Bonnie's Book Club
News and Events
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
writes weekly in the National Post. She offers a wide variety
of corporate services, cooking classes and unique book clubs where
authors actually attend and dinner is included. Bonnie is the recipient of
the 2007 Premier’s Award.
It's hard to believe it is finally summer. Hooray! I was in Ottawa at the end of June in time to see the city all dressed up for Canada Day. It made me feel even more patriotic than usual. We went to delicious restaurants (check out the restaurant recommendations below) and had a fun time with family and friends. And of course our granddog is there!
Now here's an idea for a party - "An Evening with Johnnie Walker". Up to 15 friends can enjoy a Scotch tasting and history lesson (in the best way) in your home led by a Johnnie Walker brand ambassador. They provide everything. My nephew, Chuck Krangle, hosted one for his housewarming and it was a huge success. For more information click here.
Another exciting event that I attended was a Pocket Concert - Music at Home. It featured Benedicte Lauziere and Lance Ouellette, violin; Rory McLeod, viola and Rachel Desoer, cello. The music filled my mind and everyone in attendance felt the same way. If you would like to host a Pocket Concert or attend one, click here here.
The 25th anniversary of Toronto Taste was a huge success. It is great now that everyone in the food business is finally talking about waste but Second Harvest has been talking about it and doing something about it for 30 years! To find out more about Second Harvest and join their mailing list for event information, click here. And to see what you can do about waste at home, get The Waste Not Want Not Cookbook by my colleague, Cinda Chavich.
Congratulations to Lawrence Hill who was our guest in June with The Book of Negroes, for being appointed to The Order of Canada. What an honour! So well-deserved.
Congratulations to another one of our book club authors, Lori Lansens. Here is what the People magazine said about The Mountain Story : "A heart-stoppingly suspenseful tale.... A moving portrait of the human spirit - as fierce, lovely and indomitable as nature itself."
Be sure to check out our exciting book clubs for August, September and October.
See you at a farmers' market.
|Bonnie's Book Club|
|Bonnie's Book Club is a labour of love. Nothing pleases Bonnie more than to have the opportunity to bring readers and writers together in a truly unique way that offers the rare opportunity to meet some of the country's leading authors, discuss their work and enjoy a delicious meal inspired by the book.|
Drawing on her degree in English and her passion for food and cooking, Bonnie Stern invites you to a literary feast you won't soon forget - Oprah's book club never tasted this good!
*Small print: All registrations must be paid in full when registering. Please check your schedule carefully before registering. Cancellations can be accepted only up to 14 days before event date, a $50 charge (plus HST) applies to cover the administration fee and cost of the book. At any time you may send someone in your place for no additional charge. It is the attendee’s responsibility to mark their calendar with the date, time and location of the event.
|CAMILLA GIBB: THIS IS HAPPY|
|What better way to kick off the 2015/2016 season than with one of the Book Club's most beloved writers?
Over the years, Bonnie has had the privilege of hosting the great Camilla Gibb for incredible evenings dedicated to Camilla's Scotiabank GIller Prize-nominated, Trillium Book Award-winning Sweetness in the Belly and national bestselling The Beauty of Humanity Movement. This August, the Book Club is thrilled to welcome Camilla Gibb back as she discusses her first work of non-fiction. This is Happy is an extraordinary memoir that explores grief, new motherhood and what it means to be a family.
When Camilla Gibb was just eight weeks pregnant, her spouse shattered all sense of the present and future by announcing she was leaving. Heavy with the weight of what had been lost, Camilla was forced to create a home, one into which she soon welcomed a small cast of ailing souls: her brother, a man new to sobriety; a lonely graduate student new to the city; a Filipina nanny new to the country; and a baby, new to the world. This is the heartfelt and inspiring story of their first two years together, an unconventional love story about an unlikely family.
Raw and unflinching, intelligent and humane, This is Happy asks the big questions, and finds answers in the tender moments of the everyday.
Please join us for what promises to be a tremendous evening of food and conversation.
|Date: Monday, August 24, 2015|
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Place: Momofuku (Nikai, second floor)
190 University Avenue, Toronto
Fee: $165 plus HST*
(includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of This is Happy sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810
|STEVE TOLTZ: QUICKSAND|
|In the past Bonnie has hosted some of the finest international writers at work today. In September, she is thrilled to welcome Man Booker Prize and Guardian First Book Ward-nominee Steve Toltz to the Book Club to discuss his eagerly-awaited new novel Quicksand.
