Fun Fact: If you saute’ spinach with Olive Oil, Popeye will show up at your front door! It’s a Fact! (just cooking spinach alone won’t do it – it’s Olive Oil that brings his two great loves together)

So, let’s saute’ some spinach!

Why? Because it is yummy and healthy and easy to make! Step by step guide below.

Plus, even if you eat the entire bag of spinach yourself, it’s only 50 calories! – for the WHOLE bag!

Personally I prefer steamed Kale, and actually love it so much I feel the guilt of having binged on something sinful when I eat it!

If you prefer spinach to kale, try it this way. Peggo swears that this is one of the tastiest ways to cook it – second only to cooking hamburgers in a pan, removing the cooked hamburgers and then tossing the spinach into the pan and sauteing in the hamburger juices instead of olive oil.

Step 1:Buy some yummy fresh spinach. We bought this bag at Aldi for only $1.79.

Step 2: Heat up some Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a pan, just enough to cover the bottom so that the leaves don’t stick.

Step 3: Toss the spinach in the pan and quickly get it moving around – it cooks FAST.

Step 4: Keep it moving until it looks like this, and serve immediately. YUM! 

Even if you eat it slathered in butter, it’s still a low calorie and healthy treat!

Here it is plated and ready to eat. Yum! 

Groundhog Day Celebration

Happy Groundhog day!

This year is the first time we are attempting to ‘celebrate’ Groundhog day.

So here we go!

To start with, we made Coco Krispy Groundhogs!

It’s just the standard Rice Krispy Treat recipe only we swapped out Rice Krispies for Coco Krispies so that our groundhogs would be brown.

Here’s the recipe:
3 tablespoons butter
1 package (10 oz., about 40) Marshmallows
4 cups Miniature Marshmallows
6 cups Coco Krispy Rice cereal

1. In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. 

2. Add Coco Krispy Rice cereal. Stir until well coated.

3. Release your creative side and start forming groundhog shapes!

We had some candy eyes left over from Halloween baking, and the teeth are made from mini marshmallows cut to shape and size with cooking sheers.

As you can see in the picture, we tried several approaches to the overall design of the groundhog. Let me tell you, when you look up at this motley crew of slightly deranged looking weather forecasting rodents, it makes you giggle.

We used a piece of a green plastic tablecloth for the ‘grass’ and some dry Coco Krispies around the base to simulate a dirt mound around the groundhog burrow hole.

Clearly Coco Krispies and marshmallow do not create the most cooperative sculpting medium, but this is not meant to be fine art.

Creating them was a fun and silly break from reality and they taste dee-lish!

On the absolute MUST-DO list for today is to watch Groundhog day! 

Unfortunately it’s not available for streaming on Netflix. If you don’t have the DVD, Blu Ray or digital copy, it’s on AMC several times on Groundhog Day so fire up those DVRs!

Here is the schedule:

Monday February 1st at 10:00 AM
Monday February 1st at 12:30 PM
Monday February 1st at  3:00 PM
Monday February 1st at  5:30 PM


I added links below for The Groundhog Day Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital Download, respectively. 

I also added a link for the CUTEST stuffed groundhog! I want to buy him and put him right in the middle of our dining room table as a centerpiece next year!

Pomegranate Perfection

Do you imagine that Pomegranate juice comes from a magical wonderland where the fluffy Pom Pom trees grow? – a place where Kale and Quinoa prance through fields of whole grains while Acai berries and Avocados frolic and giggle under the shade of dark green leafy vegetables?

No? Me Neither. That would be crazy.

I am one of those people who, until recently, had never popped open a fresh pomegranate.

When I finally gave it a try, I was amazed at how beautiful they are inside! They are chock full of sparkling rubies! –  juicy, tasty, edible rubies!

Though I am no pomegranate expert, I took some pictures of my pomegranate adventure to share with everyone who may be interested.

There are lots of different ways to open a pomegranate, but I really like the method that uses a bowl of water. 

Step by step guide below!

Step 1. Put some water in a bowl.

Step 2. Carefully cut off the top of the Pomegranate. I suggest a very shallow cut, because if you cut deeper than the skin of the fruit you’ll be popping open all the juicy little rubies inside (the seeds are actually called Arils, but I can’t stop calling them rubies).

