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kitchen tour: winos and foodies/figs, lavender, and cheese

[I had promised a recipe the other day and then failed to deliver. My apologies. We had a bit of a meltdown over here, as in, our DSL modem was fried. So instead of giving you a recipe, I fixed all of our technical issues and then gave myself the morning off to go skiing, which put me in a much better frame of mind to write this post.]

Here is where the fun begins for me! I had tremendous difficulty narrowing down the kitchens I wanted to explore. As you cooks and bakers know, the kitchen reveals a lot about someone – especially a food blogger. It is a personal and private space as well as one you share with friends when they come to visit, dine, or party. Because of that, I had a long list of bloggers lined up to ask to partake in this kitchen tour in case any of the original ten declined. But not a one said no! All of these great people are not only welcoming my nosy little self into their kitchens, but you as well! Such a gracious and friendly group.

Based on what I knew about these bloggers, I tried to get a decent distribution of types of kitchens. The point of the kitchen tours is to highlight the wide range of kitchens, tools, and setups behind an equally wide range of blogs. The coolest part for me is discovering commonalities as well as some really clever and unique ideas. So let’s get started, shall we? Please give my friends a warm use real butter welcome as only my kickass readers know how!

Our first stop is Australia where we are visiting with my dear Barbara of Winos and Foodies. I had no idea what to expect other than “classy” and I was not disappointed. Barbara *is* classy and eloquent and she has a wicked sense of humor. I’m learning all sorts of Aussie slang from my emails with her. She makes me laugh and sometimes she makes me cry. The woman is incredibly well-grounded and full of good, practical sense.

blog: Winos and Foodies
blogger: Barbara
location: Main Beach on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
house: apartment rented, building about 20 years old
kitchen footprint: no idea
photos: all photos of the Winos and Foodies kitchen are courtesy of Barbara

Barbara recently moved into this apartment and because she is undergoing more chemotherapy, she warned that she hadn’t been able to do much with it in the way of organization. Stepping into the kitchen space, it looks quite organized to me. I love the bright and airy feel of it. My eye tends to go straight to the little things, like these awesome bags made of parachute silk hanging from a wine cork board that her son made.

entering the kitchen : shopping bags on the nearby wall

It is beautiful, but Barbara is a serious cook/baker who knows her food and her kitchens.

In our last house I designed a brilliant kitchen with wooden floors, fabulous Corian benchtops, gas hob, walk in pantry, huge crockery cupboard. However we are leasing here and I have to take what comes. Crappy stove, granite benches, tiled floor, electric hob.. I can’t tell you the number of things I break when I drop them on floor or bench top.

Well, it hasn’t kept her from creating some gorgeous and delicious food on her blog nor from teaching her strapping boys how to fold gyoza or roast veggies.

looking into the kitchen

Clearly a neat and organized person who keeps a clean workspace, Barbara confided that her pantry is very cluttered.

That’s because Bryan did the moving and just shoved everything in and I don’t have the energy to sort it out.

Well, I’m glad I didn’t show my pantry, because it is packed to the hilt such that light cannot escape… Honestly, I don’t think Bryan did such a bad job, do you? Nice and spacious shelving. I was admiring the assortment of tea cups when Barbara emailed:

Meant to comment on the photo of my crockery cupboard. It looks a little bare. The day after we moved in to this apartment the shelf fell and the china and glasses smashed onto the floor (those bloody tiles again)… We hadn’t transferred the insurance so we can’t claim for replacements.

While I know Barbara doesn’t get hung up over these sorts of things, I felt frustrated for her as a friend and as a fellow cook – because I hate moving and I hate having my kitchen world disrupted like that.

pantry : cupboards

Apparently, Barbara has a thing for chickens because there are several around her kitchen – all gifts from friends. One fell victim (literally) to that blasted tile floor. I especially love the chicken hanging from the Star Wars clock. She keeps cooking essentials like oils and sauces in wine baskets near the stove along with garlic, onions, seasonings. This woman does not mess around.

nice touches around the kitchen

What fascinated me more than any other item was the Thermomix. First off, Barbara does not keep many things on her bench tops, so if an appliance is out, then you know it is 1) something she uses often and 2) good. I had never heard of such a thing, but read her description:

The Thermomix replaces a heap of appliances as it weighs, chops, minces, grinds, sautées, steams, blends, juices. I was going to make butter today but I’ve misplaced the butterfly from the centre so I boiled eggs instead. It makes perfect boiled eggs, steamed rice, soups, cake mixtures, whips cream, egg custard. You can also grind your own wheat for flour or sugar to make icing sugar. Being in a smaller kitchen here it is a great space saver. It is ridiculously expensive here in Australia but in my condition worth the investment.

