Art is the Handmaid of Human Good

Life in Lowell, Massachusetts, USA


There’s a first time for everything…


I love roast chicken (who deosn’t, right?) It has always been one of my favorite foods. True confession time: up until this point, I had roasted one chicken in my life and it was a miserable failure. When I tell people this, they are shocked. I get a lot of “But roast chicken is so easy…” and “I don’t even cook, and I can make a roast chicken.” For many of the years when I was first learning to cook, I was a vegetarian. As a result, I am really comfortable cooking vegetarian meals but I am kind of intimidated by meat and poultry.

Now, I haven’t been a vegetarian for over a decade, but it’s only been in the past few years that I’ve started cooking meat and poultry at home. One of the first things I tried to make was (you guessed it) a roast chicken and it was too soon. I had a hard time getting past handling the raw chicken, I didn’t have a meat thermometer and was worried about under-cooking the chicken (so I over-cooked it) and I had no idea how to carve so I pretty much decimated the poor chicken. It was pretty awful but I hoped that someday I would be able to do it right.

Continue reading



Getting out of ruts (culinary and otherwise…)


I have been in a couple of ruts lately. I haven’t been posting here as much as I would like, and we have been eating a lot of the same things for dinner. To kill a couple of proverbial birds*, I decided to spend some time looking through my cookbooks to find something interesting and post about one of my meals. Yay for setting and meeting goals, because I have three new recipes in the dinner rotation for this week and I am going to write about one of them right now.

Risotto with Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale

Continue reading


Chicken Stew with Cider, Butternut Squash, and Shallots (or, the perfect fall meal.)

Chicken Stew with Cider, Butternut Squash, and Shallots

I am really surprised I’ve never posted this recipe as it is one of our absolute favorites. It’s one of those recipes that is just so perfectly fall, and preparing – and eating – it is one of the things I anticipate every September.

The stew has layers of flavors, starting with some lightly curried shallots…

Chicken Stew with Cider, Butternut Squash, and Shallots

Continue reading

1 Comment

Farmers Market Recipes

Lowell Farmers Market bounty: eggs, tomatoes, onions, garlic, peaches, cucumbers, bread, potatoes, MAPLE COTTON CANDY, cheese, basil, corn, Grade B syrup. I was basically hemorrhaging money dollahs while I was there!
Last week’s Lowell Farmers Market haul – I love eating at this time of year!

It’s Friday, which means it’s Lowell Farmers Market Day! I love the farmers market and try to visit every week during the season. This summer, I have been making the same two dishes each and every weekend that the required produce has been available: Panzanella and Vegetarian (or not) Red Flannel Hash.

Lowell’s fantastic online arts and entertainment magazine, Howl, is currently sponsoring an Eat Local Challenge and so, of course, I had to submit my two favorite farmers market recipes. Here’s a link to the piece which (obviously) includes recipes!

Do you have any favorite farmers market recipes? I’d love to see them! Better yet, if you’re local, you should submit them to Howl – the prize is a Fuse gift certificate – YUM!


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


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