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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 authors 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. Bonnie was inducted into the Taste Canada Hall of Fame in 2021.


September 2023

And just like that it's September. After so many years at school (even though that was such a long time ago) September always feels like a beginning and it is also Rosh Hashanah for those of us who celebrate, making it feel like it is new start.

There are so so many things to look forward to. I am excited to welcome my good friend Adeena Sussman back to Toronto. She will be on tour for her new cookbook Shabbat: Recipes and Rituals from My Table to Yours. Adeena will be a guest author for a special book club with us - Shabbat! Friday October 20th. See our book club section below for details. She will also be doing two brunches with Chef Anthony Rose at Fet Zun on Saturday, October 21st. Adeena lives and works in Tel Aviv and is always a delicious part of our Eating Israel Culinary Tour.

This month Anna and I will be in Ottawa doing a private event featuring our cookbook, Don't Worry Just Cook. We are also looking forward to welcoming Michael Crummey again to our book club. His new book The Adversary is amazing!

And we are looking forward to seeing Jake Cohen with his new book I Could Nosh, at the Prosserman JCC on Wednesday, September 20th.

We are getting closer to finalizing itineraries for our tours to Israel and Newfoundland in 2024. We have the tour dates so check that out in our News and Events section below to see if you can join us.

Farmers' Markets have the best produce right now and it is the most wonderful time to cook.

Delicious wishes

Kitchen Tip
Salad Dressing Jars
Salad Dressing JarsThere are lots of great kitchen tips in Adeena Sussman's new cookbook Shabbat. One that I have started using is making salad dressings in preserving jars - you can close them tightly, shake all the ingredients up (instead of whisking), use what you need and then refrigerate any leftover dressing right in the jar. (Be sure to label it!)

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.

PLEASE NOTE: There is a price increase for all book clubs starting in September 2023 - we held out as long as possible!


MICHAEL CRUMMEY: THE ADVERSARYBonnie is so excited to be launching the 20th season of the Book Club this fall and is so grateful to everyone who continues to celebrate great authors and delicious food with this truly unique event.

What better way to kick off this amazing anniversary edition of the Book Club than with one of her favourite authors. Award-winning novelist Michael Crummey will make a long-overdue return for a very special Friday night dinner with Newfoundland flare as he launches his new novel The Adversary.

In an isolated outport on Newfoundland's northern coastline, Abe Strapp is about to marry the daughter of a rival merchant to cement his hold on the shore when the Widow Caines arrives to throw the wedding and Abe's plans into chaos.

That ruthless act of sabotage is the opening salvo in a battle between the man and woman who own Mockbeggar's largest mercantile firms, each fighting for the scarce resources of the north Atlantic fishery, each seeking a measure of revenge on the person they despise most in the world. As their unshakeable animosity spirals further each year into vendettas and violence, the community is increasingly divided and even the innocents in Mockbeggar find themselves forced to take sides, with devastating consequences.

Through merciless seasons of uncertainty and want, through predatory storms and pandemics and marauding privateers, it is the human heart that reveals itself to be the most formidable and unpredictable adversary for each person drawn, inevitably and helplessly, into that endless feud.

Compulsively readable and uncompromising, The Adversary is a pitch-perfect evocation of a lost time, and a shadowed mirror to our modern politics of grievance and retribution. It is Michael Crummey's finest novel to date.
Date: Friday September 29, 2023
Please note that this book club is on a Friday night
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: The Edible Story
320 Richmond Street East #105, Toronto
Fee: 195 + HST (includes dinner, beverages, gratuity, author talk and a copy of The Adversary sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810



Although Bonnie's Book Club usually features fiction and memoirs, every once in a while we celebrate a special cookbook. And this cookbook, by Bonnie's good friend and colleague, Adeena Sussman, is special in so many ways. And how much more special can it be to be able to share a Shabbat dinner with Adeena when she is in Toronto on tour for her new book.

As a child, Adeena looked forward to the magic of Shabbat - the traditional Jewish day of rest - all week. A treasured time when family and friends come together to relax, unwind, and revel in one another’s company during open-ended, tantalizing meals, Shabbat has been practiced all over the world and throughout history. In Sussman’s home, then and now, the Shabbat table is a centering force, a nourishing place where one and all are welcome. It’s an opportunity every week to feed the soul.

