Bonnie Stern Food News
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Contents
  

Kitchen Tip

Bonnie's
Book and Dinner Club

Bonnie's Cookbooks

News and Events

Restaurant Recommendations

Featured Recipes


Contact

 
Phone:
416 484 4810

Email:
bonnie@bonniestern.com

Follow Bonnie:

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Website:
www.bonniestern.com

 

About Bonnie

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

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

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

 

April 2021

Well, we made it through the winter. When I started this newsletter a few days ago I wrote that with the weather getting a little warmer and the vaccine getting a little closer it maybe felt easier to be hopeful. And then as we've gotten accustomed to, things changed. I hope you are all staying safe.

 

BOOK CLUBS
Here is PROBABLY something that you MIGHT be able to depend on - our ZOOM book club events. No matter what the weather you and the author will be there, a catered dinner is delivered to you, dinner will be delicious, there will be wine, you can ask questions, there's no parking issues and there's no travel time. Our award winning author for April, Kim Echlin, has written an extraordinary book, Speak, Silence. I could not put it down. See below for details.


TRIPS
If you are on our email mailing list for information either to Israel or Fogo Island or both, I apologize for not sending updates. Because everything was, and still is, so up in the air in regards to travel and vaccines, it seemed unnecessary. However you should know we are still planning and hoping that both trips eventually will take place. Yikes and thanks for your understanding.

RESTAURANT RECOMMENDATIONS
Although I always like to stay in my neighbourhood when ordering in, I have included a few highly recommended hipper places in other areas - by my kids Mark (@ruperson) and Anna (@acrupert). Follow them on instagram to know what's going on!

Now more than ever support your local restaurants and food shops - it is so tough out there!

Please stay safe, don't give up, be careful for yourself and others, it's not over yet.

Bonnie

Kitchen Tip
JUICING LIMES
JUICING LIMESIt is usually quite difficult to get juice from a lime. If you can soften it by rolling it on the counter that helps but often limes are very hard. What has always worked for me is to pierce the lime in four or five places and place it in a glass measuring cup or bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Be careful as the juice may be HOT! Some juice will have come out already, carefully cut the lime in half around the equator and then squeeze the rest of the juice out the lime.


Bonnie's Book and Dinner 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.

Drawing on her degree in English and her passion for food and cooking, Bonnie Stern invites you to a literary evening you won’t soon forget – Oprah’s book club never tasted this good!

The Book and Dinner Club comes with a delicious catered meal and wine from The Edible Story, delivered to your home the day of the event. A signed copy of our featured book will be sent out in advance so that you will have the opportunity to read it before the meeting.

APRIL 2021

KIM ECHLIN: SPEAK, SILENCE
KIM ECHLIN: SPEAK, SILENCEBonnie is very pleased to welcome Scotiabank Giller Prize-nominee Kim Echlin (author of the critically acclaimed The Disappeared) to the Book Club as she discusses her long-awaited new novel, Speak, Silence, an astounding, poetic novel about war and loss, and courage, and the strength of women through it all.
 
It’s been eleven years since Gota has seen Kosmos, yet she still finds herself fantasizing about their intimate year together in Paris. Now it’s 1999 and, working as a journalist, she hears about a film festival in Sarajevo, where she knows Kosmos will be with his theatre company. She takes the assignment to investigate the fallout of the Bosnian war—and to reconnect with the love of her life.
 
But when they are reunited, she finds a man, and a country, altered beyond recognition. Kosmos introduces Gota to Edina, the woman he has always loved. While Gota treads the precarious terrain of her evolving connection to Kosmos, she and Edina forge an unexpected bond. A lawyer and a force to be reckoned with, Edina exposes the sexual violence that she and thousands of others survived in the war. Before long, Gota finds her life entwined with the community of women and travels with them to The Hague to confront their abusers. The events she covers—and the stories she hears—will change her life forever.
 
