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Contents

Bonnie's Book Club

Corporate Services

News and Events

Restaurant Recommendations

Bonnie's Cookbooks

Featured Recipes

Contact

Bonnie Stern

Phone: 416 484 4810

Email:
bonnie@bonniestern.com

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Website:
www.bonniestern.com

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 over 30 years. 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.

 

November 2017

It’s pretty special when your favourite cookbook authors, Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh, put your rugelach recipe in their new cookbook Sweet. I have made many of the recipes and every time I open the book I see another recipe I want to try. The book is on all the top ten new cookbook lists of 2017. See the recipe for their delicious tahini caramel sauce in the recipe section below.

Talking about cookbooks, the Taste Canada Awards the other night was so well done. Gold award winners for English language books are Daphna Rabinovitch for The Baker in Me; Namomi Duguid for Taste of Persia; Jennifer Cockrall-King for Food Artisans of the Okanagan; James Walt for Araxi and Angela Liddon for Oh She Glows Every Day. Congratulations to all the winners and nominees.

Our book club in October with Alan Doyle (A Newfoundlander in Canada) at Big Crow was so much fun. He was so approachable, funny and sincere. He sang some songs, talked to everyone and told his story in such an endearing way we all fell in love with him and Newfoundland. It’s amazing to me how different every book club is and how lucky we have been to have so many fantastic authors. See the listing for next four events in the book club section below.

Thanks to Beth Jacob Synagogue in Hamilton for the warm welcome and to Tanis Hall and her team who made my Spice Up Your Life demo such a big success.

Thanks to Gella Rothstein and everyone who worked on our Heymish and Hip panel at Beth Tzedec Synagogue in Toronto. Fellow panelists Judy Perly, Michael Wex, Ruthie Ladovsky, Anthony Rose and moderator David Sax made it so much fun. The panel was part of a larger exhibition on the history of Jewish restaurants in Toronto, called From Latkes to Laffas which runs until March at the synagogue.

Check the restaurant recommendations this month. Friends visited from New York for a weekend and I saw Toronto restaurants through the eyes of a tourist - impressive.

Don’t forget some farmers markets are open all year,

Bonnie

 

 

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.

NOVEMBER 2017

GURJINDER BASRAN: SOMEONE YOU LOVE IS GONE
GURJINDER BASRAN: SOMEONE YOU LOVE IS GONE

In November, Bonnie is very happy to present a rising star on the Canadian literary landscape as she welcomes award-winning writer Gurjinder Basran to the book club for an incredible evening of food and discussion that celebrates the extraordinary Someone You Love is Gone.

Simran is unable to move on. Grappling with the growing estrangement of her sister and daughter as well as the disintegration of her marriage, she wonders how her life has come to this. As the life she has carefully constructed unravels, she is forced to confront one of her most painful childhood memories - her parents sending her younger brother away from home.

Woven throughout are memories of Simran's mother as a young woman in 1960s India. Her world had seemed beautiful and full of hope then. But when an unexpected event occurs, the results will have repercussions for generations to come.

As the ghosts from the past clamour for attention, the only way to put them to rest may be for Simran to dig deeper into her family history and close the circle that was left open when her family was torn apart.

Lyrical and heartbreaking, Someone You Love is Gone is a mesmerizing tale of enduring love and family ties that defy time and space, weaving together the past and present, crossing continents and spanning generations.

Date: Monday November 6, 2017 (Wait list only)
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: Pukka
778 St. Clair Avenue West, Toronto
Fee: 165 + HST (includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of Someone You Love is Gone sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810

STUART MCLEAN: CHRISTMAS AT THE VINYL CAFE
STUART MCLEAN: CHRISTMAS AT THE VINYL CAFECanadians were saddened by the passing of beloved broadcaster Stuart McLean earlier this year. For over two decades, his radio show The Vinyl Cafe, become a staple in households from coast to coast, while his books chronicling the amazing adventures of Dave and Morley were all incredible bestsellers.

