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Bonnie Stern

Phone: 416 484 4810


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About Bonnie

Bonnie Stern is the founder of the Bonnie Stern School of Cooking in Toronto which she opened and operated from 1973 to 2011. She has studied and taught cooking around the world, authored 12 bestselling cookbooks, hosted three national cooking shows, and appears regularly on various television and radio shows across Canada.

For 17 years Bonnie wrote a weekly column for the National Post and her articles have appeared in numerous magazines. She has conducted popular workshops for the James Beard Foundation in New York City and leads culinary cultural trips to various delicious destinations. Bonnie is also the creator of a ground-breaking book club in which novelists are invited to discuss their work during thematic dinners.

Bonnie Stern is the recipient of many awards including ones from the Toronto Culinary Guild, the Ontario Hostelry Institute, Cuisine Canada and most notably she is the recipient of the 2007 Premier’s Award. Bonnie Stern’s Essentials of Home Cooking won the coveted International Association of Culinary Professionals’ award.


September 2020

It seems like yesterday (or maybe years ago) when we heard that March Break was being extended for two weeks. A lot has happened since then but it is still hard to believe it is September.

Thanks so much for letting me know you found my hints and tips for outdoor dining helpful. And thanks for sharing your backyard, balcony, deck, cottage and picnic entertaining adventures with me. It's the new normal.

Talking about the new normal, let's talk about cooking classes on Zoom. I have been giving some and taking some and have learned a few things from being on both sides.

* Register early. At least a few days before. On the day of an event it gets busy, unexpected things can go wrong with the technology and sometimes there's no time to receive new registrations.

* Even though you may have a ticket to an event, enter a bit early just in case everything isn't working as efficiently as you would like.

* Things happen - your Wifi could be having problems, people can appear 'frozen' on screen for a minute or two, there could be technical issues, speakers' phones can ring, there could be traffic or sirens in the background.

* If your class starts a bit late, have patience.

* Take notes. Most chefs like to give out additional advice, ingredient information, variations of recipes and other things that may not be in the recipes.

* You cannot imagine how wonderful it is to get a thank you from people at your Zoom event. When I do a large zoom event because I can't see you or hear your voices it is hard to know if you are happy. Thank you for all your feedback and recommendations.

This is the best time of year for local fruits and vegetables. Your local farmers market is probably open in some way - check online. If you are nervous about going, you can sign up for a food box program to be delivered to your door.

It's September and it always, even now, feels like a new year. Shana Tova if you are celebrating Rosh Hashanah - it is bound to be different this year. If you are celebrating September, happy new year.

Stay safe, wash your hands, wear your mask, be kind and have patience.




Bonnie's Book Club Fall 2020 Update
All of us at Bonnie's Book Club hope that you and your families have been safe and healthy during this difficult time. We certainly miss gathering with you to share a meal, discuss books and meet some of the world’s most interesting writers.

Over the last few weeks, we have been discussing ways that we might come together again, and we think we’re on to something. In November, we are going to hold a virtual book club, where we deliver a delicious meal and wine to your home. We will also send a pre-signed copy of the author’s book ahead of time so that you will have the opportunity to read it before the meeting. At the event we will meet the author and discuss the book via live stream. You will still have the opportunity to ask questions of the author and encourage discussion with your fellow attendees.

And we think we have the perfect book and author for this unique meeting of the Book Club. More to come on that, but what we can say is that the book is already the most talked-about memoir of the fall season.

Looking forward to sharing more information with you.

Bonnie's Cookbooks
Bonnie Stern's Essentials of Home Cooking
Bonnie Stern's
Essentials of Home Cooking

Winner of the 2004 International Association of Culinary Professionals Award. A beautiful cookbook filled with Bonnie’s personal favourites - dishes that reflect the way we are cooking today.

Published by Random House of Canada, 2003, 208 pages, paperback

Bonnie's Cookbooks
Friday Night Dinners (Paperback)

Friday Night Dinners

Bonnie's latest cookbook with her favourite menus, recipes, photos and stories. Over 170 delicious recipes for every occasion - holidays, barbecues, fast suppers and fabulous feasts - and Bonnie makes sure you can make fantastic meals and still enjoy the food and fun with everyone else. You'll want to use this book every day of the week.

