Review by

Friday Night Dinners
(Random House)
Paperback: ISBN 978-0307356765 0307356760
Hardcover: ISBN 978-0307356758 0307356752

Bonnie Stern shares 170 recipes and menu suggestions for family dinners, barbecues and special occasions with friends, relatives and coworkers. Friday Night Dinners contains 310 pages of easy comfort food recipes with cooking tips, make-ahead hints, variations and serving suggestions.

Israeli cooking

Recipes range from fast food to vegetarian. Some of the family menus feature ethnic food, such as Middle Eastern and Israeli cuisine. Other menus celebrate special events, like graduations and Rosh Hashanah.

hard cover edition-Friday Night Dinners

Bonnie Stern's recipes and menus make it easy to entertain friends and family and ensure that everyone feels relaxed.

Family meal ideas in Friday Night Dinners include make-ahead dishes, with variations. For example, Bonnie Stern's recipe for mashed sweet potatoes, flavored with vanilla and chipotle, can be altered with maple syrup or coconut milk flavors.

She introduces the menu and recipes in each themed chapter. The author also includes cooking techniques like how to make porcini powder to flavor veal chops and how to ripen avocados (put them into a bag or container of uncooked rice).

Kosher dishes

All recipes in Friday Night Dinners are kosher. The index to the paperback and hardcover cookbook lists ingredients and the recipes that include them.

Color photos by Stern's son, Mark Rupert, illustrate family, friends, Friday night dinner dishes, ingredients and table settings.

Readers will find recipes from Bonnie Stern cooking classes, such as chocolate bark with almond, ginger and orange peel. She also includes favorite family recipes, like her mother's apple cake.

Passover desserts

Cooking tips, such as slicing goat cheese with dental floss and ways to use leftovers, accompany each recipe. For example, the author recommends using leftover challah to make a French toast casserole, which resembles bread pudding. She suggests creative ways to serve dishes, like arranging roasted carrots on a bed of parsley with a garnish of carrot greens.

Friday Night Dinners include Passover dessert recipes with no flour, like clementine cake with chocolate glaze, chocolate meringue kisses and caramel matzah crunch.

Bonnie Stern recipes

Hummos with cilantro pesto. Grilled pita with za'atar. Spiced cranberry port sauce. Chicken tagine with honeyed tomatoes and chickpeas. Potato gnocchi. Matboucha (Moroccan cooked tomato salad). Fish cakes with cilantro mint chutney. Smoked salmon crepes with honey mustard mayo. Rack of lamb with harissa and charmoula. Kebabs on cinnamon sticks. Roasted root vegetable fries. Wild mushroom mini strudels. No-knead artisanal bread. Date honey.

paperback edition-Friday Night Dinners


  • Introduction
  • Comfort dinner
  • Italian dinner
  • Thanksgiving
  • Rosh Hashanah
  • Israeli dinner
  • 100-mile diet dinner
  • Nostalgia dinner
  • Middle Eastern dinner
  • South African dinner
  • Vegetarian dinner
  • Fast food Italian
  • Diner dinner
  • Fast food family
  • Indian dinner
  • Standing-up dinner
  • Passover
  • Dinner with Chuck
  • Asian dinner
  • Fast food fish
  • Greek dinner
  • Australian dinner
  • Graduation dinner
  • Dinner with the kids
  • Barbecue dinner
  • Al fresco dinner
  • Index


Bonnie Stern is the author of twelve cookbooks and founder of the Bonnie Stern School of Cooking.

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