Stuart McLean was also one of the first visitors to Bonnie’s Book Club. To mark the publication of his final book, Christmas At The Vinyl Cafe, Bonnie is hosting a very special book club 'Christmas in November'. All money raised from this event will be donated in Stuart’s memory to the Daily Bread Food Bank, a cause Stuart embraced.

Christmas has always been a special time at the Vinyl Cafe as Stuart McLean travelled across the country every December with The Vinyl Cafe Christmas tour, bringing the gift of laughter and light during the darkest days of the year. The hilarious world of Dave and Morley was even more real and more vibrant during the holidays. For many, the Vinyl Cafe Christmas stories became beloved family traditions. Now, for the first time, they have been brought together in this special collection including the classic 'Dave Cooks the Turkey'. as well as five new, never before published Christmas stories. From mishaps with the Turlingtons and the tale of a young Dave's first holiday disaster, to the surprising 'Christmas Ferret' and the touching sign off in 'The Christmas Card', these wonderful new stories will delight for years to come.

Brimming with charm and humour (often at Dave's expense), these twelve stories entertain on every page, reminding us what the holidays are all about.

For this special Book Club, Bonnie will welcome special guests to share some of their favourite stories of Stuart and his work. Our line-up of guests include such luminaries as legendary Canadian singer/songwriter Murray McLauchlan, comedian Gavin Crawford and bestselling author and Canadian culture icon Denise Donlon. Please join us for what promises to be a very special evening.

Date: Monday November 27, 2017
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: Big Crow
176 Dupont Street, Toronto
Fee: 165 + HST (includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of Christmas At The Vinyl Cafe sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810


DECEMBER 2017

LINDA SPALDING: A RECKONING
LINDA SPALDING: A RECKONINGIn December, Bonnie is thrilled to welcome Linda Spalding back to the Book Club for her eagerly-anticipated new novel, A Reckoning.

This deeply moving and troubling account of a family's breakdown, A Reckoning is the perfect companion to Linda Spalding's bestselling, award-winning novel, The Purchase.

It opens in the spring of 1855, when John Dickinson is involved in a shameful secret that will require a tragic decision. The family's resources were wasted by a reckless brother who holds all of them hostage and, adding fuel to John's desperation, the enslaved workers were visited by a Canadian abolitionist who pushes them to escape. Bry escapes, and his pursuit of freedom involves a dangerous quest to find his mother and child in Canada.

Meanwhile, the Dickinsons become fugitives of another kind, escaping their losses in a wagon en route to the West that will eventually be loaded onto a Missouri river boat for a dark adventure. Forests and rivers prevail in this story, and each person will be tested, especially thirteen-year-old Martin, whose lonely journey with a pet bear is almost mythic.

Spalding, a Kansas native who lives in Toronto, writes with irresistible force and breathtaking passion. Her language is stunning, her voice unique. A Reckoning confirms her place at the forefront of Canadian literature. We’re looking forward to seeing you in December.

Date: Monday December 4, 2017
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: The Beast Restaurant
96 Tecumseth Street, Toronto
Fee: 165 + HST (includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of A Reckoning sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810


JANUARY 2018

TOM WILSON: BEAUTIFUL SCARS
STEELTOWN SECRETS, MOHAWK SKYWALKERS
AND THE ROAD HOME
TOM WILSON: BEAUTIFUL SCARS<BR />STEELTOWN SECRETS, MOHAWK SKYWALKERS AND THE ROAD HOMEWe are very excited to welcome Tom Wilson, author, musician and artist, as our first guest in the new year. Tom Wilson was raised in the rough-and-tumble world of Hamilton - Steeltown - in the company of World War II vets, factory workers, fall-guy wrestlers and the deeply guarded secrets kept by his parents, Bunny and George. For decades Tom carved out a life for himself in shadows. He built an international music career and became a father, he battled demons and addiction, and he waited, hoping for the lies to cease and the truth to emerge. It would. And when it did, it would sweep up the St. Lawrence River to the Mohawk reserves of Quebec, on to the heights of the Manhattan skyline.

