Changes Are Happening at Offbeat!

This is a bittersweet post. It’s the post where I officially say goodbye to Offbeat + Inspired. After nearly three years of blogging on this site, learning photography along the way, sharing snapshots of life, being inspired by our readers and living creatively alongside my lifelong friend, Tiffany, I’ve decided to take a step in a different blogging direction.

Offbeat + Inspired will remain a place where you can find creative ideas, beautiful photography and mouthwatering recipes. Tiffany will be taking over as the sole blogger on this site and there’s no doubt in my mind she will continue to bring you great content.

As for me, life has changed quite a bit in the last few months. As a mom of four-month-old twins, I have new responsibilities and a daily life that’s been turned upside down. Even now as I write this, I have to pause to replace pacifiers in an (potentially futile) attempt to get the two munchkins to nap at the same time.

I love this new stage of life, but it’s a change from where Offbeat + Inspired is heading – which is why I’m stepping back from this site. I do, however, love blogging, creating recipes and practicing photography, and I definitely don’t want to let those things go completely. So now, you can find me over at my new site, The Homemade Haus. I’ll be posting all things food, thoughts on motherhood and family and other bits and pieces of my life. You’ll find much of the content to be reminiscent of Offbeat + Inspired as well as new ideas and perspectives stemming from my role as a mom.

I can’t begin to explain how important Offbeat + Inspired has been to me. I have been stretched both creatively and personally through this journey. I’m sad to be leaving, but I know this next stage will bring new challenges and new joys. Stay tuned as Tiffany brings you more incredible Offbeat + Inspired content, and I hope you’ll come visit me over at The Homemade Haus! (Oh – and if you head over there this week, there’s a giveaway happening to celebrate my new site launching!)

Thank you, readers, for your continued encouragement and inspiration for the last three years here at Offbeat. I am truly grateful.

XOXO,

Sarah

Mocha Sorbet

Mocha Sorbet-6

Warm weather is finally here! (At least it was for a few days until it promptly disappeared from the Chicago area in favor of the more familiar cold, gray days.) But regardless of the current temperature, there’s always a reason for frozen treats – especially ones that combine my two favorite ingredients: coffee and chocolate. I’m not sure there exists a better flavor pairing (but I welcome your ideas in case I’m missing something epic!). They’re a match made in recipe heaven…especially when the chocolate is dark and earthy the coffee bold and rich.

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Pomegranate, Lime + Ginger Mocktail

Pomegranate + Ginger Mocktail - offbeat + inspired-2

A few weeks ago, I co-hosted a baby shower for a friend. Pre-pregnancy, the guest of honor and I often enjoyed hanging out and talking over a bottle of wine, but considering it was her baby shower (and I’m also pregnant), wine had to take a backseat.

Celebrations like baby showers deserve a festive drink, so I came up with a simple mocktail recipe that can be scaled down for 1 person or made for a crowd. And with Christmas and New Year’s Eve around the corner, I don’t have to settle for sipping a boring beverage when everyone else is toasting with a glass of champagne or a cocktail. I will be celebrating with a tasty mocktail in hand!

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Cranberry-Orange Shortbread Cookies

Cranberry-Orange Shortbread Cookies-6

Ever cook something for the first time and then wonder, “Why in the world haven’t I been making this all along!?” That’s how I feel about shortbread. For some reason, I’ve never made shortbread cookies until this year – but now, I’m completely hooked. I’m ashamed to say that I’ve quickly baked (and eaten) enough of these buttery, sweet, crumbly cookies to make up for all the years they’ve been missing from my kitchen.

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Coffee + Maple Spiced Nuts

Coffee + Maple Spiced Nuts - offbeat + inspired-2

In our house, we always have a dish of mixed nuts set out. I guess I figure that if I have that out as a snack, I’ll be less likely to head towards the pantry for a handful of chocolate chips. (Although, truth be told, it doesn’t always work.)

In anticipation of the holidays, I opted to spice (and sweeten) things up a bit. These mixed nuts are sweetened with maple syrup and tossed with a few of my favorite fall spices. Of course, I add coffee to pretty much anything I can, so there’s also a hint of freshly ground coffee that takes the flavor to the next level.

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Cider, Thyme + Tonic Mocktail

Cider, Thyme + Tonic Mocktail - offbeat + inspired-2

It’s been a while since I’ve shared anything on the blog, but I have to say it’s good to be back! Life has been a little crazy lately…and it’s about to get a whole lot crazier!

My husband and I are soooo excited to announce that we’re expecting twins in March! To add to our excitement, we just found out the genders (I’m very impatient and too much of a planner to not know). We’re having a little boy and a little girl! During the ultrasound, we could see Baby Boy already attempting to punch his sister. Apparently, sibling rivalry starts way earlier than I realized.

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Grilled Stone Fruit with Butter and Cinnamon

Grilled Stone Fruit with Butter + Cinnamon - offbeat and inspired-4

Is it just me, or did this summer go by super fast? It feels like only yesterday farmers’ market season was starting up and I was thinking through Memorial Day plans. I love fall, but I don’t think I’m ready to give up this warm-weather season. There’s still watermelon to be eaten, picnics to be had, ice cream to be churned and of course, grilling to be done.

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Lavender-Honey Iced Latte

Lavender-Honey Iced Latte - offbeat + inspired-7

I’m a little obsessed with making flavor infused simple syrups (as evidenced by the excessive number of my recipes that include them in some form). The flavor combinations are endless and, in my opinion, it’s one of the easiest and most fun ways to add variety to drinks like iced tea, lemonade, cocktails and of course, coffee.

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Clean Eating | Cantaloupe Gazpacho + Heirloom Tomato Relish

Clean Eating | Cantaloupe Gazpacho - offbeat + inspired-3

This summer has been a season of getting healthy. Sure, I’ve enjoyed my share of baked goods and decadent treats, but for the most part I’ve been trying to get my eating habits back on track. As Tiffany shared a couple weeks ago, we’ve both taken the Whole30 challenge, which has brought my idea of clean eating to a whole new level.

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Lemon-Basil Whole Wheat Coffee Cake

Lemon + Basil Whole Wheat Coffee Cake-3

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Luckily, many breakfast foods are basically cake. Ergo, the most important meal of the day is cake. Flawless logic, right? I’m not quite sure how muffins, pancakes and coffee cake made the cut when it came to deciding which foods were socially acceptable to eat first thing in the morning, but hey, I’m not arguing.

This Lemon-Basil Whole Wheat Coffee Cake has all the fixings of a decadent treat, but you can get away with enjoying it any time of day. It’s topped with buttery, sugary crumbles and has a layer of creamy and tart lemon curd. Fresh basil and lemon zest give it a bright pop of flavor that’s perfect for the summer months. It’s also made with whole wheat flour and Greek yogurt, so you can feel even better about eating cake for breakfast.

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