Bonnie's Book Club
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.
Even though it was cold and rainy every day we were in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, people were so warm and welcoming we have started to plan our trip for next year. It might be because I went to Camp Kadimah, near Barss Corner NS, I love it so much and always feel at home there. During our one clear morning, Ray and I hiked the stunning Sherwink Trail near Trinity, NL. And during our four day stay in the area we had delicious food at Fishers’ Loft, the Artisan Inn and especially the Bonavista Social Club. On the South Shore of Nova Scotia we went to the Privateer Farmers’ Market in Liverpool, had delicious lunches at the Port Grocers in Port Medway and had a great dinner with a fantastic view at the completely renovated Quarterdeck in Summerville. See the restaurant recommendations section below for more information.
For those of you who came to our book club event with author Elizabeth Hay (His Whole Life) a few months ago, she was also the guest speaker at the Port Medway Readers’ Festival when we were there. It was a treat to help cook dinner for her with my friend Cynthia Wine, who hosted Elizabeth and her husband as well as me and Ray. Check our book club section below to see who’s coming next.
I celebrated Canada Day at Langdon Hall as a guest chef for one of Langdon Hall’s Friday Night BBQ series. The other talented chefs involved were Ned Bell from OceanWise in Vancouver, Dale Mackay, owner/chef of Ayden Kitchen and Bar in Saskatoon, Todd Perrin, owner/chef of Mallard Cottage in St John’s and Jason Bangerter, Executive chef of Langdon Hall. It was so much fun to be included in such a great group.
Keep cool, see you at the market.
|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.
|KEVIN PATTERSON: NEWS FROM THE RED DESERT|
|Bonnie is thrilled to kick off the thirteenth season of the book club with a powerful new novel from one of Canada’s most respected writers, Kevin Patterson, and his long-awaited new novel News From the Red Desert. This is the first literary work to explore the incredible toll taken by Canadian forces serving in Afghanistan.
The author of the award-winning The Water in Between and In a Country of Cold, and the contemporary classic Consumption, Kevin Patterson’s road to a writing career was an unusual one. Born in Manitoba, he joined the Canadian Forces in order to finance his way through medical school. Over the years, Patterson’s medical career has taken him around the world, from the Arctic to Afghanistan. Yet while practicing medicine, Patterson has also established a career for himself as a writer to watch, shifting effortlessly between non-fiction and fiction. It is Paterson’s personal experience in the Afghan conflict that gives the book its incredible depth and poignancy.
News From the Red Desert begins on the Kandahar Airfield in late 2001, when everyone believes the war has been won and the Taliban defeated. Then it leaps late in the severely escalated conflict - into the mess, and death, and confusion. At its heart are the men and women who have come to Afghanistan to seek purpose, adventure and danger, by engaging in the most bewitching and treacherous of human pursuits - making war.
It's the story of Deirdre O'Malley, an American war correspondent who has come to love the soldiers she covers so much that she's sliding toward feeling like a member of the mission herself. Embedded with Canadian infantry, she can't ignore the situation on the ground. Her loyalty toward her ex-lover, the American general who has taken command of the theatre, wavers as the war wavers, and the use of torture and the steady slaughter of civilians is brought to light. Fuelling the tension is a melancholy American supply sergeant who accidentally releases a trove of war porn online that sparks a furious hunt for the person who leaked it. Fearing arrest at any moment, he has stayed on too long in Kandahar for reasons he doesn't understand himself. Caught up in these currents are the Pakistanis who operate the Green Beans cafe on the base, led by optimist Rami Issay, who wants to lighten his customers' hearts by running film and chess clubs on the premises. But the war intrudes even into the lives of the well-intentioned. In a powerful climax that tests everyone's loyalty and faith, the essential chaos of violence asserts itself. Love and desire endure, but no one escapes unscathed.
Date: Monday August 22, 2016
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: Tabule on Yonge Street
2009 Yonge Street, Toronto
Fee: 165 + HST
(includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of News From the Red Desert sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810
|CRAIG DAVIDSON: PRECIOUS CARGO|
|Bonnie is very happy to welcome back Scotiabank Giller Prize-nominee Craig Davidson to the Book Club as he shares his critically-acclaimed, national bestselling memoir Precious Cargo.
