Sophisticated Savories

Sophisticated Savories

Friday, May 18, 2012

Night of Superstars

Night of Superstars - Dress Fitting at the
Dallas Hilton Anatole

I had the absolute privilege of catering the Night of Superstars dress-fitting for the upcoming Night of Superstars event on May 19, 2012 at the Dallas Hilton Anatole.  The Night of Superstars is a grand red carpet charity event held to recognize extraordinary kids who are affected by varying types of disabling conditions but reach far beyond their adversities, excelling in academics, athletics, community service, etc. The intention is to honor these SUPERSTARS for their accomplishments and to encourage them to continue down this path of excellence!  I loved spending the day with the young girls – learning about their stories and amazed by their fighter mentalities.  Even waking up to get out of bed every single day is a challenge for these children… yet they do so, and do so joyfully, on a daily basis.

Night of Superstars - Dress Fitting at the
Dallas Hilton Anatole
Talk about a reality check.

The girl superstars and their families were invited to a dress fitting before the Superstars Gala.  Upon their arrival into the suites at the Hilton Anatole, they were greeted by Greg Johnson, founder, as well as several of the board members of the NOSS.  Gorgeous ball-gown dresses hung from racks as the girls scanned the glamorous outfits.  A spread of dainty sandwiches and hors d’oeuvres lined the oversized table and a station of glittering “bling” was positioned under the dazzling chandelier.  I was surprised how the girls maintained their composure… an overwhelming feeling could have surely engulfed their spirits.  However, their true joy was expressed through their larger-than-life smiles and conveyed in their laughter.  I admired their ability to display such confidence and gratitude at such a young age.  And, oh yeah, after having to overcome such adversity on a daily basis.

Friends in Dallas, I would encourage you to attend the upcoming Night of Superstars event on May 19, 2012, at the Dallas Hilton Anatole:  a celebration of these amazing young individuals.  I think that a thing or two may be learned.  Just sayin’.

Night of Superstars - Dress Fitting at the
Dallas Hilton Anatole - Spread
In order to celebrate the girls, I made feminine hors d’oeuvres and “high-tea”-style sandwiches.  Most children pass over-refined culinary creations and head directly to the peanut butter and jelly, mac and cheese, treats, etc.  Therefore, I catered the dress fitting menu for a child-friendly palate: Almond butter and fruit sandwiches, chicken salad sandwiches, cake balls, fruit tarts, sugar palmiers, white chocolate butter cookies, egg and chicken mini-quiches, chocolate cake and milk-chocolate brownies.  My intention was to make each of the girls, as well as their families, to feel special… to celebrate their beautiful lives.

Peanut butter and jelly can become awfully monotonous when consumed on a frequent basis.  In order to create a more “gourmet” PB&J (as well as healthier!), use almond butter in lieu of peanut butter, and substitute fruit in place of jelly.  My favorite combination includes strawberries and bananas.  However, any combination of favorite fruits may be combined to satisfy your (and well as the youngsters) palate.  Almond butter is a “safer” option as individuals are often more prone to peanut allergies, as opposed to almonds.  Cashew butter is an additional option.

Brownies have always been a crowd pleaser and are easier to make for large crowds.  The following brownie recipe has found to be tried and true:

Milk Chocolate and Fudge Brownies

4 Large Eggs
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 ¼ Cups Cocoa Powder (I recommend Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa) 
½ Cup Flour
1 tsp. Vanilla – Extract or I recommend Madagascar Vanilla Paste (found at Whole Foods, Sur La Table)
½ tsp. Salt
Non-stick Butter Spray
Cocoa Powder – to dust pan

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  Spray 8-inch square pan with non-stick spray, then place a square of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan.  Spray top of parchment paper with non-stick spray.  At this point, most recipes instruct an individual to dust the pan with flour; however, dust the pan with cocoa powder instead.  This way, when removing the brownies from the pan, there will be a thin layer of cocoa powder on the crust, as opposed to flour. 
Fruit Tarts for the Female Superstars at
the dress fitting

In a mixer, beat the eggs until they reach a “fluffy” consistency and light golden yellow color.  Add both the granulated and brown sugars and continue to beat until incorporated.  Add remaining ingredients and continue to mix until fully incorporated.

Pour the batter into the greased and “floured” pan.  Bake for 45 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the center of the pan; it will emerge clean when fully cooked.  If there is any residual batter on the blade, then allow the brownies to continue to cook.  When finished, remove pan and allow brownies to cool on a wire rack.  Do not cut into brownies until they are completely cooled.

May top brownies with chocolate, sprinkles, Nutella, white chocolate, powdered sugar, a la mode (ice-cream)… whatever your little heart desires.  You’re the chef.

I am truly looking forward to the upcoming event… celebrating the lives of such strong, positive children… true superstars!!

All my love from Dallas, sb

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