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Bonnie Stern

Phone: 416 484 4810


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About Bonnie

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

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

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


January, 2021

Every year in January the food community talks about food trends. It can seem a bit frivolous, but in the last few years the discussions have included very important topics and 2020 highlighted some of the most important ones. The one that is especially meaningful to me is home cooking. I have spent my career trying to convince people that cooking is an important skill and isn't as hard as many food companies make you think it is; but I never expected there would be a pandemic which would cause a home cooking revolution. Here are some other trends.

Accountability in the restaurant industry; African and African-American cooking; baking at home; baking kits; bar-tending at home; boards - charcuterie boards of cold cuts, fish and seafood, cheese, desserts, vegetarian; homemade bone broth (formerly known as stock); brand buying based on ownership (women, minorities, Black), location (buying local), ethics, sustainability; bread baking; breakfasts; canning; cheese; chick peas; cocktails, coffee not just in your cup - coffee flavour in everything; comfort food; compassion; delivery by restaurants; family meals; fermenting; food waste; functional ingredients; fusion; ghost kitchens (buy more than one brand with one payment and delivery); gluten is back (bread, pasta, pizza); gratitude; grocery delivery; gut health; hemp; high end restaurant chefs coming to your home to cook; high end restaurants selling meal kits; home cooking; hope; hygiene; immune boosting foods and drinks; Instagram food; keto diet (by any name); kindness; meal kits; no-tipping policy in restaurants and paying staff a decent wage; no waste; nut milks; outdoor dining; patience; pasta making at home; pizza ovens; plant based diets; plant based meat and fish; political advocacy; pop up restaurants; preserving; restaurant closures; restaurant cooking at home; restaurant overhaul; restaurants in high rise or office towers; sanitation; snacking; spices and spice blends; social media for restaurant recommendations; sustainable agriculture, farming, fishing and food; tahini and halvah; take-out and delivery from restaurants with various price ranges; tipping included; tipping staff in pandemic take-out; tofu; touchless payment and delivery; travelling in the kitchen; vaccines; virtual cooking classes; Zoom!

We are continuing our virtual book and dinner clubs into the new year and planning more - see below for the wonderful Alan Doyle! And the great thing is you don't have to worry about the weather, parking, babysitting, what to wear and so much more.

Take-out during the pandemic is keeping our restaurants alive. If you can, order from your local restaurants, pick up rather than use a delivery service and use the restaurants' delivery if they have one. Have patience and be forgiving if everything isn't perfect.

Wishing you good health and the vaccine in 2021.


Kitchen Tip
MAKING PANCAKESInstead of adding fresh or frozen blueberries (or any fruit for that matter or even chocolate chips) to a pancake batter, add it to the pancakes before you flip them over. This way the fruit will not discolour the batter and will be evenly distributed between the pancakes.

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.

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

The Book and Dinner Club comes with a delicious catered meal and wine from The Edible Story, delivered to your home the day of the event. A signed copy of our featured book will be sent out in advance so that you will have the opportunity to read it before the meeting.
ALAN DOYLE: ALL TOGETHER NOWWe are thrilled to announce this meeting of the Book and Dinner Club featuring the beloved singer/songwriter/actor/producer/bestselling author Alan Doyle as he discusses his new book All Together Now: A Newfoundlander’s Light Tales For Heavy Times.

One of Newfoundland’s funniest and most beloved storytellers offers his cure for these uncertain times.

Is there a more sociable province than Newfoundland and Labrador? Or anywhere in Canada with a greater reputation for coming to the rescue of those in need?

At this difficult time, singer, songwriter and bestselling author Alan Doyle is feeling everyone’s pain. Off the road and spending more days at home than he has since he was a child hawking cod tongues on the wharfs of Petty Harbour, he misses the crowds and companionship of performing across the country and beyond. But most of all he misses the cheery clamour of pubs in his hometown, where one yarn follows another so quickly “you have to be as ready as an Olympian at the start line to get your tale in before someone is well into theirs already.” We’re all experiencing our own version of that deprivation, and Alan, one of Newfoundland’s finest storytellers, wants to offer a little balm.

All Together Now is a gathering in book form – a virtual Newfoundland pub. There are adventures in foreign lands, including an apparently filthy singalong in Polish (well, he would have sung along if he’d understood the language), a real-life ghost story involving an elderly neighbour, a red convertible and a clown horn, a potted history of his social drinking, and heartwarming reminiscences from another past world, childhood – all designed to put a smile on our faces.