I almost wish I didn’t know about it because now I can’t stop thinking about what a wonderful thing a Thermomix is.

her son’s star wars clock : perfect eggs and awesome appliances (thermomix on right)

Barbara takes advantage of lots of natural light for her photography. This is Barbara’s dining room where she shoots her photos in the morning or if it is afternoon, she photographs on the balcony. Oh, and did you notice that view? How easily I’d be distracted. I’ll bet it’s just as beautiful at night.

look at that view!

We’ll end our visit to Australia watching Barbara finish a lovely flourless chocolate cake with powdered sugar. Thanks for the tour, Barbara!

a simple touch of sugar on a flourless chocolate cake : our barbara


Next up, we head to Berkeley, California and drop in on my buddy, Figs. We became friends through blogging and also through some commonalities in our lives: we love to cook, we’re both ski whores, we were both diagnosed with breast cancer, we both cuss freely. I had the pleasure of meeting Cindy last summer when I happened to pass through the Bay Area. The woman is the Anti-Flake – she has got it together – and I love her for that. I get some great ideas from her blog.

blog: Figs, Lavender, and Cheese
blogger: Cindy
location: Berkeley, CA, in the hills above the campus and on the edge of Tilden Regional Park
house: A 1948 ranch house — the first and last house we ever plan to buy. We call it our “raunch house,” but we really do like it. Lots of windows, wood work, and views. Redwoods included!
kitchen footprint: 10×17+ (feet) (we have a bay that I didn’t count)
photos: all photos of the Figs, Lavender, and Cheese kitchen are courtesy of Cindy

Cindy’s kitchen is the heart and center of her home:

It is truly the room where we live. I’m usually in this room doing something, and so is everyone else. We eat there, Sophie does her homework and art projects at the kitchen table and practices her violin in there most of the time. When I entertain I set out drinks and appetizers on the table, and everyone hangs around there while I finish cooking. [I spend] a lot [of time in the kitchen], starting the minute I get home from work. I’m usually standing at the sink as Sophie works at the kitchen table… and then violin practice. If we’re not in the mountains, a good weekend day is an entire one spent in the kitchen, provided I have the other day to be outside.

I can’t help but smile at the kid art everywhere (courtesy of 8-year old Sophie). Have a looksee:

the figs kitchen (i like the music stand)

Much goes on around the stove and this is obvious when you see how she keeps the hardware and the spices within arm’s reach. Oh, I love the kettle in this next picture. I’ll let Cindy describe it all.

That stove. It’s a vintage Merritt-O’Keefe that a friend who was remodeling her kitchen gave us, requesting only that we make it “go away.” We have a love/hate relationship. On the one hand, I love the look. It has a great simmer setting (I made a lot of stocks and soup). And it was free. If I didn’t have it, I probably would NOT have a zoomy Wolff range. For obvious reasons. On the other hand, the oven is small (the door on the right) and doesn’t heat very evenly. The door on the left is a ginormous broiler that I use for storage only. Underneath the oven is ANOTHER broiler. What was up with broilers in those days?? Most things one might broil, I cook on the gas grill. Husband built me a nice shelf above the oven and installed a rack for my pans. I’d lose my mind if I had to pull pans out from a cupboard every time I needed them. That bookcase. I have A LOT of cookbooks, which is sort of stupid because I get most of my recipes online. I just can’t resist them though.

nice pot rack over the range : the tower of cookbooks

I had to inquire about her jars of ingredients – or rather the jars themselves – because I too have jars (we consumed a lot of spaghetti sauce back in the day). I love the solid lids and rubber seals on these.

I actually bought all those jars. I run them through the dishwasher every now and then and didn’t want to mess with lids that rusted and needed replacing. I find storing dry goods like this so much better than having them crammed in a cupboard. [On the left:] some homemade limoncello I just bottled and some caramel pear butter.