With the publication of his debut collection of short stories, Rust and Bone, in 2005, Canadian writer Craig Davidson attracted considerable attention from the international literary community. In 2007, he followed his debut success with the critically-acclaimed The Fighter, a hard-hitting exploration of the lives of two very different young men heading down the road of self-destruction.
In 2012, Davidson’s star soared even more with the release of celebrated French filmmaker Jacques Audiard’s adaptation of two of the stories featured in Rust and Bone. The film, Rust and Bone, starred Academy Award-winner Marion Cotillard, was a sensation at the Cannes Film Festival and received rave reviews around the world.
In 2013, Davidson dazzled readers and critics with Cataract City, the powerful story of two lifelong friends haunted by memories of the past as they try to build lives for themselves. The National Post proclaimed the novel “A superb, thoughtful and thoroughly entertaining novel...Davidson is a seriously talented writer…” while Academy Award-winning filmmaker Paul Haggis called Cataract City “An astounding, accomplished book. I truly did not want to leave this world.”
Davidson’s novel went on to become a national bestseller and was shortlisted for the prestigious Scotibank Giller Prize. Davidson’s new book, Precious Cargo is a surprising and revelatory work of memoir that documents an incredible year in the author’s life, and the unexpected career shift that forever changed the way he saw himself and the rest of the world.
Before the great success of Cataract City and the film adaptation of Rust and Bone, Craig Davidson experienced a period of great doubt about his abilities as a writer and the possibility of making a living doing the thing he loved most. One morning in 2008, desperate, impoverished and living in a one-room basement apartment, Davidson plucked a flyer out of his mailbox that read, "Bus Drivers Wanted." That was the first step towards an unlikely new career: driving a school bus full of special-needs kids for a year.
Armed only with a sense of humour akin to that of his charges, a creative approach to the challenge of driving a large, awkward vehicle while corralling a rowdy gang of kids, and surprising but unsentimental reserves of empathy, Davidson takes us along for the ride. He shows us how his evolving relationship with the kids on that bus, each of them struggling physically as well as emotionally and socially, slowly but surely changed his life along with the lives of the "precious cargo" in his care. This is the extraordinary story of that year and those relationships. It is also a moving, important and universal story about how we see and treat people with special needs in our society.
Don’t miss what promises to be a terrific evening of literature, food and conversation.
Date: Monday September 19, 2016
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: Fat Pasha Patio
414 Dupont Street, Toronto
Fee: 165 + HST
(includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of Precious Cargo sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810
|ALEX PRUD'HOMME: THE FRENCH CHEF IN AMERICA|
|Julia Child’s great-nephew, and co-author of My Life in France, presents the enchanting story of her years as a TV personality and beloved cookbook writer.
Julia Child is synonymous with French cooking, but her legacy runs much deeper. Now, Alex Prud'homme, Child's great-nephew and My Life in France co-author, vividly recounts the myriad ways in which she profoundly shaped how we eat today. He shows us Child in the aftermath of the publication of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, suddenly finding herself America's First Lady of French Food and under considerable pressure to embrace her new mantle. We see her dealing with difficult colleagues and the challenges of fame, ultimately using her newfound celebrity to create what would become a totally new type of food television. Every bit as entertaining, inspiring, and delectable as My Life in France, the book uncovers the Julia Child beyond her "French Chef" persona and reveals her second act to have been as groundbreaking and adventurous as her first.
Date: Thursday October 13, 2016 (Wait list only)
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: L'Avenue Bistro
1568 Bayview Avenue, Toronto
Fee: 165 + HST
(includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of The French Chef in America sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810
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
|Some of Bonnie's Cookbooks|
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.
