Do you ever feel like you’ve dropped into a BIG HOLE? That was my stomach about 2 hours ago. Let me explain: middle son lost both his birth certificate and Social Security card – not a problem, right? I went on line & applied for a new birth certificate (didn’t even KNOW you could do that ON LINE!) It came in the mail yesterday. Today I get the brilliant idea that maybe we could do the same for the Soc Sec card – DO NOT EVER DO THAT! (do you remember my credit card fiasco of about 3 weeks ago? Where I ended up charging something to my credit card only to have that company charge me $$$ without my permission, a month later?) You guessed it – sort of. I typed in (under search) social security card replacement – and there was a site title: Social Security Card Replacement so I clicked on it, filled in the form, CHARGED $39.00 to my credit card and waited – I printed out the form but then thought: NOW what? Are they going to MAIL the card? Son was getting really impatient & insisted we just GO to Soc. Sec. and do it – so we did. The very nice lady there, after my commenting on the charges on line, said SOCIAL SECURITY DOES NOT CHARGE FOR ANY CARDS – REPLACEMENT OR NEW!! You guessed it – BIG HOLE in the pit of my stomach! She gave us a flyer with information on what to do next to protect son’s Soc Sec. #. I’m still sick over it. Came home, he called the phone # on the flyer & reported it, I went on line to the Federal Trade Commission (also in the flyer) and reported it there then went to the bank to (hopefully) get my money back off my credit card. A half hour later, I’m good on the card – had to cancel that one and they’ll issue a new one, my monies are back in my account. WHAT A MESS! The bank lady, when looking over the paperwork I had printed out (from the fraudulent site) said that she had lost HER Soc Sec. card recently and the form she filled out looked identical to the one I did – these crooks are good at what they do. Makes me NEVER want to do any transactions ON LINE EVER AGAIN! All I could think was I must have the word GULLIBLE in huge letters on my forehead. (the bank lady did say that it’s a good thing we were ‘on it’ so quickly; hopefully the bad guys haven’t done anything using his identification.)
Pumpkin Corn Pudding
3 T. melted unsalted butter
(plus more to butter dish)
3/4 C. canned pumpkin puree
(not pumpkin pie filling)
3/4 C. heavy cream
2 T. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
4 tsp. granulated sugar
2 C. canned corn, drained
(fresh or frozen kernels can
also be used)
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place large pot of water
to boil. Butter a 1 1/2 qt. casserole
dish. In medium bowl mix eggs,
butter, pumpkin puree & cream. In
large bowl mix flour, salt, baking
powder & sugar. Mix egg mixture
into flour mixture then stir in drained
corn, mixing evenly – pour into
prepared dish. Place dish into a
larger baking dish or pan & pour
hot water into larger pan, filling about
halfway up the side of pudding dish.
(this is called a ‘water bath’ – will
help keep the pudding moist & creamy
as it bakes). Bake 50-55 minutes until
a toothpick inserted into center comes
out clean. Remove from oven & let
cool 10 minutes before serving.
1 (14 oz) pkg. sweet Italian chicken
sausage, casings removed
1/2 onion, chopped
2 crushed garlic cloves
4 T. chopped fresh parsley, divided
3 C. chicken broth
2 1/2 C. water
2 C. quick marinara sauce
2 bay leaves
fresh cracked black pepper
6 oz. broken lasagna noodles
6 T. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. ricotta cheese
3 T. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
1/4 C. fresh chopped basil
Heat large soup pot of Dutch oven
over medium heat; spray insides
with nonstick spray & add sausage.
Cook until browned, 4-5 minutes.
Add chopped onion & garlic, cook
2-3 minutes. Add parsley, broth,
water, marinara sauce, bay leaves
& black pepper – bring to boil. Cover
& reduce heat – simmer 30 minutes.
In medium bowl combine ricotta,
Parmesan & 2 T. parsley; mix. Add
broken pasta & cook, uncovered,
according to pasta pkg. directions.
Divide soup between 6 bowls &
top each with 2 T. ricotta cheese
mixture, mozzarella, pepper & fresh
basil. Makes about 8 Cups.
Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Muffins
1/4 C. unsalted butter, softened
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/4 C. brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. canned pumpkin puree
1/4 C. milk
1 1/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
3 T. unsalted butter, melted
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Prepare 2 mini muffin pans with
nonstick spray or mini-muffin liners.