Woven throughout the recipes is a rich portrait of Shabbat in Israel, where Adeena now lives and where Shabbat is practically a national holiday. Taking us inside the kitchens and traditions of local cooks who have shared their most beloved recipes, Shabbat brings to life Sussman’s adopted home country with transporting, slice-of-life storytelling. Deeply personal and brimming with life, Shabbat, the cookbook, inspires us all to embrace the delights of Shabbat. Now more than ever, that Shabbat feeling is what we all need whether it is a Friday night or anytime when families and friends get together for a meal.

Date: Friday October 20, 2023
Please note that this book club is on a Friday night
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: The Edible Story
320 Richmond Street East #105, Toronto
Fee: 195 + HST includes dinner (recipes from Shabbat), beverages, gratuity, author talk and a copy of Shabbat sent out as soon as possible
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810


KEN DRYDEN: THE CLASSBonnie is pleased to welcome back bestselling author (and legendary goaltender) Ken Dryden to the Book Club as he launches The Class, a moving and audacious look at Canada’s coming of age through a very special lens.

On Tuesday, September 6, 1960, the day after Labour Day, class 9G at Etobicoke Collegiate Institute in a suburb of Toronto assembled for the first time. Its thirty-five students, having written special exams, came to be known as the “Selected Class.”  They would stay together through high school, with few exceptions. They would spend more than two hundred days a year together. Few had known each other before. Few have been in other than accidental contact in all the decades since. Their ancestors were almost all from working-class backgrounds. Their parents had lived their formative years through depression and war. They themselves were born into a postwar world of new homes, new schools, new churches and new suburbs. Of new classes like this one. Of boundless possibilities. When almost anything seems within reach, what do we reach for?

Ken Dryden was one of these thirty-five. In his varied, improbable life, he had wondered often how he had gotten from there to here. How any of us do. He decided to try and find his classmates, to see how they are, what they are doing, how life has been for them. They talked many long hours, in a way they had never talked before. Most had married, some divorced, most have kids, many have grandkids. This is the story of a place, a time, and so much more.
Date: Wednesday November 29, 2023
Please note that this book club is on a Wednesday night
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: To be announced
Fee: 195 + HST (includes dinner, beverages, gratuity, author talk and a copy of The Class sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810

Book Club Location
The Edable Story5
The Edible Story 7
The Edible Story1
The Edible Story2
The edible story
The Edible Storyx

The Edible Story
This cooking school, catering company and event space, owned by chefs Alanna Fleischer and Brian Cheng is the perfect place for our themed book clubs.

320 Richmond Street East #105

(Entrance on Sherbourne)
647 278 1819

Some of Bonnie's Cookbooks
Don't Worry, Just Cook
Bonnie's new cookbook, written with her daughter Anna Rupert, who, although has a healthcare related career of her own, has in fact, been in the kitchen cooking beside Bonnie her whole life. Bonnie and Anna are here to help cooks of all experience foster comfort and connection through food.
Published by Appetite by Random House of Canada, 2022, 293 pages, hardcover.


Kindle edition
Friday Night Dinners (Paperback)

Friday Night Dinners

Bonnie's last 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

News And Events
SMORGASBURG TORONTO 2023Date: June 24 to September 9, 2023
Place: Toronto Harbourfront
7 Queens Quay East, at the foot of Yonge Street

Smorgasburg is the largest weekly open-air food market in America attracting thousands of people each weekend to eat from dozens of local vendors. This year, Smorgasburg Toronto is returning for a second season featuring 50 weekly vendors! Admission is FREE and all are welcome.

For more information click: Smorgasburg Toronto

JAKE COHEN AT PROSSERMAN JCCDate: Wednesday September 20, 2023
Place: Prosserman Jewish Community Centre
4588 Bathurst Street, Toronto

Meet the fabulous Jake Cohen and learn about his hotly anticipated cookbook, I Could Nosh: Classic Jew-ish Recipes Revamped for Every Day.

For more information Click: Jake Cohen

ADEENA SUSSMAN AT PROSSERMAN JCCDate: Thursday October 19, 2023 (Full)
or Tuesday October 24, 2023
Place: Prosserman Jewish Community Centre
4588 Bathurst Street, Toronto

Discover the Magic of Shabbat with Cookbook Author Adeena Sussman. An evening of engaging conversation and cooking demonstration, moderated by Bonnie Stern.

For more information Click: Adeena Sussman

CHRISTMAS IN NOVEMBERDates: November 3 to 12, 2023
(Three 3-day sessions)

Anna and I are thrilled to be participating in Christmas in November at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge in Jasper, Alberta. We will be there for all three sessions along with Anna and Michael Olsen, Emily Richards and a host of other chefs, teachers, restaurant owners and more. It's a big party and people come from all over the country for a delicious reunion with friends and/or family or to meet people with similar interests. Come join us for one of the three, 3-day sessions between November 3 and 12, 2023.

