Bonnie Stern Food News
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Contents

Kitchen Hack

Corporate Services

News and Events

Bonnie's Cookbooks

Featured Recipes

Contact

Bonnie Stern

Phone: 416 484 4810

Email:
bonnie@bonniestern.com

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Website:
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About Bonnie

When Bonnie Stern started her cooking school in 1973 she wanted people to have more fun in the kitchen, eat more healthfully and nourish their families and friends with delicious food. That goal has never changed. Bonnie is still sharing her love of cooking in everything she does.

Bonnie is an award winning author of twelve best-selling cookbooks and wrote a weekly newspaper column for almost 30 years, first for the Toronto Star and then for the National Post. She offers a wide variety of corporate services, cooking workshops and unique book clubs where authors actually attend and dinner is included. Bonnie is the recipient of the 2007 Premier’s Award.

 

February 2019

Every January many of us tend to make unrealistic or extreme resolutions about eating more healthfully and then are disappointed that we can't keep them. In the context of these resolutions, it made me more mindful about these two big initiatives that came out in the last few weeks. What if this year instead of making rules, we tried to think about food a little bit differently then that may change the way we eat in the future? There's lots of flexibility and delicious options.

Canada's Food Guide has been modernized and includes principles we can all get on board with. Not only do they recommend half your plate be filled of vegetables and fruits, one-quarter with grains and a quarter of protein foods, they also recommend eating a variety of healthy foods, limit highly processed foods and make water your go-to drink. In addition they recommend lifestyle choices like cooking at home more often, eating with other people, making mindful food choices and enjoying your food. For more information, click Canada Food Guide

At almost the same time The EAT-Lancet Commission released their report with a plan for healthy diets by 2050 for people and for the planet. Global consumption of fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes will have to double and consumption of foods like red meat and sugar will have to be reduced by more than half. Half the plate is vegetables and fruits, and the other half is mostly whole grains and plant-based proteins (legumes/pulses) with smaller amounts of unsaturated plant oils, animal sourced protein, dairy products, starchy vegetables and added sugars. They recommend approximately 2500 calories per day for an adult accounting for age, gender, general health and how active the person is but also warn that overeating is a waste of food with health and environmental consequences. For more information click The EAT-Lancet Commission

There are many food issues we have to be aware of and organizations that we can support that help. For starters, Second Harvest addresses food waste and Community Food Centres Canada and The Stop address food insecurity.

Food for thought,

Bonnie

Kitchen Hack
DYI DRIED LEMON PEEL
DYI DRIED LEMON PEELBring sunshine into your kitchen this February with lemons. If you use a lot of lemons, as I do, grate the peel and dry it, you will always have some on hand to brighten up soups, sauces, stews and wintery dishes.

Wash lemons well, pat dry, and grate the outside peel with a fine grater over paper towels - a microplane grater works the best. Spread the grated peel out and allow to dry a few hours at room temperature. When dry store in a preserving jar. (I sometimes freeze the grated peel which is also great.)



Corporate Services

Corporate culinary events are a great way to host a corporate function. Great food always brings co-workers and staff together. People have fun, learn a lot and take home delicious memories.

Events are customized to meet your location, schedule, objectives and food preferences. Bonnie works with nutritionists, food producers, restaurants, etiquette experts and authors to create exciting programs.

All events will be planned and hosted by Bonnie personally.

Corporate Cooking Class
Private Cooking Class

 

Bonnie Stern has worked with various food manufacturers, grocery chains, restaurants, chefs, health professionals as well as cookware manufacturers, etc., offering a wide variety of corporate services, such as:

Corporate culinary events
Corporate family dinners
Market Tours
Recipe development
Private cooking classes
Product consultation
Menu consulting for parties
Fundraising events

For detailed information,
please call: 416 484 4810

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

$29.95

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

$34.95
HeartSmart
HeartSmart
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.

$34.95
Desserts
Desserts
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

$21
News And Events
WINTERLICIOUS 2019
WINTERLICIOUS 2019January 25 to February 7, 2019

Winterlicious 2019 is on now in Toronto featuring a prix fixe promotion and culinary event series. Be sure Winterlicious menu reflects the regular menu of the restaurants you want to try.

