Monday, March 31, 2008

Brunch Recipe - Apple & Cheese Grills

Apple and Cheese Grills

A Nice Mother's Day Breakfast-In-Bed

* 2 small red dessert apples
* 4 thick slices whole-wheat bread cut from a large loaf
* 5 oz (140g) Cheddar, Cheshir, or Emmental cheese
* Butter for spreading
* 8 sage leaves
* Black pepper

1. Preheat the grill to the highest setting. Rinse the apples, then quarter, core, and slice them finely.
2. Toast the bread on one side under the grill. Meanwhile, finely slice or grate the cheese.
3. Turn the bread over and spread the untoasted side with butter. Arrange the apple slices on top and cover with cheese. Grill for 4-5 minutes, until the cheese melts and the apples heat through.
4. Meanwhile, rinse, dry, and finely chop the sage leaves. When the grilled dishes are ready, sprinkle them with the chopped sage and black pepper and serve immediately.

Time: 15 minutes
Makes: 4

Do you have any yummy brunch recipes? Send them to and we'll post them on the blog!

Next month recipe theme: cake recipes - in time for home-made treat for Mother's Day. Send your cake recipe to

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Child Minding For The Summer at Gingerbread Lane!!

Gingerbread Lane is pleased to announce our summer Happy Help Child Minding service. We will provide fun and secure child minding option for your busy summer. Providing half-day child minding, booked by the week, your child(ren) will be cared for by a professional who will be supervised and supported at all times. Each child minding session will be organized with a general schedule of activity that will include play, snacks / meals (provided by family or in addition) and basic activity.

Booked by the half-day - mornings (8:30-12:30p) or afternoon (1:30-5:30p) it is ideal for the young child (age 1-7) and only 5 children are booked per session - allowing for optimal care and interaction.

A few unique advantages are:
1) the indoor playground - promoting gross and fine motor play each day
2) we are a nut-free facility and bakery thus ensuring peace of mind for our allergic families
3) your child does not need to be potty trained - diapers are welcome
4) snacks / meals can be provided by us (additional cost), alleviating additional worries for you
5) morning sessions are ideal for the toddler who can return home for their afternoon snooze
6) afternoon sessions are ideal for the older preschooler and/or primary schooler to enjoy some play and activity

If you would like more information or would like to book your summer Happy Help session, please contact or call 905-271-2900

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Water For Elephants Has Begun

I have (finally) jumped into this book and have been drawn onto the train with Jacob. A metaphor for life - if you take that leap, you might just find yourself a circus. What a grand escape. I love it already. Now, Chapter 3...

Who's joining us for the Book Club this month?

Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen has already begun a tale that I find myself eager to return to at bed time. What a fantastic story to get lost in. If you would care to join the Gingerbread Book club on April 14th - I would enjoy your company. Email for more information.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

First 3 July Birthday Bookings To Respond To This Post, Gets A Free Balloon Cluster For Their Party

We have kick started our July & August Birthday Party bookings (see previous post) and want to throw in a little more excitement. For the first 3 July bookings that we receive in response to this post, we will provide a free 10-balloon cluster to brighten your party and celebrate your birthday child. Mention this post when you call - 905-271-2900 or email - to qualify. Don't miss out! $25 Discounts (previous post) and free balloons - what are you waiting for? Let's celebrate!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

OPEN Good Friday March 21 (9:30-4:30p)

We are happy offer public play on Friday March 21 (9:30-4:30p). Come out and join us for some family fun!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Parenting Wordshop - Another Chance

How often do you get the chance to write with a writer? Ann Douglas, author of the "Mother of All..." Parenting Book Series and President of Mom Media is inviting you to join her for a Parenting Word-shop. March 30th is the first of a two-part series in which you can explore your own writing interests in a comfortable and supportive environment with the guidance of your group and Ann herself. You need not be a perfect writer - or a perfect parent! - to apply. Ann would enjoy your company - join us!! Email or call 905-271-2900 for more information.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

$25 Off July & August Birthday Parties!!

Why worry about the weather? Space? Cleaning?
Book Your Gingerbread Party Today!