With a rare gift for storytelling and an astonishing story to tell, Tom writes with unflinching honesty and extraordinary compassion about his search for the truth. It’s a story about scars, about the ones that hurt us, and the ones that make us who we are.

Tom Wilson is a three-time Juno winning Canadian musician with multiple gold records. He has written for and recorded songs with Sarah McLachlan, City and Colour, Jason Isbell, Colin James, Lucinda Williams, Billy Ray Cyrus, Mavis Staples and The Rankin Family. His band Junkhouse has scored eleven top-ten hits, and his iconic, Americana-fuelled Blackie and the Rodeo Kings was widely publicized for its presence on George Bush’s iPod. Tom’s most recent incarnation, Lee Harvey Osmond, has received extensive praise and airplay throughout the United States, where he’s been touring for the last two years as a result. His art has shown in galleries in New York City, Vancouver, Toronto and more recently, Ottawa.

Date: Monday January 15, 2018
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: To be announced
Fee: 165 + HST (includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of Beautiful Scars sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810



Book Club Locations
 
Pukka1
Pukka2
Pukka3
Pukka5
Pukka4
Pukka x

Pukka

Considered one of Toronto’s best Indian restaurant. It features modern Indian cooking and we love it. The environment is casual yet sophisticated and the service is friendly and knowledgeable.

778 St. Clair Avenue West
Toronto
416 342 1906

www.pukka.ca

Big Crow4
Big Crow1
Big Crow3
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
Toronto

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

www.roseandsonsbigcrow.com

Beast3
Beast4
Beast5
Beast Restaurantx

The Beast Restaurant

Scott Vivian and Rachelle Cadwell feature Ontario’s local producers and farmers at their restaurant Beast. They are well known for their Sunday brunch, special dinners and delicious food. Anthony Bourdain featured Beast in one of his shows and Scott took Anthony to some of his own favourite spots around Toronto. 

96 Tecumseth Street

Toronto

647 352 6000

www.thebeastrestaurant.com

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

$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
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 
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 Cooking for Family and Friends
HeartSmart Cooking
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

$28.95
Recevoir au goût du cœur: recettes, menus et conseils pour des réunions de famille et d’amis
Recevoir au gout du coeur:
recettes, menus et conseils pour des réunions de famille et d’amis

Published by Trecarre, 2000, 320 pages, paperback

$29.95
News And Events
ROBERTO MARTELLA TRIBUTE DINNER
ROBERTO MARTELLA TRIBUTE DINNERMonday November 6, 2017

Bonnie remembers when Grano opened over thirty years ago. It was the place to go right from the start and Roberto Martella quickly became a force behind the rise of fine Italian dining and culture in Toronto.

Toronto’s finest chefs, friends and colleagues are coming together to honour him and contribute to his recovery from a stroke in November 2016. Proceeds and all donations will go towards Roberto's ongoing care.

Date: Monday, November 6, 2017
Time: 6:30pm
Place: Villa Colombo, Sala Caboto, 40 Playfair Avenue, Toronto
Price: $275 per person
For tickets: Contact Carla Martella carlamartella@rogers.com

WHAT'S ON THE TABLE
WHAT'S ON THE TABLEWednesday November 8, 2017

The Stop's annual fundraising gala at AGO. What’s on the Table boasts a dazzling array of delicious and creative food from some of Toronto’s top chefs, paired with some of Niagara’s best wines. The event also features a rousing live auction with fantastic getaways and luxury items, and a fabulous silent auction. All funds raised support our critical food access and community-building programs.

For more information click What's on the Table

PORRIDGE FOR PARKINSON’S
PORRIDGE FOR PARKINSON’S

Sunday November 12, 2017

This is the tenth anniversary of this unique breakfast fund-raising event. It’s held at the elegant Vaughan Estate and you can’t miss with chefs like Jamie Kennedy, Joanne Yolles and Donna Doher and more cooking your breakfast.

