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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.


October 2021

I have some great news: Omar El Akkad's new book, What Strange Paradise, featured in our book club for October, has been short-listed for the Giller Prize! Congratulations Omar and to all the authors who have been nominated. See Bonnie's Book Club below for details.

In other news - it's almost Thanksgiving! Not sure how that happened.
I'm sure we're all feeling a bit drained and at the same time there is much to be thankful for. Thanksgiving is a holiday that my family loves to celebrate. We always make the same menu: turkey, cornbread stuffing, cranberry sauce and gravy and an apple something for dessert. I am including some recipes for you below and check my Instagram for more recipes this week - @bonniestern. Aside from turkey and stuffing, I love October for the changing leaves, the seasonal soups and hearty dishes. I'm hoping this October I can add 'booster shots' to reasons why I'm happy the month is here.

Wishing everyone a safe and meaningful (and delicious) Thanksgiving.





Kitchen Tip
FREEZING STONE FRUITThis is a valuable tip from Jenny Cheng-Burke who is a great baker and has many stone fruit trees. You can also, of course, freeze seasonal fruit from the market or grocery store.

Wash fruit well. Cut in half and remove the pit. Line a 9x13 inch baking sheet or pan with parchment paper and place fruit cut side up, in a single layer, not touching each other if possible, on the pan. Freeze for a few hours and then transfer frozen fruit to resealable freezer bags. Use frozen fruit for pie fillings, fruit crisps, sauces, muffins and it even works in upside down cakes.

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.


OMAR EL AKKAD: WHAT STRANGE PARADISEMore bodies have washed up on the shores of a small island. Another over-filled, ill-equipped, dilapidated ship has sunk under the weight of its too many passengers: Syrians, Ethiopians, Egyptians, Lebanese, Palestinians, all of them desperate to escape untenable lives in their homelands. And only one has made the passage: nine-year-old Amir, a Syrian boy who has the good fortune to fall into the hands not of the officials but of Vanna: a teenage girl, native to the island, who lives inside her own sense of homelessness in a place and among people she has come to disdain. And though she and the boy are complete strangers, though they don't speak a common language, she determines to do whatever it takes to save him.

In alternating chapters, we learn the story of the boy's life and how he came to be on the boat; and we follow the girl and boy as they make their way toward a vision of safety. But as the novel unfurls, we begin to understand that this is not merely the story of two children finding their way through a hostile world, it is the story of our collective moment in this time: of empathy and indifference, of hope and despair and of the way each of those things can blind us to reality, or guide us to a better one.

Date: Monday, October 25, 2021
Time: 7:30 pm EST
Place: Virtual
Fee*: $175 + HST
includes a catered meal from The Edible Story, wine, delivery, gratuity and a copy of What Strange Paradise (autographed if possible) sent out as soon as available.
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.

Cancellations can be accepted until Tuesday October 12, 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 regarding change of address for the meal delivery by Monday October 18, 2021.

The Edible Story
The Edible Story Box
The Edible Story box2

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.

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. One of her favourites and very popular formats is to bring families together who are separated by distance to cook and enjoy dinner together.

Contact for more information and rates. Subject line: Bonnie’s Cooking Events. Events can be personalized but some of the popular themes are:

Italian All the Time

French Country Cooking

Israeli Family Dinner

Mediterranean Flavours


Thursday April 28 to Wednesday May 4, 2022

We 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 lock down occurred. We are now hoping to do this tour in spring 2022. We will send out an email when the itinerary and price are available to all those who requested information.

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 and that's just the beginning of a magical and delicious trip.

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

If you are interested in receiving additional information, email Bonnie at Subject line: Fogo Island.


Sunday November 20 to Tuesday November 29, 2022

At the beginning of 2020 we had a magical 10th anniversary Eating Israel Culinary Tour. We are now planning a tour for November 2022 and will send out an email when the itinerary and price are available to all those who requested information.

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 Dovercourt Road
416 530 0008
Anna had a delicious meal on the patio here last week. She says the chicken cannot be beat, the beets with labneh and dukkah were delicious and the soft serve sundae was as good as they always look on Instagram!
Gouter Bakery
300 Eglinton Ave W
416 519 9967
Although a branch of this Bathurst Street bakery opened very close to my house last year, I never tasted anything there until they turned up at The Eglinton Way Farmers' Market and I saw something called a Cinnamon Knot. It is really a wonderful pastry that you should try if you like pastries. Ray also loves the Kouign Amann and the baguette. The bakery is open Wednesday to Sunday.
Tutto Pronto  
1718 Avenue Road
416 782 2227
Tasty modern style Southern Italian food and very good service. Nice roof top patio.
12 Tables
1552 Avenue Road
416 590 7819
Healthy portions. Francine recommends the fig salad and fresh whole fish.
1967 Avenue Road
416 519 8222
This is Francine's favourite. Nice menu selections. Wonderful service. Very comfortable.
Featured Recipes
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, thickly sliced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 whole chicken, 3 1/2 to 4 lbs
  • 1 small lemon, halved
  • few sprigs of fresh thyme fresh tarragon
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine, stock or water

  • salad:
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 5 oz mixed greens
  • CHICKEN IN A POT WITH SALADI loved this idea from Dorie Greenspan. It makes a great Friday night dinner and if you are having a small Thanksgiving this is perfect! Here's my slightly adapted version.

    1. Preheat oven to 425F.

    2. Pour half the olive oil into a Dutch oven or casserole large enough to hold the chicken. Place most of the the onions, garlic and carrots in the pot. Stuff the rest inside the chicken. Place 1/2 lemon inside the chicken. Do not truss the chicken and just set it on top of the vegetables. Pour the remaining olive oil over the chicken and season generously with salt and pepper. Slice the remaining half lemon and place on or around the chicken. Top with sprigs of herbs and pour in the wine. Cover the surface of the chicken with parchment paper.