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|
|CULINARY TOUR TO ISRAEL WITH BONNIE STERN |
FEBRUARY 27 TO MARCH 6, 2017
|We are very excited about the new itinerary for our next culinary tour to Israel. It is looking great and will be available soon. We will send out the itinerary and price as soon as possible.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, email and phone number to be on our trip info list (if you are not already on it).
|Restaurant Recommendations and More|
TRINITY AREA, NEWFOUNDLAND
|Fishers Loft Inn|
877 464 3240
|Trinity, about 3 hours north of St. John’s, is a beautiful area of Newfoundland. Fishers Loft Inn, a highly recommended inn, is comprised of a group of cottages. They are separate two story buildings, built in the style of the area with 3 to 9 rooms in each. Most are situated on a hill overlooking the ocean. The dining room is the best in the area. They offer a four course menu (with substitutions for allergies). We had two delicious dinners there and very good breakfasts.|
& Twine Loft Restaurant
57 High Street
709 464 3377
|The Artisan Inn seems to be 'all over the place' in Trinity. They have rooms throughout the town in different buildings with a check-in home base at Twine Loft. They also have a very good restaurant, also called Twine Loft. We had a lovely dinner, with warm Newfoundland hospitality and also a pre-set menu.|
99 Main Road
709 464 3928
|When you are aching for an espresso or cappuccino this is the place. Also very good sandwiches and snacks/baked goods.|
|Fishing Stage Take-out|
Just Outside of Trinity
709 425 2237
|I could describe this as a food truck but it is more like a food trailer or ‘fishing stage’ as it is traditionally called. Good fast food and excellent lobster rolls in season.|
709 445 5556
|This is the kind of restaurant I always dream of. As soon as I walked in and felt the warmth from the wood burning oven and the warm welcome from the owner and staff, I felt at home. We loved the pizza, the breads, the homemade pasta, the fish, the sandwiches, the cookies, the desserts – everything. It is about 40 minutes from Trinity and worth every kilometre. I wanted to move in!|
PORT MEDWAY, NOVA SCOTIA
1615 Port Medway Road
902 677 2884
|They sell everything at the Port Grocer. You can buy groceries, jewellery, clothes, lunch and there is pub night every Friday!|
SUMMERVILLE, NOVA SCOTIA
7499 lighthouse route 3
902 947 2050
|This stunning restaurant is all about the location - RIGHT on the ocean. The food is good but it’s hard to compete with the location. Well worth going to for both the view and food. The pasta with scallops was delicious.|
Moderate to Expensive
45 King Street Weat
519 208 8555
|Ray and I loved our lunch at Jonathan Gushue’s new restaurant in Kitchener. What a delicious addition to the area. Mushrooms on toast, smoked tomato soup, lobster rolls and maple pie were just a few favourites. It’s worth the drive to Kitchener.|
1 Langdon Drive
519 740 2100
|After participating in one of Langdon Hall’s popular Friday night barbecues, we had lunch the next day under the trees in the garden. What a luxurious treat. If you are in Toronto and looking for a summer outing but not too far – lunch at Langdon Hall (about an hour away) is the perfect plan.|
Moderate to Expensive
|HADDOCK, SHRIMP AND VEGETABLE CHOWDER |
|4 oz bacon, diced (optional, see intro)2 tbsp butter 1 onion, chopped 2 leeks, trimmed, sliced, rinsed2 carrots, roughly chopped1/2 bulb fennel, trimmed and chopped1 lb baby potatoes, quartered2 cups water 1 1/2 cups bottled or frozen clam juice, or vegetable stock2 cups milk, cream, evaporated milk or a combination1 zucchini, diced1 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn1 tbsp fresh thyme leaveskosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 lb boneless, skinless haddock fillets, cut into 2" chunks1/2 lb shelled and cleaned large shrimp, cut into thirds Small handful of chives, cut into 1" lengths||One chilly night in Nova Scotia my friend warmed us up with chowder that included chunks of crunchy shrimp, haddock and lots of vegetables. If you do not want to use bacon, omit it and start with step #2.|
1. Place bacon in a large deep skillet or Dutch oven. Cook on medium heat until crisp. Remove from pan and reserve for garnish. Discard nearly all fat in the pan and return pan to heat.
2. Add butter to pan with onions. Cook gently about 5 minutes. Add leeks, carrots and fennel. Cook 5 minutes. Add water, clam juice and potatoes. Bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes.
