Bonnie's Book Clubs
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.
I was saddened to hear that Lois Lilienstein, of Sharon Lois and Bram, died recently. Lois loved to cook and we often traded recipes and talked about food. When Mark and Anna were little I remember showing Lois a photo of the two of them watching The Elephant Show on television. They were jumping, dancing, singing, laughing and shrieking with joy. I also remember styling the food for the jacket of their Smorgasbord album (I still use the white mixing bowl with the red hearts); making pasta on an episode of The Elephant Show and Mark being the cutest yodeller ever on Sharon Lois and Bram Sing A to Z. I don't know how Mark found the clips on YouTube but we were laughing so hard watching them we were almost crying (I was crying). So in Lois' honour we made her brownies (the recipe was in one of my first cookbooks At My Table) and they are as delicious now as they were then - see the recipe in our section below. And if you have small kids or grand kids that don't know Sharon, Lois and Bram introduce them and watch their faces when they hear those songs.
I went to the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix or 'Academy Awards of Cheese' last week and tasted 27 award winning cheeses! And that was nothing compared to the 268 cheeses the judges had to taste to find the champion in each of the 27 categories. The awards were hosted by Quebec's Genevieve Borne and etalk's Ben Mulroney. Ben told me it was just as exciting to be with the champion Canadian cheese producers as it is to be with award winning Hollywood celebs. Nice! My favourite among the 27 cheeses I tasted turned out to be the Grand Champion - LaLiberte from Fromagerie du Presbytere in Quebec. It's irresistible.
I also went to an informative cheese lesson at Pangaea Restaurant in Toronto where chef/owner Martin Kuprie makes a lot of his own cheese. They are even starting a Tuesday night cheese and wine tasting at the bar that sounds like a great idea before a movie or after work.
We had our April book club at Pangaea with Lori Lansens and her new book The Mountain Story. Lori was so approachable, the book was so well-written and the food was so delicious that it was a fun and fascinating book club. We are looking forward to the May book club with Jim Sheppard (The Book of Aron) and the June book club with Lawrence Hill (The Book of Negroes).
See you at the market. Delicious wishes,
|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.
|JIM SHEPARD: THE BOOK OF ARON|
|For two decades Jim Shepard has been hailed as one of the most versatile writers in American letters. With a body of work that includes novels and short stories, and contributions to such publications as McSweeney’s, Granta, the Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, Harper’s, the New Yorker and the Paris Review, he has earned a reputation as a “writer’s writer.” Whether exploring a young boy’s awkward growing pains (Flights), chronicling the exploits of an inexperienced B-17 flight crew stationed in England during the Second World War (Paper Doll), documenting the profound impact that a split-second can have on the rest of our lives (Kiss of the Wolf) or lifting the curtain on a gallery of men trying to navigate a world of hope and heartbreak (the National Book Award-nominated story collection Like You’d Understand, Anyway), Shepard is a master of plot and character.|
In May, Jim Shepard makes a very rare visit to Toronto for the Canadian launch of his brilliant new novel The Book of Aron. An incredible work of extraordinary power that charts a young boy’s harrowing coming-of-age in the Warsaw Ghetto during the Second World War.
When we first meet Aron, he is a beguiling and perceptive and not always a happy young boy coming into awareness of himself and his family's struggles. When soon they are driven from the countryside into Warsaw, their lives are changed forever. Aron and a group of boys and girls take terrifying risks, scuttling around the ghetto, smuggling and trading things through the "quarantine walls" to keep their people alive. They are hunted by blackmailers and Jewish and Polish and German police. Gradually, people begin to disappear, and survival is threatened on all sides.
Eventually, Aron comes to know Janusz Korczak, a Jewish-Polish doctor famous for his advocacy of children's rights, whose orphanage was relocated to the ghetto once the Nazis swept in. In the end, Korczak and the children he takes care of, Aron among them, are brought to the station to be put on a train to Treblinka.
The Book of Aron is a breathtaking novel of extraordinary craft and humanity. It looks fearlessly into the face of unspeakable evil and suffering, revealing the persistence and strength of the human spirit and the redemptive power of love. It is a novel that readers will be talking about for years to come.
Date: Monday, May 25, 2015 (Wait list only)
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Place: Fat Pasha
414 Dupont Street, Toronto
Fee: $150 plus HST*
(includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of The Book of Aron sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810
|LAWRENCE HILL: THE BOOK OF NEGROES|
Lawrence Hill’s The Book of Negroes has become a classic of Canadian literature. In addition to being a blockbuster international bestseller, it was recently adapted into an acclaimed miniseries on CBC TV.
