I have such a hard time remembering what dinners work in our family. (I just read that Erin has dinner prep on the brain as well, and I think she just convinced me to make some potholders while I'm sprucing up the kitchen) Peter says the reason I probably don't like cooking dinner (which, admittedly, I really don't) is because I try and reinvent the wheel too much and that I should just stick to what works. Once again, he's right. Dammit.
I started tearing out recipes from Everyday Food a couple of years ago only when they "won" over the family, and am now finally getting around to organizing them. One of those projects I wish I'd done a lot sooner. They've been living, stuffed and overcrowded, in a 3 ring binder that I quite frankly was a little afraid to open. Now they have room to breathe in a wider binder, with a pretty cover made from Denyse Schmidt's County Fair "Tulip Medallion" fabric (and it just so happened that Kathy was having- and still is having- an incredibly good sale on home dec fabric(if you click over looking for Denyse Schmidt County Fair, I should apologize in advance, cause I bought quite a bit of it...you'll be seeing this fabric quite a bit around my house).
Making a pretty cover for a collection of recipes that work for us is a fairly straightforward project that I have literally wanted to do for years, YEARS! Why did I wait so long? It took me about an hour, and what a great mental lift I get going through this when I begin dinner.
The little notes I quickly scribble on the recipes are probably THE most important part. These kids of mine, self-diagnosed supertasters and there are important, special considerations to be made in order to accommodate. Any "green stuff" left in that couscous could create an extra 30 minutes at the table for an 8 year old who just won't touch unidentifiable green of any kind.
(Some simple directions on how to make a binder cover at the end of the post.)
To make a fabric cover for a 3-ring binder:
1/2 yd. of a home dec weight fabric
disappearing ink fabric marker
1. Lay your fabric wrong side up on your work surface.
2. Lay your binder on top of the fabric, opened and flat. Using your disappearing fabric marker (or a light pen mark), trace completely around your binder while its laying flat. Put the binder aside.
3. Using your ruler, add 2" beyond the lines you traced on the top and the bottom of the binder. Add 4 1/2" on each of the sides. This will allow for turnback and hems.
4. Cut out fabric on the lines you drew in step 3.
5. Hem the sides. Fold in 1/2" toward the wrong side and press flat. Now fold in 4" towards the wrong side and press. Sew this hem (but don't sew to the cover or you won't be able to insert your binder). Repeat on other side.6. Now hem the top and bottom. Using your iron, , fold 1/2" toward the wrong side, press. Turn back another 1/2" and press. Do this on the opposite side. Sew these hems close to the edge, going through all layers (including the tops and bottoms of the flaps in step 5). Press smooth.
That's it really, put in your binder and you're done. I embroidered a scrap piece of burlap for the front (I kind of free handed the letters, I'm sure you can tell.)