baked oats green chile chicken enchiladas chow mein bakery-style butter cookies

copyright jennifer yu © 2004-2023 all rights reserved: no photos or content may be reproduced without prior written consent

what’s this all about?

Welcome to use real butter, my food blog. I’m Jen, a freelance nature and food photographer and the overlord of this site. I call the Colorado Rocky Mountains my home and spend a good bit of time hiking, trail running, and free-heel skiing the stunning high country. I have a Ph.D. in geology from Cornell and a B.S. in engineering and applied science from Caltech. In my past life, I was a NASA programmer. use real butter is less of a mantra for the kitchen and more a directive for life: Don’t do things half-assed! I managed 23 days of telemark skiing during my breast cancer chemotherapy in 2008. Rock on.

i’m a big fan of colorado winters and rocky mountain powder

use real butter is mostly a food blog and partly a personal journal of my random shenanigans since 2004. There is no theme unless “whatever I feel like making” is a theme. I write it for me, I share it with you. Please do not use any of my images without my written consent. That’s totally uncool and complete douchebaggery. Please keep your contributions considerate and polite. I delete rude or spammy comments.

Posts that pre-date July 10, 2014 may contain photos or mention of a little black dog – my Kaweah girl. She was a silly, wonderful, lovable pup and an integral part of this blog and its community.

keeping me company on the fall shoot outside of telluride, colorado

Today we have two furry members in our family: Neva (meet Neva) and Yuki (meet Yuki). We take these goofballs hiking, trail running, and paddle boarding in summer (we are working up to backpacking with both pups). In winter, they love when we skate ski on dog-friendly Nordic trails, take them backcountry skiing, or go uphill skiing at dog-friendly resorts. They are bona fide Colorado mountain dogs.

summer hiking and grand views

skijoring on dog-friendly nordic trails

Butter headquarters is located in the tiny mountain town of Nederland, Colorado – 8500 feet above sea level and 18 miles west of Boulder, Colorado. This is where most of the cooking, photography, and mindless drivel take place. Occasionally I’ll write about my experiences with the Boulder food scene, but I prefer to spend the bulk of my time in the great outdoors.

full double rainbow from my home in nederland

And because I just can’t get enough of Colorado mountain life, use real butter maintains a second base of operations in Crested Butte, Colorado – a very special little ski town, mountain hamlet, slice of paradise. I keep a page just for my record of Crested Butte’s food scene and fun experiences.

the town of crested butte: a most special place

Thanks for dropping by and I hope you find something useful on the blog. Feel free to email me if you have questions!

182 nibbles at “what’s this all about?”

  1. Chez Us » Beef and Barley Soup says:

    […] was going to just wing it as I do when I make my chicken stock but then I stumbled upon a soup that Jen over at Use Real Butter made, which in turn stumbled me over to Susan at Sticky, Gooey, Creamy […]

  2. Sheila Frey says:

    I love to eat and cook. Googling for a pork mustard green recipe. N Wis. is “Taste of Home” territory. Kamchanh’s restaurant in 54476 or 54474 – sells it at lunch – and it’s awesome! Many thanks for sharing your recipes!

  3. Allison says:

    I just came across your blog as I was perusing for new recipes. I have to say that your introduction is fabulous!! I haven’t delved much further than that, just yet but I feel compelled to bookmark this page. Just love the brutal honesty and fantastic ‘tude!! All that and you had me with the picture of the prosciutto wrapped shrimp. I find myself wondering why I haven’t done that yet. Can’t wait to dig deeper!!

  4. Ning says:

    Hi Jen,

    Love photos on your blog. I myself love baking. I tried to blog my culinary experience as I don’t want them to fade away with time.

    I live by myself. When I bake, even I halfed the portion, it came out too much for one person. I frequently ended up, shared my goodies with my colleagues (so call guinea-pigs), landlady’s family, friends, friends of friends. I wonder who do you share your food with? :-D

    Are the recipes you posted for high althtude?

  5. jenyu says:

    Ning – the recipes are for sea-level and usually high altitude instructions are listed in parentheses. I distribute extra portions from my kitchen to friends and neighbors.

  6. Charming says:

    Hi, came to your blog from Rasa Malaysia. Love the egg-roll recipe. Never thought to use the red bean paste to make sweet roll. Thanks for sharing.

  7. newcook says:

    Hi, i came to your blog from Rasa Malaysia too… saw your post on your kitchen… love it :) are you from Malaysia as well?

  8. jenyu says:

    newcook – nope! I’m from Virginia, but I’m Chinese :)

  9. jean says:

    Started poking around your site some more after led me to it on several occasions – the soy sauce chicken + soy sauce eggs were what first led me here, and today, the scallion pancakes.

    Spent some time looking at your photos and personal website. Beautiful pictures!

    Now I’m subscribed to your RSS feed :)
    Keep up the lovely posts!

  10. tam nishimoto says:

    I stumbled upon your site while reading another food blog (I think…Culinary Concoctions by Peabody)…and, I just wanted to say ‘Wow’! You’re awesome – photos, commentary, recipes! Your photos next to each recipe on the Recipes…BRILLIANT!How I wish that all food blogs and food websites did the same thing when listing a recipe!! And, your comments and explanations are hilarious! So happy to have found URB! Wish I had half of your talent behind the camera and in the kitchen! Thanks for a great blog!

  11. Susan says:

    Hi, Jen,

    I just discovered your websites today from Rasa Malaysia which I go to a lot and totally enjoyed it. Your pictures are magnicent and so sharp and clear, what type of camera do you use and what type of camera do you recommend to a novice like me? Your advise is greatly appreciated, and by the way I love your recipes, must try to make some of it.


  12. Arlynn says:

    Hi Jen! What a great website! I am new to Colorado (Monument) from the central coast of California. So I’ve gone from 300 feet to 7200. GAH! I used to be a pretty good cook, now not so much! Anyway, your high altitude baking gives me hope! And yes, I’ve purchased all the high altitude books I can find but my 20 year old oven isn’t helping me out either! So glad to have found you! Arlynn

    P.S. I grew up with In and Out Burgers, oh how I miss them!

  13. Rozi says:

    Thank you. I am very excited. As a wheat-sensitive person with great love for food of all nations, I am always looking for ways to recreate the original with spelt. I withstood the initial goo-or-two experimentation with Jeff Varasano’s pizza blog dough recipe to be able to reliably create a crust that is not only pizza worthy but also great as home-made naan (BIG fan of Indian food). I’ve done normal doughs for 50 years, so getting ravioli to high levels was pretty straightforward, but something like potstickers seemed out of reach. Tonight we’ll find out.

    By the way, before I saw the main page, I looked at you making the dumplings and (after long sighs at their perfect perimeters) thought – very Asian looking hands. Beautiful, and delicate yet capable looking, just like my old roommates. So thank also for reminding me by accident that I owe her a call!

