Friday, December 17, 2010

Sock Monkey Attire

My sock monkey wardrobe continues to expand with a recent gift, a sock monkey hat. No doubt I will be the envy of those who walk the dog park as I wear such a fun warm hat complete with snugly ear flaps. Check out photo.
While Rocky Socky was busy driving the Sockland Express bus, I decided to take a closer look at one of Will's Christmas gifts to Rocky Socky before it got wrapped Sock Monkey Dreams Daily Life at the Red Heeled Monkey Shelter by Whitney Shroyer and Letitia Walker (info. just in case you may want to pick up your own copy) chronicles the daily life at the Red Heeled Monkey Shelter, a home for abandoned sock monkeys. I learned about the people who run the shelter, the rescue monkeys that are for sale and how these sock species evolved.
As I delved further into the book I was fascinated to learn about all the ways these monkeys arrive at the shelter. Many come from rescue missions from thrift shops, antique malls and yard sales. Some get dropped off or mailed in boxes to the shelter by people who can no longer care for them.
A resident sock monkey named Benny Hathaway writes and edits a newspaper called The Monkey Ape Vine. This newspaper covers the daily events at the shelter with resident interviews. I was just starting to read the chapter: What's Cookin' at Cookie's Counter? when I decided I'd better get a move on my own holiday baking. So at a later date I'll find out more about Cookie, a sock monkey who recently started a new career opening a monkey dinner.
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Brunch Recipe Ideas
check back tomorrow on blog for bunch salad recipes

Ham and Asparagus Strata

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. asparagus spears (1 bunch) trimmed that have been cooked in salted boiling water 10 minutes, drained and cut in 2 inch pieces
  • 6 cups of French bread cubes
  • 3 cups white cheddar cheese
  • 2 TB. parsley flakes
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¾ cup chopped onion
  • 2 cups chopped cooked ham
  • 7 eggs
  • 3 cups half and half
  • 1 small package of mushrooms

Directions:

  • Sauté mushrooms and onions
  • In a blender add eggs and seasonings
  • Grease glass 13 x 9 pan
  • Place bread crumbs on the bottom of glass pan, add mushrooms, onions
  • Place ham and chopped asparagus over bread cubes
  • Pour half and half mixture over ham mixture
  • Sprinkle with cheese
  • Cover and refrigerate overnight
  • Take out about 30 minutes before cooking
  • Cook uncovered at 325 45 minutes check to make sure center is set
  • Let rest 10-15 minutes before serving

Blueberry French Toast Bake

Adapted from Betty Crocker Berry Good French Toast Bake

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 ½ cups half and half or whole milk
  • 1 TB. sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 6 eggs
  • 1- 6oz. cream cheese cubed
  • 10 slices of French bread cut 1- inch thick in 1- inch cubes
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (thawed)
  • ½ cup almonds

Directions:

  • Grease a 2-½ quart casserole
  • In blender mix flour, half and half, vanilla, salt, eggs,cinnamon and sugar
  • In a separate bowl add milk mixture to bread cubes
  • Place in greased baking dish
  • Top with ½ inch cream cheese cubes spread evenly over bread mixture, top with blueberries and nuts
  • Cover and refrigerate at least an hour but no longer than 24 hours
  • Heat oven to 400
  • Bake 30 minutes uncovered till golden brown and center is set
  • To serve sprinkle with powdered sugar or syrup

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