Bonnie Stern Food News
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Contents

Kitchen Tip

Bonnie's
Book Club

Bonnie's Cookbooks

News and Events

Restaurant
Recommendations

Featured Recipes

Contact

 
Phone:
416 484 4810

Email:
bonnie@bonniestern.com

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Website:
www.bonniestern.com

 

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.

 

February 2024

Thanks to everyone who came to The Toronto Holocaust Museum's Intergenerational Challah Bake last week. Anna and I were incredibly honoured to lead the challah making portion of the event and so impressed that so many people braided such beautiful challah. While the dough was rising, three holocaust survivors shared some of their incredible stories with us which were inspiring and so meaningful. Thanks to the organizers and volunteers who assembled all the ingredients and equipment that allowed 160 people to make challah together.

Anna and I also hosted a Shabbat Dinner at the beautiful Lawrence Family JCC in La Jolla/San Diego last month. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet new people, see people we haven't seen in a long time and we even had a mini Camp Kadimah reunion with campers who had moved to California. We also visited the sea lions, ate delicious food (see restaurant recommendations below) and enjoyed the lovely weather! Then, we spent another few days in Los Angeles with a good friend who showed us around and we enjoyed more good food, warm company and lovely weather!

For those of us who are in Toronto in February, don't worry it is a short month (even with the extra day), and the cold weather gives us so much incentive to be at home and cook!

Delicious Wishes,
Bonnie

Kitchen Tip
HOW TO MEASURE FLOUR
HOW TO MEASURE FLOURI know I told you last month I would show you my favourite gadgets for juicing lemons. But I am missing one piece so I promise to show you in March!

This month I want to remind everyone and show new bakers how to measure flour. If I were a pastry chef and everything I made had to be the same every time, I would weigh all my ingredients but because most of us are home cooks/bakers I still measure in cups. You do need a set of dry measuring cups (usually the set includes 1 cup, 1/2 cup, 1/3 cup and 1/4 cup measures). When you open a bag of flour, it is easy to see how compressed the flour is so the first step is to stir the flour around to lighten it. Then gently spoon flour into the appropriate cup measure until it is over the top (do not shake it down). Run the back of a knife across the top to even it. If the recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups, use the 1 cup measure and the 1/2 cup measure.


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.


MARCH 2024

NITA PROSE: THE MYSTERY GUEST
NITA PROSE: THE MYSTERY GUESTIn March, Bonnie is thrilled to welcome back a truly great friend of the Book Club. Some of us know Nita Pronovost as one of the country’s best editors. But readers around the world know her as Nita Prose blockbuster author of The Maid, which is soon to be a major motion picture featuring Academy Award-nominee Florence Pugh.

With her new book The Mystery Guest, Nita’s fabulous protagonist Molly the Maid returns and finds herself in the middle of another incredible adventure.

Molly Gray is not like anyone else. With her flair for cleaning and proper etiquette, she has risen through the ranks of the glorious five-star Regency Grand Hotel to become the esteemed Head Maid. But just as her life reaches a pinnacle state of perfection, her world is turned upside down when J.D. Grimthorpe, the world-renowned mystery author, drops dead - very dead - on the hotel’s tea room floor.

When Detective Stark, Molly's old foe, investigates the author’s unexpected demise, it becomes clear that this death was murder most foul. Suspects abound, and everyone wants to know: Who killed J.D. Grimthorpe? Was it Lily, the new Maid-in-Training? Or was it Serena, the author’s secretary? Could Mr. Preston, the hotel’s beloved doorman, be hiding something? And is Molly really as innocent as she seems?

As the case threatens the hotel’s pristine reputation, Molly knows that she alone holds the key to unlocking the killer's identity. But that key is buried deep in her past - because long ago, she knew J.D. Grimthorpe. Molly must comb her memory for clues, and revisit her childhood and the mysterious Grimthorpe mansion where her dearly departed Gran once worked. With Molly and her colleagues under investigation, she knows she must solve the mystery post-haste. And if there's one thing she knows for sure, it's that dirty secrets don't stay buried forever...

We can’t wait to welcome you back for a great evening of food and conversation.

Date: Monday March 25, 2024
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 Mystery Guest 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
Toronto

(Entrance on Sherbourne)
647 278 1819

theediblestory.com

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.
AVAILABLE EVERYWHERE BOOKS ARE SOLD

$35


Kindle edition
$16.99
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

$29.95

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

$34.95
HeartSmart
HeartSmart
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.