Readers around the world fell in love with Steve Toltz when he published his debut novel A Fraction of a Whole, the freewheeling, scathingly funny and ultimately deeply moving story of one family's attempt to leave their mark on the world.
In Quicksand, Toltz offers readers an outrageously inventive dark comedy about two lifelong friends. Liam is a struggling writer and a failing cop. Aldo, his best friend, is a haplessly criminal entrepreneur with an uncanny knack for disaster. As Aldo's luck worsens, Liam is inspired to base his next book on his best friend's exponential misfortunes and hopeless quest to win back his one great love: his ex-wife Stella. What begins as an attempt to make sense of Aldo's mishaps spirals into a profound story of faith and friendship.
With the same originality and buoyancy that catapulted his first novel onto prize lists around the world, Steve Toltz has created a rousing, funny, but unapologetically dark satire about faith, friendship, and the artist's obligation to his muse. Quicksand is a sharp portrait of twenty-first-century society in all its hypocrisy and absurdity.
|Date: Monday, September 28, 2015|
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Place: To be announced
Fee: $165 plus HST*
(includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of Quicksand sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810
|SPECIAL BOOK CLUB EVENT WITH ELAINE NEWTON:|
THE CHILDREN ACT
|If you love book reviews and book clubs and live in Toronto, Cape Town or Naples (Florida), you must have heard of the legendary Elaine Newton. Elaine was a professor at York University for thirty-eight years and I think that if I studied with her, I would have continued in literature. We are thrilled to have her speak about Ian McEwan's latest book, The Children Act. Her book events attract literally thousands of people and she regularly speaks at The Philharmonic for the Arts in Naples Florida to an audience of over 1,000 attendees. So we are really excited to host her at Big Crow BBQ, a small and personal venue by her standards.
This is a little different than our normal book club in that Elaine will be speaking, not the author, but we will still be mailing out the book ahead of time and there will still be a great meal and we will still have lots of fun.
The book that Elaine will be discussing is the provocative The Children Act by award-winning writer Ian McEwan.
Fiona Maye is a High Court judge in London presiding over cases in family court. She is fiercely intelligent, well respected, and deeply immersed in the nuances of her particular field of law. Often the outcome of a case seems simple from the outside, the course of action to ensure a child's welfare obvious. But the law requires more rigor than mere pragmatism, and Fiona is expert in considering the sensitivities of culture and religion when handing down her verdicts.
But Fiona's professional success belies domestic strife. Her husband, Jack, asks her to consider an open marriage and, after an argument, moves out of their house. His departure leaves her adrift, wondering whether it was not love she had lost so much as a modern form of respectability; whether it was not contempt and ostracism she really fears. She decides to throw herself into her work, especially a complex case involving a seventeen-year-old boy whose parents will not permit a lifesaving blood transfusion because it conflicts with their beliefs as Jehovah's Witnesses. But Jack doesn't leave her thoughts, and the pressure to resolve the case - as well as her crumbling marriage - tests Fiona in ways that will keep readers thoroughly enthralled until the last stunning page.
|Date: Monday, October 5, 2015|
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Place: Big Crow
176 Dupont Street (in the back), Toronto
Fee: $165 plus HST*
(includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of The Children Act sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810
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.
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
Private cooking classes
Menu consulting for parties
For detailed information,
please call: 416 484 4810
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
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
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 gout du coeur
Published by Trecarre, 2006, 512 pages
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
for Family and Friends
Featuring nine entertaining menus (over 200 recipes) with complete work plans, presentation ideas and wine suggestions, as well as complete nutritional analysis for each recipe, plus the Canadian Diabetes Association’s Food Choice Values. Colour photos and black and white instructional illustrations throughout.
Published by Random House of Canada, 2000, 320 pages, paperback
Recevoir au gout du coeur:
recettes, menus et conseils pour des réunions de famille et d’amis
Published by Trecarre, 2000, 320 pages, paperback
|News And Events|
|SUMMERLICIOUS: JULY 3 - 26, 2015|
|Summerlicious celebrates Toronto’s restaurant industry and is the perfect opportunity for foodies to sample the best of the city’s eclectic cuisine. Take advantage of the prix fixe menus offered at more than 200 of Toronto’s dining establishments!