Alan Doyle has never been in better form – nor more welcome. As he says about this troubling time: “We get through it. We do what has to be done. Then, we celebrate. With the best of them.”

Date: Monday, January 18, 2021 (a few spots available)
Time: 7:30 pm to 9 pm EST
Place: Virtual
Fee*: $175 + HST
(includes a catered meal from The Edible Story, wine, delivery, gratuity and an autographed copy of All Together Now sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only:
Call Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810

Some geographical restrictions may apply.

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

 can be accepted until Monday January 4, 2021. A $50 charge (plus HST) applies to cover the administration fee and cost of the book. However, you may have someone take your place for no additional charge. It is the attendee’s responsibility to notify us re change of address for the meal delivery by Friday January 15, 2021.

The Edible Story
The Edible Story Box
The Edible Story box2

The Edible Story

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

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

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

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

Challah Workshop

Italian All the Time

Israeli Family Dinner

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

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

If you are interested in receiving information, once it is available, email Bonnie at Subject line: Fogo Island. Everyone on our Food Tour list will receive information about any culinary tours and/or travelling book clubs as well.
EATING ISRAEL: THE LAND OF DIVERSITY AND CULTUREWe had a magical 10th anniversary Eating Israel Culinary Tour. Normally by now our February 2021 tour would be planned, information sent out and fully booked, but of course, these are not normal times. For now, we are postponing that tour and we will let you know once air travel resumes and it feels safe - looking at March 2022.

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

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

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

A gorgeous February day in Israel

My favourite coffee shop in Tel Aviv

Everyday is a busy day at Port Said

Restaurant Recommendations and More
202 Davenport Road
416 925 1903

Even though Joso's has always been one of my favourite Toronto restaurants, I never thought to order take-out until a few weeks ago. It was so delicious and tasted like I was right there - but in my mind. We ordered the calamari (I think the best in Toronto); spaghetti Leonardo, grilled gamberoni and a light, creamy tiramisu for dessert.
Moderate to expensive
Azhar Marketplace
96 Ossington Avenue
416 503 1098

This new marketplace on Ossington, is a new venture from talented chef, Stuart Cameron with Janet Zuccarini of Gusto 54 Restaurant Group. It will eventually become a restaurant but for now sells amazing breads from the wood-burning oven and prepared Middle Eastern spreads and snacks. Anna had their house-made hallumi and  balls of labane rolled in za'atar and preserved in olive oil.
Momofuku Noodle Bar
190 University Avenue
647 253 6225

We were a little jealous when Mark ordered from Noodle Bar - but we were happy for him! We had wonderful memories of the dishes he ordered - the ginger scallion noodles; the pork bun and Sichuan chili chicken rice cakes (that had a kick but were so flavourful).
Pai Uptown
2335 Yonge Street
(just north of Eglinton)
416 901 4724

It is so exciting to have Pai in our neighborhood. It's the sister restaurant of the very popular Pai (downtown) owned by Nuit Regular who owns Sabai Sabai, Kiin and Sukhothai also in downtown Toronto. We especially love pad see ew with broad rice noodles, pad Thai with tofu and green curry chicken. They also have a wonderful new cookbook out called Kiin by Nuit Regular (PenguinCanada).
2633 Yonge Street
416 293 2600

We love the modern Indian food from Pukka on St. Clair and sister Pukka Pukka. We especially love the samosas, sticky prawns, squash curry, butter chicken and brisket. We try to order something new each time - this time we had pukka chaat and cauliflower with tamarind and caramelized onions - everything is always delicious.
Dynasty Chinese Cuisine
69 Yorkville Avenue
416 923 3323


It was a different Jewish Christmas this year but satisfying nonetheless. Instead of 'Chinese and a movie', we ordered take-out from Dynasty and it was delicious - our faves are har gow (shrimp dumplings); char siu bao (bbq pork buns); cheung fun (steamed rice noodle rolls filled with shrimp or bbq pork); honey black pepper beef short ribs and stir-fried rice noodles with beef. And then instead of a movie, we watched Condor on tv!
Golden Turtle
125 Ossington Avenue
416 531 1601

When we order from Golden Turtle we usually order chicken or tofu pho but Anna orders a rice noodle bowl with spring rolls and grilled shrimp (bun) and fresh rolls - so delicious.
Stock T.C.
2388 Yonge Street
416 489 1020