  14. Rozi says:

    p.s. I”m thinking about Mu Shu Pork and saw this pancake recipe.
    Any opinions on the methodology? I’m also a programmer-scientist but specialized in testing and quality, so I’m big on trying to predict the failure points before starting, and with all the fooding you’ve done here, you’re bound to have a sixth sense on how this will go without doing it yourself.

    p.p.s Don’t mention burgers, anyone. I can nearly reproduce a good bun, but the burger itself – no chance. And in Switzerland (current home) you can forget anything that resembles a Val’s Burger (Hayward, CA) which is the gold standard of the East Bay (former home).

  15. jenyu says:

    Rozi – I don’t know, I’ve never tried making mushu shells by hand. The recipe does seem to be similar to others I’ve seen though.

  16. LoveFeast says:

    I just stumbled on your blog. Thank you! My husband and I were married in southern Colorado and lived in a little town called LaVeta. It was 15 years ago, almost to the day. Looking at your pics just brings back memories. We got our culinary start there at the Cuchura ski resort …were married there…had our first son there…a lot of good things come from Colorado and it looks as if I found another to add to the list! Thank you!

  17. Rachel says:

    I’ll be scouring your archives – great to meet you today!

  18. Addy says:

    I stumbled on this page while looking for a gallette recipe. I love the photos and can’t wait to try some of them. Definitely will be visiting again. Looks like great food and humorous banter–what could be better? Addy.

  19. Rebecca says:

    LOVE Your Website, Photos and Enthusiasm!! Rock on Girl!

  20. npm says:

    you are so funny and i love your attitude! and i so envy where you’re living!! colorado rockies!!! so so sooooo lucky!

  21. Harry says:

    Great site! I am really impressed with the clean aesthetics and great recipes. Thanks for providing all this :)

  22. Erica Marciniec says:

    My friend just referred me to your website and it’s a great read. Love the pictures too. And then the best part is that we’re neighbors–I’m up above 11,000 in the Colorado Rockies. Happy first snow of the season! Mine’s a personal blog in its infancy about assorted topics, but my latest obsession is wild edible plants. Cooking is suddenly fun for me again! Cheers.

  23. LP says:

    This is a great website, Jen. I don’t really cook but your recipes and humor make it so not intimidating. Love the attitude and humor. My dog will benefit from licking the dishes of your creations, definitely. Also thanks for posting lots of recipes (soy sauce eggs, zhajiang mien) which i grew up with and are comfort foods to me.

  24. Lauren Bradt says:

    Hi Jen

    I really love your site and your photos are amazing.
    Not sure how I ended up here but I think I was looking for chinese dumpling dough recipe.
    Do you have culinary training in food and pastry?
    You do it really well – the photos really make each recipe alive on the page.
    I am going to cook some of your dishes very soon.

  25. jenyu says:

    Lauren – I’ve only taken a pastry class at the local Culinary school. Thanks!

  26. Arlynn says:

    Hi Jen! I wanted to tell you that today I was eating breakfast and I heard a horrible thump against the window. I was afraid to look because I was sure it was going to be a hummingbird, and sure enough it was. Poor thing was laying upside down with its wings and tail spread. Luckily you had posted about your hummingbird rescue and so I knew how to help! Eventually it recovered enough to fly away so I’m hopeful it will be ok. Thank you for your post on the hummingbird, I would have hated to leave it that way on the ground! Still lovin’ your blog! Arlynn (in Monument Colorado)

  27. Margaret says:

    fantastic blog, website, etc!!! I don’t know how I didn’t run across you sooner but I am glad I have you saved and secured now. I am about to embark on a second career (third or fourth or fifth actually but …who’s counting???) at 40ish and have enrolled myself in the patisserie/baking program here at Le Cordon Bleu. I want to blog the entire event and need a camera but don’t have endless $$ to spend. Can you recommend a good point and shoot type that will serve my purposes of mostly food pics, etc? Eventually I will move up to a DSLR..but for now….I am on a student budget once again! Thanks again for the entertaining and ever so informative info you have posted here ….I apprecite the dedication you have to all that you do! Very inspiring…

  28. jenyu says:

    Arlynn – congrats on the save!!

    Margaret – I cannot honestly give you a good rec because our point-and-shoot is 5 years old (Canon elph – it’s great). If you want to a good place to read reviews of various models, try Good luck.

  29. Sam says:

    Dear Jen – I know we only connected for a few moments yesterday – but you made a lasting impression on me – and I just wanted to pop by and let you know that. It only took me a few seconds to cotton on to the fact that you are one helluva individual. Thank you for making yourself known to me.


  30. Anthony Fassio says:

    Fascinating website! I love the recipe interaction boards, the restaurant notes, and of course a small glimpse into Jen! Thank you for this creation. I am 86 days until I ship off from the US to Paris, France to study at Le Cordon Bleu. This process (of waiting for Paris to come) has been a 400 plus day adventure for me. As I near my culinary-max experience I enjoy pouring through this website to help expand my food knowledge. Keep it up and soon I’ll be “tuning in” from one of the greatest food places on earth!


  31. Donna says:

    Just found your web site while searching for mu shu recipes. We share love of food, love of labs, and a love of mountains and pics of mountains.
    I live in Seattle temporarily, but call Bellingham home, and your pics from the Colman Glacier, and Whistler made me write you.
    Plus, your attitude during chemo reminded me of my husband, a cancer survivor.
    But this was all after the initial impression of you as as a great cook! I was totally impressed by your recipes… Can’t wait to try a bunch of em!

  32. Jessica @ How Sweet It Is says:

    I saw you on Twitter looking for fudgey brownie recipes. I have one – it is hands down the best brownie I’ve ever had. I don’t like posting links in people’s comments section, but I could not find an email address on here for you. DO you have an email I can send it to? It is the best brownie recipe ever!

  33. jenyu says:

    Jessica – you can email me at the address listed under “drop a line” :) thanks.

  34. Maria says:

    Hello Jen, I was looking for a recipe for a candied orange peel and nuts and found your site. I love your website (my son is a professional photographer and web designer!:) Have you tried making candied pecans?
    Best Regards,

  35. jenyu says:

    Maria – haven’t tried pralines, if that’s what you mean? I’d like to get around to it sometime… Perhaps in early 2010 :)

  36. Rue Stahl says:

    I liked your Chocolate Mousse and Chocolate Hazelnut Cake Recipe and wanted to know I could get a copy of both of them.

    Do I have to join your website to get them or what?

  37. jenyu says:

    Rue – you can use your mouse to highlight and then copy the text, then paste it into a text file somewhere on your computer.

  38. Madelyn says:

    Hello Jen,
    Thanks so much for your recipes and philosophy on life (‘real butter’, a nice way to express doing everything with complete commitment). I stumbled on your blog this morning when I was looking for a recipe for macarons with raspberries and chocolate. Fell in love with your gorgeous photos of macarons, raspberries and chocolate! Tried them and the ganache is delicious.
    It’s also special to read about someone half a world away. My daughter and I have had a lot of fun trying to create the perfect macaron — and you might enjoy our blog about it:
    Kind regards,

  39. Sasa says:

    I’m sure you get this all the time but I just found your blog and have been cruising ’round it and…you’re awesome! Great voice, lovely pics and delicious looking recipes. I’m a Kiwi (living at altitude too, in Austria! Though I haven’t noticed it affecting my baking) and while I was a professional cook for a while, I gave it up for various reasons and now I take joy in domestic cooking. Thanks for giving me lots of new ideas!

