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Outdoor Grilling Tri Tip with Santa Maria Marinade

Grilled marinated tri tip is a treat in our household and although many cuts are sold packaged in a marinade, I prefer to make mine at home.

Tri tip roast, or steak, as I think of it, is nothing I knew about before we moved to Reno.  Apparently it is a cut popularized on the West Coast and has worked its way East.  Costco now carries it, so I’m sure it is widely available.

Two marinades on tri tip were the among the specialties available at the butcher we used in Reno and it was such a treat when we got it. Those marinades were made in the shop and were really good and not overdone. But we’ve found buying in a regular store with a pre-made marinade is too strong.

Here is the recipe I use:

Santa Maria Marinade for Tri Tip


3 lbs. tri-tip roast
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (if you like more spice use 3/4 tsp)
3 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup red wine vinegar

Whisk marinade ingredients and add to meat for several hours.  I like a bit more liquid and added a little leftover wine from my fridge door.

Grill to desired doneness and cut against the grain.

Fourth of July Beverages

We are grilling out for the Fourth weekend, and I’m keeping it festive with drinks, sparklers and décor.

Even my morning cup of tea has become festive and stretches out my favorite holiday just a bit longer.

Mixing blue and red berries in a white dish and adding to sparkling water is healthy, delish and patriotic all at the same time.

On the not-so-healthy list is White Claw watermelon hard seltzer.  That stuff goes so nicely with my Saturday barbecued dog.  Guilty pleasure. But sitting on the patio on a very warm day makes this almost a requirement.


One of my happiest ways to celebrate is lighting sparklers.  Many occasions at our house end with sparklers lit on the back patio.  There is generally a pack or two in my kitchen drawer.  Not just for Fourth of July, but certainly necessary on that day!

I know it seems simple, but the Flex Wand lighter makes lighting candles (and sparklers!) so easy.  Highly recommend.

What I’m Reading

It’s been ages since I’ve posted what’s been on my Kindle or audio.

On audio I listened to The Legal Limit by Martin Clark.  This is an older book, but a winner.  It’s long, like his always are, but I liked it a lot.  It’s based on a true story, but as a fictional account.  The characters are so vivid. 

Fahrenheit 451 (I actually spelled that without spell check) is an oldie but goodie by the wonderful Ray Bradbury.  It’s been a long time since I read it and I think I’ve seen two movie versions, but listening was nice.  Almost better was the afterword written by Bradbury in the 1980s – about 30 years after publishing.  What a treasure he was.

On my Kindle is Vermillion Drift by William Kent Krueger.  This is book number 10 in the Cork O’Connor series.  I have no idea what I’ll do when I’m at the end of this series.  Krueger’s talent is probably wasted writing mysteries because he is a beautiful writer and a master of capturing mood and setting.  I can’t get enough of him.

I hope you’re enjoying a long and fun and safe holiday weekend.  XO