Looking for a recipe in a haystack

I’m writing this in a state of great frustration. Somewhere, tucked into one of my cookbooks or boxes of cut-out recipes and other things that might be useful one day, is a recipe for a chocolate chip and banana semi-freddo. I want to find this recipe for two reasons – one, our kitchen is full of extremely ripe bananas; and two; I really want to make it for January’s We Should Cocoa challenge.

In my professional life I am extremely organised. At home, well, not so much. But then again, I have just realised I have something like 75 cookbooks, a secret stash of food mags (seriously culled), two boxes of printed or cut-out recipes and various notebooks. It’s not unusual to pull a novel off our shelves and discover a recipe tucked inside (often written in shorthand on the back of a gas bill). I’m forever finding stray recipes in various email folders, a bit like finding dollar coins under the sofa cushions, and have zillions of bookmarks.

So my chances of finding this recipe are slim, to say the least. Perhaps instead I should devote myself to developing a more organised system. How do you manage your recipe collection? All tips (especially if they include a recipe for a chocolate chip and banana semifreddo) very welcome…



  1. January 12, 2011 / 8:12 pm

    Yeah,keeping the recipes and the food prep items organized is also a challenge for me. And i too feel like I'm usually an organized person.

  2. January 12, 2011 / 8:29 pm

    I share your frustration – I know, somewhere, I have just the recipe I'm looking for, but that's usually as far as it gets. Always have great plans to have a sort out ad get organised, but …. 🙁

    That's part of the reason for having my blog – all chocolate recipes in once place – when I get around to making them!

  3. January 13, 2011 / 7:34 am

    I feel your pain! Last week I found my Compost Cookie Bar recipe, after months of searching it turned up when I wasn't even looking for it! Janice over at Farmersgirl Kitchen posted this link recently – http://farmersgirl.blogspot.com/2011/01/whats-in-my-cookbookscom.html – its a site that lists the index of various cookbooks so that may help on the cookbook front?

  4. January 13, 2011 / 10:10 am

    I am starting to scan and save recipes that take my fancy and then store them on my computer (and I do remember to back up to a separate hard drive :-)) because things were seriously getting out of control. My books are jammed on shelves both in the north and here… and cookery magazines are tabbed (green for veg, blue for fish, red for meat, yellow for sweet things) with those little post-it tabs…. then stacked, hidden under the bed! It sort of works, but that's why I am starting to scan and save. God help me if we move!

  5. January 13, 2011 / 12:51 pm

    I know just how you feel Lucy. I'm sitting surrounded by sheets of paper and have just discovered a bill that should have been paid on 9th of January!

    I'm usually so organised. Maybe my new year desire for a more laid back life with less lists needs reviewing.

    Probably just a serious de-clutter will help me.

    But recipe-wise like Choclette I'm trying to gradually post my favourite recipes on my blog to keep them for posterity. I've still got a long way to go!

    Sorry I can't help with the chocolate chip semifreddo recipe. I do remember Rachel Allen saying that you can freeze very ripe bananas. She saves them up until she has enough to make a banana cake. So maybe if you don't find the recipe soon you could do that. Not sure how that would affect them re-freezing in the semifreddo though…but it might be worth a try!?

    Ooh and if you do find it….I hope you share it with us, it sounds yummy!

  6. January 13, 2011 / 2:31 pm

    I'm keen for you to find the recipe too! We always seem to have over ripe bananas at our house! Like Debby suggested, I freeze them. Peeled and then in gladwrap. My freezer is full of them – and in my spare time I bake banana cake. Obviously as my freezer is full of them I don't have a lot of spare time. I'd like to find something else to do with them instead of banana cake.
    Also – My recipes are in those plastic pocket folders. But they are overflowing. I love that you find recipes all over your house – you obviously have a passion for them! Like others, I have found it very handy havingblogged about my recipes as they are accessible even when on holidays (like I am now).

  7. January 13, 2011 / 9:25 pm

    Thanks everyone – I haven't found it yet but I did come across a recipe that I've blogged about today! And yes, I find having favourite recipes online very useful when away from home (or just too addled to think of where the paper copy might be!)

  8. January 14, 2011 / 7:20 am

    I don't have a recipe for semi-freddo, but I do have a great tip for banana ice cream with all those bananas – if you have a magimix!

    Peel your bananas and break them up into chunks. Freeze. Blitz in the magimix with a few tablespoons of milk. Persevere, it takes a little while, but you will end up with a delicious, creamy, soft-serve type ice cream – hard enough to be called ice cream, soft enough to swirl chocolate chips through. Enjoy.

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