  40. Melba says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH for your wonderful blog site! This is one online detour I will visit on purpose over and over. Your words and photos are an inspiration, food-wise and otherwise.

  41. RLV says:

    Your blog is my new fave. Haha, you’re freaking hilarious.

  42. Stacey Viera says:

    Hi Jen. I just happened upon your blog via Foodgawker. Anyone who can make brown food lumped in a bowl – kung pao chicken – look delicious is a food blogger worth following. ;D

    I’m also a Nikon shooter. Just got the 60mm macro. The older model with the aperture ring. I shoot film, too. That’s how I roll. Enjoy your new lenses; they’re lovely!

    Also, the layout of your blog is beautiful. We’re entering our second year and will soon be self-hosted and have a more organized look. Blogs like yours are inspiring and show the ‘light at the end of the Interwebs tunnel.’

    Can’t wait to read more and see more photos!

    Buen provecho,

  43. Glo Liu-Lee says:

    hi Jen,

    i’m a newly wed of almost 4 months now, not much experience with cooking at all. I work full time and am always browsing around for recipes whenever I get the chance. Suffering from insomnia one night (I think around 3 am?), I started browsing the web, stumbled upon your site for soy sauce eggs and just fell in love with it. Coming from a Chinese background myself and marrying someone from a different background makes me feel like I can relate to you.
    Your pictures make me so HUNGRY! lol.
    Thanks for your awesome blog.

  44. Kah Mun says:

    I stumbled upon your website whilst searching for chinese chives pancakes.
    Amazing photos – love the snow. And the food photos… superbly sharp and makes me hungry.
    Love the dog

  45. Kath says:

    You have an absolutely gorgeous site! I’m glad I discovered it! :)

  46. Eugenia says:

    I am so glad I found your website — it’s got all my parents’ recipes but with exact measurements — wonderful! Beautiful pictures. I just tried the sa cha beef and used spinach — my son who has an aversion to beef ate it all up!

  47. Lisa says:

    I am wondering if you can come up with a recipe for 糙米粥?

  48. jenyu says:

    Lisa – I can’t read Chinese, so I have no idea what that is.

  49. JenRuth says:

    Just wanted to say thanks for the great recipes and wonderful photos. I just finished making bean curd skin rolls. They are incredible! Better than I could have imagined. These are the first chinese food recipes I have ever read that I felt I fully understood before I started and was confident about. I have a Chinese friend at work but I still don’t understand things even when she explains because specialty items don’t seem to translate well. I hope you don’t think I’m a complete cretin for saying this, but this is also the first blog I ever read that I understood the point of. I really appreciate you writing this.

  50. Karen Homebiscuit says:

    At a glance, I love your style! I agree on real butter, noodles, and following butterflies…
    The Art of Homebiscuitry throws a couple of buttered ones your way!
    Great Summer to you.
    Cheers, Karen

  51. Karen Homebiscuit says:

    By the way, my husband’s name is Kaweah..

  52. Farab says:

    fantastic blog, website, etc!!! I don’t know how I didn’t run across you sooner but I am glad I have you saved and secured now. I am about to embark on a second career (third or fourth or fifth actually but …who’s counting???) at 40ish and have enrolled myself in the patisserie/baking program here at Le Cordon Bleu. I want to blog the entire event and need a camera but don’t have endless $$ to spend. Can you recommend a good point and shoot type that will serve my purposes of mostly food pics, etc? Eventually I will move up to a DSLR..but for now….I am on a student budget once again! Thanks again for the entertaining and ever so informative info you have posted here ….I apprecite the dedication you have to all that you do! Very inspiring…

  53. jenyu says:

    Farab – sorry, I don’t have a compact camera to recommend. You might want to read up on different models on though! Good luck.

  54. Ellie says:

    I followed your recipe for Chinese dumplings and dipping sauce tonight.
    It was probably the greatest thing I’ve ever cooked to date – your recipe was wonderful.
    Thank you!

  55. Mike Gorman says:

    Great blog.
    The title is about more than food…. it’s a allegorical philosophy upon which to base real life, surely? :)

  56. Katie (Healthnut Foodie) says:

    Hi Jen! I found your blog while checking out the attendees for IBFC 2010. I’m still fairly new to blogging and am also not a “traditional” food blogger. I’ve been trying to check out all of the other bloggers sites so I know a bit more before attending. (I am still trying to figure out the details, mostly money and babysitters). I love your style and hope to learn a lot from you! Happy eating!

    ~Katie :)

  57. Sue says:

    Thank you so much for posting the authentic Chinese recipes! My mom doesn’t know how to tell me in English and yes, I’m the bad ABC kid that didn’t learn to speak Chinese. But now I have a resource to learn how to make all these dishes at home. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

  58. Maryam says:

    Hey Jen,

    I love looking at your photographs, they take me to a whole other world where the air smells like pine trees and it’s just rained, and the sky is sunny-cloudy with bright blue background. Keep it up.

  59. Melissa says:

    Hi Jen! Your website (and your story) are truly inspiring. Because of you, I’ve decided not only to pick my camera again, but to pursue all the art forms I left behind in my twenties. You are a wonderful role model, thank you! ~Melissa in Pennsylvania :)

  60. Shayne says:

    I really like some of your photos and I am not asking if I really post your pictures but I am asking if it will be ok if I recreate them in a drawing or painting a post/sell that once I finish the piece.


  61. Food and Light Photography Workshop Boulder Colorado for Food Bloggers says:

    […] Jen lives local to the area & she expertly made sure that all of our needs were met leading up to and while we were at the event. The most important was making sure our coffee needs were tended to. And they were! I must have stopped at Atlas Purveyors 3 times a day and my bill was magically “paid.” Thanks for that perk my friend. […]

  62. jenyu says:

    Shayne – absolutely. My aunt does that with some of my photos :)

  63. Diane says:

    Wow! – what an amazing site… your photography is just breathtaking and your commentary is colorful to say the least. I will share you site w/ friends and may ask questions about how you take such beautiful shots. I have a Nikon D80 but I think I should take a photography course or something… not a photographer am I. :)

  64. Alena says:


    You have no idea how much you, and your life, inspires me. I relate to much to you and your determination. I just wanted to let you know that I am a regular reader and am so thankful that you are putting your positive energy out into the Universe.

    – Alena

  65. Heather (Heather's Dish) says:

    so great to find another colorado blogger! i love all of your photos and recipes so far…can’t wait to read more!

  66. helen says:

    Hi Jen!

    Found your site and it’s just great! I recently moved FAR away from my parent’s home cooking and I didn’t get the chance to learn many while I was still in there area. Your Asian food section is wonderful and has brightened my life — especially since there isn’t much REAL Asian food in the area =(

    Regards, Helen

  67. azelias kitchen says:

    Nice photos you have..just had a brief look and as my per usual had read at your About Me page – always interested to know the sort of person behind the blog…like the sound of your personality :)

  68. Alexis says:

    Hi, you used to have a recipe for Chocolate Molten cake.. it was the best recipe ever. Now, i can’t find where i put it. Is there any way you can send it to me!

