I spent the month of January cleaning out pretty much every closet, including the attic, and since many of my little used cookbooks were donated to the Friends of the Library, I chose these new books for my cookbook library…

You Have it Made by Ellie Krieger.  I saw her on Hallmark Channel’s Home and Family preparing mini meatloaves.  The concept behind her book are recipes that can be made ahead and put into the freezer for easy weeknight dinners.  The mini meatloaves made 12 individual servings and she talked about how “even the babysitter” can prepare a healthy, delicious meal for your family when you aren’t home.  I thought that was a perfect idea for the working mom.

Tonight, I made her recipe for Sunday Beef Stew.  It’s a tiny bit labor intensive — hence the name “Sunday” stew.  But, it was well worth it.  Rich, robust and wintry.

I served it on a bed of homemade mashed potatoes.  It was heavenly.  It made a ton so we will easily have enough leftovers for the freezer for another night.

The next cookbook to share is not new, but it’s new to me…

Skinny Taste by Gina Homolka.  Her concept is taking traditional recipes, preparing them with fewer calories, yet keeping the focus on big flavor.  All her recipes include the nutritional information along with Weight Watcher points.

I have to be honest that I have been feeling in the dumper lately on my cooking…as far as Miss Bee is concerned.  She has become so particular.  This is new territory to me.  We are talking about a child that, from the time she could eat table food, would eat ANYTHING.  I never had any struggles with her being picky or refusing to eat.  Until the eve of her 16th year of birth!  Why do I care, I tell myself when she scrapes perfectly good food into the trash?  So, this week I made it my mission to prepare at least two meals she would eat.

We have a winner on this one folks — Baked Chicken Parmesan!!!!!

Instead of chicken, I used turkey tenderloins I already had on-hand.  You set up a dredging station using a little butter, Parmesan cheese, whole wheat Panko bread crumbs (didn’t know they came in whole wheat and I loved them. Best part, Miss Bee was none-the-wiser).

You bake the chicken/turkey at 450 for 20 minutes.  Turn, then bake 5 more minutes.

Then, you spread a little marinara sauce (I use Mezzetta because it has no added sugar), and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.  Bake for another 5 minutes.

It makes these incredible crispy pieces when the cheese melds with the bread crumbs.  I served the chicken with a side of whole wheat pasta and warmed marinara sauce.  Plus, a hunk of fresh baked Italian bread with a garden salad.  The chicken comes in under 275 calories per serving.

Miss Bee had two servings.  Mission: Possible.