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Bonnie Stern

Phone: 416 484 4810


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About Bonnie

When Bonnie Stern started her cooking school in 1973 she wanted people to have more fun in the kitchen, eat more healthfully and nourish their families and friends with delicious food. That goal has never changed. Bonnie is still sharing her love of cooking in everything she does.

Bonnie is an award winning author of twelve best-selling cookbooks and wrote a weekly newspaper column for almost 30 years, first for the Toronto Star and then for the National Post. She offers a wide variety of corporate services, cooking workshops and unique book clubs where authors actually attend and dinner is included. Bonnie is the recipient of the 2007 Premier’s Award.


September 2018

Where did August go? Does anyone know? And when did it get dark at 8pm? And doesn’t September seem like the real new year?

In August my husband, Raymond Rupert, and I had the pleasure and honour to host medical students from Jordan, Palestine, Israel and Canada, for the third time, for a cooking workshop and dinner. These twelve bright and engaging students were in Toronto for the annual CISEPO (Canada International Scientific Exchange Program) summer program for Emergency Paediatrics and Global Health. Executive Director Dr. Shawna Novak says, “we use medicine as a common ground to work effectively across cultures and divides”.  In my tiny part of their program, it is so rewarding to see how medicine and food bring people together. For more information about this important program visit

Having just returned from Newfoundland last month, I am super excited to announce a new book club on October 2 with author, actor/comedian CBC TV’s Mark Critch celebrating his new book Son of a Critch. It is sure to fill up quickly. And speaking of quickly, Anthony Rose’s book club for October filled so quickly he has agreed to add a new date, Monday November 5. For details see Bonnie’s Book Club section below.

Wishing a very happy and healthy new year to everyone whose new year, Rosh Hashanah, officially begins Sunday night and the same to everyone else as the beginning of the new school year and the end of summer always feels like the start of something new to me. Check the recipe section below for old and new favourite recipes for Rosh Hashanah and Thanksgiving and anytime at all.

Delicious Wishes,


Kitchen Hack
NEVER TRUST A CHILEHave you ever wondered how to tell how hot a chile is before you use the whole thing in your recipe? Even though different varieties of chiles are deemed hot or mild and everything in between, even within those categories – take jalapenos for example, that are usually considered mild to medium, there can be many different levels of heat.

Here’s the hack – cut the top part off the chile exposing the placenta (sometimes called the pith or ribs) which is the hottest part. (The seeds are hot because they hang out with the ribs but usually are not that hot.) Rub the exposed surface with your thumb or fingertip (as shown in the photo) and carefully taste it. If it is very hot, don’t use as much and if it is mild use it all. Also, removing the core, ribs and seeds lessens the heat of the chile. To remove, cut chile in half lengthwise and cut out the core and ribs and any seeds that are left. And be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after handling or chopping chiles and do not rub your eyes, lips, nose, or any other sensitive parts of your body before washing your hands. If you have sensitive skin (or just in case) you should wear disposable food prep gloves when handling chiles. There are many tricks to lessening the heat of chiles if you have eaten or touched one that is too hot like rinsing with water, yogurt, milk and others but some say that if you rinse your mouth it will just spread the heat rather than absorb it so it is probably better to eat plain rice or bread. Or just stay calm and wait – which, I admit, is hard to do.

After all of this, if you cook something that ends up being too spicy the best thing to do is to dilute it. A few examples are, serve over neutral rice or pasta, add an extra avocado to your guacamole and then adjust seasoning or add an extra tin of tomatoes in your tomato sauce and re-season.

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 Canada's leading authors (and some from farther away), 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. However, 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.


MARK CRITCH: SON OF A CRITCHOver the years, Bonnie has welcomed some of Newfoundland’s best storytellers, such as beloved author Michael Crummey and singer/songwriter Alan Doyle, to the Book Club to celebrate their work with incredible food and great conversation. In October, Bonnie is pleased to continue the tradition as she welcomes CBC TV’s Mark Critch to the Book Club for the launch of his funny and poignant memoir SON OF A CRITCH: A Childish Newfoundland Memoir.

