Book Reviews

Author’s contact information: 

Valentina Cirasola
Author and Designer
©The Road To Top Of The World
©RED- A Voyage Into Colors
©Sins Of A Queen – Italian Appetizers and Desserts
©Come Mia Nonna-A Return To Simplicity

Visit Valentina, the designer:
Design Blog:
Tel. 650-346-6349


A journey through colors – Dec.4, 2012
By: Mariachiara Martina
I’m always proud to be Italian. Much more when I read inspiring and instructive books written by Italians around the world. Valentina’s book made me feel grateful to be born in such a colored Country!
In her book, I could appreciate new interesting point of view on colors and find out some “meaning nuance” on them which I did never realise until now. Thanks, Valentina!

Red Hot Connection – Nov.18, 2012
By: Carra Riley – on RED-A Voyage Into Colors
Valentina Cirasola has written “GOLD” with her book ” Red: A Voyage Into Colors.” The author takes her vast knowledge of fashion, interior and structural design along with her expertise in cooking and shares how intertwined our lives can be through color. She takes the reader on a journey that connects all the dots in life through, photos, recipes and history. Valentina ties in a beautiful bow through color: balance, emphasis, rhythm and harmony in all aspects of our lives. Learn, laugh and eat healthy with this extraordinary combination of colorful thoughts.

You get a good sense how to choose colors – Nov.8, 2012
By Travelerphoto – on RED-A Voyage Into Colors
Valentina Cirasola has done a great job of taking her readers to “A Voyage Into Colors” (the title of the book). There are numerous books about colors for interior decoration. But this book is well presented and organized into 6 sessions: colors and studies and expressions, colors in astrology, in food, and fashion, and colors do not end here. After reading her book, you get a good sense of why, how, and when to use colors; most importantly how to choose colors. The photos she uses for practical examples are beautiful. As Valentina says “Colors nourish eye and inspire the spirit”. I find it very useful and pleasant to read. I highly recommend the book.

Informative and fun
– Nov.7, 2012
By: Enrica
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book on colors. It is an amazing journey into a rainbow not only of colors, but of disciplines too: colors are described in relation to interior design, fashion, food, astrology, and more. And all of that in a very spirited and passionate writing style, which makes the book a really fun reading. Highly recommended to anybody who wants to learn about colors, and also to those who would like to expand their knowledge of colors.

Colors and La Dolce Vita! – Oct. 28, 2012
By: John Shepardson
A beautifully illustrated voyage into Color from the Italian perspective. Chapters include “The Table is a Lady”, “Colors and the Energy of Planets, “Flavors of Colors”, and “The Strategy of Selecting Colors”. It covers food, fashion and life. An illuminating pictorial expedition into every aspect of color. Highly recommended!

It was a tremendous success!
– April 7, 2013
By K. Maldonado – on Come Mia Nonna – A Return To Simplicity (paperback)
Last night I prepared page 97, “Pollo Con Peperoni” from “Come Mia Nonna” and it was a tremendous success! I usually add my own flare to recipes but in this case I made the dish according to directions and it was fantastic! I chose to serve mezze penne and fresh asparagus with the recipe and it was a great combination! Of course Pugliese bread and a wine from Puglia as well!
Molto bene……..Buon appetito!!♢

I especially enjoy the stories – Dec. 2012
By: Kathy Winkelman – on Sins Of A Queen – Italian Appetizers and Desserts
Ciao Valentina, I am reading your book and ENJOYING EVERY PAGE! I especially enjoy the stories and cannot believe that you saw the “garzone’ on bicycle pick up and deliver for the brick public ovens where he would carry the dishes on a board on his head while riding! I love torrone and will always now think of the story you tell. I feel like I am meeting your mother and grandmother. I am enjoying the recipes and have chosen a few for Festa Gioia this weekend. “Grilled Asparagus”, “Festa of Mozzarella, Mushrooms, Tomatoes”, “Roasted Vegetable Frittata.♢

“Not Just Any Cookbook” – December 7, 2012
By Debbie – on Come Mia Nonna – A Return To Simplicity
Don’t let the title of this book fool you….Simplicity in Valentina’s recipes, yes. Nothing else is simple in this rich book filled with stories, traditions, and words that tickle all of your senses ! This Cookbook is a keeper through the generations that like a fine wine will become more valuable as it is passed down, reminding all of the simple things….the good life that is the Italian way!♢

“Valentina strikes again!” – August 29, 2012
By: Joanne Mathis, N.J. – on Sins Of A Queen and Come Mia Nonna – A Return To Simplicity.
Valentina Cirasola cook book, Sins of a Queen, is definitely sinful. The recipes of both books are delicious to the palate and the rich fresh colors are healthy eye candy.
Valentina has poured her emotions into creating scrumptious  desserts that make your mouth water just flipping through the pages.
Valentina’s cookbooks helped me prepare delicious healthy meals.
Bon Appetit!
Joanne Mathis/ Host
Artist, Designers and Things/ Blog Talk Radio.♢

