Great Ideas

Brian Boitano’s


‘Each bite gives you a combo of sweet, salty and creamy,’ says the figure skater turned Food Network star


Makes 2 servings

½ French baguette

2 tbsp. olive oil

3 tbsp. apple butter

2 tbsp. whole grain or Dijon mustard

½ lb. thinly sliced deli ham

1 cup watercress

4 oz. Brie, sliced into 4 pieces

1. Slice baguette in half lengthwise. Brush outside of each half with olive oil. Spread apple butter on inside of one half of bread, add mustard to other half.

2. Arrange ham over bottom half of baguette; top with watercress, Brie and remaining bread half. Slice in half crosswise.

3. Cook sandwiches in a panini press, or grill on a skillet over medium heat 4 to 5 minutes or until bread is crisp and cheese is melted. Slice each sandwich in half diagonally; serve immediately.

The What Would Brian Boitano Make? cookbook is in stores now.

Jillian Michaels’s


The Biggest Loser coach – and busy mom to two kids – whips up a favorite dish. ‘It’s the perfect summer snack,’ she says


Makes 2 generous cups

2 ripe avocados, mashed

1 tbsp. lemon juice

½ cup finely diced red bell pepper

½ cup small cherry tomatoes, quartered

¼ cup thinly sliced green onions

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

½ tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves, or ¼ tsp. dried

¼ tsp. kosher salt

¼ tsp. black pepper

Pinch cayenne pepper

Mix all ingredients together. Serve with veggie sticks or healthy chips.

Michaels’s new DVD Yoga Inferno will be in stores Sept. 3

José Andrés’s


‘This is the perfect, traditional Mediterranean dish,’ says the chef at Bazaar in Miami


Makes 4 servings

1 cup olive oil, divided

2 medium eggplants, cut in ¼-in. slices

2 red and 2 green bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1-in. strips

4 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼-in. slices Sea salt

4 plum tomatoes, halved and grated, discarding skin

20 fresh thyme sprigs

20 fresh rosemary sprigs

4 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed and split

1. Preheat oven to 375º.

2. Cook vegetables in batches, using 1 to 2 tbsp. hot oil per batch, in large skillet over medium-high heat for 1 minute on each side. Arrange single layer of potatoes in a lightly greased 2-qt. baking dish; season with salt. Top with 1 tbsp. tomatoes and 2 to 3 small sprigs each of thyme and rosemary. Repeat process using remaining vegetables and herbs.

3. Tuck garlic among vegetable layers. Drizzle top with remaining olive oil. Bake 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

IT’S YOUR TURN! Show us what you’re cooking up at

Adapted from Andrés’s cookbook Made in Spain, in stores now.

Buddy Valastro’s


“The cocoa and the vanilla create a great flavor,” says TLC’s Cake Boss


Serves 16

1¼ cups vegetable shortening

2 cups sugar, additional for parchment

1 tbsp. unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

4½ tsp. red gel food color

3 cups cake flour

1¼ tsp. fine sea salt

1¼ tsp. baking soda

1¼ tsp. pure vanilla extract

1¼ tsp. distilled white vinegar

3 extra-large eggs

1¼ cups buttermilk

Your favorite cream-cheese frosting

1. Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350º. Grease and flour 2 (9×2-in.) round cake pans; set aside.

2. Beat shortening and next 8 ingredients in large bowl of electric mixer at low speed just until blended; beat at medium-low for 1 minute. Add eggs individually, beating 1 minute after each addition. Add buttermilk in 2 portions, beating just until blended, scraping sides of the bowl between additions.

3. Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until cake just begins to pull away from sides of pan.

4. Cool cakes on wire rack for an hour. Turn cakes onto lightly sugared parchment paper; cool to room temperature. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze until ready to frost.

5. Spread frosting over one cake; top with second cake. Frost sides and top of cake with remaining frosting.

Recipe adapted from Family Celebrations with the Cake Boss, in stores Nov. 5.

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