Published by Random House of Canada, 2010, 320 pages, paperback


A very special collection of over 150 mouth-watering recipes including soups, spreads, salads, hors d'oeuvre, pastas and much more. Complete with presentation, entertaining, menu planning tips and over 50 detailed illustrations.

Published by Random House of Canada, 1990, 176 pages, paperback

Over 120 recipes for decadent cakes, pies and pastries, scrumptious cookies, creamy mousses and ice creams – A collection of recipes from a master that stand the test, and tastes, of time.

Also provided are elegant decorating tips, helpful information on equipment and ingredients, and black-and-white illustrations throughout demonstrating basic techniques that will make these recipes absolutely no-fail.

Published by Random House Canada, 1998, 214 pages, paperback

This wonderful compendium is a must for every kitchen featuring over 300 favourite recipes from the bestselling Simply HeartSmart Cooking, More HeartSmart Cooking and HeartSmart Cooking for Family and Friends, as well as 75 brand-new recipes to add to your HeartSmart repertoire. Many of the classic recipes have been fully updated to incorporate current food trends and new nutritional information.

Published by Random House of Canada, 2006, 480 pages, paperback.

Cuisiner au goût du cœur
Cuisiner au gout du coeur
Published by Trecarre, 2006, 512 pages

News And Events
FOGO ISLAND AND ST JOHN’S BOOK CLUBWe were in the middle of planning a book club at Fogo Island Inn with a stop in St. John’s when the shut down occurred. We have postponed the trip for now but continue to plan for the time it can take place. Fogo Island Inn has just been rated #3 in the Top Hotels in the World by Travel and Leisure Magazine. If you have always wanted to go to Newfoundland the combination of 2 days in St. John’s, including dinner at Raymonds, and 3 days on Fogo Island, staying at Fogo Island Inn, will be perfect. We will also be including 2 to 3 book club events, tours, classes and wonderful meals.

If you are interested in receiving information once it is available, email Bonnie at Subject line: Fogo Island. Everyone on our Food Tour list will receive information about the travelling book clubs as well.

EATING ISRAEL: THE LAND OF DIVERSITY AND CULTUREWe had a magical 10th anniversary Eating Israel Culinary Tour. Normally by now our February 2021 tour would be planned, information sent out and fully booked, but of course, these are not normal times. For now, we are postponing that tour and we will let you know once air travel resumes and it feels safe.

On this last trip, as well as all our culinary events, market tours, cooking classes and chef meals, we held our first international book club event. It was held at a wonderful restaurant, Eucalyptus, in Jerusalem with Matti Friedman, New York Times columnist and author or Spies of No Country. Matti was amazing and gave us insight into Israeli politics as well as the history behind his book.

Send me an email to be on our culinary tour mailing list if you are interested (and not already on the list).

For a small taste of my time in Israel check these videos filmed and produced by Mark Rupert:

A gorgeous February day in Israel

My favourite coffee shop in Tel Aviv

Everyday is a busy day at Port Said

GLOBAL NEWS: THE MORNING SHOWBonnie will be demo-ing Ruthie’s Apple Cake for a sweet new year on Global's Morning Show (weekdays 9am to 10am) next week in honour of Rosh Hashanah.

Follow Bonnie's instagram for the date.

See Ruthie’s Apple Cake recipe below.

COOKING CLASSESBonnie has been doing Zoom cooking events for fund-raisers, corporate classes and private groups. Contact for more information and rates. Subject line: Bonnie’s Cooking Events. Events can be personalized but some of the popular themes are:

Challah Workshop

Italian All the Time

Israeli Family Dinner

Restaurant Recommendations and More
Don Pollo
419 College Street
Take out chicken has never been this delicious. The family chicken dinner package was very generous with chicken of course and sides like grilled pineapple, guacamole, jicama slaw and the best roast potatoes. Don Pollo opened in the Quetzal location on College West. while it was closed down but now both are open. Although I have not tried Quetzal since it reopened - I have had many amazing meals there in the past.
Piano Piano
623 Mt. Pleasant Road
416 483 9789

My sister has eaten on the patio a few times and really enjoyed it at Piano Piano on Mt. Pleasant Road. Open for lunch and dinner with take-out and delivery.
There is another location at 88 Harbord Street, 416 929 7788.
Olde Yorke Fish
and Chips

