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Bonnie Stern

Phone: 416 484 4810


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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.


July 2018

Welcome to summer. Hope you are keeping cool! Hard to imagine it will ever be winter again.

Nostalgia Moment with James Corden and Paul McCartney
If you are tired of watching the news, take a 23 minute Carpool Karaoke break and travel back to a more innocent time.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Lately many people have been asking how they can tell if the olive oil they are buying is really extra virgin. Olive oil scandals are nothing new as some extra virgin olive oils have been mixed with less expensive oils.

While some disagree as to how much fat to have in your diet, most people agree that extra virgin olive oil is the healthiest. It is a mono-unsaturated fat that is high in antioxidants which have powerful health benefits. It is part of the Mediterranean diet and a staple of some of the world’s healthiest people. It can help reduce inflammation – a leading cause of many diseases. And, contrary to public opinion, you can cook, and even fry with it. It is also the least processed oil. It’s delicious – on salads, as a dip, as a drizzle or as an ingredient in so many favourite dishes. Here are a few ways to help you tell if you are buying the real thing:

- Look for a family or estate name on the bottle. Someone who is responsible for what’s in the bottle. Often there is also a website or way to contact them. This will also tell you where the olives are from. If it is Italian look to see that it says “made in Italy”, not produced in Italy, which means the olives can come from anywhere and then bottled in Italy.
- Look for either the red DOP/PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) or blue IGP/PGI (Protected Geographic Origin) seal on the bottle which are awarded to products of excellence.
- Do not buy ‘light’ olive oil – light oils have the same calories but are lighter in colour and taste.
- Buy extra virgin olive oil in tinted bottles or tins. Light is the enemy of extra virgin olive oil and no good producer would use clear bottles or plastic bottles.
- There should be a bottled date or best before date. Extra virgin olive oil is best within two years of harvesting.
- Usually, if the price of a one litre bottle of extra virgin olive oil is less than $20, it is probably not extra virgin olive oil. I think of it this way - if I am going to eat approximately 100 calories per tbsp –  I want it to be the best. And I use about a bottle of extra virgin olive oil in a month while a comparably priced bottle of wine is finished during one meal.
- Keep extra virgin olive oil in a cool, dark cupboard and once opened use it up in a few months. That’s why I rarely buy flavoured oils – I don’t want to have a lot of open bottles that I have to use up. And just add herbs, chiles, citrus, etc when I use it.

Book Clubs
We are excited to welcome award-winning author, Rawi Hage, to our book club in August to celebrate his new book Beirut Hellfire Society. Wait until you read about this society. Wayne Grady will be here  in September with his amazing new novel Up from Freedom and we can’t wait to celebrate Chef Anthony Rose’s first cookbook in October (my challah recipe is in the book!). We are in for some delicious adventures this fall. See below for details.

Canada Day
I hope everyone had a delicious Canada Day, eating mainly local foods bought at your local farmer’s market. But butter tart squares are a delicious way to feel Canadian anytime. Check out the recipe section below.

Canada Day is every day.

Kitchen Hack
ARE YOU COVERED IN CREAM OR FLOUR WHEN MIXING?Do you have problems with food (especially cream or flour) jumping out at you while using a hand or stand mixer? I am often covered in cream or flour! Wrap a piece of plastic wrap around the bowl and stay clean!

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 Canada's leading authors (and some from farther away), 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. However, 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.


RAWI HAGE: BEIRUT HELLFIRE SOCIETYIn August, Bonnie is thrilled to kick off the new season of the Book Club with one of Canada’s most dynamic and talked about writers. Rawi Hage has captured the attention of readers across the country with such acclaimed works as DeNiro’s Game (shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, Governor General’s Award for Fiction, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize; winner of the prestigious €100,000 Dublin IMPAC Fiction Prize), Cockroach (shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Governor General’s Award for Fiction and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize) and the national bestseller Carnival. This fall, Hage returns with Beirut Hellfire Society, a remarkable and mature work that takes readers back to Beirut of the 1970s during the Civil War and asks what, if anything, can be accomplished or preserved in the face of certain change and certain death.

The novel introduces us to Pavlov, the twenty-something son of an undertaker, who, after his father's death, is approached by a member of the mysterious Hellfire Society - an anti-religious sect that, among their many rebellious and often salacious activities, arrange secret burial for those who have been denied it because the deceased was homosexual, atheist, or otherwise an outcast and abandoned by their family, church, and state.

Pavlov agrees to take up his father's work for the Society, and over the course of the novel acts as survivor-chronicler of his torn and fading community, bearing witness to both its enduring rituals and its inevitable decline.

