let’s cut right to the chase: i am not writing a second cookbook. well, not exactly.
about 16 months ago, following the success of my first cookbook, and following the birth of my first child, i decided to write a second cookbook that reflected the kind of cooking that i was now doing as a busy, working mom. i worked my ass off for two months on a proposal for a cookbook called what to cook when you don’t feel like cooking – a cookbook in which every single recipe was a complete meal that came together in under an hour, dirtied minimal dishes, required few ingredients, but absolutely ruled.
no flipping around from the “chicken” chapter to the “veggie” chapter and wondering if everything would taste good together. no wasting time planning every single meal. it was a book that planned your entire meal for you, in just one recipe.
the recipes were gold. one-pot spinach and artichoke chicken pot pie, one-skillet kimchi fried rice with bacon, curry chicken with lemon slaw and mango, chicken satay rice bowls, and SO MUCH MORE.
several publishers immediately expressed interest. but then, one by one, they each backed out for the same reason – i didn’t have a strong enough “social reach”. wtf does that mean? basically, i didn’t have enough instagram followers (I never spent any time on IG back then and only had about 4k followers). yup. gotta be an *influencer* to get a book deal these days.
it’s now been almost one year since i officially threw in the towel on what to cook, but about a month ago, while donating a box full of cookbooks that i hadn’t looked at in 5 years to goodwill, i had a lightbulb moment:
what if i turned what to cook into a “non-cookbook” weekly email blast instead? one recipe per week, delivered when you most desperately need inspiration to cook (monday morning), with encouragement from a ton of people who are all also cooking the same recipe THAT week?!
when i get a new cookbook, i flip through it, bookmarking the pages i want to try, and then inevitably, the cookbook ends up on the shelf, collecting dust. you might even have a copy of my first book, just married, collecting dust on your shelf right now, despite the fact that you were so excited to make my harissa short ribs and sesame-soy poke bowls when you first flipped through it! we are busy people. we don’t have time to keep track of all the recipes we want to cook.
what to cook when you don’t feel like cooking is a living, breathing, weekly non-cookbook email blast. i encourage you to make each recipe that week, don’t put it off. cook it even when you don’t feel like cooking. i promise it’ll be quick and painless. it might even be fun.
btw – you don’t have to worry about searching through your inbox to find previous recipes, it all lives on the website.
so listen, i’m sorry i duped you with my email header, but i promise, this is way, way, way better than scoring a book deal.
what to cook can change with the seasons, with my subscribers’ feedback, and with our collective mood. sometimes we’ll be in the mood for super healthy food (i c u january), sometimes we’ll want to eat our weight in giant pasta shells (i c u tomorrow night). you can leave comments to warn other parents not to add extra red pepper flakes to the pasta, because your toddler refused to eat it. you can share how you swapped in shrimp for scallops, or how you amended a recipe to accommodate uncle tony’s gout. a cookbook collecting dust on a shelf doesn’t allow for any of that.
it’s going to be awesome, and i hope you’ll support my independent publishing and give it a shot for $5/month ($1/recipe) or $35 annually (the price of a cookbook). if you love my meatballs with orzotto, or the one-pan cheesy cajun chicken and rice from last week’s blast, or my one-pot southern squash casserole pasta, you’re going to be very happy here.
or by give what to cook as a gift this holiday season. it’s truly a gift for everyone – because it’s a solution for people who hate to cook, and it’s a treat for people who love to cook.
it’s a great teacher gift, gift for your mom, gift for your co-worker who loves my recipes but thinks mattis needs a haircut, gift for your second cousin who loves to cook but is a busy working mama… you get it. it’s a great gift for everyone on your list.
thank you all for supporting this project. see you there!