With the top off you can see how thick the skin is and adjust your cutting depth as you score the circumference of the Pomegranate so you can pry it open.

Step 3.  Pull it open into two halves, and feast your eyes on a ruby haul that even the Seven Dwarves would envy.

Step 4. Gently massage the little rubies loose from the membrane while holding the pomegranate over the bowl of water. 

As the rubies pull away from the inner membrane, let them drop into the water. Be gentle so you don’t break the jewels – the delicious ruby red juice will escape!

Step 5. The rubies will sink to the bottom and the membrane will float to the top. Scoop the pieces of membrane off the top of the water and discard.

Step 6. Drain off the water and strain the rubies out, or scoop them out with your hands if you don’t have a strainer.

Step 7. Enjoy!

How to Remove Staples from Hardwood Floors

How to remove staples from Hardwood Floors!

I’ve done lots of home improvement projects, but only on a beginner level, so I still have a TON of things to learn and re-learn with each new project.
With this flooring project I knew how to remove the plywood sub-floor and linoleum, but I did not consciously anticipate the sub-floor leaving behind what felt like billions of staples that did not come up with the plywood.
My first instinct was to pull the staples with the tools I had with me, which were just screwdrivers and a pair of regular non-locking pliers.
Both tools were painfully inadequate and the very first wave of regret and panic washed over me as I looked out at what seemed to be an army of tiny little staples marching in formation as far as the eye could see — threatening to destroy all home improvement dreams.

I thought I was being logical when I figured that I could yank each staple out at the angle they were put in – straight up and out – using brute force. 

I dont know why I thought this. That certainly isnt how I would try to pull a nail! 

It just goes to show you that fear (that I was in over my head with this project) can make you forget things you already know, and make illogical thoughts seem right!
Then we remembered that locking pliers exist, and are a far better fit than the non-locking ones I tried, that left my hand aching and exhausted after only a few staples. 
So, to pass on the knowledge, and to remind myself for any future projects, here is how I did it.
Step 1: Look at all the staples and freak out as you realize that you are about to spend a huge portion of your life on the floor, crushing the flesh between your knee bones and the floor (or you can do as I did and do the majority of the work sort of lying on the ground like a sea lion). 
I’d say this staple pulling extravaganza was a combined total of about 4 hours of lying on the ground with non-stop staple pulling fun, and by the end of it I was feeling a distinct urge to clap my flippers and beg someone to toss me a fish.

Or you could wear knee pads.
Step 2: Find those locking pliers and lock them down on a staple. You will probably have to adjust them so that they grip tightly enough to pull the staple, but not so tightly that locking and unlocking the pliers is painfully difficult. 
Step 3: Once locked on, just tip the pliers to the side and follow the curve of the tool, slowly rolling the tool on the floor and letting it do all the work of prying the staple out. 
The staple will start to pull up and will bend a bit as it comes up. Take it slow, because some staples are in there better than others, and some pull out easier than others. 
I can’t tell you how many times a staple came out slowly with a lot of resistance and then suddenly no resistance causing me to crush my poor thumb against the ground with the tool. OUCH!

Step 4: The staple comes out and you realize it was pretty easy and you only have to do it a billion more times!
Now, maybe I get a bit loopy when I do a tedious and monotonous task, but take a look at those pictures and tell me you don’t see a face on the locking pliers! 
It looks like a prehistoric staple eating creature! I love him and want to keep him as a pet and name him!

I wish I could report that I gave the staple eating creature a creative name befitting his prehistoric and slightly amphibian countenance, but I didn’t. I named him “Facey” — because he has a face, and I am a doofus.

This is really all the proof I need to know for certain that I spent too many hours in solitude on that floor with the staples, and that it may have caused my brain to transform into a bowl of oatmeal. 

Okay, that is the end of my big ‘how to pull a staple out of wood” tutorial.

Though I suppose all of this article could have been summarized by saying;   

“Pull staples from wood using locking pliers. The End.”  

…but that wouldnt be nearly as much fun as describing myself as a sea lion, a doofus, an oatmeal brain and someone who names her tools and thinks that they are prehistoric amphibians that eat staples.