Welcome to Black Cats Farm!

Welcome to Black Cats Farm!
Suzy Chanel

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What's Cooking Tonight?

Chicken Sausage and Artichoke Risotto with Oven Roasted Vegetables!  Sound complicated?  NOT!


Do these first, because they will take longer than the rice....

2 large onions, peeled and cut into chunks
2 yellow or red peppers, or a combo, seeded and chopped into large pieces
2-3 large tomatoes, seeded, and squeezed to remove juice, cut into pieces
1 bag frozen Italian Roma beans, or fresh if available
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon thyme
1 lemon, chopped, peel and all

Place all the vegetables in a baking dish.  Sprinkle with chopped lemon, thyme, olive oil and salt.  Roast at 425 degrees(pre heated) until vegetables are done and starting to brown.


1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups Arborio rice
2 tablespoons dried onion, or one small fresh onion, chopped
I pack pre cooked natural Italian chicken sausages, sliced thin
I cup preserved artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
I/2 cup grated parmesan (we are partial to Reggiano Parmagiana
2 quarts organic chicken broth(We buy cases from Costco)

Heat the oil in a large skillet, add onions and cook until translucent.  Add the rice and toss in the oil and onions until well coated. Add half the broth and stir until mostly absorbed.  Add the sausage and more broth and let simmer. When the rice is al dente, add the artichokes and stir.  Add more broth as needed.  When nearly soft, sprinkle on the cheese and simmer until done.  the rice should be soft, creamy, with individual grains still showing. 20-25 minutes.

Add a nice wine and simple dessert and you are done!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Welcome to Black Cats Farm!

As I sit to write a few words to start, nine sparrows are watching me from the grapevines outside the dining room windows. They are shocked and waiting for a handout to help them over the big surprise...a snowstorm on this first day of Spring in New York,s Hudson Valley. I can't bear to have hungry creatures around me, human or non, so please excuse me while I go dump some birdseed in a bowl for them.........................................................................................................................................

OK...While they feast, let me tell you something about us.  We are first, transplants from a very colorful art related loft lifestyle on Bleecker Street in NYC.  I find that I introduce myself still as a city person, even though we moved to the Hudson Valley when our son was five( now 23).  We came here originally to place our little boy in a school that we thought would be heavenly...and it turned out to be a disastrous, cult like experience.  More about that later.  Somehow, we stayed, adopted a daughter in China (now 16) who has never known city life, and bought a big Victorian house with large, established gardens.  I became the caretaker of the plant life, and fell in love with the idea of growing our own fruit and vegetables.  I have been only moderately successful at this, and have managed to kill, maim, or destroy many of the original plantings.
I am no expert gardener, but I have limitless enthusiasm.  I also love to cook, and create many recipes using the local produce combines with what we manage to grow. I hope to share and exchange some of our culinary adventures here in the future.

Why Black Cats Farm? To honor the three such residents of the property...Moose, who was 22 when he left us, Suzy Chanel, now five, and Cappy (for Boy Capel, Chanel's amour), who has been our truly feral outdoor resident for the past five years, keeping watch through the nights, and appearing like the Chesire cat, throughout the days, peeking from under the porch, under a tree, or lounging on the grass in the sun.

Welcome to our world!