For more information, click here
|PORT MEDWAY READERS' FESTIVAL|
|Cooking demonstration, tasting, wine pairing,
and cookbook signing by Bonnie Stern.|
Date: Sunday, July 12, 2015
Place: Port Medway Fire Hall - Meeting House
167 Long Cove Road
Port Medway, Nova Scotia
Time: 4 to 6pm
For more information, click here
|EVERGREEN ASADO BBQ FUNDRAISER|
|Saturday, September 26, 2015|
A South American-style festival full of fun, flames and food at Evergreen Brick Works.
For one night only, 40 top chefs tame the flames over dramatic open-air parilla barbecues to bring you the smoke and sizzle of South American cuisine. Dine alfresco on farm-fresh food and local drinks prepared by Brad Long, Steve Gonzalez and more. Then join the carnival and dance the night away—all in support of green, healthy cities.
For more information, click here
|BONNIE ON YOUTUBE!|
|Watch as Bonnie demonstrates how to braid the perfect Challah. Click here|
Watch Bonnie make Caipirinha/Caipiroshka.
And be sure you subscribe to Bonnie's YouTube channel so you can see when she posts next! Just hit the subscribe button beside Bonnie's photo under the video!
|BONNIE’S BOOK CLUB GOES TO LONDON|
|This is an advance announcement of our plan to lead a culinary trip to London (UK) for book lovers next spring, combining delicious food experiences and meals, with author talks, excursions and tours.
We are working hard on an itinerary and it's looking great! But we do not have a price yet and hope that the strength of the British currency and the decline of ours will not make the tour unreasonable.
If you would like to be on a specific mailing list for trips please just send me your name, email address and phone number to email@example.com
|Restaurant Recommendations and More|
7 Hart House Circle
416 978 2445
|This has always been one of my favourite Toronto restaurants - hidden away in Hart House at University of Toronto. It's like a secret - only open for lunch on weekdays and brunch on Sunday and closed during the summer. But mark this down for September. It has been here for 20 years, with the same wonderful chef - Suzanne Baby - and deserves much more attention than it gets. Don't miss the scallop schnitzel if they have it!|
|Pearl King Dim Sum|
291 King Street West
416 506 8886
|From the owners of Pearl Harbourfront Chinese Cuisine, this is a great new dim sum spot in the heart of the entertainment area. And that's good to know about when going to the theatre.|
1282 Dundas Street West
416 534 0407
|Another delicious meal at Essen. The experience is like going to Friday Night Dinner at your Jewish grandmother's house with a twist - my grandmother never made Jewish ramen. So delicious.|
|Peter Pan Bistro|
373 Queen Street West
416 792 3838
|The last time I was at Peter Pan (many years ago), it was raining outside and also inside! Not anymore. The makeover is stunning and they kept some of the signature looks like the striking ceiling and the beautiful bar. At lunch, portions seemed a little small but the fried chicken was very good and I loved the Worcestershire caviar served with the Welsh rarebit.|
1 Richmond Street West
647 748 1444
|Always busy, always good, with warm friendly service, delicious food and exciting desserts.|
90 Avenue Road
416 367 4141
|If you had ever been to Boba and before that Auberge Gavroche in this space on Avenue Road you won't recognize it now that it is NAO. Stunning and modern with the most beautiful patio, the emphasis seems to be more on the scene than on the food. An Asian inspired modern steakhouse is a great idea and it has all the right sounding dishes but the flavour just doesn't come through like it does at its sister restaurants Byblos and Patria.|
121 Clarence Street
613 627 2353
|Although not my usual source of restaurant recommendations, on a hot tip from Porter Airlines inflight magazine, we decided to try this new-ish Mexican restaurant in ByWard Market. We loved the baked corn arepas (more like a soft cornbread with salsa and melted cheese), their version of Caesar Salad, the tacos and tuna tostado.|
150 Elgin Street
613 238 7063
|I hadn't been to Beckta for a few years but it's hard to forget Stephen Beckta's incredible service standards and excellent food. The restaurant moved to a larger, more elegant home last year with an even stronger emphasis on fine dining. At dinner you can choose from a 3-course prix-fixe menu (with 5 choices in each category) for $68 or a 5-course tasting menu where diners are given a choice of 5 out of 12 foods they want the chef to focus on for $95. If you like a more casual experience you can go to Stephen Beckta's other restaurants - Play or Gezellig.|
