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Come behind the scenes at Cookies for England for a #KitchenTour and see Emilie's Kitchen in Virginia.




Welcome to my little piece of heaven! And I do mean LITTLE piece of heaven. I'm the type who tries to turn my limitations into unique strengths, so I guess my favorite thing about my kitchen IS that it's teeny tiny and cute. Even though it may not look super small from the photos (yes-- I cleaned up the junk mail just for you. You're welcome.), it is. But oddly enough, I like it that way. Small kitchen = Easier to clean. I also love my little window above the sink. All my plants cluster there, hungry for sunlight. haha.

Tell us about your kitchen?

Weeeeellllll . . . it's quite small. I'd say you could probably park a VW bug inside it, but it would be tight. But I've decided to think of it as "quaint," instead of "cramped." :) We use the kitchen as our dining room, as well, and having such a small space actually brings us together, as a family. We spend a lot of time in this space creating recipes, making messes, and enjoying each others' company. It also doubles as a correspondence answering area and homework nook. And (*deep sigh) I have to pay bills here, too. :/

What have you done to make your kitchen cosy, functional, beautiful or inspiring?

I think I probably spend more time in the kitchen than I do anywhere else in the house, during the day. So I have decorated it with things that I like to look at-- pictures that my kids have colored, vintage blue Mason jars, and of course the beautiful Le Creuset pots that I wish I had ten times more of. ;) I have organized my kitchen into areas-- a dishwashing area, a prep area, and a cooling area for the pies, cookies, and foods that I almost always have cooling on every available space. My kitchen nearly always smells like food cooking, baking, or bubbling merrily away on the back of the stove, and I'm happy to say that it's (usually!) a very comforting and good smell. Except for the time I burned the microwave popcorn. That was not a good smell. At all.

How do you keep organized while cooking?

Oh, I am terribly organized. I should probably volunteer to do peoples' taxes for free, because I am so organized. Haha-- I'm just kidding. Honestly, with a 1 year old and a 4 year old, it's tricky, sometimes, to keep things neat and tidy (like, sometimes, they go to bed, and I'm picking up and thinking, "Oh there's the floor! I forgot what color it was!"). But I do my best by keeping all the kitchen elements (as much as possible) in their separate stations, with their own storage areas. It's not perfect, but it works for me. :)

Any tips & tricks for organising your pantry, fridge and ingredients?

Eat all of the food right away. Then you never have to worry about storing it. Please pass the chocolate chips . . . Hehe ;) Actually, I think the best tip I can offer for being organized is to know what you will actually use in your kitchen on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, and avoid buying things you don't need or use. So many times people waste pantry and fridge space with something they grabbed because they had a random coupon, and that sad, lonely ingredient sits on the shelf for months and collects dust. I like to know what is in my pantry and fridge so that I can use it up and keep things fresh. And when you have smaller amounts of materials around, you don't need as much space to store them. :)

Do you do a lot of cooking and what are your favourite dishes to make?

I cook and bake constantly-- not just because I have a food blog, but because I truly enjoy cooking. When I'm stressed or upset, the first thing I want to do is pick up my big cast iron soup pots and make something delicious. I feel like making delicious food for others is a stress-relieving and relaxing activity, for me. When you've had a long or upsetting day, nothing brings comfort like the smells and tastes of home. My favorite food to make, overall, is probably homemade soup. My Mom always made the most incredible soups, growing up, and she passed that love on to me. A good soup is like a good relationship-- it takes practice and time, but the end results are totally worth it. And the longer you do it, the better you get ;)

Where do you turn for new recipe ideas?

I love cooking, so I am always reading old cookbooks, sharing recipes with friends, and following the online food blogging community. I create many dishes, too, from ingredients I have left from another recipe, because I hate wasting ingredients. And sometimes recipes are "accidentally" created when my 4 year old tries to "help" in the kitchen. ;) I think that Red Velvet cake must have been invented by a mom of a toddler who said, "Yes. You can help. Add one drop of food coloring . . . Oh NOOOOO!!!!!" And a classic was born. ;)

Do you plan out your recipes for the week or do you like to be spontaneous?

I try to plan out my recipes based on what ingredients I have or what produce is in season right now, but sometimes I just do something random because we are hungry for it. The best food makes you sigh with contentment, because you were anticipating it and were excited to taste it. I write out my menu plans . . . but in pencil-- not in pen. ;)

If you had three wishes, what would you do to make this your dream kitchen?

Ooooh . . . I can have only THREE?? ;) If I had a genie in a bottle who gave me three wishes for a dream kitchen, those wishes would be: 1. I'd like about 17 times the space. Well . . . OK. Ten times the space will be fine. Genie's on a budget. 2. I would love more than 1 window-- give me natural light all around! 3. I would love brand new, state of the art appliances (sometimes my oven is off by 75 degrees! But, like an old married couple, we know each others' foibles and have learned to live with each other and to compensate, accordingly ;) Thank you so much to Cat and the amazing team at Cut Out + Keep for letting me share my kitchen with you, today! One of these days I'm going to get over to the UK, and Cat is going to show me where I can get a vegetarian Scotch Egg, which she says is delicious. I can't wait to try it! YUM!


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