Bonnie is thrilled to welcome Lawrence Hill to the Book Club in June for a discussion about one of the most beloved books in recent memory. Don’t miss what promises to be a great evening of literature, conversation and delicious food.
|Date: Monday, June 1, 2015 (Only a few seats still available)|
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Place: Big Crow
176 Dupont Street, Toronto
(in the back of Rose and Sons)
Fee: $150 plus HST*
(includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of The Book of Negroes sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810
|Book Club Locations|
Everyone loves Chef Anthony Rose’s mash-up of Ashkenazi and Sephardi food that seems to explode with flavour.
“For a good time (and lots of food), head to Fat Pasha … Lesson one of Fat Pasha: There’s always room for Fat Pasha’s chopped chicken liver. Which isn’t so different from lessons two through 47, really. I could easily find room for anything Fat Pasha makes.”Chris Nuttall-Smith, The Globe and Mail, June 27, 2014
414 Dupont Street
647 340 6142
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. Everyone agreed it was the perfect place when we held our book club there for Cataract City last year.
176 Dupont Street
(in the back of Rose and Sons)
647 748 3287
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|
|A TASTE OF SUMMER WITH BONNIE STERN|
Date: Monday, May 11, 2015
Place: Beth Sholom Synagogue
1445 Eglinton Avenue West, Toronto
Cost: $30 for members & $35 for non-members
For more information or to register contact:
Rivy at 416 783 6103 ext 228
|TERROIR HOSPITALITY SYMPOSIUM|
For this year’s theme, "Pioneering Change – crafting the way we eat", the symposium will focus on influential individuals who challenge colleagues and consumers to rethink and reimagine food and beverage cultures. They also added a new collaborative dinner series, see below.
Date: Monday, May 11, 2015
Place: Arcadian Court
401 Bay Street, 8th Floor, Toronto
Time: 7am to 6pm
Type: Wine and Food
For more information visit:
|TERROIR DINNER SERIES|
Tuesday, May 12 to Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Hosted by six of Toronto's best restaruants with exceptional international guests and chefs.
For tickets and more information, visit:
This legendary culinary event turns 25!
Savour scrumptious dishes from 50 top chefs, a startling array of beverages and breathtaking lakeside views. Best of all, you’ll enjoy the satisfaction of helping those in need by supporting Second Harvest’s food rescue program.
Each ticket purchased enables Second Harvest to rescue and deliver food
for 500 meals. To-date, Toronto Taste has raised more than $10,300,000
for Second Harvest.
Date: Sunday, June 7, 2015
Place: Lakeside, Corus Quay, Toronto
Cost: $250 per ticket
(Includes food and drink. A tax receipt will be issued for $125)
For more information visit:
|THE STOP’S NIGHT MARKET|
Tuesday, June 16 and Wednesday, June 17, 2015
New location: the vacant lot at 181 Sterling Road in Toronto.
This annual fundraising event is a delicious mash-up of the best of
Toronto’s street food, art and music.
Inspired by night markets from around the world, The Stop’s Night Market
transforms a public space into a tantalizing feast for the senses over
two summer nights in June, featuring over 60 chefs, 20 local beverage
vendors, and 35 one-of-a-kind food carts created by local designers.
Tickets on sale Wednesday, May 13. This is a popular event and tickets sell out fast (in a few hours!). For more information visit:
|FOOD ON FILM|
|Food on Film series bring together chefs, food experts and film lovers to enjoy the best of culinary cinema and conversation. Each month their host Annabelle Waugh, Food Director of Canadian Living, welcomes celebrated guests from the culinary world to discuss the intersections of cinema, culture and gastronomy. |
For more information, visit:
|BONNIE’S BOOK CLUB GOES TO LONDON|
This is just an advance announcement of our plans 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. More information to follow.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
|NETFLIX'S CHEF'S TABLE 2015|
Find out what’s inside the kitchens and minds of six international
culinary stars in this Netflix original six-part docu-series. Each 45-minute episode focuses on a different world-renowned chef, from a rogue chef cooking on a remote island in Patagonia to a man who reinvented Italian cooking by infusing his grandmother's recipes with modern art.
