About Me

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An occasionally belligerent mother of five and an autism parent / advocate who believes that traveling, good food and good company are vital to keep one sane. I've worked as a news writer/newscaster, a quality systems auditor, a ISO9001 consultant, an FM radio DJ, a Filipino tutor, TOEFL reviewer and have gone into the food industry both as an entrepreneur and as a mommy chef, giving a sponsored demo on healthy cooking in a mall and on local TV. My favorite job however, is being a mom and a wife.

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Saturday, May 27, 2017

Superfood Green Smoothie - Where It's Healthy, All Day, Everyday

I'm no stranger to health scares. With the stress of day-to-day living, your health is always at risk. Having one recently has made me evaluate my lifestyle, particularly what I eat.

When you're on-the-go most days, it's often more convenient to hit a fast food joint and eat a quick, no fuss meal. Is it convenient? Yes. Is it healthy for you? Not always.

This is why I was so stoked when I discovered Superfood Green Smoothie, along Session Road, here in Baguio. 

The place opens as early as 8 in the morning (coz getting a power smoothie before jogging is a thing now) and closes at 9 PM.

Here's what I saw when I entered this "hole-in-the-wall". 

1. LOCATION - located on the left-side of the famous Cathedral stairs (if you're facing that landmark); it's along Session Road. This makes it a 5/5 as far location scoring goes.

2. AMBIANCE - the two-story, no-nonsense place has functional tables and chairs for dine-in customers. No background music to speak of, which isn't a bad thing. The walls are "decorated" with health and nutrition type of posters.

The front of Green Smoothie has a take out counter, ladened with fresh fruits and pots of wheat grass, all to be consumed throughout the day, as smoothies are created.

All in all, I give it a 4/5.

3. MENU - The menu is teeming with smoothies and juices that are tailored for specific health benefits. Lots of vegetarian selections can be found, as well as some with free-range organic chicken, for those who want a heartier bite to their dish. Here's a look at their menu and other offerings:

4. FOOD - I had a healthy breakfast that consisted of these food items:

Diabetic Beverage - ampalaya, celery, cucumber and other healthy ingredients, sugar free
Loved it, so I ended up getting lunch to go, which consisted of these items:
Got this amazing vegetarian burrito bowl and a superfood acai bowl
Enjoyed every bite and sip of all the things I ordered. Felt amazingly good the whole day, which isn't what I feel, after eating a big meal, especially when I eat out. SCORE: 5/5.

5. SERVICE- staff was quick, efficient and knew their products. Giving it a 5/5 once more.

As seen above, I really enjoyed my quiet breakfast and subsequent take-out food from Green Smoothie. It's not the perfect place to chill or hang out with friends, but it will get the job done of feeding you healthy concoctions, pronto! If you want some "me" and "zen" time with healthy food to boot, Green Smoothie is for you. OVERALL SCORE: 4.8 / 5

From TMW, may all your wanderings be better thank ours!!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Mother's Day At The Nook

My reasons for celebrating Mother's Day
Mother's Day 2017 has come and gone, but not the food intel that we gathered that day.

Foregoing my usual "slaving over the kitchen stove", Phil and the boys took me to Baguio's The Nook Kitchen and Pub.

Opening it's doors last November, here's what we discovered :

1. LOCATION - Far from the maddening crowd that is the city centre, but close enough that one can walk from town should vehicles be scarce, is The Fern Hotel II. At the bottom-most floor of #90 Upper Military Cut-off (which opens up to an ample spaced parking lot)is The Nook. Seriously accessible be it via car, PUVs or a power walk from Session Road, we give a SCORE of 5/5.

2. AMBIANCE - The place still looks brand spanking new and is somehow both trendy yet cozy at the same time. Maybe it was because we were there as a family, that even a biker's bar might come off cozy (lol); but The Nook is a pretty chill place to go to.

Brightly lit, the sounds just right and the TV screens installed were showing Nat Geo shows, I'd say my boys were engaged with the sights and sounds, right before the food arrived.

Also, there are tables outside, and one that's attached to a swing, if you want to feel the Baguio weather, while dining. Bug lamps are strategically placed around too, so avoiding dengue is a plus in my book. SCORE: 5/5

3. MENU - The menu is simple, yet offers a little bit of everything for everyone. Prices are reasonable, bordering on low, but food quality isn't compromised. Here's what's in it:

4. FOOD - Everyone at out table enjoyed the food. Portions are appropriately sized that we ordered a little bit of everything and shared. Here's what we got and our impressions for that dish:
Chicken Popper Platter:  chicken tenders in garlic parmesan, bbq, buffalo and honey chipotle flavors. Delicious, chicken was juicy and tender and portion was quite big

French fries

Grilled Chicken and Prawn - chicken and veggies were perfectly seasoned and cooked. Prawn was cooked adequately but had a fishy taste. Texture-wise, prawn was fresh but perhaps storage and handling caused it's quality to slightly deteriorate.