Written in Kim Echlin’s masterfully luminescent prose, Speak, Silence weaves together the experiences of a resilient sisterhood and tells the story of the real-life trial that would come to shape history. In a heart-wrenching tale of suffering and loss and a beautiful illustration of power and love, Echlin explores what it means to speak out against the very people who would do anything to silence you.  

* Small print:
All registrations must be paid in full when registering. Please check your schedule carefully before registering. Please mark your calendar with the date and time of the event.

Cancellations can be accepted until Monday April 12, 2021. A $50 charge (plus HST) applies to cover the administration fee and cost of the book. However, you may have someone take your place for no additional charge. It is the attendee’s responsibility to notify us re change of address for the meal delivery by Monday April 19, 2021.

Date: Monday, April 26, 2021
Time: 7:30 pm EST
Place: Virtual
Fee*: $175 + HST
(includes a catered meal from The Edible Story, wine, delivery, gratuity and an autographed copy of Speak, Silence sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Call Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810

Some geographical restrictions may apply.



The Edible Story
 
The Edible Story Box
The Edible Story box2


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
Appetizers
Appetizers
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

$22.95
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
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
Cuisiner au goût du cœur
Cuisiner au gout du coeur
Published by Trecarre, 2006, 512 pages

$18.98 
News And Events
ZOOM COOKING EVENTS
COOKING CLASSESBonnie has been doing custom Zoom cooking events for fund-raisers, corporate classes and private groups. Contact bonnie@bonniestern.com for more information and rates. Subject line: Bonnie’s Cooking Events. Events can be personalized but some of the popular themes are:

Challah Workshop

Italian All the Time

Israeli Family Dinner

EATING ISRAEL: THE LAND OF DIVERSITY AND CULTURE
EATING ISRAEL: THE LAND OF DIVERSITY AND CULTUREWe had a magical 10th anniversary Eating Israel Culinary Tour. Normally our 2021 tour would be just beginning by now, but of course, these are not normal times. For now, we are postponing that tour and we will let you know once air travel resumes and it feels safe - looking at March 2022.

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

If you are interested to be on our culinary tour mailing list (and not already on the list), email Bonnie at bonnie@bonniestern.com Subject line: Eating Israel.

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

A gorgeous February day in Israel

My favourite coffee shop in Tel Aviv


Everyday is a busy day at Port Said

FOGO ISLAND AND ST. JOHN’S BOOK CLUB/FOOD TOUR
FOGO ISLAND AND ST JOHN’S BOOK CLUBWe were in the middle of planning a book club and food tour at Fogo Island Inn with a stop in St. John’s when the lock down occurred. We have postponed the trip for now but continue to try to plan for the time it can take place. Fogo Island Inn is rated #3 in the Top Hotels in the World by Travel and Leisure Magazine and Raymond's in St. John's is consistently rated one of Canada's top restaurants.

If you have always wanted to go to Newfoundland the combination of a few days in St. John’s, including dinner at Raymond's, and 3 days on Fogo Island, staying at Fogo Island Inn, will be a dream come true. We will also be hosting two or three book club events, tours, classes and wonderful meals.

If you are interested in receiving information, once it is available, email Bonnie at bonnie@bonniestern.com Subject line: Fogo Island. Everyone on our Food Tour list will receive information about any culinary tours and/or travelling book clubs as well.
Restaurant Recommendations and More
TORONTO TAKE-OUT
Bonnie's Recommendations
Tabule
2009 Yonge Street
(there are a few locations)
Toronto
416 483 3747

tabuleyonge.com
One of the best restaurants or take-out places in Toronto. We always order lamb chops with the house rice and vegetables, the salmon or chicken skewers and then a few of our favourites - falafel, akaawi cheese, baba ganuj, fried eggplant and cauliflower with tahini. Always excellent.
Moderate
Isle of Coffee
380 A Eglinton Ave. West
Toronto