In stand mixer cream butter & sugars
until combined. Add egg, vanilla,
pumpkin & milk; mix until combined
well. In small bowl gently combine
flour, baking powder, baking soda,
salt & pumpkin pie spice. Add flour
mixture into pumpkin mixture slowly,
moving until just combined. Divide
mixture into muffin tins evenly, about
1 T. per muffin cup. Bake 10 minutes.
Remove to wire rack to cool.
In shallow dish mix cinnamon &
sugar. In separate shallow dish
melt butter. Dip tops of each muffin
in butter then roll in cinnamon/sugar.
Place on rack to set a few minutes.
Makes 48 mini muffins
(recipe: Courtney Luper -Facebook)
Pasta & Garlic Shrimp
1/2 C. chopped garlic
1 C. olive oil
1 C. white wine
salt/pepper, to taste
1 lemon, juiced
5 chili peppers (dried)
2 lb. medium-large peeled
5 T. chopped basil (optional)
1/2 lb. spaghetti
2 T. salt
In small saucepan over medium-
low heat add oil & 1/2 tsp. salt;
stir occasionally until it comes to
a simmer. Adjust heat to lowest
setting to keep at gentle simmer.
Add garlic & cook, stirring occasionally,
until garlic is pale golden, about 20
minutes. Add lemon juice, simmer until
most of juice has been absorbed into
garlic, 5 minutes. Stir in chili peppers
& wine – taste to check salt level (add
more, if desired). Keep pan on very
low heat. In large heavy skillet on
medium-high heat add 2 T. oil mixture
but NO garlic. Add shrimp to skillet,
sprinkle generously with salt/pepper &
stir gently/continuously until shrimp
are cooked, 8 minutes. Add garlic sauce.
Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions.
Drain pasta into a collander – do not
rinse with water. Scoop pasta
into a deep serving platter; top with
garlic/shrimp mixture. Sprinkle top with
basil & serve. Serves 8
Sticky BBQ Meatballs
1 lb. ground beef
1 tsp. yellow mustard
1 small shallot, chopped
1/3 C. plain breadcrumbs
salt/pepper, to taste
1 C. bbq sauce
1 tsp. smoked paprika
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1/4-1/2 tsp. salt
Mix all meatball ingredients in large
bowl & shape into small meatballs.
Heat a non-stick frying pan over
medium-high heat & add some oil.
Cook meatballs until browned on
outside & entirely cooked through.
Once meatballs are cooked, mix all
sauce ingredients. Add meatballs
& sauce to crockpot & cook, on
Low, 3-4 hours. Serves 30
Zippy Sausage Spread
1 lb. bulk Italian sausage
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes &
green chilies, drained
8 oz. cream cheese, cubed
Cook & stir sausage until no
longer pink; drain. Stir in
tomatoes & cream cheese; cook
& stir until cheese has melted.
Serve warm. Makes 3 C.
Crockpot Lava Cake
1 box devil’s food cake mix (regular
1 2/3 C. water
1/3 C. canola oil
2 C. cold milk
1 (3.9 oz) pkg. instant chocolate
2 C. (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
In large bowl combine cake mix, water,
eggs & oil; beat using elec. mixer on
Low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium
speed 2 minutes; transfer to a greased
4 qt crockpot. In another bowl whisk
milk & pudding mix 2 minutes. Let
stand 2 minutes until soft-set then spoon
over cake batter. Sprinkle top with choc.
chips, cover & cook on High 3-4 hours
until a toothpick inserted into center
of cake comes out with moist crumbs.
Makes 12 servings.
Our weather is still in the 60’s, sunny with
occasional rain – that’s OK.
Gas prices are still running at $2.29/9
Working on two afghans now: one is
all white and kind of fussy, knit-wise.
I started another one yesterday with
a really easy pattern (variegated yarn),
4 rows per pattern, so we’ll see how
that goes. I delivered the last 4 afghans
Tuesday and the Crisis Pregnancy center
lady was super happy with all of them
That’s my ‘Tales of Woe’ for the day; I know
this will all sort itself out – eventually, it’s
just weighing heavily on me that it was MY
mistake causing my son’s grief. Yep-time to
pray on it, for sure!