Monday, January 28, 2008

James Houston Turner

A while back I wanted to post on this, but our friends at Blogger decided for a while that my blog was a Spam Blog - sorry, fellas, it's not.

Anyway, on Saturday, January 19th, I drove out to Los Angeles to meet with James Houston Turner, the author of The Identity Factor. He had flown out here from Australia to see his son, who is a United States Marine, and to conduct a book signing at The Mystery Bookstore in L.A.

Before flying out to the United States, he sent invitations to all of his MySpace friends, and I am one of those people. I responded saying that I was unable to attend because the book signing interfered with my radio show. I later changed my showtime, and yes, that is me and Mrs. Pistachio in the picture above talking to James Houston Turner.

When we met, we hit it off. James had also set aside a book for me and personalized the autograph. I decided to also buy an extra one, and came home with two of his books.

Last Saturday we met again, deciding to have a little coffee at a McDonalds in San Diego County. Well, the coffee meeting grew to beyond two hours, and the meeting was fantastic. And in the end, he gave me three books to give away on Saturday when he is a guest on Political Pistachio Radio, and I gave him a bunch of Political Pistachio bumper stickers.

I feel fortunate to have met this writer, and I am reading his book right now. I will give you a report when I am finished.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Salsa Recipe for all of those upcoming Football Games!!!

. . .or just for munching on during New Years Day.

Have some Tortilla Chips you are in the desperate need to dip into something?

Well, Salsa is always a nice treat.

Doug's Salsa Recipe


1 can of RO-TEL ORIGINAL Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles
2-3 Medium Tomatoes (DO NOT REFRIGERATE TOMATOES - refrigeration causes tomatoes to lose their taste a little)
1 large lime
1 Clove of Garlic
3-6 Green Onions
Cilantro (optional)
1/2 of a Carrot (optional)
jalepeno pepper (optional)

Double the ingredients for a larger batch.

Pour can of diced tomatoes and green chiles into bowl.

Cut fresh tomatoes by hand into small pieces, the smaller the better. Do not use food processor or similar device because it makes the salsa taste watered down. I often use Roma Tomatoes - if you do, add one more tomato because they are smaller.

Add Tomatoes to bowl.

Cut lime in half and squeeze juice into bowl. I often have another lime or two available in case I get a lime that does not produce much juice. If it has seeds, hold the cut side up when you squeeze so that seeds don't fall into mixture. Some folks like less lime and only use a half a lime for this size of a batch.

Cut clove of garlic into small pieces and then crush with a fork until it is like a paste. Then add garlic paste that you made into mixture.

Cut up onions into small pieces. Once again, like the tomatoes, it is better to cut by hand with a knife. Appliances tend to tear onions rather than cut them and some of the onion flavor becomes lost. I put 3-6 for number of onions to use because it is a matter of taste. I use 6 onions, my dad uses 3.

Add onions to mixture.

Chop cilantro in similar fashion. Cilantro gives the salsa that true Mexican taste, and I like cilantro a lot. I tend to only cut up and use the leaves because the stems tend to give the salsa a parsley flavor. Remember, cilantro can be strong, so use discretion. I use about four stems worth (remember, use only the leaves for best results).

If you decide to add the carrot, chop pieces as small as you can get them. Amount varies based on your taste.

Jalepeno can overtake the flavor if not used sparingly, but if you want a little more heat in your salsa, feel free to use the pepper. Note, keep seeds for more heat, eliminate them for less. If I use jalepeno I tend to use a quarter chile per can of ROTEL. I don't use them often, however, because the flavor of the salsa is so good without them.

Salt to taste.

Added notes: pick your ingredients carefully. The quality of the tomatoes play a large part in the flavor of the salsa. And once again, do not refrigerate the tomatoes. They lose flavor when refrigerated.

Okay, now stir it, let it sit twenty minutes, stirring every 5 minutes - then enjoy!