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kitchen tour: use real butter

This idea had been spinning about in my head gaining little traction for several months until one day, a commenter asked if I would post pictures of my kitchen. The hamsters ran faster in my brain… sure, a kitchen tour. Better yet, how about kitchen tours? Today is the first of six posts on food blogger kitchens. I thought it would be fascinating to get a behind-the-scenes look at a handful of them. After this week, I will feature two kitchens each Thursday into mid-April. Should be fun!

blog: use real butter
blogger: jen
location: small mountain town outside Boulder, Colorado @ 8500 feet asl
house: 11 years old, contemporary mountain-style home
kitchen footprint: 144 square feet (12×12)

When I say “my house” I really mean “my kitchen”. As in: Come on over to my house my kitchen. Because that is invariably where our guests end up: in the kitchen. At the parties we throw, people mill about and around the kitchen. It’s where it’s at. I have cooked in dormitory kitchenettes, in closet-sized (and hallway-shaped) apartment kitchens, on a Whisperlite stove in the backcountry, on the tailgates of many a truck in Chile and Argentina (in the dirt)… For anyone who loves to cook, you make due with whatever you have got, and I did for seventeen years. Even in this, our first home, the current kitchen needed some Jen-tweaks to make it more functional.

the ikea wall

The only major adjustment to the kitchen was turning an empty wall into the Ikea wall with Varde counter and cabinet units (nice and sturdy) and a floating Ikea shelf above. I keep certain appliances out and ready to use: the stand mixer, food processor, juicer, kitchen scale. You can never have too much counter space or storage space, and I use every bit of it.

a use for my pottery : my favorite light switch plate left by the previous owners

storage jars : deep drawers to hold pastry tools and sharp things

I tend to keep things organized. I am a clean-as-I-cook type. I cannot stand to start a big cooking or baking project if the kitchen is in disarray or there is a pile of dirty dishes in the sink. There is only one drawer where things are not clearly organized… the Danger Drawer. We keep extra knives, the mezza luna, skewers, Cuisinart blades, graters, and all manner of items that can hurt you in that drawer. Everyone needs a little excitement from time to time.

assorted tea bags : one of my chocolate cupboards

When we moved in, we told the sellers they could take their refrigerator because it was a side-to-side kind and I wanted to keep our top-bottom style for when I made large cakes (in hindsight, I wish we had kept it for a second fridge/freezer in the basement). It didn’t occur to me that the white refrigerator didn’t match the black appliances. I’m not one for pretty kitchens so much as utilitarian kitchens. Forget about granite tops, I want stainless steel and butcher block – something I can use and abuse and use some more.

the range – where the action is

three pot racks, but only half of my pots and pans

There is a larger pot rack waiting to be installed over the sink, but we have to machine it down a quarter of an inch so it will mount against the wall properly. I tend to be very picky about the functionality of things in the kitchen (well, in general, I suppose). My hands-down favorite part of the kitchen is actually a cabinet between the stove and the sink – in that awkward corner space that is so hard to get to. When you open the door, there are three tall bins that rotate to the front to hold recycling. It is awesome and it has about a 45-gallon capacity!

the main counter i work on

compost bucket : bookcase

This counter faces out to the main part of the house. It is an open floor plan, which I love because this floor is very bright, even on the cloudiest of days. On the other side of the counter is the bar, but we don’t treat it as such, because I wanted that space for most of my cookbooks. While I really don’t dislike anything in the kitchen, if I were to pick one thing, it would be this counter section. If I could get rid of it (and I’ve said so often) it would allow me to absorb the dining area into the kitchen, doubling the square-footage. Some day, but not today :)

beyond the kitchen: the dining area (dog for scale)

We don’t have a lot of furniture and what we do have is mostly what I classify as graduate student/postdoc furniture because neither one of us could ever get our brains around paying more than a few hundred dollars for a decent dining table and chairs. I guess it is all a matter of priorities. We’d rather have screaming tele gear than a fancy table right now.

diffuser : typical shoot setup

The dining area is where I do most of my food shooting for the blog. It is open, I can move around, the light is much easier to manipulate, the table is low enough for my tripod to get good overhead shots, and there is less danger of stuff catching on fire. Sometimes there is too much light coming through our south facing windows, so I drop a curtain (it’s a white flat queen sheet rigged with a dowel, curtain rings, and cord) to act as a huge diffuser. I’m always on tripod and I keep the reflector handy whether shooting in daylight or by external flashes. I don’t usually spend more than 10 minutes on photos per blog post. I just don’t have the time and I would probably claw my eyes out if it took any longer.