  69. Etsuko Kawski says:

    I found your website a year ago when I was searching for candied orange peel recipes for my annual holiday “lebkuchen” making. I love your photographs! I used to live in Boulder where I met my German husband 23 years ago. I used to rock climb, ice climb, cross-country ski, hike there. Great place to live! I saw a couple sushi restaurants I used to go in your restaurant page. Only I didn’t find Bohemian Cafe and Sunshine Cafe, my favorite lunch places. Boulder must have changed a lot. I love cooking and you have great recipes!

    Phoenix, AZ

  70. Marna says:

    Thank you for your recipes and beautiful photography. I look forward to your posts. Here’s wishing you, Jeremy and Kaweah all the best in the new year.
    Santa Cruz, CA

  71. Bobbi says:

    I could not have made dumplings without you. If I had continued rolling out the shells as instructed in another recipe I would not have gone to bed last night. It took me awhile to figure out the Italy comment, but I get it now. My pleats improved. I didn’t have room in my freezer to flash freeze them, so I put them outside in the -14 degree night. Now they are frozen in little baggies. I was inspired by a book I am reading, Ursula Under, about a little girl with Chinese and Finnish ancestors who falls into a mine shaft. There are a lot of references to Chinese food. I actually made the filling with duck meat. The duck was raised locally. I boned and skinned once whole duck and it was just enough for filling for 48 dumplings. My daughter lives in Crested Butte skiing to her heart’s content. I will tell her about your website. She also loves to cook. Thank you for your beautiful photography.
    Warren, VT

  72. Sharon says:

    Hi Jen!
    I came across your beautiful webpage while searching for a recipe and I was instantly hooked! Your photography and cooking skills are amazing and I especially love how you have so many asian recipes. I will be sure to try them out soon! Thank you for creating such a beautiful site and for sharing your recipes and experiences with everyone.
    Best Regards,

  73. Linda says:

    Hi Jen,

    I just found your site while looking for an answer to my orange peel question and might have an answer to an old post on your blog:

    “Lisa says:
    April 27th, 2010 at 7:44 pm
    I am wondering if you can come up with a recipe for 糙米粥?

    jenyu says:
    April 27th, 2010 at 7:45 pm
    Lisa – I can’t read Chinese, so I have no idea what that is.”

    Babelfish translates words or phrases of foreign languages with moderate results at times (must be better sites around, but I don’t need exact translations often enough to bother searching for another one) and it translated the Chinese characters as, “coarse rice gruel” or JOOK, as we call it in Cantonese. Here’s the link for you.

    You have an interesting site. Thanks for the zong zi recipe accompanied by helpful photos.


  74. The Healthy Apple says:

    Love love love your blog and your fabulous photography! Amazing work; you are so talented. Hoping to get out to Boulder in the very near future and would love to meet you!
    Keep up the great work.

  75. Ajoy says:

    LOVE your comment about the Steinway! When asked about my camera/lens/tripod(!) I often ask people if they question painters about their brush.

    thanks for sharing a lovely site with wonderful photos and recipes!!

  76. Shu Han says:

    i know you said use real butter is more about your directive for life rather than your food ethos, but I jsut want to say I’m totally for using real butter (: looking forward to exploring the rest of your beautiful blog.

  77. Eric says:

    I came across your site when I searched for lemon ice cream. I made it and it was excellent! the entire family enjoyed it and have asked me to make it again.

    Your site is done well. so much so I have saved it as a favorite. While you might bee OCD, and who am I to argue, the results of that are reflected in your photo’s which is a very good thing. Being detail oriented is something that a great many folks just do not pay attention to. it does make a difference.

  78. Kay Swatkowski says:

    I have been trying to get in touch with you regarding posting one of your pics on my site. I had found it on pinterest and had embedded it in my site. Tonight, when I came to your site and realized I needed permission, I deleted it from my website. I am hoping you will allow me to use the photo I found on pinterest to simply add to one of my blogs.
    Thanks. Check out my website if you can.

  79. Stacy says:

    I love everything about this! I am a senior in highschool in my second year of culinary arts planning on getting my bachelors in culinary arts. You inspire me:)

  80. Russ says:

    I just discovered your blog today, as the result of a web search for an interesting seared tuna steak recipe (yours wins!), and am very excited to peruse the older postings and keep up with new postings. Thanks for all the effort, passion, art, and love you put into your blog!

  81. Cheryl Kwiatkowski says:

    I enjoyed your blog so much. Thank you. Bravo!

  82. Dark Chocolate Orange Scones says:

    […] Cut dough like a pizza, into 8 slices, here’s a great how to shot from my friend Jen […]

  83. Dorothy says:

    Hi Jen, Nice blog, very adventurous. I envy you. you can do whatever you want. I wanna be a photographer too. I enjoyed your blog. thanks

  84. carol says:

    Hello there. I found your charred cabbage recipe as I was searching for a charred radicchio salad I’d had in Austin and am desperate to try and recreate. Would you give me permission to copy this recipe? If my salad turns out I will share with you- it’s a bit different with charred radicchio, arugula, pine nuts, mushrooms, gorgonzola and roasted shallot vinaigrette-but very memorable! Thank you

  85. Jamie says:

    Just found your blog. LOVE IT. Question, is there a place to print your recipes? I can not seem to copy and paste and there is like 100 things I want to make!

  86. jenyu says:

    carol – oh hon, you don’t need my permission to jot the recipe down and adapt it for yourself! just if you post it anywhere, please link back and give credit, that’s all :) thanks for asking!

    Jamie – yeah, I’m supposed to fix that (someday), but for now right-click is turned off. But! You can easily highlight the recipe, copy it using CTRL-C or Apple-C and then paste it into your favorite word processor or text editing program. I’ll get on it eventually!

  87. Stash says:

    Stunning, amazing photography and lovely blog.

    And I wholly agree about the “real butter”. ;)

  88. anne says:

    are you okay with your recipes being pinned on pinterest? I use it as a way to track new recipes and the tweaks I made. Of course, it links right back to you. But I wouldn’t want to do it without your okay.

  89. jenyu says:

    anne – if you’re going to post on pinterest, i’d prefer you post just the photo and not the entire recipe, although people seem to do that on occasion too. certainly post your own notes though!

  90. anne says:

    thanks! i do just the photo.
    made your butternut squash pasta sauce tonight, with the addition of some toasted walnuts. delish!

  91. jenyu says:

    anne – so glad you liked it! i’m kinda hooked on it myself :)

  92. Angela says:

    Hi, Jen~
    Saw the recipe for strawberry sorbet on Pinterest….don’t know if that person had permission to use it, but I’m asking if you wouldn’t mind my sharing your site there as well? I love it!


  93. jenyu says:

    angela – thanks for asking! i’m fine with folks posting to pinterest, but please don’t post the recipe. hope you like it!