    3. Cover pot tightly, transfer to the oven and cook about 50 minutes. Remove the cover and parchment paper and return chicken to the oven to brown 10 to 15 minutes. Chicken is ready when a meat thermometer inserted into the meaty portion of the thigh reaches at least 165F. (You can also turn on the broiler for a few minutes but watch it closely.)

    4. Transfer chicken and vegetables to a serving platter. Place the pot on the stove. You want about 1/2 cup of pan juices so add water if necessary. Cook gently, scraping any solidified juices up from the bottom of the pot. If your roasting pot can't be used on the direct heat transfer juice to a small saucepan and as long as it isn't burned on the bottom, add a little water and scrape anything stuck to the bottom. (Burnt is bad but dark brown has lots of flavour.)

    5. For the dressing, in a small bowl whisk mustard with vinegar and whisk in the pan juices. Season to taste.

    6. Cut up the chicken and place on salad greens and drizzle it all with the dressing.

    Makes 4 servings
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary or fresh thyme or fresh sage, optional
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cut into 1/2" chunks
  • 1/2 cup grated old Cheddar or smoked Cheddar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

  • topping:
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • tiny sprigs of fresh herbs, sesame or pumpkin seeds or flaky salt
  • THANKSGIVING SCONESIt is quick and easy to have homemade 'bread' for Thanksgiving dinner or brunch the next day, if you make scones. They taste best freshly baked but you can make them the same day and rewarm in the oven at 350F for about 10 minutes. They also make delicious appetizers - make them mini and serve with spreads. Leftover are great halved and toasted.

    1. Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

    2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, herbs and salt for about 30 seconds. In another bowl beat egg with buttermilk.

    3. Add butter to the flour and break it into smaller pieces with a pastry blender or your fingertips. Stir in grated cheese. Make a well in the centre and add egg mixture. Gently and quickly gather ingredients together to form a rough dough with your fingertips or a wooden spoon. Flour counter lightly and pat dough out to a square about 3/4 to 1" thick. Cut dough with a very sharp knife into quarters, cut in half on the diagonal to make 8 fairly large triangular scones or you can cut it into 9 squares.

    4. Place scones on a parchment paper lined sheet pan. Brush tops with egg. Sprinkle with seeds or herbs.

    5. Bake in a preheated 425F oven for 14 to 16 minutes, turning pan around after about 8 minutes, or until browned on top and bottom (peak).                                                                        

    Makes about 8 to 9 scones

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, lightly measured
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon or cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

  • caramelized fruit:
  • 3 lbs apples, Honey Crisp, Northern Spy, Granny Smith, Fuji, or a combination, peeled, cored and cut into about 1" chunks
  • 2 pears, Anjou or Bartlett, or a combination, peeled, cored and cut into about 1" chunks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • CARAMELIZED APPLE & PEAR CRUMBLERay says this is a perfect Thanksgiving dessert! Recently I received a message from a reader who has been following my recipes for years that she couldn't find my recipe for a caramelized apple crisp. I couldn't find it either but it sounded so good I reinvented it. Then she found it in my almost 30-year-old More Heartsmart cookbook. Here's my reinvention - not quite as HeartSmart - so just eat a small piece. Ray says - impossible.

    1. Lightly butter or spray a 9"x13" baking dish. Preheat oven to 350F.

    2. In a medium sized bowl, combine flour with oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. With a dinner fork, stir in melted butter thoroughly - the mixture should look like large and small crumbs. Reserve.

    3. Sprinkle granulated sugar over the bottom of a large non-stick skillet. Stir in water until sugar is moistened and cook, without stirring and without leaving the stove, until sugar melts and turns caramel. (If sugar burns,do not add fruit, start again.) Add the apples and pears and turn over in the caramel and cook about one minute.

    4. Spoon fruit and juices into prepared pan and sprinkle crumb mixture evenly over top. Bake 45 to 55 minutes or until fruit is very tender when pierced with a knife and top has browned. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

    Makes 8 to 10 servings
  • 1 1/4 cup cake flour (or 2 tbsp less all-purpose)
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg plus 1 yolk
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups combination of dried fruits such as chopped pitted dates, dried sour apricots, dried cherries or raisins
  • 1 1/2 cups combination of chopped nuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds
  • SURVIVAL COOKIESRemembering when I taught cooking classes @cmh_heli for their heli-hiking program at Valemount Lodge.  Guests were taken by helicopter to isolated mountain ridges, glaciers and little turquoise lakes in the Bugaboo Mountains and I got to go too. It was about as close to heaven as it gets. I have slightly adapted and downsized the original recipe for the delicious cookie we took on these hikes from Chef Melissa Radcliffe.

    1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

    2. In a medium sized mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Add oats. Reserve.

    3. In a large mixing bowl beat butter and sugars with a mixer or a wooden spoon until light. Add egg and yolk and stir in vanilla. Stir in flour mixture. Add dried fruit, nuts and seeds.

    4. Shape into 30 balls (about 3 tbsp each), arrange them all on one of the baking sheets in a single layer, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate one hour.

    5. Preheat oven to 325F. Re-arrange cookies to have about 9 or 10 on one baking sheet with lots of space in between. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, after 12 minutes flatten with a fork and continue to bake 2 to 3 minutes longer until cookies brown - they should be crispy at the edges but chewy inside. Cool a few minutes before removing from pan. Repeat until all cookies are baked.

    makes about 30 cookies
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