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)

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)

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)

Genius Pico de Gallo, 3 ways. (The original easy, skinny snack dip.)

Ever since the beginning of the year, I've been trying to eat better an exercise more. I know: It's so cliche and boring, but I'd truly gotten off track after a crazy 2015 that culminated in a holiday season of excess. You know, to treat myself for how hard and busy life had been. And then I just didn't feel good. Eating healthfully is not hard for me. Other than a splurge here or there, I don't eat junk food and leaving dessert behind just means not making dessert. Easy enough. What's not easy, though, is finding that 3 pm snack option that's satisfying, can tide me over until dinner time, and feels like a treat—because I truly deserve one by 3 pm—without destroying my efforts to eat better. The only thing I've found that accomplishes this without fail is this fresh, delicious pico de gallo, which I can vary several ways and also eat with several things, from a handful of tortilla chips or Triscuits to carrot and celery sticks. So, basically, this recipe is saving my ass. Literally. Two other great things about pico de gallo: The kids love it and it's easy to vary—and the kids love the variations, too. Is that three great things? Oh! Make it four great things because all three variations—Classic Pico de Gallo, Tropical Pico de Gallo, and Pico de Gallo Guacamole—are made with nothing but fresh produce. So this isn't a lame skinny snack dip full of weird low-fat ingredients, but rather it's vegetables that everyone will crave. How can you beat that? (more after the jump)

How to cook pasta like a pro in 5 easy steps.

Pasta is so often a busy family cook's lifeline—it's quick cooking, versatile, and beloved. Kids might even gobble up all their veggies when they're mixed with everyone's favorite carb. And with gluten-free pasta getting better and better, it's even a staple in gluten-free homes. The best part, of course, is that pasta is easy to cook. Anyone can do it well—right? Right. Sort of. Though the technique for cooking pasta perfectly is easy, it’s not the brainless boil-until-it’s-soft approach that so many home cooks take. In fact, with just a little bit of technique, you can cook pasta like a pro and it will taste even better. Yes, pasta can taste BETTER. (5 easy steps after the jump)

Lacy Heart Pancakes: Easy Valentine’s Day breakfast recipe

Ahhh! Who else is working this Valentine's Day gig at the last minute like me? I've had a (very) crazy week that you probably wouldn't believe even if I told you. So I won't tell you. Because you've probably had a crazy week, too. But fret not, just because we haven't planned, doesn't mean that we can't pull of making Valentine's Day special this year. We can. We will! Here's how, with the easiest cute Valentine's Day breakfast recipe ever: Lacy Heart Pancakes. (more how-to details after the jump)

DIY microwave popcorn recipe: Just as easy, no chemicals.

Maybe I'm late to the party (it wouldn't be the first time), but I just recently learned that microwave popcorn is full of chemicals. Like a lot of them. It's not just the flavors and additives, but also what's used to line the bags. We all draw different lines with how pure and all-natural we want to keep our family's diet, but honestly, by all accounts, microwave popcorn is pretty toxic stuff. And the weird thing is that I'm not sure why given how easy it is to make microwave popcorn with nothing more than kernels, oil, and a paper bag. Yup: Three simple ingredients, all low cost and available at the supermarket (if not already in your cupboards), turn out microwave popcorn that you can flavor any way you like in all of 5 minutes. With this easy DIY tutorial, store-bought actually becomes a waste of money. And making and flavoring this is pretty much my kids favorite kitchen project ever. (more after the jump)

Make It Easy with: Make-ahead Smoothie Packs

Everyone says that making smoothies is so easy. While it's true, nobody understand JUST how easy something has to be in order for busy parents to fit it into the hectic weekday morning schedule until they are a busy parent themselves. If you are, you know that pulling out the blender and measuring ingredients while also trying to get kids dressed, fed, and out the door for school is no small feat. So making smoothies in the morning? Not always as easy as it sounds. Unless you've got these smoothie packs on hand. Make-ahead smoothie packs totally change the smoothie game. With everything pre-measured, frozen, and ready to go, making smoothies becomes a much more realistic endeavor, even on the busiest mornings. And putting these together won't even take up much time. All you need are freezer-safe baggies and an extra 10-minutes anytime you can find it. (video & tons more recipes after the jump)

Coconut Almond Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies for Santa!

