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BFD: Breakfast for Dinner

When it’s 6 p.m. and I haven’t even begun to think about what to cook—or when the thought of trying to figure out something quick and picky-eater-friendly makes me want to run away and start a new life—one option saves my sorry tuchus: BFD, aka Breakfast for Dinner.

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If a meal can include bacon (turkey or its deliciously evil, oinky cousin), I’m sitting pretty. Best mom ever, really. And if it can be doused in pure maple syrup, well, I’m a goddess.

The BFD doesn’t have to be sweet, of course. That’s the beauty of it—if you’ve got a carton of eggs in the fridge (and I’ll bet you do), it can go either way. Leftover odds and ends prove remarkably helpful. And you’ve got plenty of ways to load in a serving or two of fruits and vegetables.

On the savory side:

Frittatas let me use up whatever leftover cooked vegetables are lying around: grease a baking dish & scatter the vegs in the bottom. (It can be as simple as plain roasted potatoes, but garlicky greens, sautéed mushrooms, zucchini, artichoke, bell peppers and caramelized onions have all starred in my frittata at one point or another. And cooked pasta makes it exceptionally filling!) Whip together six to eight eggs and a handful of grated cheese—almost any type will work, but I’m partial to Parmesan or Cheddar—and pour over top. Bake at 325°F for about half an hour, until lightly browned and firm to the touch.

Bacon & eggs, I mean really, do I have to point out the virtues? Ready in 10 minutes, fuss-free ... Put out a bowl of baby carrots or fresh fruit, maybe toss together a salad, and dinner’s ready. If you want to get fancy, use a cookie cutter to take the center out of a slice of bread, toss the outer part into the frying pan where you cooked the bacon, and crack an egg into the opening. We called that Toad in the Hole when I was growing up.

Omelets can get a bit fiddly since each person will probably want his own, but the customizability can’t be beat when you’re dealing with the picky. So far my kid has only taken his plain, but one of these days I’ll get him hooked on my own childhood favorite filling: strawberry jam.

Hash is for those nights when you’ve got five different little containers of random leftovers clogging the fridge. It calls for nothing more than already-cooked stuff chopped into chunks, piled into a frying pan, and left alone until it melds into something irresistibly crusty, served topped with a fried egg.

Tortillas + eggs = magic. My fellow Mom.me bloggers have some pretty killer-looking breakfast recipes with a Mexican twist, which would easily work for BFDing: Check out this Warm, Stuffed Breakfast Tortilla and this gorgeous Breakfast Burrito.

For maple syruping:

Pancakes offer a lightly sweet way to combine whole grains and fruit. Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes and Apple-Cinnamon Whole Wheat Pancakes are sure-fire winners around here.

Waffles, if you happen to own a waffle iron, have a high Wow Factor. Bust out that box of Bisquick for the quickest possible get-in-ma-belly waffles that still definitely, totally count as homemade food. Toss a handful of frozen berries into the batter so you’ll feel like you did something.

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French toast has to be the stressed-out parent’s dream. Stale bread is a good thing in this scenario! Whisk up some eggs with a splash of milk and a pinch of cinnamon—I like to sweeten it a bit with apple cider or orange juice—dunk that stale bread, and slap it on the griddle. If something that simple makes you feel guilty, gussy up the maple syrup in a saucepan with some ripe banana slices and chopped nuts.

Does your family indulge in BFD? What’s your favorite, most ridiculously easy breakfasty item for the dinner table?

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