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Busy parent baking hack: How to make Wonton Crackers

Over the last year, while working on my book, Make It Easy: 120 Mix-and-Match Recipes to Cook From Scratch—with Smart Store-Bought Shortcuts When You Need Them (which is available for pre-sale, by the way!), I've been thinking a lot about how to, well, help make it easy for busy parents. If you've been following along for long enough, you know that I was once a hardcore scratch cooking advocate. But several things have brought me to the middle, where I am today. First off, I wrote that book and got busy. Really busy. Because at the same time, I also helped launch Cool Mom Eats. Oh, and all of that coincided with our baby sitter of years moving on, so I've also been sole primary caregiver through it all. Even though I've always been a busy work-from-home mom, I was able to prioritize cooking until all this happened at one time. Once I realized what it felt like to not be able to do cook every night—a feeling I know many (many) parents live with—I started to better understand the compromises that family cooks have to make. And also how frustrating it is that nobody makes those compromises easier by giving parents the info they need to make them healthfully. I came to see that family cooks need an advocate who is a champion of scratch cooking, but also nonjudgmental and flexible enough to know that scratch cooking is not always an option, and when it's not, someone who is willing to guide them towards the healthiest, smarted shortcuts that the supermarket has to offer. From that, my book—and recipes like these easy, customizable Wonton Crackers—were born. (more -- including step by step how-to photos -- after the jump)

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Matcha Green Tea Milkshake for a naturally delicious St. Patrick’s Day.

If you've been reading a while, you know that St. Patrick's Day isn't my gig. It used to be that I hated the throngs of drunk people who would swarm the city as I tried to make my way home (or to the bar where I'd try to quietly meet up with friends), but those days are long over. (After work drink—ha!) Now the issue is—get ready for it—dyed green food and drink. It annoys me, because gross. Yes, seriously. It grosses me out enough that I'm writing about it. It's not that I don't like green food (spinach rocks!), it's that I don't like green food that isn't meant to be green—and is very green thanks to artificial food color. Like I said: gross. But naturally green food? I'm not a total scrooge. I can get down with it! And the best way to make things green the honest way is to add matcha green tea powder. Because then it tastes like green tea, too, which is meant to be green. (more after the jump)

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How to cut a mango perfectly. (It’s easy.)

Mango is one of our favorite fruits. It's totally delicious and nutrient dense, perfect for smoothies (Coconut Mango Smoothie), salads (Grilled Chicken and Mango Salad), salsa (Tropical Pico de Gallo), school lunch (Mango Fruit Sushi), and so much more, including just plain. But oh how to cut one! You don't need an expensive mango cutter to get it right (and, okay, they aren't expensive, except if you factor in the fact that they only do one thing). And you don't have to randomly hack, which is annoying and also ends up leaving fruit on the pit. Instead, you can follow these 5 easy steps for how to cut mango like a pro. Because who doesn't want to be a mango cutting pro? I mean, right? (more after the jump)

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