yours truly : dinner prep

If I actually stop for a moment to think about my dream kitchen, this is not it. But I don’t deal in what I wish for, I deal in what I have. Frankly, what I have is awesome. I’m quite happy with the kitchen and I know it will evolve over time with me and with the food I make. So that’s what it looks like behind the pages of use real butter! I’ll have two more kitchens to share with you next week.

120 nibbles at “kitchen tour: use real butter”

  1. Mei says:

    You have such a lovely and amazing home – to die for, really!!!!

  2. maninas says:

    Fantastic! You have a lovely, light home. I like that. And the Ikea corner is gorgeous!

    I only wish I could have a closer peek at your bookshelf…

  3. evenlyn says:

    I like the utensil cupboard, the windows (so many – love it !), the jars ….. is really a use and abuse kitchen ! Fabulous!

  4. Lucy says:

    Hey that was really a nice little tour, brought me close to you in spirit. Looking into a person’s kitchen is like looking into their soul, I think.

  5. Christine says:

    I love how much natural light comes into your home! Makes it so warm and cosy! Thanks for letting us peer into your world!

  6. Marija says:

    Lovely kitchen! And that switch is a hit!

  7. Helena says:

    Hi I’m from sweden and must say that your home looks a bit swedish to me. I like it very much!

  8. Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary says:

    I’m jealous of all that light too. Your kitchen is beautiful.

  9. bekah jones says:

    This is great! I LOVE seeing what other people’s kitchens look like. Can’t wait for next week’s installment.

  10. Kathy says:

    I love the functionality of your kitchen and the outrageous light that filters in your home. You are definately at home here!

  11. Sil BsAs says:

    What a great idea!
    I’d love to have so much light in my kitchen but I’m happy anyway…
    I didn’t know you were here in Argentina some time…hope you liked it even though you had to cook “in the dirt” !

  12. Kristin says:

    What fun! And I love the upside down Kitchen Aid bowl…no cat fur, Asian beetles or dust! It’s the simplest things some of us never think of.

  13. Tartelette says:

    Wow you were not kidding when you said we had the same kitchen set up! It was like seeing a cleaner and less compact version of mine!! Love all the open air feel of the mountains!

  14. Amy says:

    Jen, this is great! I love how open it is and I’m totally with you on the functionality being a priority (I would also much rather have stainless steel or butcher block countertops than granite.) I love that pottery vase, too, with the chopsticks – so pretty. What great natural light you get (as everyone else has said!)

  15. monique says:

    I would have a IKEa wall too…and such a big kitchen..sigh sob!

  16. Madam Chow says:

    I love seeing other people’s kitchens. Thanks for posting this and sharing your home with us.

  17. Fiona says:

    I’m with Kristin: how come I never realized that turning the KitchenAid bowl upside-down was genius? Because I’m not-so-genius, I think.

    Also: that light! I believe the younguns use the phrase ZOMG for such things. ZOMG!!

  18. Johanna says:

    I love this post. Your kitchen is a dream.

    Perhaps you could show us the inside of your fridge!? I have the habit of peaking in fridges like some people peak inside medicine cabinets. I wonder which could be more mortifying? hehe

  19. JessW says:

    This is so much fun! Thank you for sharing and I can’t wait to see more. I do have to say, I am envious of the light in your kitchen. My kitchen is so dark and I am trying to figure out affordable ways to bring in more natural light.

  20. rose says:

    Love your kitchen!! The open, airy floorplan is wonderful!! Look at those windows :) Looks like you have really utilized your kitchen space!

  21. Rosa says:

    I love your place/kitchen! It’s ever so spacy, bright, and it looks so peaceful and clean! Great photoroom too! im’ jealous ;-P…..



  22. Bri says:

    Thanks so much for the tour! I always wonder what food bloggers’ kitchens look like, thanks for satisfying my curiosity! You have a lovely home.

  23. Phoo-D says:

    Beautiful! I love how light and sun fills the space. (And love that you have a bicycle in front of the fireplace – priorities!)