Mmm, limoncello…

jar envy

I noticed that she has both a knife block and a magnetic knife strip by the sink. I’ve always loved the idea of a knife strip, but I wouldn’t know where to mount it and I would worry about someone (not me) getting hurt because of it.

LOVE my knife strip. The blades don’t get bounced around in a drawer or take up room in a block. Notice that Husband placed it above the dish drainer, so you need only give the knife a rinse before returning it. This is also a good location because no one can bump into it.

Great idea and location. I guess it can’t be any more dangerous than my Danger Drawer, right?

kitchen sink overlooking the yard

The majority of my cooking and baking friends are pretty organized. Our kitchens might be stuffed to the hilt, but we are organized about that stuffed-to-the-hilt-edness. Both Barbara and Cindy are clean-as-you-cook types (as am I). I only know of one or two people who make an explosion of a mess when they cook or bake. What sort are you? Cindy, who is always full of nifty tidbits added:

One of my best entertaining tips is to start with an empty dishwasher. Then you can at least load in dirty dishes as you go to keep them out of your way.

What she loves about her kitchen:

I love the size and layout: This was one of the only houses we looked at where I didn’t think the kitchen needed to be torn out immediately (good thing because we could not have afforded to do that). I love the big windows that look out into our garden. I also love the original butter-yellow tile.

And what she hates about it:

Tile really sucks, you know? It’s lovely when it’s clean, but keeping the grout clean is a never-ended chore. If I could have my pick of counter surfaces, I would choose honed black granite–a matte black surface that looks like a lab bench.

the dining nook

Cindy usually shoots her blog photos on her marble pastry board, shown below bedecked in cookies. Her favorite appliance is her KitchenAid stand mixer which has its own dedicated counter space peninsula for quick and easy access. I love those mixers too – especially how the top of the mixer has a striking resemblance to the cranial structure of the aliens from the Alien(s) movies.

sugar cookies : teh kitchenaid stand mixer

Here is a parting photo of Ms. Figs, cutting into a delicious apple quince pie she made for Thanksgiving. Something Cindy wrote to me really made me smile. I had asked what her motivations were for cooking and baking. The first sentence is what a lot of us say. I found the last sentence very touching.

It’s a creative outlet and most of the time the best way for me to relax at the end of the day. Also, we like to eat good food but can’t afford to eat out much. And I want to set an example for my daughter.

You’re raising a very special and beautiful daughter, Cindy. Thank you for bringing us into your sanctuary. I’ll see you in May!

cindy serves up a mean apple quince pie

Three kitchens down, eight to go. I hope you found that to be as fun and informative as I did. We’ll have two more kitchens next Thursday – from opposite coasts!

previous kitchens
week 1: use real butter

69 nibbles at “kitchen tour: winos and foodies/figs, lavender, and cheese”

  1. barbara says:

    Too cool Jen. Lovely to see Cindy’s kitchen too. How different we are.

  2. Rasa Malaysia says:

    I think I need to move house, I need a new kitchen…after reading this.

  3. manisha says:

    Such lovely kitchens and such wonderful light! Like Cindy, I have tiles – except they are granite tiles. I would so do away with them if I could because of the grout and because they are not laid evenly.

  4. Y says:

    Oo both kitchens look great! Love this series!

  5. Rosa says:

    I’m jealous of both kitchen! They are really fabulous and you can feel the soul of the cooks in each of them… Wow, I wish I had such a nice place!



  6. maninas says:

    In the process of doing my own kitchen, so it’s great to see all of these for inspiration!

  7. Culinarywannabe says:

    I love this kitchen tour!! It’s such a personal space, big thanks to Barbara and Cindy for letting us see theirs. I’m so jealous of Barbara’s view!

  8. HappyTummy says:

    Both kitchens are beautiful. I love seeing that you don’t have to have a ginormous kitchen in order to create delicious dishes.

  9. Kristin says:

    This is lots of fun Jen. I love an uncluttered kitchen for myself, but find myself drawn to the coziness of Cindy’s. Definitely clean-as-I-go. My husband is NOT & it drives me crazy (I clean as HE goes)…guess I should just be thankful that he cooks occasionally!