“Wonderful Cookbook!!!” – April 10, 2012
By: Shannon L. Sigman San Jose, CA – on Sins Of A Queen-Italian Appetizers and Desserts.
I have three wonder words: Baked Ricotta Cheese. Just amazing. The recipes are simple to understand and the instructions are easy for me a home cook.
She takes a hand full of ingredients and turns them into a feast. This cookbook is just as good as the first.♢

“It is like taking a stroll on a rainbow” – March 13, 2012
By: Dr. Maria Grazia Romeo, artist and teacher, Fremont, CA – on RED – A Voyage Into Colors
This book by Valentina Cirasola is indeed a voyage,  a fantastic one and at the same time it is a real education. She takes you through paths of discovery in what nature has to offer  and uncovers all the mystery and magic of colors.  A great guide not only for artists, but for everyone.  Reading these pages is like taking a stroll on a rainbow.♢

“Authentic “Pugliese” taste” – March 13, 2012
Annalisa – Saratoga, CA – on Sins Of A Queen – Italian Appetizers and Desserts
I happen to come from the same region as Valentina Cirasola’s in Italy.
I thought I knew a lot and I was pretty skilled at cooking “our” dishes. Instead, she surprised me with new tastes ideas and tips!
I’m so glad I purchased this book! Now I can offer authentic genuine “Pugliese” dishes a little more interesting and spiced up though.♢

“You obviously have a passion for your subject matter” – February. 27, 2012.
By: Lisa Conner, Manuscript Review Team at Outskirts Press, Inc. – on RED-A Voyage Into Colors (in publication at this time).
We are honored you have selected to return to Outskirts Press to publish your third book with us.
I am pleased to report that A Red Voyage Into Colors has been accepted for publication through Outskirts Press.
I want to be the first to congratulate you and welcome you back once again.
I want to give you my overall impression of your work: You obviously have a passion for your subject matter – you present your findings in a very well-researched, thorough manner.
You really give your reader a lot to consider and present a wealth of information. I can tell that you have spent countless hours with your subject matter.
You have presented your material in a way that just about anyone could understand and benefit from reading it (thanks to the fact that you have really considered your audience.)
You add details that add to the credibility of your writing and really do come across as an expert.In your work, your narrative voice is just great – very familiar and easy to follow.
I have to say that you have put together an excellent piece here.
It looks to me like you have meticulously gone through your document revising and smoothing things out. It flows very nicely.
It is one that should be well received by a wide audience.♢

“Our favorite go-to cook book” – January 23, 2012
By: George Kreitem – San Mateo, CA – on Come Mia Nonna – A Return To Simplicity
This is our favorite go to cook book. It’s not your typical Italian cooking.
Valentina’s recipes from Puglia are simple but at the same time highlight the fresh ingredients of the region.
One of our favorite recipes is the Insalata di Arrucola Mare e Monti. Simple but special.♢

“Not just appetizers and desserts” – November 2, 2011
By Enrica, Los Gatos, CA – 0n Sins Of A Queen – Italian Appetizers and Desserts
I am so happy I decided to purchase Sins of a Queen. It is a wonderful complement to the author’s first book “Come Mia Nonna: A Return to Simplicity”. The book has already inspired me with wonderful ideas to impress my guests at my next dinner party. In the appetizers section the skewer Extravaganza has to be my favorite. So fun and tasty! Many of the recipes are really versatile and can actually be used to make a quick and yummy lunch or a great side dish. I was also pleasantly surprised to find out that many of the recipes in the dessert section are fruit based. You will find also a few recipes to make your own liquor. I was thrilled to find a recipe to make Limoncello! What a treat for me! I have completed the first part of the recipe and cannot wait to taste my homemade Limoncello when it is ready in a few weeks. Sins of a Queen is not only a wonderful collection of recipes, but also a great read interspersed with unique and entertaining story telling based on the author Italian upbringing and embellished with the author’s own illustrations and powerful photos.♢

“Cooking does not seem a chore to me anymore!” – September 14, 2011.
By: Enrica Zeggio, Los Gatos, CA – on Come Mia Nonna-A Return To Simplicity
Valentina, your book Come mia Nonna has arrived today! The bright yellow of the book cover instantly cheered me up. As I started to read the wonderful introductory pages and the first recipes (yummy!) I got hooked and could not put it down. It’s the first time in my life I am able to read a recipe from start to end, picturing the cooking procedure and savoring the final dish even before cooking it! The local and family stories you sprinkle here and there make it a wonderful read, so much more than just a recipe book. Valentina, your book really exudes simplicity, which is what makes it so truly Italian. All of a sudden cooking does not seem a chore to me anymore! I have already picked the dish i will prepare tomorrow for my picky kids: pasta gratin with seafood mix. I can’t wait to try one of the delicious vegetable dishes! Thank you Valentina!♢

