Category Archives: Recipes

Lemon Blossoms

My mom and a group of her friends are hosting a tea for a retirement home tomorrow. This is the second one they are doing. So tonight, T and I spent some time making up a batch of Paula Deen’s Lemon Blossoms. This is a super easy recipe and a super tasty treat. I really hope that the folks at the retirement center enjoy them tomorrow!


  • 18 1/2-ounce package yellow cake mix
  • 3 1/2-ounce package instant lemon pudding mix
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil


  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons water


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray miniature muffin tins with vegetable oil cooking spray. Combine the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs and oil and blend well with an electric mixer until smooth, about 2 minutes. Pour a small amount of batter, filling each muffin tin half way. Bake for 12 minutes. Turn out onto a tea towel

To make the glaze, sift the sugar into a mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice, zest, oil, and 3 tablespoons water. Mix with a spoon until smooth.

With fingers, dip the cupcakes into the glaze while they’re still warm, covering as much of the cake as possible, or spoon the glaze over the warm cupcakes, turning them to completely coat. Place on wire racks with waxed paper underneath to catch any drips. Let the glaze set thoroughly, about 1 hour, before storing in containers with tight-fitting lids.



Nachos: Dauson Style

Originally written June 2011

Saturday: the ultimate one or the other day.

What do I mean by that? Saturday afternoon at the restaurant is either busy or it isn’t. There usually isn’t an in between. I decided that while prepping for the day and night that I needed to have a special that would be fast, filling and would appeal to a wide range of people: everyone from teenage girls to rough burly bikers. The answer: Nachos.

But not just any nachos. They had to have a bit of kick, a cooling factor, the tang of lime and the freshest, perfectly crunchy tortilla chips available. I wanted these nachos done my way.

Now these nachos aren’t what you’re going to pay $7 bucks for a ball park and get a cheap plastic dish with a little cup of cheese and overly salty chips just so you’ll buy something to drink- no sir. These nachos are a meal unto themselves.

I made a white Monterey Jack cheese sauce, added about 2/3 cup of  jalapeno juice and minced up about 2 tablespoons of jalapenos to add. After mixing all this together, I set it on simmer to allow everything to marry each other. Next I set to work on a black bean and corn salsa. This contained black beans, corn, red pepper, onion, cilantro, lime juice, Cumin, Paprika,and  Cayenne. This all simmered together until perfectly yummy (about 7 minutes).

Then I gave a choice of steak or chicken- each in their own separate marinades, which, I’m sorry, I’m not sharing how I make those. I will torture you however and say that it is beyond easy and if I told you after you tried it, you wouldn’t believe me.

I put all this together, topped it with sour cream and managed to create a dish that everyone from teenagers to bikers loved. My co worker ordered all the fixings but placed on waffle fries- and oh my gawd, that looked like a heart attack on a plate but nonetheless looked AMAZING!

Next time you get a hankering for nachos make them at home and I guarantee that your’s will be better than any restaurants! Try ‘em!

Lemon and Dill Potato Salad

This was written by my wife 🙂

Today, D and I had the opportunity to visit a farmers market in our area.  This was such a treat, as I’m sure you are all well aware.  While there, we picked up some fantastic red potatoes and fresh dill.  As soon as our eyes fell on these treasures our idea-brains went into instant action.  Potato Salad!  Of course, this isn’t the only thing you can do with new potatoes but recently, D presented me with a challenge in  his declaration of Potato Salad disdain so I was still in full determination mode to make another creation that he would enjoy.

Last time I made Ranch style Potato Salad, this time…Lemon and Dill.  This is how I did it.

What you’ll need:

2 lbs Diced Red Potatoes (All sizes are welcome)

1/4 Cup Red Wine Vinaigrette

1 Healthy Stalk of Fresh Dill (chopped)

1 Cup Mayonnaise

2-3 TBS Lemon Juice

1/4 Cup Bacon Bits (We used imitation of course)

What you’ll do:

On a large cookie sheet put a layer of diced potatoes then coat potatoes with vinaigrette and back for 40 minutes in a 400° oven or until the potatoes are tender and begin to brown.

While allowing potatoes to cool, mix together chopped, fresh dill, mayonnaise and lemon juice.

Once potatoes are at least room temperature, add mayonnaise mixture and stir until potatoes are thoroughly coated.  Add more mayo if necessary.

Add in bacon bits then serve.

The roasted potatoes are flavorful and tender, adding in the dill to your traditional mayo just makes this potato salad a total win.  This was a dish that totally made us clean our plates and then go back for more!  Try it out and tell us what you think.

Chicken Supreme

As a child I can remember going out to eat dinner at one of the church lady’s homes. Sometimes she’d fix up a whole new meal and sometimes it was left overs. Whatever she served us, it was delicious!

I wanted to share one of her recipes with you all because this is one that I remember having at her dinner table. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.

Chicken Supreme

What You Need:

3 cups chicken (cooked and shredded)

1 can french style green beans

1 box long grain wild rice. (Chicken broth as per rice box plus 1 cup)

1 can cream of celery soup

1 can cream of mushroom soup

2 cup mayonnaise

1 small can sliced water chestnuts

2 Tablespoon pimento

2 Tablespoon onion

What To Do:

Cook rice in chicken broth. Combine remaining ingredients . Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes.