For more information click: Christmas in November

to Tuesday March 5, 2024
(Registration will begin after we have an itinerary and price.)

Welcome to our 12th culinary tour of Israel where you will learn about Israeli culture through its food and the people who cook it. We will be visiting markets, dining at top restaurants, sampling street food, taking cooking classes, visiting wineries, and meeting the chefs, the cookbook authors and the food personalities behind the New Israeli Cuisine. Your taste buds will thank you!

If these dates work for you, and you aren't already on our 'Israeli Tour' mailing list, be sure to let us know you are interested by emailing Bonnie at
Subject line: Israel Tour
Please include full name, email address and phone number.

A sample itinerary and registration information coming soon.

For a small taste of our time in Israel check our 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

FOGO ISLAND AND ST. JOHN’S FOOD TOUR & BOOK CLUBDATES: Sunday May 5 to Saturday May 11, 2023
(Registration will begin after we have an itinerary and price.)

If you have always wanted to go to Newfoundland the combination of a few days in St. John’s, and 3 days on Fogo Island, staying at Fogo Island Inn (a social  enterprise that was ranked #3 hotel in the world in the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards), will be a dream come true. We will be hosting two or three book club events, tours, classes and wonderful meals. This will be our 3rd tour to Newfoundland and Fogo Island

If these dates work for you, and you aren't already on our 'Newfoundland Tour' mailing list, be sure to let us know you are interested by emailing Bonnie at
Subject line: Newfoundland Tour
Please include full name, email address and phone number.

As soon as we have an itinerary we will send out the registration information.

Restaurant Recommendations and More
Langdon Hall Country House Hotel and Spa
1 Langdon Drive
519 740 2100
We went to Langdon Hall to celebrate a family birthday and had a wonderful time. Everything about the place is lovely - the gardens, the pool, the rooms, the beds, and of course, the food is delicious. It is also close enough to Toronto to go for a drive and a special lunch or brunch.
Nasher Cafe
2001 Campus Drive
Durham, NC
919 684 6032
Located at the Nasher Museum of Art, a beautiful museum to visit, be sure to plan your trip around brunch or lunch. The salads were gorgeous and delicious, the sandwiches were fresh and filling, the desserts were terrific and staff was welcoming and professional. (We made a reservation and glad we did as it was very busy.) They are also open for dinner.
Restaurant at The Durham
315 East Chapel Hill Street
Durham, NC
919 768 8831
Delicious, well-prepared food in the lobby restaurant of The Durham Hotel. I loved the shrimp and grits, vegetable fried rice, steel cut oatmeal and coffee soda - we loved the breakfasts, brunch and lunches the best. The also have an extremely popular rooftop bar with snack type food.
Moderate to Expensive
Luna Rotisserie
112 W. Main Street
Durham NC
984 439 8702
We loved our casual meal at Luna (they say 'where South America meets American South'). Everything we ordered was delicious and that's where I got inspired to make my sweet potato bruschetta (see recipes below).
Rue Cler
401 E Chapel Hill Street
Durham, NC
919 682 8844
This classic French bistro took us back to the days when we were young and started dining out! Great service, delicious food and such a friendly vibe. Portions were large so we easily shared a crisp, green salad, coq au vin and Paris Brest (one of my fave desserts!).
Moderate to Expensive
737 Ninth Street
Durham NC
919 286 3555
This was Ray's favourite restaurant and I loved it too. Very delicious Asian food. We loved the pork buns, lettuce wraps, bomba shrimp, soy braised lamb with bing bread (similar to really good pita), smoked ribs and bruleed yuzu lemon curd. And great cocktails!
Moderate to Expensive
Featured Recipes
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tbsp cream or milk
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup grated Pecorino or Parmigiano or more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper or more to taste
  • pinch of coarse sea salt
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • SOFT SCRAMBLE EGGS CACIO E PEPECacio e pepe, made with Pecorino Romano and coarsely ground black pepper, was originally a pasta dish from Rome. It was converted into a popular brunch dish -  cacio e pepe soft scrambled eggs - at New York's Maialino restaurant. The pepper should be coarsely ground and the cook should have patience stirring the eggs over low heat. And of course, if you don't like pepper and/or cheese, you can use this technique for any soft scramble eggs you like! This is delicious as is or served over challah toast.