Italian Pizza (thin crust) - Italian sausage, bolognese sauce, pepperoni, bell peppers and mozzarella and parmesan cheese on a 14 inch crust. Good flavors,  loaded with meat and cheese, absolutely yummy!

Nook's Platter - chicken lollipop, mini pizza bowls, potato chips and carbonara makes for a perfect combo meal for a healthy eater. Raving over the pizza bowls. It's like fillo pastry, loaded with meat and cheese. Seriously good!

Beef Salpicao - tender and tasty beef, with lots of olives. A bit too tasty as I prefer mine more peppery. Kids enjoyed this dish though

BBQ Pork Ribs - tender, tasty and quite filling, our MAX had this, after consuming most of his Nook's platter!
SCORE: 4/5

Waiter Joemar (hope I got the spelling right) is the most efficient and pleasant waiter  - like, ever!!
5. SERVICE - Ive never seen a more intuitive waitstaff than that of The Nook's. Seriously, these folks are ninjas, stealthily popping up just when you're about to think of ordering or asking for anything, or if you dropped your utensil. Props to the management and the staff for having a well-oiled machine, in their hands. 

Thanks too for my free Mother's day cookies! SCORE: 5/5

That's The Nook Kitchen and Pub in a nutshell. Recommending it for the various reasons mentioned above and probably more. Please, do check out the place. Our overall score for the place: 4.8/5
From TMW, may all your wanderings be better than ours!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

In The Heart of Session Road: Il Padrino Caffe X Ristorante

play date for adults

The summer season in the Philippines is dwindling to an end, but my kids still have school well into the month of May. My co-parents and I are all hoping for break, but have to content ourselves with afternoons and coffee spoons (you'll know my age if you can guess which band sang this, lol). When my co-parent (and batch mate) Aileen called me up to join her for some grub at Il Padrino, I jumped at the opportunity of getting away for a bit.

It's been roughly 8 years since Il Padrino opened shop and fairly new here in Baguio. Here's my first impression of it's Baguio branch:

Il Padrino's other locations

1. LOCATION - Session Road, Baguio's main thoroughfare, is perhaps THE most accessible location there is. Problem though is parking, as on street parking is limited to certain hours of the day; parking at the wrong time could have you ticketed by the city's traffic cops. Still, I'll give it a 5/5 rating for location.

2. MENU - great selections, ranging from their all-day breakfast choices to their pastas, sandwiches, pizzas and sweet treat. LOOOOVED IT! From the choices to the price, thought is was all great. Score: 5/5 Here's a look at their food offerings:

3. FOOD - Aileen and I decided to split the food. The servings were quite huge, good enough for 2-3 people, who aren't light eaters. Food that we ordered was also DELISH! Luckily, our co-parent, Yael joined us a little bit later, to help us finish off the wonderful meal, that we originally thought would be a "light" snack. We ordered these: (SCORE: 5/5)

a. Hearty Sandwich - triple-decker sandwich of sliced ham, bacon, chicken fillet, lettuce, tomato, cucumber and cheese (199), comes with fresh cut potato wedges
b. Apricot Steak Salad - pan seared beef tenderloin (really tender, even when cold) on a bed of fresh romaine and iceberg lettuce, with an apricot mustard dressing.   
c. Lime Basil Cooler - not off the regular menu, but rather a limited time summer drink. Totally refreshing with a powerful basil punch to go with sweet-tangy lime flavor.
Aileen and I, pleasantly surprised with our food
4. SERVICE - service with a smile, quick, efficient and willing to lend a hand, to take our photos. SCORE 5/5

Now joined by Yael
5. AMBIANCE - casual, laid-back dining with ample dining areas in the resto's two-story floor space. Just how a cafe should be. Whether you're on business, "me-time" or with family and friends, it's a perfect place to dine or to chill in. SCORE: 5/5

Except for the fact that parking can be difficult in the area, I really didn't have anything to gripe about. I even tried to nit-pick, but remained unsuccessful. Il Padrino Baguio gets a perfect OVERALL SCORE of 5/5 in my book.

From TMW, may all your wanderings be better than ours!