Combining comedy and tragedy, Beirut Hellfire Society is a brilliant and urgent meditation on what it is to live through war. In short, this is a spectacular and timely new work from one of our major writers.

Date: Monday August 27, 2018
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: Souk Tabule
494 Front Street East, Toronto
Fee: 165 + HST (includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of Beirut Hellfire Society sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810


WAYNE GRADY: UP FROM FREEDOMIn September, Bonnie welcomes Wayne Grady, the acclaimed author of the Scotiabank Giller Prize-longlisted Emancipation Day as he launches his eagerly-awaited new novel Up from Freedom.

As a young man, Virgil Moody vowed he would never be like his father, he would never own slaves. When he moves from his father’s plantation in Savannah to New Orleans, he takes with him Annie, a tiny woman with sharp eyes and a sharper tongue, who he is sure would not survive life on the plantation. She’ll be much safer with him, away from his father’s cruelty. And when he discovers Annie’s pregnancy, already a few months along, he is all the more certain that he made the right decision.

As the years pass, the divide between Moody’s assumptions and Annie’s reality widens ever further. Moody even comes to think of Annie as his wife and Lucas as their son. Of course, they are not. As Annie reminds him, in moments of anger, she and Moody will never be equal. She and her son are enslaved. When their “family” breaks apart in the most brutal and tragic way, and Lucas flees the only life he’s ever known, Moody must ask himself whether he has become the man he never wanted to be—but is he willing to hear the answer?

Stretching from the war-torn banks of the Rio Brazos in Texas to the muddy waters of Freedom, Indiana, Moody travels through a country on the brink of civil war, relentlessly searching for Lucas and slowly reconciling his past sins with his hopes for the future. When he meets Tamsey, a former slave, and her family trying to escape the reach of the Fugitive Slave Act, Moody sees an opportunity for redemption. But the world is on the cusp of momentous change, and though some things may be forgotten, nothing is ever really forgiven.

Date: Tuesday September 25, 2018
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: The Edible Story
320 Richmond Street East, Unit 105 (Entrance on Sherbourne), Toronto
Fee: 165 + HST (includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of Up from Freedom sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810


ANTHONY ROSE: THE LAST SCHMALTZFor a number of years, Chef Anthony Rose has been an important part of the success of Bonnie’s Book Club. His incredible restaurants – Rose and Sons, Big Crow and Fat Pasha – have served as the perfect venues for truly memorable evenings of food and books. In October, Bonnie is thrilled to welcome Anthony as an author for the launch of his debut book The Last Schmaltz: A Very Serious Cookbook.

Whether you know him as Toronto's King of Comfort Food, the Don of Dupont, or the Sultan of Smoked Meat, a conversation about the food and restaurant scene in Toronto isn't complete without mention of Anthony Rose. From his famous Fat Pasha Cauliflower (which may or may not have caused the Great Cauliflower Shortage of 2016) and Rose and Sons Patty Melt to his Pork Belly Fried Rice and Nutella Babka Bread Pudding, Anthony's dishes have consistently made waves in the culinary community. Now, in his first cookbook, Anthony has teamed up with internationally-renowned food and travel writer Chris Johns to share his most famous recipes and stories.

Be amazed by the reactions Anthony received when he ingeniously invented a dish called the "All-Day Breakfast." Thrill at the wonder Anthony felt when, as a young Jewish kid, he tasted the illicit lusciousness of bacon for the first time. Or discover the secret ingredient to the perfect shore lunch on a camping trip (hint: it's foie gras).

Often funny, sometimes ridiculous, but always delicious, The Last Schmaltz is a peek into the mind of a much-loved chef at the top of his culinary game.

Date: Monday October 22, 2018
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: Big Crow
176 Dupont Street, Toronto
Fee: 165 + HST (includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of The Last Schmaltz sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810

Book Club Locations
Souk Tabule1
Souk Tabule2
Souk Tabule3
Souk Tabule4
Souk Tabule7
Souk Tabule5
Souk Tabule

Souk Tabule

We have always loved Tabule on Yonge Street and Queen Street East. Their newest restaurant, Souk Tabule, located in Toronto’s canary district, is a beautiful space that features authentic Beirut street food and modern Middle Eastern cooking.

494 Front Street East
416 583 5914

The Edible Story1
The Edible Story2
The edible story
The Edible Storyx

The Edible Story
This cooking school, catering company and event space is the perfect place for our themed book club. Owners/chefs Alanna Fleischer and Brian Cheng will create a menu to suit.

