Mon | Living room tailgate
Break out the slow cooker before you head to work and load it up with a pork shoulder or butt, a couple sliced onions and a can of condensed French onion soup. About an hour before Monday Night Football, drain the liquid, shred the meat and return to slow cooker with your favorite barbecue sauce. Make Pulled Pork Sandwiches on pillowy buns with cole slaw. Serve with potato salad, chips, crunchy raw veggies with dip and beverages of choice.
Tues | Bunco night
Chipotle Shrimp Salad (recipe below) fits the bill for ladies' bunco night because it's light and spicy. Sort of like the popular dice game itself. Serve Mexican beer such as Dos Equis or Corona or a cold white Spanish wine like Albariño. Lemonade cuts the spice of the shrimp dish for teetotalers. After the game? A bowl of berries and whipped cream.
Wed | Rotisserie chicken poker
Poker buddies will go all in for Shredded Chicken Quesadillas that can be cut in triangles and eaten with one hand. To make them, start with light and dark meat from your store-bought bird. Mix shredded meat with green salsa, then spread on flour tortillas. Layer with shredded Jack cheese (or pepper Jack if you want heat). Top with another tortilla and heat in skillet on baking sheet in oven. Flip halfway until both sides are browned. Serve with sour cream. Tortillas chips with guacamole and salsa, too. Beer. Lots of beer.
Thurs | Entertaining the boss
Fra Diavolo Shellfish Pasta is fancy enough for company, especially on a weeknight. In a skillet, saute garlic and onion in extra virgin olive oil. Add a large can of crushed tomatoes, plus salt, pepper and some red pepper flakes and let simmer for about 15 minutes. When sauce is thick, add bay scallops and peeled shrimp. Finish with a couple healthy splashes of white wine. They'll cook in just minutes. Serve over angel hair pasta and sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley. Caesar salad, French bread and chardonnay on the side. Key lime pie for dessert. The raise is in the bag.
Fri | Kids' sleepover
Pizza might seem the logical choice, but think about Chinese take-out. Kids love sesame chicken and most noodle dishes. It'll be cheaper to buy frozen eggrolls and bake them yourself rather than order them for takeout. Buy extra fortune cookies.
Sign up for Easy Meal Ideas from Janet's Kitchen at enews.tampabay.com. Get a free recipe e-mailed to you every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Submit your ideas for quick weeknight meals to firstname.lastname@example.org.