Sunday, January 2, 2011


Welcome to Fifty Two Meal Plans! My name is Jenna Hoskinson and I've had several people (friends and neighbors) ask me to email them my weekly meal plans. I kind of slacked off on that during this past holiday season, so with the coming of the new year, I've decided to dedicate a blog to it and this way my recipes and weekly menu will be available to all. Be sure to "follow" or add to your reader :)

A little about me and my cooking "style", if you will. I am mostly Italian and grew up in a household where both my mom and dad cooked well and cooked often. I was introduced to different cultures through food, and it seems we were always trying new things. My brother and I grew up eating Thai, Mexican, Indian, Norwegian, Spanish, sushi, of course Italian, and the list could go on and on. I love the variety in ingredients and spices that make up the food I grew up on and the food I continue to create for my own family now. Life would be boring and bland without this variety. So, you'll find that my menus are ever-changing, with hardly any repeat recipes from week to week. I'm always on the look out for new and interesting things to try. This means that sometimes I will post untested recipes. If, after having made the dish, I find that I needed to do something differently, or add a little more or less of something, I'll come back in and edit my post.

I also try to cook all from scratch and am learning about cooking in-season. I do have staples that will always be in my pantry, like onions, garlic, and diced tomatoes, no matter what the season! But, as far as using fruits and vegetables, I am trying more and more to use what is in season, local, and fresh. It's a learning process though, so don't expect my recipes to all be seasonal! The other important thing to me (and maybe even more-so), is organic and naturally produced food. I buy organic produce when it's available and looks decent, and I buy meat that is either organic or natural. By natural I mean the animal was raised in a manner consistent with how that animal would eat and roam in nature. So, grass-fed cows and pastured, free-range chickens and eggs. I often times buy my eggs from the small goat dairy where I get my milk. She lets her chickens roam and peck and is picky about any grain she gives them. Animals raised this way are not only happier animals, but the end up being healthier for whoever consumes them.

On to how this will work. My goal is that every weekend (most likely on Sundays) I'll post the upcoming week's meal plan with recipes. This will usually be 5 or 6 dinners. A lot of times we'll end up with leftovers that will last us a day or two for dinner, and be good for some lunches. I've browsed a few other meal plan type blogs, and they usually list the days with the menu for that day, and then require you to click on the title to get the recipe. Maybe that is a preferred way of setting this sort of thing up, but in my ignorance of most things techie, I'm going to go ahead and just put the recipe right in the main blog post, so there is less clicking around to find what you need (sometimes I will link to a recipe that I'm using from a different site). I'm also not going to put specific days for specific recipes. At home I just figure out 5-6 dinners and then kind of throw them in when they work or fit in my schedule. I usually do 2 or 3 slow-cooker meals for the days I work out of the house. Then the other days I make whatever I feel like making that day. I will note, however, that sometimes a recipe will be contingent upon something else being made first (like requiring chicken stock I made after having roasted a chicken) and in that case I will make a note of it in the weekly post. Otherwise, feel free to pick and choose and mix-up the recipes as much as you'd like :)

So, my goals are to organize and post 5-6 meals per week, make them healthy, usually low-glycemic, using very little or no processed ingredients, sometimes seasonal, and always tasty! Another thing you might like to know is that my weekly grocery bill is usually right around $100 (for a family of two adults, one preschooler, and one baby). So you know you aren't going to spend a fortune on making healthy, homemade meals.

Let me know your thoughts, please comment on the recipes, follow me, and enjoy!


  1. This is a great idea! I may not follow right along with you on your meal planning but I will definitely try something new from your recipes (hopefully often) because I can trust they will be really yummy! I will be sure to let you know when we make something of yours too. Thanks Jenna!

  2. Hi Kate! Thanks for commenting. I hope you like whatever you decide to try :)

  3. I am so excited to see you have started this blog! After experiencing your cooking first hand a few years ago I am ALWAYS interested to see what you are cooking! In fact...I am making the tortellini soup recipe you posted about tonight. It's one of my faves!

  4. Aw, thanks, Amber! Such nice comments :)

  5. Those muffins look great! I use almonds a lot, but I've never used almond meal. Have you ever tried to make your own? I buy pound and pounds of almonds at sprouts. I add almonds to a lot of breakfast items that I couldn't normally eat because of carb/ protein count- oatmeal, granola, and once in a while cereal. You haven't figured out the protein/carb count on the muffins have you? I may have to sit down and do the math- but the ingredient list looks like something I can definitly eat especially if I use agave nectar.

    Thanks for posting your blog, I look forward to trying and learning new things. I know things are more nutrious fresh but I do a lot of cooking a freezing just to make meals/ life work with family and work. Have you tried freezing any of your recipies? I'd be interested in knowing which ones freeze well if you have tried it- other wise, if I try one and it works well I'll let you know.

  6. Hi Kathy, the original recipe for the almond meal muffins called for artificial sweetener, which I know would make it lower-glycemic, but I detest artificial sweeteners. I would definitely do it w/the agave and I bet it would be pretty low-glycemic. I have not made my own almond meal but I know it's possible! And yes, I have frozen a lot of my meals. The soups usually freeze very well. Also the squash and beans recipe freezes well, too, I just leave out the macaroni and make that up as I re-heat the beans. I'll try to remember to make a note for the recipes I have frozen before.