  24. nico says:

    I love the light that you get through those windows!!! Nice camera set up.

  25. manisha says:

    Gorgeous lovely light, Jen! And as always, I am in awe of how organized you are.

  26. Ciaochowlinda says:

    It was fun to see your kitchen, including your compost bowl. I need to take a cue from you on the photo set-up.

  27. Jamie in Vegas says:

    Loved the tour, Jen. Thanks for sharing. :)

  28. Culinarywannabe says:

    Thanks for the tour! Your kitchen looks great to me (I have a nice one, but it is a total hallway style space and will only fit one person). Also, did you know that they make spray paint for your fridge, so you could easily make it black.

  29. Leah says:

    Thanks so much for sharing! I, too, have a disorganized sharps drawer. I never seem to get it under control and I certainly have tried!

    I love that you have a cabinet dedicated to chocolate! Love your pottery as well.

  30. Chocolate and Toast says:

    Awesome tour! Thanks so much for letting us peek! And can I tell you how jealous I am of all that natural light? I lived in Boulder for a couple years, now I’m in Portland, Oregon, under a 9 month veil of gray mist, and living in a house with dark paint colors and not enough windows. Taking pictures for my blog makes me crazy!! So now I’m just going to stare happily at your pictures and pretend I’m there soaking up the sunshine and petting your super cute dog. ;)

  31. charlane says:

    love seeing your photo set-up!!! I’m always interested in the light of a shot. beautiful

  32. Graeme says:

    Perfectly neat and tidy – the way a house should be. Ah, parallel lines make me happy.

    I wouldn’t have that tall jar of spaghetti right at the end of the shelf though, I’d almost certainly knock it off.

    That’s a beautiful home you have though, Jen, and the light. Shiz!

  33. Margie says:

    I love seeing kitchens…the area so beloved to all of us that cook. I think it is true, we learn to love what we HAVE. Once upon a time I built my dream kitchen…huge….cabinet space out the wahoo, but did it improve my baking? Naaaa….if you love to do something you will do it with whatever you have at hand. Sometimes the challenge becomes all the more sweet when improvised upon in ‘the-make-do’ fashion.

  34. White On Rice Couple says:

    Beautiful kitchen and home, Jen! Super organized and efficient making it a great cook’s kitchen. Everything and more that we’d expect from such a talented girl like you. I though we were good about organizing the kitchen, but you’ve got us smoked. Time for us to take some pointers into our organizing. And those windows (like nearly everyone has said), wow! Should be mandatory for every Rocky Mountain home. The big open spaces must be great for laying out gear when you are getting ready to head into the hills. Love it, love it, love it. Can’t wait to someday soon see it in person. Love ya. Todd.

  35. Laura says:

    This was such a treat! Thanks for sharing Jen! Your house is a-MAZ-ing. I love light and your house has that in spades. Thanks again!

  36. Amy says:

    The switch is pretty darn sweet! :D I love the open floor plan, your place is gorgeous.

  37. breadchick says:

    With all the good food porn I always get when I visit your blog and now I get to see into your kitchen, I feel like a voyeur!

    Thanks for sharing with us, Jen.

  38. Via says:

    Ich bin ein großer Fan deiner Seite. Vielen Dank.
    Via (Deutschland)

    (I am a big fan of your page. Thank you. Via (German))

  39. Jie says:

    wow…the house is so bright…love it
    i want to have my own kitchen so i can arrange my baking stuff better, they are hiding here and there in my little apartment
    thanks for sharing…

  40. Gita says:

    Wow. It’s very bright, neat and tidy. Your kitchen looks great. Thanks for the peak.

  41. Manda says:

    The wonderful bright and airy looking home I’ve seen snippets of through your blog posts and photos of – we finally get to see the whole kitchen!!!

    I love the open floor plan – I hope one day to have a place with giant windows. I love the natural lighting. (I’m a teeny bit jealous really.) I dig functionality too and that Ikea set up makes me swoon a bit. Reminds me of work (lab benches) but in a really good way.