  94. Alexa says:

    Hi! I love your pics. I have a Canon Powershot SX20 with 12.1 MGPixels and was wondering what kind of lens you have? I am looking for a lense I can add on to my camera that will give me better shots! Thanks – Alexa

  95. jenyu says:

    Alexa – I have several lenses, but the main one I use for food photography is the Nikkor 24-70mm 2.8.

  96. Shri says:

    Chanced upon your blog while searching for a pound cake recipe.

  97. Tiffany says:

    Jen, quick question! I was browsing through some of your posts and was thinking that it’s finally time to make the pressure cooker plunge. What pressure cooker do you use? It must work insanely well since all your food turns out heavenly!

  98. jenyu says:

    Tiffany – I use a Fagor Duo – I think it’s the 8 liter. I love it. I didn’t pick it out though, my MIL gifted it to me for my birthday :) There are other models too, so definitely shop around!

  99. frogmonty says:

    hi – been looking at your blog for a bit and just wanted to say that 1) your recipes all look delicious and 2) your photography (esp the food!) is amazing! really love how your capture all the individual components of the dish.

  100. MamaDobble says:

    Pardon my french.. But you are pretty much the shit. I read your “about me” section and then I wanted to be you.

  101. LeFov says:

    Amazing mantra. Thank you for not being another figure obsessed, diet pushing, unintelligent blog. This is so refreshing.

  102. lindsay says:

    I’m a little surprised that you deleted my post about Iams dog food. I didn’t see that comment as being incendiary or rude. I’m sorry if it offended you, I was just trying to tell you what I know for the health of our pets.

  103. jenyu says:

    lindsay – I considered it inappropriate in tone and rather rude to go on at length in that manner. Feel free to write whatever you like on your own blog.

  104. rnoll says:

    You would probably like the information and opinions expressed by the Weston Price Foundation regarding real butter. It changed my life as far as what I consider “healthy” eating. No more low-fat, low calorie bulls$#^$. Go to their website and your eyes will be opened if not already. Rock on real butter…(and raw whole milk, and liver, etc)

  105. Kassidy Benson says:


    Westwood has an opening for a food critic, I want you to take the job! I love reading your blog :)

  106. jenyu says:

    Kassidy – that’s very very sweet of you, but that is not a job I’d want. I like being in the mountains, not Denver :)

  107. Teresa says:

    I just found you when I googled roasted vegetable quiche and I am so happy I did! Your quiche is in my oven right this minute making my house smell totally divine. I’ve poured my glass of wine and am ready to taste test as soon as possible! I had vegetable quiche last week while in France and just felt the need to make my own. I added some garlic and a zucchini.
    I look forward to more recipes and stories from you.

  108. Egg Roll | Egg Roll Recipe | Easy Asian Recipes at says:

    […] and some of the cleanest food porn; I become a fan instantly. Today, I am very happy to feature Jen Yu of Use Real Butter as our guest writer. Jen shares her easy egg roll recipe (with sweet egg roll) […]

  109. Becki King says:

    Just came back to your blog for the espresso chip shortbread recipe and read more carefully this time, learning that you’ve had cancer (which I’m now dealing with) and that you went to Cornell (as I did undergrad). These coincidences probably don’t mean much, but they cheered me up. Thanks for being smart, beating cancer, and making cookies.

  110. jenyu says:

    Becki – best of luck to you, Becki. I hope you pull through it. I’m rooting for you. xo

  111. Kevin from CooCooBrew & PurdyGoodFoods says:

    Hi Jen,

    Thanks for sharing the great recipes and information on your blog. It’s great to see all the fantastic blogs that come out of the Boulder area. We are blessed to live in such a wonderfully creative and beautiful extended community.

  112. Lori says:

    I love your blog…and i love your photography even more! Please let me know if you ever do a photo workshop in the SF Bay Area sometime. :)

  113. Geraldine Toltschin says:

    Merry Christmas Jen,

    I’ve just come to your blog from David Lebovitz. Got a real kick out of your introduction, well done….well said!

    We seem to have the opposite lifestyles.heh, heh. I live on the beach in Southern Spain but did 18 years in the Andes so do understand mountain life….keep up the good work and writing.

    Now I am going to go have a look at your photos and sign on to your blog.

    Best to all of you up there in the Rocky Mountins

  114. Karen says:

    Thanks for your blog. I found it looking for information about cooking frozen pork dumplings and read your introduction and enjoyed your nature photos.

  115. Lauren Nguyen says:

    Thanks for all the lovely recipes and photos.

  116. Ana Paula says:

    I am having a serious problem with your recipes….. It is too hard to choose between so many good options (and wonderful pictures). I end up here from your turkey burgers (pinterest) and just loved everything. I will probably get some of those weck glasses too.

    Congrats for the nice blog.

  117. Kathy Valdes says:

    Terrific blog. I was looking through the internet for a recipe for fu zhu juan (tofu wrapped pork rolls at dimsum) when I found your blog. Then I started clicking on all the different recipes and an hour later, I was still reading. Everything you make looks amazing and I am so impressed with how organized your food blog is. I blog so infrequently that each time I log into my blog, I sometimes have to try a password or two before the right one comes up! Kudos to you and Happy Eating in the Year of the Water Snake!

  118. My says:

    Came across your blog this morning and I LOVE IT already! Your recipes are refreshing and your photography makes me want to look at it more. Can you also write about your thoughts and inspirations on photography and food.

  119. Pamela Whitlock says:

    Love your blog. I found you by looking up a recipe for a savory bread pudding. I will be making yours for a dog mushing team staying with us tomorrow night as part of the IPSSSDR that will be passing through Star Valley,Wyoming.It will be their hearty breakfast before they begin the Alpine leg of the race. Thank you!

  120. Britta says:

    Beautiful photos — and a very funny intro. I like the idea of making steel cut oats in my crock pot; I’ll give that a try some time. Here’s an additional way of making steel-cut oats a quicker fix: soak the oats overnight in water (equal parts water and oats) with a tbs or so of yogurt and/or the whey from the yogurt. Once soaked, the oats cook very quickly (10 minutes tops). I like to add finely ground flax seed, dried cherries, and various spices (cardomom, etc) to the finished product.

  121. a distraction, and arepas « inasmallkitchen says:

    […] somehow found my way on to this awesome blog Use Real Butter – which I would suggest you read, but also follow as your one and only important kitchen rule, who […]

  122. DeeDee Bryans says:

    Hello, Lucky for me to find your blog about high altitude macarons. Somehow it is comforting when others are struggling with the same problems. Although I am at a lower altitude (5700′), I wonder if your recipes will work for me? Do you have any other suggestions in making a successful batch of macs? I am determined not to give up. I gather that I could add two more tbsp. of powdered sugar if I didn’t want to make chocolate. Thanks so very much! I am really anxious to hear from you! :)

  123. jenyu says:

    DeeDee – The mac recipes I list on the blog are all for sea-level, but the adjustments I make at 8500 ft. are listed in parentheses. For 5700 feet, I would try to follow the sea-level instructions first. If that doesn’t work, then adjust for 8500 ft. The ingredients don’t really change much, it’s more the baking temperature and time. Also, I’ve been told that doubling the baking sheets (to provide more insulation) helps, although I’ve never tried it myself. Good luck!