isleofcoffeeto.com

This tiny coffee shop has delicious and creative coffee and tea. I had a tahini maple latte and loved it even though I was seriously dubious. But they also have delicious sandwiches and amazing pastries including cookie choux (cream puffs) and Madeleines.
Moderate
Thai Room Grand
288 Eglinton Ave. West
Toronto

thairoomgrand.com
New to the neighbourhood this Thai and Malaysian mini-chain has a lot going for it - lovely presentation (even for take-out), generous portions and reasonable prices. We had very good chicken satays, fresh rolls and pad Thai. The red curry chicken lacked flavour but may have been our fault for ordering it mild.
Moderate
Galya Loves Food

galyalovesfood.com

I do not usually recommend prepared foods because my whole thing is to encourage you to cook for yourself, but I also know that there are times it is really helpful to pick up things that are prepared.  Galya's Israeli foods are fresh and healthful and on the website you can see how to order directly from Galya or where you can find them - right now - in Toronto and Creemore.
Moderate
Anna's Recommendations
Hawk and Chick
Take Out Restaurant
1426 Dundas Street West
Toronto

hawkandchick.com

Anna introduced us to the delicious homemade bento boxes at Hawk and Chick. We love the tofu, the rice, lotus root and we even love the fried chicken.
Reasonable
Bar Bacan
369 Roncesvalles Avenue
Toronto
416 535 2222

bacan.ca

This Latin American restaurant has many gluten free options. Anna loved the vegetarian arepas and Venezuelan empanadas (chicken) - so delicious.
Moderate
Mark's Recommendations
Matty’s Patty’s Burger Club
923a Queen Street West
Toronto

mattyspattysburgerclub
.com
Matty Matheson’s smash burger is so good you need to remind yourself to eat slowly to be able to enjoy it fully. There are a number of options - double burger, triple burger, with cheese, different sauces. The fries are worth it. Our only regret was not getting a chocolate shake. Eat at Trinity Bellwoods park right across the street.
Moderate
Ruru Baked
659 Landsdowne Avenue
Toronto

rurubaked.com
After running popular pop-ups, Ruru has finally opened their permanent ice cream shop at Bloor and Landsdowne. Go right when they open so you’ll have your choice of scoop or pint flavours before they sell out. We tried the cinnamon toast crunch and banoffee pie flavours and they were both delicious.
Moderate
Lambo's Deli & Grocery
176 Bellwoods Avenue
Toronto
416 703 3688

lambosdeli.ca
This Dundas Street deli sells not to be missed sandwiches. Mark has tried the turkey pesto and ham and cheese and loved both. Strongly recommend ordering an hour or two ahead of time or you may have to wait a while.
Donna's
827 Lansdowne Avenue
Toronto
416 536 1414

donnas.ca
Mark said he grabbed lunch from Donna's a few weeks ago and had their ham sandwich with mustard mayo and pickled shallots. It was so good he went back the next day and got it again. It's not far from Ruru Baked so you could hit up both spots on a nice spring day!
Moderate
Featured Recipes
CARROT TOP PESTO
  • 1 cup packed coarsely chopped well-washed carrot tops
  • 2 tbsp packed fresh dill or basil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts or almonds
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano, optional
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup (or more) extra virgin olive oil
  • CARROT TOP PESTOI am sure I am not the only person who can't stand tossing out the tops of a gorgeous bunch of carrots. I often solve that problem by making a pesto with them and serving it on carrot soup or roasted carrots or in an omelet.

    Method:

    1. Place carrot tops, herbs, garlic and nuts in a food processor or blender and chop. Add cheese and salt and blend until paste-like.