  10. Pomme says:

    Wow, love these kitchens! All so different yet equally appealing! Our kitchen is also the centre of our flat. That’s were everything happens!

  11. Charleen says:


    long(-ish) time lurker speaking up!
    I’m a psych student in Germany who has recently discovered her joy in cooking and baking and drives crazy both her parents and her boyfriend with it. (Yes, he complains about me being in the kitchen, fixing up treats for him. He’s also a fussy eater who loves convenience and premade food. Go figure…) It goes without saying that I love your blog (else I wouldn’t lurk) and I really like those kitchen presentations, but I just wanted to speak up regarding the Thermomix…
    My grandma owned one of those, and since she died a little while ago, I would have had the opportunity to take hers. What a lucky student, eh? Small kitchen, can’t afford all those fancy tools… but I didn’t want it. I’d never liked that thing. My strongest memory of my grandma was grinding almonds in an old food processor, kneading cookie dough from hand, making christmas cookies, making jam… and the Thermomix took all that away. I think I was actually envious of that machine, it took away my grandma – or, rather, the hands-on approach that I love about cooking. You just plonk in all the ingredients, and the Thermomix does the rest. To me, that’s not cooking anymore.
    I mean, I’m sure that it’s very convenient and it replaces a lot of appliances, wrapping them in one. And kudos to whoever works with it! But, personally, I prefer to do things myself, even if they go wrong (like those eggs, for example ;) ), learning through trial and error and through reading the blogs of experts such as you are. I don’t think you miss out on much if you don’t have that thing ;)

    Sorry about the rant, my next foray out of lurking will be more positive!

  12. charlane says:

    beautiful kitchens and lovely tours

  13. Pegs says:

    What a great idea, so fun Jen! We’re all nosy aren’t we? Definitely clean as you go, is there any other way? Wow, Thermomix…who knew? Thanks Barbara and Cindy.

  14. Tartelette says:

    What a great tour! Loved to see how two serious cooks interpret their kitchen space! Looking forward to the rest of the series!

  15. Debbie says:

    This was so nice…thanks for having it. I really enjoyed it and look forward to the next kitchen tour!!!

  16. Phoo-D says:

    This is so much fun! You really can see the spirit of each kitchen/cook. It feels so personal to look in a kitchen -but I’m fascinated all the same. Can’t wait to see the rest of the kitchens!

  17. Angela says:

    Love the idea of the kitchen tour series. i like how all the kitchens have so much natural light, it’s just so warm and welcoming. can’t wait to create a kitchen of my own. can’t wait to see the rest of the kitchens.

    really love your all your recipes and step by step photos.

  18. peabody says:

    So interesting to see how different just those two kitchens are. I love Barbs Star Wars clock…I can get behind that. And her chickens as I tend to have a few of those as well.
    Both kitchens look like fun to bake in.

  19. Fiona says:

    The light and view in Barbara’s kitchen is wonderful! On a cold, grey day like today I really envy that. And I think the Fig kitchen is so cheery! It’s the art that does it. At first, I thought, “Genius!!” to use a music stand to hold recipes. Then I realized it’s actually holding music. Oops. Still, I might consider grabbing one, since I could put a cookbook on it, read the recipe and yet still have counter space…

  20. jennywenny says:

    Cool! Thanks for sharing everyone. Beautiful kitchens and I’m very jealous of barb’s view! The thermomix looks intriguing, I’ve never heard of them.

  21. Bri says:

    That was fantastic Jen! Thanks so much for “conning” Barbara and Cindy into showing us their kitchens (and for showing us yours)! It’s lovely of you all to invite us into your homes. I’d send you a picture of my kitchen, but it’s a 60’s monstrosity that I’m currently making plans to renovate. I can’t wait to see the rest of the kitchens!

  22. Leah says:

    Lovely kitchens! This is such a great idea, Jen. I’m keeping notes for future use in my own kitchen!

  23. Irene says:

    I love that these kitchens are so different, yet you can really tell that both ladies have a deep love of food and cooking/eating well!

  24. Chiara says:

    Thank you for doing a series on kitchens! It’s great to see different ideas for different spaces (I’m always looking out for ideas for the current, tiny condo kitchen or hopefully the larger future one, whenever that will be haha). Looooove the Thermomix… It’s amazing that it does that many things??? I think I have Thermomix envy….

