Think you can make it through the week ahead? Here is some financial news to look out for and crafty recipes to make the leftovers go down smoothly.

Monday
You can expect a trickle of retail sales figures coming in as chains start coloring in the picture of how the critical holiday shopping season is shaping up. Yes, they do paint by numbers. With most stores putting up their best sales the day after Thanksgiving -- Black Friday -- it is often a good indicator of which retailers will fare better than others during the peak selling season. While strong sales from online operators may sandbag the actual strength of the buying trends, it is still important to track the individual players as well.

Leftover suggestion: Shred up some turkey meat, and toss it into your next pasta dish. I'd suggest an Alfredo sauce -- or at the very least a pink sauce -- over the traditional tomato when you've got turkey in the mix.

Tuesday
The great thing about Jackson Hewitt (NYSE:JTX) going public back in June is that now you can get a second opinion on tax returns. No, I'm not suggesting that you have two specialists look over your 1040s. I'll leave that kind of advice to our thorough and free online Tax Center. But as investors it's great to know that after H&R Block (NYSE:HRB) puts up its quarterly numbers, we'll have Jackson Hewitt up a few days later to confirm or debunk the leading tax guru's perspective. So relish the fact that Jackson Hewitt is reporting its fiscal first-quarter numbers today. And, while you're at it, dust off that "Have you hugged a bean counter today?" bumper sticker.

Leftover suggestion: Cranberries flambé? They're already pretty sauced up, possibly even congealed by now, so just heat things up by dousing them with a little brandy and a carefully lit match. Serve a la mode with some hearty vanilla bean ice cream.

Wednesday
If the buck stops here, does that mean that Dollar General (NYSE:DG) can be court-martialed? With $7 billion in sales last year one can argue that this five-and-dime discounter really knows how to nickel-and-dime its way to some big numbers. The thrift haven with 7,000 stores has produced healthy results so far this year, and cost-conscious consumers aren't exactly going out of fashion anytime soon. That's why the third-quarter results that it announces come Wednesday shouldn't be too surprising.

Leftover suggestion: Stuffing soup. Liven up everything from French onion soup to the homeliest of consommés with ample spoonfuls of stuffing. It will also help the stuffing dissolve into smoother, more edible chunks.

Thursday
There hasn't been a whole lot of bread in the bread and butter business as supermarket chains have struggled in recent years. With warehouse clubs and discount department stores nibbling away at market share it's been no picnic -- even if you stock up for that picnic at your local grocery store. Albertson's (NYSE:ABS) will be the latest grocer to come in for a price check as it reports its third-quarter numbers. Adding insult to injury, which is the supermarket equivalent of picking out a shopping cart with a bum wheel only to realize that there's gum on the handle, Albertson's also has had to battle the labor dispute fallout in Southern California. Is it all behind it now? Are the chain's problems now 10 items or fewer? We'll know soon.

Leftover suggestion: Pumpkin pastries. Scoop out the pumpkin pie filling, and give it a new shell. From spooning it into pastry shells to rolling it into croissant rolls and sweet rolls, a new exterior will provide your palate with a welcome new texture.

Friday
While I love to leave my home behind when I travel, a lot of people don't see it that way. My sister, for one. Your neighbor, for another. That's why the recreational vehicle market has been powered by folks who just can't seem to pack light when they hit the road. That's certainly music to Fleetwood Enterprises' (NYSE:FLE) awning-protected ears. It is the country's RV leader and it has been faring well since the manufactured home industry bottomed out two years ago. It more than doubled Wall Street's profit expectations last quarter and the streamlined Fleetwood should continue to roll to recovery with Friday's report. Fleetwood back? Tusk, tusk.

Leftover suggestion: Two words: dog bowl. I mean, seriously, now. Thanksgiving was eight days ago. Some relationships don't even last that long. Move on. Crack open the cupboard. Pick up the phone, and order some take-out. Your stomach will thank you.

Until next week I remain,

Rick Munarriz

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has gone out in his sister's motor home and really did have a great time. He just likes his possessions to be a bit smaller. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.