What could be better than growing up in the 1980s? How about growing up in 1980s Newfoundland, which - as Mark Critch will tell you - was more like the 1960s. Take a trip to where it all began in this funny and warm look back on his formative years.

Here we find a young Mark trick-or-treating at a used car lot, getting locked out of school on a fourth-floor window ledge, faking an asthma attack to avoid being arrested by military police, trying to buy beer from an untrustworthy cab driver, shocking his parents by appearing naked onstage - and much more.

Best known as the "roving reporter" for CBC's This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Mark Critch has photo-bombed Justin Trudeau, interviewed Great Big Sea's Alan Doyle (while impersonating Alan Doyle), offered Pamela Anderson a million dollars to stop acting, and crashed White House briefings. But, as we see in this playful debut, he's been causing trouble his whole life.

Son of a Critch captures the wonder and cluelessness of a kid trying to figure things out, but with the clever observations of an adult, and the combination is perfect.

Date: Tuesday October 2, 2018
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: The Edible Story
320 Richmond Street East, Unit 105 (Entrance on Sherbourne), Toronto
Fee: 165 + HST (includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of Son of a Critch sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810


ANTHONY ROSE: THE LAST SCHMALTZFor a number of years, Chef Anthony Rose has been an important part of the success of Bonnie’s Book Club. His incredible restaurants – Rose and Sons, Big Crow and Fat Pasha – have served as the perfect venues for truly memorable evenings of food and books. In October, Bonnie is thrilled to welcome Anthony as an author for the launch of his debut book The Last Schmaltz: A Very Serious Cookbook.

Whether you know him as Toronto's King of Comfort Food, the Don of Dupont, or the Sultan of Smoked Meat, a conversation about the food and restaurant scene in Toronto isn't complete without mention of Anthony Rose. From his famous Fat Pasha Cauliflower (which may or may not have caused the Great Cauliflower Shortage of 2016) and Rose and Sons Patty Melt to his Pork Belly Fried Rice and Nutella Babka Bread Pudding, Anthony's dishes have consistently made waves in the culinary community. Now, in his first cookbook, Anthony has teamed up with internationally-renowned food and travel writer Chris Johns to share his most famous recipes and stories.

Be amazed by the reactions Anthony received when he ingeniously invented a dish called the "All-Day Breakfast." Thrill at the wonder Anthony felt when, as a young Jewish kid, he tasted the illicit lusciousness of bacon for the first time. Or discover the secret ingredient to the perfect shore lunch on a camping trip (hint: it's foie gras).

Often funny, sometimes ridiculous, but always delicious, The Last Schmaltz is a peek into the mind of a much-loved chef at the top of his culinary game.

Date: Monday October 22, 2018 (Wait list only)
or Monday November 5, 2018
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: Big Crow
176 Dupont Street, Toronto
Fee: 165 + HST (includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of The Last Schmaltz given out at the event)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810

Book Club Locations
The Edible Story3
The Edible Story2
The Edible Story1
The Edable Story5
The edible story
The Edible Storyx

The Edible Story
This cooking school, catering company and event space is the perfect place for our themed book club. Owners/chefs Alanna Fleischer and Brian Cheng will create a menu to suit.

320 Richmond Street East #105

(Entrance on Sherbourne)
647 278 1819

Big Crow4
Big Crow6
Big Crow1
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

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

Corporate Services

Corporate culinary events are a great way to host a corporate function. Great food always brings co-workers and staff together. People have fun, learn a lot and take home delicious memories.

Events are customized to meet your location, schedule, objectives and food preferences. Bonnie works with nutritionists, food producers, restaurants, etiquette experts and authors to create exciting programs.

All events will be planned and hosted by Bonnie personally.

Corporate Cooking Class
Private Cooking Class

Bonnie Stern has worked with various food manufacturers, grocery chains, restaurants, chefs, health professionals as well as cookware manufacturers, etc., offering a wide variety of corporate services, such as:

Corporate culinary events
Corporate family dinners
Market Tours
Recipe development
Private cooking classes
Product consultation
Menu consulting for parties
Fundraising events

For detailed information,
please call: 416 484 4810

Bonnie's Cookbooks
Friday Night Dinners (Paperback)

Friday Night Dinners

Bonnie's latest cookbook with her favourite menus, recipes, photos and stories. Over 170 delicious recipes for every occasion - holidays, barbecues, fast suppers and fabulous feasts - and Bonnie makes sure you can make fantastic meals and still enjoy the food and fun with everyone else. You'll want to use this book every day of the week.

Published by Random House of Canada, 2010, 320 pages, paperback


Bonnie Stern's Essentials of Home Cooking
Bonnie Stern's
Essentials of Home Cooking

Winner of the 2004 International Association of Culinary Professionals Award. A beautiful cookbook filled with Bonnie’s personal favourites - dishes that reflect the way we are cooking today.

Published by Random House of Canada, 2003, 208 pages, paperback

This wonderful compendium is a must for every kitchen featuring over 300 favourite recipes from the bestselling Simply HeartSmart Cooking, More HeartSmart Cooking and HeartSmart Cooking for Family and Friends, as well as 75 brand-new recipes to add to your HeartSmart repertoire. Many of the classic recipes have been fully updated to incorporate current food trends and new nutritional information.

Published by Random House of Canada, 2006, 480 pages, paperback.

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

A very special collection of over 150 mouth-watering recipes including soups, spreads, salads, hors d'oeuvre, pastas and much more. Complete with presentation, entertaining, menu planning tips and over 50 detailed illustrations.

Published by Random House of Canada, 1990, 176 pages, paperback

Over 120 recipes for decadent cakes, pies and pastries, scrumptious cookies, creamy mousses and ice creams – A collection of recipes from a master that stand the test, and tastes, of time.

Also provided are elegant decorating tips, helpful information on equipment and ingredients, and black-and-white illustrations throughout demonstrating basic techniques that will make these recipes absolutely no-fail.

Published by Random House Canada, 1998, 214 pages, paperback

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

News And Events
CANADA'S TABLESaturday October 13, 2018

Celebrate the history, influence and importance of cookbooks and great Canadian authors both past and present with a full day of panel discussions, demos and workshops. Presented by Fort York National Historic Site.

For more information click Canada's Table

RESTAURANT FOR CHANGEWednesday October 17, 2018

One night, 19 cities, 90+ restaurants, one goal: supporting community food programmes across Canada. For more information, click: Restaurants for Change

Monday October 22, 2018

The Famous Jerusalem Market is making a come-back! Last year the shuk was a smashing success with over 6,500 in attendance. This year, Torontonians can shop for 2 days, as well as visit the “Night Shuk” (+19). Also this year there is a new location with ample parking, more space and additional vendors.

For more information click The Shuk


McClure Hall, City Shul, 300 Bloor Street West

Israeli food is what everyone wants to eat right now. Come and see what the fuss is all about – the exciting mash-up of food and flavours from the Middle East, the Mediterranean and North Africa; the markets bursting with colourful fruits and vegetables; the healthful and casual lifestyle; the growing number of restaurants, bakeries, boutique wineries and artisanal distilleries will all be discussed. Bonnie’s photos will make you hungry for Israel and the Israeli treats from By the Way and the homemade cookies from Bonnie that we will serve after the presentation.

For tickets click Delicious Israel

BONNIE'S CHALLAH WORKSHOPChallah is the Jewish celebration bread that is enjoyed at every Friday night dinner except during Passover. However, now challah has risen way above Jewish cooking and is a favourite for French toast, grilled cheese sandwiches, bread pudding and so much more.

In this workshop Bonnie will show you everything you need to know to make the most delicious and beautiful braided challah. Everyone will have a chance to make challah dough, knead the dough and get to know the perfect texture at each stage. You will learn to make braids with 3, 4 and 6 strands and also round braided breads. You will learn about ingredients and all the tricks and tips you need for success.

This very popular workshop includes coffee and cinnamon buns, snacks, a delicious lunch or dinner, printed recipes, all ingredients and lots of fun. And best of all - you'll take home your own challah on Bonnie's favourite quarter sheet pan to bake for your family and friends.

Please Note: As with our Israeli Family Dinner class, right now we are only offering this to groups (groups of ten with one person organizing the group) but we are taking a wait list for open classes.

For more information please send your name, email address and phone number with subject line: Bonnie’s Challah Workshop to and let us know if you are interested in bringing a group or would like to join an open class.

ISRAELI FAMILY DINNERMiddle Eastern and Israeli food is what everyone wants to eat right now so come and learn the ingredients and flavours that make it so popular. Israel is an immigrant country and Israeli cuisine is a delicious mash-up of food and flavours from the Middle East, the Mediterranean and North Africa.

Workshop includes appetizers on arrival, lunch or dinner, recipes and lots of fun.

Please note: As with our Challah Workshop, right now we are only offering this to groups (groups of ten with one person organizing the group) but we are taking a wait list for open classes.

Please send your name, email address and phone number with subject line: Israeli Family Dinner to and let us know if you are interested in bringing a group or would like to join an open class.

"Bonnie: thank you once more for a wonderful evening of amazing food and inspiration. I was on a food high when I got home and could not get the thought of your incredible chicken out of my mind! Your recipes are the best."  Barbara Kerbel


Thanks for the overwhelming response to the itinerary for my 9th culinary trip to Israel. I am so excited, once again, to share my delicious Israel with you. We visit markets, wineries, food producers, attend private cooking classes and meet chefs and food personalities with amazing stories.

If you would like to see the 2019 itinerary click: Eating Israel

If you would like to be on the dedicated mailing list for future trips please send your name, email and phone number, with subject line: Trips, to (if you are not already on the list).

"I feel so fortunate to have had this opportunity to meet and travel with Bonnie. Everyday was jam-packed with newness, and delicious, sensual experiences. Memories I will cherish for a life time."
Jill Aberman, Montreal

"The trip exceeded our expectations and we know we want to return to Israel again. Learning more about Israel and the Jewish faith was a highlight for both of us. Meeting the leading chefs, food personalities, cookbook authors, speakers and bloggers of Israel was an opportunity we would never have had if we were travelling on our own."
Lynette Husum and Roger Delbaere, Edmonton


Restaurant Recommendations and More
572 College Street West
416 964 0606
This beautiful new restaurant on College Street West is the place to be seen. Our favourite dishes were tonnarelli cacio e pepe and torta della nonna (in this case - wildflower honey and pine nut tart).
Moderate to Expensive
15 Charles Street East
647 964 0606
This sprawling new stunning restaurant in The Anndore House is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and has quite a large bar scene as well. The menu is modern Mediterranean encompassing the flavours of the Middle East. We had delicious shrimp spaghetti with toasted breadcrumbs, duck kofte and halvah mousse.
Moderate to Expensive
819 Gerrard Street East
416 778 5171
We really enjoyed the laid-back spirit and bright decor of Wynona. Don’t miss the whole branzino and deconstructed lemon meringue dessert.
Zezafoun Syrian Cuisine
4 Manor Road East
416 322 7707
This tiny new Syrian restaurant just south of Yonge and Eglinton is a gem. The owners are lovely and their home cooking will open your taste buds to Syrian food. It isn’t fancy but the welcome is heartfelt and you feel your presence is appreciated. Ask about their special food and music events.
Souk Tabule
494 Front Street East
416 583 5914
Usually a very busy fast casual restaurant, when I took my book club here we had table service and were able to try nearly everything on the menu. The author we featured was Rawi Hage who spoke about his amazing new book Beirut Hellfire Society. From appetizers to dessert everything was so delicious.
Momofuku Noodle Bar
190 University Avenue
647 253 6225
Momofuku Toronto changed their third floor restaurant to Kojin as reported in my last newsletter, they also changed Noodle Bar. It is now located on the first and second floors and the menu has been enlarges to include cocktails and dessert. We had their rice cakes and okonomiyaki and their famous pork buns which somehow were more delicious than ever. We also had the chicken wings with hoisin and ginger, and scallop crudo which were both amazing. The strawberry and meringue dessert was worth the wait!
Langdon Hall
1 Langdon Drive
519 740 2100
It is always a treat to stay at Langdon Hall. The rooms are luxurious, the grounds are so lush and the food is always as delicious as it is stunning. It is even close enough to Toronto to drive out for lunch.
The Bruce Hotel
89 Parkview Drive
1 855 708 7100
This was our first time at The Bruce Hotel. The Restaurant features New Canadian Cuisine which was interesting and well-executed. The service was terrific. They were very conscious of the timing of dinner so we would get to the theatre in time and showed us a valuable shortcut.
Moderate to Expensive
Rhubarb Restaurant
9201 Hwy 118
(Corner Hwy 35 & 118
in Carnarvon)
705 489 4449
We stopped in for lunch on the way to my sister’s cottage in Haliburton. We were pleasantly surprised by the food that was all house made using local ingredients. There is also a brewery on the premises and the beer was light and refreshing.
Featured Recipes
  • 1 1/2 lbs butternut or buttercup squash
  • 1 lb sweet potato(es)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated (or pressed)
  • 2 to 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup tahini (raw)
  • 1 tsp to 1 tbsp harissa (I use rose harissa that is milder than most so be careful)
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 to 2 tsp kosher salt to taste
  • CHIRSHI (TRIPOLITAN PUMPKIN SPREAD)I first learned about this delicious spread from my friend Israeli food journalist Gil Hovav. His version is spicier and more garlicky but my family loves this way best. It is a perfect vegetarian/vegan appetizer for Rosh Hashanah or Thanksgiving. Serve it as is or sprinkled with cilantro, goat cheese or drizzled with thick yogurt. Also great with cilantro pesto made with a blend of 1 cup chopped cilantro + 1/2 chopped jalapeno chile + 1 clove minced garlic + 1/2 tsp kosher salt + 1/4 cup or more extra virgin olive oil. We love it with challah but also with pita or tortilla chips or other gluten free crackers or raw vegetables.

    Pumpkin: When a recipe calls for pumpkin I usually use a dense squash like butternut or buttercup that is not too watery.

    Harissa: I use rose harissa that tends to be milder than most so add yours a bit at a time to taste. Or use another hot pepper sauce for heat.

    Tahini: I use Soom tahini but whichever brand you use, when you taste it raw from the jar, it should not have a bitter aftertaste.


    1. Cut squash and sweet potato(es) (if large) in half and rub cut surfaces with oil, salt and thyme. place cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast in a preheated 400F oven for 40 to 50 minutes until tender. Cool. Remove squash and potato pulp from skin and mash with a potato masher or puree coarsely in a food processor. You should have about 3 cups.

    2. Beat in garlic, lemon juice, tahini, harissa, smoked paprika and salt. Season to taste.

    3. Serve as is or sprinkle with cilantro or see intro.

    Makes approximately 3 cups

    barbecue sauce:
  • 1 28oz tin plum tomatoes, with juices, mashed or pureed
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp each ground ginger, smoked paprika and kosher salt
  • 3/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp each ground cloves and allspice
  • 1 tsp pureed canned chipotle chiles, optional
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 8 lb whole brisket (approximate weight)
  • 2 tbsp each kosher salt, brown sugar and smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 large onions, sliced
  • 6 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup Bourbon or whisky
  • BRISKET WITH HOMEMADE BARBECUE SAUCEI have been making a recipe like this for years personalizing a store-bought barbecue sauce. But when a guest was coming over who was allergic to any kind of chiles or peppers and I could not identify safely what was in the store bought sauce, I started making my own. I love it so much more - it isn't as sweet and I can add (or not) the heat and smoky flavour I want. It has become a family favourite. If I am making it to use in other recipes, I usually cook two chopped onions and 2 chopped garlic cloves in 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil until tender, but not brown and then add remaining ingredients.

    I always buy a whole brisket because it includes the 'single' end which is quite lean and the 'double' end (the part I like) that is juicier (ie has more fat). That way everyone can have the part they like best. I also like making a whole brisket because the leftovers are so delicious - ramen, pho, beef and barley soup, sandwiches (hot or cold), tacos with guacamole, shepherd's pie, with pasta and so much more. It also freezes well.

    Brisket is a great make ahead dish as it reheats perfectly and easier to carve when cold.


    1. For the barbecue sauce bring tomatoes, sugar, maple syrup, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, mustard, ginger, paprika, salt, cumin, cloves, allspice, chipotle and pepper to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat and cook gently about 30 minutes until thicker. Adjust seasoning to taste. Cool.

    2. For brisket, combine salt, sugar, smoked paprika and pepper and rub into both sides of meat. Marinate 30 minutes or up to overnight in the refrigerator.

    3. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or roasting pan (that can be used on the stove preferably) and add onions. Cook until tender and just starting to brown - about 15 to 20 minutes. Add garlic and cook gently 5 minutes longer. Standing back, add Bourbon (it may ignite if pan is very hot) and bring to a boil. Place brisket on the onions and pour/spread barbecue sauce all over it. Add about 2 cups water to the pan, bring to a boil, cover meat directly with a piece of parchment paper and then cover tightly with a lid or aluminum foil. Roast in a preheated 325F oven for 4 to 5 hours or until very tender when pierced with a fork. Check every hour and add 1 cup more water if pan seems dry. Every brisket and every oven is different so do not worry - cook until tender. (Another reason it is good to make it ahead.)

    4. If top is not browned, remove cover and parchment paper, increase heat to 400F and cook 15 to 20 minutes longer, uncovered, until browned.

    5. If serving right away, remove brisket from pan to a carving board. Spoon off and discard any fat on surface of sauce. Carve meat across the grain and arrange overlapping slices in a large serving dish. Spread with sauce. If making ahead, refrigerate brisket and sauce separately. Slice meat when cold. Place in overlapping slices in a pan for reheating. Discard any fat solidified on sauce and spread sauce over meat. To reheat, cover with parchment paper and then tightly with aluminum foil and reheat in a preheated 350F oven 40 to 45 minute or until very hot.

    Makes 12 to 16 servings

  • 4 lbs tomatoes and cherry tomatoes, a variety of colours and sizes
  • 4 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 fresh jalapeno chile, sliced*
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 long sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs each fresh rosemary, oregano and basil
  • SHEET PAN ROASTED TOMATOES WITH HERBS AND GARLICTry to find local tomatoes in different colours, varieties and shapes but even just red ones from the garden, a neighbour or the supermarket will taste great when cooked this way. The roasting process evaporates some of the water, intensifying their flavour and then salt, olive oil and herbs maximize their taste. Serve as a vegetable or salad or toss with pasta, use on top of risotto or polenta, chop and use as a salsa, use on top of fish or chicken or burgers, serve with ricotta, labneh or hummus as an appetizer, delicious hot or room temperature – the possibilities are endless.

    *Chiles all vary in spiciness, even in the same kind (ie jalapeno), and sometimes you can't tell until it's too late. A trick is to cut off the stem and run your finger over the white part, taste it carefully (on your finger) and if it is really spicy use less and if it isn't spicy use it all. Also, if you remove the ribs (the spiciest part) and seeds it will be less spicy. Remember - you can never trust a chile.  *See kitchen hack above.


    1. Cut large tomatoes into 1/4" to 1/2" slices. Cut cherry tomatoes in half (small ones can be left whole). Cut long-ish plum tomatoes into rounds.  Arrange in a single layer on a 12"x18" baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Nestle garlic slices and jalapeno slices in and around the tomatoes. If tomatoes are really juicy squeeze out some of the juice and seeds into a bowl and use in salad dressing, soups or tomato sauces.

    2. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Arrange herbs over the top. (If the tomatoes look too delicious to cook, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and eat them now. Then start again.)

    3. Roast on bottom rack of a preheated 450F oven 25 to 35 minutes or until tomatoes are tinged with brown and herbs are dried. Discard stems of the herbs and any large brittle pieces. (Don't forget to dip some bread into the pan juices as the chef’s treat.)

    Makes 3 to 4 cups

  • 1 lb butternut squash, with skin, sliced in rounds or half rounds about 1/2" thick
  • 1 lb thin carrots, left whole (or halved lengthwise if thick)
  • 1 lb parsnips, sliced on the diagonal about 3/4" thick
  • 1 lb ruby beets, cleaned and cut into wedges
  • 1 lb golden beets, cleaned and cut into wedges
  • 2 red onions, halved and cut into wedges through the stem (to keep wedges together)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves

  • dressing:
  • 3 tbsp sherry vinegar or good red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt or more to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh parsley
  • sprigs of parsley
  • ROASTED ROOT VEGETABLES WITH BALSAMIC MAPLE DRESSINGThis delicious recipe was originally in my IACP award-winning cookbook Essentials of Home Cooking. This dish is great anytime but especially for autumn, Rosh Hashanah, Thanksgiving and those celebrating a new focus on vegetables.