  25. Sil says:

    Jen, what a great idea you had! It’s true that a kitchen tell a lot about the owner. 3 great women and 3 great kitchens. I can’t wait to see the next eight. Thank you for your wit, intelligence, humor, taste … and the list goes on!! You’re an inspiration!

  26. Delaney says:

    What a neat project, Jen! I especially love Cindy’s tip about having a clean dishwasher; we just bought our first home and it’s my first dishwasher since I lived with my parents (15 long years of an hour of dishes after dinner parties). I finally figured this trick out for myself… if I can just rinse something off and put it in the washer immediately, my brain feels less cluttered and I’m that much closer to bedtime after the feast!

    If you want a tour of a Nashville kitchen (still a work in progress, but I have some horrifying “before” photos), I’m in! And thanks for doing this; seeing how these other amazing ladies live is half the fun of the food blogosphere.

  27. Lavender says:

    The kitchens, and this series, are terrific – thank you!

  28. Pinky says:

    It’s so fun to check out other people’s kitchens. I was just scrolling down looking at the pictures before reading the post, and I had initially assumed these were kitchens in your area. But as soon as I got to Fig’s kitchen I thought, this person must live in the East Bay. I don’t know how I knew, but it just felt like our little corner of the world.

  29. Laura says:

    I’m loving this series! Thanks Jen!

  30. April in CT says:

    This is beyond teh awesome. I won’t even try to describe how excited I am over this series because I stink at words.

    Beautiful kitchens, descriptions and people!

  31. JessW says:

    Oh wow, this is so much fun! Thank you so much to everyone who is sharing their kitchens. Please keep them coming :)

  32. Lily says:

    Oh my! This is like window shopping but into the very private refuge that is the kitchen. Love the series and love all of the kitchens posted so far. Nearly makes me want to go home and rearrange things in my kitchen.


  33. kristen says:

    Wow! What a fun idea!! I love it. And Cindy’s kitchen really does appeal to the inner me, the true me, that loves displaying kid art and keeping cool things in cool jars and mixing a bit of old retro with new modern. But Barbara’s kitchen appeals to the side of me that requires order and everything to have a place. Both are beautiful, lovely kitchens, each inviting in their own way. Can’t wait to see what’s up next!

  34. Piee says:

    I love your kitchen tour series. It’s so much fun to see how others organize their kitchen space. I think you should keep on writing this column instead of stopping at 10. Just a suggestion. =)

  35. janet says:

    what a great idea to show these kitchen tours. thanks for sharing!

  36. barbara says:

    I’d like to reply to Charleen and defend the Thermomix. I understand what you are saying and I too used to do everything by hand. I’m sure my children have the same memories of being in the kitchen with me where I Kneaded dough and made pesto with just a knife and mortar and pestle. However after several surgeries that have robbed me of upper body strength even chopping vegetables with a good knife is tiring. Just putting dinner together each night is tiring when you are on chemo. The Thermomix allows me to continue to do what I love – cooking for my family and friends. It also allows me to be a little creative in things like making butter, something I did as a child with a bowl and wooden spoon. It also makes perfect rice which is useful when I’m too sick too cook and it is left to my husband to make dinner. Thermomix is more than just throwing the ingredients in a bowl and turning it on. Even with a Thermomix I cook with love.

    Thank you to everyone else for your kind comments on my kitchen. You can see I’m a minimalist when it comes to decor. Comes from living with a mother who loved clutter;)

  37. Aran says:

    i love been a voyeur!

  38. Steph says:

    I am one of those people that is messy when they cook! I need to get more organized. I think a dishwasher would help!

    I live in an apartment, and HATE storing my pans in a cupboard, but I don’t have a choice! Anyone have any recommendations for a rack that doesn’t leave much damage?

