Monthly Archives: July 2014

Gluten free/dairy free zucchini mini quiche (with gluten and dairy opions)




If you have ever planted a vegetable  garden that included zucchini then chances are you have ended up with so many zucchini  you didn’t know what to do with them all. Here is a great recipe that helps to put some of that surplus zucchini to good use.



Gluten free/dairy free zucchini mini Quiche


3 cups shredded zucchini (can even use the club size zucchini as long as the skin is still tender)
1 large onion shredded
5 eggs
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp salt
1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch ground black pepper
Paprika for garnish

Mix all of the above ingredients  and fill greased muffin tins 3/4 full. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes or until cooked.

For those of you not on a gluten-free/dairy free diet you can replace the gf flour with 1 cup all-purpose flour and add 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup reduced fat feta cheese and 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese.

13 important questions to ask a potential home childcare provider

My kids at the zoo with my home daycare

Whether you are returning to work or going back to school choosing a qualified home childcare provider is one of the most difficult decisions you will make as a parent.

I have 20 years teaching experience in licensed childcare settings, a private school and in the home childcare community.  Some of these questions I have been asked by parents and some are questions that I think every parent should be asking.

The suggestions below are good questions to ask in addition to the general questions (ie is the yard fenced, where do the children nap and play and so on) Some of the questions might seem a bit excessive but I have seen more than a few people who should have not been responsible for young children in one way or another.

1) How long have they been providing childcare?

2) What is their experience with young children? There CAN  be a huge difference between someone who likes kids and someone who has gone to school for 2 years to study early childhood education.

3) Do they have any pets? If so how and when are the pets involved? Can they provide you with up to date rabies vaccination records?

My son at our home childcare field trip to the pumpkin patch

4) Do they have home childcare insurance? God forbid if there is an accident, is your child covered? It can be very tricky to find home daycare insurance BUT it can be done. This  insurance will usually follow the children at the caregivers home, personal vehicle, bus, walking trips and so on. My experience  in Ontario is that if the home childcare has a pool large enough that it has a filter and doesn’t get dumped out every night they either do not have insurance or their insurance will be void if the insurance company finds out.

5) Do the children travel in the childcare providers vehicle? If so does he/she have a clean driving abstract? Does the childcare provider provide up to date car seats and knows how to use them correctly. 75% of car seats are installed  incorrectly!

6) Can the childcare provider provide a clean up to date (within 6 months) criminal record check? Also who else lives in the home and is involved with the children?

My son checking out the tadpoles at a local park with my daycare kids.

7) Does the childcare provider have references you may contact of past and current clients

8) Does the childcare provider provide food or is the parent responsible for sending food? If so what kind of food is served? Can they cater to children with food allergies/sensitivities?

9) If the children are allowed to watch TV exactly what programs are they watching and how long each day?

10) Does the childcare provider give receipts for your income taxes?

11) How are the children disciplined? What is the home childcare’s policy on children who are aggressive?

12) How many children does the caregiver have each day? Check your area for the max number of children and their ages.

A fun childcare trip to a local farm.
A fun childcare trip to a local farm.

13) Does the childcare provider have any extra qualifications? Infant and child CPR, food handler safety course, workshops relating to children are all very  useful in a home daycare environment and can help parents decided between one childcare provider or another.

Hope this helps parents find a safe environment for their child to learn and grow while away from home.

O Canada! It’s time for school. All about learning press giveaway!


AAR_Giveaway_300x250 (1)


I am happy to introduce the first giveaway on my blog.  All about learning press is giving away your choice of levels from either All About Reading or All About Spelling, plus an Interactive Kit. This prize is valued at $150!



Simply fill out the  Entry-Form   to enter. The winner will be chosen July 23, 2014 and the contest is open to residents of Canada and the US.



Easy Dairy Free Banana Pancakes with Berry Sauce

IMG-20140702-00653 (1)What do you do with extra over ripe fruit?

Don’t throw it out!

Make banana pancakes with berry sauce instead.

This is a great recipe to use up fruit like banana’s and berries when they get over ripe. It also works great with frozen berries such as those handfuls of frozen berries left in the freezer from smoothie making.

Dairy free banana pancakes

1 1/2 cup dairy free pancake mix
1 cup water
1 egg
4 very ripe banana’s, peeled

  1. Mix above ingredients in a medium size mixing bowl with electric mixer
  2. Cook on greased hot griddle
  3. Top with berry sauce or maple syrup

Berry sauce

Assorted berries fresh or frozen  (strawberries, black berries, raspberries, blueberries)
Liquid honey

  1. Cook berries on low to medium heat on the stove
  2. Add honey to taste
  3. Stir often until berries are soft

Berry sauce can be used on pancakes, waffles, crepes, ice cream or added to yogurt