Offer Expires: May 30, 2008

Friday, March 7, 2008

We Need Your Opinion

We would like your opinion - as a member of our community and, perhaps, a member to Gingerbread Lane specifically - about a scenario that we hold two views on. I'll lay out a scenario and ask a couple questions afterwards. It is about responsibilities and expectations pertinent to a birthday party booking. Let me present a couple facts first:

1) When you book a birthday party at Gingerbread Lane, it is required that you place a $75 non-refundable deposit. This is standard practice with any party-hosting establishment.

2) Gingerbread Lane has a fully scheduled birthday calendar - often completely booked each weekend - with many of our customers coming to Gingerbread Lane by word-of-mouth.

3) Gingerbread Lane tries to ensure that the full party experience is positive and supportive to the family that has booked a party while maintaining a professional service

Now - here's the scenario - all details are hypothetical.

A family has booked a birthday party at Gingerbread Lane for a Saturday in February but the week before the party, the birthday child has developed a highly contagious virus and the family can not host the party as planned. Gingerbread Lane, offers to book an alternate date and shift the deposit to the new date rather than have the customer lose the deposit entirely. Because of the short notice, Gingerbread Lane is not able to book a replacement party in the now-empty time slot and no party occurs on on that Saturday in February. As the upcoming weeks are heavily booked, the customer is disappointed to learn that they can not reschedule to a date / time that is already booked and is upset that this request is not accommodated. Gingerbread Lane offers 5 alternate dates/times within three weeks - at least one of which is during the customers preferred time slot. The customer books a the second date and proceeds with party plans.

The date of the rescheduled party arrives and the day before it, the weather is calling for snow squalls and poor weather. The customer asks if she cancels the party due to weather, does she receive her deposit back. There are 3 other parties the same day as this rescheduled party and none have inquired about canceling. This is where your opinion is required -

a) should Gingerbread Lane provide a refund to the deposit?
b) is Gingerbread Lane responsible for the circumstances leading up to both cancellations?
c) would fair policy be to provide another rescheduled date? a credit on file?
d) what is your understanding of "non refundable" when detailed in booking descriptions?

With all of this said - I'd love to hear your comments / thoughts / feedback to this scenario. Your input will help us to best understand how to meet the needs of our customers while not compromising professional standard. Please post comments by clicking "Comments" below. I will post a follow-up email in the next while to let you know the direction we might have taken with this scenario. Thanks all!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Soup and Cheese Biscuits Recipes

Thank you to Marny Burke - mom of two and a Gingerbread Community member - for submitting such yummy recipes!

Marny's Old Fashioned Chicken and Rice Soup

1/2 c. butter or margarine
2 stalks of celery, finely sliced
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, halved sliced finely
2-3 broccoli florets (just the heads, not the stems), finely chopped
2-3 chicken breasts, cubed
1/3 c. flour
1 large box Campbell's low sodium chicken broth (or your own homemade stock)
* I usually add 2-3 packages of powdered Oxo. I find it adds more flavour.
salt and pepper to taste
2c. milk
1 c. cooked rice

1. Melt butter/marg. in large soup pot over medium heat.

2. Add all of your veggies and cook until tender and fragrant.

3. Add chicken and cook just until it looses it's raw appearance. * I usually add just a tiny bit of my chicken stock at this point to keep everything from sticking to the bottom of the pot*

4. Add 1/3 cup of flour. Brown slightly.

5. Add chicken broth (and Oxo if you prefer).

6. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes.

7. Add milk and bring to a boil.

8. Add rice. Lower temp. and simmer for 10 min. or until ready to serve.

*** Great when served with homemade cheese muffins (recipe to follow)***

Marny's Cheese Muffins

1 3/4 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
a good amount of cheddar

1 well beaten egg
3/4 c. milk
1/3 c. vegetable oil


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2. Stir dry ingredients together in a bowl

3. Add cheddar and toss to mix

4. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients

5. Combine egg, milk, and oil. Add all at once to dry ingredients.

6. Stir quickly by hand just until mixed and moistened.

7. Fill greased muffin tins.

8. Bake for 25 minutes.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Ok, Book Clubbers...

Good Club-people - I implore you to explain the constant concealment of Snow Flower's family / history?! I am well into the book (Snow Flower and the Secret Fan) - greatly enjoying the progress and cultural story. I am developing this itch - like the one on the bottom of your foot while your shoe is on so you can't properly scratch it - about Snow Flower's history. It has me curious - I will read on...

Anyone else know what I mean? Post a comment - is your foot itchy too?