Cappuccino Biscotti

It’s no secret that I love coffee. From my morning brew to nearly every other coffee-related recipe or project, I’m obsessed. Coffee soaps, coffee cupcakes, coffee decor – there’s something about this delicious beverage (probably caffeine) that I just can’t get enough of.

Cappuccino Biscotti 6

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Clean Eating | Quinoa Pilaf + Balsamic Roasted Kabocha Squash

Clean Eating | Quinoa Pilaf + Balsamic Roasted Kabocha Squash from offbeat + inspired

I think it’s fairly common to make healthy eating resolutions in January, and then watch in horror as they go down the drain when Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day and Easter hit. Those don’t seem like big eating holidays, which is why we all figure we’re out of the dog house post-New Years — but then the boxes of chocolate, fancy dinner dates, Irish soda bread, corned beef, Easter ham and everything buttery, sugary, salty and fried makes itself absolutely necessary… again.

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Citrus-Herb Orzo Salad

Birds are chirping, tulips are budding and I can finally walk outside without a heavy coat. As spring arrives, I find myself craving refreshing dishes with ingredients like juicy oranges and fragrant herbs. After a winter filled with holiday gluttony, I welcome the colors, aromas and most importantly the tastes of spring.

Citrus Herb Orzo Pasta Salad 1

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Citrus-Walnut Salad Dressing

Citrus Walnut Salad 1

OK, true confessions: I have been consuming way too much junk food lately. My husband and I have been enjoying all the goodness that comes from cheese, bread and salt – but when I started considering pizza a balanced meal, I figured it was time for a change. (I’m definitely a sucker for savory.) In an effort to combat my recent eating habits, I decided today was a good day to start adding more fruits and veggies to my diet.

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Spinach & Tomato Eggs Benedict

My youngest sister can cook. Truly. We’re out in Indiana for the weekend visiting her and her husband while they’re on spring break from college, and she’s already whipped up 2 delicious meals in their tiny (adorable) apartment kitchen. When I say tiny kitchen, I mean TINY kitchen. Here’s proof that it doesn’t matter how big or small your culinary workroom is, and it doesn’t matter how many fancy schmancy appliances you do (or don’t) have… you can still produce killer dishes on a budget that will give your favorite restaurants a run for their money. Case in point — spinach and tomato eggs benedict.

Spinach & Tomato Eggs Benedict - offbeat + inspired

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Irish Coffee

Irish Coffee 1

On a cold, damp day there’s nothing like an Irish coffee to warm you up from the inside out. Legend tells us that’s what Joseph Sheridan thought in 1942 when a group of American travelers ended up at his restaurant in Ireland. Joe wanted to give them something that would warm up and awaken his cold and weary guests. Hot coffee with a bit of sugar, a jigger of whiskey and topped with rich cream proved to be the perfect pick-me-up. One of the travelers, curious to know more about the beverage, asked Joe if it was Brazilian coffee. Joe responded, “No, it’s Irish coffee.” And so the tradition began.

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Fennel and Zucchini Soup

Fennel and Zucchini Soup 1

This time of year is a bit of a cooking conundrum to me. I find myself growing tired of heavy winter recipes but I’m not quite ready to fire up the grill. In Chicago, there may be a blizzard one day and the next day all the neighborhood snowmen have melted into a pile of stick arms and carrot noses. The winter chill hasn’t quite left but I’m craving the spring warmth I’m told is right around the corner.

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Chocolate Chip Muffins with Greek Yogurt

Chocolate Chip Muffins 1 - offbeat + inspired

When I was in junior high, my mom signed my brother and me up for a reading/study skills course at my school. I appreciate my mom’s desire for us to acquire such important skills, but that course started at 7am and we lived 25 minutes from school. For a 12-year-old night person, I was not super excited about leaving my house at 6:30am. (For that matter, as a 26-year-old night person, I’m not super excited about anything at 6:30am.)

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Lemon Apple Mug Pie

Lemon Apple Mug Pie - offbeat + inspired

Coffee, tea and hot cocoa drinkers everywhere have a reverent appreciation for the mug. If you’re like me, you’ve actually searched for “mug obsession” on Pinterest and spent inappropriate amounts of time mentally adding to your (embarrassingly large) collection. So why is the mug so appealing? I think the obvious reason is that it’s the most convenient way to take your daily dose of caffeine, but besides that there’s something comforting about toting around your favorite cozy beverages in an adorable little bowl with a handle.

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Coffee Cupcakes for a Very Special Birthday

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Surprise! Happy Birthday Tiffany! I’m throwing you a virtual surprise party complete with cupcakes, candles and stories about our childhood. (I promise I won’t tell the really embarrassing stories.)

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