What a combo - Cumbrae's (my fave butcher) and Terroni. Fresh and beautiful store with a great meat counter, bakery, take-out foods and the best rotisserie chicken ever. The chicken itself is big and plump enough for 4 servings and then it isn't overcooked - a rarity in the rotisserie chicken world.
Fresh Harvest Fine Foods
546 Eglinton Avenue W.
416 487 0388
Fresh Harvest has been my favourite produce market for many years but especially now it is my lifeline for the freshest and best produce. I miss going into the store but their delivery is always just what I want.
Featured Recipes
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 6 to 8 oz semisweet chocolate
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • approximately 28 miniature marshmallows
  • cinnamon sticks, optional
  • WINTER 2021 HOT CHOCOLATEIf you find yourself outside more this winter and need something to warm you up, nothing beats homemade hot chocolate. You can use cooking chocolate, chocolate chips or broken up chocolate bars. If you like it less sweet use bittersweet (not unsweetened!) chocolate. For a less rich version use part water, part milk. For a richer version use part cream and part milk. If you have leftovers -  reheat gently.


    1. Microwave method: Heat milk and chocolate in a 4-cup glass measuring cup on High for 3 to 4 minutes or until milk is very hot and chocolate is melting on the bottom. Whisk gently until well combined. If necessary continue cooking for 30 seconds at a time.

    or Conventional method: Place milk in a medium sized saucepan on medium heat until milk is almost at a boil. Remove from heat and add chocolate. Whisk gently until chocolate is completely melted and combined. Mixture should be hot - reheat gently over low heat, stirring, if it has cool down a bit.

    Either method be careful as chocolate burns easily and milk can boil over easily.

    2. Whisk in vanilla. Taste and add a bit more chocolate if necessary.

    3. Place marshmallows in the mugs and pour in hot chocolate mixture. (Add a cinnamon stick if you have one as a stirrer.)

    Makes 4 servings

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 leek (or onion), trimmed and well-cleaned, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 6 cups diced vegetables (carrots, celery, celeriac, parsnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, rutabaga etc)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp harissa or curry paste (or more depending on brand and your own tolerance), optional
  • 6 to 8 cups chicken stock*
  • 1/2 cup basmati rice, rinsed or 1/2 cup small pasta such as orzo
  • 1 to 2 cups cooked or canned chick peas, or other cooked legumes
  • approximately 3 cups (1 lb) shredded cooked chicken*
  • 1 to 2 tbsp lemon juice to taste
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Handful baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, parsley or dill
  • CHICKEN SOUP DINNEROne of my favourite new cookbooks this year is The Chicken Soup Manifesto by Jenn Louis (Chronicle Books). It features recipes for nourishing, comforting and delicious chicken soups from around the world. There were so many I wanted to try but ended making my own version using the meat from a rotisserie chicken plus vegetables and ingredients I had on hand. It was a perfect comfort food dinner. Here's the basic recipe with lots of variations.

    *In her book, if you do not have chicken already cooked (eg leftover or rotisserie), Jenn Louis calls for cooking a whole chicken, or parts of a chicken, bone-in, skin-on if possible for extra flavour, in chicken stock first and then meat removed and shredded (discard skin and bones). Use the stock for the soup and add the shredded chicken to the soup at the end to reheat.

    1. Heat olive oil in a large pot or medium Dutch oven. Add leeks and cook gently until softened. Add garlic and diced vegetables and cook gently about 5 minutes.

    2. Stir in tomato paste and harissa if using. Cook gently, stirring, about 30 seconds. Add stock. Bring to a boil and simmer 15 minutes until vegetables are almost tender. Add rice and chick peas. Cook another 10 to 15 minutes until rice is tender.

    3. Add shredded chicken and heat thoroughly. Add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

    4. Just before serving add spinach and herbs. Stir and spinach will soften in less than a minute.

    Makes 4 to 6 large servings
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil - divided
  • 4 cloves garlic (smallish), crushed
  • 2 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp each ground turmeric, cardamom, cumin and 1/4 tsp each sweet paprika and chile flakes (mix together)
  • pepper
  • 1 1/2 lbs cod fillets, about 3/4" thick, (skin on), cut into 4 pieces
  • 4 fresh bay leaves, optional
  • 2 lemons, one very thinly sliced and one cut into wedges
  • 1/4 cup tahini sauce, optional
  • ROASTED COD WITH CILANTRO CRUSTEvery recipe that I have made from Falastin, Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley's new cookbook about Palestine, has been delicious. I made this with cod but have also made it with salmon and halibut. It is so quick and easy but tastes so incredible, it makes you feel like a great chef.

    This recipe has been edited slightly.

    1. Preheat oven to its highest temperature (usually 450F or 500F). Line a roasting pan with parchment paper. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a small saucepan or skillet over medium low heat. Add garlic and cook about a minute. Add cilantro, spices, 1/4 tsp salt and a grinding of pepper.  Cook very gently about 4 minutes until garlic softens. Remove from heat.

