Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

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Want to know what it’s like to have a large family? (And, BTW, after seeing my cousin with her seven kids last week, mine doesn’t seem that big!)

Friday morning I decided to make muffins bright and early, before the kids came downstairs. The recipe ended up making 21 muffins. They aren’t huge muffins, certainly not bakery big, but pretty standard for homemade muffins.

My husband ate one, because I needed him to taste-test, even though he doesn’t usually eat breakfast at home. I am on Whole 30, so no yummy muffins for me.

Then the kids came downstairs. By the time we got them to school. they had eaten ten muffins among the four of them. So that’s 11 gone, 10 still left.

All the muffins were gone by the time my husband got up at 8:30 or so on Saturday morning. I don’t know why I ever make a single batch of anything. (Although if I had made a double batch, I’m sure no one would have liked them. See: Zucchini Muffin Debacle of 2017.)

Obviously these were a big hit in our family, and I’ll be making them again soon!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 18 minutes

Total Time: 28 minutes

Yield: about 21 muffins

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

Slightly adapted from Money Saving Mom


  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 2 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup turbinado (raw) sugar (or regular or brown sugar)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups whole buttermilk*
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, plain applesauce
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (I used a combo of mini and regular)


Preheat oven to 400F. Line muffin cups with papers or silicone muffin cups.

In a large bowl, whisk together oats, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl or big mixing cup, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, and applesauce. Pour wet ingredients into dry ones and stir until all the dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in chocolate chips.

Scoop batter into muffin cups, filling each cup about three-fourths full.

Bake about 18 minutes, until a tester comes out clean and tops are a little brown.

*I think whole (not lowfat or nonfat) buttermilk is the key to super delicious baked goods. I try to keep it on hand for pancakes, biscuits, cakes, and muffins. If you don't have it, you can make buttermilk with milk + lemon juice or vinegar, or just use regular milk. If you use lowfat milk, I might use oil or melted butter instead of applesauce in this recipe.


Whole Wheat Banana Bread Muffins

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I posted this recipe approximately eight million years ago, or in 2011. At the time, I wasn’t 100% happy with it, but I didn’t know why.

Last year, I started tinkering again, and found that lowering the oven temperature to let the muffins rise slightly slower and using whole-milk buttermilk did wonders. Now these are fluffy and luscious and one of my favorite muffin recipes. And they are all whole wheat, using the magic of white whole wheat flour. (Which they’ve stopped carrying at my Food City AND Walmart. GRUMP! This bag I found at Target.)

Next time you have some very ripe bananas, make these! In fact, make a double batch. Because they’re going to get gobbled up, especially if you have many small and hungry children as I do.

Whole Wheat Banana Bread Muffins

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 12-16 muffins

Whole Wheat Banana Bread Muffins


  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1/3 c. coconut oil or melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c. honey
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 c. whole buttermilk
  • 2 c. whole wheat flour (preferably white whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 T flaxseed meal
  • 12 walnut or pecan halves


Preheat oven to 375F. Grease 12 muffins cups or use paper liners.

Cream bananas, oil or butter, egg, honey, sugar, and vanilla with a mixer or a wooden spoon. Add buttermilk, then dry ingredients (all remaining except nuts). Stir until combined.

Spoon into muffin tins, filling about two-thirds full. Press a walnut or pecan half into the middle of each muffin.

Bake 20-23 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.


These muffins are definitely not commercial-bakery-muffin-sugarfest. Using the ripest bananas will help contribute a good sweetness.


The 2011 Jessie would have never believed she could take a picture that good with a phone. Kind of amazing! After holding out on getting a smartphone for a long time, we caved two years ago. And about two weeks ago, I upgraded to the iPhone 7 plus. It takes pretty pictures. And you know I need those of my babies.

(Four. Have I mentioned I have four kids now? It’s been almost 10 months and it still feels surreal.)

Berry French Toast Bake

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure statement for more details.

Well, hello! It’s been approximately eight million years since I posted a recipe. This possibly has to do with the insanity of having four children and the added bonus that right before I had Hannah in October, my real camera decided to stop working.

(I’m pretty sure it has sand in the lens and won’t retract … but it would probably cost more to fix than to replace it. Argh.)

My husband keeps telling me my iPhone will take pictures that are just as good. I don’t really think so, but they’re good enough for me, for now.

This is one of the recipes I’ve probably made the most over the last six or seven years. It’s my go-to when I want to take a meal to someone; I find that when there’s a meal train, people usually bring chicken casseroles or pasta. And that is fine and AWESOME, but I think breakfast for dinner mixes it up a little.

