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From time to time, we've all been desperate enough to eat dinner for breakfast. Think leftover pizza, fried rice or spaghetti fried up with eggs and cheese.

But the joys of those savory creations pale beside the guilty pleasure of eating breakfast for dinner.

Whether you're pouring syrup over a warm waffle or digging into spicy huevos rancheros, there's something comforting and nostalgic about this switch-hitter, historically used by moms to keep children's bellies full when time, energy and inspiration are lacking.

"Who doesn't love breakfast for dinner?" said Lindsay Landis, author of a new cookbook on the subject. "The phrase simply brings a smile to people's faces."

Landis and her husband, Taylor Hackbarth, wrote "Breakfast for Dinner" after working together on a food blog, Love & Olive Oil. The cookbook was released in February, just in time for spring, when kids' baseball games and other activities ramp up and create a time crunch for families.

In the book, the couple serves up a wide array of recipes that draw from cultures all over the world. Some have close ties to the typical breakfast table, while others get inspiration from breakfast flavors such as maple syrup and bacon.

Their favorite recipe, Loco Moco, gives a new spin to that beloved Hawaiian fast-food dish consisting of rice topped with a hamburger patty, fried egg and gravy. For their version, they substituted sticky coconut rice, ground pork and a sweet and spicy soy reduction sauce.

At Jeffrey's Hillside Cafe in Santa Rosa, chef/owner Jeffrey Madura serves up a wide range of hearty brunch dishes that are welcome at the dinner table as well.

Favorites range from classic American dishes like Joe's Special (eggs with ground beef, mushrooms, onions and spinach) to Chilaquiles, a Mexican breakfast dish.

"I've had that in Mexico for dinner time, just with black beans, fried tortillas and salsa verde," Madura said. "But you can add eggs to it."

Most of his Mexican breakfast dishes are so filling, they can sate appetites at any time of the day.

"For the Chiles Rellenos, we stuff our own peppers with queso fresco and serve them with Spanich rice and tortillas and eggs any style," he said. "Then we put a ranchero sauce and Cotija cheese on top."

Crepes are a versatile dish that can go in many different directions, both savory and sweet.

"We mostly do a chicken and shiitake mushroom crepe," he said. "But you could do seafood with scallops, rock shrimp, prawns or smoked salmon."

A simple, savory egg pie, better known as quiche in France, frittata in Italy and torta in Spain, also works well at all times of the day.

At the cafe, Madura also serves a variety of savory hashes made with meat and poultry, potatoes and seasonal vegetables, crowned with poached eggs.<NO><NO1>

"We do a Corned Duck Hash, and I've done a Smoked Salmon Hash with wild Pacific salmon," he said. "Our Vegetables Hash is one of the biggest sellers."

For the vegetable hash, Madura chops up earthy root vegetables like parsnips, sweet potatoes, carrots and beets, and roasts them separately.

"I use the yellow and chiogga beets," he said. "The sweetness is much better when you're roasting them, and it really adds a nice contrast to the earthiness."

To poach eggs, Madura has come up with ratio of water to white-<NO><NO1>wine vinegar that keeps the egg whites firm. Like pancakes, the first batch of eggs paves the way for later<NO><NO1> perfection.

"Putting an egg in there is what helps makes the liquid work better," he said. "So we get rid of the first two to four eggs we poach in the morning."

For those who want to lighten up the breakfast plate, Madura suggests a breakfast salad.

"You can put poached eggs over the top, with sauteed bacon," he said. "The red wine vinaigrette will wilt the greens a little bit."

His ultimate dish for any time of day would be Jeffrey's Favorite: whole chicken livers and onions, with creamy scrambled eggs and roasted potatoes.

The classic Italian dish, Pasta Carbonaro, also lends itself to a morning makeover since it is made with bacon and eggs.

"For breakfast, you can serve it with poached eggs over the top," he said. "People love to sin."

The following recipes are from Jeffrey Madura, chef/owner of Jeffrey's Hillside Cafe in Santa Rosa. He suggests buying your ground beef from Painted Hills.

Joe's Special with Hash Browns

Makes 6 servings

2 tablespoons rice or olive oil

2 pounds lean ground beef (80/20)

2 bunches green onions (cleaned, wash &amp; chopped into quarter-inch rounds)

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

? pound white or cremini mushrooms, sliced

? pound (about 4 cups) fresh spinach (rinsed, stems removed and chopped)

8 to 10 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup shredded Parmesan or Dry Jack cheese

? cup fresh thyme, minced

2 medium tomatoes, cored and diced

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Hash Browns (recipe below)

Heat the oil over high heat in a large, wide frying pan (non-stick or cast iron works well).

Crumble in the beef and cook stirring often. Season with salt &amp; pepper and continue cooking until browned. Drain the excess fat.

