Amino Acids


I’m not a professional/nutritionist or a doctor; this is just the result of research that I’ve done for myself that I am sharing.  Please research for yourself and don’t forget to consult/discuss with your healthcare provider!


Last month I had a short article & links on protein; this month I am sharing about a nutrient that makes up part of protein – amino acids.  Amino Acids are key to our health.  I’m just going to share the links because these articles explain amino acids & their role in our bodies better than I could summarize.  Also, the first article has links on the right side to each individual amino acid for additional discovery.



Amino Acid Studies



In my studies, I have found that quinoa is a complete amino acid; for load of quinoa recipes, I use this yummy blog:

Wendy Polisi


I hope you find useful information to help you in your journey.  How do you get your amino acids?  Comment & let me know.


National Day Of Pineapple Upside-Down Cake – 4/20

This month is National Day of Pineapple Upside-Down Cake ~ April 20th, a delicious & fruity day!  My recipe also has an heirloom twist to it ~ Most Pineapple Upside-Down Cake recipes call for maraschino cherries in the middle of the pineapple rings; my recipe has raspberries.  This was a favorite dessert of one of my many uncles – one of my mom’s 7 brothers.  He preferred raspberries.



4 tablespoons Earth Balance, cut into small pieces

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 can pineapple rings, well-drained or fresh pineapple rings

maraschino cherries or fresh raspberries

1 1/2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt (I used Pink Himalayan Sea Salt)

1/2 cup Earth Balance, room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs, whites & yolks separated

1/2 cup cashew milk (or your choice of non-dairy milk)

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (I’m going to say this is optional – I didn’t have any, so I left it out & my cake was fine)


Preheat oven to 350*F.  Place rack in center of oven; to a 9-inch round cake pan, with 3-inch sides, butter or spray (I used my Mist-o with olive oil).

Place butter & brown sugar into a sauce pan and stir over medium heat until butter has melted & sugar has dissolved.  Continue cooking a couple of minutes more or until bubbles begin to form around edges of pan; remove from heat & pour into prepared cake pan.


Evenly arrange pineapple rings in pan & place raspberries (cherries) in center of rings & in between rings.


Combine flour, baking powder & salt & set aside.


Beat butter & sugar until light and fluffy.


Scrape down sides & add vanilla; beat in egg yolks, one at a time; scrape down sides of bowl.  Add flour mixture alternately with milk, ending with the dry ingredients.

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Beat egg whites (& cream of tartar, if using) until stiff peaks form (peaks stay up when beater is removed – see picture for example).


Gently fold whites into cake batter (see Facebook for a video of folding in the egg whites).


Pour batter into cake pan & smooth top.  Bake in the preheated oven 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick or knife, inserted in center of cake (not all the way to the pineapple), comes out clean.**


Remove from oven & cool, in pan, on wire rack about 10 minutes.  Run a knife around edges to loosen from the pan. Invert onto your serving dish & cool completely.




  1. This also make an excellent caramel cake – just leave out the pineapple & raspberries (cherries).
  2. You could also leave off the caramel & fruit topping completely & just make the cake portion – very versatile!



  • I baked my cake on a cookie sheet with a damp (not soaking wet) cotton kitchen towel – wrapped around the outside of the cake pan (see pic on left below) – this is a tip that my mother (who does cakes professionally) taught me – it helps the cake bake level. You can see a sample of her most recent work below – my brother’s wedding cake.

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  • Another tip – don’t fill your pan too full (I did & had a huge mess to clean up!  Due to the cookie sheet I had mine on, it wasn’t all over my oven, just the towel & cookie sheet.)
  • One final tip – next time I make this I would place the cake on a cooling rack on the cookie sheet – I would keep the cake pan up off the cookie sheet & allow the air to circulate – to avoid potentially burning the caramel if you have to bake longer than the noted time.



Do you like Pineapple Upside-Down Cake?  Have you ever tried this cake with raspberries?  Comment & let me know.



(original recipe from Joy of Baking)

Comparison ~ Non-Dairy Milks

April’s comparison is non-dairy milks.

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These can be found at most stores ~ I buy mine mostly at WinCo.

I keep shelf stable boxes in my pantry for storage & I purchase the ½ gallons from the dairy case for immediate use (until this month I was grocery shopping once a month & needed to have some for the end of my shopping month ~ these work great).


How I use non-dairy milks:

I like Cashew to bake & cook with & to drink; very light flavor; blends well & takes on flavor of what making; a slight sweetness in cooking ~ for savory dishes I usually go heavier on the seasonings, especially if using garlic and/or onion powder.

I drink Almond mostly; it has a stronger flavor than the cashew & a defined sweetness; I do cook and bake with it if I don’t have cashew or coconut

I bake with coconut (boxed vs. canned*); definite coconut flavor, great with chocolate. For Hot Chocolate ~ Coconut milk (or Cashew) & non-dairy chocolate chips (see below).

*For “cream” I use the canned full-fat coconut milk.


Favorite “cream” brands ~ A Taste of Thai (found at Walmart) & the Parrot brand (Walmart) & the Chaokoh brand, which I usually find it at S-Mart. My least favorite it Thai Kitchen. It just doesn’t have the body the other brands do, it has larger pieces of the coconut & it separates when used in cooking/baking; I feel it is just not as well made as the others.  However, for coffee creamer – Thai Kitchen is a good brand to use.

For specialty “milks” I like the So Delicious Brand ~ in the fall/winter, they offer various coffee creamers (pumpkin spice, peppermint); they also offer “Nog” which is the non-dairy/vegan version of Egg Nog. YUM!!


I have not tried homemade yet, but I’ve heard it is better than store-bought (definitely has less ingredients & is probably better for you).  I’ll update once I try homemade.



What is your favorite non-dairy milk?  How do you use them? Have you tried homemade?  Which do you prefer (store-bought or homemade).  Comment & let me know.

Heirloom: Barbara’s Bbq Sauce

With summer soon approaching, thoughts of outdoors, sunshine, picnics & barbecues come to mind.  My heirloom recipe this month is my mom’s barbecue sauce.  She starting making this years ago & at the request of some of my dad’s co-workers at the time, she wrote it down.  This can be used many ways, but I like this best on chicken, grilled over open flames, smoked to perfection.  Fabulous!!!


2 c tomato sauce

6 oz tomato paste

1 c brown sugar

2 heaping tbsp prepared mustard

½ c molasses

1 ½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 ½ tsp liquid smoke

½ tsp chili powder

2 tsp vinegar/lemon juice

1 c ketchup


Mix all ingredients and slowly bring to a boil over medium-low heat; reduce heat to low & simmer 30 minutes, stirring every minute or so, so as not to burn.




What would you use this on?  Comment & let me know.