Mon | Labor of love
Get a head start on coleslaw that'll go perfectly with Labor Day BBQ ribs by buying a prepared version at your market. There is generally enough dressing for another entire bag of shredded cabbage (or broccoli if you prefer). Make it your own with bacon crumbles and bits of blue cheese.
Tues | Get sloppy
We're not talking Joes here, but Chili-Stuffed Potato Skins (recipe below) that are nothing if not sloppy. Make it easy by microwaving the potatoes. Make it even easier by using canned chili, if you'd like.
Wed | Rotisserie chicken
Change up the standard Nicoise salad by substituting shredded chicken for tuna. On a large platter, lay out soft lettuce leaves (I like butter) and place, artfully of course, piles of chicken, blanched green beans, quartered hard-boiled eggs, halved cherry tomatoes, black olives, and cooked and halved baby red potatoes. Dress with a mustard vinaigrette.
Thurs | Burgermeisters
Open-faced burgers dripping with melted fontina sit tall and pretty on a thick slice of toasted sourdough bread. Saute mushrooms and sliced sweet onions in a bit of olive oil and butter. Serve alongside.
Fri | Flex your mussels
Put Mussels in Tomatoes on the menu if the kids are going to a sleepover tonight or it they're adventurous eaters. In a deep pot with a lid, saute minced garlic and a diced shallot in olive oil for about 3 minutes. Dump in a pound of washed mussels and stir. Add 1/2 cup of white wine and a 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes. Put the lid on and in a matter of minutes, the mussels will open. Dump it all in a big bowl and serve with crusty bread to sop up the delicious broth.
Read Stir Crazy online at www.blogs.tampabay.com/food. Submit your ideas for quick weeknight meals to firstname.lastname@example.org.