$34.95
Desserts
Desserts
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

$21
News And Events
FEAST WITH LEAH KOENIG
FEAST WITH LEAH KOENIGDate: Thursday February 8, 2024
Time:
7 pm to 10 pm
Location:
  Prosserman JCC
4588 Bathurst Street, Toronto
Price: From $49.26

Join author Leah Koenig in celebrating her latest cookbook, Portico: Cooking and Feasting in Rome’s Jewish Kitchen. Experience her engaging narrative, expert techniques, and a delectable fusion of tradition and innovation in a delicious tasting event that celebrates diverse cuisines.

The Portico Cookbook is available when you purchase your ticket and at the event.

A cooking demonstration by Leah and light refreshments inspired by Portico’s recipes will be served.

The event will be moderated by Rose Reisman.

For tickets: Click Feast with Leah Koenig
HEALTHY NOSH WITH MICAH SIVA
HEALTHY NOSH WITH MICAH SIVADate: Thursday March 28, 2024
Time: 7 pm to 10 pm
Location: Prosserman JCC
4588 Bathurst Street, Toronto
Price: From $38.61

Get ready to NOSH! Micah is a trained chef and registered dietitian specializing in modern Jewish cuisine. Her new cookbook, Nosh: Plant Forward Recipes Celebrating Modern Jewish Cuisine, draws inspiration from history through a 21st-century lens.

The Cookbook is available when you purchase your ticket and at the event.

A cooking demonstration by Micah and light refreshments from Nosh: Plant Forward Recipes Celebrating Modern Jewish Cuisine, showing that Jewish food is more than chicken soup and brisket! The event will be moderated by Lauren Levy.

For tickets: Click Healthy Nosh with Micah Siva
FOGO ISLAND AND ST. JOHN’S FOOD TOUR & BOOK CLUB
FOGO ISLAND AND ST. JOHN’S FOOD TOUR & BOOK CLUBDates: Sunday May 5 to Saturday May 11, 2024

We have had a wonderful response to this tour and hope to offer it again in the future.

If you have always wanted to go to Newfoundland this combination of delicious food, meeting some of Canada's favourite authors, and visiting the world famous Fogo Island Inn, can't be beat. Two nights in St. John's, one night in Gander and three nights at Fogo Island Inn will be a dream come true. We will be hosting book clubs, meals at top restaurants, classes and so much more.

If you are not already on our travel email list to receive information about this tour, please email bonnie@bonniestern.com
Subject line: Newfoundland Tour
Please include full name, email address and phone number.

Restaurant Recommendations and More
LA JOLLA/SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA
RED O Taste of Mexico
4340 La Jolla Village Drive
San Diego
California
858 291 8360
This lovely upscale Mexican restaurant serves traditional Mexican food with a modern twist. They have an outdoor patio and friendly service. And it's located across from the beautiful outdoor mall, Westfield UTC, which also had many high end restaurants!
Moderate
El Pescador Fish Market
634 Pearl Street
La Jolla
California
858 456 2526
We loved our lunch (go early) at this terrific casual restaurant where the selection of delicious fish was overwhelming! The staff was knowledgeable, friendly and helpful as they offer so many different ways to cook the fish. Don't miss it.
Moderate
Il Giardino di Lilli
7467 Girard Avenue
La Jolla
California
858 203 3926
This beautiful, Italian garden cafe is a very busy and delicious 'coffee shop'. But it's much more than a coffee shop. We had a wonderful breakfast here with savory and sweet pastries and the most beautiful yogurt with granola I have ever seen with dried fruit, apricot preserves and nuts. And the coffee was amazing too. Next time we will come for lunch!
Moderate
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
Joan's on Third
8350 West Third Street
Los Angeles
California
323 655 2285
Originally a catering operation, and now known as one of the finest caterers in Southern California, Joan's on Third has two locations where guests can eat-in or take out their delicious food. We loved all the salads, the grilled cheese sandwich and so much more!
Moderate
Atla Venice
1025 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice
California
209 306 8720
We had such delicious snacks during their happy hour before our later-than-usual-scheduled dinner. The tacos were so amazing we wanted to try everything and we will come back! (We have also been to Atla in New York which was also terrific.)
Moderate
Gjusta
320 Sunset Avenue
Venice
California
This bakery cafe is everything! Everyone waits in line but that's great because you can see all the orders go by and know what to order! The brisket hash, salmon burger, turkey sandwiches and all the pastries were delicious.
Moderate
Felix Trattoria
1023 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice
California
424 387 8622
Reserve early at this insanely popular Italian restaurant from Toronto restauranteur and multiple award winner, Janet Zuccarini. Owner of Gusto 54 Restaurant Group, in Toronto Janet's restaurants include Trattoria Nervosa, Gusto 101, Gusto 501 and Chubby's Jamaican. At Felix we especially loved the Margherita pizza and Linguine al Limone.
Moderate to Expensive
Nobu
22706 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu
California
310 317 9140
We were excited to go to Nobu as our final dinner. I hadn't been in years and it was as good as I remembered. Here are some of our faves: Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna; Sashimi Tacos; Black Cod with Miso; Shrimp Tempura with Spicy Sauce and Spicy Tuna Roll and more.
Expensive
Erehwon Market
Multiple locations
This upscale grocery chain seems to be taking Los Angeles by storm. We had lunch from the hot bar and have to say, it was worth the hype - we tried many things and enjoyed everything. We even tried the Hailey Bieber strawberry smoothie and it was also worth the hype (if not not the price).
Featured Recipes
TORTILLA SOUP WITH LIME AND CILANTRO
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chipotle chile puree or chipotle Tabasco or more to taste
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 cup corn (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • toppings:
  • 1 cup halved or quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup grated smoked Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup tortilla chips, broken up
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • TORTILLA SOUP WITH LIME AND CILANTROOur trip to La Jolla and LA was so delicious with lots of new ideas but also old favourites like this amazing tortilla soup - perfect for this cold weather!

