Layering Simple Dishes

Layering foods rather than simply dishing them onto a plate or into a bowl has become a visually pleasing trend in food preparation. From breakfast to late night snacks, layered combinations offer a fun alternative to the traditional serving methods in all the examples listed below.
Pretty Breakfast or Snack

Yogurt can be combined with fresh fruits and granola for a colorful parfait perfect for breakfast, brunch, or a light snack during the day. Begin with a clear glass receptacle such a rounded juice or water glass. be mindful to keep the portions small to allow for maximum visual impact. Place 2 or 3 tablespoons of vanilla yogurt into the bottom of the glass, add a layer of sliced strawberries. Add another tablespoon of yogurt, then a layer of blueberries. Spoon another tablespoon or two of yogurt on top of the berries, and refrigerate until you are ready to serve. Just before serving, sprinkle about 1/4″ of granola on top. For an added visual treat, place slices of strawberry upright along the inside of the glass and fill the open space with yogurt. This treat is excellent for any fresh seasonal fruit. Choose bright colors and compatible flavors to delight your guests’ palates.
Brunch Bagel Bar

Stack a variety of sliced bagels on a platter or cake stand. Surroudn the stand with options for creating personal favorites. Cream cheese as a base schmear, smoked salmon and fresh chopped dill, hot mustard and sliced turkey, sliced bananas and fresh berries with honey, or any other favorites that you like to pile onto bagels. Allow your guests to build their own and enjoy!
Rich Dessert

Bake up a pan of brownies and break them into warm chunks. In your clear glass receptacle, layer the chunks with nuts, whipped topping, and a few drizzles of caramel sauce. Walnuts, pecans, or sliced almonds work well with chocolate. Caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, strawberry jam, and even orange or lime marmalade make excellent accents for the brownies. Have fun with this one, be creative, and delight your guests with chocolate and a variety of supporting flavor combinations.

This can also be presented as a fun build-your-own dessert for family gatherings and small get togethers.
Hot Pie

Another excellent dessert choice is hot fruit pie with melted cheese and vanilla ice cream. Apple pie lends itself to cheddar, while dark berry pies are well accented with blue cheese crumbles. Experiment to find your favorite combinations, then offer them to guests during the season.
Remember to use your imagination to expand on these layering ideas and come up with your own.

Enjoy!

–Ann Cathey

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