For more details click Winterlicious 2019

CHEFS FOR CHANGE
CHEF FOR CHANGEWednesdays February 20, 27, 2019

A mid-winter dinner series of phenomenal food and beverage. Each night features unique culinary collaborations by chefs from Toronto and across the country, and beverages from Ontario’s best wineries, cideries, breweries and distilleries. Net profits from Chefs for Change will help Community Food Centres Canada - a national nonprofit that uses food to change lives.

For more information click: Chefs for Change 2019

ISRAELI FAMILY DINNER
ISRAELI FAMILY DINNERMiddle Eastern and Israeli food is what everyone wants to eat right now so come and learn the ingredients and flavours that make it so popular. Israel is an immigrant country and Israeli cuisine is a delicious mash-up of food and flavours from the Middle East, the Mediterranean and North Africa.

Workshop includes appetizers on arrival, lunch or dinner, recipes and lots of fun.

Please note: As with our Challah Workshop, right now we are only offering this to groups (groups of ten with one person organizing the group) but we are taking a wait list for open classes.

Please send your name, email address and phone number with subject line: Israeli Family Dinner to bonnie@bonniestern.com and let us know if you are interested in bringing a group or would like to join an open class.

"Bonnie: thank you once more for a wonderful evening of amazing food and inspiration. I was on a food high when I got home and could not get the thought of your incredible chicken out of my mind! Your recipes are the best."  Barbara Kerbel

BONNIE'S CHALLAH WORKSHOP
BONNIE'S CHALLAH WORKSHOPChallah is the Jewish celebration bread that is enjoyed at every Friday night dinner except during Passover. However, now challah has risen way above Jewish cooking and is a favourite for French toast, grilled cheese sandwiches, bread pudding and so much more.

In this workshop Bonnie will show you everything you need to know to make the most delicious and beautiful braided challah. Everyone will have a chance to make challah dough, knead the dough and get to know the perfect texture at each stage. You will learn to make braids with 3, 4 and 6 strands and also round braided breads. You will learn about ingredients and all the tricks and tips you need for success.

This very popular workshop includes coffee and cinnamon buns, snacks, a delicious lunch or dinner, printed recipes, all ingredients and lots of fun. And best of all - you'll take home your own challah on Bonnie's favourite quarter sheet pan to bake for your family and friends.

Please Note: As with our Israeli Family Dinner class, right now we are only offering this to groups (groups of ten with one person organizing the group) but we are taking a wait list for open classes.

For more information please send your name, email address and phone number with subject line: Bonnie’s Challah Workshop to bonnie@bonniestern.com and let us know if you are interested in bringing a group or would like to join an open class.

Restaurant Recommendations and More
NIAGARA, ONTARIO
Restaurant at
Pearl Morissette

3953 Jordan Road
Jordan Station, ON
905 562 7709

 

What a wonderful treat. A stunning room with beautiful views, a delicious tasting menu created by two talented chefs, wines from the winery or chosen for the menu, and friendly but professional service. A terrific experience.
Expensive
TORONTO
Alobar Yorkville
57A - 162 Cumberland St.
(up the laneway near Avenue Road)
Toronto
416 961 1222
I loved Alo and Aloette so I guess I was predisposed to enjoy Alobar. It lived up to all the Instagram posts and accolades. Portions are generous, service is great and it was a treat to sit at the kitchen bar and watch the excitement. We shared three appetizers (sea bream, tuna tartare with sea urchin and torched Hamachi), one main (shortribs), one salad (beet salad with candied pecans and cara cara oranges), and 2 desserts (cheesecake with sour cherry jam and mille-feuille). Every dish was delicious.
Expensive
Featured Recipes
ANNA'S SWEET POTATO, CHICK PEA AND SPINACH STEW
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp each smoked paprika and cumin
  • 1 tsp to 1 tbsp harissa (depending on spiciness of harissa and how spicy you like it)
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped preserved lemon or grated lemon peel
  • 2 large sweet potatoes (about 3/4 lb each), peeled if necessary and cut into 1/2" chunks
  • 2 cups canned or chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken stock or water
  • 2 cups cooked or canned chick peas (19oz/540mL tin, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 5 oz pkg (approx) baby spinach
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • cooked quinoa or another favourite grain
  • sriracha - optional
  • ANNA'S SWEET POTATO, CHICK PEA AND SPINACH STEWMy daughter Anna is an amazing cook and when we were talking about the 'good for humans and good for the planet 2050 diet' from the EAT-Lancet Commission she mentioned that stews (like this one she made last week) seem like a great way to conform to this 'diet'.

