although ’tis the season, this idea works well really for other occasions during the year such as birthdays and showers. for a bridal or wedding shower, it’s fun to contact some friends and family of the couple and ask them to send you their favorite recipes to add to the book.

you will need:

  • 3 ring binder
  • tab dividers
  • clear sheet protectors (i prefer side loading)
  • labels
  • recipes

most office supply stores have nicer versions of the above supplies, so you can personalize it a bit.

collect some of your favorite recipes and print them out on 8.5 x 11 sheets of paper. if you are able to print in color, it’s always nice to have a pretty picture along with the recipe. slide them in the clear sheet protectors. put a two-page recipe in front to back, so it is easy to click out of the book as needed.

you can also arrange them on opposite pages so when the book lies open it is spread out or able to be put in a cookbook holder. the plastic has the added benefit of easy clean up to those chefs that tend to splatter about when cooking.

label the tab dividers with categories such as main courses, sides, desserts, or beef, poultry, fish…however you want to separate the divisions.

make sure to leave some of the sheet protectors empty so the receiver can add some of their own favorites.

label the front, or if the binder has a slot to add a sheet of paper on the front, perhaps print out a pretty picture of food or get creative with a personal design.

wishing you a very merry christmas, happy hanukkah, fantastic festivus, kickass kwanza, sunny solstice, and most of all a wild, fresh + tasty 2012!