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Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Perfect Storm

I am always cynical about weather reports especially living in the city - all the insanity about storms other then Sandy which proved to be true is usually just sheer craziness.  However, I need to be a little more objective when it comes to storms upstate.  This one was a doozy.  Not prepared and by myself - the snow just kept on falling. I had to shovel the back roof 5 times to keep the house vents uncovered from the amount of snow that was just burying all the vents.  I fell three times in the snow and was on Alleve for the next couple days.  I know I am a total klutz but honestly?  My truck was snowed in up to it's hood and took couple days to shovel out. It's funny but I was just driving my Mom around the Papactan reservoir a couple weekends ago commenting about how low the water was still.  Now, we should have plenty of water once all this melts.  3 feet of snow in 24 hours is a lot of snow.  It wouldn't be a problem except for the vent situation on the roof.  The heating coils were worthless with how fast the snow was piling up.  All I could do is pull out my 21 foot snow rake and rake the snow off the roof away from the vents.  Even with warm days, it's going to be awhile before all of this melts.  However, summer gardening should be good with all this water.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Ocala Florida

Just a quick trip to see my Aunt and Uncle in Florida.  I helped my Aunt and Uncle move down to Ocala, Florida last year and I haven't been down there to see their new place yet. I had some time off and decided to go see see what horse country looked like.  I hate that they are no longer in North Carolina but their new place is lovely and the weather ( in March) was awesome!  We looked at horse farms, went to a Patrick Doughtery exhibit, shopped antique stores and ate alligator.  Great trip and Ocala is definitely worth a trip especially if you are horse people.  Great time.

Monday, February 27, 2017


We decided to take a quick trip to Savannah for the weekend.  It was Tim's birthday and we have talked about going for quite some time.  The weather was absolutely gorgeous for February.  We rented bicycles and biked all over town.  Architectural home tours, great restaurants and shopping - it is such an incredible city.  Our favorite salad was the BLT - fried green tomatoes sandwiched with greens, buttermilk dressing, and candied bacon.  We did not want to leave and decided that we would come back very soon.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Capers and Dijon Mustard

This is the recipe I promised to post a couple days ago.  I could eat Brussels sprouts at every meal. Sometimes, it is all I eat for dinner - a lot of the time.  Tim knows how much I like them and looks for new ideas on how to cook them.  This was pretty fantastic.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Capers and Dijon Mustard

2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnut
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
2 teaspoons white-wine vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 45 degrees.
2. Cut Brussels sprouts into quarters.  Spread in an even layer on a large rimmed baking sheet.  Drizzle with 3 tablespoons oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat.  Add walnuts and cook stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted 4-6 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Stir in mustard, capers and vinegar.
4. Add the brussels sprouts to the pan and stir to combine with the sauce.  Season with more pepper to taste. Serve warm.

You Are Loved

Years ago when I was in middle school. I went to a 5 and Dime store to buy my mother a gift. At a very early age, I realized that it was going to be up to me to make sure my Mom knew that someone always cared for her. My Dad was a typical military type guy - not very affectionate, wasn’t very demonstrative, and sometimes could be cruel. He would often forget birthdays, and holidays and anniversaries. I got used to it but my mother never did. Unfortunately, my brothers took after him in this forgetful, cruel way. Thus, for my entire life, I have made a point of overcompensating for the three of them on every birthday, Mother’s Day, Holiday and even anniversary. I never wanted my mother to ever think she had been forgotten. When I moved away from home - the guilt of being separated from her made it even worse. I hated to hear her tell me that my brothers had forgotten to call her on her birthday. Or, my father on a particularly stupid moment walked into a Hallmark store with her and handed her a card. He had her read it and then told her “now I don’t have to buy you the card.” Sometimes, stupid was too nice a word for him. I loved my Dad but sentimentality was not his strength.  

I have spent a lifetime trying to shield my Mom from any more thoughtless forgetfulness and in a manner that was at times obsessive - made sure that if they weren’t capable of recognizing her worth - that I would. Now that it is just the two of us and with her in the nursing home, I feel completely hopeless at protecting her or overcompensating in a way that would make up for what she has gone through or what she is going through.  

At a very early age, I ransacked that 5 and Dime for the perfect gift with what little allowance money I had. I came across this tiny chunk of marble with the words “You Are Loved” imprinted on it and thought this would be the perfect gift. Some 40 plus years later, this little rock now sits in my house to remind me of a lifetime of trying to prove and show my love for her. Like always for me, it just doesn’t seem enough.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Baked Chicken with Dijon and Lime

Tim has made this recipe so many times over the last couple months - we have had it almost every weekend it is that good.


  • 8 chicken drumsticks, skin removed
  • 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp light mayonnaise
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 lime, squeezed, and lime zest
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • kosher salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Rinse the chicken and remove the skin and all fat. Pat dry; place in a large bowl and season with salt.
  3. In a small bowl combine Dijon, mayonnaise, lime juice, lime zest, garlic and pepper. Mix well. Pour over chicken, tossing well to coat.
  4. Spray a large baking pan with a little Pam to prevent sticking since all the fat and skin was removed from chicken.
  5. Place chicken to fit in a single layer. Top the chicken with dried parsley.
  6. Bake until cooked through, about 35 minutes. Finish the chicken under the broiler until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.

The brussels sprouts were a new recipe and were awesome with the capers will post later. 

Baked Teriyaki Chicken and Broccoli

It was a cold and very snowy weekend - perfect for just working on indoor projects and catching up on Netflix series like Black Mirror and Santa Clarita Diet.  And eating, always eating.


  • 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 12 ounces broccoli florets
  • 6 carrots, cut diagonally in 1-inch-thick slices
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced


  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray.
  2. To make the teriyaki sauce, whisk together cornstarch and 1/4 cup water in a small bowl; set aside. In a small saucepan over medium heat, add soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, honey and 1 cup water; bring to a simmer. Stir in cornstarch mixture until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 2 minutes; let cool to room temperature. Reserve 1/2 cup and set aside.
  3. In a gallon size Ziploc bag or large bowl, combine teriyaki sauce and chicken; marinate for at least 30 minutes to overnight, turning the bag occasionally. Drain the chicken from the sauce.
  4. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken, skin-side down, and sear both sides until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side; drain excess fat.
  5. Place chicken, skin-side up, in a single layer into the prepared baking dish. Top with broccoli, carrots and reserved 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce.
  6. Place into oven and roast until completely cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, about 25-30 minutes.
  7. Serve immediately, garnished with sesame seeds and green onion, if desired.