357 Richmond Road
613 680 5500
|All seven of us, none vegetarian or vegan, loved our lunch at Pure Kitchen. The names of the menu items are a bit spiritual - we felt 'Loved' by our salad. 'Belle' by our mushroom poutine, 'Grateful' for our dumpling rice noodle bowl, 'Carefree' after our tacos and all around vibrant, peaceful, happy and awesome. Delicious.|
|Supply and Demand|
1335 Wellington St. West
613 680 2949
|The menu was short but everything was delicious at this hip and happening restaurant. We had roasted carrots, cucumbers with a feta dip, tuna crudo, shrimp with romesco on toast, ravioli with ricotta and nettles, pork loin and sausage on polenta, spatchcocked chicken and the best Eton Mess ever!|
250 City Centre Avenue #112
613 695 1226
|Every city should have a bakery this good! Even though they simplified their Sunday brunch menu everything was wonderful. Their breakfast sandwich is amazing but save room for the pecan sticky buns and incredible kronut holes.|
|The Ministry of Coffee|
279 Elgin Street
613 255 3180
|This in the new hipster coffee place in town. Two locations and growing.|
991 Wellington St. West
613 724 2451
|The lines here defy the idea that everyone is going gluten-free and on a diet! Great flavours and a cute place. (Just heard that mini donuts can be ordered in advance.)|
|PAN AM GAMES CAIPIRINHA|
|1/2 lime, cut into small pieces1 tbsp sugar1 1/2 oz Cachaca or vodka (3 tbsp)handful of ice cubes (about 5)||There's nothing that will get you into the mood of the Pan Am Games more than this spectacular cocktail. It's made with Cachaca, a Brazilian sugar cane based liquor (available at the liquor store). You can also make it with vodka but call it a caipiroshka. It's so refreshing, easy to drink and quite strong. It's a party. Be careful.|
1. Place the cut up lime and sugar in a cocktail shaker. Using a "muddler" or the handle of a wooden spoon, smash the lime with sugar. Add ice and Cachaca. Shake about 15 to 20 times until the shaker is very cold and then pour it all into an old-fashioned glass. (If don't have a shaker do it in the glass and stir instead of shaking.)
makes one cocktail
|GOAT CHEESE ROLLED IN PARSLEY, SAGE, ROSEMARY AND THYME|
|4 oz log goat cheese1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh herbs - a combination of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil1 small clove garlic, minced or gratedcoarse sea saltfreshly ground black pepper||Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme are catchy lyrics but also a great combination of herbs. This cheese is delicious as an appetizer on bread or crackers and can be used on top of salads. Use leftovers as a filling for omelettes or stirred into scrambled eggs|
1. Spread herbs on work surface and roll cheese in herbs.
2. Cut goat cheese into 5 or 6 thin rounds - using dental floss is the easiest way.
3. Arrange some chives or rosemary sprigs on a serving platter and place rounds of goat cheese in a single layer on top.
4. Combine olive oil with garlic. Drizzle over cheese. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
makes 4 to 6 servings
|CHEESE BREAD WITH ROASTED GARLIC PESTO|
|4 crusty rolls, (I used Ace Bakery focaccia buns), approx 4"x6", sliced horizontally4 oz aged Cheddar, grated4 oz smoked mozzarella, grated|
pesto:2 whole heads garlic1 cup packed fresh basil leaves1 tsp kosher salt1 jalapeno chile, halved and seeded, cut into pieces, optional1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil1/3 cup butter, cut into cubes (or more olive oil or mayonnaise)
|At 'Big Crow' in Toronto, they serve the gooey-est, most delicious cheese bread. Here's my version. I serve it in slices as an appetizer but it could be a whole meal - it's that good!|
1. Cut 1/4 off the top of garlic. Wrap in aluminum foil and roast in a 375F oven for 40 to 50 minutes or until garlic is very soft when squeezed. Cool. Squeeze garlic out of skins.
2. Place basil, salt and jalapeno in a food processor or blender and chop finely. Add roasted garlic, olive oil and butter. Process until combined.
3. Spread 1 tbsp pesto over cut surfaces of buns. (Leftover pesto will keep in the refrigerator about one week or freeze.) Divide cheese between bottom halves. Press tops on firmly.