For more information click Porridge for Parkinson's

BONNIE'S CHALLAH WORKSHOP
BONNIE'S CHALLAH WORKSHOPChallah is the Jewish celebration bread that is enjoyed at every Friday night dinner except during Passover. Now challah is loved by many cultures and enjoyed all week in dishes like French Toast, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and many other favourites. Click here for a recent CTV Your Morning segment.

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.

Workshop includes coffee and cinnamon buns, snacks, a light meal, 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: Right now this workshop is for groups only but if you are interested in just one or two spots in an open registration class let me know and if I have enough people I will contact you.

For more information send your name, email address and phone number with subject line: Challah Workshop to bonnie@bonniestern.com

EATING ISRAEL: THE LAND OF DIVERSITY AND CULTURE
CULINARY TOUR TO ISRAEL WITH BONNIE STERN <BR/ >FEBRUARY 27 TO MARCH 6, 2017Sunday February 25 - Tuesday March 6, 2018

Thanks so much for your quick response to this wonderful and delicious tour to Israel. This trip is now fully booked but we are taking a waitlist. For a look at this year’s itinerary click here.

And if you would like to be on our email list for our February 2019 Israel culinary trip (and other trips) please send your name, email and phone number, with subject line: Trips, to bonnie@bonniestern.com (if you are not already on the list)

For questions about the itinerary contact Bonnie
bonnie@bonniestern.com
or 416 484 4810

 

