Cook's Notes

An idle google search for 'cookery notebooks' turned up a nice surprise - 
The List Writer's cookery notebooks. It threw me for a minute because they looked so like my own diaries. Except much neater.

I use my diaries not only to keep track of appointments, holidays and most importantly which bin week it is (black, green or brown), but also to record meal ideas for the week and any baking I plan to do. These notes are very rough indeed. In fact I rarely stick to my plans, but they are a useful source of inspiration when I am stuck for a meal and I often flick through them to see what we ate (or at least what I was thinking of eating) in previous months.

You may remember this post about my recipe book. Much as I love my Moleskine recipe journal it has a disadvantage. It is divided into categories of equal length and I have found that two sections have been filled up and others have not been used at all. The two full-up sections are unsurprisingly baking and puddings. In my defence I must point out that these are things I need recipes for. I don't really follow recipes for main courses preferring a bit of culinary ad lib, but when baking you need to get quantities, temperatures and baking times right.

 I've been wondering what the best system for storing recipes would be and have been inspired by Alicia's beautifully written recipe cards and also Diana's gorgeous recipe box. An unbound system does seem to be the answer. I feel a trip to stationery store coming on.

So I have a place in which to record meal plans and a place in which to store recipes, but these days I find I need something else as well. I need a place in which to record ideas for recipes. I found this-

It is perfect.
Bought from Down to Earth.
The first thing I wrote in it was an idea I had for using up a lot of loaf ends that had accumulated in my bread bin. Migas is a Spanish peasant dish of fried breadcrumbs. I loosely followed a method described in European Peasant Cookery by Elisabeth Luard. I'm not claiming authenticity, family pleasing grub is my main aim. This did the trick. 

Spanish style breadcrumbs with chorizo, peas and peppers -like hash made with bread instead of potatoes.



  1. What a coincidence. I have been looking for a recipe/notebook for some time, at first I thought a page a day diary would do, but couldn't get one of those either. This looks just the job. I am attempting to follow your excellent example and plan my meals a bit better. My housekeeping spending is spiralling out of control.

  2. I do love it when a random google turns up a blog you read already. I did it the other day with Flossie Teacakes.

    I am, though, hopeless at following Nancy's diary system. I never managed it - just ended up with an empty diary and the ubiquitous slips of paper. I do better with one of these - http://www.theprojectgirl.com/2009/01/19/menu-planning-form-free-download/

  3. I love your moleskine diary, I have the same one - the notes side is great for planning the week as a whole. :)

  4. Too funny - I love how you also use the doubled ended arrow to move things around between days.

    Just like you I also have another notebook for writing down my own recipe ideas, and recipes that other people (and other people's blogs) have given me. Your Migas recipe is going right in there - it looks delicious and would be perfect with a large glass of red wine to wash it down!

  5. Pati from London9:03 pm BST

    To keep recipes, I use two things: a medium size notebook with dividers that I bought in Spain before I came to England (long long time ago) with some of my mum's recipes written on it (that I still use now). Recently, I also bought a box for recipes with dividers (there are quite a few in the market) which are good to store waitrose's recipe cards or other things I find in magazines etc They are neat and spacious but don't occupy a lot of space in the cupboard. Even though I am Spanish, the dish "migas" is not very popular in the region I come from (Basque Country). It is quite typical in other regions, though, particularly in Aragon. It is a dish originally eaten by shepherds and it is meant to be shared with friends and family. x Pati

    1. Lucky I didn't eat it all by myself then Pati! Thank you for that.

  6. I am going to try Migas, as I have a child who will not eat potatoes in any form (not even chips!) - and I miss hash.

    I also have a notebook for meal planning (and a huge utilatarian A4 book to stick recipes into) but have got very lazy and stopped using it. My resolution is to get back to being organized. I love your notebook, maybe a new one would inspire me out of my current culinary lethargy. x

  7. This looks delicious! But I'm dieting (sad face). I shall console myself my admiring the lovely new notebook rather than the food :D


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