  124. Megan says:

    LOVE YOUR BLOG!!! Just found you and I am all excited and inspired, hanks for that!!!

  125. laurasmess says:

    I love the fact that you are unapologetic about the fact that this is your personal space, you have another life outside of blogging also (eg. you can’t always answer every message) and that you will not tolerate people with unreasonable requests!!! Ha! You are awesome! Also… skiing during chemo?!! I can’t believe it. You’re incredible… resilient and probably stubborn at times (I may be wrong here but I find that stubborn tenacity tends to make people pretty kick-ass) with multiple talents. So glad I found your space. Thanks for being you, and for demonstrating a balanced ability to manage blogging with other things. I sometimes struggle with guilt when it comes to answering questions or just completing posts in general. Our own personal spaces should never become an unreasonable, unbalanced challenge to meet other people’s expectations. Sending you a hug from Australia!

  126. Traci says:

    I just found your blog and have been drooling for the last hour!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you for your blog!!

  127. elaine says:

    i just want to say, i love your blog! you are an incredible cook, photographer and writer. i cant wait to try some of your recipes! oh, and kaweah is a cutie :)

  128. Ying & Yang Living says:

    I came across the blog, and just couldn’t stop reading. Your pictures really make it hard to leave this page.

  129. sarah says:

    you are a fantastic cook and photographer! you are truly blessed! thanks to you, i have replicated some of your recipes (successfully!) and no longer fear the kitchen and cooking! always looking forward to clicking onto your blog and seeing new adventures outside and in!

  130. Marie says:

    You are such an inspiration, in more ways you can imagine. Very interesting and quite impressive for someone so young. Your recipes are too interesting, I can’t bring myself to stop browsing and get down to trying at least one. Finally did just now, and I thank you for the Parmesan Smashed Potatoes, I will keep doing this again and again and again. No more unhealthy fries for me! Would you by any chance be familiar with this Japanese dish : Buta No Kakuni, which is a braised pork dish, and soooo yummy!

  131. A says:

    I love the writing and recipes both! I just have one small request… I’d like to be able to click on a recipe in the recipe page and have it opened on a new page instead of going back and forth… sorry if that isn’t very clear, but can you make it possible for viewers to open a recipe in a new tab? Thank you!!!

  132. jenyu says:

    Marie – thank you, for your sweet words. I don’t have that recipe (I’ve never had it before!), but now I want to try it!

    A – You can do this very easily if you hold down the command key on an apple and click the link – it will pop up in a new window. I think on a PC it’s CTRL-click. Try that and see if it works.

  133. Denise says:

    Stumbled across your website. Amazing! Just spent the last hour reading old entries.
    I was sure I recognized the photos of the beautiful wild flowers, CB is stunning in the spring.

    My brother and his wife live in CB, he has been on the mountain for 12+ years.
    Both of my boys also live CB, they work for their uncle half of the year.

    I was unable to make it out to CB this spring, thank you for capturing the beauty of the flowers for me. SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL.

  134. Cherish says:

    Hi there! I have been following your blog now for a few months and I must tell you that even my 2.5 yr old son loved the cocoa nib sables! I really enjoy reading your blog and discovering new recipes. I had one quick question, I am in the market for a few quality pots & pans and was wondering what you use? Thanks so much!

  135. jenyu says:

    Cherish – Hi and thank you! Well, most of the pans I use are All-Clad stainless steel (stock pot, sauté pan, and 3 qt saucepan), a Lodge cast iron skillet, and occasionally a Swiss Diamond non-stick sauté pan. Oh, and a pressure cooker (Fagor 8 qt). I think those are my main work horses.

  136. Debbie says:

    I just found you and am looking forward to trying some of your recipes. We moved to Colorado 2 years ago, and cooking here compared to Indiana has been interesting! I’m still learning to make adjustments, but I must say it can be frustrating at times!

  137. Magly says:

    Great Blog love you recipes!!! Today i am making Arepas con Guasacaca, I am from Venezuela living in the USA for the past 10 years so I really miss some of the flavors :)

  138. Table Twenty Eight says:

    Hi Jen – great foodie blog, and I use real butter too!!!

    Seeing that snow makes my mouth water, it’s baking over hear in Australia!

  139. Steve says:

    Hi Jen, found a large tub of Chantrelles @ Costco (for 4 bucks?! amazing) and got online to look for something to do with them when I came across your recipe. The pictures were inspiring and the end result stunning! Thanks so much, I’m doing it again as a side this evening for a small dinner party. Although from Utah, I show my work at Mary Williams Fine Arts in Boulder CO if you are ever that way… Thanks!

  140. Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup » JD Feeding an MD says:

    […] year.  It comes from a blog called Use Real Butter, which is on my top 10 must read food blogs. Jen, the blogs creator, cook, photographer, and author 1. takes the most amazing pictures, and 2. makes […]

  141. jan says:

    Hello Jen,
    I just found your blog today and have been enjoying it so much, love your recipes and photos and writing. Just wanted to tell you that I have read about Kahwea as well and it brought me to tears. It is so hard when we lose our ‘children’ of the four legged kind. Lost mine 13 years ago and still waiting for it to stop hurting. Good luck to your dog and to you and family. No matter what our brains tell us is logical, our hearts have their own way. Thank you for your most interesting blog.

  142. Jo says:

    Hey Jen,

    I found your blog a week or so ago. I don’t remember how I came across it but I do know where I have read up to in your archives. Nothing beats reading interesting blogs when procrasinating from one’s thesis. Being in a city where we do not get any snow, nothing makes me happier than ogling your snow filled ones. Oh, and the ones with food don’t hurt either. And the dog. And the… ok you get my point. So, I just wanted to say thank you for entertaining me in what is a very dark very painful period of my life. Once AD (after death of thesis), I have a list as long as my pencil of recipes to try (and a shorter list of places to visit if I ever go to the US). One can only hope.

  143. Colleen says:

    Dear Jen.
    Stumbled on your site and just want to say I love your style but the main reason I kept scrolling and reading was Kaweah, she is so beautiful, you are a saint for treating her so well. Godspeed to you all.

  144. Yung says:

    Hi Jen, I like your site. Thanks for the great recipes!

    I would like make a a suggestions about your web site. Your recipe list is growing. I really like the fact that you can preview of everything at once on the main recipe page, but at the same time, I don’t have super fast internet speed, so sometimes it takes a while to load all the images on the main index page. While the small bitmaps are loading, I would like to right click on a recipe link on another tab, but it seems that you’ve disabled that feature. Can you change it, so that I can right click on the recipe links?

    Without this ability, it makes it a little more difficult to navigate around your recipes quickly unless you have super fast internet connection.

    Just my 2 cents. Keep up the good work!

  145. jenyu says:

    Yung – Yes, I need to do something about my recipe list! That probably won’t happen for another several months. What you can do is this – let all of the text links load and stop the browser from loading the rest of the images. As I have right-click disabled on my site, you can press CMD or CTRL and left-click on a link. It will open that link in a new tab. Try that and see if it is a good solution. Thanks for the feedback!

