Hello! You’re here because you’re either a) considering investing in my work via a paid subscription to The Fresh Letter or b) are already a paid subscriber and want to learn more about what you’re paying for. Let’s get into it:
In addition to the free kitchen tips-focused newsletter on Mondays, investing in the paid subscription gets you access to the Friday email, which is much more recipe and meal prep focused, and can actually serve you as a full on meal planning tool, if you’d like it to. Here’s a sample of that resource. You’ll also get access to a monthly Q&A with me here on Substack. Sold?
Here’s the down and dirty FAQ on the Friday email:
What exactly is the Friday email? Every Friday, I carefully curate a selection of recipes that come together to create a cohesive weekly meal plan. I share helpful tips and thoughts alongside each recipe to make cooking them a breeze. The format closely aligns with the suggested menus I write for my personal cheffing clients: generally there will be three main dishes and three side dishes. Of course I reserve the right to throw in a bonus recipe or suggestion here or there.
How do you source the curated recipes? I source the recipes from around the web, including food blogs, online publications, my blog, and every so often, an exclusive recipe straight from my brain. Over the years, I’ve become familiar with a number of bloggers and recipe writers and have learned which ones know what’s what. That, paired with my own recipe writing experience means I can eye a recipe and know whether or not it’s going to work. Basically, I’m taking the guess work around whether or not a recipe is going to be a dud off your shoulders.
Are the recipes you share vegetarian/vegan/GF/paleo/kosher/etc.? The recipes I share don’t adhere to any single eating philosophy, and will be geared toward creating balanced, delicious meals. That said, my menus do lean in a plant-forward direction— about 60-70% of the recipes are vegetarian in a given week. And if there are obvious subs to make a recipe vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, grain free, etc., I note those swaps alongside the recipe.
Why should I trust you to curate recipes for me, Erica? In working as a personal chef for Hollywood and Wall Street types, ooh la la, I’ve crafted and executed hundreds of meal prep-appropriate menus for my clients. I learned exactly what does and doesn’t work in terms of ease of execution, flavor combos, reheating methods, and fridge longevity. I also fell in love with the meal planning process and spend a lot of my free time reading through food blogs and my extensive cookbook collection. In short, I’m a nerd, but that also makes me an expert!
Will I find the Friday email useful? If you think meal planning is a drag, find the process of navigating and selecting recipes from the millions of food blogs and publications online intimidating or tedious, or feel confused about what will or won’t hold up in the fridge for a few days after you’ve cooked it, yes, the Friday email will likely work well for you since you’re letting me do a lot of that heavy lifting.
How should I use this resource? Use it however works for you. I select the recipes so all the dishes “play” well together, creating a truly cohesive menu for your week. You’ll be able to mix and match the dishes but I’ll also make suggested pairings in each email. That said, I’ve also crafted each menu so you can cook as much or as little from it as works for you on a given week. Cook through it all in a single meal prep session, cook through it over the course of a week, cook a single recipe that strikes your fancy, or cook none of it at all and use it for future weeks’ dinner #inspo.
I don’t meal prep. Can this still work for me? Definitely! Even I don’t meal prep every week, so I get it if that style of cooking is not for you. As mentioned above, use the Friday email however makes sense for you, even if that means just having one more recipe to add to your rotation.
Is this really worth $1 a week? I think so, especially if you’re really struggling with meal planning or deciding what to eat every day! Of course, I’m not sure of your financial situation, so do what feels best and most accessible for you. I also create a lot of free content, and by paying for this newsletter, you’re supporting me in doing that work as well (thank you!). If money is tight, but you feel a service like this could really help you, please reach out: I offer 5 free subscriptions a year.
I’m sold. How can I sign up? Great!
Actually, I’m still not sold. I get that! Shoot me an email with any questions. If we chat and it doesn’t seem like a good fit for you, I’ll absolutely let you know. I want you to get a lot out of the time you spend online with me, friend.
Got it on the Friday email. Can you tell me more about the Q&A session with you? Yes! We do them here on the comments section of Substack on a monthly basis. Ask me anything cooking or kitchen related. Once you’re signed up for the paid subscription, you’ll get an email reminder about the next one a week before it’s scheduled.
TL;DR: if you hate spending time deciding which recipes to cook or have cooked a bunch of duds, let me help you!