    1. In a small mixing bowl whisk the eggs with cream and salt.

    2. Melt butter in a 9 or 10" nonstick skillet over low heat. Add eggs and when they start to set at the edge of the pan (less than a minute) start stirring gently with a spatula. (Have patience - it will take 5 to 8 minutes to make the eggs creamy and scrambled without firm curds.)

    3. A few minutes after soft curds start to form stir in the cheese . Have patience. Add pepper and still on medium low keep stirring until eggs have come together and are soft and very tender.

    4. Transfer eggs to a plate and sprinkle with a little coarse sea salt, parsley and more pepper.

    Makes 2 to 3 servings
  • 5 or 6 ears corn
  • 1/2 lb flat Italian beans
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves

  • dressing:
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or grated
  • 1/2 small jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, chopped, optional or as much or as little as you like
  • 1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves and small stems
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt or more to taste
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice or more to taste
  • GRILLED CORN SALAD WITH ITALIAN GREEN BEANS AND CILANTRO DRESSINGWhen corn is local and sweet make the most of it. And the delicious flat Italian beans from Dely's garden can't be beat. Sometimes these beans are called runner beans but regular greens beans can also be used or green vegetables you like (eg. broccolini or broccoli)

    1. Grill corn on medium heat, turning often, until corn is cooked and browned in spots. Or cook in boiling water 5 minutes. Cool. Cut each ear in half and standing each piece on the cut surface, holding it steady, cut corn from the cob from top to bottom with a sharp knife.

    2. In the same water you cooked the corn (if that was how you cooked it) or in a pot of boiling salted water, add the beans, bring back to the boil and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until bright green and tender. Remove with a slotted spoon and run under cold water to set the colour and texture. Pat dry.

    3. Add peas to the boiling water and cook 30 seconds, drain and chill under cold water. Combine the beans and peas and corn and the 1/2 cup cilantro leaves. Pat dry.

    4. For the dressing combine the finely chopped garlic, chopped jalapeno (as much as you like depending on heat), cilantro and salt. Place in a bowl (or preserving jar, see Kitchen Tip above) and stir in extra virgin olive oil and lime juice. Toss with vegetables and season with salt and lime juice to taste.

    Makes 4 to 6 servings
  • 12 Medjool dates
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter, almond butter, tahini, Lotus Biscoff Spread, cashew butter, chocolate hazelnut spread etc
  • 6oz semisweet, bittersweet, white or milk chocolate, chopped (if not already in smallish pieces), melted
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans or peanuts or almonds (or more)
  • coarse sea salt (ie Maldon or Falk)
  • CHOCOLATE NUT DATE BARSBy now you may have seen the frozen date bars on Instagram but are they worth making? I would say a big YES! And there are so many different versions. I made it with Bourbon Pecan Peanut Butter that I picked up on a recent trip to North Carolina but I have given lots of variations.

    Perfect for a Rosh Hashanah or 'anytime at all' treat.


    1. Slit each date from top to bottom and remove pit (and stem end if it is still there). Open dates and place together in a single layer on a 9"x13" piece of parchment paper that lines a quarter sheet pan. Cover with another piece of parchment or plastic wrap (sorry) and flatten with a rolling pin (or Bordeaux wine bottle).

    2. Spread dates with nut butter, tahini or Lotus spread. Use a bit more if necessary. If you wish sprinkle with some of the chopped nuts. Refrigerate or freeze 1/2 hour.

    3. Drizzle and then spread with chocolate. Sprinkle with nuts. Freeze 1/2 hour.

    4. Cut into chunky, different sized pieces.

    Makes 20 to 24 irregular sized pieces

  • 12 oz pitted dates, cut up - scissors work best
  • 2 cups boiling water or tea
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract, optional
  • 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
  • whipped cream or vanilla ice cream (optional)
  • STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING CAKE Although I have given you this before - it is really one of the most popular cakes ever and perfect for Rosh Hashanah - to wish everyone a sweet new year. You could even serve with caramelized apples to up the holiday spirit. I remember when this cake became popular if you called it Sticky Date Cake many people would not order it because dates were not a popular ingredient back then. Luckily, times have changed! Serve it with whipped cream or ice cream in addition to the sauce.

    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 a 9" round springform pan or 9" deep square pan.

    3. Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beat in vanilla extract, if using.

    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 pan(s) and bake 20 to 25 minutes for muffin size or 45 to 55 minutes for a whole cake or until a cake tester comes out clean or an instant read meat thermometer reads 185F to 195F.

    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. When cake(s) is done, prick 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 pan(s). Serve with remaining sauce. Delicious warm or cold.

    Makes 8 to 12 servings
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