I’ve often told guests they can have great food or a clean house when they come over. Most opt for the great food, but I really prefer to have the clean house as well, in spite of the challenges of my schedule. One way to free up time for the ancillary entertaining preparations is to use recipes where most of the prep is done ahead of time.

Marinades are an easy way to do this with meat. I’m not particularly adept with meat recipes since I really prefer baking, but my all-time favorite grill recipe (which easily multiplies for a crowd) uses a tri-tip roast. Also called a triangle roast, it’s cut from the bottom of the sirloin. It’s a leaner cut so the marinade really helps and is wonderful cooked up on the grill over medium heat. This particular marinade recipe made the rounds among my friends several years ago. I believe it originated with someone named Guy--hence the name.

Now that the main dish is covered, it’s easy to move on to something to drink. Warmer weather brings on Sangria season. Several years ago I attempted my first batch, following a basic recipe off the Internet and then tweaking it. A batch of Sangria is a lot to drink, so I try to reserve it for group events rather than just have it around the house. After the initial 24 hours and the “event” it’s best to strain the fruit out because it starts to pick up bitterness from the citrus rinds. That’s just not so enjoyable.

It’s easy to round out a menu with a salad, rolls and a dessert. Since the tri-tip does take a while to grill, it also allows time to enjoy the company of your guests and the Sangria.


Ahwatukee Foothills resident Lori Rossi began collecting recipes at age 14, but her real love affair with cooking started after picking up a December 1989 Bon Appetit magazine. Today, she shares her love of the kitchen with her two kids, Nathan, 11, and Nicole, 8. If you’d like to get in touch with Lori with a question or idea, e-mail her at azlrossi@gmail.com.


Guy’s Tri-Tip Roast

2- to 3-pound tri-tip roast

Dijon Mustard

Lemon Pepper

1 cup soy sauce

Juice of 1 lemon

1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup honey

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Coat roast with Dijon mustard and lemon pepper (yes, this is very messy). Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl, blend thoroughly. Place tri-tip in a large Ziploc bag, and pour marinade over. Seal bag. Marinade in refrigerator overnight/24 hours. Grill tri-tip over medium heat, 30 to 40 minutes or until desired doneness. Remove from grill, tent with foil and let rest 10 minutes. Slice and serve.


Lori’s Sangria

1.5 liter bottle Cabernet Sauvignon

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup brandy

1 apple, thinly sliced

1 orange, thinly sliced

1 lemon, thinly sliced

6 oz. (1/2 bag) frozen dark sweet cherries

2 liter bottle orange flavored seltzer water

Place all ingredients except seltzer water in large container. Let set in refrigerator overnight. Early in day, gently stir sangria to dissolve sugar being careful not to crush the fruit. Before serving, add orange flavored seltzer water, stir gently just to blend. Serve over ice.

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