    Method:

    1. Cook onions and garlic until tender in oil in a deep skillet or large saucepan about 5 minutes. Add smoked paprika. cumin, harissa and lemon. Cook a minute or two longer. Add sweet potatoes and cook, stirring often, about 15 minutes.

    2. Add tomatoes and stock and bring to a boil. Cook about 10 minutes.

    3. Add chick peas and cook at least 5 minutes. Mash slightly to thicken the juices. Season with salt and pepper.

    4. Add spinach, stir and cook about 30 seconds just until barely wilted. Add cilantro.

    5. Serve over quinoa and dot with sriracha if you love it as much as we do.

    Makes 4 servings

    VANILLA BEAN BUTTERMILK PANCAKES
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (or half whole grain)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups buttermilk*
  • 1 tbsp vanilla paste or pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted and a bit more for the pan


  • toppings:
  • fresh fruit eg bananas, orange segments, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, figs, mangoes or strawberries
  • VANILLA BEAN BUTTERMILK PANCAKESAt Baddies, an Aussie restaurant in Toronto I once had pancakes covered in fruit and have been making them that way ever since. They are easy to do but look so stunning that guests will think you are a pro cook! They are great anytime but especially perfect for two occasions coming up - Valentine's Day (Thursday February 14) and for Pancake Tuesday/Shrove Tuesday (Tuesday March 5). They are so good you will want them for both!

    *Note:
    If you do not have buttermilk you can make a sour milk substitute by placing 2 1/2 tbsp plain vinegar or lemon juice in a 4 cup measure and adding enough regular milk to reach the 2 1/2 cup mark. let sit 5 minutes to sour. Or you can use plain yogurt - i usually thin it out with some milk.



    Method:

    1. In a large bowl whisk flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

    2. In another bowl whisk eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and melted butter.

    3. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir until just combined - batter should be thick and lumpy. Do not overmix.

    4. Brush two 9" (approx) non-stick skillets (if you have 2 pans approximately the same size, otherwise cook one at a time) with butter and heat until melted. Add 1 cup batter to each pan, spreading if necessary. Cook a few minutes on the first side until browned, flip and cook second side until browned and pancake is cooked through (pancake will be thick so be sure to check it is cooked through). Keep pancakes warm, covered loosely in a 300F oven as you make the rest.

    5. Drizzle with maple syrup and top with fruit of your choice.

    Makes 4 large pancakes

    JOE BEEF'S LOBSTER SPAGHETTI
  • 2 lobsters, partially cooked with meat removed from the shells, meat and shells etc reserved
  • 3 cups whipping cream
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp Cognac or brandy
  • 2 sprigs fresh tarragon
  • 1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce or more to taste
  • 4 oz thick bacon, cut into 1" pieces
  • 3/4 lb spaghetti
  • 1 tsp kosher salt or more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground (coarse) black pepper
  • 2 tbsp each chopped fresh tarragon and chives
  • JOE BEEF'S LOBSTER SPAGHETTI

    This recipe is a little rich and expensive so it is perfect for special occasions like Valentine's Day! Although I would love to live in Montreal and be able to go to Fred Morin and David McMillan's fantastic restaurant, Joe Beef, all the time, because I live in Toronto I probably will never get tired of their lobster spaghetti. It is just so good. This is an easy-ish version of the one in their cookbook "The Art of Living According to Joe Beef". Their new book "Joe Beef: Surviving the Apocalypse" is available now.

    You can cook the lobsters in a large pot of boiling salted water yourself for 8 to ten minutes, but you have a head start if your fish store will do it for you. Remember to ask for the shells. (I go to Avenue Seafood.)



    Method:

    1. Cut lobster meat into large chunks. Reserve.

    2. Place cream in a large saucepan and add garlic, bay leaf, thyme, brandy, tarragon and Tabasco. Bring to a boil. Add lobster shells. Bring to a boil again and cook gently about 30 minutes. Strain reduced cream into a large deep skillet. (I scrape off sauce clinging to the lobster shells and add it to the pan of cream.)