320 Richmond Street East #105

(Entrance on Sherbourne)
647 278 1819

Big Crow4
Big Crow6
Big Crow1
Big Crow x

Big Crow

We love the crazy deliciousness of Big Crow – Rose and Sons backyard bbq patio. It was so successful in the summer when it opened, they winterized it with walls, ceilings, heaters and blankets so it's now open all year.

176 Dupont Street

(in the back of Rose and Sons)
647 748 3287

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


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

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

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.

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

News And Events
HERITAGE TORONTO TOURSMay 3 to October 6, 2018

Whether you live in Toronto like I do, or if you are visiting and you love food, I can highly recommend the free, Heritage Toronto Tour with Laura Carlson. Laura is knowledgeable, articulate and fun.  She also leads her own tours that sound terrific too.

For more information click:

SUMMERLICIOUS 2018July 6 to 22, 2018

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 Summerlicious 2018

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 and let us know if you are interested in bringing a group or would like to join an open class.

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.

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 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


After a wonderful 8th culinary trip to Israel last February, we are doing it again. If these dates - February 24 to March 5, 2019 - work for you and you would like information about our 9th tour – itinerary and price – and/or be on the mailing list for future trips please send your name, email and phone number, with subject line: Trips, to (if you are NOT already on the list). We will be sending out the itinerary and price in the next few weeks. I am so excited to share my delicious Israel with you.

"I feel so fortunate to have had this opportunity to meet and travel with Bonnie. Everyday was jam-packed with newness, and delicious, sensual experiences. Memories I will cherish for a life time."
Jill Aberman, Montreal

"The trip exceeded our expectations and we know we want to return to Israel again. Learning more about Israel and the Jewish faith was a highlight for both of us. Meeting the leading chefs, food personalities, cookbook authors, speakers and bloggers of Israel was an opportunity we would never have had if we were travelling on our own."
Lynette Husum and Roger Delbaere, Edmonton


Restaurant Recommendations and More
90 Yorkville Avenue
416 428 6641
This tiny gem remains a cool retreat in the heart of Yorkville. Go in the summer when the lovely patio doubles the number of seats and it’s slightly easier to get a reservation. Or go at an off time as I did recently – 2:30 for lunch after a trip to the Gardiner Museum nearby. It is miracle that this tiny kitchen sends out such delicious food.


Rose and Sons Deli
176 Dupont Street
647 748 3287
Everyone says the pastrami sandwich is the best in Toronto. I think everyone is right. I also love the smoked turkey, chopped steak and onions on grilled cheese (formerly known as the patty melt) and the fries. And a soft serve sundae is always a good way to end any meal.
Barberian's Steakhouse
7 Elm Street
416 597 0335
It was a delicious walk down memory lane this Father’s Day when we took Ray to Barberian’s.  Gorgeous steaks, pickled vegetables, great fries, Caesar salad, garlic bread and flaming baked Alaska were as good as ever. The tour of the wine cellar and private rooms (with the most amazing private dining room in the wine cellar) shows this 60-year-old resto is still going strong.
Sabai Sabai
81 Bloor Street East
647 748 4225
The talented Nuit Regular seems to be the reigning queen of Thai food in Toronto with her many popular restaurants throughout the city. I wrote about Kiin last month for royal Thai cuisine and this time it’s the casual Sabai Sabai. We ordered take out. Don’t miss the drunken noodles – they don’t seem to be on the menu and they are delicious.
Featured Recipes
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 to 2 jalapeno chiles, halved, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp pureed chipotle chiles, optional
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3 red bell peppers, roasted and peeled (see intro*), peeled and diced
  • 3 lbs fresh plum tomatoes (in tomato season), peeled and diced* or 2 28oz/796mL tins plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp kosher salt or more to taste
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro or to taste
  • MATBUCHA (MOROCCAN COOKED TOMATO SPREAD)Along with hummus and baba ganoush, matbucha is a favourite Israeli dip. Everyone makes it a different way so change it up as you wish. And make it as spicy as you want or not. I like to add some chipotle chiles and smoked paprika to give it a smoky taste. Use it as a dip for pita, challah, vegetables or chips; use it as a spread or topping for burgers, sandwiches or a sauce for chicken or fish.

    *Roasting peppers: Place peppers directly on a gas burner and cook, turning often until they are charred all over. Cool. Rub off skins, halve, discard seeds and ribs and chop according to recipe. To broil, cut raw peppers in half lengthwise, arrange on a sheet pan skin side up, broil until blackened.