Restaurant Recommendations and More
TORONTO, ONTARIO
Soos
94 Ossington Avenue
Toronto
416 901 7667
This family-owned, four-year old Malaysian restaurant was so good I couldn’t believe I hadn’t been there before. We had so many delicious things - cauliflower fritters, lettuce wraps with soft shell crab, pork belly on taro pancakes, laksa, turmeric noodles, short ribs, shredded chicken tacos and fried bananas with toffee ice cream from Bang Bang across the street.
Moderate
Bar Sybanne
229 Ossington Avenue
Toronto
647 350 9229
This new restaurant and bar featuring Middle Eastern flavours is a great addition to the Ossington strip. Eggplant, Brussels sprout leaves, hallumi with homemade marmalade and chocolate budino with rose petals were all good.
Moderate
Jack and Lil’s
823 Dundas Street West
Toronto
647 347 5459
This adorable tiny place on Dundas Street West is one of a kind. It’s only open Sundays for brunch (and sometimes closed on holiday weekends). It serves South African specialties buffet style and plates are weighed to determine the price. It is very small so go early to grab a seat at the communal table or take-out. Don't miss the blintzes. Jack and Lil's also cater.
Moderate
Bar Isabel
797 College Street
Toronto
416 532 2222
It's always busy, always delicious and always fun. Don't miss octopus, scallops, platters of jamon, ceviche, cocktails and the Basque Cake.
Moderate to Expensive
Los Colibris
220 King Street West
Toronto
416 979 7717
Although I've walked by this restaurant many times I hadn’t been there. Not any more after a fantastic dinner – tuna tostado, sweet corn cakes with brisket, lamb shank with handmade tortillas and amazing cocktails. We were talking too much to finish in time to have dessert before the show so we will have to go back for sure. (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time was also fantastic.)
Moderate to Expensive
Joso's
202 Davenport Road
Toronto
416 925 1903
Joso’s has always been one of my favourite restaurants in Toronto. Malka Marom, Joso’s singing partner (in concert and on their weekly television show) and author of Joni Mitchell: In Her Own Words, took me there for the first time and I have never looked back. The food has barely changed. And why should it when it’s that good. Don’t miss the fried or grilled calamari; spaghetti Leonardo; potato and octopus salad; grilled fish and/or scampi and palatchinke for dessert. We order everything to the table and share.
Expensive
Dynasty
69 Yorkville Avenue
Toronto
416 923 3323
Everyone has their favourite place for dim sum and this is ours. Although it is crazy and chaotic on the weekends it feels like the place to be. We order our favourites and try hard to order at least one new thing each time we go. Then we have more favourites.
Moderate
Byblos
11 Duncan Street
Toronto
647 660 0909
When you go to Byblos don’t miss the lamb ribs with dukkah, the eggplant kibbeh with chick pea batter, any of the rice dishes, and the crispy qatayef and pavlova for dessert. Everything else is delicious too but I am narrowing down my favourites. And the cocktails are a whole other story - I had something called A Time for Drunken Horses and I loved it. An amazing spot in the theatre district.
Moderate to Expensive
Planta
1221 Bay Street
Toronto
647 348 7000
Even if you are not really interested in vegan or vegetarian food, you should try Planta. It probably won’t convert you but it will open your mind to new possibilities. A few favourites are coconut ceviche, watermelon poke, habibi salad, Singapore noodles, lettuce wraps, Thai noodles and the coconut chia seed dessert with passion fruit sorbet. Their vegan burger is so popular they opened a dedicated burger spot downtown. They also have delicious juice blends and amazing vegetable based cocktails.
Moderate to Expensive
Scaramouche Pasta Bar
1 Benvenuto Place
Toronto
416 961 8011
Scaramouche Restaurant and Pasta Bar was renovated a number of years ago and if you haven’t seen it, it’s time to go back. The food was delicious, service was great and, although it was busy, it was quiet enough to hear all seven of us talk around the table. Don’t miss the coconut cream pie for dessert – it is an iconic Toronto dessert from the original pastry chef, Joanne Yolles, and still on the menu. There are two parts to the restaurant – the more casual pasta bar (they offer more than pasta) and the more elegant Scaramouche Restaurant.
Moderate to Expensive
CAMBRIDGE, ONTARIO
Langdon Hall
1 Langdon Drive
Cambridge
519 740 2100
An hour and a half from Toronto, it isn’t just the food that is great at this luxurious country hotel, it’s is the whole experience. The setting, the wine, the service, the food – it’s the total package. If you go for dinner it is a treat to stay overnight (they also have a fabulous spa) or go for lunch, brunch on Sundays or afternoon tea for an elegant outing.
Expensive
HAMILTON, ONTARIO
The French
37 William Street
Hamilton
905 528 3737
Lovely spot for breakfast before a cooking demo! Made me want to go back for a restaurant tour of Hamilton.
Moderate
Featured Recipes
RIGATONI WITH SAUSAGE MEATBALLS AND MUSHROOMS
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb sweet or spicy sausages
  • 3/4 lb cremini mushrooms, trimmed and thickly sliced
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 3/4 lb rigatoni or penne
  • 5 oz baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (preferably Parmigiano Reggiano)
  • RIGATONI WITH SAUSAGE MEATBALLS AND MUSHROOMS The great thing about sausages is that they are so well-seasoned you don't usually need a lot of extra seasoning ingredients. Combine them with ground beef or chicken to flavour meatloaf or spaghetti sauce or you can use them as meatballs as in this recipe.

    Method:

    1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil.

    2. While water is boiling, slit skin of sausages, remove meat and discard skin. Cut or break sausages into 1" chunks and roll into rough balls.

    3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet and add sausage meatballs. Brown well about 3 to 5 minutes. Push to one side and add mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms lose their liquid. Stir everything together and cook about 2 minutes longer.

    4. Add 1 tbsp salt to the boiling water and add pasta. Cook 10 to 12 minutes or until cooked as you like. Add tomatoes to pan with sausages. Cook about 3 to 4 minutes until softened. Gently smash tomatoes with a wooden spoon to release their juices. Add about 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid to the pan and combine well.  (Add a little pasta liquid at any time if pan is dry.)

    5. Drain pasta reserving about 1 cup cooking liquid. Add pasta to pan and combine. Add a little more reserved cooking liquid if necessary so that the mixture become saucy. Continue cooking until sauce coats pasta well. Stir in spinach and cook just until wilted. Serve with cheese. Season if necessary.

    makes 4 to 5 servings

    ROASTED ARCTIC CHAR WITH HERBS AND LEMON
  • 1 1/2 lbs Arctic char fillets, 4 to 5 pieces, (about 1/2" to 3/4" thick)
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • grated peel of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 5 sprigs fresh oregano
  • sprigs of fresh herbs for garnish and 1 lemon thinly sliced
  • ROASTED ARCTIC CHAR WITH HERBS AND LEMONFish does not have to be cooked in a fancy complicated way to be healthful. In fact, the quicker and easier the better - you will make it more often. The trick is to buy fresh fish and don't overcook it – it cooks very quickly. Serve with a salad or roasted vegetables.

