Natalie is 4!

Today is Natalie's 4th birthday! I'm having a great time looking back on pictures of her from one, two, three, and four years ago. I can't get over how much Natalie has grown and changed in these first 4 years of her life. I'm lucky to be her mom.


Duncan Leaks!

You saw it here first! Today only! Exclusive Duncan family leaks that are downright mortifying. See us like you've never (wanted to) see us before. It's embarrassing! It's scandalous! It's ... delicious! I made Potato Leek Soup for the first time tonight and it was pretty tasty. I've never cooked with leeks before, hence the unnatural excitement and inability to overcome the urge to pun. Please forgive me.

Many thanks to Elise at Simply Recipes for the yummy recipe. My substitutions: I didn't have marjoram, so I used oregano & basil. I pureed the whole soup b/c I didn't like the look of the leek floaties. It made a very thick, satisfying soup with very little fat.

What else do you all make with leeks? Any suggestions?


No Kindle for me, thank you

I just got A Tree Grows in Brooklyn from the library and began reading it. This passage explains why I can't get into the eReader sensation. (Besides the fact that they cost an arm and a leg.) Here it is, from sweet Francie Nolan's perspective:
"The story of Francois Villon was more wonderful each time she read it. Sometimes she worried for fear the book would be lost in the library and she'd never be able to read it again. She had once started copying the book in a two-cent notebook. She wanted to own a book so badly and she had thought the copying would do it. But the penciled sheets did not seem like nor smell like the library book so she had given it up, consoling herself with the vow that when she grew up, she would work hard, save money and buy every single book that she liked." (p. 25)
I'm thinking A Tree Grows in Brooklyn may be one of those books that just needs to be bought. So far, so good.


Breakfast for Dinner Nirvana

I think most people who check out my blog come here for the kiddo pics, but I just have to share the details of last night's successful dinner. I just might post a pic of the kids at the end to thank you for making it through my post.

Yesterday I got a loaf of white bread free at the store. What on earth to do with white bread? Ah! French toast! I enjoyed it as a child, but for some reason have never made it since I left home. (Probably because I never have white bread in the house unless someone's throwing up and therefore on the BRAT diet.)

Anyhow, I wanted to make an egg dish to go with the french toast, and I didn't have the right ingredients for any of the usual suspects. So I tried the Puffy Omelet recipe in my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook (also where I found my french toast recipe, in case, like me, you actually need a recipe for it).

Omelets make me nervous and never turn out quite right for me, but this one was BAKED and thus much easier. No scary flipping needed. It turned out VERY fluffy, as the name suggests. I wrote the recipe in my Favorite Recipe section of this blog if you're interested.

The kids loved it all. We were wishing we had more of the omelet--I only made one for all 4 of us to share. I increased the eggy goop for the french toast and was thus able to use the entire loaf--we're saving the extra french toast slices in the freezer for a yummy (and easy!) breakfast to come. I loved the smell of the cinnamon and nutmeg in the french toast. Have I mentioned that I'm REALLY excited for fall? I am. Not just the food. Also the crisp, misty weather. But mostly the food.

We had our summer fun, and now let's bring on fall!

There's something I love about a good windy picture.

Natalie helps David eat golf balls when we run out of omelets.


First Day Recap

Well, Natalie loved preschool! I went with her today, and it was just an hour so she could get acquainted with her teachers and with the classroom. She loved playing with the kitchen food, plates, and utensils. I had to choke down the instinct to push her to play with everything else! She'll get there eventually, right? She also colored a picture, then everyone cleaned up, had snack, listened to a story, and sang "Hello" and "Goodbye" songs. Afterward, she was asked by 3 different people what her favorite part of preschool was, and each time she gave a different answer. I think that's a good sign. It's ALL good!

A photo after her big day.

First day nerves

The night before school started when I was little (OK, all the way through high school), I would have a tough time sleeping. I'd be just plain excited for the new year! I loved school, and it was so fun to think about my teacher(s), classmates, etc. But I never envisioned that I'd have trouble sleeping the night before my KIDS started school. Yet here I am. Natalie starts preschool tomorrow, and I'm sure that I'm more excited than she is. (I'll probably sleep just fine tonight, though, because I'm a busy mom who finds it hard to resist a good night's sleep on a comfy bed.) Natalie doesn't know what's coming. I have a bit of an idea. I hope she loves it as much as I did.


Our baby boy is 1!

David celebrated his birthday in fine form yesterday. Note to self: Don't schedule well-child visits for the morning of a birthday party. Particularly those well-child visits that involve 3 immunizations. Poor guy! And then 3 immunizations became 4 because Natalie ended up getting a flu shot as well. Thankfully they recovered well enough to enjoy the festivities that evening. Many of our family members came, and Dave's parents even celebrated with us via webcam.

Singing to the birthday boy

First taste of his cupcake

Loving it! He devoured the cupcake faster than anything I've seen before. We will post the video soon!

One cupcake is not enough.

Bring on a second cupcake, and all is right with the world.

A close-up for Grandma & Grandpa Duncan.

A happy birthday boy!

It is hard to believe David is a year old! But he sure is growing and learning by the day. He took his first few steps last week, and he's talking more and more each day. To close, here's a comparison from birth to now: