Creators: Rachel Mansfield '12

The Instagrammer and blogger discusses her debut cookbook, "Just the Good Stuff."

By: Jeremy Fuchs '14  Wednesday, March 25, 2020 00:51 PM

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Photo by Aubrie Pick

Rachel Mansfield ’12—whose Instagram account, @rachlmansfield, has more than 350,000 followers—turned her online influence into a book deal: Her first cookbook, Just the Good Stuff, came out in February. We asked the media & communication and business administration double major about her journey from food and lifestyle blogger (at rachlmansfield.com) and Instagrammer to published author.

Muhlenberg Magazine Why did you start your blog?
Rachel Mansfield I began sharing recipes when I was working full-time at a consumer packaged goods brand. I felt I was undervalued and undercompensated, and my passion for all things food and wholesome recipes was really taking off. A few months later, I was fired from my job and pursued my side hustle full-time.

MM How did you amass such a large Instagram following?
RM It took a lot of hard work, a lot of mindless hours staring at my phone and engaging with others on the app to grow my account. I also share recipes that my readers crave and are feasible to make in their own home.

MM Have you always been into cooking?
RM I learned how to cook at 23 from my mother-in-law. I have no culinary experience, and I think that’s been the number-one reason why people enjoy my recipes: They’re simple. They’re made with easy ingredients and minimal steps.

MM How did the cookbook come about?
RM I felt it was time to branch out of the digital space. I love Instagram and my blog, but I wanted something offline, something that my community can take home. I sought out an agent, then I wrote a proposal and it went out to publishing houses. My book was in a bidding war—I was totally shocked! It is surreal to me that I am in bookstores now.

MM How long did it take you to get the book ready, and how was that process different from the work you’d done before?
RM It took me about a year to develop and perfect all the recipes. I’m so used to creating recipes in my kitchen, posting them and getting an immediate reaction. Now it’s 100 recipes that people haven’t seen yet. Writing a book is isolating, in a way, but it is so rewarding now seeing my readers love all of the “good stuff” I made for us.