Auntie Em's Guide to Life

A guide to all the important things in life- marriage, family, cooking, gardening, reading, travel, Christian living… And whatever else grabs my attention!

Mr X’s Pastry Cinnamon Roll

Pastry cinnamon roll

Any time I make a pie crust, I make enough so I’ll left some left over… because I would have a very sad husband if I didn’t make a cinnamon roll! My mother-in-law, Granny, (of Granny’s cornbread fame)  started this tradition, and it continues to this day. It’s really funny to watch Mr X and his sister fight over it! We live very close to Granny and PawPaw, go to church with them, and eat Sunday lunch together almost every week. Aunt Kathy lives in Houston so we don’t get to see her nearly as often. When Granny makes Mr X a cinnamon roll  (or peas, or some other favorite), he will text her a picture and goad her about being the favorite child! I don’t guess you ever outgrow sibling rivalry.

Okay– you’ve made your homemade pie crust. YAY YOU! Gather up any scraps you trimmed off, and any dough left in the bowl, and roll it out in an oval or rectangular form. You never want to mix and mash it any more than necessary; it will become tough. Smear with lots of butter– melted if you want. (I didn’t use enough in the video.) Then sprinkle cinnamon sugar all over it. I mix up cinnamon and sugar and keep it in a shaker. Bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes.

Start your own family tradition of encouraging sibling rivalry!!

Auntie Em’s Video-How to make Mr X’s Pastry Cinnamon Roll

Auntie Em's holiday cooking Collage

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Update: Auntie Em’s Country Squash and Italian Zucchini

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Auntie Em fixed squash for supper tonight. (We have “supper” in the country!) I love summertime, when I can get it fresh. True confession, though: I like *zucchini better. You can fix it just the same way. As always, measurements are guesstimates and you need to adjust flavors to suit your family!

Preheat a skillet on fairly high heat- I like to use a cast iron for this. When the rim is hot to the touch, drizzle some oil. Next, chop some onion. I used about 1/2 cup. Put it in to sauté

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Then slice your squash. I like to split them longways, and split the fat part again if it’s too big.

Then slice about 1/4 -1/2 inch thick. Put them in (A real chef would say wait til they are all chopped and put them in together so they will chop evenly, but whatever… 4 chopped squash won’t fit on my cutting board, so in they go when I get too crowded!) At this point I added a couple of small cloves of garlic. It tends to burn, so I don’t put it in at the beginning. I do the Rachel Ray “smash”, then peel and mince.

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Stir everything up good- add some butter! Salt and pepper. Squash is pretty bland so I like a lot. Cover and lower the temp a little. Don’t cook it too long, and add broth if there is not liquid visible on the bottom. Depending on the squash, some amount of moisture will cook out so you might not need to add any. Not too much, you don’t want it soggy!

Serve it up hot and you will love it!

*NOTE: Added August 12, 2012– I fixed zucchini like the squash, but added a large can of Italian chopped tomatoes and a little water, covered, and cooked till tender. YUM!!

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Auntie Em’s Black Bean Salsa (thank you, Paula Deen!)

The other night we had a fellowship after chuch (that’s what you call when Baptists all bring food and chow down!) and I brought Paula Deen’s black bean salsa, which was a big hit! Here is the recipe, although of course, you know I didn’t really follow it. It was more of a “suggestion”.

2-15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained

1- 17 oz pkg frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed (I used 2 cans of regular corn)

2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped (1 used 1 can of Rotel and 1 can chopped tomatoes, though I wish I had just used 2 cans of Rotel, because I like it hot!)

1 large avacado, peeled and chopped (optional)

1 small onion, chopped

1/8 to 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (I had dried cilantro from my garden!)

3-4 TBS lime juice

1 TBS red wine vinegar

salt and pepper to taste.

Mix it; cover and chill overnight. (I did not do this step!) Taste and adjust seasonings to your taste.

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