96 Laird Drive
416 696 9670
Also my sister's find - delicious fish and chips. Curbside orders only. When she arrived she thought there would be a long wait but no - they were very organized and efficient and she was very impressed.
1454 Dundas Street West
647 345 8300
Anna had a wonderful brunch at Antler. Different and delicious; they specialize in wild and foraged foods. Open from Tuesday to Sunday.
Sabai Sabai
81 Bloor Street East
647 748 4225
Mark recommends this terrific Thai restaurant that is now open for dining-in, take-out and delivery. I have eaten there before and remember everything was great especially the street food noodles.
819 Gerrard Street East
416 778 5171
Mark enjoyed pasta and salad at Wynona recently. Patio dining and take-out Wednesday to Sunday.
Futura Granita
and Gelato
964 St. Clair Ave. West
One Sunday, Anna invited Ray and I to meet her at Futura for granita and gelato. We got there before it opened - there was a line but not too long. We loved the granita best - the fresh fruit flavours were so refreshing on a hot afternoon.
Open Thursday to Sunday 4pm to 9pm. Service at the door.
Featured Recipes
  • 1 lb ground chicken, turkey or beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, optional
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

  • sauce:
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or other vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large or 2 small cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1" piece fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped
  • pinch hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 796mL tin plum tomatoes, mashed with juices (or pureed)
  • 2 tbsp rice or cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • 2 tbsp honey or brown sugar
  • SWEET AND SOUR MEATBALLSWhen my colleague, Leonie Eidinger, told me how much her family loved the sweet and sour meatballs in my HeartSmart cookbook I thought it would be a perfect back to school dinner. It is also perfect for smaller gatherings on Rosh Hashanah this year. You can brown the meatballs first in the pan or under the broiler, or just drop them into the sauce as the recipe instructs in Step #3. Use the plastic gloves that we have all become accustomed to these last few months to make the meatballs - so easy and less messy to shape. Serve over rice, noodles or mashed potatoes.

    1. For meatballs combine ground chicken with egg, salt, allspice, cilantro and breadcrumbs. Mix or knead together until well blended. Shape into 20 to 24 meatballs and place on a tray lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate until using (if not browning first).

    2. For the sauce heat oil in a large deep skillet. Add onions and cook on medium heat for 5 to 8 minutes until tender and just starting to brown. Add garlic. ginger and pepper flakes and cook gently about two minutes. If vegetables start to brown more add 1/4 cup of water and cook until water has evaporated, then cook for another minute or two. Add tomatoes, vinegar and honey. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook gently about 10 minutes or until sauce becomes a bit thicker.

    3. Add raw or browned meatballs to the sauce and bring to a boil. Simmer gently, covered, about 20 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through. stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

    4. Sprinkle with cilantro or parsley.

    Makes 4 to 5 servings
  • 8 thin, lamb chops
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt (eg Maldon)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or grated
  • Grated peel of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • GRILLED LAMB CHOPS AND LEMON AND ROSEMARYWhen I was little, I was a very fussy eater. One of the only things I liked were lamb chops. Kids seem to love them and I still do too. This is one of my favourite simple marinades. If you are not barbecuing cook them in a very hot heavy skillet 3 to 4 minutes per side - in batches if necessary or under the broiler.

    1. Trim chops if necessary.

    2. In a shallow dish combine oil, salt, pepper, garlic, lemon peel and rosemary. Add chops and turn chops over to coat. Marinate 1/2 hour at room temperature or up to overnight in the refrigerator.

    3. Cook chops on a hot barbecue 3 to 4 minutes per side.

    Makes 3 to 4 servings
  • 2 cups leftover cooked rice (or other grains)
  • 2 cups diced leftover cooked vegetables or defrosted frozen vegetables*
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill, cilantro, basil or chives
  • 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar, Swiss or Lappi (lactose free) or crumbled feta or a mixture
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk, cream or yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg, optional
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp curry paste, harissa or other hot sauce, optional
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • FRITTATALAHSLittle frittatas baked in muffin pans have many names but I like this endearing Yiddish suffix meaning ‘little ones’. Perfect for breakfast on the run or kids lunches - at home or at school. Everything is is so uncertain right now kids need a lunch they can depend on.