    *Peeling tomatoes: make a cross in the end of the tomatoes, cover with boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds, chill under cold water and peel the skins off. Or, you can char them on the burner, in a cast iron skillet or under the broiler and then remove skins.

    1. Heat oil in a large, wide saucepan. Add garlic and jalapenos and cook gently until very fragrant about 4 to 5 minutes or longer. Do not brown garlic. Add chipotles if using, and paprika. Cook about 30 seconds.

    2. Add red peppers and cook about 5 minutes or until tender. Add tomatoes, honey and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook gently until liquid evaporates and mixture is thick. Season to taste.  Makes about 3 cups

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil plus 2 tbsp
  • 1 large leek, trimmed, white and light green parts only, washed and thinly sliced (or use one chopped onion)
  • 8 cups packed greens (eg arugula, baby kale, spinach etc), chopped (about 1 lb)
  • 2 cups packed chopped fresh leafy herbs (combination (eg. dill, parsley, chives, tarragon, cilantro, green onions)
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour or chick pea flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp each kosher salt and turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 3 tbsp yogurt
  • PERSIAN HERB AND MIXED GREEN OMELETTEI became obsessed with Persian frittatas (called kuku) while reading Sabrina Ghayour's first cookbook 'Persiana'. After testing many combinations of greens and herbs, my favourite was the one where I used up all the random greens and herbs in my fridge. Now I often add leftover cooked green veggies and if I don’t have them leftover, I  just chop some raw broccoli or rapini, cover it with boiling water for a few minutes, drain and cook with the leeks. This recipe works all day - for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. Leftovers can be cut into small pieces for appetizers and slices make great sandwiches. Serve with a fresh salad or herbs on top if you wish.


    1. Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a 10" ovenproof skillet. Add leeks and cook until wilted, but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add greens and cook, rotating greens from top to bottom of skillet, until wilted and tender. about 3 to 4 minutes. Add herbs. Cook gently another minute. Remove greens from pan and spread on a baking sheet to cool quickly. Wipe out pan. Preheat oven to 350F.

    2. In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt, turmeric and pepper. Slowly stir in yogurt. Whisk eggs and then whisk some beaten egg into flour mixture until smooth and then whisk in the rest. Add cooled greens and herbs.

    3. Return pan to heat. Add remaining 2 tbsp olive oil and heat.  Add egg mixture. Cook a minute or two to firm up the bottom and then transfer to a preheated 350F oven. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until centre is just firm to the touch and top is lightly browned and puffed. (Or transfer egg mixture to a 9” or 10” square baking dish and bake 30 to 35 minutes or until centre is set.)

    makes 6 to 8 servings

  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary

  • honey lime dressing:
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 small clove garlic, grated or pressed
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • peanut dressing:
  • 3 tbsp peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp water

  • salad:
  • 3 ears corn on the cob, grilled and niblets removed (or 2 cups cooked or defrosted corn niblets)
  • 3 carrots, shaved
  • 2 cups sugar snap peas, snapped and cooked about 3 minutes
  • 6 cups chopped baby gem or Romaine lettuce (or a mixture of greens and spinach etc)
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • broken tortilla chips or toasted corn tortillas cut into strips
  • 1/3 cup roasted, salted peanuts or cashews
  • CHINESE CHICKEN SALAD WITH PEANUT AND LIME DRESSINGAlthough this is a recipe I have been making for a long time, I never get tired of it. Every time I make it I add something new that livens it up. You can make it all from raw ingredients or use a barbecued chicken and leftover vegetables. Anything goes. Sometimes I add roasted poblano chiles, grilled asparagus, roasted broccoli etc.


    1. Combine chicken with olive oil, salt and rosemary. Brown in a heavey skillet brushed with olive oil and transfer to a preheated 425F oven for 15 to 25 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers at least 175F. Cool and slice. (Chicken can also be grilled.)

    2. Meanwhile make honey lime dressing by whisking lime juice with garlic, salt and honey. Whisk in oil. For peanut dressing whisk peanut butter and honey until combined and slowly and gently whisk in soy sauce and water.