    Switch to vegan by using grilled tofu, vegan cheese and vegetable stock.



    Method:
    1. Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add onions and garlic and cook gently until tender. Stir in cumin and chipotle and cook gently another 30 to 60 seconds until fragrant.

    2. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Simmer gently 5 minutes. Add chicken and heat thoroughly. Add corn and cook gently about 5 minutes. Add lime juice and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, lime juice and chipotle.

    3. Arrange bowls of tomatoes, cheese, tortilla chips and cilantro for everyone to top their soup as they like or you can add everything to the soup just before serving.

    Makes 4 to 6 servings
    FOOTBALL SEASON NACHOS
  • tortilla chips (I used Neal Brothers), any flavour, about 200g/8oz
  • 3 cups grated favourite melting cheese or a combination (I used mostly Cheddar and some Mozzarella) or even more cheese
  • 4 Roma tomatoes (approximately 1 lb)
  • 3 green onions, green part only, thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 1 jalapano chile, seeds, ribs and core removed, chopped (as hot as you like)
  • FOOTBALL SEASON NACHOSI do not generally watch sports on television so football snacks are not usually my thing. But these simple nachos are so delicious I will be making them again. And again. And of course you can eat them watching other things on TV! Serve with guacamole for dipping.

    Method:
    1. Line a 12"x18" baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 425F.

    2. Spread tortilla chips on the parchment paper in no particular way. Have all ingredients ready to assemble when you want to serve.

    3. Sprinkle tortilla chips with half the cheese. Sprinkle with tomatoes, green onions, cilantro and as much chilies as you like. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

    4. Bake in the preheated oven 5 to 8 minutes until cheese melts.

    Makes 4 to 6 servings
    SUGAR COOKIES
  • 1 cup butter, cut in small cubes
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt


  • icing: (optional)
  • 2 cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 to 4 tbsp water
  • red and/or pink food colouring
  • dragees, sparkling sugar, sprinkles etc
  • SUGAR COOKIESHeart shaped cookies have gone way beyond a Valentine's Day treat. Every set of cookie cutters comes with a heart and you can give them to anyone without a commitment! But seeing as it is February, I used a heart.

    Method:
    1. Beat butter with a hand mixer, stand mixer or in a food processor with sugar until light and the sugar is dissolved. Add egg and vanilla.

    2. In another bowl sift flour with baking powder and salt and then stir well. (I use a strainer.) Add to butter mixture just until combined.

    3. Divide dough into four approximately equal balls, flatten slightly and wrap well in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least one hour or overnight.

    4. When ready to roll out dough and bake, remove dough from refrigerator and allow to sit at least 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 350F.

    5. Roll out each piece of dough on a very lightly floured sheet of parchment to about 1/8" to 1/4" thick and cut out with cookie cutters. Transfer cookies to baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Leave about 1" between cookies - they do not spread too much. Save the scraps from each piece of dough and gently press together and reroll. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until very lightly browned around the edges. Cool on racks.

    6. For icing (if using), mix enough water into the sifted icing sugar until you can brush it on the cookies. Sprinkle with toppings while it is still wet. Or make icing thick for piping and colour with food colouring and pipe.

    Makes about 60 cookies
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