Cookbooking: Joy The Baker | Chocolate Bourbon-Spiked Banana Bread

Cookbooking: Joy The Baker | Chocolate Bourbon-Spiked Banana Bread - offbeat + inspired

For the longest time, I didn’t consider myself much of a baker – the idea of having to measure turned me off. I generally have more of a “let’s throw in a little of this and a little of that until it tastes good” mentality.

Enter Joy The Baker. Joy has been sharing her kitchen creations for a while, but I just started following her regularly several months ago (what the heck was I waiting for?). Her witty, endearing writing makes you feel like you’re chatting over a cup of coffee and a plate of Peanut Butter Bacon Pancakes, while her recipes have the power to induce spontaneous salivation. Coffee Bacon Sandwiches will be happening very soon in my kitchen, and Dark Chocolate, Pistachio + Smoked Sea Salt Cookies inspired my own cupcake version.

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Japanese Method Iced Coffee

Japanese Method Iced Coffee

Summer is officially here! That calls for fresh farmers’ market produce, backyard barbecues and, of course, cold drinks. I’ve shared before how to make smooth, full-flavored, cold-brew coffee for drinks like a caramel iced latte or coffee cocktail. While I love that method, it takes about 8-12 hours for the coffee to steep – and let’s face it…sometimes a craving for iced coffee hits when you don’t want to wait that long.

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Ginger + Honey Sparkling Lemonade

Ginger + Honey Sparkling Lemonade - offbeat + inspired-3

I used to think I didn’t really like lemonade – until I made it last summer for the first time with actual lemons. I should have started making the real stuff a long time ago, because now I’m completely hooked. There’s simply no substitute for the crisp, tart and sweet flavor of real, homemade lemonade.

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Cardamom + Vanilla Coffee Cocktail

Cardamom + Vanilla Coffee Cocktail

The weekend has officially arrived, which means it’s time to kick back, relax and shake up a cocktail. Cardamom and vanilla are two of my absolute favorite spices – and luckily, those flavors pair incredibly well with my most beloved beverage – coffee.

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Mango Two Ways [and a giveaway with Whole Foods!]

Mango 2 ways main image 3

Happy Monday! Tiffany and I are so excited about today’s post! We’ve teamed up with Whole Foods to bring you two delicious mango recipes – one savory, one sweet.

Mango has quickly become one of my favorite warm weather ingredients. It’s incredibly versatile and works well in everything from smoothies to cocktails to the recipes we’re sharing today. Nothing says summer like the flavor of mango – and Mango + Shrimp Skewers and Mango, Rosemary + Ginger Shortbread Cookies are the perfect way to kick off the season.

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DIY Citrus Salt Scrub

DIY Citrus Salt Scrub - offbeat + inspired

I am obsessed with all things citrus. Whether it’s as simple as putting a slice of lime in my water or involves a decadent lemon-basil coffee cake (recipe for that coming soon!), I am officially smitten. My most recent citrus creation is this super easy sea salt scrub. Homemade scrubs take about 5 minutes to make (sometimes even less) and they’re not littered with harsh chemicals or additives found in many store-bought versions. They also make great gifts – although you may want to make two batches so you can keep one for yourself.

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Spinach, Herb + Parmesan Breakfast Casserole

Spinach, Herb + Parmesan Breakfast Casserole - offbeat + inspired-10

I debated about what to call this dish. I tried to come up with a different word than “casserole”, but to be honest it was really the most fitting term. When I was growing up, my mom made incredibly flavorful casseroles. Yet for many people, the word “casserole” conjures up an image of a pile of mushy, mystery ingredients you were forced to eat as a kid before you could leave the table. If the latter sounds familiar, I hope this recipe will help change your mind.

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Coffee-Maple Candied Bacon

Coffee-Maple Candied Bacon - offbeat + inspired-5

What’s better than bacon? Candied bacon with rich, earthy flavors of coffee, sweet maple syrup, caramelized sugar and spicy black pepper.

This recipe is dangerously easy to make, with only a few ingredients: bacon, freshly roasted coffee (I like using a full-bodied, dark roast such as FreshGround’s Sumatra Aceh), sugar, maple syrup and a touch of black pepper. Word of advice? Make this in small batches – or at least have friends over to share the results with. Otherwise before you know it, you’ll have consumed a shameful amount of bacon all by yourself. (Yup, I’m speaking from personal experience.)

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Repainted Storage Console + Annie Sloan Brush Review

Repainted Storage Console + Annie Sloan Brush Review - offbeat + inspired

My obsession with garage sale shopping began about two years ago when my husband and I moved into our house. We previously lived in a one-bedroom apartment and didn’t own much furniture, so I had to get creative in order to decorate on a budget. I’ve enjoyed most of this process – searching out vintage shops, finding unique pieces that cost next to nothing and turning “junk” into something beautiful. The downside, however, comes when I have a decorating vision but can’t (immediately) find a wallet-friendly way to carry it out.

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Coffee + Cardamom Zeppole

Coffee + Cardamom Zeppole - offbeat + inspired-4

In an effort to expand my cooking repertoire, I’ve been experimenting with new dishes, techniques and recipes. I don’t often make desserts, so I figured that would be a great (and tasty) area in which to step up my culinary game. The latest sweet treat? Italian fried doughnuts, also called zeppole. Yup – deep-fried, buttery, sweet dough covered in sugar. What’s not to love?

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