Page 6 The INDEPENDENT, December 3, 2009 Food for Thought By Leslie Barnes This time of year seems to be hectic for many of us. Between winter sports and getting ready for the holidays, having dinner on the table every night can seem a bit daunting, especially when you've spent the day out of town. With that in mind, these recipes are freezer friendly. After preparation, these recipes can be divided, half for now and half frozen for a quick, homemade meal after a long day. MAC ‘N’ CHEESE WITH BACON Kosher salt 1 lb elbow macaroni 4 cups milk 2 or 3 sprigs thyme 4 cloves garlic, smashed and divided 3 T unsalted butter 3 T all-purpose flour 5-1/2 cups shredded sharp white Cheddar, divided Freshly ground black pepper 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley 4 slices bacon, cut crosswise into thin strips 1 large onion, diced Leaves from 1/4 bunch fresh thyme Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook for 8 to 9 minutes, until al denté. Drain. Preheat oven to 400°F. In a small saucepan heat milk with the thyme sprigs and 2 garlic cloves. Melt but- ter in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly to keep lumps from forming. Strain the solids out of the milk and whisk it into the butter and flour mixture. Continue to whisk vigor- ously, and cook until the mixture is nice and smooth. Stir in 4 cups of the cheese and continue to cook and stir to melt the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Add the cooked macaroni and the parsley, and fold it all in to coat the macaroni with the cheese mixture. Scrape into a 3-quart baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining 1-1/2 cups cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. While that bakes, heat a sauté pan. Add the bacon, render the fat and cook un- til crispy. Add onion, 2 cloves garlic and thyme leaves and cook for about 5 minutes to soften the onion. Season with salt and pepper. To serve, scatter the bacon mixture over the mac and cheese. Use a big spoon to scoop out servings, making sure you get some of the bacon mixture on each spoonful. Serves 6-8. TURKEY AND SPINACH-STUFFED SHELLS WITH ARRABBIATA SAUCE 1 (12-oz) box jumbo pasta shells 3 T extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup) 3 cloves garlic, chopped 1 lb ground turkey 1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus 1/2 tsp 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus 1/4 tsp 1 (8 to 10-oz) package frozen spinach, thawed and coarsely chopped 1 (15-oz) container ricotta cheese 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 2 eggs, lightly beaten 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves 2 T chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 5 cups Arrabbiata Sauce, recipe follows 1-1/2 cups grated mozzarella (about 5 ounces) Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and partially cook until tender but still very firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain pasta. Meanwhile, in a large heavy skillet, heat the olive oil over medi- um-high heat. Add the onions and the garlic and cook until the onions are soft and starting to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the ground turkey, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is slight- ly golden and cooked through. Add spinach and stir to combine. Remove from heat and let cool. In a large bowl combine the cooled turkey mixture with the ri- cotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, eggs, basil, parsley, and the re- maining salt and pepper. Stir to combine. To stuff the shells, cover the bottom of a 9x13 by 2-inch baking dish with 1 cup of Arrabbiata sauce. Take a shell in the palm of your hand and stuff it with a large spoonful of turkey mixture, about 2 T. Place the stuffed shell in the baking dish. Continue filling the shells until the baking dish is full, about 24 shells. Drizzle the remaining Arrabbiata Sauce over the shells, top with the grated mozzarella. If freezing, cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for up to 1 month. To bake, preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake until the shells are warmed through and the cheese is beginning to brown, about 60 minutes (20 minutes if shells are unfrozen.) Arrabbiata Sauce: 2 T extra-virgin olive oil 6 oz sliced pancetta,(bacon works well) coarsely chopped 2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes 2 garlic cloves, minced 5 cups jarred or fresh marinara sauce Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the pancetta and saute until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until tender, about 1 minute. Add the marinara sauce and red pepper flakes and bring to a sim- mer. Remove from heat and let cool until ready to use. Yield: approximately 6 cups Serves 6 to 8. ROASTED GARLIC SOUP WITH PARMESAN CHEESE 26 garlic cloves (unpeeled) 4 T olive oil, divided 2-1/4 cups sliced onions 1-1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme 18 garlic cloves, peeled 3-1/2 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth 1/2 cup whipping cream 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces) 4 lemon wedges Preheat oven to 350°F. Place 26 garlic cloves in small glass baking dish. Add 2 T olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Cover baking dish tightly with foil and bake until garlic is golden brown and tender, about 45 minutes. Cool. Squeeze garlic between fingertips to release cloves. Transfer cloves to small bowl. Add 2 T olive oil to heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and thyme and cook until onions are translucent, about 6 minutes. Add roasted gar- lic and 18 raw garlic cloves and cook 3 minutes. Add chicken stock; cover and sim- mer until garlic is very tender, about 20 minutes. Working in batches, purée soup in blender until smooth. Return soup to saucepan; add cream and bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refriger- ate. Rewarm over medium heat, stirring occasionally.) Divide grated cheese among 4 bowls and ladle soup over. Squeeze juice of 1 lemon wedge into each bowl and serve. Serves 4. Church Directory N EHALEM V ALLEY B IBLE C HURCH S EVENTH D AY A DVENTIST F IRST B APTIST C HURCH Gary Taylor, Pastor Grant & North Streets, Vernonia 503 429-5378 Sunday School 10:00 a.m. Morning Worship 11:00 a.m. Nursery available Wednesday Service 7:00 p.m. Gary S. Walter, Pastor 2nd Ave. and Nehalem St., Vernonia 503 429-8301 Morning Worship, 11:00 a.m. Sabbath School 9:30 a.m. 359 “A” Street, Vernonia 503 429-4027 Sunday School 9:45 a.m. Sunday Worship Service 11:00 a.m. Wednesday Prayer Meeting 7:00 p.m. A SSEMBLY OF G OD S T . M ARY ' S C ATHOLIC C HURCH Wayne and Maureene Marr 662 Jefferson Ave., Vernonia, 503 429-0373 Sunday School 9:45 a.m. Morning Worship 11:00 a.m Rev. Luan Tran, Administrator 960 Missouri Avenue, Vernonia 503 429-8841 Mass Sunday 12:00 Noon Religious Educ. Sunday 10:30 a.m. V ERNONIA C HRISTIAN C HURCH V ERNONIA C OMMUNITY C HURCH Sam Hough, Minister 410 North Street, Vernonia 503 429-6522 Sunday School 9:45 a.m. Sunday Worship 11:00 a.m. (meets in Youth & Family Center) Home Group Meeting throughout the week at various locations Grant Williams, Pastor 957 State Avenue, Vernonia 503 429-6790 Sunday Breakfast 9:00 a.m. Morning Worship 9:45 a.m. Children and Nursery 10:00 a.m. Youth Group 6:00 p.m. Preschool Mon. & Wed. 9:00 a.m. Wednesday Prayer 6:00 p.m. Tues. & Fri. Adult Volleyball 7:00 p.m. V ERNONIA F OURSQUARE C HURCH Carl Pense, Pastor 850 Madison Avenue, Vernonia 503 429-1103 Sunday Worship Service: 10:30 a.m. Children’s Sunday School C HURCH OF J ESUS C HRIST OF L ATTER D AY S AINTS Marc Farmer, Branch President 1350 E. Knott Street, Vernonia 503 429-7151 Sacrament Meeting, Sunday 10 a.m. Sunday School & Primary 11:20 a.m. Relief Society, Priesthood and Young Women, Sunday 12:10 p.m.