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Kitchen Hack

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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.


June 2018

With summer fast approaching, looking back over the past year, our book club events have been memorable. Meg Wolitzer author of The Female Persuasion, was extraordinary. She was warm, charming, smart and a phenomenal speaker. Her subject is timely and meaningful and in the book she gives us the background leading up to the Me Too movement. All the accolades she has received are well-deserved. At that book club we also celebrated Rosa Marinuzzi the chef at 7 Numbers for her long career in food and the delicious dinner she cooked for our group.

It was very exciting to meet Paula McLain at our recent June book club. I loved her new book Love and Ruin as much as The Paris Wife. She was a passionate, engaging and mesmerizing speaker and her own story of overcoming odds is amazing. Check out the review of Love and Ruin in the New York Times.

I am looking forward to the launch of our next season in August with Rawi Hage, author of Beirut Hellfire Society. For more information check out the Bonnie’s Book Club section below.

On May 19, 2018 I woke up early to watch the royal wedding. It’s not that I am obsessed with the royals, but I felt it was a moment in history. Of course I made (and ate) scones to celebrate. For my scone recipe check the recipe section at the end of this newsletter.

Wishing everyone a meaningful Father’s Day – use it as an opportunity to contact anyone who ‘fathered’ you, mentored you or was there for you when you needed them - male or female, young or old, family or friend, child or adult – you know what I mean.

Farmers’ markets are outside now so be sure to support your farmers and there's a good chance I will see you there,


Kitchen Hack
CHILLING OUTWhen you want to chill something in a hurry (in this case emergency lemon curd for a pavlova) nothing works better than an ice water bath. Place what you are chilling (preferably) in a stainless steel bowl. Fill a larger bowl with ice and water and place the bowl with the filling into it. Stir occasionally. If you are trying to chill a huge amount, split it between a few bowls in separate ice water baths.

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.


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

More Featured Products
Souk Tabule1
Souk Tabule2
Souk Tabule3
Souk Tabule4
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

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

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

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

News And Events
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 and we will contact you.

"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

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


We had a wonderful 8th culinary trip to Israel in February 2018, if you would like to be on our email list for our 9th trip and other future trips please send your name, email and phone number, with subject line: Trips, to (if you are not already on the list).

We are hoping to send out a sample itinerary, dates and prices by the end of June or mid July.

"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
922 Queen Street West
416 535 0404
The food was so delicious and the restaurant so welcoming we decided to have our June book club with Paula McLain, author of Love and Ruin, here. We loved the patatas bravas, tortilla, octopus, gambas with garlic & serrano and paella – they were all fantastic. Don’t miss the churros for dessert.
Pho Cuu Long Mien Tay
2522 Jane Street
North York
647 526 0006
For delicious Vietnamese food, if you are in the neighbourhood, the pho is fabulous and so are the sticky wings, Vietnamese pancake and fresh spring rolls.
Reasonable to Moderate
Kiin Toronto
326 Adelaide Street West
647 490 5040
I thought nothing could be better than brunch at Kiin. And then I went for dinner! For brunch we loved the Thai omelette (see my version in the recipe section below), the blue flower dumplings, cruller with pandan custard and coconut waffles. For dinner we loved the dumpling platter, pomelo and shrimp salad, Khao Yum (the most delicious and beautiful rice dish), beef short rib with tamarind and stunning fruit platter for dessert. Sensational.
Moderate to Expensive
217 Geary Avenue
416 516 7765
I wrote about lunch at this fabulous new Israeli cafe - Parallel - but dinner is even more fun. A great place for people watching while eating falafel, delicious house-made pita, arayes (pita stuffed with lamb), cauliflower with beet and amba tahini and delicious kanafe for dessert. Don’t miss the arak lemonade.
Lake Inez
1471 Gerrard Street East
416 792 1590
If you are going to Lake Inez, the gastropub on Gerrard Street East start out early as there are all kinds of delicious Indian food and kitchenware shopping nearby (I like Kohinoor Foods). At Lake Inez, we loved the Japanese devilled eggs, fish curry, perfectly rare bavette, and  sides or roti and Jasmine rice. There’s only one dessert and don’t miss it - Filipino rice flour sponge cake with mango and coconut, called bibingka.
Featured Recipes
  • 1/2 cup very cold butter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (or gluten free flour - I use Cup4Cup)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

  • topping:
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ROYAL WEDDING BUTTERMILK SCONESOn May 19, 2018 I woke up at 5:30am and made scones while watching the Royal Wedding. It was kind of fun and very delicious even though no one else joined me until about 7:30am. I served them with lemon curd, fresh berry sauce (berries cooked with a little sugar until jammy) and cream.