  42. Maja says:

    Great idea, i love looking at kitchens! And yours is amazing and bright … i love the fact you have a window above the counter … oh, and i know you said you’re not much for eating chocolate, but that chocolate cupboard made me say now, why don’t i have this, i’m ALL about eating chocolate … i’ll even make apple strudel and top it with melted chocolate rather than powdered sugar … and your photo area looks really impressive, i love the difuser, it makes it look so “do not disturb, professional at work”, i’d be on my tipetoes if i’d see it live. :)

  43. Stefanie says:

    Hi – very cool space! Thanks so much for sharing!

  44. farmerpam says:

    So nice to see, great idea.

  45. Irene says:

    Functional and beautiful! I love seeing kitchens with stuff on the countertops because when we were designing our own kitchen (80 sq. ft., not much to design there, but still), all the magazines had these pristine spotless kitchens, and i was telling my husband, look, that’s not realistic, I COOK in ours, so there are gonna be some knives, bowls, spices and a few appliances out there. I hate clutter, but there are certain things that I just need to have under my fingertips when I cook. Thanks for the great tour!

  46. Debby says:

    I will stop complaining about my small kitchen and small home. I am so impressed with how organized your kitchen is. Somehow, I envisioned that you accomplished your beautiful work/art in a huge designer kitchen.
    I’m such an amateur photographer, who wants to learn. Thank you for showing me how you set up beautiful shots. Very educational. I enjoyed visiting your home, as much as I enjoy reading your blog.

  47. EatingRD says:

    Wow! I think you have a beautiful kitchen! I only wish I had the square footage and lighting you have. I’m still in that graduate, 1-br condo, low-budget stage haha. May I ask what kind of camera you have? That is one thing I really need to upgrade on. Mine just doesn’t cut it and our lighting is terrible to say the least. I loved how you show how you take your pictures. Is there a camera you would recommend that isn’t too pricey (~300), but still provides high quality up-close photos for an amateur blogger? Your photos are absolutely amazing! Happy cooking!


  48. Claire says:

    I love your kitchen! It’s bright, clean & very organized. I like your tea & chocolate collection & how you’ve re-purposed old pasta sauce jars! Thanks for sharing =)

  49. Collette says:

    This is really great. I love seeing your kitchen and how you work. Thanks for sharing with us. I’m looking forward to the rest of the tour.

  50. Pampered Mom says:

    Gorgeous kitchen! I love it!

  51. Liz says:

    Jen, thanks for a wonderful tour, fabulous. Our kitchen is tiny (only 7-1/2 feet of counter space!) but the condo developers used real smarts — two really deep drawers and a pantry cabinet. Everything is within a reach of two or three steps, allowing for no clunky appliances on the counters. We also repurposed a closet that’s across a narrow hall from the kitchen with Intermetro shelving — about 12 feet of it and floor to ceiling — one side is the “hardware division” — the other side is the pots/pans/bulk storage/paper products/serving stuff area. If you have an extra closet,
    clean it out and put it to use!! Sorry for running on and on, but ….

  52. steph (whisk/spoon) says:

    i have that same big IKEA drawer/cabinet combo…and use it in the exact same way as you. i refer to mine as the “kitchen extension,” since it’s actually in the hall outside the kitchen (which is the size of a closet, really). lovely kitchen and home…so bright and clean!

  53. stefania attili says:

    La tua cucina è meravigliosa.
    La tua casa è meravigliosa.
    Ciò che prepari e cucini è meraviglioso.
    Tu sei meravigliosa!

    Saluti da Stefania…from Roma – Italy.

  54. aleta says:

    I’m sure you’ve had this a lot but OH MY GOD I LOVE YOUR KITCHEN. Seriously, it’s love. Thank you thank you for inviting us inside. =)

  55. Whitney says:

    LOVE THIS KITCHEN TOUR IDEA!!! I love how organized it is with still having character. I especially love all the pottery that you have your kitchen tools in. thanks for sharing!

  56. cindy says:

    Oh, crappola!! I hope your readers are ready for the catastrophe that is the Fig kitchen! It’s sort of . . . different from this. And not really is a good way. Gak. I’d better get to work.

  57. Manggy says:

    Oh, I am sca-rewed! My kitchen is teh suck. I certainly wouldn’t dream of owning a better kitchen if mine was as awesome (and well-lit!) as yours. And the table is beautiful– I love the finish, and it serves its purpose doesn’t it? ;) My photo set-up is quite pathetic as well. It’ll be very, very comedic. I loved taking a peek at yours– it certainly will haunt my kitchen dreams from now on, sigh…

  58. Bebe says:

    I love that your kitchen is “normal.” I assumed that, being a foodie, your kitchen would have been one of those over-the-top, decked out, to-die-for kitchens. I should have known better. That’s not what you’re all about. Thanks for sharing.