4. Just before serving grill sandwiches on the cooler side of a medium hot barbecue, turning after a minute or two, and pressing sandwiches flat with a heavy spatula or brick. Or grill in a sandwich press. Be sure cheese is melted and gooey. Cut into slices.
makes 8 servings
|COLD ASIAN NOODLE SALAD WITH SHRIMP|
|1/2 lb thin Asian rice stick noodlesboiling water1/2 lb cooked shrimp, whole or butterflied in 2 pieces if large1 carrot, grated or shaved with a vegetable peeler3 small cucumbers, thinly sliced on the diagonal3 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal or snipped chives1/2 cup sprigs of cilantro1/4 cup sprigs of each mint and Thai basil3 tbsp coarsely chopped toasted cashews or almonds, optional|
dressing:2 tbsp sugar1 tbsp honey1/3 cup boiling water1/3 cup fish sauce or soy sauce3 tbsp lime juice1 tbsp rice vinegar1 clove garlic, minced1 tsp toasted sesame oil
|This salad is naturally instagram perfect. No fancy garnishing necessary and it is a perfect no-cook summer salad. Instead of shrimp use cooked crab, lobster, chunks of poached salmon or canned sockeye salmon or a rotisserie chicken. For a vegetarian version use cubes of extra firm tofu.|
1. Place noodles in a large bowl and cover generously with boiling water. Cover bowl. It will take between 2 and 5 minutes for the noodles to become tender. Drain well.
2. Place drained noodles over the bottom of a large rimmed dish and arrange salad ingredients in neat sections over the noodles.
3. For dressing stir sugar, honey and boiling water together. When sugar dissolves add fish sauce, lime juice, vinegar, garlic and sesame oil. Drizzle over salad. Sprinkle with nuts if using.
makes 4 servings
|GRILLED RIB STEAKS|
|3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil1 clove garlic, minced or grated1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemaryFinely grated peel from one lemon1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper1 tbsp coarse sea salt (eg Maldon salt)3 rib steaks, about 1-1 1/2 lbs each||Sure it is nice for everyone to have their own rib steak but rib steaks are juiciest when they are 1" thick or more. So share.
How to tell if your steak is done: Gently touch the tip of your thumb to the tip of your first finger. Feel the fleshy part of your thumb. That's what a rare steak feels like when pressed in the centre. If you touch your thumb and your middle finger and feel the fleshy part of your thumb - that's a medium steak. If you touch your thumb and to your third finger that's what a well-done steak feels like. And if your steak feels like the fleshy part of your thumb when your thumb touches your baby finger - your steak is over-cooked!
1. Combine olive oil, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, lemon and pepper. Rub into steaks. Marinate up to one hour in a cool kitchen or longer in the refrigerator.
2. Just before cooking rub salt into steaks. Preheat barbecue on high. Turn one side off.
3. Brown steaks on hot part of grill for 3 minutes, lid down, turn and grill second side 2 1/2 minutes. Remove to cool side of grill and continue to cook, lid down, 3 to 5 minutes - see above for how to tell when your steak is ready or use a meat thermometer (125F for rare). Let rest 3 to 5 minutes. Cut meat off the bone in one piece and then slice steak perpendicular to the bone.
makes 6 to 8 servings
|RHUBARB AND STRAWBERRY COBBLER|
|2 lbs fresh rhubarb, trimmed and slice (about 8 cups)4 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered2 tsp ground cinnamon1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg1/3 cup sugar or more if rhubarb is very tart2 tbsp all-purpose flour|
topping:1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour2/3 cup white granulated sugar2/3 cup brown sugar3/4 tsp baking powder1/4 tsp kosher salt2 eggs1/2 cup melted butter2 tbsp coarse sugar - optional
|This unusual cobbler topping came from my friend Patti Linzon. We made it originally with apples. To take on a picnic, or even just a cute serving idea at home - spoon it into one cup preserving jars and top with a strawberry. I always make the whole recipe as leftovers aren't a problem.|
1. Place rhubarb and strawberries in a large bowl. Combine cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and flour, sprinkle on fruit and combine. Place in a buttered 9"x13" baking dish.
2. Prepare topping by whisking flour with white sugar, brown sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre. Add eggs and beat lightly with a fork. Mix in as much flour mixture with the fork and then with your fingers until very crumbly. Sprinkle over fruit. Drizzle with melted butter. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
3. Bake in a preheated 350F oven 45 to 55 minutes or until fruit is bubbling and topping is cooked through, browned and crisp.
makes 10 to 12 servings
© Copyright 2015, Bonnie Stern Cooking Schools Ltd.