  146. Debbie S says:

    Hi –

    Love your blog and have been reading for quite a long time. Since 8/14 I am no longer receiving email updates for the blog. I tried to resubscribe, but it shows I am subscribed. Not in spam or junk folder either. I am having the same issue with 2 other blogs so am assuming it’s a feedburner issue. Never had this problem before. Hope you can help as it’s probably happening to others. Very annoying.

    Thanks for any assistance you can provide. Love your blog and recipes!


  147. jenyu says:

    Debbie – thanks for letting me know. I am guessing it is an issue with feedburner. I’ll try to look into it when I have a moment, but it may be a while (because I’m kinda slammed this month and next). In the meantime, you can usually find a new post on Mondays and Thursdays :) xoxo

  148. Christine says:

    Hey I just wanted to say that I really like your blog and it is a constant reference for all recipes chinese, taiwanese, american and everything in between which is basically us. I never comment, but I think it is so cool that you manage to keep this current, so I just wanted to share my kudos and thanks.

  149. May Liu says:

    Just want to say you are SO living my dream life!

    I’m originally from Hawaii, but moved to Colorado for work for a year and a half. I instantly fell in love with the mountains! Totally opposite of you, I hate the winter cold. So my winter was spent cooking and trying out recipes and summer spent trail running. I LOVE nederland, ward and all the colorado small towns. Never thought an asian girl would fit in :) wish I could be you – quit my job and just live a mountain life cooking and mountaineering!

    Anyway, back in Hawaii living the tropical life and living vicariously through you. Thank you for the recipes and pictures!

  150. Rachel Lynn says:


    Discovered your blog recently and I wanted to extend a huge thank you. In the past I have felt that cooking from scratch has always been exhausting and non-productive for me. It never comes out the way other places do it and make it taste so yummy. Your recipes not only radiate a sense of genuine comfort but also scream of a culinary adventure. Living near DC has its perks with a decent amount of traditional Asian cuisine- but when I went to Singapore earlier this year I nearly thought I died and went to heaven. I want to have a healthier relationship with cooking and with food in general and not be kitchen phobic. Thank you for offering your insight and wholesome recipes via URB- I haven’t felt this motivated to cook since almost never. :) Thank you so much again… I am looking forward to trying your recipes to the best of my abilities soon. Best wishes in your journey.

  151. Sha McMurdo says:

    Hi, is there any way I can do this recipe in the microwave? I live it South Africa and the load shedding of power/electricity it is a major problem here. I cook everything and anything in my microwave. I don’t have a stove just a mini oven.

  152. jenyu says:

    Sha – honey, you’re commenting on the about page. It might help me to answer your question if you can comment on the post that has the recipe in question or tell me which recipe you are referring to.

  153. Виктория says:

    Dear Jen! It has long been watching your blog. Very admire you. You have a very big heart and an incredibly beautiful soul. As well, for sure, to be near you!

  154. s says:

    hi jen, i just wanted to say thanks for the wonderful recipes! i enjoy asian food a little too much and i like that you have so many asian recipes. i have made several and they are now part of my permanent collection. it’s neat to read that you also live in colorado! i’m over in golden. anyway, thanks again!

  155. Phyllis says:

    How do I subscribe to your site??? I do not see a sign up.

  156. jenyu says:

    Phyllis – there is a subscribe link at the top of the page.

  157. Roxy says:

    Thank you for sharing your gorgeous life with the internet! I’ve been following you for years now and I always look forward to hearing your musings on life, dogs and nature. When you started sharing your foraging adventures a while back, I was so glad! Learning about Colorado’s edible flora is a rich addition to your lovely blog. Thanks for devoting the energy to taking pictures of the entire cooking process, I get secondhand meditative cooking vibes just from scrolling through. Just wanted to say hi and thanks from the great beyond (:

  158. efrat says:

    Your cooking and sharing is a gift, thank you! recipes are right on every time!

  159. Cindy Brown says:

    Very inspiring blog! Love the scenery, the stories, the cooking, the family and friends – and the dogs – no, the furbabies!

    I found your site looking for candied citron, and found much more than that! Now, I *have* to go back and read each post! Getting ready to bake Christmas cookies, I have a couple new recipes to try, along with knowing what candied citron is and how to make it, if I need to.

  160. sandy says:

    Just stumbled onto your website. Want a recipe for Kabocha Nimono and found yours. I never reply to blogs but your pic of the double rainbow is breath taking.

  161. Naomi says:

    Hi Jen,

    Well, the world just gets smaller and funny “coincidences” continue to happen. I will try to keep this introduction and story of how I found you as short as possible…I love your blog……. I found it in a very interesting way.. My name is Naomi, I am a professional glass artist ….I did the glass installation at The Nederland Community about 5 years ago My husband and I have a house off of the top of Sugar Loaf…….
    ………for professional reasons for my husband, a space scientist, we moved to the D.C. area, ( southern Maryland), about 4.5 years ago. We go back and forth to Ned as much as possible. When we moved here, we wanted to keep our lifestyle as similar as possible to Colorado, so we bought a property south of Annapolis, Md. and tucked away in the woods…. Since I have a home studio for my work in both Colorado & here in Maryland, and being so new to the Md area, I knew no one. I got a part time job in Annapolis, to interact with people, while I joined local artist groups/etc…..
    I work 2 days a week at a place called Cleo’s, which is an Oil & Vinegar specialty shop in Annapolis, Md. Last week, a woman, named Megan, came into Cleo’s and we were chatting about various things and cooking, etc. ..I always talk about the lifestyle in Colorado as we love to be there more….Megan then told me about your blog and that she thought that you were from a town called Nederland. I told her that we have a house about 5 miles from Ned. She then followed up with an e-mail with a link to your blog…… My husband & I are both Tele-Mark skiers…Kudos to you for pushing through Chemo and skiing…I went through a 9 year cancer battle with my mom and we would exercise as much as possible, right after her Chemo….

    So, it’s just wild to me when things like this happen. It always gives me hope of something more……I have a similar outlook on Life as you do….If you are going to go through this journey—really do it….I’m looking forward to reading your blog and maybe when I am in Ned we can meet….

    Keep up the blog, your great food ideas, your lust for Life and your photos…We are dog people…we love Telluride. and my husband does a lot of photography…..we have a lot in common……

  162. Melissa says:

    I just had to tell you that I think you are an amazing person! Seriously, I think you are incredible & an inspiration! I originally stumbled across your site by accident when looking for a recipe, and I had to sign up so I could see all the wonderful food that you make, and to be honest, keep up with Neva’s growth. She is so adorable and so very lucky to have you guys as pet parents! You guys are so terrific with her, and so patient. I don’t cook much at all, and I like to bake once in awhile, so pretty much everything you make amazes me. Such a talent for cooking & photography. I just wanted to let you know, because in this day and age, it’s nice to hear and read positive things. Keep up the great work! Ha ha

  163. Anthony Prichard says:

    Hi Jen ~

    I love the name of your blog. I have a product that I would like to have you critique for me. Can I send you a sample? It’s a brand new ‘Bullet’ or buttered style coffee beverage.

