Happy Birthday America | Valentina Author and Designer

Every year celebrating this historic birthday event is my way of showing my gratitude to this country, which adopted me so kindly a few moons ago. I came as tourist and ended up staying for work, leaving behind family, friends and my roots. I must admit it hasn’t always been easy, but I worked hard and took all the opportunities offered to me. One of my business coaches once said that when people walk on gold, it becomes pavement and they don’t see it anymore. He referred to the local people who often don’t see the beauty, the generosity, the abundance and the open doors this country offers, because they have been used to have it all and at their convenience, whereas emigrants coming from hardship and difficult lives somewhere else in the world, do see opportunities in this country with a different eyes and embrace them with open heart. They do what it takes to succeed and I am one of them. I have a beautiful design business, very nice clients and my books soon to be three on the market are doing well.

Today, I deserve to celebrate my hard work with good food and good friends. I made roasted zucchini, simply sliced and flavored with a mixture of olive oil, mint, garlic, a very small amount of sharp cheese and breadcrumbs. Salt & pepper to taste and in the oven for about 20 minutes. This simple dish can be prepared in advance and served at room temperature. I don’t ever serve food cold, unless is an ice cream, a cake that needs to be refrigerated or a chilled wine. Food kept in the refrigerator for a long time change the molecular structure and the taste suffers a little.

My pièce de resistance is the apricot salsa with grilled salmon. I have three apricot threes overloaded with fruit I can’t even eat. Every year, I make a large amount of apricot marmalade, pies and tartlets to store for the winter, I eat apricots even when I sleep, give a lot away, the wild birds visiting my garden eat them too and still have so much left falling on the ground. This time I tried my apricot salsa version to pair with grilled salmon caught wild around the coast of Alaska. I must say I well succeeded.

Apricot Salsa

All the measurements are to your liking, but if you like one ingredient to come forward, use more of it.

Apricots diced small
Jalapeño pepper diced
Garlic and ginger minced
A hand full of basil leaves
Spring onions
Lemon juice
Extra-virgin olive oil
Add salt to taste and a small pinch of sugar.

Mix well and let it macerate until the salmon is ready.

So many good food and various ideas are showing up on my Pinterest boards. I will make a patriotic Sangria according to punchbowl.com recipe.

Strawberries, sliced
Pineapple, cut into star shapes
2 bottles dry white wine
1 cup Triple Sec
1/2 Cup berry-flavored vodka
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup simple syrup

Combine the ingredients in a large pitcher and stir. Chill in the refrigerator for at least four hours. My way will be only with dry white wine, no other type of alcohol.


I don’t know what my friends are bringing, I am sure it will be a tasty surprise.
Celebrate beautiful America and have a very Happy 4th of July. Thank you America for all you have made possible for me. Ciao,


Copyright © 2012 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Robert Taitano, a Valentina’s friend and business associate says: “Valentina – an International Professional Interior Designer is now giving you an opportunity to redesign your palate”.
Check out her books in this site on the Books page and on

Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0

Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w


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