  59. Rita says:

    Jen you look great. the kitchen and home is absolutely charming. You obviously fill it with much love. You live in a very beautiful part of the country. I just spent 2 weeks in Denver (actually Westminster) and had a chance to eat in Boulder and do some sight- seeing. Glorious place, a little bit of heaven.

  60. Debbie says:

    Your kitchen is so nice and bright… spacious. I can just picture the mountain view too! I really like that you showed the area and equipment and how you photograph your food. I really had no idea what is involved. I take pics for my blog just with a plain old cheap digital camera. I am noy camera savvy at all (you can probably tell by the pics) but I do enjoy it. Thanks for showing your kitchen and showing what it takes to photograph food really well!!

  61. Sweet Tooth says:

    Oh my, I am in love! I love the curtain set-up (I use a sheet directly in front of the window prodded up with cans on a weird window treatment that we got with the house). You have an awesome setting, you are right!

  62. Tony says:

    beautiful, practical setup :) I also can’t cook with complete chaos around me – it makes the whole process less enjoyable.

  63. Shannon says:

    I love how bright it all is!
    And very organized and awesome.

  64. cindy says:

    i’m so excited about these kitchen tours! i love the ikea wall…you can see everything and you get to keep your mixer and food processor out…lucky! very cool.

  65. Chelle says:

    I love this series! I absolutely adore your entire space and am in love with your IKEA wall. Your photo area is to die for as well!!

  66. Randi says:

    thanks for this post, loved it :)

  67. Mrs Ergül says:

    I am always happy to look at kitchens! Especially food bloggers’ kitchens! I have seen Bea’s (La Tartine Gourmande) and it was impressive! Now yours! Functional, it is. Very functional!

    And Jen, did you say your kitchen is 144 sq ft? Do you believe that my entire apartment, washrooms inclusive only measure up to 91 sq ft?! And you’re right, one can never have too much counter space or storage space! I sure have a shortage of those! I so feel like extending my kitchen out to the dining area, but where will we eat? haha

    I have been trying to spot your kitchen scale in that first photo for a good 5 mins! Then I realize it isn’t on the counter at all! It is in the cabinet shelve ;)

    If we ever buy a new house, I will sure it has lots of light! My kitchen is impossible to shoot it, no natural light flows in AT ALL!

  68. Cheryl says:

    Damn, I have the kitchen but not the talent. Love the doggie

  69. chelc says:

    Such a beautiful and functional kitchen! I really envy all the natural light you’re getting and your home looks wonderful. I think kitchen tours is a great idea, I love looking at other living spaces.

  70. SimplePleasure says:

    LOVE your house looks very fresh and modern. I’m so green with envy with all the light! Gorgeous absolutely gorgeous!

  71. Wandering Chopsticks says:

    Those large windows are so wonderful. I wish I had that much light. I have one small window over the sink and one small window on the door. And I’m jealous of your storage too.

    I’ve taken photos of my kitchen but haven’t the courage to post them yet because it’s so cluttered. And I always wonder, who really wants to see my kitchen?

  72. Y says:

    Great post! I love the layout of your place. Oh to have more light and space in our little apartment! :)

  73. rosierose says:

    I love all the windows, the natural light, and especially how clean and organized everything is! I have the same ikea counter which I use to store all my baking pans, cookie cutters, etc. Thank you for sharing – I love your blog. :)

  74. susan says:

    Thanks for giving us a glimpse of su casa…you literally are cooking in nature on top of the world :)
    All that light is just amazing! And your home is just heavenly.

  75. peabody says:

    Wow! I love this for the fact that is so not how I pictured your kitchen. I am not sure how I pictured it but it wasn’t that.
    LOL- dog is used for scale. You are too funny.
    This is good because now I have a little more idea of what to do for mine now.

  76. Ryan says:

    Thank you for sharing such a large portion of your life with us. I feel like I know you better as a person now. Your home and kitchen look inviting and warm. Beautiful.