    Everyone who makes scones has their own secrets for success. But a secret that everyone agrees on is that they are best when freshly baked. Even a few hours can turn them dry so be sure to warm them when serving if you have to make them a bit ahead. If I am serving them with jam and cream I like plain scones (below) but you can flavour them in many ways.  For savory scones add 1 tbsp chopped fresh herbs (rosemary and/or sage is my favourite), 1/4 tsp to 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper and sprinkle tops with flaky salt.  For ‘afternoon tea’ scones increase the sugar to 3 or 4 tbsp and add any or all of 1 tsp ground cardamom, 1/2 cup raisins or currants, dried cranberries or dried cherries, 1 tbsp grated lemon or orange rind and sprinkle tops with coarse sugar.


    1. Grate cold butter very carefully on a 4-sided grater using the side you would use to grate Cheddar cheese (use a protective glove if possible). Freeze at least 15 minutes and use butter from frozen state.

    2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt about one minute. In another bowl beat egg with buttermilk.

    3. Add frozen butter to the flour and disperse with your fingertips. Make a well in the centre and add egg mixture. Gently and quickly gather ingredients together to form a rough dough with your fingertips or a wooden spoon. Flour counter lightly and pat dough out to a square about 3/4" thick. Fold in half, dust off any flour on top and flatten again, fold again. Repeat once more. You should have about an 8" square. Cut dough with a very sharp knife into quarters, cut in half on the diagonal to make 8 fairly large scones or you can cut it into 9 slightly smaller squares or cut out circles. (If cutting out round scones press (rather than knead) scraps of extra dough together lightly and cut out again.

    4. Place scones on a parchment paper lined sheet pan. Brush tops with egg.

    5. Bake in a preheated 425F oven for 12 to 14 minutes, turning pan around after about 8 minutes, or until browned and puffed.

    makes about 8 to 9 scones (or more smaller ones)

  • 2 or 3 eggplants (approximately 1 1/2 lbs total)
  • 1 medium clove fresh garlic, grated or pressed
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (or more to taste)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt (or to taste)
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, cilantro or 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • pita bread, pita chips or tortilla chips or vegetables for dipping
  • BABA GANOUSH (FIRE-ROASTED EGGPLANT DIP)Baba ganoush is usually made with tahini (sesame seed paste) but as my Israeli friend Hanoch Drori reminded me - it is even better made with mayonnaise.

    If possible roast the eggplant over a gas burner or gas or charcoal barbecue for an especially fire-roasted flavour. If that is not possible roast the eggplant on a sheet pan, under the broiler until charred all over (turn every few minutes) and if the eggplant has not completely deflated, turn oven to 400F and continue cooking until it has collapsed.


    1. Place eggplants directly on a gas burner (medium heat) and roast, turning often,  15 to 18 minutes, or until skin has blackened and eggplants are completely deflated. This can also be done on a barbecue or in the oven (see intro to recipe). Place eggplants in a large colander or sieve set over a bowl. Slit eggplants in a few places so extra liquid can drain off. When cool enough to handle remove as much skin as possible. Discard stem.

    2. Chop eggplant and transfer to a bowl. Stir in garlic, lemon juice, salt and mayonnaise. Taste and adjust seasoning with lemon juice and salt. Garnished with fresh herbs.

    makes about 1 1/2 cups

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp fish sauce (or soy sauce)
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro - divided
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh Thai basil (optional) - divided
  • 1/2 mild to medium-hot red chile, halved, seeded and diced (about 1 tbsp)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large shallot or small onion, thinly sliced
  • reserved herbs for garnish from above
  • 1 green onions, thinly sliced
  • sriracha
  • steamed rice
  • THAI OMELET WITH HERBS AND CHILESWhen I went to Kiin in Toronto for brunch (see review in restaurant recommendation section) I fell in love with their omelet. This is my simplified version.  It’s perfect when you want a quick and easy dinner but you also want it to be full of flavour. Serve it over steamed rice and dot with as much sriracha as you can handle. This is also a perfect cottage brunch or light supper.  