    Method:

    1. Arrange fish fillets in a single layer on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with lemon peel, salt and pepper. Turn fish over a few times to coat with olive oil and seasonings. Put sprigs of thyme and oregano on fish. (Refrigerate or roast right away.)

    2. Roast fish in a preheated 425F oven 5 to 8 minutes or until fish is just cooked when the thickest part is gently broken apart with a spoon.

    3. Discard dried out sprigs of herbs on top and replace with fresh sprigs. Place a slice of lemon on each piece.

    makes 4 to 5 servings

    ROSEMARY AND GARLIC SAVORY MINI SCONES
  • 1/2 cup butter very cold
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour or half whole wheat flour (or 2 cup Cup4Cup gluten free flour)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk plus more if necessary


  • topping:
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed or grated
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • flaky salt (eg Maldon)
  • tiny sprigs of rosemary, optional
  • ROSEMARY AND GARLIC SAVORY MINI SCONESI love scones - sweet or savory. It's a good thing that they are quick and easy to make because they taste best when they are fresh.

    I created this particular recipe for my daughter (who is gluten free) because it imitates the taste of my rosemary garlic challah knots I often serve on Friday nights. Use Cup4Cup gluten free flour (in Toronto only available at William Sonoma, Goodbye Gluten and Harvest Wagon as far as I know) for best results. This brand of gluten free flour works incredibly well in most baking and cooking recipes but when it comes to yeast breads the results are not as perfect.



    Method:

    1. Grate butter very carefully on the largest holes of a box grater. Spread on a plate and freeze at least 5 to 10 minutes. Or cut butter into small cubes and refrigerate.

    2. In a large bowl whisk flour with sugar, baking powder and salt until thoroughly mixed. Add grated butter and mix in lightly with your fingertips. If using small cubes of butter break them up with your fingers into small bits.

    3. Beat egg in a small bowl. Add 3/4 cup buttermilk.   Make a well in the centre of the flour and add egg mixture, mixing quickly with a fork or wooden spoon until a wet dough is formed. (Add up to 2 tbsp extra buttermilk if there is a lot of flour mixture not incorporated into the dough.) Turn dough out on a lightly floured work surface, Flour top lightly and gently flatten into a rough square about 3/4" thick. Fold dough in half and flatten again. Brush any flour off the surface and fold and flatten again. Repeat once more. (Dust hands with flour if dough is too sticky to handle). Cut 1 1/2" circle out of dough (as close to each other as possible to get the maximum number of circles. Press scraps together gently and cut out more circles. (Do not knead or overwork the dough at any point.)

    4. Place olive oil, garlic, rosemary, kosher salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. Dip tops and bottoms of scones in the olive oil mixture. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with flaky salt and sprigs of rosemary if using.

    5. Bake scones in upper third of a preheated 425F oven 12 to 14 minutes, turning pan after 5 minutes, until puffed and golden. Cool on a rack.

    makes 12 to 15 mini scones

    MEATLOAF WITH BARBECUE SAUCE AND CARAMELIZED ONIONS
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 large onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 lbs ground beef or chicken or a combination
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup favourite barbecue sauce homemade or commercial
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs (or GF breadcrumbs)
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley


  • topping:
  • 2 tbsp barbecue sauce
  • MEATLOAF WITH BARBECUE SAUCE AND CARAMELIZED ONIONSUse your favourite barbecue sauce in this and it is sure to be a family favourite. You can serve it plain or with a tomato sauce, but I love it with lots of caramelized onions. Make leftovers into hot or cold sandwiches. This can be made ahead and reheated or served cold.