    1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray or line with muffin papers a 12 - Cup muffin pan.

    2. In a medium sized mixing bowl combine cooked rice with cooked vegetables, herbs and cheese. Reserve.

    3. In another bowl whisk eggs with cream, salt, nutmeg and hot sauce if using. Combine with rice mixture.

    4. Using a half cup measure, fill muffin cups almost to the top. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until tops are puffed and browned. Cool on racks. Delicious warm or cold.

    * if using frozen vegetables pour boiling water over them to defrost and drain well. Pat dry with paper towels.

    Makes 12 frittatalahs
  • 2 to 2 1/2 lbs tomatoes (Roma (plum) tomatoes, Heirloom tomatoes or cherry tomatoes or a combination)
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, halved cored and seeded, cut into chunks
  • 1 whole head garlic
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt + more to taste
  • 1 lb spaghetti or penne
  • 1 or 2 tbsp butter, optional
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
  • PASTA WITH ROASTED TOMATO SAUCE This recipe, updated slightly from my The Best of HeartSmart Cooking, is such a perfect way to use all the wonderful tomatoes that are available now. It is good all year around with just cherry tomatoes or plum tomatoes but right now - it is completely irresistible. (You can make half the recipe but why? - the leftovers are even delicious cold).

    1. Preheat oven to 425F. Cut Roma tomatoes into quarters lengthwise, cut heirloom tomatoes into chunks and leave cherry tomatoes whole. Spread in a single layer over a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Add onions and jalapeno. Cut top 1/4 off head of garlic and wrap in aluminum foil. Place on the baking sheet. Drizzle vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place sheet pan in oven and reduce heat to 400F. Roast 45 to 50 minutes until lightly browned and garlic is tender. Cool ten minutes.

    2. Reserve a few chunks of tomatoes for garnish. Place remaining tomatoes, onions, jalapeno and juices in a blender or food processor. Squeeze in roasted garlic. Remove the small insert in the lid to release the steam if vegetables are too hot, and cover opening with a tea towel. Puree until smooth.

    3. Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add about 1 tbsp kosher salt. When tomatoes are ready, add pasta to the water and cook until just tender. Reserve 1/2 cup of the boiling liquid. Drain pasta in a colander or strainer and return pasta to pot. Add pureed tomatoes and cook gently until hot and well combined. If mixture seems dry add a little of the reserved pasta cooking liquid. Stir in butter if using. Season to taste.

    4. Transfer to a serving bowl. Top with reserved chunks of tomatoes and stir in fresh basil.

    Makes 4 to 6 servings
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or Cup4Cup gluten-free flour)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil or unflavoured vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract or paste
  • 2 tbsp coarse sugar

  • filling:
  • 2 lbs McIntosh apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped (must be McIntosh apples), 6 large, about 8 cups
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • RUTHIE'S APPLE CAKEMy mom used to make this cake often and I love it instead of honey cake for Rosh Hashanah - a great way to wish everyone a sweet new year. Use McIntosh apples for the right texture - they do not keep their shape and kind of melt into the cake just the way I like them to.

    Note: If you use a tube pan that has a removable bottom, wrap the outside in aluminum foil in case it leaks and spray the inside well so that you can turn it out (very carefully) or line the sprayed pan with parchment paper (make a hole for the tube) with the ends coming over so that you can lift the cake out (also very carefully).


    1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9" springform pan or deep round pan with parchment paper. If using a springform pan wrap the outside in aluminum foil in case it leaks.

    2. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt about 1 minute.

    3. In another large bowl whisk (or use a hand mixer) eggs until light and slowly drip in olive oil until well combined. Slowly beat in sugar. Mix in orange juice and vanilla.

    4. With a wooden spoon stir flour into egg mixture just until combined and no flour is left unincorporated.

    5. Combine apples with sugar and cinnamon.

    6. Spread about half the batter over the bottom of the pan (about 1 1/2 cups). It will not seem like much. Don't worry. Spoon in all the apples. It will look like there are too many apples. Don't worry. Drizzle with remaining batter - don't worry if it doesn't look like there's enough. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.

    7. Bake 55 to 65 minutes or until browned and firm in the centre or until an instant read thermometer registers at least 195F.

    Makes 10 to 12 servings

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