Breakfast and brunch are the two most popular meals on Mother's Day. It's fun and relaxing to have a leisurely morning meal and easier to schedule than a Sunday dinner out, since school and work the next day can create timing pressures. For some reason, people go out more than they eat in on Mother's Day. Maybe mom doesn't want to get stuck with the dishes, or perhaps no one else in the family can cook? I know that when Mother's Day rolled around, I always wanted to make my mom breakfast in bed. It seemed so luxurious, not to mention that breakfast foods can be easier for a kid to cobble together than other meals.
I usually made either scrambled eggs and toast or, if I was feeling particularly industrious, pancakes. This dish is a lot simpler and it can be made in advance. It has the benefit of looking gorgeous and being versatile, since it works with any kind of berries. The only difficult part is creating the brulee on the top of the dish. You can do this in about two minutes under the broiler, but I strongly recommend using a mini kitchen torch (available at stores like Target, for about $25), which is easier, faster and ensures that the yogurt will be cold when served.
Blueberry Yogurt Brulee
The amount of yogurt and berries that you'll need vary by the size of your container. Use small, clear glass ramekins. Put a layer of yogurt (either plain, lightly sweetened with sugar or vanilla) on the bottom of the dish, followed by a layer of berries (blueberries, raspberries of diced strawberries, and repeating to make a total of 5 layers. Tap the ramekin on the counter to settle the parfait. At this point, you can refrigerate the dish overnight.
When you're ready to serve it - with coffee, juice and perhaps toast or a muffin - evenly sprinkle a layer of sugar on top and, working with your torch in a circular motion, lightly brown the sugar. Let the top cool for one or two minutes, then serve.
And by the way, my dad always did the dishes on Mother's Day.
[Recipe and photos by Nicole Weston]