    2. Add 1/4 cup olive oil or more to make mixture spreadable. Season to taste.

    3. Place in a jar and top with a thin layer of olive oil.

    Make about 1 1/2 cups

    SMOKY ROAST POTATOES
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp pureed chipotle chiles or Chipotle Tabasco or other hot sauce
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 1/2 lbs fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • SMOKY ROAST POTATOESRoast potatoes are the beginning of summer potato salads, side dishes for outdoor barbecues, salad Nicoise, vegetables for dipping and snacking and they are delicious hot or at room temperature. My favourite way to roast potatoes was always to boil them in salted water first for about 15 minutes, drain, toss with extra virgin olive oil and then roast. But often I don't have time to precook them and although they still turn out okay  this method, from Yotam Ottolenghi's book Flavor, is a game changer. Cooking them at a high temperature precooks them by steaming, and then they roast all on the same baking sheet.

    Method:
    1. Preheat oven to 475F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

    2. Combine olive oil with salt, chipotle and smoked paprika. Toss with potatoes and spread on the baking sheet in a single layer. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Roast 20 minutes.

    3. Remove the foil, lower heat to 425F and continue cooking 25 to 30 minutes until potatoes are browned. Toss with parsley.

    Makes 4 to 6 servings

    BUMBLEBERRY CRUMBLE WITH RHUBARB AND APPLES
  • 1 lb rhubarb, trimmed (discard poisonous leaves) and sliced (3 to 4 cups)
  • 2 cups halved or quartered strawberries or raspberries or blueberries or a mix
  • 1 apple or pear, peeled, cored and diced


  • topping:
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, diced
  • BUMBLEBERRY CRUMBLE WITH RHUBARB AND APPLESAlthough a 'bumbleberry' does not exist, in the Maritimes, when you mix berries all together, sometimes with rhubarb and apples, the resulting pie, crisp or preserve, is often called bumbleberry.  

    It is so exciting to see rhubarb arrive because then, maybe, spring is around the corner. (But you can also do this with frozen rhubarb and pretend.) Serve for dessert as is or with ice cream, or for breakfast with yogurt.


    Method:

    1. Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 9" baking dish.

    2. Combine all the fruit and place in buttered pan.

    3. In a bowl combine flour with sugar, cinnamon and salt. Break up any lumps of brown sugar.

    4. Rub in butter until it is in tiny bits. Sprinkle evenly over the fruit.

    5. Bake 35 to 45 minutes until fruit is tender and topping is crisp.

    Makes 6 to 8 servings

    SMALL BATCH CHOCOLATE PECAN SQUARES
    crust:
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces


  • filling:
  • 3/4 cup toasted pecans*, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped semisweet chocolate
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg + 1 yolk
  • 1/4 cup golden syrup or corn syrup
  • 1 tbsp molasses or maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp Maldon salt or other flaky coarse salt, optional
  • SMALL BATCH CHOCOLATE PECAN SQUARESDuring the pandemic with no one coming to visit it's a good idea to make desserts in smaller batches. A 6" square or round baking pan is easy to find online and there are many recipes that you can cut in half that call for a 9" pan. When baking small batch recipes I usually mix the ingredients by hand.

    *If nuts are toasted they have twice as much flavour. I usually toast a sheet pan of nuts at a time (for pecans bake at 350F for 10 to 15 minutes), then cool and freeze them so they are ready when I need them.


    Method:
    1. Preheat oven to 350F. Butter (or spray with non-stick cooking spray) a 6" square baking pan and line with parchment paper.
     
    2. For the crust, in a food processor, hand mixer or by hand combine flour with sugar and salt and cut in butter until it is in tiny bits and starts to come together into a dough. Press into prepared pan and bake 20 to 25 minutes or until just starting to brown. Cool about 20 minutes.

    3. For the filling, sprinkle baked crust with pecans and chocolate. In a food processor, hand mixer or by hand beat butter with sugar. Beat in eggs and yolk, golden syrup and molasses or maple syrup, flour and vanilla. Pour over the pecans and chocolate. Sprinkle with salt, if using.

    4. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until centre of custard is just set and doesn't move if you shake the pan gently. Cool on a rack.

    Makes 12 squares
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