How to Organize Your Recipes with Gmail

August 30, 2016

How to Organize Your Recipes with Gmail |

Once I started getting into cooking, I quickly amassed a collection of recipes ripped from magazine pages, scrolled on pieces of scratch paper, and hastily bookmarked online.

At one point, I got tired of trying to hunt down my favorite recipes and decided I needed a place where I could easily access all of them. After some trial and error, I finally settled on a recipe saving system using Gmail.

Why You Should Organize Your Recipes with Gmail

Gmail is an easy, digital way to save your favorite recipes.

You don’t have to install a new app on your phone, which means you don’t have to keep track of yet another username and password. It’s also pretty accessible, especially if you are like me and are always logged into your email with your phone (almost permanently) attached to your hand.

Another plus is that it’s super easy to share recipes. If someone asks, just find the requested recipe and forward it along to your friend. Boom, done.

How to Organize Your Recipes with Gmail

The basic premise is that you email recipes to yourself and save them in a special folder in Gmail. Though fairly straightforward, here’s a detailed description of how to go about it.

1. Scroll down the left sidebar of Gmail and click on “Create a New Label.” Type “Recipes” into the box under “Please enter a new label name” and then click on “Create” to create the digital folder where you can gather your emailed recipes.

2. Start a new email and enter the recipe you want to save. If it’s online, simply cut and paste it into the body of the email. If it’s an old family recipe, then take the time to type it out or snap a photo of the handwritten recipe.

3. Now it’s time to organize your recipe within the email. Warning, it’s about to get a little OCD! First, put the recipe title in the subject line of the email. Then, organize the recipe in the body of the email using the following format: Ingredients, Preparation, Tags, Source, and Link.

Tags are like hashtags or keywords that will help you find a recipe and can be as detailed as you want them to be. You might tag a recipe with the meal (breakfast, lunch, or dinner) or recipe type (like starter, main dish, side dish, or dessert). You could even include key ingredients.

Since this is all a little esoteric, here’s an example of what a recipe looks like. Bonus! This is a Guamanian recipe from my mom’s side of the family that’s pretty darn tasty.

Chicken Kelaguen

6-8 pieces of chicken (legs and thighs preferred)
1 small yellow onion
2-4 lemons
Small bunch of green onions
1 fresh coconut (optional)
1 serrano pepper (optional)

Salt and pepper chicken to taste. BBQ chicken on grill until just barely cooked through (don’t worry, the lemon juice will cook it the rest of the way). Take chicken off grill and let cool. Separate meat from the bone and chop into fine pieces.

Finely chop onion and mix with the chopped chicken. Add lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste. If you have access to a fresh coconut, halve the coconut and grate it with a hand grater. Add the grated coconut into the mixture. You may also add in finely chopped peppers if you want a little heat.

Cover and allow to rest in fridge for a few hours. Garnish with sliced green onions before serving.

Source: Family Recipe
Link: N/A

4. Finally, email the recipe to yourself and drag it to the “Recipes” label in your Gmail sidebar.

Et voilà! That’s how you get your first recipe into Gmail. Continue and repeat until you have all your favorites saved via email.

Once your done, you’ll always have your favorite recipes at your fingertips whether you are cooking at a friend’s house, whipping up a meal on vacation, or in the middle of Trader Joe’s trying to remember what you need for your favorite dish.

Do you have a method to organize your recipes? If so, do you store them online or prefer an analog style?

3 thoughts on “How to Organize Your Recipes with Gmail

  1. Chloe | Conscious by Chloe

    This is so interesting!
    I had no idea about how you organized your recipes (besides the super cute binders in your home office/guest room.
    I use Pepperplate, mostly because I select the recipes and Octave makes them, so we have one online spot that we can both access. I also love the fact that it will auto-complete certain fields thank to the widget. It saves me so much time, even though I’m a little OCD too and always make changes, add pictures and stuff.
    Anyways, congrats on finding a way that works for you and sharing it with us!

  2. Alyssa Pacaut Post author

    Haha ya, I try to keep a lot of my OCD neurosis behind closed doors. Try being the key word.

    Very cool to hear your review of Pepperplate! Can you imagine what people did before the digital age? I envision A LOT of those little recipe cards in cute boxes.

  3. Chloe | Conscious by Chloe

    Oh yeah, this reminds me of a translator who had kept boxes of term cards in her office from the pre-Internet era. It blew my mind! Having to call an expert to understand how a technical thing works and then look for a translation?!

    I also still have a notebook a former boyfriend had given me for Valentines. It contained recipes he had handwritten, how cute was that?! I tried to add a couple recipes in there over time, asking my friends for their favorite ones. It’s a precious little book, but I’m thankful for the Internet, and for now having the best cook at home, haha!

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