Happy holidays, friends. I've got a gift for you! Tons (and tons) of last-minute Christmas cookie inspiration, including my Coconut Almond Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies for Santa. I worked again this year with Kin Community and a host of awesome YouTube creators on the 2nd Annual Kin Christmas Cookie collaboration and holy deliciousness! There are so many recipes, your head will spin—in a good way. And, don't worry, most of the recipes are easy even at this last minute. In fact, I adapted one of my favorite cookie recipes to make it easier to bake with ingredients that you're more likely to already have on hand. Handy, no? (more after the jump)

Top 5 make-ahead holiday appetizers!

If you ask me, the best thing about holiday eating is cocktail party food and appetizers. From DIY cheese crackers to 2 tasty dips and the ultimate bacon party bite, these are my favorite make-ahead recipes for holiday snacks. Whether you're hosting a big party or just want a few noshes around to tide the family over until the big holiday meal, these are the ticket. And the best part? Every single one can be prepped or made entirely ahead. Easy and delicious: The perfect combination. (more after the jump)

Slow Cooker Italian Meatball Soup: A healthy, hearty family meal with hardly any effort.

It’s the beginning of winter and, as if on cue, there’s excitement about slow cooker meals. You can hardly wonder why: The slow cooker makes warming cold weather meals easy to make. But here’s a secret: I also love using my slow cooker in the summer, too, because then I don’t have to turn on the stove in hot weather. So, no matter what the season, you can whip out your slow cooker to make this healthy, hearty Italian Meatball Soup. Which, I admit, is especially great right now on chilly days when I get home from running around between work, picking up the kids, and gift shopping. (Oh the holidays.) It’s a warm meal ready to go as soon as we walk in the door. And, thanks to my long-time sponsor, Earthbound Farm Organic, it's also nutritious thanks to tender, dark leafy greens. Genius! (more after the jump)

Best holiday dessert recipes and Christmas sweets. As in, holiday cookies galore + more!

Thanksgiving may be all about the big meal but, if you ask me, Christmas is all about holiday cookies, cocktail party food, and sweet snacks. Oh, yea, and dessert, too. So, of course, I had to round up my top 5 holiday dessert recipes and Christmas sweets with something for everyone—including the big guy. Because keeping Santa happy is in all of our favor. (more after the jump)

Bacon Wrapped Dates: The genius holiday appetizer you didn’t know you needed (but do).

I'm always saying that recipes are easy. Easy this, easy that. But, people, this one is truly the easiest yet. Stuff a date, wrap it in bacon, and bake to get a sweet and salty, crispy-gooey bite that will make your holiday season. Seriously, these are a request from many every holiday season. I'm not allowed not to make them—that's how good they are. (more after the jump)

Easy, light Brown Sugar Baked Apples

With Thanksgiving coming up and more winter holidays around the corner, you'll want a light, but totally delicious dessert recipe in your back pocket. At least I will, because oof. These easy, light Baked Apples are the ticket. With only a touch of sugar and half a pat of butter each, these are a respite from heavy, sugar desserts—that don't taste like a respite at all. Mmm.

How to roast vegetables: An easy guide for everyday and holiday meals.

Roasting vegetables is my number one way to make fall and winter veggies because it is, hands down, the best way to coax out big flavor. And then there's the fact that it's dead easy. All it takes to make totally delicious roasted vegetables is two key ingredients: oil and salt. Plus, it's just as great a technique for busy week nights as it is for special holiday meals. It just gets better and better, which is why you need to learn this foolproof technique for how to roast vegetables once and for all. (more after the jump)

Maple Harvest Mousse: Healthy holiday dessert recipe

While I'm all for decadent holiday cooking, it's nice to have a few tasty, healthy options in your back pocket, too, like this Maple Harvest Mousse. Because decadent is good, but decadent-tasting and healthy is even better. You know me: I'm always looking for fresh, new ways to use vegetables to make my cooking healthier, especially during the holiday season when there's so much cream and butter (and butter and cream). Together, with my partner Earthbound Farm Organic, we've come up with a creative way to use butternut squash in a slightly sweet and totally delicious no-bake dessert that you can make just as easily for any night of the week as you can for a holiday meal. In fact, since this is sweetened with just a touch of maple syrup and is packed with nutrient rich butternut squash, I've even served this at breakfast. (Yay, healthy breakfast sweets!) -- more after the jump --