Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday morning

This is my Monday morning desk.  (I should at this very minute be grading papers during my free period...).  The 2010 Rick Steves' France book is now in my possession (thanks for the gift card, Amanda!), complete with a very nice entry about Chef Érick on p. 572:

$$ A Bed and Breakfast in Arles, run by gentle chef Érick Vedel, combines a laid-back B&B experience with five spacious and funky-but-comfy rooms with optional cooking workshops.  Breakfast includes home-made crêpes, jams, and fresh-squeezed orange juice...

No mention, of course, of the French-speaking American assistant who cleaned those rooms and made those crêpes and ran out to the little épicerie around the corner to buy those oranges to freshly squeeze that juice and who capped thousands of strawberries from the market to make that jam.  Oh well.  I know I was there and did all of that!
Back to the desk pictured above.  While at Barnes and Noble picking up the book, I grabbed a cup of coffee (whatever the weird size is, with plenty of room for cream, merci) to go with the little treat that Claire brought in to share with her fellow advisees and advisor this morning.  Oatmeal butterscotch bars.  I pronounced them délicieux!  Especially with a nice hot cup of coffee. 
Okay, now where are those quizzes I am supposed to be grading?

Claire's Oatmeal Butterscotch Bars
(makes 4 dozen or less, depending on how you cut them!)

1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 c. (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 c. granulated sugar
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract or grated peel of one orange
3 c. quick or old-fashioned oats
1 2/3 c. (11-oz. package) butterscotch flavored morsels

Preheat oven to 375F.
Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in small bowl.  Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla extract (or orange peel) in large mixer bowl.  Gradually beat in flour mixture.  Stir in oats and morsels. 
Spread into a greased 15x10 inch jelly roll pan (or line it with parchment paper).  Bake for 18-22 minutes or until light golden brown.  Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
To make cookies, prepare as above and drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.  Bake for 7-8 minutes for chewy cookies or 9-10 minutes for crisp cookies.  Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Bon appétit, Monday morning and Claire!

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