3. Add milk or cream, zucchini, corn and thyme. Heat. Add haddock and cook 5 minutes. Add shrimp and cook 3 to 5 minutes longer until shrimp are pink and opaque. Season to taste.
4. Serve sprinkled with chives and reserved bacon.
makes 6 main course servings
|FLAKY BUTTERMILK BISCUITS|
|2 cups all-purpose flour + more for shaping 1 tbsp baking powder 1 tsp kosher salt 1/2 cup butter, very cold3/4 cup buttermilk 1 egg, lightly beaten 2 tbsp soft or melted butter||Here's the recipe for my flaky, buttermilk biscuits some of you saw on my Instagram or Facebook page. They are very easy and quick to make and always a big hit. They taste best freshly made like all biscuits and scones. The folding technique, and using two different sizes of diced butter are tips I learned from southern cooking expert Nathalie Dupree when I was in Charleston. Nathalie also says for great biscuits work quickly and keep everything very cold. I served these biscuits with the chowder above.|
1. In a large bowl whisk flour with baking powder and salt for about one minute until thoroughly mixed.
2. Cut half the butter (1/4 cup) into 1/4" dice. Cut the other 1/4 cup into 1/2" dice. Chill again if necessary. Using a pastry blender or your fingertips rub the 1/4 cup cold butter diced in 1/4" pieces into the flour until it is in tiny pieces. Then rub the remaining 1/4 cup butter, in 1/2" pieces, into the flour until only small pieces of butter remain - nothing bigger than a green pea.
3. Make a well in the centre of the flour. Combine buttermilk with egg and quickly combine ingredients into a rough, wet dough, first with a wooden spoon and then your hands. If there is any un-incorporated flour, add additional buttermilk by the tablespoon. Turn dough out on 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. Fold and flatten twice more. Dough will start to look less shaggy. Dip 2" round cutter in flour and cut out biscuits (do not twist the cutter) as close together as possible. Gently gather extra dough together to make more biscuits. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
4. Bake biscuits in a preheated 425F oven, for 12 to 14 minutes until puffed and golden.
5. Brush baked biscuits with soft or melted butter and sprinkle with a little coarse sea salt if desired.
makes 8 biscuits
|BABA GANOUSH |
|3 lbs eggplant, 2 or 3 large, pierced in a few places 1 large clove garlic, grated, pressed or very finely chopped (about 1 tbsp)2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil1 tsp kosher salt or more to taste 1/4 tsp Aleppo pepper or cayenne or Chipotle Tabasco 1/4 tsp ground cumin 3 tbsp lemon juice 1/3 cup tahini 1/2 tsp smoked paprika2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley|
topping: tahini, smoked paprika, chopped parsley
to serve:pita chips, thin crackers and vegetables for dipping (eg. sliced cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, sliced fennel, carrots, radishes, etc)
|When we stayed with Cynthia Wine and Philip Slayton in Port Medway they had a dinner party in honour of author Elizabeth Hay, and I was very happy to help cook! This was the appetizer – a popular Middle Eastern dip sometimes called smoky eggplant dip or moutabal. Karen Jaffe who was helping us presented it on a large tray with sliced cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, crackers, baby carrots, fennel, sugar snap peas and red pepper strips. It looked fantastic. (This recipe was inspired by the baba ghanoush in David Lebovitz’s My Paris Life.)|
1. Cook eggplants directly on the burners of a gas stove on medium high or on an outdoor barbecue, or under the broiler. Cook eggplants 15 to 20 minutes, turning often, until skin is blackened on all sides, starting to split and beginning to collapse. Transfer to a baking dish and bake in a preheated 400F oven until fully collapsed and tender about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool. Peel off skin, drain eggplant of excess water. Chop so that eggplant is still a little chunky.
