This past week was a busy one, so most of my dishes were chosen as a way to help me use up what I have. I typically shop on Saturday, so my menu go from Saturday to Friday. This week’s plan started with Friday night … just because.

Friday: Braised pork loin with mashed potatoes and vegetables. This is quickly becoming a family favorite. The meat comes out very juicy and tasty; and works very well as sandwhich fillings later in the week. Especially if you make hummus to go with it.

Saturday:  Hunter’s-Style Chicken with Green Salad and Thousand Island dressing. I love hunter’s-style dishes. They bake in their own sauce. I cook up all of a cut-up chicken. The bits we don’t enjoy eating (the back and the wing tips) I put aside to freeze and eventually use to make stock.

Sunday: Crockpot Chickpea and Chorizo soup. This is a start-it and forget-it type of dish. I added in the chicken drippings from previous baked chicken recipes (less the fat of course).

Monday: Spiced Sweet potato gratin with Green Salad. This is a new recipe I’m trying for the first time. It’s also valentine’s day. We’ll have some chocolate pudding and maybe some Whole Wheat Skillet Cookie for desert.

TuesdayMustard-baked chicken thighs with baked (sweet) potato wedges and steamed green beans. Another hunter’s-style dish. Any leftover thighs will be skinned, de-boned and the meat eaten separately. The skin and bones, however, will go towards making stock.

Wednesday: Chicken Provencal with rice and steamed vegetables. A family staple. Chicken in a pan with a good pan sauce. It can be as fancy, or as simple, as you want. I tend to strain the pan sauce to remove any lumps or bits, but you can puree it just as easily for a more “creamy” sauce.

Thursday: Cheeseburgers (all dressed) with Green Salad.

Friday: Hamburger soup. Another fix and forget meal done in the crockpot. This is a really good stick-to-your-ribs soup that travels and reheats well.