This Berry French Toast recipe comes from Cooking During Stolen Moments, which was one of my VERY favorite food blogs ever. Almost everything I ever made from there was a hit. Unfortunately, the site is not accessible any more. I am so glad I had this one written down in my recipe book so I didn’t lose the recipe! I’ve only adapted it slightly – mostly I just skimp on the berries because I like a lot of chewy, eggy bread. It’s delicious with fresh berries of any kind, but you could also use frozen ones – or peaches!

Serve with a side of bacon or sausage for a delicious meal any time of day.

Berry French Toast Bake

Yield: about 8 servings

Berry French Toast Bake

Delicious berry-enhanced French toast casserole is taken over the top with a brown sugar drizzle.


  • 1 loaf French or Italian bread
  • 2 to 3 c. berries
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 2 oz. cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 4 T butter
  • 1 c. light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon


Start with day-old bread, or cut bread into large cubes a few hours before you want to start making this and let them sit out to get slightly stale. Slice strawberries into quarters. Blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries can be left whole.

Place a layer of bread cubes in a 9x13-inch baking dish. Add most of the berries, reserving about 1/2 cup. Top with the rest of the bread cubes.

Whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, and almond extract. Pour evenly over the bread. Top with remaining berries, then dot with cream cheese pieces. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 375F. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add brown sugar and whisk together until the sugar begins to melt and the mixture is smooth, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cinnamon. Drizzle sugar topping over the casserole. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, covered, until egg is set.

Let sit for a few minutes before cutting and serving.


To make dairy-free, use almond milk instead of dairy milk and leave out the cream cheese. If you are taking to a new mom who is breastfeeding, you might ask if she is avoiding dairy. (I usually am.)


What’s your favorite breakfast for dinner?


Strawberry Cream Cheese Bread

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Strawberry Cream Cheese Bread

What do you do when your strawberries are getting too ripe to eat? Throw them in a baked good, of course! My kids were thrilled to have something different to eat for breakfast, and I even threw it in their lunch boxes one day in lieu of a sandwich.

Lunchbox with Strawberry Bread

I am excited about the arrival of strawberry season – are you? I guess it depends where you live, but here in Tennessee the strawberries are starting to be ready to pick. In fact, I was going to take my kids to pick strawberries today at a farm in north Georgia, but the zealous pickers on Thursday and Friday apparently dried them out. Oh well! We’ll try again soon.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Bread

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 8 slices

Strawberry Cream Cheese Bread

Adapted from My Baking Addiction


  • 1/2 c. butter, softened
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. white whole wheat flour (or use another cup all-purpose)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk, or milk soured with lemon juice
  • 1 to 1 1/2 c. diced strawberries
  • for topping
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon


Grease a loaf pan and set aside. Preheat oven to 350F.

With a mixer, cream together butter, cream cheese, and sugar. Scrape sides of bowl, then add eggs one at time with mixer running. Add vanilla.

In a bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and mix until just blended. Add buttermilk and stir just until combined. Fold in strawberries by hand. Spoon batter into loaf pan and smooth the top.

Mix together sugar and cinnamon for topping, then sprinkle evenly over the top, pressing in gently. You may not want to use all the mixture.

Bake 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool before cutting.


What is your favorite strawberry recipe?

Here are some of mine:

Strawberry Cashew Milk Smoothies for #FoodBloggerLove

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure statement for more details.

Strawberry Cashew Milk Smoothies

Hey guys! Today is all about showing LOVE to a fellow blogger. The lovely ladies of The PinterTest Kitchen organized this #FoodBloggerLove event – and let me join even though I’m only sort of a food blog. Aren’t they sweet?

I am showing the love to Erin Brighton, author of ErinBrighton.com – And She Cooks. Local. Erin a a local foodie in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband and FIVE small children. She and one child have celiac disease, so she cooks locally sourced, gluten-free recipes, and shares them with lovely pictures on her blog.

Her recipes aren’t finicky, though – they are family-friendly fare that I think I could get my own (now I feel like I am slacking with just THREE) kids to eat. I have to admit at first I picked the super finicky Macarons from her site to try to make. Mine were a flop … but I have some ideas of what went wrong and I might try again. Maybe.

I am putting Blueberry Cobbler and Panko-Crusted Cod on my list for when the weather warms up this summer. Especially if I can snag some local blueberries from the farmer’s market or, better yet, my in-laws’ blueberry bushes! (They live near Charlotte, too!)

