Art is the Handmaid of Human Good

Life in Lowell, Massachusetts, USA


Well hello there, summer!

Wow. It’s June already. I can’t believe it.

April was incredibly busy and May was a bit of a blur and now, here we are in June. Life’s been a bit of a blur, but I can’t complain because that blur has been pretty fun.

There was an April Fool’s Day snowstorm…

One last hurrah!
I feel the hate coming this way for posting a snowy picture in June 😉

And just two weeks later I was whitewater rafting on the Concord River.

Public Matters - Concord River Rafting

I got to become re-acquainted with bike commuting in pleasant weather.

Continue reading



A number expressing the ratio of the circumference of a perfect circle to its diameter (or any excuse to make and eat pie!)

It’s a big holiday week ’round these parts: today is, of course, St. Patrick’s day (and I will be celebrating my Irish heritage by eating as many potatoes as possible, hopefully in the form of colcannon and boxty) and Monday was my favorite sort-of-about-math-but-really-about-food holiday of them all: Pi Day! Yay pie!

In honor of this very serious and important holiday, I made not one, but two pies for supper: pizza pie…

Pi Day Pizza Pie

…and buttermilk pie. Continue reading


Valentine’s Day Treats

Happy Valentine’s Day! I know Valentine’s Day is a boomin’ holiday for restaurants but as a diner (and as someone who loves to cook), I have never been big on the whole go-out-to-eat-with-your-sweetie tradition: I don’t like to fight the crowds to eat from a limited menu that’s usually just too much (both in cost and richness) and then feel rushed to leave in time for the next seating (when I was a waitress, however, my favorite way to spend Valentine’s Day was working: lots of volume, a higher price point and diners who were trying to impress their dates through tipping = a shift that flew by and lotsa money dollahs.) Gist and I usually spend the holiday with a home-cooked meal and this year was no different.

Our big Valentine’s Weekend (because who wants to celebrate on a Monday?) consisted of attending a lecture about Mexican Chocolate Traditions in Massachusetts at the Lowell National Park and a chocolate tasting to raise money for the Brush Gallery’s scholarship program on Saturday evening, and a delicious meal together on Sunday.

On the menu? Heart-Stuffed Shells in a Ricotta Sauce…

Valentine's Day Dinner

…and Maple Syrup Pie.

Valentine's Day Dinner

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Snow Day Fun / Quinoa & Beet Pancakes

Quinoa & Beet Pancakes

Those of you that live in New England know that we were hit with a super-awesome blizzard yesterday.  It was super-awesome both because I love snow always, but also because it was forecasted well and meant a snow day for me and Gist.  In honor of the snow day, I busted out my new favorite, Good to the Grain, and whipped up these pretty pink pancakes. Continue reading


Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies (or, my new go-to recipe.)

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have been reading about Kim Boyce’s Good to the Grain for months and I finally got a copy of my very own for Christmas.  The hype surrounding this book has been intense and I was really hoping that the recipes would be even half as good as people as people said they were.  The verdict after making these cookies: the hype is well deserved and the book is worth it just for this recipe alone (but there are also a bunch of other recipes that look equally amazing, so, YAY!)

The idea behind the book is that whole grain flours have more flavor than white flours and the recipes are designed to make the flavor of the various grains shine.  This recipe does that perfectly.  The whole wheat flour adds a rich, nutty flavor to the cookies that contrasts perfectly with the dark chocolate.  Gist and I both agree that these are the best cookies to come out of my kitchen (it doesn’t hurt that they also have the perfect crispy-chewy texture.) Continue reading


World Peas CSA – Week Six (sort of…)

Day 201 - Wednesday, July 21st 2010 - I grew this!

No produce on the counter photo this week, Gist was kind enough to pick up the CSA and put it away all while I took a nap. Instead I am showing off this sunflower that I grew with my own hands. This is my third year of container gardening on my balcony and, up until now, I have never been able to grow a flower from seed.

This week’s share contained: Continue reading

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World Peas CSA – Week Three

Day 179 - Tuesday, June 29th 2010

I’m a little late this week!  This weeks CSA haul:

  • Water Spinach
  • Collard Greens
  • Lettuce (left in the swop box)
  • Peas!
  • Summer Squash
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Green Onions
  • Cherries

I haven’t been updating what I’ve been doing with all of my veggies because things have been a bit crazy around here.

I am very happy and excited about the long weekend ahead; if you’re in the US, happy 4th! I am looking forward to three days away from computers, phones, and the like, but full of a lot of relaxing, reading, riding my bike, and swimming!