Chai and Fruity Oatmeal Yums, from August McLaughlin!


I’m so excited to have August McLaughlin here today, as our guest cookie baker/tea barista!  Not only is she sharing her fab recipes with us (homemade chai? sign me up!), but she’s also giving us some interesting background from her own family’s relationship with tea, along with a little Indian tea history.  Squee! Can I keep her? No? Ah, well…

They are all yours, August!


If home is where the heart is, part of mine lives in India, another in Minnesota. My Swedish mom grew up in Assam, India and later married my Norwegian dad, who was studying East Asian culture at the University of Minnesota. So while our Minnesotan neighbors dined on hot dish (think creamy casserole topped with potato chips) and extra-mild salsa (only MN has this, um…treat ;)), we chowed down on curries galore. And instead of Kool Aid, O.J. or soft drinks, India tea remains a staple.

Since I know the fabulous Kathy is a history buff, here are a few tidbits:

  • ‘Chai’ is Hindi for ‘tea’. So when you order chai tea at Starbucks, you’re actually ordering tea-tea. 😉
  • The full traditional name is ‘masala chai’, which means spiced tea.
  • In the early 1800s, the British East India Company grew concerned that China was overtaking the world’s tea monopoly, and began cultivating Assamese tea plants. The British Indian tea industry flourished, but the Indian natives didn’t much like the British preparation techniques—black tea with milk and sugar. Since then, masala chai, the spicy, slightly sweet and creamy beverage, has become popular worldwide. And, it’s delish!

Simple Chai

1 cup water

1 cup milk—any variety

2 black tea bags

2 tbsp honey or agave

splash of vanilla extract

1 cinnamon stick

2 whole cloves

dash of ground cardamom (about 1/8 tsp)

dash of ginger (about 1/8 tsp)

In a sauce pan, boil water.  Add remaining ingredients, then reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Strain and pour into cups. Makes 2 servings.


This week’s cookie: Fruit-filled Oatmeal

Don't they look delicious? Image via August McLaughlin

I created this recipe for a vegan friend of mine, who *gasp* doesn’t like chocolate! But even as a chocolate lover, I have to say—they turned out tasty! They have a light, crumbly texture, a hearty sweet flavor and more fiber and antioxidants than most granola and energy bars.

Fruity Nutty Oatmeal Yums

2 cups old fashioned oats

2 cups dried apricots

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

2 medium apples, diced

1/2 cup pitted dates, chopped

1/3 cup peanut or almond butter

4 tbsp coconut oil

2 tbsp agave nectar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

pinch of salt

Heat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Place all of the ingredients in your food processor and pulse until well combined. Then with your hands, roll rounded teaspoon-size balls of dough. Place the dough balls on an un-greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until cookies appear lightly brown. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.


As they say in Minnesota, “Oh yah. You have a good day now!” And in India, “Namaste!”  It’s been such a treat sharing the blog-stage with you, Kathy!


August, you can stop by anytime with such wonderful-ness.  I see you found the cookie sheets, no problem. 😉 Thank you so much for being the guest cook today! 

What food traditions does your family share? August and I would love to hear from you!

Until next time,


image via August McLaughlin

August McLaughlin is a Los Angeles-based health writer and author with articles featured,, Healthy Aging Magazine, DAME Magazine and more. Before completing her first novel, In Her Shadow, she worked in the fashion, entertainment and wellness industries, wearing hats ranging from Parisian runway model to culinary coach. Considering her longstanding passion for suspense tales, she wasn’t surprised when her attempt at a memoir turned quickly into a thriller. She is represented by Dystel & Goderich Literary Management and is currently completing her second novel, Beauty Complex, and a nutritional guide for Alzheimer’s disease prevention.

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23 thoughts on “Chai and Fruity Oatmeal Yums, from August McLaughlin!”

  1. Coleen PatrickColeen Patrick

    Yummy! I love “tea tea” 😉 And cookies just make it fantastic. Thanks August & Kathy!

  2. August McLaughlinAugust McLaughlin

    You’re so welcome, Coleen! Thought of you, since both recipes suit a wheat-free diet. 😉 (Gluten-free folks should use oats labeled GF to be safe.)

  3. Mike SirotaMike Sirota

    Whenever I know that August is going to send me some of her cookies, I wait at the curb for the mailman. Awesome!

  4. Sheila SeabrookSheila Seabrook

    Oh yummm, tea and cookies! I love these recipes. They both sound so easy to make. Plus, the cookies with the tea would make the perfect afternoon snack and pick-me-up. Thanks for sharing the recipes and the history of chai tea!

    • August McLaughlinAugust McLaughlin

      Glad you enjoyed it, Sheila! They really are simple. Best we save major challenges for the page. 😉

  5. Rachel Funk HellerRachel Funk Heller

    Hi August, Hi Kathy,
    Thanks so much for the spiced tea-tea recipe. I’m not much of a hot beverage girl, but iced chai is one of my favorites. But I have to ask, along with all the curries, did you guys eat Swedish Meatballs too? Bring on the butter. Great job you guys.

  6. August McLaughlinAugust McLaughlin

    Ha! I actually have made meatball curry. *closes eyes to avoid funny looks* It’s more delicious than it sounds, with mango chutney especially. 😉 Mmm…

  7. Louise BehielLouise Behiel

    whoo – wonderful, yummy and such a feel good combination. yay!!

  8. Karen McFarlandkKaren McFarlandk

    August and Kathy, another healthy post! You don’t have to sell me on drinking tea. I love tea and drink it all day. Although mine is of the green variety, chai is also a favorite. Thanks for the recipe! Namaste! 🙂

  9. Natalie HartfordNatalie Hartford

    Sounds amazing. I had no idea that masala chai was spiced tea. I always assumed it was a fancy name for regular British tea. Wow. I can’t WAIT to try it and those cookies sound DELICIOUS! Do you know if they freeze well? I am looking for healthy snacks/breakfast things that I can make a large batch and then freeze so I can enjoy 1 a day for a couple of weeks. Quick preparation is key to my healthy eating lifestyle and those sound PERFECT!
    Thanks for the fahhhhbulous tips you two…squeee!!

  10. Natalie HartfordNatalie Hartford

    Oh…and yes when it comes to food traditions, my family was always a little wonkie as well August. My Mom is from the Dominican Republic so while my friends were enjoying fish and chips or ham for supper, we were having sancocho, sweet beans, and deep fried plantains…YUM!
    When hubby came to meet Mom for the first time, he came for supper. He was stunned to see banana-like fruit being pounded and fried and then served?!?! I told him to toss a little butter and salt on them…OH YES!!! He still raises his eyebrows up at the plantains but they are definitely one of my favs….AND FRIED cheese…OMG!! LOL!!

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