Growing up, Emily Franklin wanted to be “a singing, tap-dancing doctor who writes books.”

Having learned early on that she has little to no dancing ability, she left the tap world behind, studied at Oxford University, and received an undergraduate degree concentrating in writing and neuroscience from Sarah Lawrence College. After working as a chef on historic schooners and luxury yachts, she received her master’s from Dartmouth where she skied (or fished, depending on the season) daily, and wrote a few screenplays.

Emily Franklin is the author of Too Many Cooks: Kitchen Adventures with 1 Mom, 4 Kids, and 102 New Recipes as well as two novels for adults, The Girls’ Almanac and Liner Notes.  Emily is also the author of more than a dozen books for young adults including The Principles of Love series and the The Half-life of Planets, which was nominated as the best book of the year by the ALA.  Other books include FauxmanceThe Other Half of Me, the Chalet Girls series, and At Face Value, a retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac.  Her latest novel is Tessa Masterson Will Go to Prom, (her third novel co-authored with Brendan Halpin).

She edited the anthologies It’s a Wonderful Lie: 26 Truths about Life in Your Twenties and How to Spell Chanukah: 18 Writers Celebrate 8 Nights of Lights.  She is co-editor of Before: Short Stories about Pregnancy from Our Top Writers

Emily’s writing and recipes have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers including Parents, Parenting, Brain, Child, Parent & Child, the Boston Globe,, culinate,com, and National Public Radio’s The Splendid Table.  She travels, teaches writing seminars, and speaks on panels about food, writing, and family, but does not tap dance. She lives outside of Boston with her husband and their four young children.


I love to eat.  I also love to cook.  Meals are gathering places.  No matter what is happening in our lives, we all need nourishment.  As a parent of four, I find moments in the kitchen or a shared snack in the car or on the porch to be the best times for talking.

My recipes are about home, not necessarily the one you were born into, but the one in which you want to find yourself.  How do you want to cook?  Which dishes excite and comfort you?  I am asked often about my food philosophy.  I don’t have one except that I like to eat, I like to make food, and I like to share it with my four children, my family and friends, with you. Food is how I experience the world, how I travel both in my own kitchen and in the kitchens I’ve visited in other places.

The kitchen is where I learned to try something new for the first time, and where I learned to provide for myself.  I have ridden on a Vespa across Oxford, England with a raw chicken bundled into my backpack and I have stood side by side with my grandmother canning beets from her garden.  I have peeled potatoes with my mother for New Year’s lunch in London, eaten omelets with my dad from the eggs in his coop, and cooked for hundreds of people I knew only for a meal or two when I was a chef.  I cook side by side with my children and husband.  Nothing prepared me for busy family life better than my all-hours job as a chef.

Now, about the recipes themselves.  I cook the way I cook which is to say…I don’t always measure.  Sometimes when I test a recipe a third or fifth time, I add the measurements in, but other times – in Italy where we have no scale, no cups – I don’t.  I used to apologize for this but now I just accept it. Perhaps this is my food philosophy!  A bit of this, a bit of that – mainly healthy, mostly plant.  Obviously, when we bake and hope to have the bread or topping rise, we need to be exact…and I am.  Mostly.  Cooking and parenting go best when we relax a bit – when we improvise and breathe and have fun. That is my approach to the kitchen.

Household Objects

Objects are entire novels.  Each chair, plate, steel shelf, tells a story.  When we are drawn to the green table with its chipped paint, or the smooth wooden spoon, we are exploring those stories.  In fact, we are adding on our own chapters. The items for sale here are meant to be found, loved, incorporated into your kitchen or bedroom, brought inside for children to wonder at or put on your desk to inspire you.  Each item at the Well-Cooked Life conveys its own message – history, whimsy, repurpose, inspiration.  This site is about creating a home that is at once unique and welcoming, unusual and yet approachable for every day.  What speaks to me are lovely pieces that make a room or a shelf, that call out be touched, or talked about with a friend.  Objects we love that share the story they hold inside.