Friday, August 31, 2007

Restaurant Review: Il Fornello's - Oakville

My children are extremely sensitive to gluten. It took the first few years of being gluten free to realize that we just couldn't risk going to restaurants anymore because the odds of the children becoming ill seemed to be 50/50 or greater.

Then we discovered Il Fornello's. They have multiple restaurants in Toronto and one in Oakville.

Right up front you need to know that it'll be a fairly pricey event. Worth it if you save your 'restaurant dollars' for a once or twice a year family event like we do.

They have gluten free pizza, pasta and a couple of desserts.

The pizza dough, though not as good as my homemade dough (in the eyes of my family) is still very good and often sold out. If you want to make sure you can get pizza, you're best to call ahead and book your pizza order before they're sold out.

Another trick we discovered this year is to go for lunch rather than dinner. The last three times we went for dinner, there wasn't any pizza dough left. But this year we went for lunch and they had plenty of pizza dough.

They open around 11 or 11:30 a.m. So, if you show up right away, you'll get the cleanest kitchen and better chance of pizza for lunch (if you forgot to call ahead).

The pasta dishes are *all* fabulous! Those who enjoy cheese will love the Alfredo sauce. Those who love a rich beef and tomato topping will not be disappointed. My children surprised me one time when they ordered the seafood pasta and *loved* the octopus! Then I tried it and surprised myself by loving it too. It was not substandard, chewy stuff. It was firm and tasty. Rare in even the best restaurants.

Now, I know many are thinking, "But I live two (or three) hours away from Toronto. I'm not getting there too often." Well, we don't either. Once or twice a year, as a matter of fact. But those are the only two times a year we get to a restaurant because so far, it's the only restaurant we've found that we can be safe at.

Oh, and if you can tolerate dairy, the Creme Fraiche dessert is just to die for!

Alternative Menu

Location Listings

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Squashbread Tea Cake

This one will surprise you!

This is an excellent recipe that fills the tummy. It warms you up on cool days and cools you down on warm days. An especially good breakfast for those just starting a special diet and used to eating grain at breakfast time.

It also takes substitutions very well and is very forgiving that way.

The trick to making it easy to make, is to bake a whole tray of squash for an hour first, then scoop out flesh, put it in canning jars and then store it in the fridge or freezer. That way, whenever you need a cup or two for anything (bread, gravy thickener, smoothie thickener, custard/pudding flavouring), it's ready to go!

2 cups cooked squash (any orange or yellow squash will end up tasting pumpkin...ish)
1 cup nut butter (unsalted)
1/3 to 1/2 cup honey
2 eggs
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (if nut butter is salted you may not need this)

Puree for a smoother texture. Mash and mix with a fork for a chunkier texture.

Put into an ungreased glass baking dish (glass prevents the bottom from getting too dark). Don't spread it all the way to the sides so that it will remain easy to cut out of the pan later.

Bake for 1 hour at 300F.