2. Transfer eggplant to a mixing bowl and stir in garlic, olive oil, salt, Aleppo pepper, cumin and lemon juice. Add tahini, paprika and parsley. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
3. Place eggplant mixture in a serving bowl. Drizzle with additional tahini and sprinkle with smoked paprika and parsley.
|2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 onion, chopped 1 leek, cleaned and sliced 1/2 fennel, diced 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped 1 small hot red chile, halved, seeded and chopped, optional 1/2 cup dry white wine 2 tbsp tomato paste 1 796mL tin plum tomatoes (preferably San Marzano), mashed or pureed with juices 1/2 cup chicken stock 3/4 cup each pitted green and black olives 2 tbsp capers, rinsed salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley 3 lbs fresh cod fillets||This is one of Cynthia's favourite entertaining recipes. The sauce can be done ahead and then baked with the fish just before serving or spooned on top after baking. Halibut or haddock works well too. I also tried it with wild sockeye salmon and it was delicious.|
1. Heat olive oil in a deep skillet. Add onions, leeks, fennel, garlic and as much of the chile as you like. Cook gently 10 minutes or until tender and fragrant without browning.
2. Stir in wine and tomato paste. Add tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently 30 to 40 minutes. Sauce should be thick. Add chicken stock, olives and capers. Season to taste.
3. Season fish with salt and pepper and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Spread sauce over the top. Bake in a preheated 400F oven for 10 to 20 minutes depending on thickness of fish. Fish should be just cooked through. Sprinkle with parsley.
makes 6 to 8 servings
|FRESH GINGER CAKE|
|2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1/4 tsp ground cloves 1/4 tsp kosher salt 1 cup sugar 1 cup extra virgin olive oil 1/2 cup molasses (not blackstrap) 1/2 cup golden syrup 1 cup boiling water 2 tsp baking soda 4 oz fresh ginger, peeled and grated (about 1/2 cup) 2 eggs, lightly beaten ||Cynthia loves ginger and wanted to try this cake, loaded with fresh ginger root, from David Lebovitz’s Room for Dessert. I have adapted it slightly using part molasses and part golden syrup and extra virgin olive oil. Serve with vanilla ice cream and whiskey sauce and/or caramelized bananas or peaches.
Whiskey sauce: Place 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup whipping cream, 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 tsp kosher salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook gently 2 minutes. Add 2 to 3 tbsp whiskey.
1. In a large bowl whisk together flour, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Reserve.
2. In another bowl whisk sugar with oil and then beat in molasses and golden syrup.
3. In a large measuring cup combine boiling water with baking soda. Mixture should fizz. Stir in ginger. Add ginger mixture to molasses mixture and then stir into flour with a wooden spoon. Mix in beaten eggs.
4. Butter or spray a deep 9" round pan, spring form pan (outside wrapped in aluminum foil in case it leaks) or Bundt pan. Bake cake 50 to 60 minutes in a preheated 350F or until top springs back when touched in the middle or an instant read meat thermometer registers 185F. After 30 minutes, if cake is browning too much, cover top loosely with aluminum foil. Cool on rack 10 minutes before turning out of pan.
serves 10 to 12
|BLUEBERRY DATE BRAN MUFFINS|
|1 cup whole wheat flour 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (or additional whole wheat flour) 1 cup wheat bran 3 tbsp brown sugar 1 tbsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp kosher salt 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates 1 egg 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 1/3 cup molasses (not blackstrap)1 1/4 cup buttermilk 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries or other berries 2 tbsp chopped walnuts or coarse sugar, optional ||When celebrity chef Elizabeth Falkner was in Toronto promoting All-Bran Buds (which I eat every day), I reworked one of my favourite blueberry muffins and added even more fibre. These muffins are less like cake and more like muffins used to be and make a great breakfast or snack. If using frozen blueberries, use them frozen. To cut dates easily use scissors.|
1. In a large bowl whisk together whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, bran, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in dates to coat with flour to prevent them sticking together.
2. In another bowl whisk together egg, oil, molasses, and buttermilk. Stir liquid ingredients into dry ingredients just until combined. Stir in blueberries.
3. Divide batter between 12 regular sized muffin pans that have been buttered, oiled or sprayed. (An ice cream scoop works well for this). Sprinkle with nuts or coarse sugar.
4. Bake in a preheated 375F oven for 20 to 25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
makes 12 muffins
© Copyright 2016, Bonnie Stern Cooking Schools Ltd.