  164. Kristin says:

    Hello Jen,

    I stumbled onto your blog when I was searching online for recipes and quite by accident saw your Chanterelle Mushroom Hand Pie recipe. It looked so amazing that I added it to my collection of recipes that I hope to make. I wanted to let you know that your recipe introduction and your step by step photo instructions were spectacular. You have a real talent and the whole recipe was superbly done. Then this morning I went to your blog. Now I can see why you are so talented. Your bio is superhuman. I too, love the mountains. I live in Pagosa Springs, CO. and am currently buried in snow. Cheers!

  165. jenyu says:

    Kristin – Hello neighbor! What a sweet message, thank you! I hope you’ll try the hand pie recipe. I know you guys get good wild chanterelles there in the fall :) xxoo

  166. Sandra says:

    HI Jen, I came across your lovely blog while searching for Friand recipes; my current obsession! Loe your cooking and what an i inspiration for a self taught wannabe baker. I am curious, what brand of unsalted butter do you tend to use for your baking? Sending you big hugs from Bay area California.

  167. jenyu says:

    Sandra – Ah, the Bay Area… one of my favorite parts of the country <3 I usually use the Whole Foods brand organic unsalted butter or Kerry Gold salted butter in my baking (especially if it's a special recipe). Hope that helps! xo

  168. TJ says:

    Hi Jen,

    I’ve been following your blog (journey) since meeting your parents 10 years ago While visiting my good friend Tanwei who was in Williamsburg at the time. Since then I have started my blog (musichef- stopped a few years back), published a restaurant guidebook and moved around the world (Dominican Rep, Beijing and now in Bangkok). I do something completely different now (property agency) but still passionate about cooking. I book marked your blog (it’s the only blog that I still read and follow after all these years) and come back to it every time I want to pause from busy life and breath. Thank you so much for keeping your blog alive and sharing with us your journey, it is very inspiring and a good reminder that life isn’t all about making money/being successful. I keep coming back to your blog, and admire how consistent it is. It almost feels like visiting an old friend (fuzzy warm feeling) Living healthy life to the fullest close to nature is so inspiring to me. For that, just wanted to thank you and send you positive energy from Bangkok. (if your journey ever takes you to Thailand, let me know!) :) TJ-

  169. jenyu says:

    TJ – Thanks for the sweet comment and for reading! :) xo

  170. Katherina says:

    Hi Jenny! Been a huge fan for years and your recipes are ALWAYS delicious! Now…I’m looking for an older recipe for cheesecake in a jar that I’m positive was on your site. If I recall it was made for some sort of potluck with girlfriends you were having and I think you made a fruit curd to spoon on top (might have been lemon or blackberry). I can’t seem to find the recipe now! Help!

  171. jenyu says:

    Katherina – Thanks for your comment, you have an excellent memory! :) You can find the recipe here:

  172. Katherina says:

    THANK YOU! This has become a bit of a “signature” dessert for me that my family/friends love and I’m always suggesting your site for recipe/food inspiration to people. Keep up the delicious eats and gorgeous outdoor photos.

  173. Marley Withrow says:

    Hi Jen! Not too long ago you posted about making a rare trek down to Denver for dim sum with your folks. I can’t find the post and was wondering if you remember the dim sum place you recommend. I’ve been to Star Kitchen but I don’t think that’s the one you mentioned. Thanks!

  174. jenyu says:

    Marley – Hi! I can’t remember the post either, but the place we like is Superstar Asian in Denver :) We went last week and it was yummy! Hope you enjoy it.

  175. Teresa says:

    Hi. Just a note that your blog has been a source of comfort and entertainment for years! I enjoy the recipes, commentary and photography. If you ever made some kind of obscenely priced coffee table book, I would be a purchaser of multiples (I know this is just for fun, but that is how much I enjoy your blog)! Cheers!

  176. Jessica says:

    Like Theresa above I just wanted to say how much I have enjoyed your site over the years. Your eye, your voice and your wonderful, detailed and specific recipes are an endless source of joy for me, especially the Asian dishes. Living in Highland Scotland in a very rural area does not make it easy to source some of the ingredients, but you inspire me anyhow!
    Thank you

  177. David says:


    Just wanted to say thinking of you and hope the fires in Colorado are not affecting you. I’ve enjoyed the blog over the years, keep it up!


  178. Michael Schulte (aka Miguel) says:

    Hello Jen,

    Seems we were both raised in Virginia.

    Use Real Butter is very cool. In addition to being a savvy and engaging food blogger plus respectable photographer; you are also a great ambassador for the Colorado high country.

    I now live in the hills of New Mexico at a little over 6400′ elev. and am, newly, an owner of a nice Tiger induction heating rice cooker. It occurred to me, you might (probably) have some experience cooking various kinds of rice and grains in a rice cooker at elevation. If this is the case, may I follow up with some questions about your experience?

    I have figured out aged extra long grain basmati (happy to share) and have begun experimenting with steel cut oats (the machine’s Steel Cut Oatmeal preset doesn’t even come close). Determining amount of water, settings, cooking/steaming times, soak vs not for different varieties of grains at this elevation feels a little like reinventing the wheel. Yes, there are hard-to-control variables like moisture content of the raw grain as well as hardness and pH of the water being employed that affect things; but still, I hoped to find a reference guide somewhere that would save at least some trial and error experimentation (would rather be out wandering in the Land of Enchantment). Alas, there don’t seem to be any very useful public domain tables to guide the higher elevation users of rice cookers.

    Hope you and yours are safe and well. Thank you for putting out such excellent blogging. Please let me know if you are into rice cookers.


  179. jenyu says:

    Miguel – Hi and thanks for writing! I haven’t had difficulty with cooking rice at elevation in my Zojirushi rice maker. I have had LOTS of difficulty trying to cook rice on the stove top, which is why I bought a Zojirushi (I REALLY love it). I generally cook steel cut oats on the stove top, so no experience with cooking them in a rice cooker/steamer. I’m still trying to work out cooking beans in a pressure cooker to a satisfactory consistent result. One thing I have seen recommended is if the rice grains in a rice cooker are not quite done – to leave them in the rice cooker on the warm setting or with residual heat, covered, for several more minutes. I know that isn’t a guide you were seeking, but it’s where I’m at right now. You may want to try looking for high altitude cooking guides like Colorado State University Extension? Best of luck!

  180. Cyrena says:

    I stumbled upon this recipe while visiting Crested Butte, Colorado! It wasn’t until I explored your website that I realized you were in the Rocky Mountains. So, the recipe is good for high elevations? I live at sea level so would I need to make any adjustments?

  181. jenyu says:

    Cyrena – Hi! You’ve commented on the “about” page, so I don’t actually know which recipe you are referencing. Either way, all of my recipes are written for sea-level and any high altitude adjustments are included in parentheses or noted as such. Hope that helps!

  182. Rosalyn says:

    I just found your website. I’m enjoying your writing and posts. Thank you. Best wishes!

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