    1. Place vegetables, separately or together, in a large bowl and toss gently with 2 tbsp olive oil, honey, salt, pepper and thyme leaves. Spread on two 12"x18" sheet pans lined with parchment paper and roast in a preheated 400F oven 35 to 40 minutes or until lightly browned.

    2. For dressing combine sherry vinegar with balsamic, brown sugar, maple syrup, olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss with warm vegetables. Add parsley. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

    3. Serve warm or at room temperature.

    Serves 10 to 12

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or Cup4Cup gf flour)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (or unflavoured vegetable oil)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract or paste

  • filling:
  • 2 lbs McIntosh apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped (must be McIntosh apples), 6 large, about 8 cups
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp coarse sugar
  • RUTHIE'S APPLE CAKEThis is the cake my mom made almost every Friday night and of course for Rosh Hashanah. It’s one of my favourite cakes and of course is my husband’s favourite. Use McIntosh apples for the right texture - they do not keep their shape well and kind of melt into the cake a little. Most Jewish moms have a recipe similar to this and it always uses oil rather than butter so it can be served with a meat dinner on Shabbat (to be kosher, milk and meat cannot be served at the same dinner). I use extra virgin olive oil for its health benefits and flavour although in baking it is harder to taste the oil.

    This cake is delicious plain but tastes great with caramel sauce and ice cream (if kosher is not an issue).

    Note: I sometimes make this in a tube pan (see photo) and line it with parchment so I can lift it out but it can be tricky.


    1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9" springform pan or 9" round deep baking pan with parchment paper.

    2. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt about 60 seconds.

    3. In another large bowl whisk (or use a hand mixer) eggs until light and slowly drip in olive oil until well combined. Slowly beat in sugar. Mix in orange juice and vanilla.

    4. With a wooden spoon stir flour into egg mixture just until combined and no flour is left unincorporated.

    5. Combine apples with sugar and cinnamon.

    6. Spread about half the batter over the bottom of the pan (about 1 1/2 cups). It will not seem like much. Don't worry. Spoon in all the apples. It will look like there are too many apples. Don't worry. Drizzle with remaining batter - don't worry if it doesn't look like there's enough. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.

    7. Bake 50 to 60 minutes until browned and firm in the centre or until an instant read thermometer registers at least 185F.

    Makes 10 to 12 servings

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (or 1/4 tsp pure almond extract or 1 tbsp grated lemon or orange peel)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 lbs oval, Italian purple plums, halved and pitted (about 12 to 16 plums depending on size)

  • topping:
  • 3 tbsp coarse sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • icing sugar, optional
  • AMAZING PLUM CAKEThis cake is so easy to make and yet tastes like you have been working for days. Use those small, oval, purple plums, sometimes called Italian plums for especially delicious results. But you can also use peaches, nectarines or blueberries. Serve as is or with lightly whipped cream or ice cream. This is my slightly altered version of Marion Burros’ famous plum torte from the New York Times.


    1. With a hand mixer or food processor beat butter until light. Add sugar and beat a few minutes until lighter in colour. Beat in eggs and vanilla.

    2. In another bowl whisk flour with baking powder and salt. Stir into butter mixture.

    3. Spread batter evenly over the bottom of a 9" springform pan or square baking dish. Arrange plums, skin side up on top of the batter as close together as possible. (If you have extra plums - eat them.)

    4. In a small bowl combine sugar with cinnamon. Sprinkle over the top of the plums.

    5. Bake in a preheated 350F oven 40 to 50 minutes until plums are cooked and the cake springs back when pressed gently in the centre. To be sure the cake should register 185F when an instant read meat thermometer is inserted into the middle.

    Makes 8 to 10 servings

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