    2. Place fish skin side down on prepared baking sheet. Brush with remaining 2 tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper. Spread cilantro paste evenly over each piece of fish. Place one or two lemon slices on each piece and a fresh bay leaf if using. Roast in preheated very hot oven. Start testing to see if it is ready at 8 minutes and keep checking after that so it doesn't overcook. It should be barely cooked through. Time depends on your oven and how thick the fish is. (My fish was 3/4" thick and in my oven took 11 minutes.)

    3. Serve fish with lemon wedges and a drizzle of tahini if using.

    Makes 4 servings
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • BLUEBERRY PANCAKESThese blueberry pancakes are so easy and delicious. The recipe is adapted from Kelowna restaurateur, Chef Rod Butters, in his beautiful book The Okanagan Table. Make it with other fruit too - fresh or frozen.

    1. In a small bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt until well blended. In another bowl whisk eggs with yogurt, milk and vanilla. Mix dry ingredients with egg mixture just until combined - don't worry if there are a few lumps.

    2. Heat butter in a large non stick pan. Stir butter into to batter. Return pan to heat. Add batter to pan about 2 tbsp for each pancake (I use a small 2 tbsp ice cream scoop) and flatten slightly. Arrange a few blueberries on the top of each pancake and press in. This stops the batter from appearing grey/blue and also ensures even distribution of berries.

    3. Cook a few minutes, and when the top loses its sheen and small bubbles appear flip and cook the second side. Serve with maple syrup.

    Makes 2 to 4 servings
  • 12 oz pitted dates (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

  • butterscotch sauce:
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (preferably dark brown)
  • 1 1/4 cups whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces
  • STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING CAKEThis is one of the most popular cakes whether you bake it in individual cakes in a muffin pan or ramekins or baked as a whole. Serve it with whipped cream or ice cream in addition to the sauce - if you dare (I always do). If you bake it as a whole cake use a 9" springform pan and bake about one hour or until - a toothpick or skewer inserted into the middle should come out dry or an instant read meat thermometre should read 185F to 195F.

    1. Combine dates with water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add baking soda, let stand 5 minutes. Puree. Cool

    2. Preheat oven to 350F. Butter (or spray or use paper liners) a 12-cup muffin pan or ramekins.

    3. Cream butter with sugar with an electric mixer. Beat in eggs, one at a time.

    4. In another bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix flour mixture into batter alternately with the pureed dates in 3 or 4 additions beginning and ending with flour. Scoop batter into prepared pans and bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

    5. Meanwhile, for sauce, combine sugar, cream and butter in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer gently 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.

    6. Prick cakes with a skewer or fork when it is still hot and drizzle about half the sauce over the top and let it sink in. Cool cakes for 10 minutes and then gently remove from pans. Pour on remaining sauce as you serve.

    Makes 12 cakes
  • 2 lbs apples (one kind or a combination of different varieties is even better)
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup brown sugar (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • VERY QUICK APPLESAUCE WITH BROWN SUGAR AND CINNAMONIt was Hanukkah and I was making latkes at the last minute and realized I didn't have any applesauce. I was going to make it  earlier but forgot. Then I remembered my friend Mitchell Davis' makes small amounts of jam in the microwave so I thought that might work and it did! Quickly, Ray peeled some apples we found in the fridge, I cut them into chunks (avoiding the cores), put them in a microwave safe bowl, added some brown sugar and cinnamon and before we knew it we had amazing chunky applesauce just the way we love it. Here's what we did.

    The thing about cooking in the microwave (and why I do not do it often) is that the more food you have, the longer it takes so if you have more than 2 lbs of apples don't worry if it takes longer.

    1. Peel apples, cut in half, remove cores with a melon baller (Parisienne cutter) and cut apples into chunks. Put them in a microwave safe bowl - I used an 8-cup glass measuring cup. Add brown sugar and cinnamon.

    2. Place in microwave and cook on High for 5 minutes. Stir. Do not worry if apples do not seem cooked or there is liquid in the bottom of the bowl. Cook for another 5 minutes. Stir. Do not worry if there is more liquid. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes longer, stirring after 4, 5 and 6 minutes, or longer until apples are very tender and almost all the liquid has evaporated. Apples will still be in chunks but will be tender.

    3. Mash apples with a potato masher - I like them kind of chunky but puree if you prefer. Delicious warm or cold.

    Makes about 2 cups
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