Thursday, January 27, 2011

Texas Doesn't Know Squat About Tri-Tip


Texans needs to bone up on their barbecue. Because it isn't a true barbecue unless you are cooking tri-tip. And you can't find tri-tip on most menus in the restaurants around San Antonio. Heck, most people here don't even know what it is, let alone how to cook it. Man, they are so missing out on some of the most tender, tasty meat available.

Well, I'm from California and I KNOW my tri-tip. In fact, I make some of the most tender, tasty trip east of California. First thing when we came to Texas we explored all the barbecue joints in and around San Antonio. I love barbecue. But, to my surprise, there was no tri-tip to be found. What they push here is brisket. I'm sorry, but brisket is a poor step-brother to tri-tip.

The only way I get my tri-tip fix is to make it myself. I smoke it low and slow. It's the only way to grill it. My biggest challenge is finding it in the local grocery stores. It's technically called the bottom sirloin and that's the way I mostly have to request it. Although, Texas butchers are starting to get used to people asking for tri-tip as more ex-Californians move into the state.


You can season tri-tip just as you would any other barbecue meat, but before we left California I bought a big jar of Santa Maria Style Seasoning. It's the perfect mixture of spices that compliment the tender meat.


You see, there is a golden triangle in California for those in the know about this secret meat. It starts in the Central Californian Coast in Santa Maria. It flows from there to Bakersfield and then to Fresno. In this triangle, flavorful meat is cooked and eaten.

I carry that special knowledge with me. I have my personal routine with tri-tip. I put a dry rub on it, cook it low and slow for a couple of hours, then I bring it into the house, smother it with sauce and wrap it up with tinfoil. I then put it in the oven for about 30 to 40 minutes. Oh, my--so tender, and so delicious.

Try it for yourself and tell me if you don't think it's the best barbecue you've ever had.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Crush on Columbo


I can't remember the first time I watched an episode of Columbo, but it had to be in the early '70s. It was Sunday night and each week it would rotate between Columbo, McMillan and Wife and McCloud. Of all three, I enjoyed Columbo the most. It was different than most mystery shows because you knew right away who did it. You spent the rest of the hour seeing how Columbo solved the mystery and watch the bad guy or gal, squirm while being tracked.

I loved it. Columbo wasn't a pretty boy detective. Nor was he a rude, arrogant guy with a gun (he never carried one). He was perceived by many who came across him as a "schmo." But we avid watchers knew better. He was brilliant, doggedly dedicated and at times, completely compassionate to the victims and even villains.

His character was a devoted married man who loved his wife and his Bassett hound named "Dog." He noticed details that most of his coworkers and villains overlooked—from a stuffed light bulb and Ruth Gordon, dust on the shelf in the airplane locker of bad girl Lee Grant to picture frames with Ross Martin and incriminating fingerprints. Classic Columbo!


I own a complete collection of DVDs of Columbo and I watch them again and again. It's like visiting a favorite uncle. Peter Falk is an amazing actor. I guess I should honestly say "was," since Falk doesn't act anymore. He's alive, but suffering from dementia. What a waste of a great acting talent. No more Columbos. It would have been amazing to see a new Columbo, with him as a grandpa, detecting away in his retirement. It’s too sad.

But I lift my glass to Peter Falk. You gave us a memorable and brilliant performance of a great detective. Your fans still adore you, Mr. Falk. Thank you.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Smaller is Better


I have been slowly downsizing myself when it comes to sodas. I now buy the mini versions and am quite happy with them. I usually just need enough of the soda to get the craving out the way. Once I have it, I'm okay. I don't need to drink a full-size can. I'm not sure it would work for some people, but it's working for me.

I don't feel cheated. If I'm still thirsty after drinking one of the mini sodas I will either drink a glass of milk or water.

When I see people drinking 44-plus ounces of soda I cringe. They sport too many calories, and too much sugar. Even it's diet soda all I think about are the chemicals. lol

I'm far from perfect and I'm not counting all my calories, but I do make myself think twice about some things I eat. I still have chocolate, but I buy it pieces. I have one, maybe two pieces and that's it. Again, just enough to get the urge out of the way without over doing it.

truffles Pictures, Images and Photos

I don't cheat myself out of anything. I will eat what I want, but I do try to watch how much of it I eat. Sometimes I do a give and take. If I have a really bad for me lunch, I will eat a small serving of dinner or just a salad.

I know I can't fast. I get too shaky if I don't eat and there are times I need that serving of starchy food--whether it be bread, potatoes or pasta. I just watch how much of it I eat. I have learned to "listen" to my body. If I am craving something I firmly believe it's my body's way of telling me I need some nutrient from it.

I just need to figure out my exercise routine and stick to it. That's my 2011 focus. How about you?

Monday, January 3, 2011

The High Road


I just don't get it. Okay, I admit I'm a bit of tomboy. I always have been. Girlie girl is not a compliment from me. I just don't get the pointy high heels women wear today. Not only are they silly looking, they are not functional and incredibly painful looking. Yeah, that's what I want -- a pair of Wicked Witch of the East shoes.

I saw a pair the other day that made me bite my lip and shake my head. I hate to break it to you ladies, but they don't look good. They look stupid. I will probably make some people mad, but I have to express my feelings.

Wear shoes that don't make you look like you can step on a bug in a corner. Rounded toes are okay and better for your feet. If I've heard it once, I've heard it a hundred times--my feet hurt. They wear the tippy toe high heels to work in and wonder why their feet hurt. "But they look so good." Please! High heels are not meant for work. If you are worrying more about how your feet feel, than focusing on your job something is wrong.

I have to fight the urge to tell the gals about the butchers who used to wear high heels to step above the dead animals. Is that what they are doing? "Oh, they make me look sleeker/taller/slimmer," what they really do is give you hammertoes and bunions the size of a sixth toe.

I crack up every time I see the "Jen Shoes" episode of the IT Crowd. It so classic when it comes to high heels and the ramifications of wearing them at work.

You can watch it on youtube and it will make you belly laugh.