  77. Aran says:

    omg, this was the best post ever! i am so jealous of all that natural light. gorgeous!

  78. Julie Ferrell says:

    Jen, what a great feature idea – a pleasure to read and view.

  79. kristina says:

    as much as i prefer your food photos and other posts. i love this kitchen tour!!! :)

    it’s refreshing and i see why you get such great lighting in your photos. so jealous. hehehe.

  80. Holly says:

    Well. That was just cool. Very cool. I don’t know if my favorite part is that switch plate or the Danger Drawer. Awesome. Seriously, your kitchen is beautiful. I am glad to know that putting a pot rack over the sink works out… it is something I have been toying with.

  81. minh says:

    counter space and storage…my favorite part of a kitchen!

  82. Mary says:

    Lovely tour, and Kaweah is SUCH a sweetie. I await the day when I have my own house.

  83. sugarlens says:

    I really like this kitchen tour! Your house has so much natural light. *swoon*

  84. Lori says:

    I love the kitchen. Lots of light and very functional. I am with you on functionality.

    The kitchen tour was a great idea! I cant wait to see more. Its nice to get ideas this way too!

  85. Elaine - The Gourmet Girl says:

    Natural lighting combined with beautiful woods set a wonderful tone to create in. I like your ‘IKEA WALL.’ I’m sure your simplicity will inspire others. Thank you for sharing.

  86. Adelina says:

    I love the idea of seeing the home kitchen of baker/ chef, etc. It just tells you a little more about the person behind the “screen”!
    This is one very nice kitchen that you have!

  87. Susan says:

    I loved getting a glimpse into your kitchen and photo setup! Your open floor plan is wonderful and bright and how great to have a place to devote to your food photography. Lucky! Ski boots by the door – that’s pretty cool too :)

  88. Macie says:

    Wow, thanks for this. Your kitchen is just as beautiful as the food that comes from it!

  89. Kevin says:

    So much space!!

  90. Asianmommy says:

    You have a beautiful kitchen–very organized. I love windows in your dining area!

  91. DJ Karma says:

    Your kitchen is SO much more organized than mine!! I have some serious work to do now that I’ve been inspired :) Thanks for stopping by my blog

  92. Melissa says:

    I’m with Manggy, I’m screwed hahaha.

    Okay, seriously.

    The way I’m looking at this, even with my standard dull, light-deprived apartment kitchen, is that this is *my* space. I do with it what I can. And it has a personality to it (which is “sparse” and “utilitarian”). But I make it what it is because of who I am. Minimalist. I have given some thought to this in what I send you. And I’m sure so many others out there have a space like mine.

    As for your kitchen? It’s beautiful Jen, and oh so you. Thank you for bringing us into your private space and letting us see your surroundings. It’s really lovely and I can easily picture myself right there, withe the acoustics in the room, the sound of the pup walking on the wood, and you chopping and dicing on the counter. You brought your cooking place, the heart of your home, to life for us. I now know what it would feel like to be standing next to you there with a glass of wine and I appreciate that.

    Can’t wait to see the rest!

  93. Home with Mandy says:

    Love the post! I agree with another commenter who asked to see in your fridge! Your blog is great and I mentioned it on my blog today.

  94. LyB says:

    It might not be your “dream kitchen”, but it might very well be mine! ;) So much light and open space, I love it! I keep all sorts of stuff in those Classico jars too, they’re the best. :)

  95. jenyu says:

    Everyone – thanks for visiting and for your enthusiastic comments! I have to laugh when I read that people think I have a super fancy kitchen :) That’s very flattering.

    Sil BsAs – I loved being in Argentina. Soooo delicious and so much fun. Argentines are great people!

    Kristin – yes, I keep the bowl upside-down or else we’d be eating far more Kaweah fur than we do already :)

    Johanna – the state of my fridge is always in flux. Things are always moving in and out. Not sure if I’ll post about it… Too many other things going on ;)

    Culinarywannabe – spray paint for your fridge?! Wow! Thanks for the tip :) I’m too lazy though… will likely leave it white and replace it someday (a ways off…)

    Graeme – ha ha, well hon, it should put your mind at ease that the spaghetti jar is plastic :)

    WoRC – yes, these windows, this kitchen, our guest room – all waiting for you two to come and visit!! xxoo

    EatingRD – don’t worry, you will get there someday. I waited so long through graduate school and a few years after that I gave up hoping for a real kitchen. When it came time to buy a house, almost every kitchen looked awesome to me! :) I shoot with Nikons – I have a D200 and a D70. I can’t really recommend a camera without knowing a lot more specifics about what you want. Doing research on what’s available is a good way to familiarize yourself with the market, components, and different capabilities. Good luck!