  39. Margie says:

    This is just over the top! Who would have ever thunk it….virtual flies on the wall? I swear, Jenzie, you are too much fun.
    Thanks for the virtual tours, ladies. I’m coming back when I can really peruse …. I’ll bring a cup of coffee with me, make that two. We can chat. ;)

  40. amy says:

    Ah, so great!!! I loved seeing both kitchens…esp. the star wars clock, and the knife strip. Barbara, Cindy, great to see where you both cook! :)

  41. Charleen says:

    Barbara – thank you for your reply and your explanation. I did not know about your condition, or, well, not all of it. I can see how, in this situation, the Thermomix would make things easier and give you more freedom. And of course my knowledge comes mainly from the (german) Thermomix-cookbook, which is, well… mainly of the dump-and-press-buttons variety.
    I hope you weren’t offended by my comment, I certainly didn’t intend any offense to anyone!
    …I just still don’t like it ;)

  42. Kathy says:

    I love Barbara’s view through her fabulous windows. And her kitchen shows that there is a serious cook residing in there.
    I also love Cindy’s kitchen. It’s everything I thought it would be. It reflects her life and her love for her family.

  43. barbara says:

    Charleen I wasn’t offended. I do feel cooking is more than the equipment you do or don’t use. It’s the time spent preparing food with loved ones around. I love cooking with my boys as much now as when they were tiny. You’d be amazed (and sometimes a little shocked) at the things they share as we spend time together in the kitchen.

    You must admit though that being able to grind your own flour in the Thermomix is pretty cool.

  44. Christina says:

    This is a great idea, Jen! I liked seeing the different bowls, cups, and plates Barbara has, and the bookshelf full of cookbooks in Cindy’s kitchen is amazing.

  45. Mrs ErgΓΌl says:

    wow wow wow, it is right that I did not count down to every thursday cuz that will make the days creep by. I love the pure and clean, minimalist look of Barbara’s kitchen! Recently I borrowed a food magazine from the library and it featured quite a number of equipments used in commercial kitchens. Thermomix is one of them! Apparently, it is available to the homecook too! It really rocks!

    I love the two big windows in Cindy’s kitchen overlooking the yard and garden! Windows (and counterspace) is what I absolutely lack in mine.

    This series is OH SO GOOD! I’m looking forward to more! Jen, do you think we can expect a Kitchen Tour Part II after this finishes? ;) Thanks for doing all these! hugs!

  46. Tartelette says:

    Forgot to tell you: my mom has had her Thermomix for 27 years (fixed one time only!)….I love going home to play with it!!

  47. White On Rice Couple says:

    Very cool. This was such a great idea Jen. Our kitchens really reflect our lives and our personalities. Thank you Barbara and Cindy for sharing. And for being the first on the list to go (Jen, you don’t count!) Great kitchens ladies. Todd.

  48. Charleen says:

    Barbara, weeell… *coughcough* I didn’t even know it could do that! Doesn’t say in the manual… maybe there are different versions of it? I only know about that weird steaming extension. But then again, I only got bitten by the cooking bug less than a year ago – I think I’ll get away with buying my flour for now. You’re all way more serious than that ;)
    I’ll take another look at it though, if my parents haven’t given it away yet. Maybe I can at least make another food blogger happy…

  49. Kristin says:

    Yikes! I’ve offended Cindy! Did I say cluttered? I meant lived-in. Come see my kitchen Cindy…books & papers everywhere. And the only reason there aren’t music stands in the kitchen is because they’re strategically placed in the family room & guest room for me to trip over when I’m trying to avoid a cat or someone’s shoes, clarinet, oboe or bells. Fortunately the piano does not move!

  50. jaden says:

    ooooh WOW! i love peeking into their kitchens! must get thermomix – does it do laundry too?


  51. Manggy says:

    I love that little detail– “our” Barbara. Made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
    Being featured by you is quite flattering! I love how very show-offy the kitchens are. And not in a bad way at all– more like a proud mum (heh, how British) about her kids. I’d be very excited too. There are certainly a lot of ideas I pick up from seeing the kitchens: how to make them more like a kitchen that’s been lived in and not the sterile laboratories they show in interior design magazine ads. And certainly not like some kitchens that are pretty much an afterthought (like… mine… but I’ll reserve any further self-deprecation :)

  52. Holly says:

    I’m loving this series, Jen! Great idea!

  53. cindy says:

    two very different kitchens, so glad that we could all take a peek! good stuff jen!

  54. Brooke says:

    This is just awesome! I love seeing the cozy kitchens (yours too, Jen!). Getting great ideas. I can totally see myself having tea in Cindy’s kitchen, and Barbara’s dining room view is AMAZING, and I love the counter tops.
    I want a Thermomix, never heard of it before but it sounds fascinating. Making your own butter? I mean, that is WAY cool. Where can I get one??

