Let’s talk about you.

Tequila Target

Cory and Carrie from Midwest Gluten Free sent this my way after giving my Tequila Fresca idea a shot.

Say, there’s a reason you get top billing in the name of this blog. I think you’re great. What you’re wearing today makes you look really good, too. What you wore last Wednesday wasn’t so hot, but the fact that I can tell you these things just shows what great friends we’ve become.

So, great friend, I want to get to know you better. You’ve been in my kitchen. What’s happening in yours? Have you made that Thai-Inspired Butternut Squash Soup yet? Or Tequila Fresca? Or nacho?

If you have, I want to hear about it. And I’d love to see it, too. I was overjoyed to receive this photo from Cory and Carrie, who run Midwest Gluten Free, a great resource for anyone with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Cory and Carrie started the site after learning their daughter has celiac disease.

Cory and Carrie gave my Tequila Fresca idea a shot, and then discovered something they said was even closer to the taste of an actual margarita. They subbed Peach Fresca with some sugar-free packets of lime margarita drink mix from Target, and were very pleased with the results.

So here’s where you come in: What’s your favorite cheap, easy-to-make drink? Share a photo or recipe on the brand new You’re In My Kitchen Facebook Page, e-mail them to me at cavan@youreinmykitchen.com or  leave your recipe below.

No judgment here, people. You’ve seen me drink vodka from jugs through straws.

If Cory and Carrie have already discovered a new take on Tequila Fresca, imagine what we can all do if we work together. That’s right — we are going to save the world. And we’ll need some cocktail ideas before we take that on.


Let’s have leftovers

Butternut Squash and Asparagus with Rigatoni in a Ricotta Cream Sauce

Butternut Squash and Asparagus with Rigatoni in a Ricotta Cream Sauce

I wanted to show you how to make my layered vegetable enchiladas last night. I couldn’t. I couldn’t because our fridge is packed so full that I could not fit another thing in it, much less the ingredients I needed to make the dish.

I’ve been cooking faster than we can eat lately, despite hosting two dinner parties in a row this weekend. I cook, and shop at Costco, as if I’m a caterer, regardless of how many people I’m serving. I admit it. I have a problem. I say, if you’re going to have a problem, make it a delicious one. Like cooking too many meals. And whisky!

So, in an effort to make room in the fridge, we had leftover spinach and goat cheese tarts from one of the dinner parties, and a dish I made up last week with what I happened to have. It turned into rigatoni tossed with butternut squash and asparagus in a ricotta cream sauce.

I’m having a lot of fun cooking for you. But most of my fun moments are the ones nobody will see — the oopsies that get cut out of the final videos. But then it occurred to me … why not share my leftovers with you, too? So, today, I give you the leftovers — what was edited out of my first few videos, and a few things you haven’t seen yet.

Cooking should be fun. Mistakes happen. I’m also a grown man staying up late at night talking to a camera on a tripod in his kitchen in the name of documenting his cooking. Odds were pretty good that my conversations with the camera wouldn’t always make sense.

What you can do to help public broadcasting

I don’t have a recipe for you today. I have a request for your time.

You could say Lynne Rossetto Kasper is my hero. She’s the host of American Public Media’s “The Splendid Table,” and her program has nurtured my love of food and cooking for years. Every week, “The Splendid Table” reminds me why I cook, and why it has such an important place in my life.

That’s just one of the ways I use public broadcasting every day. From investigative journalism to unparalleled cultural programming, it informs me and entertains me, and it’s helped shape my life.

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution to eliminate federal funding for public broadcasting. Soon, the Senate will begin work on its version of the bill.

Public broadcasting has played a big role in my life. The prospect of communities losing public media frightens me, and I know I’m not alone. I urge you to go to 170millionamericans.org to see how you can take action.

Update: I was absolutely thrilled to receive a short note from a producer at “The Splendid Table” saying they loved the video. It made my year.

Oh, hello!

Making pasta from scratch for my family. The key ingredient for hosting your first Thanksgiving? All those bottles of champagne behind me.

If I had my druthers, I’d spend my day as your personal chef and bartender, working behind a large countertop in a well-lit kitchen. Well, it turns out I’ve found the large countertop and well-lit kitchen, but not quite a way to get the food from there to wherever you happen to be. With humble apologies to you and your appetite, I instead offer you this blog as your constant invitation into my kitchen.

As a lover of food and multimedia, I promise to provide you with both photos and videos from my kitchen to give you ideas to bring to your own kitchens, from the delightfully gourmet  (there will be truffle oil) to the deliciously tacky (there will also be jugs of liquor).

I like to cook. You, I imagine, have eaten food. We’re a match made in heaven. Let’s be friends. Take a seat in my kitchen and let’s eat, drink, chat and grow old together.

Remember, friends: There’s nothing in life that can’t be fixed or improved upon with a French fry or a bottle of vodka. Either way, keep potatoes handy.

So. My name’s Cavan and you’re in my kitchen. What’s your name?