Since we’ve recently put our middle child, David, on a dairy-free diet to try to eliminate his constant allergy issues, I decided to make Erin’s Creamy Cashew Milk. I have made Almond Milk from another source, and I love having it on hand to use in recipes for him. (Or rather, for all of us, but it makes it David-safe.) With only a 1-hour soak and no straining required, this cashew milk was way easier than the almond milk I made! And I think it tastes better, too. I love the mild flavor of cashews.

Homemade Cashew Milk

Unlike store-bought nut milk, this doesn’t have any stabilizers, carrageenan, or other yucky stuff; it is just cashews, water, dates, vanilla, and salt. I used a little over a cup of cashews and about 2 1/2 cups of water, and it made around 5 cups of yummy cashew milk.

With the milk, I made a Valentine’s-themed smoothie for my little ones: cashew milk and strawberry jam, with some ripe banana to sweeten it. I added four drops of food coloring because I wanted it to be nice and pink, but that is totally optional. You can also use strawberries or raspberries instead of jam, if you want – I just went with what we had on hand. The flavor blended with the cashews was delicious, and David was thrilled to have a “milkshake” he could drink!

Strawberry Cashew Milk Smoothies

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 8 ounces

Strawberry Cashew Milk Smoothies


  • 2 c. homemade cashew milk
  • 1/2 c. all-fruit strawberry jam
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 4 drops red food coloring (optional)
  • 1 to 2 c. ice


Blend first three ingredients together in a high-powered blender. Add food coloring if using. Add ice gradually until fully combined and smoothie is your desired consistency.


I am going to share another crazy good recipe I got from Erin’s site later this afternoon, too, so keep an eye out! For now, here’s some fun stuff for #FoodBloggerLove.

During this event, we are giving away a Kindle Fire! You can enter via the Rafflecopter here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

All the bloggers participating have also donated to No Kid Hungry. This organization helps provide meals for the 1 in 5 children in the U.S. who face hunger (something close to my heart). We’d love it if you would consider donating a dollar or two as well by clicking that link.

Additionally, I have to throw some extra #FoodBloggerLove out to my favorite food blog, Chattavore. I think Erin would approve, since Chattavore (aka Mary) is local to me and loves local ingredients. Y’all, I have never had a Chattavore recipe bomb. Her recipes are consistently awesome and some of our favorites. She also does Chattanooga restaurant reviews, which we check out before eating out pretty much every time.

I hope you’ll enter the giveaway, considering giving to No Kid Hungry, and visit all the wonderful #FoodBloggerLove recipes below. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Low-Sugar Peanut Butter Cookies {Secret Recipe Club}

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure statement for more details.


Do you ever eat cookies for breakfast? We sure do. One of my kids’ favorite breakfasts is Giant Breakfast Cookies. (They also love having Popsicles for breakfast.) I am all about making their food fun so that they are more likely to eat healthier things. And since these cookies are probably way healthier than any muffin I make, I say go forth and make cookies for breakfast!

I chose the Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies from Tasty Cheapskate‘s site for Secret Recipe Club this month. Blogger Jean shares her simple, wholesome, and cheap recipes there, with the cost of ingredients included!

I also eyed the Irish Soda Bread (which I love, but the one I made most recently flopped in a big way) and Lemon Garlic Hummus; but in the end I was searching while I had sick kids at home and couldn’t go to the store, so I had everything on hand for the peanut butter cookies. Plus, cookies.

That said – for some wacky reason I didn’t have any whole wheat flour, which I ALWAYS have. So I did use white flour in mine, but I mixed in some oat flour to give it a little more healthfulness. I would definitely use white whole wheat flour if I had it on hand.

Low-Sugar Peanut Butter Cookies

Low-Sugar Peanut Butter Cookies

Adapted from The Tasty Cheapskate.


  • 2 T butter
  • 1 c. natural peanut butter (see notes)
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 2 T white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 T milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/4 c. flour, preferably whole wheat (or a combo of all-purpose and oat flour)
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 c. chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350F.

In a saucepan over low heat, melt together the butter, peanut butter, and sugars. Move mixture to a large bowl.

Your mixture should only be warm, not hot; if it's too warm, wait for a bit to make sure the eggs don't cook in it. Once it's just slightly warm, add eggs, milk, and vanilla.

Sift dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, and baking powder) into the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat. Form dough into golf-ball sized balls and place on sheet, then press down slightly. (You can criss-cross with a fork for a traditional peanut butter cookie look, if you like. I didn't.) Bake for 7-8 minutes. They won't look done, but take them out anyway. Let cool on baking sheet 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Best served warm!


For these to be truly low in sugar, use a natural peanut butter that is just peanuts or peanuts and salt. Even "natural" peanut butters usually have sugar and oils in them. I like Smuckers brand.


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