Smash Kitchen and Bar Restaurant | Markham

We’ve heard great things about this restaurant from friends already so we thought we’d give it a try one weeknight as part of a birthday celebration.  The waiter was very approachable and understanding (he has food allergies as well).  The selection was limited, but he tried to work with us for Kay to have something she’d enjoy.  It came to three choices that are dairy and nut free: 1) Kids Pasta; 2) Kids Smash Burger (bun-less and cheese-less); or 3) BBQ wings (dry, no sauce) from Starters and Sides.  She chose #3 and shared my fries with me.  The portions were pretty decent.

smash-01 smash-02

But what made this one of her favourite restaurants was the surprise dessert at the end: a dairy-free mango gelato.  She was over the moon when it arrived!

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happy-tummy-ometer : 5 out of 5 . For the meal: “I like the wings.  They’re crispy!” For the dessert: “I get dessert too?!!!”

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Mango Dessert Sushi Recipe

Mango Dessert Sushi

Having a sweet tooth runs in our family.  So when it comes to desserts, we definitely LOVE them.

For dairy-free and peanut-free options that are enjoyable to all, we have to get a bit creative with the recipes.  Here’s one we enjoy making with Kay that’s quick and easy: mango sushi with coconut sticky rice.  Mmm mmm goodness!

Ingredients:

  1. 1 cup of sticky rice (also known as glutinous rice), cooked
  2. 1 can of coconut milk
  3. 1 mango
  4. 1 tbsp sugar (or 2)
  5. 1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Place cooked sticky rice into a medium sized bowl
  2. Pour in coconut milk (can add more to taste)
  3. Sprinkle in salt to taste
  4. Sprinkle in sugar to taste
  5. Mix contents thoroughly
  6. Set aside to cool to room temperature
  7. Peel the mango and remove its seed
  8. Cut mango in thin slices and set aside
  9. Form the coconut sticky rice into sushi
  10. Place mango slices on top of sushi
  11. *Optional* Add garnish (in this case, the blueberry was added by my daughter)

happy-tummy-ometer : 5 out of 5 . “The blueberry mango sushi is my invention!  It is yummier and looks more gooder!”

photo credit : RC2 Films

‘Ohana | Disney’s Polynesian Resort, Disney World

We originally weren’t sure about this restaurant since it’s not character dining for dinner but it soon exceeded our expectations on all fronts.  With excellent service and a cheerful staff that’s also receptive to our child’s allergy needs, we felt at ease right away.

We entered when the events for the children began, where they got to sweep coconuts across the restaurant’s floor with brooms and dance to island music.  Soon after, the polynesian food came out.  We received huge helpings of side dishes first, which ties us over between skewers of meat brought around by our server.  Please note, this is a restaurant for meat lovers (my daughter included).  Vegetables are definitely lacking here.

The side dishes of pan-fried dumplings and chicken wings are both dairy and peanut free and very tasty! Kay feasted on this meal alone and really didn’t need to eat anything else.  She also had some skewered chicken and pork but preferred the crispiness of the dumplings to all other foods.

'Ohana side dish

For dessert hers came out first, which made her feel really special.  It’s also her first ice cream sandwich!  This dairy-free, peanut-free and gluten-free dessert is made with Rice Dream vanilla ice cream and Enjoy Life chocolate chip cookies.  It’s as good as it looks, so she gobbled it up really quickly. It’s definitely a memorable night for us.

'Ohana dairy-free dessert

happy-tummy-ometer : 5 out of 5 . For the meal: “Mmmm. The ‘dum-pe-lings’ are so crispy and yummy” For the dessert: “Ooh it looks deeelicious! Soo yummy. And I like the raspberries a lot.”

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So Delicious Coconut Milk Minis

So Delicious Dairy-Free Minis

Aaaah… summer’s in the air!  With the LONG winter we just had, this nice weather is a refreshing and long awaited change.

With summer months come frozen treats.  That means I’m on the prowl for dairy-free and peanut-free treats for Kay that we can also enjoy.  Freezies can only go so far with me, although they’re good enough for her and her peers.  Dairy-free ice cream is usually a tricky one to find.  Some of the frozen treats out there may be creamy enough to pass for an ice cream substitute but are lacking in taste, or vice-versa.  So it’s usually quite a process for me to find a really good and creamy dairy-free ice cream.

