Thursday, September 29, 2011

DTD September 2011

It is officialy fall and the weather is finally getting cooler. What a perfect month for "Crock Pot Meals".

The DTDs met last night for our monthly supper club. Wondering what we made?

September Appetizers:
Apple Dumplings

September Meals:
Cheesy Diva: Chili and Cheese on Rice
Saucy Diva: Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
Dessert Diva: Polynesia Roast Beef
Gourmet Diva: Chicken and Mushroom Stroganoff over egg noodles

We always start our evening with some appetizers and conversation.
Mmmmm...spinach dip, pita bread and Mantraps! Instead of our normal wine, we opted for some sparkling apple cider since Cheesy Diva Jr. is due in less than 2 months!

Then after at least an hour of catching up with the ladies we devoured some Pioneer Woman Apple Dumplings. (We will share this recipe with you later this week, but you can always find it on PW's amazing site!)

Finally we decided we should probably start making our meals...
Here are all of the ingredients for Chicken and Mushroom Stroganoff.

A fully assembled bag of Chicken and Sausage Gumbo...all ready to throw in a crock pot!

Here's an action shot...putting together all the ingredients for Chili and Cheese on Rice

Here is the Polynesian Roast Beef station. (and a belly shot of Baby Diva to Be...aww!)

It was great month of meals! We're meeting in two weeks for October's DTD gathering. The theme? Cheesy Diva's choice! Since Cheesy Diva is going to have her hands full this November with Baby Diva we decided we needed to stock her freezer with some of her favorite Dinnertime Diva meals. She's going to look back at past recipes and decide which were her favorites from each Diva. We are waiting in anxious anticipation to see what she picks. She'll post a sneek peek on this blog once she figures out her requests! If you are new to our site this will be a great way for you to try out some of our all time favorite Diva meals!

In the next few days we will be posting all of the recipes from this month. Just click on the September 2011 tab on the right of the page and you will find the recipes as they are added.

Until next dinner....

Crock Pot Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

A Crock Pot Haiku

Goodness dumped inside
cooks all day, no need to watch
I love you crock pot

September was crock pot month at DTD. It's a repeat but easily one of my favorites. Who doesn't like to crock pot it up during a busy week or a lazy Sunday? My recipe was Chicken and Sausage Gumbo. We just had it this Sunday, and its delish. I dumped all the ingredients in when I woke up in the morning and when we got back from the Colts game, dinner!

I am a spice wuss, so I keep a shaker of Creole seasoning out so those that want it spicy can add it to their bowls.

3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 package fully-cooked smoked sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 carrots , peeled and sliced
1 yellow onion , chopped
1 14.5-ounce can stewed tomatoes, undrained
5 cups water
3 chicken bouillon cubes
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 10-ounce bag frozen okra, thawed and drained
3 cups long-grain white rice (quick cooking)


1. Mix together chicken, sausage, carrot(s), onion, tomatoes, water, bouillon and thyme in a slow cooker.

2. Cover and cook on low until chicken is no longer pink in center, 7-8 hours. Stir in okra. Cover and cook on low 20 minutes longer.

3. Meanwhile, cook rice according to package instructions. Serve gumbo spooned over rice in individual soup bowls.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Crock Pot - Polynesian Roast Beef

1 boneless beef top round roast (3-1/4 pounds)
2 tablespoons Browning sauce, optional
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 medium onion, sliced
1 can (8oz) unsweetened sliced pineapple
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 cup beef broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 medium green pepper, sliced

1. Cut roast in half; brush with browining sauce if desired. Combine the flour, salt and pepper; rub over meat. Place onion in 3 qt. slow cooker; top with roast.
2. Drain pineapple, reserving juice; refriderate the pineapple. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cornstarch and ginger; whisk in the broth, soy sauce, garlic and reserved pineapple juice until smooth. Pour over meat. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours.
3. Add pineapple and green pepper. Cook 1 hour longer or until meat and green pepper are tender.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Chili & Cheese on Rice (By: The Big Cheese!)

If you ask's officially Slow Cooker season! Praise the heavens above!!!!!! For my September Diva Meal, please enjoy this easy and yumm-o recipe that I found in my "Fix It and Forget It" Cookbook.

What you’ll need:
1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, diced
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
16-oz. can light red kidney beans
15 ½ oz. can chili beans
1 pint stewed tomatoes, drained
cooked rice (whatever amount you desire)
grated cheddar cheese (whatever amount you desire)

What you do:
1. Brown ground beef and onion in skillet. Season with basil and oregano.
2. Combine all ingredients except rice and cheese in slow cooker.
3. Cover. Cook on LOW for 4 hours.
4. Serve over cooked rice.
5. Top with cheese.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Nutella Swirl Pound Cake

Yes, you read correctly.

Nutella. Pound. Cake.

All good things people.

