Some Time Off

Most probably know by now that things in my life have hit a bit of a wall of sorts and I now find myself walking a road I never thought I would travel. I have been blessed to have a wonderful network of family and friends to get me through this difficult time and am hopeful that the year ahead, 2012, will be one full of inspiration, close friends and family, healing, and perhaps even joy and happiness.

I don’t know how much I will be around so please consider this a break of sorts and more of a see you soon, rather than a permanent goodbye to the blog.

This too shall pass.

Maybe we all did. I feel like it’s been an eternity since I last posted. Went back to look and sure enough, it’s been a good while.

I’ve got to do something about that.

Blogging? Most definitely back on!

Check it out. It’s not breakfast this time.


Instead, I decided to go all out and make a dinner that was totally good wine worthy. It’s amazing how much time you have on your hands when the kids are away for a week.



When we went to Lina’s yesterday, I went a bit wild and bought some nummy deli meats, and cheeses, some basil, gnocci, and a loaf of crusty bread.

Tonight I decided to put some of that wholesome goodness to good use. I got out the last of the Smirnoff and made a vodka tomato cream sauce for the gnocci. And, then I sliced some chicken breasts and stuffed them with Brie and pesto (thanks Miss M for that great idea) and baked them until the pancetta that I wrapped them in was all crisp and the cheese was soft and bubbly. A few steamed broccoli tossed in some butter and truffle salt and a light green salad completed the meal.

I tell you, it was so good, I had to have TG remind me to take a picture before I ate it all.


And, now, I need to go knit a bit and do some serious digesting. Luckily, TG is taking care of the dishes tonight.

I wrote a few weeks back about Sunday brunches being something important and special, here at chezDarts and this morning was no exception. The kids asked for French Toast, which in my opinion is generally a nasty business.

I don’t really have much of a sweet tooth. And, your traditional egg coated and syrup smothered bread lumps don’t do much for me. So, I decided to take a traditional french toast recipe and give it a bit of a twist.

Turns out, a little bit of work and a lot of fresh ingredients really go a long way to making a french toast that is tasty and rich (without being overly sweet) and these bread lumps were a hit with the kids, as well as the grown-ups.

I started with eggs and milk, but then I added real vanilla, some honey, a little salt, and, a little something extra – orange zest.

Then, just to top it off, because syrup is not my thing, I added a scoop of berry compote and some ricotta cheese mixed with honey and more orange zest.


Next weekend? Maybe some crepes. Maybe.

Weirdos and Woolies

Here is what happens when you give the kids some face paint and 30 minutes of unsupervised time.




Personally, I think the idea was a good one in theory, but the execution leaves a little something to be desired.


Luckily, there has been a lot of knitting to get me through.

I flew through this Age of Brass & Steam kerchief. It went from cast on to cast off in two days. Two days, people!

Of course, it didn’t hurt that this was the first handspun that I have ever managed to spin ballanced enough to actually knit something out of it. I loved every minute of it and can’t wait to send it off to it’s new home.




And, this shawl, which was originally a gift from a good friend, was also on and off the needles in record time. In case you couldn’t tell from the glamour shot, its the Empress Scarf from Ilga Leja, which was designed for Woolgirl’s lace club last year.



I can’t wait to free these two shawls from the blocking pins and use them to ward off the maddeningly cold weather that we have been experiencing for the last week. All I want to do when it gets this cold is knit. Which means that this sock should jump off the needles in short order too.


So, weekends are typically family days here at chezDarts. We normally hang out, the kids have friends over, and the house is a zoo.


This morning was no different.



And, since there isn’t the crazy rushing around to get out the door like there is during the week, I always make time for a super yummy breakfast and then some knitting. This morning was no exception. While I was trying to decide what to make, Annie wrote about the poached eggs on toast she had made. Perfect.



They were a total hit!



The kids devoured them so fast that I almost didn’t have time for a photo.


Thanks Annie! What will you make next weekend??

Freshly Pressed

Seems like it’s been a while since I got some time to sit down and type up a proper blog post. But, it’s worth the wait, let me assure you.

Remember all those pairs of socks I was contracted to knit? In case you don’t recall, I was actually contracted to knit nine pairs of socks in May of 2010. Since then, I have been devoting a lot of knitting time to getting those churned out and sent off to their rightful owner. But, it’s all coming to an end. I am nearly finished. At last check, I had a foot of one sock and a toe of another to complete.

And, while I expect to get the toe of the second to last pair of outstanding socks done today, I do have some pics of some of the other contract pairs to tide you over.

These are Luminare, made out of Juliespins MCN 560 in Ultraviolet. These took forever to knit, because the yarn is no thicker than a heavy lace weight, but in the end, I think they are stunning and I will be sad to send them off.


These next socks were a real treat to knit. They practically flew off the needles. Knit in Bugga, which is one of my favorite yarns to knit with as it is the perfect balance between soft and sproingy, they are beautiful and functional as well. The pattern is a basic Feather & Fan, but it looks so pretty in this semi-solid.



Honestly, I can’t wait to get finished with these and send them out into the World. They have been a huge undertaking. Although, I do have to say, I was able to knit with a number of yarns I had never knit with before and that was a real plus. I now know which yarns are keepers and which yarns I will be passing on in future.


And really, it’s all about the process, right?



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