    Method:

    1. Heat oil in a large skillet and cook onions gently 15 to 20 minutes or until tender and caramelized. Cool. Chop about 1/4 amount and reserve the rest for serving.

    2. Place meat in a large bowl and add egg, salt, barbecue sauce, breadcrumbs, parsley and the 1/4 part of the cooled onions. Knead together lightly.

    3. Place meat mixture in a 2L loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Cover with parchment paper. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for one hour. Uncover, smear with remaining barbecue sauce and bake 20 minutes longer to brown top.  Serve with reserved onions.

    makes 6 to 8 servings

    POACHED QUINCE SUNDAES WITH TAHINI CARAMEL, COCONUT ICE CREAM AND HALVAH
  • 4 large quince (about 3 lbs)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 6 cups water (or half water and half red or white wine)
  • 1 vanilla bean, cut in half and slit open
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken
  • 4 cardamom pods, gently crushed
  • 6 to 8 large scoops coconut (or vanilla) ice cream
  • 1 cup tahini caramel sauce (see recipe)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled halvah, optional
  • POACHED QUINCE SUNDAES WITH TAHINI CARAMEL, COCONUT ICE CREAM AND HALVAHQuince is a fruit that you usually do not eat raw. It is very hard and difficult to cut so cut it carefully. When poached or baked in syrup it transforms into something so delicious and mysterious. It  turns a beautiful rosy/peach colour and worth all the work. Serve over ice cream as described below, with or without the caramel sauce but it is also delicious on its own just with the syrup. (When you are finished with the vanilla bean, rinse and allow to dry. Store in your sugar canister to make vanilla sugar.)

    Method:

    1. Peel quince if necessary. Carefully cut into quarters and cut away cores. Reserve cores and peels if you've peeled the quince.

    2. In a large pot bring sugar, honey, water/wine, vanilla bean, cinnamon sticks and cardamom to a boil. Add quince with the cores and peels bring to a boil.

    3. Reduce heat to simmer. Place a piece of parchment paper on the fruit, and then a lid or plate (a little smaller than the pot), on the paper so that it holds the quince down under the surface. Cook gently 45 to 60 minutes until very tender. Let quince cool in the syrup. They will turn colour.

    4. Remove quince from syrup. Place syrup back on heat and reduce by about half until it is syrupy. Strain syrup over quince. (Any leftover syrup can be use in martinis, over cake, or over ice cream - it will keep a few months refrigerated.)

    5. Serve quince with some syrup over ice cream, drizzle with tahini caramel sauce and sprinkled with halvah.

    makes 6 to 8 servings

    TAHINI CARAMEL SAUCE
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 7 tbsp butter, at room temperature, cut into cubes
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup tahini paste
  • 1/4 tsp flaky salt (eg Maldon salt)
  • TAHINI CARAMEL SAUCEOne of the things I love about Sweet, the new cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh is that there are so many parts of recipes that you can mix and match in the book but also use in other desserts. For example, their maple cream cheese frosting on their apple cake is now my go to cream cheese frosting for carrot cakes and cinnamon buns and their hazelnut brittle in their chocolate tart I use on ice cream sundaes and cupcakes. This tahini caramel is a topping for Middle Eastern millionaire's shortbread in their book but I use it as an enhanced caramel sauce by adding more cream. I use it over coconut ice cream with poached quince and crumbled halvah (see above recipe), and drizzle it over chocolate cake and pavlovas. The sauce thickens as it cools so warm it if necessary when serving.

    Method:

    1. Combine sugar and water in a medium-large saucepan. Place over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Increase heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil and cook - still at a boil - for 10 to 12 minutes or until sugar is a deep golden brown (When making caramel I don't leave the stove, once it starts to brown it can burn quickly). Remove from heat, and standing back, add the butter and cream. Mixture may splutter. Whisk to combine and once the butter has melted, add tahini and salt. Whisk again. Sauce will keep about one month in the refrigerator.

    makes about 2 cups

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