It's the 20th of the month, so that means its time to post for the Cake Slice Bakers. For those that don't know, Saucy Diva belongs to a cake baking bloggers club and every month on the 20th, we post the cake we've made for the month. September is the last month we'll be cooking out of the book "Cake Keeper Cakes" by Lauren Chattman. All in all it was a good cookbook that I would recommend. There have been some mishaps (Fresh Strawberry Cake with White Chocolate Chips) but definitely more triumphs.

Ever since I purchased this book this time last year, I secretly hoped that one month the members would vote to make the Nutella Swirl Pound Cake. No such luck. Thankfully, September was "choose your own adventure" month (I named that, not an official theme)! I have an unhealthy obsession with Nutella and can often be caught eating it straight from the jar. So combining it with my favorite kind of cake was a no brainer.

Make this cake. Seriously.

4 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups, unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
i jar (13 oz) Nutella

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan and dust with flour.
2. Combine the eggs, vanilla in a small bowl.
3. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
4. Combine the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream with an electric
mixer until fluffy.
5. With the mixer on medium low, pour the egg mixture and mix until combined.
6. Turn the mixer to low speed and add the flour mixture, 1/2 a cup at a time. Mix
for 30 second after the last addition.
7. Scrape 1/3 of the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Spread 1/2 of the Nutella (I warmed it up a bit in the microwave first) and smooth. Scrape another 1/3 of the batter over the Nutella and smooth. Repeat in layers until you end with the last 1/3 of batter on top.
8. Run a knife through the batter to create the swirl effect. Do not over mix.
9. Bake the cake until golden brown and it can pass the toothpick test. About an hour and 1/2. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 20 minutes, invert it onto a wire rack to cool completely.
10. Slice and serve.

*thanks to Sprinkle with Salt for the picture!

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Crock Pot Appetizers: Reuben Delight

This recipe is from my sister-in-law's family cookbook. Thanks Melinda!
It's easy to make and something a little different to serve as an appetizer.

Reuben Delight

In a crock pot base combine the following:
-1 can sauerkraut, drained
-8 ounces swiss cheese, shredded
-8 ounces mozarella cheese, shredded
-4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
-8 ounces corn beef, shredded

After the above ingredients are mixed together add 1-2 cups of mayonaise.

Bake crock pot insert (NOT THE LID!!!) at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Then you can transfer to crock pot and keep on low.

Serve with crackers.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Crock Pot Appetizers: Artichoke Cheese Dip

Did you know that your crock pot insert is oven safe up to 400 degrees? Just make sure you don't use the lid. If you are questioning my expertise you can confirm this information at Crock Pot's FAQ's!

This recipe I bake in the oven and then turn on low in the crock pot to keep it warm during a party. Enjoy!

Artichoke Cheese Dip

2 cups of mayonnaise
2 cups of grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups of drained, canned artichoke hearts (I've also used frozen)
several drops of Tabasco
2 clove minced garlic
2 teaspoons lemon juice

This recipe makes a lot so you may want to "half" it.

Put all ingredients in a food processor or blender (if you have a small processor do this in two batches). Mix until smooth. Spray Crock Pot with vegetable spray and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Move to crock pot on low to keep warm.

Great with rye or pumpernickel bread.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Crock Pot Appetizers: Italian Biscuits and Marinara Sauce

So...technically this isn't a crock pot appetizer. But if you read Monday's post you know I have a triple crock pot and I like to mix it up a bit.

You will use your crock pot, but just to heat up marinara sauce to put next to these heavenly appetizers....Italian Biscuits and Marinara Sauce.

I bet the other Divas are reading this right now's been awhile! I seem to recall the last time I served these there was an argument as to who got to eat the last one(which is the true sign of a great recipe).

This is a variation of a Pillsbury recipe I found years ago. The biggest difference is in how I wrap them. The original recipe called for a different way to cut the biscuits, but we have experimented over the years and found this works best.

Italian Biscuits and Marinara Sauce
-1 can of buttermilk biscuits (large/jumbo...the big ones!)

-10 precooked frozen meatballs, thawed and cut in half
(to thaw, I put in microwave for 60 seconds, or until slightly warm)

-2 pieces of string cheese (each cut into 10 small pieces)

-1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

-1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

-1 tablespoon grated Parmesan

1. Cut each biscuit into thirds (3 triangles)
2. In the middle of each triangle, place an upside down meatball half, flat side up
3. Place a piece of string cheese on top of the meatball
4. Wrap the points of triangle around meat/cheese and form a ball of dough around the ingredients
5. Place the balls seam side down into sprayed baking dish. If I'm making the recipe as written I use a 9 inch round pan. But if you double it (which I usually have to do to appease the guests!) use a 12 X 8 brownie pan.
6.Sprinkle the garlic powder, Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese on top (do the cheese last!)
7.Cook at 375 for 25 minutes or until they are no longer "doughy" on the inside.
8. Serve with marinara sauce for dipping

Enjoy! (My husband said to add "Yum")

Friday, September 9, 2011

Crock Pot Appetizers: Pizza Dip

This is a variation of Spicy Diva's Hot Pizza Dip. You can also find that recipe on this blog under "dips". If you have time to bake it in the oven, I would go with that recipe! If you want a crock pot version...follow the directions below!

