Hi! Today, I’d like to take a step back to give you a quick update on what I’m up to here in Dinner: A Love Story Land. Even though I’ve been writing some version of DALS since March 2010 (!), some of you are new readers, some of you are veterans, and a lot has changed in the past year. I wanted to make sure you’re all getting as much out of Dinner: A Love Story as you wish to. Here’s a quick summary:
My latest book: The Weekday Vegetarians
The most exciting thing that happened in 2021, as you might already know, is that I published my fourth book about dinner and I know I say this about all my books but I really mean it when I say it’s my favorite one yet. It’s called The Weekday Vegetarians, and is all about how we MAJORLY cut back on meat in our house without eliminating it entirely. It appears that many people were ready to hear this message, because the book was an instant New York Times bestseller, something I honestly found surprising and of course, thrilling. You can read a lot more about the book here.
Does that mean all my recipes are now vegetarian?
No. But because we only really eat meat once or twice a week, that ratio is reflected here. If you scroll through the most recent posts, for instance, you’ll see a recipe for a Sunday sausage and cabbage skillet dinner, a hearty mushroom-cauliflower soup (vegan), an Ash Reshteh feast (vegetarian), a broccoli melt (vegetarian) and a butter-fried salmon. That feels like a pretty representative mix.
The biggest change for Dinner: A Love Story in 2021 was switching from regularly posting on this website to regularly posting on my Substack platform. What does that mean? Substack is a newsletter service that allows writers like me to send content directly to reader’s inboxes and I can’t tell you how much fun I’m having with it. As a reader, you can sign up for either the free newsletter (one email a week called Three Things, featuring three things I’m excited about) or the paid subscription, a second email which rotates “bonus” content including: meal plans (with shopping lists); deeper-dive personal essays, including My Formula for a Meaningful Day and birthday cake retrospectives; live Q&As with experts like Dorie Greenspan; entertaining menus, including (shown above) how to serve a dozen guests with a dozen different dietary restrictions.
A subscription costs $5/month or $50/year. Here is where you can sign up, whether you want the free newsletter or the paid one.
What about here, the original Dinner: A Love Story?
You’ll notice that this blog is still alive and thriving! Almost every week, I extract one item from my “Three Things” newsletter dispatch and post it here on the blog. If you are an old-school reader, and only come here for your recipes and posts, I totally get it, just know that you are consuming about 15% of the content that I am generating every week. The newsletter is jam-packed with recipes, tips, personal essays, book recs, discount codes, giveaways, etc. And you can always access the searchable archive of newsletter posts just like you access this website.
What’s the deal with Cup of Jo?
Every Wednesday, I write about food for the lifestyle blog, Cup of Jo. Sometimes I’m shining a spotlight on other people’s recipes, sometimes I’m answering reader queries in my “Burning Questions” column, and often it’s just a quick recipe or tip to hopefully make your life a little easier or more pleasant in the kitchen. As with most of my content, it almost always falls under the umbrella of Stress-Free Family Dinners.
Am I still on Instagram?
I’m absolutely still an instagram addict, of course! I even posted a few reels last fall featuring my favorite recipes from The Weekday Vegetarians. My kids are trying to convince me to join TikTok, but as of today, they have not succeeded. I’ll keep you posted.
As always, thanks for being here. This operation does not happen without your support.
Top photo credit: Ali Stafford
Thank you for keeping the blog alive! I feel like nearly everyone is migrating to email newsletter, but my heart is with a permanent space that people can choose to visit when they want to, not having to sift through their inbox (though I do love that writers are finding a new way to earn money!!! yes!). Thank you for balancing both!
I have not ever been able to wrap my Gen X brain over the “newsletter” system. When I go to check out the trial free view of the newsletter (yours and others) I don’t really see a difference between that and the original blog/website except the newsletter requires a paid subscription. So basically my takeaway is that the content generators want to make some money? Because honestly, I am trying to pare back the amount of stuff that goes into my mailbox. I prefer to go to a site when I know I have the time and energy. Having more emails sent to me simply creates more pressure to get one more thing done and checked off. I don’t know how folks find subscribing to a newsletter better. I look forward to hearing other perspectives.
It sounds like just checking my blog every week is the right plan for you! I felt similarly for a long time. Now, I find that the newsletters I enjoy the most (and look forward to) are the ones that feel like they’re coming from a friend, as opposed to a dispatch that feels like homework or a burden. (I strive to be on the friend side of things.) And just making sure you know: There IS a free newsletter option. You don’t HAVE to pay.
Lastly: Yes, writers want to make money. The whole making-no-money-for-hard-work thing gets old after a while.
Thanks for the comment, I hope this clarifies things.
Thank you for the in-depth review of options! But I want to find out more about the last photo. Is that Pad Thai? Will there be a recipe coming soon?
It’s just a peanut noodle dish I made over zoom with my college friends last year. Here is where I wrote about it on substack: https://dinneralovestory.substack.com/p/noodles-with-friends
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