Vegetable Soup

Written by my lovely wife 🙂

For many years, I was very much a carnivore.  If it didn’t have meat, I felt it was lacking and in many cases, wouldn’t eat it.  I have recently discovered, this was truly my loss and one I’ve been trying to make up for since becoming a vegetarian.  Vegetable soup was one of those dishes that I was just never all that crazy about.  The chunks of tomato were very off-putting for me and I was just not a fan of all those…vegetables.  Now that my main food source comes from vegetables, my world has opened up and I am discovering a plethora of dishes that, once upon a time, were gross to me.  More the fool was I.

As you may have already read, over a long weekend, D and I ran away from home for a few days of quiet and relaxation.  Just the two of us.  It was blissful and much needed.  Now that we’re back to reality, I thought I would share the Vegetable Soup we made while camping.

This dish took us several hours to prepare due in part to coals that were a bit on the cool side but this was not a major crisis.  In my opinion, it gave the flavors a chance to intensify, this is always a good thing.  Anytime you make a soup or stew of some kind, I think it is always a good idea to allow it simmer for at least a couple of hours.  Hold back any potatoes you might use until the last 40 minutes or so in order to make sure they don’t become mush.  Allowing the flavors to simmer will be well worth the wait, I promise you.

What you’ll need:

2 Celery Stalks (Chopped)

1/2 Cup Carrots (Chopped. We sliced up baby carrots)

1/2 Onion (Finely chopped)

1-2 TBS of Butter or Vegetable Oil

2 Cans Vegetable Stock

1 Can Diced Tomatoes

3-4 Potatoes (Diced)

1 Cup Fresh Green Beans (If possible, or frozen)

5-6 Basil Leaves (Finely chopped)




Garlic Powder (Fresh garlic can be used with mirepoix if you desire)


What you’ll do:

In a large pot combine your mirepoix (Carrots, Celery and Onion) with butter or oil and saute until onions and celery are translucent.  A few tablespoons of water and a dash of salt can help speed this process along.

Add cans of Vegetable stock and Tomatoes to your mirepoix, then add seasonings.  I purposefully leave out the measurements for the seasonings because taste is subjective.  Add the seasonings the way you like them.  The amounts of each that you use will make this soup your own.

Allow to simmer for at least 1-2 hours to allow flavors to meld.

Add in diced Potatoes and continue simmering until tender.

Add in fresh Green Beans or thawed Green Beans in the last 5-8 minutes before serving.  This will allow the beans to maintain texture and not turn to mush.

vegetable soup


You can certainly add a larger variety of veggies to this soup if you would like.  This is simply what we chose to bring with us while camping.

Hint: For seasonings, add a little of each at a time.  Take your time and SMELL your soup as you cook it.  Believe it or not, your sense of smell will tell you if you need more of something and of course TASTE it often.

We served this soup with a croutons and a bit of shredded cheese.  The cheese melds with the soup and gives it a nice creamy texture and you can never go wrong with croutons.

As always, be adventurous and play with your food.  Find the combination of seasonings and vegetables that make your mouth sing.  Try it out and tell us what you think.

Cucumber Salad

I wanted to share a recipe I came across the other day for a cucumber salad. This isn’t your traditional salad- it’s better (in my opinion.)

What You Need:

3 large cucumber peeled and thinly sliced

1 cup white vinegar

3/4 cup water

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp salt

A dash of Cayenne

Dash of dried Parsley

A few dashes of Black Pepper

A few dashes of Basil

What To Do:

Combine all your ingredients, except the cucumber, in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Allow to boil until sugar is melted and mixed thoroughly in. Allow the sauce to cool then toss in with your cucumber. Chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours then enjoy.

Grab some flavor from your garden this year.

Oven Toasted Burritos

Haven’t posted in forever! Time has ran away as I’ve spent this year launching a business, going to school and oh yeah, getting married.

Lately I need meals that are fast and filling so I’ve been playing with different ideas and come up with this one the other night. Hope you enjoy.

What You Need:
2 chicken breasts, roasted
1 package Knorr Spanish Rice
1 package PictSweet seasoned Corn and Black Beans with Tomatoes, Peppers, Onions and Mexican Seasoning
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 jar Pace Salsa Con Queso
Tortilla wraps
Sour Cream


What to Do:

I like roasted chicken the best. I usually toss the chicken breast with salt, pepper, and garlic and place in a roasting pan with chicken broth and a little water. Cover and bake in a 350 degree oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Once this done, I take it out of the oven, pull the chicken apart and allow it to rest in the broth. (And the 2 hours gives me time to do a ton of other stuff required in life…)

Leave oven on at 350.

Grease a cookie sheet and set aside.

Butter 6 tortilla wraps and set aside.

Prepare Knorr Spanish rice according to package directions. Set aside.

Prepare PictSweet Seasoned Corn and Black Beans according to package directions. Drain.

Slightly drain chicken and mix with rice, vegetables and about 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese.

Place approximately 3/4 cup chicken mixture into a tortilla and wrap with butter side out. Lay wraps on greased cookie sheet. Place into oven for approximately 12 minutes, then flip wraps over and toast another 5 to 7 minutes to get wraps all nice and gold brown. Meanwhile, heat Pace Salsa Con Queso in a sauce pan. Be careful not to scold! You want it heated through.

IMG_20121113_181945When wraps are all toasty brown remove from oven, top with Salsa Con Queso and sour cream.

Feel free to change this up however you want it but I promise it’s so good you’ll want to Clean Your Plate.