    Liz – I think a well planned kitchen beats a large kitchen any day. Sounds like yours is awesome.

    Stefania – :) Thank you!

    Cindy – nothing to worry about hon. I love your space.

    Mark – well, lucky you – you get to go last and it’s not the space that matters as how you present it. You always do a great job.

    Bebe – thank you, dear. That is so sweet of you.

    Mrs E – oh sweetie pie, I think you mean sq meters, not feet. 91 sq ft is REALLY small, even for an apartment… Ah, the kitchen scale was actually under the cabinets (the thing you spy is a cake base) because I had just cleaned it, but usually it is on the counter top :)

    WC – oh, you should post it. I didn’t think anyone would really be interested in my kitchen and this post seems to have garnered more comments than a post on CHOCOLATE ;)

    Peabody – I can’t wait to see what you come up with. I’ve seen your kitchen pics before, but I want to see PEABODY written all over this one :)

    Holly – I wasn’t sure about the pot rack at first (it came with the house), but once I started to use it, we installed two more little ones on the side and now I have that large one (rectangular) waiting to replace the semi-circle. LOVE the pot racks. You will too. Go for it!

    Lori – yes, I’m getting ideas just working with the other kitchens that I’ll be posting. It’s so fun!

    Susan – ha ha! The ski boots live there all winter until May when it’s time to put them away in favor of mountaineering boots :)

    Melissa – the important thing is to see what inspires you to create and where you do it. It’s going to be awesome, I just know it. xxoo

  96. barbara says:

    Wow, a popular post Jen. Love how organised you are. A lovely work space. I’d love to spend a little time with you baking and chatting and drinking.

  97. raquel says:

    All that lighting from gorgeous huge windows….definitely on my wish list of a dream kitchen! thanks for sharing.

  98. Lindsey says:

    I love your kitchen! I also am very partial to the giant IKEA cabinet, I have the same one, and I couldn’t live without it!

  99. deb says:

    I know it is impolite to gawk, but my jaw just falls through the floor when I see what kitchens other people work in. I’ve been in this big city/tiny kitchen/take whatever you can get mentality for so long, when I realize that other people my age are cooking in, like, magazine-ready spaces, it just blows my mind. It’s gorgeous! What an inspiration all of that elbow room would be.

  100. Mrs Ergül says:

    haha Jen, you’re right! It is sqm! still it is small! But I’m coping ;)

  101. Patricia Scarpin says:

    Your kitchen looks big and beautiful, I have to say, Jen, but if it wasn’t for your magic hands and witty spirit the food would not be good enough… ;D
    Love everything – the space, the way you organized it, the light..

  102. suzie says:

    Your kitchen is so calming and beautiful. I wish mine could be less cluttered!

  103. jenyu says:

    Thanks ladies. I’m glad you like my work space :)

    Deb – ahh, it’s a tradeoff. I live in the boonies (which is why we can afford this lovely home). Food is expensive here and it pales in comparison to the raw ingredients you have access to in the city. But you’d be welcome in my kitchen any day.

  104. Mollie says:

    Hey there cutie! :) Love the pics of where all the magic happens. I’m all about stainless counters these days… we need to redo the kitchen someday soonish and I love that idea. And as always, I learned a tip from you that should have been obvious… I keep my mixer out on a low shelf of an ikea cabinet as well… and get annoyed when dog hairs or dust gets in there… duh… turn the bowl OVER when i’m not using it… dur….

  105. jenyu says:

    Mollie – we peeps with k-dawg fuzz need to stick together and share anti-dog hair ideas :) xxoo

  106. Susan at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy,Chewy says:

    I’d kill to have even half of the natural light in your place! Our property has so many big old oak trees on it that it is always dark inside. I feel like I’m living in a cave sometimes! And, I didn’t notice even one peanut butter and jelly thumbprint anywhere! Very impressive! Thanks for giving us a peek into your world.

