Avocado: Fruit or vegetable?

To me, avocado is a fruit. It always was and always will be.

Back home, we slice it open, remove the pit, scoop out the buttery flesh, lightly mash it, drizzle a generous amount of condesed milk, add ice cubes and place in the freezer to cool. It one of the simplest yet most indulgent desserts one could ever have. Sometimes we even whizz it in the blender with milk, sugar and ice to make it a shake.

Even in Dubai, the avocado shake is one of the most popular fare at the juice bars.

Avocadoes have never ventured to the vegetal, savory side of the food spectrum…until Texas happened.

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On this last day of summer

So happy to say goodbye to summer!

Summer to Americans is all about being out, basking in the sunshine, chilling at the pool, at the beach or at the lake while getting a nice golden tan (which is more like red as a lobster if you’re caucasian). Of course, to those with children, its all about the grand summer vacation: road trips, Disneyland, Hawaii, Mexico, etc.

To me, summer is all about hiding in the shade, enjoying the comfort of air conditioning with an ice cold glass of water in hand. Maybe I’ve had my fair share of sunshine coming from a tropical archipelago and the arid city on sand or, I can’t say it enough, but summers in Texas are DAMN HOT.

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The Czech Stop in West, Texas

Must stop at THE Czech stop

I’ve never had a knack for history. It was one of the most boring subjects in school ever. Total snoozefest. Or maybe I just was not blessed with that teacher, the kind that would hook you to a subject.

I’ve only picked up the interest in history when I found myself abroad, trying to make sense of why people – from different parts of the world – are the way they are, why food stuffs are such and because The Husband is a history nut. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, right?

So I don’t know anything about the history of Texas, except the story of “The Alamo” from the movie (which I vaguely remember) and the story of this little kolache bakery along the Interstate-35 if you are travelling from Dallas moving south towards Austin, San Antonio or Houston.

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NY Brooklyn Bridge’s Locks of Love

Worth doing for love?

I’ve never understood why lovers placed locks engraved with their initials on popular bridges. Okay, I know it is a romantic gesture, a reminder of their love, a demonstration of “forever and ever”

I was amused when I saw these locks littered on one too many steel cables and rods of the Brooklyn Bridge.

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The pajama experiment

In my bacon, eggs & waffles jammies

In Metro Manila, Philippines, there are some shopping malls or other people laden, dress code less establishments that can shun you because of what you’re wearing. Security guards actually are on double duty there, checking your bags and frisking your torso and derriere for bombs and possible weapons of mass destruction as well as eyeing your outfit from head to toe.

Your most comfortable holey shirt or sando (i.e. wife-beater), equally comfortable holey shorts and flipflops could be your ticket back home to change into something more presentable. Or judgmental glares from the shopping public could be more than enough to send you back home and change.

That’s why, I’ve decided to embark on a social experiment and check out how Americans can comfortably wear their PJs to the grocery or the drugstore. Oh, the things I learn on American television.

So one extra cool, late autumn evening, when we just needed to do a quick emergency grocery run, I decided to keep my pajamas on with a wool beanie, winter coat and fuzzy boots.

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Stroud’s Oak Ridge Manor Restaurant Kansas City, MO

House or historic restaurant?

I’ve always found the American concept of “home cooking” strange. I mean, don’t we all enjoy home cooking when we eat at home? Growing up in the Philippines, eating a home cooked meal was the norm.

But I guess with the advent of insta-foods, especially those that come in boxes, pouches or cups that you can nuke in the microwave and the convenience of eating out in restaurants, home cooking in America is such a novelty.

In our visit to Kansas City, The Husband and I were so happy to have gotten a taste of good ol’ home cooking at Stroud’s Oak Ridge Manor restaurant.

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5 tried & tested tips on how to find the good eats anywhere in the world

Where to eat today? HMMMMMM…

There have been a few people who have asked me how do I get to know where to eat when The Husband and I travel. To them, we seem to stumble upon the place’s best eating places. I concur that we do.

One thing is for sure: finding good eats is usually, or around 95%, no accident.

I’ve gathered all of my best practices, which are pretty simple and highly doable, to share with y’all. Are you ready with your pen and paper?

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On US non-working holidays

This weekend will be another one of those few long weekends here in the US.

It is Labor Day (the 1st Monday of September) weekend when workers, except those working in the health care, food, hospitality and retail industries (and all other industries that require 24/7 operations), get to enjoy an extra day off from the daily grind.

When I say “few” long weekends or holidays, I mean this is relative to what I have been used to in the Philippines, which enjoys around 18 non-working holidays per year.

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