Thursday, September 19, 2013

"Almazing" Almond Bars and Dîner en Blanc NYC 2013

Have you heard of Dîner en Blanc? Well, if you haven't, prepared to be amazed. Dîner en Blanc is an all white picnic party started 25 years ago in Paris which now has parties all over the world. The event is very popular and has a long waiting list just to get an invite. For NYC, lucky people who get on the invitation list deck themselves out in white, bring white chairs, white tables, a basket of food, and then meet at different locations around the city at a certain time.  
No one knows where the event's location will be until a couple of minutes before the event. So it's like a surprise flash mob, even for the mob! 
And guess what. I was lucky enough to get and invite and PERFORM at the event!
I received the invite to perform because the creator of this event was at the wedding I sang at in France two and a half weeks ago. He loved my Ave Maria so much that he let his son, the current head of the dîners, know that I lived in NYC. And, well, the rest is magical history.

(Click here for a short, iPhone video of part of Ave Maria so you can get an idea of the fantastical setting I was fortunate enough to sing amidst.)

I also sang an aria from Carmen and threw some white roses at the end of the aria. :)
Now, let's talk about my table. My guest was the bride from the wedding in France. Without her, I wouldn't have been at this dîner. We had to lug our table and chairs just like everyone else and then we set out our salads and sushi (and wine...of course!)
I told my friend that I would supply dessert. I wanted something somewhat white and had the good idea to modify this recipe into an almond bar. I switched the milk with almond milk and switched the peanuts with sliced almonds. I loved these so much that I, being the goober I am, called them "almazing!"
They were the perfect dessert to pair with this amazing evening! All I needed to do after singing was sit back, relax, enjoy the pary, and eat dessert.
"Almazing" Almond Bars (adapted from my Mom's Best Recipes Book)
Ingredients for Sponge Cake:
2 eggs
1 C sugar
1/2 C almond milk
1 T butter
1 t vanilla
1 C flour
1 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
Ingredients for Frosting:
half and half (or almond milk)
powdered sugar (at least 2 cups)
1/2 cup of almond milk
In a small saucepan, scald almond milk, turn off heat and add butter. In a mixer, beat eggs until light, add sugar and beat well. Sift in flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in vanilla and milk mixture. Bake in greased pan (about 7 1/2 by 10 inches) for about 20 minutes at 325 degrees. Cool well. Cut in narrow bars.
Frost sides and bottom with frosting made by mixing a little bit of powdered sugar and a little bit of thin cream at a time. (Use half & half or almond milk. Half and half won't be as sticky as the almond milk. Both work well). Roll in slivered almonds and enjoy. 
Bake well and prosper!
(And here are a couple of more photos from the event.)


  1. I've heard about this event in Paris, didn't know it was happening in NY too! How amazing that you got to sing (you sounded wonderful) and the white bars look yummy too!

  2. Wow, almazaing (sorry I couldn't help it daaahling)! Seriously, it is amazing! I've heard about this event on tv at one point, and I think its just fabulous that you got to attend. I feel so lucky to know someone as lovely and talented as you. I hope next time I am in NYC we can finally meet up.
    *kisses* Heavenly

  3. Heavenly - Next time you are in NYC you BETTER let me know. Yes, that's a semi-threat. ;)

    Same goes for you Pippilotta! :)

    The night was spectacular (and all those other same idea adjectives.)

  4. Oh my goodness! What an amazing event! Thank you so much for sharing the picture with us.

  5. That is SOO awesome Erika - I'm so glad I know a celebrity in NYC :P

    I just googled diner en blanc and have registered to be on the waiting list for the one in Sydney this November :) the stunning white across the lawn looks so elegant - so are your almazing almond bars! :D

  6. Ohhh and will listen to your Ave Maria after work! Looking forward to it :)


Thanks for taking time to leave a message! xo - EB