    On another note: having cancer and going through chemo – Gosh, you are all amazing women. I hope it gets in remission and goes away forever and you never get sick again. My heart goes out to you.

  55. Lori says:

    Barbara- all I can say is YOU ROCK. It’s nice to get to know you a little better. Your kitchen is beautiful and I expected class as well. That is how you always come across. The best always to you.

    Cindy- you are new to me, but now I have to check out your site! I have tons of jars in my pantry. I just love em. I love when I find a 25 cent one at a garage sale. I am all happy inside, like I found a diamond. Ah, I am silly.

    Jen- Love the kitchen tours. It’s so cool. Love the ideas in the kitchen spaces. And I like the (for lack of a better word) intimacy of the whole thing. Very nice touch.

  56. Melissa says:

    Okay, after reading all the comments, I’m that much more excited and hopeful. :) It was GREAT to see where you both cook. Barbara, your lack of clutter reminds me of me and Cindy, I love the family cozy feel of yours. This really is a great series Jen. Looking forward to more!

  57. Whitney says:

    Love this new series! You really get to see a lot in people’s personalities in their kitchens.

  58. Mollie says:

    Thank you thank you to Barbara and Cindy! I love to see how people live – lots of good stuff! :)

  59. jo says:

    I’ll take either one … I don’t care!! If Barbara calls her kitchen “cluttered”, she has no idea what that word is – I say come into mine. I love this post and can’t wait to see more.

  60. jenyu says:

    Barbara – thanks for participating, sweetie!

    Rasa Malaysia – just wait until you see the other 8 kitchens :)

    Manisha – we’ve rented a place with tiles before and they made us insane.

    Y – thanks.

    Rosa – I’m sure you have a delightful kitchen too. It’s just fun to see others, no?

    Maninas – awesome.

    Culinarywannabe – isn’t it fantastic? I could sit there for hours (and get nothing else done!)

    HappyTummy – absolutely! That was sort of the point. People are so creative.

    Kristin – Cindy’s kitchen has everything going on, just like Cindy. She’s awesome.

    Pomme – it’s amazing how different they can be and yet how fun they both are.

    Charleen – thanks for commenting. I understand that you may be down on the TM because of your associations. That said, consider it from your grandmother’s point of view: maybe cooking became too taxing on her? At least with my own grandmother (who is a terrific cook) she is getting close to 90 and these days cooking requires a lot of work and energy and it isn’t so enjoyable for her anymore. As for what tools a cook should use… I used to feel that making cookies and cakes by hand was the only way to do it. My ILs gave me my KitchenAid stand mixer for my birthday several years ago. It sat on my counter for a year before I would touch it. I was afraid of changing, afraid to use it. But once I did, I embraced it and it has since helped me expand my skills to so many other pastries and foods that I never would have been able to make by hand. So these days, I try to keep an open mind :)

    Charlane – thanks!

    Pegs – I can’t imagine not cleaning as I go ;)

    Tartelette – as am I!!

    Debbie – definitely stick around, there are so many more cool kitchens in the wings.

    Phoo-D – thanks, you can really see so much character in both.

    Angela – thank you. I’m also excited to see the rest of the kitchens.

    Peabody – yeah, and especially with those awesome bakers :)

    Fiona – On a cold gray day, I think anyone might envy being on the Gold Coast of Australia! They’re very clever girls, those two, aren’t they?

    Jennywenny – me neither! I was amazed at how much it does.

    Bri – well I hope some of the kitchens will give you good ideas! I’m jealous that you get to renovate.

    Leah – sweet!

    Irene – yup, absolutely. They’re both terrific cooks too.

    Chiara – me too, I’m always looking for good ideas. I think it’s great fun to see the kitchens of fellow cooks!

    Sil – you’re so very sweet! Thanks :)

    Delaney – Cindy has great entertaining tips, that is for sure. Thanks for your offer, but I think these 10 kitchens are more than enough for me to get through now!

    Lavender – thank you for stopping by!

    Pinky – that’s pretty cool that you knew just from the pictures alone.

    Laura – oh, it’s my pleasure, hon.

