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About Tomato Envy

Tomato Envy will inspire you to discover a joyful, sustainable, and deliberately decadent life wherever you call home.

Together, we’ll learn about growing and cooking real food, creating a peaceful respite from the daily grind, eating delicious meals, and making nice with Mother Earth. When you really dig your home, every day is a cause for celebration.

About Brande

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BP7.5.13Sometimes, people call me “industrious”. I’m always getting into something, working on a new project, or reading about my next hobby. While some might consider being industrious a virtue, I adopted it as a coping strategy years ago, when I found myself feeling restless and bored. I was working in a demanding career that paid the bills but left me feeling stressed out, unhealthy, hurried, and as if my life was getting away from me.

Rather than looking outside for answers, I turned inward, to my home. At the time, home was an apartment in the Little Italy neighborhood on the east side of Cleveland. I got permission from my landlord to paint the walls, and I began hosting gourmet Thanksgiving dinners. When spring came, I filled my balcony with so many flowers, I barely had room to sit. Suddenly, I became interested in things I wouldn’t have been bothered with before.  I thought that cooking meals from scratch, going to a farm to pick up a chicken, canning tomatoes, or planting window boxes was for other people, and not for a busy career girl like me.  But, what I found was astonishing. I found that transforming my humble place into a needed respite from the crazy world gave me immense satisfaction.

Rob & BrandeYears later, I bought my first home and systematically turned its tiny yard into a perennial garden. I cooked homemade meals for one that I savored at a little table adorned with antique milk glass candlesticks and fresh flowers. Now, I share a home in suburban Philadelphia with my husband, Rob (aka Mr. President), and our four cats. We are proud homebodies, using our house as a place to relax and make memories with family and friends.

These days, I strive to balance a busy career with all the other things I love. When I’m not at the office, I’m probably trying a new recipe in the kitchen or getting dirty in the garden. I still haven’t figured out how to grow a decent tomato crop, so I suffer from a bad case of Tomato Envy. My sometimes unhealthy focus on getting good results can cause me great frustration, but I keep trying.

Our Cats

SerenaSince I was young, I’ve been interested in nature and preserving the environment. As an adult, I became more aware of the connection between how we live and the Earth. Particularly, I started to pay attention to food choices and how they affect the health of our bodies, agricultural workers, local economies, and the planet. I believe that a better world doesn’t require everyone to be an environmental extremist. Rather, it requires that more and more people learn to make small changes in how they live and eat.

Here at Tomato Envy, I’ll share my triumphs as well as my failures. If I can teach you one amazing meal to enjoy at home or inspire you to start your own herb garden, then I’ve done my job. It’s a really fun journey that I’m on, and I’d love for you to join me.