Michele Gastl

5. Clip. You'll be more inspired to make a dish if you clip out a photo of it (if there is one) along with the recipe. Plus, it will make your binder look like a customized cookbook.

6. Separate. Use colored background paper to divide each chapter between "tried-and-true" recipes and "to try." That way you'll know which recipes you can count on for company and which experimental ones might be best tested on the family first.

7. Date. If a year has passed since you've clipped a recipe and you still haven't tried it, throw it away. If you haven't made the dish yet, you probably never will.

8. Comment. Make notes on the recipes when you use them. If your five-year-old usually hates spinach but loves spinach-and-Cheddar souffle, write it down. If the baking time is slightly off, or if you think one ingredient might substitute for another, write that down, too.

9. Color-code. Use dot stickers to highlight recipes for specific occasions. Red means "quick-and-dirty weeknight"; blue means "for special occasions only." Other categories: holidays, potlucks, dinner parties, healthy eating.

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