    3. Prepare vegetables. Place lettuce in a large bowl, top with corn, carrots, peas, chicken, cilantro, tortilla chips and peanuts. Drizzle with both dressings and toss at the table.

    makes 4 to 6 servings

  • 1/2 lb extra firm tofu
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar

  • eggs:
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp each of chopped cilantro, Thai basil and mint
  • extra virgin olive oil (for eggs, tofu and rice)

  • rice:
  • 1 large onion (or 2 leeks or 4 shallots), chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger root
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 tbsp mild Madras curry paste
  • 5 cups cooked, cooled rice
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp ketchup

  • garnish:
  • sliced small cucumbers
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • fried onions, optional
  • NASI GORENG (INDONESIAN FRIED RICE)This beloved Indonesian dish is easy to love. It uses up leftover rice and you can use diced, cooked chicken, shrimp or vegetables. If using raw chicken or shrimp instead of tofu - marinate but then cook as long as it takes to cook through as you are just reheating it in the rice. If you have Indonesian sweet soy sauce (called ketcap manis) use it in the marinade and sauce instead of the soy + sugar.

    *Fried Onions: Fried onions are great to have on hand to add taste and texture to dishes like this. Slice 3 onions and cook in about 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil in a large saute pan on medium high (adjusting the heat when necessary) 15 to 20 minutes or until onions are browned and a little black in spots. Drain on paper towels. They should be crisp. (You aren't looking for caramelized onions which are tender, sweet  and evenly browned - they are cooked slowly on lower heat and usually take longer.) The larger (wider) the pan the less time it will take.


    1. Cut tofu into 3/4" slices. Pat dry. Place in a shallow dish. Combine soy sauce with sugar and vinegar. Stir until dissolved and pour over tofu. Turn to coat. Marinate 10 to 20 minutes at room temp or longer in the refrigerator.

    2. For eggs, beat eggs together in a bowl and add soy sauce and herbs. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large (non-stick) skillet and add eggs. Cook like a flat pancake but once in a while lift one edge so any uncooked egg runs to the bottom and cooks. When starting to brown, flip (cut into half or quarter pieces if necessary) and cook second side. Remove from pan, roll up and sliced into ribbons. Reserve.

    3. For tofu, heat another 1 tbsp olive oil in pan. Add pieces of tofu and brown on both sides (1 to 2 minutes per side). Remove and dice. Reserve.

    4. For rice, heat 2 tbsp olive oil in the same pan or a wok and add onions, garlic, ginger and carrots. Cook gently until tender about 4 to 5 minutes. Add curry paste and cook another minute. Add rice and combine well, breaking up clumps of rice with a wooden spoon if necessary. Add tofu and cook until rice and tofu are thoroughly heated through. Combine soy sauce with sugar and ketchup and combine with rice.

    5. Transfer to a large serving dish and top with ribbons of egg, herbs, cucumbers and fried onions if using.

    Makes 4 to 6 servings

  • 4 cups strawberries, hulls removed and cut in half
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • ROASTED STRAWBERRIESYou can't beat the intense taste and syrupy sauce when you roast strawberries. You can change the flavour by using brown sugar, honey or maple syrup and you can add a dash of cinnamon, ginger or cardamom or even a drop (really a drop) of rose water or orange blossom water for an exotic taste. Use these berries on strawberry shortcakes, pancakes, waffles, crepes, scones, meringues (think Eton Mess), on yogurt for breakfast with granola and they make the very best strawberry sundaes.


    1. Combine berries in a large bowl with sugar.

    2. Spread on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

    3. Roast in a preheated 400F oven for 30 minutes until juices are syrupy.

    Never makes enough - double the recipe.

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, cold and cut into bits

  • filling:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • icing sugar
  • BUTTER TART SQUARES I used to love my mom's butter tarts with all-butter pastry and lots of runny filling. Now I love butter tart squares the best because there is more filling in proportion to pastry. Sometimes I scatter raisins or chopped walnuts or pecans over the pastry before pouring in the filling. Line the pan with parchment paper so that they are easier to remove when cold - have the parchment paper overhanging at least two sides.


    1. For pastry whisk together flour, and salt in a large bowl. Add butter and using a pastry blender, your fingertips, a food processor or a stand mixer fitted with the k-beater, cut butter into flour until it forms a dough. Pat firmly into the bottom of an 9" square pan lined completely with parchment paper. Bake in a preheated 350F oven 25 to 30 minutes or longer until lightly browned.

    2. Reduce oven temp to 325F. For filling, cream butter with sugar until light about 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in corn syrup. By hand, with a whisk or wooden spoon add eggs one at a time and then add vanilla. Combine flour with baking powder and salt and stir in.

    3. Spread filling over the partially baked crust. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or longer until browned and set - it should not jiggle but also should not be too firm. Check after 20 minutes and if the top is browning too much cover loosely with aluminum foil.

    4. Cool on a rack and refrigerate before removing from pan and cutting into squares.

    Makes about 25 to 36 squares depending the size you prefer.

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