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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

June 7, 2012

After over a month of certifications, orientations, and preparations, we finally started banding birds on Tuesday.   It is an hour’s drive north to the station we chose to do that day, plus before we start opening nets at sunrise we have to carry our gear to the banding site and do a 10-minute point count (recording all birds we hear or see.)  With sunrise at 4:40 a.m., that meant our wake-up time was 2:30 a.m.  It was a little rough. ;) (And we have another site that’s an even farther drive, and several with much longer walks.)

We caught 20 birds, the majority of them being Tennessee Warblers, so it is likely that some of those were migrants .  Our next banding date isn’t until the 10th, so hopefully by then the last migrants have moved through.  Our intention is to monitor local breeding birds.

With such early rising times, I think we are going to feel like eating lunch by 7 o’clock!  So I thought I should come up with some good second breakfast ideas.  Baking and freezing muffins seems like a good plan.  On an oatmeal kick (we had oatmeal pancakes for breakfast again yesterday) I wanted to make another kind of  oat-filled muffin so I thought oatmeal-chocolate chip sounded good.

I reduced the sugar in these (I laugh when people refer to muffins as health food) and they tasted sweet enough to me.  Next time I make them I might try substituting half applesauce for half of the oil, but I didn’t want to mess around with them too much this time.  I think the oats in these should make them hearty enough to keep me going for a few net rounds. ;)

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

(makes 12, adapted from Allrecipes.com)

1 1/4 cups quick-oats
1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup chocolate chips
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

In a large bowl, combine oats and milk and allow to stand for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 400°F.  Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
Stir egg, oil, vanilla, brown sugar, and chocolate chips into the oat mixture.
In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.  Add flour mixture to oat mixture, stirring until just moist.  Fill muffin cups 3/4 full.  Bake for 15-25 minutes, or until tops spring back when pressed and a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool on wire racks.
Do you have any good portable breakfast or snack suggestions for me?
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