Add the onions, garlic and mushrooms. Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking and stirring for about 5 minutes until the onions and mushrooms are softened.

Stir in the salt, pepper, fresh thyme and spinach and cook for about 5 more minutes. Add the beaten eggs and reduce heat to low. Continue stirring and cook until the eggs are softly set.

Divide onto 6 warmed plates, garnish with the cheese and diced tomatoes and serve with hot hash browns and crusty bread.

Hash Browns

Makes 5 to 8 servings

6 tablespoons clarified butter or olive oil

2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes (previously baked in oven for about 40 minutes, let cool, then peel and shred using a grater)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the butter or oil in a large, heavy-bottom skillet. Add the potatoes, spreading them evenly over the pan. Add seasoning and cook over low-medium heat for 10-12 minutes. Press down on the potatoes frequently using a spatula and cook until the base is crisp and golden. Cover the skillet with a large plate and flip it over on the plate, then slide the hash browns back into the skillet. Cook and continue pressing down with spatula until the potatoes are golden and crisp. Serve with the Joe's Special.

This is one great recipe to use up leftover grilled vegetables from the night before. It also allows you to use all different types of seasonal vegetables that you may like.

Grilled Vegetable Hash

Makes 6 servings

? cup olive Oil

1 cup roasted red bell peppers, diced

1 cup cremini or shiitake mushrooms, sliced

1 cup green onions, cleaned and sliced

1 cup grilled red onions, chopped

1 cup black olives, pitted and sliced

2 cups grilled or roasted zucchini, diced

1 cup tomatoes, diced

4 cups spinach, rinsed and stemmed

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 cups potatoes (you can use hash browns or leftover roasted potatoes)

6 eggs, cooked your favorite style

Heat up the olive oil in a large saut?pan at medium high heat. Add the mushrooms, green onions, zucchini and tomatoes and saut?for 3-4 minutes depending on the tenderness and doneness of the grilled and roasted vegetables. Add the roasted peppers, grilled red onions and the olives and saut?for 2 additional minutes till warmed. Add the spinach, thyme and rosemary and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook and toss until the spinach is wilted.

The hash should be served on top of the potatoes, which have been placed in six warmed bowls. Place a cooked egg on top of each dish. Add a dollop of sun-dried tomato pesto or any other garnish you desire.

Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

Makes 2 cups

1 (8.5 ounce) jar of sun-dried tomatoes in oil (drain and reserve the oil)

2 cloves of garlic

1/8 cup toasted pinenuts or pistachios

? cup (packed) fresh basil leaves

? cup Parmesan or Dry Jack Cheese, grated

? cup olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Using a food processor, combine the drained tomatoes, garlic, pistachios, basil, parmesan and salt &amp; pepper and blend until finely chopped. Slowly add the (olive and sun-dried) oils and mix.

Put a dollop on top of the Grilled Vegetable Hash.

Hillside's Breakfast Salad

Makes 4 to 6 servings

For dressing:

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon minced shallots

2 teaspoons minced garlic

? cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 more tablespoons for potatoes and mushrooms

For salad:

? teaspoon kosher or sea salt, plus more to taste

? teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

6 ounces slab bacon, cut into 2-inch strips

8 ounces fris?, washed and patted dry

8 ounces spring mix

4 ounces baby spinach

8 ounces oyster mushrooms, cleaned

8 ounces fingerling potatoes, quartered

6 poached eggs, warm (recipe to follow)

Whisk together the mustard, shallots garlic and vinegar in a small bowl. Slowly drizzle the olive oil into the bowl while constantly whisking. Season the dressing with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Place the bacon strips in a medium sized skillet and over medium heat cook until crispy (about 8-10 minutes). Remove the bacon and set aside on paper towels to drain.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees and toss the potatoes with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Roast the potatoes in a sheet pan for 10-15 minutes to become tender. Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper and add them to the potatoes and roast them for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool slightly.

Combine the fris?, spinach and spring mix together in a large bowl. Drizzle the red wine vinaigrette over the greens and toss well to combine. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Add the crispy bacon, potatoes and mushrooms and divide into six salad bowls. Place a warm poached egg on each salad and serve immediately.

Poached Eggs

Makes 6 servings

6 cups water

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

? teaspoon kosher salt

6 large eggs

In a medium saut?pan (with straight sides) over high heat, bring the water, vinegar and salt to a boil. Turn down to a simmer. Using two separate bowls, crack open 3 eggs in each bowl. Slowly slide each egg into the water placing them one inch apart towards the edges of the pan. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes for eggs to be cooked "medium." You should turn the eggs over half-way through cooking using a slotted spoon. Once done remove to a warm plate using a slotted spoon to drain off excess water. Place one egg on top of each salad and serve immediately.

You can reach Staff Writer Diane Peterson at 521-5287 or diane.peterson@pressdemocrat.com.

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