    3. Meanwhile or ahead, cook bacon until crisp but still a bit chewy. Reserve.

    4. Just before serving bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add about 1 tbsp kosher salt and spaghetti. Cook until almost tender. While spaghetti is cooking add lobster to cream and gently heat. When pasta is ready, reserve about 1 1/2 cups cooking water and drain spaghetti. Add spaghetti to cream, add bacon and toss and gently cook until sauce coats spaghetti well adding about 1/4 cup reserved pasta boiling water at a time until sauce is as creamy as you like. (You probably will need about 3/4 cup.) Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    5. Top with fresh herbs and a little more pepper.

    Makes 4 servings (or less)

    SHEET PAN SPATCHCOCK CHICKEN WITH ROASTED VEGETABLES
  • 3 lb chicken, spatchcock-ed (or chicken pieces)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbsp grated lemon peel


  • vegetables:
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut on the diagonal
  • 1 lb butternut squash, sliced or cut into chunks (you can leave the peel on and eat it)
  • 1 lb sweet potatoes, cut into 1" chunks
  • 1 lb parsnips, cut into 1" slices
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb broccoli spears


  • garnish:
  • sprigs fresh herbs
  • SHEET PAN SPATCHCOCK CHICKEN WITH ROASTED VEGETABLESSheet pan dinners are so popular because you just put everything on one sheet pan and roast it all together in the oven. The trick is to use the ingredients that take the same time to cook or add quicker-cooking ones towards the end. Spatchcock just means to open up and flatten (sometimes called butterflied) a chicken which is a great way to cook it as it is done in about 45 minutes. Many stores now sell chicken flattened or the butcher will do it for you.

    Method:

    1. Place chicken flat on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, rosemary and lemon peel.

    2. Toss carrots, squash, sweet potatoes and and parsnips in a large bowl with olive oil, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Spread around the chicken. Roast in a preheated 400F oven for 30 minutes.

    3. Add broccoli spears and nestle into the vegetables. Roast 15 to 20 minutes longer.

    4. Serve with pan juices and fresh herbs.

    makes 4 servings

    ONE POT PASTA WITH ITALIAN SAUSAGE BOLOGNESE
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 lb hot or mild Italian sausages, meat removed from casings (or ground beef or turkey)
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups canned tomatoes with juices
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock (in a pinch use water)
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream, optional
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 12 oz dried tubular pasta (eg penne, rigatoni etc), broken up a little
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano, optional (or other cheese)
  • 5 oz pkg baby spinach, kale or arugula
  • 1 cup frozen peas (I forgot them)
  • ONE POT PASTA WITH ITALIAN SAUSAGE BOLOGNESEWhen I saw my friend Yotam Ottolenghi's One Pan Pasta with Harissa Bolognese I wanted to make it right away. But I also wanted to use up the foods I had on hand. Here's what I came up with and although it is now completely different from Yotam’s, my husband and I could have eaten it all. (But we didn't. Tomorrow though.) I made the cream and cheese optional because my husband is lactose intolerant - it was still delicious.

    Serve with a salad.



    Method:

    1. Heat oil in a 3L deep skillet or stove top casserole. (I used my 11" Le Creuset.) Add onions, carrots, celery and garlic and cook gently about 5 to 8 minutes. Add sausage meat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Increase heat and brown the sausages a little.  Add tomato paste and Worcestershire and cook, stirring about one minute.

    2. Add tomatoes and stock and bring to a boil. Add cream and about 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.

    3. Add pasta and stir well - mixture will look liquidy but don't worry, pasta will absorb it. Liquid should just cover the pasta. Cook 10 to 15 minutes, stirring, until thick and creamy and pasta is tender. (If pasta isn't tender yet add a bit more water and cook longer.)

    4. Preheat broiler (or you can torch the top with a mini blowtorch).

    5. Add cheese, spinach and peas to pasta and stir just until spinach wilts. Transfer to the oven and broil 3 to 5 minutes until top browns a bit.

    Make 4 servings

    ICE CREAM SUNDAE WITH FABBRI AMARENA CHERRIES
    ICE CREAM SUNDAE WITH FABBRI AMARENA CHERRIESA jar of the famous Fabbri Amarena Cherries is a delicious treat to have on hand for easy desserts, and to make special desserts even more special. I love them over vanilla ice cream, angel food cake, meringues and panna cotta but they are fantastic with chocolate as well. For a quick but still romantic, Valentine's Day dessert, they can't be beat. Buy them at specialty stores and Italian food markets.

    Method:
    It's not really a recipe - spoon over best quality vanilla ice cream with some of the incredible syrup. Enjoy.
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