Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Here in the northern US, we cherish all the warm and sunny summer days we get.  After work, our down time is spent outdoors soaking up the evening rays of a mellowing sun, and on weekends we take advantage of Mother Nature's mood when its good!  Usually many persons take this time to grill their favorite meats or vegetables, but when that opportunity is not available, we still desire summer fare:  grilled chicken, succulent ribs, juicy fruits, cool and refreshing drinks.  

If you have the time on a weekend but no access to a barbecue grill, here is a simple recipe for mouth-watering, fall-off-the-bone ribs that will make you the hit at the dinner table!  The prep time is negligible, and you can watch a movie or do household chores while your meal cooks:

Succulent and moist!
  • 2 slabs of baby back ribs (approx. 4 lbs) or 2 slabs of beef rib tips
  • 12 oz bottle of Teriyaki marinade
  • Sesame seeds and a handful of finely chopped spring onions

Preheat oven to 300F.  Cut slabs in half to fit in a 14 in by 8 in baking pan.    Slather marinade on both sides of the meat and place face-up in pan.  Cover the ribs with a large sheet of aluminum foil, and seal edges by crimping or folding over the edges of the pan.  Place in preheated oven for 3 hours.  

At the end of the cooking period, remove foil and place pan of meat under a low broiler for approximately 8-10 minutes, or until the tops are a nice brown color.  

Remove from oven, sprinkle with sesame seeds and chopped spring onions, serve and enjoy the compliments!  

Friday, February 20, 2015


With the area firmly in Old Man Winter's icy grip, now is the time to fantasize and even act on the urge to visit warmer climes.  Not only can this help you with deal with the doldrums of the season, it may also lead to a great vacation deals to spots you always dreamed of visiting!

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when searching for that warm get-away:

DON'T LIMIT YOUR SEARCH TO AIRLINES WEBSITES.  In the age of smartphones and tablets there are multiple apps and websites that offer last minute packages at reduced rates.  Visit popular sites such as Orbitz, Travelocity or Hotwire.

SHOP IN THE EARLY MORNING WITH YOUR COFFEE.  Check travel sites first thing in the morning when you get up - the lowest fares are usually posted around 2 am for the savvy traveler to snatch up.

VISIT SITES THAT RE-SELL HOTEL ROOMS.  Most hotels will drastically slash their prices at a certain time of the day - an occupied room at a low rate is much more profitable than a vacant one for a few.  Hotels.com is a great site, so are Kayak.com and Priceline.com.

THINK SHORT AND QUICK.  Not all satisfying trips have to be over week - a mid-week break can be just as much fun!   Travel is usually light on Tuesdays and Wednesday, so leave out then and return on a Saturday evening - giving you all of Sunday to relax and recover before the start of the following work week.

READ THE REVIEWS, NOT THE STARS.  You can reduce the cost of a trip if you are willing to go three stars instead of four or five.  Use the feedback from past customer experience as a guide - some low ratings may  be due due to a vengeful customer with an bitter ax to grind.

STAY DOMESTIC.  Although hot and sunny Jamaica and the Caribbean is your fantasy, Gulf Coast destinations are much warmer than the frigid temps of the north.  Check out private guest houses listed on regional tourist board/bureau sites, or search local bed-and-breakfast options near popular Gulf Coast destinations - Google can be your new BFF!

The above tips can help you see what's available, and may surprise you with the results.  After all, isn't the person you should really be spoiling - is YOU?