Atlanta Day 4: Lunch at OK Cafe

We slept in and woke up at 9AM. The weather forecasted a thunder shower day.


Ben brought me to OK Cafe for a late breakfast. OK Cafe is a all day cafe.


During regular peak hours, there will be a long wait for a table. Since we came before the lunch crowd, there was no wait.


We decided to wait for 15 minutes to order from the lunch menu instead. We shared a thick chocolate milk shake while waiting. The server was so sweet that she served it in two glasses knowing we were going to share it. Continue reading

Easy Skillet Fruit Cake

Michelle prepared an easy Skillet Fruit Cake for dessert at the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club.


This cake is best made in a cast iron skillet which gives it a crispy bottom. Since the South Arm kitchen does not have a cast iron skillet, we baked the cake in a regular round cake pan and muffin tins.

We made two versions of this cake, one with thinly sliced pear and another with canned peaches. The pear gives the topping a slightly crunchy texture.

The simplicity of this cake is that you can mix it by hand and have it in the oven in 5 minutes.


  • 1/4 cup softened, unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (recommended) or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 ripe peaches, peeled and sliced (or other stoned fruit, apples or pears, thinly sliced)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar for topping



Continue reading

Vegetarian Bean and Apple Cassoulet

Michelle prepared a Vegetarian Bean and Apple Cassoulet for the main course for the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club.


Original cassoulet is loaded with meat. This is a vegetarian version where protein is substituted with white beans. This dish can be made in less than half an hour if you use canned beans, but Michelle prefers the texture of the cooked, dried beans with some planing ahead as the dried beans will cook faster after soaking in boiling water for overnight.

Serve with crostini or slices of baguette alongside.


  • 1 1/2 cups dried beans (Zuni or other white beans) or 3 canned white beans, drained
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 carrots peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 apple, peeled and diced
  • 4 sprigs thyme, stripped from stem or 1 teaspoon dried one
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup apple cider or unsweetened apple juice
  • optional: cooked bacon (veggie or pork for the carnivores!)



Continue reading

Kale Crostini

I’m back at the community kitchens after a long break since mid November 2012. The first community kitchen which I attended in 2013 was the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club.


Michelle prepared three recipes for this kitchen. The first recipe is Kale or Green Crostini. Michelle picked a kale recipe as kale is in season in winter, although we can get almost all year round in Vancouver.

Eating seasonal is the key to:

  • fresher and more nutrients
  • better flavour
  • better for the environment; i.e reduce carbon foot print for imported ones
  • usually cheaper
  • support local economy

Michelle recommended this website for eating seasonal:


  • 1 loaf of ciabatta or baguette bread
  • good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large clove of garlic, peeled and cut in half for rubbing onto the bread
  • 3 cloves of garlic for cooking with the kale
  • 1 bunch of kale, remove leaves from stems (discard stem) and tear into smaller pieces
  • half a lemon for juicing
  • salt and pepper to taste


Source: this recipe is adapted from

Continue reading

Atlanta Day 3: Dinner at Mary Mac’s Tea Room

Ben brought me to Mary Mac’s Tea Room for an early dinner. It’s just 4PM.


Mary Mac’s Tea Room serves authentic southern meal. It was officially named “Atlanta’s Dining Room” recently by the State of Georgia.


As it was still early for dinner, the restaurant was relatively quiet.


Ben had buttermilk while I had sweet tea for our drink.


Complimentary bread basket includes butter roll, corn bread and cinnamon buns. Continue reading

Atlanta Day 3: Atlanta History Center – Civil War, Olympic, Golf

The Atlanta History Center has a section on The Turning Point of the American Civil War.


Atlanta was the turning point of the American Civil War. The Atlanta Civil War started on 22 July 1864 and Atlanta lost it’s battle in September 1864. After which General Sherman ordered the town to be burnt down. Atlanta is referred to a phoenix as it rises from ashes.


There are more than 1400 original Union and Confederate artifacts, photographs, videos, etc in the DuBose Gallery.


More civil war exhibits. Continue reading

Atlanta Day 3: Atlanta History Center – Metropolitan Frontiers

The Metropolitan Frontiers has exhibits from Indian settlements to the Civil War and the Civil Rights movement.


The exhibits explore Atlanta’s story through rare objects, photographys, antique clothing, videos and hands-on displays. This is from the Rural Region exhibits.


Atlanta was originally called Terminus, because it lays at the end of the rail line. In 1843, it’s name was changed to Marthasville in honor of Martha Lumpkin, the daughter of then governor George Lumpkin.

The railroad stop then changed to “Atlanta”, possibly a feminine version of “Atlantic”, part of the railroad name. Another theory is it came from the middle name of Martha Lumpkin, “Atalanta”.

Nevertheless, the name Atlanta was officially adopted in 1845.


An antique automobile in the Transportation Center.

Continue reading

Atlanta Day 3: Atlanta History Center – Smith Family Farm Tour

We started day 3 with breakfast at the Waffle House. Unfortunately, Ben forgot to put back the memory card into the camera after downloading the previous day’s photo into his notebook. So, no photos for breakfast. After breakfast, we returned to the hotel to get the memory card.


Our first stop was the Atlanta History Center. The Atlanta History Center includes exhibits of historic houses, historic gardens, the American Civil War, Metropolitan frontiers, Centennial Olympic Games Museum, Bobby Jones, etc.


There are two farm house tour; Swan House and Smith Family Farm. We signed up for the Smith Family Farm tour because the Swan House was closed for renovation.


We came across a white hibiscus on the way to the Smith Family Farm. Hibiscus is the national flower of Malaysia but i don’t remember seeing a white one before.


Smith Family Farm tour begin on this front porch. It depicts the mid-nineteeth century way of life of an upper middle class family judging by the size of the house and the number of glass window pane it has. The glass window pane was taxed annually during that era. There is no photography permitted inside the house. Continue reading

Atlanta Day 2: Watch a Baseball Game at Turner Field

Ben decided to watch a baseball game at the Turner Field. It is something he wanted to do for a long time.


There are many parking lots near the stadium. The nearer to the stadium, the more expensive the parking fee. I remembered our parking fee was USD10. We saw some nearer parking lot fee was listed as USD15. There were some tailgating parties taking place in the parking lots.


Turner Field is the home of the Braves. We caught the last game of the season between Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals. Continue reading

Atlanta Day 2: Centenial Olympic Park

After the visit to the World of Coca Cola, we strolled over to the Centenial Olympic Park which is located on the south side of the World of Coca Cola and Georgia Aquarium.


The Centenial Olypmpic Park was built on a run down part of the town for visitors to the 1996 Centenial Olympic Games held in Atlanta. Now, it serves as a gathering spot for residents.


The layout of the 21 acres park; the largest downtown park developed in country in 25 years. The cost for this project was entirely from private sector donations in the form of commemorative bricks as seen on the above photo.


The statue of Pierre de Coubertin, father of the modern Olympic movement in the Centenial Olympic Park. Continue reading