Standing in the dairy section of the grocery store is where I am most often plagued with decisions. This seems to be the area where you can be on one end of the spectrum or the other when it comes to attempting to eat healthy. I find myself having the constant inner monologue “Do I really want to eat something that is telling me, in its name, that it is in fact not butter? Better go with it, for the sake of my waist.”
I’ve been having this mind-numbing back and forth for most of my adult life, but after coming across this week’s featured food blog, Use Real Butter, I’m starting to see the bigger picture. Sure, the butter substitute will make me feel less guilty, but will it satisfy my need for something with the flavor and quality of actual butter? Use Real Butter has no problem answering this question. It’s a YES, in the form of mouth-watering recipes, all full of the real stuff.
Imagery via Use Real Butter
Use Real Butter is an incredible collection of stories and recipes told by Jennifer Yu, the author of the blog and an all-around inspiring individual who translates her everyday life into her food. “Use real butter is less of a mantra for my cooking and baking and more of a directive for life,” Yu states. “I am not a fan of doing things half-assed.” These words are not only very empowering, but they are easily seen in her recipes. Dishes like Chicken Pot Hand Pies and Beer Chicken Green Chile Enchiladas are hearty and certainly go the distance. The desire to really indulge is heightened with dishes like Chicken Fried Steak with Cream Gravy, Crab Mac and Cheese and Miso Butter Roast Chicken.
What’s interesting about Use Real Butter is that while Yu does have an extensive recipe index with over 100 recipes to choose from, none of them are really over the top to the point where the juice would not be worth the squeeze. In her recipe for Chinese Curried Beef Pastries, the finished product is pretty exquisite considering the directions are essentially “dice, saute, make dough, fill dough with ingredients, heat, heat and repeat.” A recipe for Carolina-Style Pulled Pork calls for a simple and flavorful dry rub and a tangy barbeque sauce, resulting in a sweet and smoky piece of meat that falls apart under the gentle rake of a fork. It’s recipes like this that speak to Yu’s overall theme, that half-assing things isn’t a way to live life. If a Mushu Pork Burger is wrong, then I don’t want to be right.
Since we’re on the subject of butter, let’s talk sweets. Yu’s sweets recipe index is just as extensive as the savory index, but I find that when I think of the name of the blog, I automatically feel the need to jump to the desserts section and see exactly what is going on. In here you’ll find some fairly rich and luxurious dishes, including Dark Chocolate Tartelettes and a Mocha Hazelnut Torte. Bear in mind that while these dishes may not be the most helpful to your recent New Year’s diet, they will most certainly be helpful to the soul. Blueberry Lime Pound Cake and Apple Cider Doughnuts help us continue on the track of no-half-assedness, proving that being real with your food choices is the best way to keep life sweet.
Use Real Butter is a life story in constant motion, with Yu at the helm. Each story and recipe informs her readers about how she lives her life to the fullest, and how food can help in doing just that. I’m a firm believer that one fantastic dish can change your outlook on life for the better, and after fixing yourself one of Yu’s sublime recipes, I hope you’ll feel the same way.