    1. Whisk eggs with fish sauce. Add a pinch of salt. Stir in half cilantro and basil and all the red chiles.

    2. Heat oil in a 9" non-stick skillet. Add shallots and cook gently until tender and starting to caramelize. Add egg mixture and let set about 30 seconds. Lift the edges letting uncooked egg rotate to the bottom until the top is just set. Loosen the omelet and flip using a large spatula or gently break it into two halves and flip each one separately. Cook second side about one minute. Serve over rice in halves or gently break halves into strips and arrange over rice. Sprinkle with reserved herbs, green onions and dot with sriracha.

    makes one serving

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 oz bacon, diced in 1/2" pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp hot red chile flakes or to taste
  • 1 large bunch Swiss chard (about 1 1/2 lbs)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt or more to taste
  • 1 lb penne pasta
  • 2 tbsp butter, optional
  • grated Parmigiano Reggiano, optional
  • PENNE WITH BACON AND SWISS CHARDThis is a delicious light dinner and can be made without the bacon for a vegetarian or vegan meal (for vegan also omit cheese).


    1. Heat oil in a large deep skillet. Add bacon and cook a few minutes until most of the fat has rendered out. Add onions and cook gently until fragrant and tender. Add garlic and chile flakes and cook a few minutes longer.

    2. Meanwhile, separate the stalks and leaves from the Swiss chard. Chop the stalks into 1/2" pieces and add to the onions. Cook about 5 to 10 minutes on medium low until tender. Add tomato paste and salt. Cook about one minute. Chop the leaves roughly and then add to the pan. Cook until deflated about 3 to 5 minutes. This can be done ahead.

    3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add about 1 tbsp salt. Add pasta and return to the boil. Cook about 10 to 12 minutes until pasta is al dente or just barely tender.

    4. Lift pasta out of water with a large slotted/spider spoon or tongs and place into the pan with Swiss chard. (Don't worry if pasta is not drained completely.) Add about 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid (or more if necessary) and cook pasta gently in the sauce until most of liquid has been absorbed and pasta is tender. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Stir in butter and/or cheese if using.

    makes 4 to 5 main course servings

  • 3 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled if necessary, cut into approximately 1 1/2" chunks or wedges
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

  • dressing:
  • 1/4 cup Thai sweet chilli sauce (I use Mae Ploy brand)
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, grated or pressed
  • 1 tsp Asian roasted sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • SWEET CHILI ROASTED SWEET POTATOESThese sweet potatoes can be served hot or at room temperature. It can be made into a main course with addition of cooked shrimp or chunks of grilled chicken and for a vegan/vegetarian main course add chunks of grilled tofu and serve with grains or lentils.


    1. Toss sweet potatoes with olive oil and salt. Spread on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Roast in a preheated 425F oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until lightly browned and tender.

    2. For dressing combine sweet chilli sauce with lime juice, vinegar, garlic and sesame oil.

    3. Combine potatoes with dressing and cilantro.

    makes 8 servings

  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature (or 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • grated zest of one orange
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk* (see intro to recipe)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups diced rhubarb (about 10oz)
  • 1/4 cup coarse sugar
  • MINI RHUBARB MUFFINS WITH BUCKWHEAT FLOURBuckwheat flour is a bit confusing because buckwheat is a grain on its own, not related to wheat. It does not contain gluten so I am using 1/2 cup buckwheat flour to balance the flavour and texture I am looking for here. Other flours can also be used in place of buckwheat flour. And gluten-free flour can replace the all-purpose flour (I use Cup4Cup). You can also make these muffins with all all-purpose flour or half all-purpose and half whole wheat.

    *Instead of buttermilk you can use yogurt, sour cream or make sour milk by placing 1 tbsp lemon juice in a one cup measure, add enough milk to reach one cup and allow to rest 10 minutes before using - do not worry if mixture curdles slightly.

    No matter how much you want to eat one of these as soon as they come out of the oven, they may fall apart when you try to remove them from the pan. They are easiest to remove when paper muffin liners are used but I love muffins without the crinkly paper (but that’s just me).


    1. Beat butter with sugar until blended. Add eggs and orange peel. Beat until well-combined. Add buttermilk.

    2. In a separate bowl whisk together all-purpose flour, buckwheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and stir just until blended. Stir in rhubarb.

    3. Scoop mixture into 24 sprayed or paper-lined mini muffin cups. Sprinkle each muffin with about 1/2 tsp coarse sugar. Or make 12 large muffins.

    4. Bake in a preheated 375F oven 15 to 20 minutes for mini muffins or 25 to 30 for regular size muffins or until an instant read meat thermometer reads 195F. Cool 10 to 15 minutes and then remove muffins from pan and cool on a wire rack.

    makes 24 mini muffins or 12 regular size muffins

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