the recipe box and meal list. Hope that helps someone!

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  21. Great idea! I love the labels, they're very adorable and effective. Great post!

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  22. I HAD to have those jar lid labels and found a link to them on the 'Becky Bakes' blog. Thought I'd share the link for others also interested :)
    http://limeshot.com/2012/free-printable-mason-jar-labels#

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