I recently came across So Delicious Coconut Milk Minis and thought they’d be great for her to try out. The size is just right for her (sometimes just enough for me too).  They look like mini ice cream sandwiches and come in two flavours: vanilla and banana split, which looks like neopolitan ice cream.

We tried the Banana Split together and really liked it!  It tastes like bananas mixed with strawberry and chocolate.  I’ve had other vegan ice creams before and in my opinion, coconut ice creams are rich, creamy and the closest in texture to dairy.  Two thumbs up for me!

So Delicious Mini

happy-tummy-ometer : 5 out of 5 “YUMMMMMY!!! It’s a PARTY in my tummy!”

Crystal Palace | Magic Kingdom, Disney World

When we stayed at Disney World, we were on a dining plan and actually enjoyed all of our table service meals.  These next posts will be ALL about Disney dining.

We had the character breakfast at Crystal Palace.  We didn’t go there for the food.  We were there to see Winnie the Pooh and friends and to take advantage of the early reservations.  This gave us access to Magic Kingdom before the park opened for great photo opportunities!

The food was mostly standard breakfast buffet fare.  What stood out in my mind were the Mickey waffles and breakfast lasagne (warm trifle cake with fruit and Bavarian cream). Those are must-haves!

For our daughter, we mentioned her allergies to our server and was informed that the manager would come and walk us through what’s safe for her to eat. Service overall was good except for that wait. I think it took 20 minutes before he showed up. By then we’ve already laid out some dry cereal (Fruit Loops) for her to munch on.

Once we’ve discussed her food allergies and what she’s interested in eating, we settled on a bowl of fruit, Van’s Waffles and bacon (her favourite).  It’s too bad Mickey waffles aren’t dairy-free.  I would’ve like for her to try them.

The overall experience was good. Kay’s face lit up like never before with each of the characters. It was only then I truly understood the power and effect of Disney.  It really is a magical place once I saw it through her eyes.

crystalpalace-01      Crystal Palace with Piglet

happy-tummy-ometer : 3.5 out of 5 “Can I have more bacon?”

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Soma Chocolatemaker | Distillery District, Toronto

Soma Hot Chocolate

Soma is known for their delectable chocolates.  We try to make a trip to it every time we’re in the beautiful and historic Distillery District to enjoy their hot chocolate. It’s. To. Die. For.

Did you know they have a dairy-free option for their hot chocolates?  They use soy milk instead and it tastes just as good!  We didn’t know until very recently, so we indulged in one with Kay.  You should’ve seen my heart burst with joy (after being fraught with worry the first few minutes).  This was her FIRST hot chocolate outside our home.  And so begins the tradition of family hot chocolates every time we go back.  Summer season included.

happy-tummy-ometer : 5 out of 5 “Mmmm, it’s yummy. Party in my tummy!!!”

T-Rex Café | Downtown Disney, Disney World

T-Rex Café is a prehistoric-themed restaurant with animatronic dinosaurs.  It’s similar to its sister restaurant, Rainforest Café.  With imitation lightening and thunder occurring throughout the meal and animatronics “reacting” in response to the changing weather, it’s definitely not for the faint of heart, i.e. our daughter.  She’s not fond of the dim lighting and thunderous noises.  But when it came to her food, I’d say she was very impressed.  We were on the Disney’s meal plan so her entrée, drink and dessert were included. Kay had the Mini Mes-O-Bones from the Kids’ Entrée, which is St. Louis style pork ribs. It’s served with a side of green beans. Kay loves her meat, especially ribs, so that was a no-brainer. t-rex02 One thing I like about Disney restaurants is that most of them try to accommodate people with allergies and/or intolerances.  So for her dessert, it was custom version of their Sorbet Sampler: 2 huge scoops of raspberry sorbet. Her eyes grew large when her dessert arrived. Ours did too.  We’ve included her hand in the image for reference. t-rex01happy-tummy-ometer : 5 out of 5 “So yummy mommy! It’s a party in my tummy!!!”