  107. jenyu says:

    Susan – Wow, I would love to have some of those old oak trees :) Up in the mountains we only have pines (oh and a few aspens), but none of those lovely large shade trees. xxoo

  108. Ashley says:

    I just finished looking through all the kitchens! Thanks so much for doing this and to the people who shared their kitchens. =) It was so awesome and inspiring to see.

  109. Cynthe Brush says:

    Jen ~ What a totally FUN idea! I, like Ashley ahead of me, just finished looking at the kitchen tours….distracted by some of your food posts in between.

    My first observation is that everyone you selected has the good fortune, by plan or chance, to have a decent space to work in (even if small). You wouldn’t BELIEVE what a cook-challenging kitchen we have – where Bri used to generously cook dinner for us every week night.

    ~ It’s teeny: 10’x10′ = 100sf with only 5’x7.5′ = 37.5sf actual standing room (a two butt kitchen, for sure)!

    ~ The largest counter area is bar height and comes up to the middle of my rib cage (I’m 5′ 6″), so I have to stand on a stool if I’m going to cook for any length of time, knead dough, etc. or suffer cramps in my shoulders and neck. Even Bri, who was a bit taller, often used the stool for lengthy chopping tasks. Ridiculous! We joke that the kitchen was designed by a tall contractor-type who never cooks.

    ~ And then there’s the collection of stuff on the counters: baskets of produce, kitchen appliances, knife rack, paper towel holder, cooking oils, garlic bowl, tea canister, a tall water filter, my hubby’s nutritional supplements he insists must be out on the counter at all times…And just where EXACTLY are we supposed to cook?

    This may be the start of a “Kitchen-Challenged Food-Bloggers ” tour. May have to post my humorous rant on FWB.

    BTW, I’ve started posting on to keep her wonderful creation, “voice” and memories alive for those of us who loved her. Marc will join me once cooking doesn’t overwhelm him with a flood of grief.

  110. jenyu says:

    Ashley – you’re so welcome. Glad you enjoyed it!

    Cynthe – well, it doesn’t surprise me that Bri’s spirit overcame those obstacles. She was very talented and dedicated to say the least. I’m glad you’re posting again and keeping Figs w/ Bri alive. I really feel for Marc. Give him time and hopefully someday cooking will bring him joy and good memories. We’ll be there for him. Sending hugs to you all. xxoo

  111. veron says:

    I love your countertops. Next time I’m going to do stainless steel/butcher block too and probably one marble for pastry. We’re planning to put another pastry kitchen in the basement because I’m growing out of my current one. Thanks for showing us your photography setup too, your pictures are terrific!

  112. jenyu says:

    Veron – thanks :)

  113. Muneeba says:

    What I love most is the amazing light you get from those huge windows! Ahhhhhhhhh bliss, a perfect kitchen should be drenched in soft sunlight. You have everything so well set up in your photography corner … it takes me quite a bit of time to get my perfect shot (and even then it’s not perfect, because I have an old camera which I’m desperate to update!). I only recently fashioned a home-made reflector, which helps a lot. Baby steps, I guess!

  114. zorra says:

    I just saw your kitchen tour now, what a great idea! I love this behind-the-scenes look and hope there will be more.

  115. says:

    Jens Kitchen Tour – Einblick in Foodbloggers Küchen…

    Wer – wie ich – eine Wundernase ist und gerne wissen möchte wie die Küche anderer Foodblogger ausschaut muss unbedingt bei Jen von Use Real Butter vorbeischauen. Sie hat nämlich in den letzten 6 Wochen eine Küchentour gemacht. Angef…

  116. jenyu says:

    Muneeba – Probably the best thing you could do is just practice a lot to help with the photography. That’s what I’ve found, anyway :)

    Zorra – thanks, dear!

  117. winfu says:

    Jen, I tripped upon your blog recently and have to say that I adore your kitchen tours! What really got me tho, is your comment about ‘grad student’ furniture. I couldn’t help but smile since my furniture has similar lineage! I couldn’t agree with you more on your reasoning. Looking forward to more tours and the food ;D

  118. jenyu says:

    Winfu – thanks! The tours are done, but you can see the rest of the tours starting with the last one here: (scroll to bottom for the list of the other weeks).

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