    April – so glad you are enjoying it.

    JessW – you’ve got 8 more in the queue :)

    Lily – I guess it really does make you think about how things are arranged, doesn’t it? Fun though!

    Kristen – thank you, both of those ladies are real gems.

    Piee – ha ha! thanks, that’s so nice of you to say. I think I would go insane if I did this weekly though :)

    Janet – thank you for commenting!

    Aran – :)

    Steph – hmmm, that’s tough as a rack needs to be strong enough to hold heavy pots and pans, so requires good anchors. If you can locate the studs and install a rack that way, then when you move out, you need only fill the holes with some putty, smooth it over when its dry, then paint it. There should be a lot of choices out there too. Good luck!

    Margie – glad you’re having fun!

    Amy – yeah, I’m thinking of where I can install a knife strip in my kitchen :)

    Kathy – it’s neat how much you can tell about a person’s style from their kitchen. Very cool.

    Christina – I liked peeking in on all of that stuff too. So fun!

    Mrs. E – well, I think if it is really popular, we might consider it, sweetie :)

    Tartelette – well, if Barbara has one and your mother has one, then I am SOLD! xxoo

    WoRC – you’re such a cutie. Can’t wait to see what you and Ms. D. give us. I *love* your kitchen.

    Kristin – oh, not to worry! Cindy has a great sense of humor and she has thick skin. I’m sure she’s in a good mood too after skiing all weekend :)

    Jaden – if it does, then we should both order one for ourselves! You are too funny, girlfriend.

    Mark – Barbara is a very very wonderful and special woman. I do think of her as “our” Barbara, don’t you? :) This will be a good exercise, how to show something that is familiar to you, in an exciting and fun way to others. I know you’ll have something awesome.

    Holly – thanks!

    Cindy – great :)

    Brooke – what a sweet comment. Thank you. We’re always hoping that it goes away forever. Always. And yeah, I am so wanting a Thermomix :)

    Lori – thank you, hon. I’m really glad that so many people are having fun with this. I love how we’re all sharing and getting ideas too!

    Melissa – thanks sweetie! I think everyone has something unique and fun to offer. xxoo

    Whitney – it’s true, isn’t it? fun stuff!

    Mollie – :) Yeah, and can you believe we’re all blogging this *just for you* ;)

    Jo – awesome. Stay tuned!

  61. Debby says:

    This is great! I’m in awe at how well organized so many of these kitchens are. To me, my kitchen is such a personal space (and it’s very tiny). Thank you for allowing us to peek into your home kitchen. I’m enjoying it immensely.

  62. gilli says:


    What a great idea to feature kitchens. Lovely to see Barbara’s kitchen. Fascinating how different all of of kitchens are.
    And everyone turning out fabulous food.

  63. Jeanne says:

    Oh what a marvellous idea! I LOVE Barbara’s kitchen – if that’s what she calls a crappy rented kitchen, she probably should not come and visit me… I would KILL for hers! All that light! And a Thermomix. Aaaargh! Thanks for giving us culinary voyeurs a peek into these kitchens :)

  64. your kitchen « foodie suz says:

    […] blog called Use Real Butter is conducting weekly kitchen tours of blogger’s kitchens. Β I think that’s kind of […]

  65. MyKitchenInHalfCups says:

    WOW! Really a beautifully and wonderfully touching post.
    I’m clean as you go, my mind goes blank in clutter.
    Love both these kitchens and their operators.

  66. Holly says:

    This is just such a great idea! I am loving these tours! Great job Jen on putting this together! Thanks to you, Barbara and Cindy for sharing your spaces with us all!

  67. kickpleat says:

    I love these food blogger kitchen tours!

  68. jenyu says:

    Debby – so glad you are having fun with it :)

    Gilli – thanks!

    Jeanne – I’m just sad we couldn’t see what her kitchen in NZ looked like!

    MyKitchenInHalfCups – me too, they are both real treasures :)

    Holly – thanks, hon!

    Kickpleat – they’re fun, no?

  69. Only Here for the Food » Blog Archive » Food Notes for March 23, 2009 says:

    […] Suz posted about her renovated kitchen this week, and introduced a website called Use Real Butter that is profiling kitchens of food bloggers – cool insight into a variety of beautiful cooking […]

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