|Restaurant Recommendations and More|
59 Ossington Avenue
647 351 5100
|I heard so many good things about this new restaurant and the menu inspired by Canadian history. And they were all true. Don't miss the mussels smoked in pine needles; housemade red fife wheat bread, kedgeree and sugar shack ham - delicious and different than you have ever seen or tasted them before.|
1 Richmond Street West
647 748 1444
|I have been to Richmond Station many times but this time was different. The burger was as delicious as ever and the special of the day - porchetta - was tender and flavourful but the desserts, from pastry chef Farsam Fallah were magical. They had normal sounding names like creme brulee, peanut butter cheesecake and sacher torte but you wouldn't recognize them when they arrived. The creme brulee was shaped like a slide rolling over angel cake with Saskatoon berry sauce and almond crumble; the cheesecake had swirls of peanut butter mousse with caramel sauce and popped sorghum and the sacher torte was a fairy tale of deep dark chocolate and gold with apricot puree, saffron ice cream, chocolate ganache and gold dust.|
176 Dupont Street
647 748 3287
|When Anthony Rose opened Big Crow (specializing in BBQ) on the patio behind Rose and Sons no one guessed it would be open all year round and become part of Rose's Holy Trinity on Dupont Street. Now he is set to open a Rose and Sons on Queen Street West and a new bar on Dupont Street. There are new items on the menu but delicious as ever - don't miss the cheese bread, ribs and chicken.|
|12 eggs4 to 6 tbsp mayonnaise1 tbsp Dijon mustard or curry paste (or powder) or to taste1 tsp kosher salt or more to taste1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon, parsley or cilantro|
to serve:1 bunch watercressmicrogreens (eg arugula) or chopped herbs to garnish
|Devilled eggs are timeless - old-fashioned and new-fashioned at the same time. There are lots of ways to flavour devilled eggs - herbs, anchovies, olives, capers, pickles, blue cheese or pesto but mustard or curry paste are the most traditional. Make them as devil-ish as you want with mustard, curry, sriracha, harissa, Tabasco, cayenne pepper or sweet chili sauce. Top with caviar, baby shrimp or a curl of smoked salmon for an upscale look or crispy bacon for a down home version or herbs or microgreens for 'welcome spring'. Devilled eggs are great on salads or charcuterie platters and leftovers are delicious squished into sandwiches.|
1. Gently lower eggs in a large saucepan of boiling salted water. When the water returns to the boil, cover and turn off heat. Let eggs sit in the water for 14 minutes. Drain eggs and shake pan gently to crack the shells. (Do not peel.) Chill in cold water. Remove shells carefully. Do not worry if some shells do not come off easily. The fresher the eggs (especially if you buy them at the farmers' markets) the harder they are to peel. If a few eggs break apart you can still usually use at least one half of the white. Use all the yolks in the stuffing mixture and eat the broken whites. In the end you should still have about 20 finished devilled eggs or more.
2. Cut eggs in half crosswise with a sharp knife. Using a small spoon gently scoop out yolks into a sieve set over a bowl. Press yolks through the strainer. (Or you can use a food processor to make the filling). Mix in enough mayonnaise so that mixture can be piped into the egg whites and then add devil-ish ingredient and salt to taste. Add your choice of herbs if using.
3. Trim ends of egg white halves so they can stand up. Place on a tray hollow side up.
4. Spoon yolk mixture into a piping tube fitted with a star nozzle and pipe into egg whites. If you do not have a piping tube you can use a heavy zipper style plastic bag with one of the corners cut off. Or simply use two small spoons.
5. Arrange on a platter lined with watercress and sprinkle with microgreens or chopped herbs.
makes about 20 to 24 pieces
|ROAST CHICKEN THIGHS WITH OREGANO AND LEMON|
|8 chicken thighs, skin-on, bone-in2 tbsp dried oregano1 tbsp grated lemon peel2 tsp kosher salt1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil - divided1 lemon cut into 6 wedges1/2 lb (250g) small onions, peeled and halved if large, about 16, (or 2 onions, cut into chunks)1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives, optionalsprigs of fresh oregano and fresh slices of lemon||If you want to cook chicken that is always juicy and flavourful use chicken thighs. Bone-in, skin-on they are almost impossible to overcook, not to mention they are so reasonable in price. The pan juices are delicious over rice or couscous.|
1. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a 12" ovenproof casserole or skillet. Add chicken, in a single layer, skin side up. Reduce heat to medium. (This can also be done in a roasting pan or 9"x13" baking dish and cooked completely in the oven.)
2. Sprinkle chicken with oregano, lemon peel, salt and pepper. Drizzle with remaining 2 tbsp olive oil. Wedge lemon pieces in between pieces of chicken and scatter onions and olives in and around the chicken. Cook a few minutes.
3. Transfer chicken to a preheated 400F oven and roast one hour, basting after 30 and 45 minutes with accumulated pan juices.
4. Serve sprinkled with fresh oregano and lemon slices.
makes 4 to 5 servings
|ROASTED SMASHED POTATOES|
|3 lbs baby potatoes, scrubbed6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil - divided1 tbsp kosher saltpinch freshly ground black pepper1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary or thyme2 tbsp lemon juice or sherry vinegar, optional1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley||Roasted smashed potatoes are the oven version of home fries - crisp and delicious. The lemon juice or vinegar gives the potatoes a little burst of flavour but omit if you like them more gently flavoured.|
1. Place potatoes in a pot of cold water, bring to a boil, cook 10 minutes. Drain well. Pat dry.
2. Place potatoes on a chopping board and gently smash each one. Some will break apart so don't worry. A meat pounder is good for this but you can also use the bottom of a heavy cup.