Crock Pot Pizza Dip

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
1 cup (4 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup (3 oz) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 can (8 oz) pizza sauce
1/4 cup pepperoni pieces

Put all ingredients in crock pot and cook on high for about 1 hour. Turn to low once melted. Serve with toasted baguette slices.

Toasted Baguette Slices

24 slices French bread, cut 1/4 inch thick
2 tablespoons olive oil

1.) Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place bread slices on cookie sheet, lightly brush tops with olive oil. Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Crock Pot Appetizers: Spicy Nacho Dip

Here is the next crock pot appetizer recipe Check back later this week to see the rest of the recipes listed on Monday's post!

I can't take credit for this recipe, as this is actually my husband's specialty. There are tons of similar recipes out there, but I must admit this one is pretty tasty (and easy)!!

Spicy Nacho Dip

1 lb ground beef, cooked
1 16 oz block of velveeta cheese, cut up into small cubes
1 16 oz jar of Pace Picante (we like Medium)
1/2 tsp pepper

Combine in crock pot and cook on low for 1 to 1/2 hours or until melted.
Serve with Tortilla chips or veggies.

Great snack for football season....GO COLTS!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Crock Pot Appetizers: Buffalo Chicken Dip

Did you see our crock pot appetizer post on Monday? Well, this is part one of the recipes!

If I could only make one thing in my crock pot for the rest of my life it would be this recipe. It's that good!

All of the Divas are teachers or school administrators...and let me tell you, educators like to eat! This is a recipe that one of our old co-workers used to bring in to lunch pitch-ins at work. Thanks Mrs. V for introducing us to the wonder that is Buffalo Chicken Dip.

2- 8oz packages of cream cheese
1 cup of ranch dressing
3/4 cup hot sauce/buffalo sauce (I prefer to use Frank's Red Hot Original)
1 - 10oz can cooked chicken
2 cups finely shredded cheese (I prefer colby jack)

Put in crock pot and heat on low for 3-4 hours.
If you are making this for a party and are in a time crunch you can start it on high and turn in down to low after it is melted (usually about an hour).

Serve with Tortilla Chips or Veggies

A few tips:
This is a spicy dish...if you do not like spicy things you may want to use less hot sauce.

If you don't want to use canned chicken, throw a few boneless chicken breasts in boiling water for 30-40 minutes and then shred chicken with a fork for this recipe.

Warning: If you make this once for your friends, they will request it every time they are at your house. I know this from experience. You have been warned.

Stuffed Tomatoes

The Saucy household is overflowing with fresh veggies! I have been loving all the cucumbers, zucchini, peppers and tomatoes that we've gotten from our garden and the gardens of family and friends.

This past weekend was filled with grilled deliciousness and these stuffed tomatoes are the perfect side for such meals.


3 tomatoes
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup mayo
1/4 cup green onions, chopped


Hollow out the tomatoes, much like you would a pumpkin. Make sure to leave a little bit of tomato "meat" around the edges.

Combine cheese, mayo and green onion.

Fill tomatoes with the cheese mixture, filling to the top.

Grill or broil until cheese is melty.

Special thanks to the Berndt family for supplying this weekend's tomatoes.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Crock Pot Appetizer Trifecta

At our monthly Dinnertime Diva gatherings the host diva always prepares some appetizers for the group. When possible, the appetizers reflect the theme of the month.

Since September is "Crock Pot Meals" I am once again in search of the Appetizer Trifecta for one of my favorite appliances....

Oh my triple crock pot...what a fun Christmas gift from my parents. Since getting it last year it has been a hit at many get togethers (including Dessert Diva's baby shower!). Since most of the diva gatherings involve appetizers I've been in search of 3 appetizer recipes that really compliment each other.

This is harder than it sounds because variety is key. For example, I never want 3 things that are all served with tortilla chips (too boring). On the other hand you don't want 3 things that are so different that the flavors don't go well together (too crazy). I want 3 recipes that make people go "mmm" (just right). Ah...the search for the appetizer trifecta.

Here are some of the Divas favorite crock pot appetizers:
(Be sure to check back this week as we post the recipes for all of the food listed below!)

-Buffalo Chicken Dip
-Spicy Nacho Dip
-Pizza Dip
-Mexican Dip
-Jalepeno Popper Dip
-Meatball Biscuits with Marinara Sauce
-Artichoke Spread
-Reuben Delight

We'd love to hear your ideas...what 3 recipes would you put as your crock pot "Appetizer Trifecta"?

Until next dinner...

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sneak Peek September

Have you been wondering what our September theme will be? Well wait no more...Crockpot Meals!

We've done this theme in the past and it's one of our favorites. However, we chose to do it this month as a shout out to a new website we ran across this month..."The Crockpot Girls". This is a group of friends that does something similar to us. Check out their awesome website

Check back later this month to discover our latest recipes!

Until next dinner....