Aly's Monday Newsletter: Turning Your Lemons Into Lemonade (Or Something Like That)
Also, story leads and stuff.
I hope you had a great weekend and are revving up for a productive week.
(God, that sounded so obnoxiously motivational speaker of me, sorry about that...)
My Instagram followers may remember that last weekend, I hit up a farmer's market and scored a GIANT bag of spinach for like $2 that I've been trying my best to work through for the past week.
It has felt sort of like on those cooking competition shows, where you are given a mystery ingredient and then have to turn it into something. (And, really, if I may: Doesn’t pitching also feel like that sometimes?)
But, in this case, finding exciting ways to use that mystery ingredient became a sort of Groundhog Day version of said plot. (Also, kind of like pitching.)
I did everything I could think of. I made spinach pesto. I threw it into my crunchy tofu stir fry recipe I shared last week. I obviously made a few classic garlicky sauteed spinach sides, I added some to my shakshuka and my soup and even mixed it with my rice to make a fun sort of spinach rice.
I was honestly starting to get bored (and I love spinach! In fact, I said last night during an AMA sesh that the truffle spinach at my fave steakhouse would be an aspect of my ideal last-ever meal). But I still had like a third of the bag of spinach left last night, a week after that fateful farmers market trip. I most certainly wasn’t going to toss it, and I knew I was on borrowed time before it went to the big composting bucket in the sky.
So, I decided to be shake things up and try to use the remainder of my spinach haul to make something I've never made before. I'm a BIG fan of the spinach saag at my local Indian takeout place, so I tried to recreate it, blending with chickpeas and making some rice on the side.
So, in the end, did I successfully make saag? No, the result was more like a creamy (but with coconut milk, no dairy was involved!) sauteed spinach with Indian spices.
What I ended up making was not what I set out to make, but it was actually delicious and something I absolutely want to do again. On purpose this time. And even though it wasn’t the dish I intended, it did finish that big bag of spinach and in a way I was happy with.
Take whatever message you want from that: Necessity breeds invention, out of failure can come success, use your lemons to make lemonade, whatever you want/need to get started on this new work week.
This weekend’s Industry Insights newsletter was about the subject of media events — if you missed it, you can still check it out here!
Newly published or freshly updated stories
The Kitchn: These No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Dessert Cups Are a Sweet Way to Stay Cool This Summer
The Kitchn: I Just Found Out That the Tortilla Press Is a Brilliant Time-Saving Hack When Making Pies
Clean Plates: The Sunscreens You Should Avoid, According to Dermatologists (and What to Look for Instead)
RetailMeNot: The Best Father’s Day Sales and Deals to Shop Now
RetailMeNot: Father’s Day Gifts for Every Type of Dad
TODAY: Get a sun-kissed glow without leaving the house — 27 self-tanners that'll do the trick
Forbes: Father’s Day Gift Guide: The Best Foodie Gifts For A Dad Who Loves History
Forbes: Father’s Day Gift Guide: The Best Gifts For The Martini Lover
Forbes: Father’s Day Gift Guide: The Best Gifts For The Aspirational Home Chef
HerMoney: Affordable Father's Day Gifts Under $100
HerMoney: How To Choose The Best Wine On A Budget
If you or your client are featured in any of these stories, I super appreciate any social media shares tagging @alywalansky and the outlet.
Here's what I'm working on:
Be sure to read the below list carefully. Many are stories I posted about yesterday, but some of yesterday's stories are no longer listed and a few new ones have been added since yesterday. This (below) is everything that is still a currently open opportunity as of today.
I’m rounding up Healthy Costco Store Brand Items That Are Surprisingly High Quality - Looking for comments from RDs as to their favorites and why, and make sure it’s a Costco store brand item (i.e. not just a brand that happens to sell at Costco, but an item made by Costco’s store brand that is healthy, high quality, and delicious - ideally organic too, please.
For Forbes, I'm rounding up great cocktails to enjoy to toast to dad this Father's Day. If you have any that are a fit (MUST be on a menu or available as a special at a bar or restaurant), please send me the following:
Name of drink
where it is available (name of restaurant, location, URL)
description (not a recipe)
quote from bartender/chef about drink - please don't forget to give me the name and title of the person being quoted
image of drink (high res please)
By June 7 please!
I’m sourcing Fourth of July Store Hours + Stores Open Fourth of July (similar to the Easter and Memorial Day store hours roundup I did for this same outlet). This is for major retailers, look at my versions for other holidays for an idea of what I'm looking for.
For Today.com, I'm rounding up Father's Day and graduation related deals/freebies at chain restaurants (so if you happen to have those now feel free to send ahead!)
If pitching me restaurant deals/discounts for any of these holidays, please be sure to include what the deal is, how to claim the deal, and any disclaimers, as well as exactly how long it lasts and where it’s good. (I run into A LOT of last minute changes on these deals, so please be sure what you are pitching me is actually the deal being offered before proceeding…it helps us BOTH down the line.)
Virtual consulting sessions...
I've been popping into a lot of PR team virtual meetings and making myself available to answer all sorts of questions about pitching, events, and trips from a media perspective. If you are interested in setting anything up for your own team in the coming months, please email me and we'll get something on the books! This is available for entire agencies or smaller group lunch and learn type concepts. If you are a freelance publicist and want to join in with a few other freelance publicist friends and set something up, we can do that as well!
Are you confused about affiliate marketing?
If you are having trouble learning how to navigate issues of affiliate marketing (trust me, we've all been there!), you may want to try out my friend Sarah Karger, a publicist, and former editor Dana Baardsen (and all-around fab girl!)'s Ultimate Masterclass and Introduction to Affiliate Marketing for Publicists. It's a brilliant course and it'll answer all your questions (including some you didn't know you had!)
Download the Substack App!
Good news! This newsletter is now available via app. That means you can keep up with everything you are reading from your phone. Download the app for iPhone and iPad here. For Android users, sign up for the waiting list here.
I used to have a farm share when I lived in New Jersey and had TONS of spinach as well. A neighbor gave me a recipe for a spinach casserole that included eggs and cheese but I have to say it was good to get rid of the spinach!
I laughed out loud after reading your newsletter today re: spinach. You are significantly more brilliant that many when it comes to adding it to dishes to make it the star. I actually use a ton of spinach in protein shakes for my family. It's one way I have found to sneak in their servings of greens without them even realizing it. :) Well, shakes and brownies of course--the obvious suspects. :) Thanks for bringing a smile to my face on this Monday morning! ;)