3. Transfer potatoes, in a single layer, to a 12"x18" baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bushed with 2 tbsp olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and rosemary and drizzle with another 2 tbsp or 3 tbsp olive oil.
4. Roast potatoes 40 to 50 minutes in a preheated 400F oven or until browned and crisp. Sprinkle with lemon juice (if using), remaining 1 tbsp olive oil, a bit more salt if necessary and parsley.
makes 4 to 6 servings
|SAUTEED SPRING GREEN VEGETABLES|
|2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil1 leek, white and light green part, well cleaned, sliced6 oz sugar snap peas, trimmed6 oz snow peas, trimmed1/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock or water2 cups fresh or frozen green peas3 cups packed baby spinach (about 5oz)3 green onions, thinly sliced1 tbsp chopped fresh mint2 tbsp butter, optional kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste||This looks like spring on a plate - as long as you don't overcook the vegetables! Serve with fish, chicken or lamb or top with a poached or fried egg for a beautiful vegetarian dinner.|
1. Heat olive oil in a large deep skillet and add leeks. Cook gently 5 minutes until tender.
2. Add sugar snap peas and cook one to two minutes. Add snow peas and liquid. Bring to a boil. (If using water or unseasoned stock, add a bit of salt and pepper now. Otherwise wait until the end.) Reduce heat and cook one minute.
3. Add green peas and cook until heated - 1 to 2 minutes. Add spinach and cook just until almost wilted.
4. Add green onions, mint and butter. Cook one minute longer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
makes 4 servings
|UPSIDE DOWN RHUBARB BUTTERMILK CAKE|
|1/4 cup butter, cut into pieces3/4 cup brown sugar12 oz fresh rhubarb, cut into 1" piece or cut into lengths just to fit the pan1/2 cup butter3/4 cup sugar2 eggs1 tsp pure vanilla extract or paste1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour1 1/2 tsp baking powder1/2 tsp baking soda1/4 tsp kosher salt3/4 cup buttermilk|
If you cut the rhubarb into stalks the length of your pan, the finished cake looks very dramatic. (The cake actually cuts very nicely after baking even though you may think otherwise because rhubarb can be stringy.) Serve with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or the new non-dairy whipped coconut cream from Gay Lea.
1. Put the 1/4 cup butter in the bottom of an 8" or 9" baking dish. Place in a 350F oven for 4 to 5 minutes or until butter melts. Sprinkle with brown sugar and pat down lightly. Spoon in chunks of rhubarb in a single layer or arrange lengths of rhubarb side by side in the bottom of the pan.
2. Cream butter in a large bowl or mixer and beat in sugar gradually. Add eggs and vanilla. (Do not worry if mixture looks a bit curdled.) In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir flour into butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, just until combined.
3. Spoon mixture over rhubarb and spread evenly. Bake 40 to 45 minutes for a 9" cake or 45 to 50 minutes for an 8" cake, or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean when inserted into centre of the cake or an instant read meat thermometer reads 195F.
4. Cool on wire rack for 5 to 10 minutes. Run a knife around the inside edge of the dish and invert carefully onto a flat serving plate.
makes 8 to 10 servings
|LOIS LILIENSTEIN'S CHOCOLATE BROWNIES|
|4 oz unsweetened chocolate1 cup chocolate chips (or 6oz chopped semisweet chocolate)1 cup butter4 eggs2 cup sugar2 tsp pure vanilla extract1 cup all-purpose flour1 tsp baking powder1/2 tsp kosher salt2 cups miniature marshmallows1 cup chopped toasted walnuts||Lois Lilienstein, the beloved children's entertainer, with the group Sharon, Lois and Bram, loved to cook. Her brownie recipe is also beloved and was published in one of my first cookbooks 'At My Table'. I updated the recipe ever so slightly - calling for 'kosher' salt, 'toasted' walnuts, 'pure' vanilla and lining the baking pan with parchment paper so the chilled brownies can be removed more easily, in one piece, and then cut into squares. They freeze perfectly so you can always have them on hand for emergency stress relief, unexpected guests, hostess gifts or indulging in memories.|
1. Melt unsweetened chocolate, chocolate chips and butter together over low heat in a heavy saucepan. Stir until smooth. Cool.
2. In a large bowl beat eggs with sugar and vanilla. Beat in cooled chocolate/butter mixture.
3. In another bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Stir into batter. Add marshmallows and walnuts.
4. Transfer batter to a buttered 9"x13" baking dish. (Line with parchment paper for easy removal.) Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Check after 25 minutes and cover loosely with foil if browning too much. (The top will look bubbly from the marshmallows.) Cool and refrigerate at least a few hours to overnight. Lift the brownies out in one piece, trim edges (and eat them), and cut into squares.
makes 35 brownies
© Copyright 2015, Bonnie Stern Cooking Schools Ltd.