Great Ideas

Armie Hammer’s Favorite


The star’s wife, Elizabeth Chambers, owner of San Antonio’s Bird Bakery, shares her husband’s go-to treat


Makes 48

10 tbsp. unsalted butter, plus more for pan

1 cup cocoa powder

3¼ cups sugar

3½ tsp. cinnamon

Pinch cayenne pepper

4 eggs

1 tbsp. Mexican vanilla extract or regular vanilla

2 cups flour

½ tsp. sea salt

1¼ cups bittersweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 300º. Butter a 13×9-in. baking pan. Line pan with parchment paper, leaving a 1-in. overhang on 2 sides.

2. Melt butter in microwave-safe bowl. Add cocoa powder to melted butter and stir thoroughly.

3. In a large bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Using a wooden spoon, stir in cocoa-and-butter mixture. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until just combined. Stir in vanilla. Mix in flour and salt in 3 additions, stirring until just combined. Mix in chocolate chips. Pour into prepared pan.

4. Bake until cake tester inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely. To make for easier cutting, chill brownies for about 1 hour.

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Erin Gleeson’s


The chef behind the Forest Feast blog shares a recipe featuring 2013’s hippest grain—quinoa


Makes 4 to 6 servings

1 cup uncooked quinoa

2 cups peeled and seeded butternut squash, cut into ½-in. cubes

1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-in. pieces

3 tbsp. olive oil, divided

Coarse salt

1 cup dried figs, stemmed and quartered

1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Freshly ground pepper

1. Bring 2 cups water and quinoa to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until all water evaporates. Fluff with a fork; remove from heat.

2. Preheat oven to 425º. Toss squash and bell pepper with 1 tbsp. olive oil and salt to taste; arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until tender and lightly browned, stirring after 10 minutes.

3. Combine quinoa, roasted vegetables and figs in a large bowl. Toss mixture with vinegar, remaining olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Luca Manfe’s


The reigning MasterChef champ shares a side dish he loves to pair with steak, roasted chicken or grilled fish


Serves 8

2 cups extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for browning vegetables

4 small eggplants (1 lb.), peeled and cut into discs

2 medium squash, cut into discs

2 medium zucchini, cut into discs

6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

2 tbsp. grated lemon zest

½ cup fresh lemon juice

1 cup chopped fresh parsley

Salt to taste

1 tsp. pepper, plus more to taste

1. Lay eggplant slices on 2 paper towel-lined baking sheets. Lightly sprinkle with salt. Drizzle a little olive oil into a large sauté pan. Place over medium-high heat and heat until oil sizzles. Cook squash and zucchini in batches until browned on both sides, adding oil as needed, 3 to 4 minutes for each batch. Transfer vegetables to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

2. Pat eggplant slices with paper towels to remove moisture. Heat about ¼-in. olive oil in sauté pan. Cook eggplant in batches until browned on both sides, adding oil as needed, 3 to 4 minutes for each batch. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets.

3. In a food processor, combine 2 cups olive oil, garlic, lemon zest and juice, parsley and 1 tsp. pepper. In a glass casserole or baking dish, arrange a layer of vegetables. Cover with some of the pesto. Repeat layering with vegetables and pesto. (You will probably have extra pesto.) Cover and refrigerate overnight before serving.

The two-part finale of MasterChef Junior airs Nov. 1 and Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. on FOX.

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