Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Do Not Call

We have had a dramatic increase in telemarketer calls lately. While I don't want to be mean, I know the people calling are just trying to do their job, I am just tired of it! After about the zillionth call the other night, I went online and signed up (again) for the DO NOT CALL LIST. Maybe we will soon get some peace!

Here are some things I found out when I went to the Do Not Call website. I found out that this is a national registry operated by the Federal Trade Commission (FCC). That sounds pretty important, doesn't it? Most telemarketers are supposed to subscribe to the list. Non-profit organizations, political organizations and telephone survey folks are exempt from having to subscribe to this list, but they can voluntarily do so. It seems to me that they should, though.

When you register your phone number(s) with the Do Not Call folks, it shows up on the list by the next day but telemarketers only have to update monthly so it may take a bit before you see (hear) improvement. That month won't be soon enough for me! Seriously, I have reached my limit of these calls.

I also found out that there is a phone scam going on. If someone calls you offering to put your name on the National Do Not Call Registry, JUST SAY NO! They are charging fees to do this but in reality, private companies can not do it. Consumers must register directly or through some state governments. It is always free.

Before you even have to ask I will tell you that, YES, you can register your cell phone. If you are registering online you get to register as many as 3 phones at once. They send a confirmation link to your e-mail, one for each number you registered. You have to click on the link to complete the registration. If you have more phones than that to register, you just go back and start the process over. It isn't hard and it takes only a few minutes. 

If you own a business, don't use this service. Sorry, but that is the rule. The Do Not Call Registry is only for personal phone numbers.The National Do Not Call Registry is only for personal phone numbers. 

According to their website, your phone number stays registered unless you call to remove it or the number is disconnected or reassigned.  I am wondering if this part is newish. I think it used to be for 2 or 3 years or so. Anyway, that is what it says.

If you purchase something from a company, that means you "established a business relationship" with them. Because of that, they can call your number for up to 18 months after your last payment, unless to ask them not to call again. If they ignore your request, they might be fined up to $16,000! 

Also, if there are some telemarketers you want to allow to call you, you give them written permission and that overrides your National Do Not Call Registry...just so you know.

That covers the highlights. There is a lot more information at the website but I think I've hit the main points. Now you know.  No need to thank me. I just wanted to share the love.

Sweet and Salty

Don't you just love sweet and salty as a food combination? It is such a perfect marriage of tastes. Mike knows that if I eat something very sweet, I'm likely to need some potato chips to go with it. That's why some cookie recipes that I saw on Pinterest practically shouted out my name! I had to have them!

I didn't exactly use the recipes as written. If you know me, you know that is no surprise. I can tackle a recipe with only two ingredients, such as these, and still manage to change them up a bit. This time was no different.

The first recipe called for Ritz Crackers and full size Rolos. I found mini Rolos and found them to be perfect. They were NOT individually wrapped, which saved a lot of time.

The second recipe called for pretzels and Hershey Hugs. I saw the Hershey Kisses with Amonds as well as the Hershey Kisses with Caramel but no Hugs... no worries....improvise is my middle name! (Not really. My middle name is Ann.)

I preheated the oven to 250 degrees. I didn't bother going back to Pinterest to see what heat was recommended. I probably would have done my own thing anyway. So, first, I started with the pretzels. I added the Kisses with Almonds on some and the Kisses with Caramel on others. I know it sounds kind of whiny but I will admit that unwrapping all those little Kisses got to be a bit tedious.

But I finally got the job done.

I popped the cookie sheet into the oven for only about 4 minutes. Trust me, you don't want to let it melt all the way or you'll have a big mess. Even I knew that. I just wanted the Kisses to get soft enough so that I could moosh the lid on successfully.  When they look shiny and limp, they are just right to top.

I found that the ones with almonds didn't look as pretty because the bulky almond kind of got in the way.
 It turns out that almonds don't melt or moosh. 
They tasted great, though!

The ones with the caramel Kisses were perfect. I bet you wish you could eat one of these right now, don't you?

Next, I turned to the Ritz Crackers. Because I'd found the bag of Rolos that weren't individually wrapped, these were super simple. I decided it was important to be sure that the salty side of each cracker be on the outside of the sandwiched cookie. It only makes sense, really, for your mouth to better experience the salt.
I think I melted these maybe only 3 minutes.

As you see, they were just barely melting when I took them out. I topped them with a second cracker, just giving a little twist as I added the "lid" in order to smear the little Rolo all around the cracker.  Yummmm!

Then, I couldn't stop! 
I tried some with Rolos on the Pretzels.

They were my favorite combo for ease and taste.
You just couldn't make a better little treat!
They were pretty messy, though.
I found that letting them cool and then putting the whole pan in the fridge for a bit was the best way to handle them, taking them off the pan after the chocolate and caramel kind of hardened again.

I then tried the Kisses on the Ritz Crackers. 
Also good and much neater. 

If you are making cookies to take somewhere (I was taking them to church) you might find my last combination to be the best. I used Ritz Crackers with the Rolos (easier) and topped with the pretzels (saltier). That was really good and looked kind of fancy.

There were no left-overs!

Next time, I hope I can find a bag of the Hugs, too,
as I think that will be pretty with the white oozing out.

Sweet and salty..... mmmmmmm good!

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