Saturday, December 24, 2011

December DTD Meeting

December's DTD theme was of a spherical nature!

We had yummy appetizers...

Popcorn Chicken Balls

Deep Fried Butter Balls (that's right, you heard me)

Cheese balls

Beef and Cheese Ball

Buckeye balls

and wine, of course.

We also had a good variety of meals!

Saucy Diva made Porcupine Meatballs

Gourmet Diva made Slow Cooker Tamale Balls

Cheesy Diva made Sausage and Cream Cheese Balls

Wine Diva made Deep Fried Mac and Cheese Balls (that's right, you heard me again)

and Dessert Diva made Florentine Mac and Cheese with Chicken Meatballs

If you think these sound delish, you can find the recipes on the blog!

This month was also a very special occasion! It was The Little Cheese's first Diva Meeting!

Isn't she precious? Another diva in the making!

Merry Christmas from the Dinnertime Divas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Florentine Mac 'n Cheese with Chicken Sausage Meatballs

For our ball-themed Diva month, I always like to try to find a recipe that is just a little bit different. Well, I think I found what I was looking for on Food Network's website. This recipe is courtesy of Rachael Ray. You really get a bang for your buck with it, as you can eat it together as one meal or separate it into two (as I will be doing because there is no way Mr. Dessert Diva will eat this together...he likes to keep his food separate!).

Because this recipe is fairly involved (not difficult...just ingredient-heavy), I am just including the link to the recipe here. I hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cream Cheese Sausage Balls - The Big Cheese

Oh how I love the Divas "ball themed" month! For this year's month of balls, I turned to Pintrest for a recipe. This proved to be very helpful and easy! Thank you, Pintrest and all those "pinners" who pinned this recipe for my viewing/tasting pleasure.

1 lb hot sausage, uncooked
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups Bisquick
4 oz cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 400F.

Mix all ingredients until well combined.
Roll into 1-inch balls.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until brown.

Sausage balls may be frozen uncooked. If baking frozen, add a few minutes to the baking time.

When I first tried these balls, I served with a side of green beans and mashed potatoes!

Chocolate Butter Cookies

When I discovered my girl Paula Deen's 12 Days of Holiday Cookies on Twitter, I knew I'd fine something great... and I did! Day 5 was Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies. Delicious! They are very cake-y so you need to be prepared for that. But Saucy Diva and I decided they would be divine warm, with a scoop of ice cream, maybe some hot fudge and definitely whipped cream.... I want one now. Enjoy!

Paula Deen's Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies


  • 1 (8-ounce) brick cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 stick butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (18-ounce) box moist chocolate cake mix
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in the egg. Then beat in the vanilla extract. Beat in the cake mix. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to firm up so that you can roll the batter into balls. Roll the chilled batter into tablespoon sized balls and then roll them in confectioner's sugar. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake 12 minutes. The cookies will remain soft and "gooey." Cool completely and sprinkle with more confectioners' sugar, if desired.

Fried Mac & Cheee Balls

My December Ball recipe is Fried Mac & Cheese Balls. Yum! (And seriously unhealthy, but that's why I'm cramming them in before the new year :-)

I found this recipe at which is a pretty cool site. Anyway, I'm attempting to freeze them pre-frying and then have the divas fry them up on their own. I'm not sure how this process will work but we will give it a try!

Fried Mac & Cheese Balls
makes 8 balls
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoon flour
3/4 cup half and half
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 packed cup leftover mac & cheese (I used Kraft)

1/2 cup flour
1 beaten egg
1 cup panko (you can also use regular bread crumbs)

pecorino or parmesan cheese for serving

Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the flour and stir vigorously until the mixture is bubbling. Remove the pan from the heat, then slowly whisk in the half and half until it is fully incorporated and there are no lumps. Return the pan to a medium-low heat stove and use a silicone spatula to continuously scrape the bottom of the pan to keep the sauce from burning. When the sauce is thick and bubbly, remove the pan from the heat and add the mac & cheese. Stir to combine, then taste for salt and adjust as needed. Cool to room temperature, then place the mixture into the fridge to harden.

Once the macaroni mixture has cooled, it will be very firm. Use a spoon to scoop out a 1 1/2″ ball, then roll it between your hands to make it round, pressing down a bit to remove any air pockets. You should be able to make about 8 balls.

Add about 2 inches of oil into a heavy bottomed pot. Turn the heat onto medium high, and watch for the temperature to reach about 320 degrees F. In the mean time, get 3 shallow bowls out, and put the flour in one, the egg in another and the panko in the third. Roll each ball in the flour to coat evenly, then in the egg (make sure it’s well coated with egg or the panko won’t stick). Lastly, drop the balls in the panko and roll around to coat evenly.

Line a wire rack with paper towels to place the balls on once they’re fried. Fry each ball, rolling them around so they brown evenly until they are golden brown and crisp. Transfer the fried mac and cheese balls to a paper towel lined rack and let them drain. Let them cool for a minute before serving, then top with plenty of grated cheese.