I would love to get some feedback on how the Eat Your Books bookmarks are used to organize tested, favorite recipes. Do you create a bookmark folder by category? Do you also create bookmarks for recipes you want to try but haven't made yet?
I currently use an Excel spreadsheet for tracking my favorite recipes from my cookbooks, but would love to use Eat Your Books for everything!
Thanks for this question, vickster. I hope a lot of EYB members will respond, because I'm also very interested in how people set up and use their recipe bookmarks.
Currently, bookmarks sort only/by default in alphabetical order. To take advantage of this and make it easier to find bookmarks once the list gets long, I use letters to create sub-bookmarks:
c. - cookbook (favorites or want-to-try from a particular book)
m. - menu (possibilities; actually cooked is in z. subcategory)
i. - ingredient-based
r. - recipe type
z. - personal experience related to recipe
c.Pepin FFMW (=Fast Food My Way), c.Boyce Good to the Grain[This category's especially helpful for books from the local library or borrowed from friends, and with newly acquired books.]
m.fall - Indian, m.summer - finger food, m.spring - Ottolenghi[Am shopping & eating very locally/seasonally, so find it helpful to organize menus that way.]
i.eggplant - grilled, i.ricotta, i.oyster mushrooms[There are quite a few of these ingredient categories, among the most helpful of my bookmarks.]
r.slaw, r.cornbread, r.plum cake [This recipe type category is esp helpful for comparing treatments across cookbooks. Sometimes the end result is my own synthesized 'keeper' version, sometimes one in my books becomes the go-to; in those cases I often delete or edit down the bookmark.]
z. made [overall; just helps keep track of the total]
z.Thanksgiving MI 2010, z.garden club May 2011, z.dp Robbie March 2009 (dp = dinner party)
I've often wished I could see the bookmarks of other users, but having members share their bookmarks here is the next best thing. Thanks again for starting the topic.
Maybe, if no one else posts soon on this topic, you could attract more responses with a 'Show Us Your Bookmarks' thread...
I use bookmarks for several different reasons. First, I have bookmarks by location. So I have bookmarks such as "Recipe Box" which is for the hand-written, personal recipes I've added that reside in my recipe box. I also have a bookmark for "Clippings" which indicates that it's in one of my (many!) recipe binders that contain magazine tear-outs & online recipes I've printed out. I then have bookmarks in parentheses that indicate the various divisions I have in my binders, for example (Soups), (Cakes), etc. -- I have 15 categories like this. So let's say I index an online recipe for Chocolate caramel cake and then decide to print it out and put in my binder, I would bookmark it with Clippings & (Cakes).
I also use bookmarks to flag Favorite recipes that I've made and would DEFINITELY make again. I don't bookmark every single recipe that I've simply liked, or that list would get out of control. I have a generic "Favorites" bookmark in case I ever want to search through all of them at once, but I've also just started breaking down my favorites into broad categories, so I now have a couple of bookmarks such as "Favorites - Dinners/Mains," "Favorites - Sweets," "Favorites - Breads & Breakfast," "Favorites - Appetizers," as well. So if I made a stellar stir-fry recipe, I would bookmark it with Favorites & Favorites - Dinner/Mains.
I then have a general "To Try" bookmark which is where I only put the absolute stand-out recipes I find while browsing my collection -- the ones I want to make even if it means a separate trip to the store or tracking down odd ingredients. I am extremely picky with this list to make sure it doesn't get out of hand. I also edit it every once in a while and take recipes off that have lost their luster for me.
I am much more likely to choose recipes based on what I have available to me, than to just create an endless "To Try" list of every recipe that looks good, but after reading the other comments on Susie's blog post about Recipe-Wish lists, I have started making more specific "To Try" bookmarks that are tailored to specific ingredients. So, let's say I'm cleaning out my pantry and find a package of freeze-dried strawberries or a bag of spelt flour that I forgot about and I want to figure out what to do with them. As I'm searching through EYB, I'd create a more specific bookmark, "To Try - Freeze Dried Strawberries" or "To Try - Spelt flour" so I can easily find the recipes I liked when trying to figure out how to use those ingredients. Once I've tried them or finished up the ingredient, I'd delete the bookmark altogether since these ones are just temporary so I don't lose track of things.
I've also started doing the same thing for certain occasions. If I find a recipe and say to myself "That would be perfect for next Thanksgiving" or "That would great to make as a great gift," I've been making bookmarks "To Try - Thanksgiving," "To Try - Gifts," etc. so when that occasion is upon me, I can find those "perfect" recipes that I otherwise might have forgotten about.
For me, the key to all this actually working is being very picky so the lists don't get unruly and editing periodically so that they remain useful to me rather than just one big mess!
A bit late to the party, but I thought I'd post a reply anyhow.
I'm definitely still in the process of figuring out the best way to organize the bookmarks. I'm a heavy user of the shopping list feature, so I want categories that will help me figure out what to put on the weekly shopping list.
It's still evolving, so the fact that you can't rename the categories is a bit of a pain. Here's how I'm currently using the categories (with the names they would have if I could rename them).
Favorites - Tried and true family favs - think comfort foods
Dinners - Dishes that I've tried and are liked by the family - it currently includes all of Favorites, but I'm not sure if that's really the right thing. These are dishes that we like to keep in the dinner rotation.
Keepers - Tried and liked, but probably specialized enough that it doesn't make sense on to have in the regular dinner rotation (I'm not completely convinced that I need this category)
To Try - Things I'd like to try at some point - probably move into Dinners if we like them
Shopping List Needs - This one is the odd ball. When I'm making a shopping list I'd like to add items that I need to the list that's generated - e.g. things that are on the pantry list - like another dozen eggs. I have a personal 'recipe' in this category called 'Odds & Ends' that I edit each time to record what other things I need at the store. I guess I don't really need a category, but for me it just seems faster than searching for it by name each time.
I'm a member of Cape Ann Fresh Catch - a Community Supported Fishery, so each week I end up with a share of fish - and I don't know what I'm getting until that day. For this I have started a couple of new bookmarks: whitefish and flatfish. These are for the fish dishes that I've tried and liked.
I'm expecting that over time the 'Dinners' list will get pretty overwhelming. Something I'd probably like is a way to get a random recipe from a category.
I think I may end up with a couple more categories eventually, but right now that's what I'm working with.
I love the idea of a Never Used bookmark -- I may have to try that! I also don't have many ingredient-based bookmarks. I think I may have mentioned this a few months ago on this thread, but I usually only create an ingredient bookmark if I have an item I want to use up that has been lingering in my pantry and I need motivation/inspiration to make something tasty with it. I find it much easier to make the most of what I already have in my kitchen this way.