“Sins Of A Queen creates joy and memories in your life!” – Aug. 7, 2011.
By: Carra Riley – Williams AZ – on Sins Of A Queen – Italian Appetizers & Desserts
Author Valentina Cirasola makes entertaining exciting, romantic, and fun! The heartfelt sharing of her grass root recipes from her home land in Italy will delight any palate.
She brings the secrets from Southern Italy to the world with flair and passion. She takes elegant simplicity and makes it dramatic sharing how to make her specialties in larger quantities for a meal or an appetizer.
The photographs are the perfect addition to making the presentation of the delightful appetizers and desserts a focal piece for memorable entertaining.
The history and the stories in the book gives the reader plenty of dinner or cocktail conversation.
Valentina is also an interior and home designer so her recipes reflect the love of the dearest place on earth… the home and the kitchen. I can’t wait for her new book on color to come out.
Valentina makes the art of entertaining easy. Just follow her direction and entertain like a star.
My favorite recipe “Roasted Vegetable Frittata.” I have used this for a brunch with fresh fruit and muffins so buy the book and see all the fun ideas to make you look like a “cooking queen.”
Carra Riley author of

“A real return to Simplicity” – May 12, 2011.
By: Gianluca Corinaldesi, San Francisco, CA – on Come Mia Nonna-A Return To Simplicity
There are two great things about this book.
The first is the depth of Puglia’s food. The simplicity, the freshness go along with the sensual savoriness of the dishes.
The second thing is that YOU HAVE MARGINS OF ERROR! If you rush, and can’t pay extreme attention to quantities, or if you don’t really have all the ingredients, you still come up with a fulfilling and satisfying dish.
Very useful companion for any household.♢

“Returning home to my Italian heritage” – March 29, 2011.
By: G14020 – Sunnyvale, CA – on Sins Of A Queen – Italian Appetizers and Desserts.
Valentina shares recipes from her family handed down from one generation to the next. Not only is the food delicious, fast and nutritious, Valentina also provides stories of Italy and history of the food; plus illustrates the dishes in pictures. You can smell the aroma of the dishes in the pages of this wonderful cookbook. Enjoy for many years to come! Ciao♢

“Recipes, simple and healthy” – March 7, 2011.
By: Linda Covella – Santa Cruz, CA – on Come Mia Nonna – A Return To Simplicity
I love this cookbook! It has such a personal touch with drawings and photos by the author, personal anecdotes and information about the Puglia region of Italy, and of course the recipes, simple and healthy, and many unique ones I haven’t come across before.♢

“I am enjoying the recipes and the stories” – February 2011
By: Kathy Winkelman – Los Gatos, CA – on Sins Of A Queen – Italian Appetizers and Desserts.
Ciao Valentina,
I am reading your book Sins Of A Queen and ENJOYING EVERY PAGE! I especially enjoy the stories and cannot believe that you saw the “garzone’ on bicycle pick up and deliver for the brick public ovens where he would carry the dishes on a board on his head while riding! I love torrone and will always now think of the story you tell. I feel like I am meeting your mother and grandmother. I am enjoying the recipes and have chosen a few for Festa Gioia this weekend. “Grilled Asparagus”, “Festa of Mozzarella, Mushrooms, Tomatoes”, “Roasted Vegetable Frittata.♢

“You really speak to your audience” – September 2010.
By: Lisa Conner – Colorado – on Sins Of A Queen – Italian Appetizers and Desserts.
Cooking really involves quite a bit of skill and requires masterful technique. You have done a nice job discussing this subject and sharing your technique with readers.
Your book Sins Of A Queen is nicely put together and filled with hints and information I am sure many people will find helpful (and delicious!)
Your narrative voice is great; you really speak to your audience with a strong, guiding opinion. Your recipes sound fantastic and are easy to follow.
I bet lots of people will find enjoyment through your guidance.♢

“I am very impressed with you” – September 2010.
By: Robert Van Horne – San Jose, CA – on Come Mia Nonna – A Return To Simplicity.
Hi Valentina,
I just finished watching your interview by Judy Joseph on her TV show ON THE TOWN. Wow! Very, very good!
When we met several weeks ago, you told me you were a designer, however, I didn’t know you were an author of an Italian cookbook, too. Congratulations! I especially liked your message about designing people’s pallets with food. Well said and memorable. You speak very well and I am very impressed with you and the interview.
Best wishes for a successful book publication. Hopefully, we’ll get the chance to meet again in the not too distant future.♢

“The aroma was so irresistible” – August 2010.
By: Michael – Reader – San Jose, CA – on Come Mia Nonna – A Return To Simplicity.
I have been reading the recipes in your book Come Mia Nonna – A Return To Simplicity and it brings back wonderful memories from my childhood growing up in a small town just a few kilometers from Bari.
Honestly I never thought I would see “gnumeridde” listed in a cook book.  My dad used to tell a story about the time when he went down to the local macelleria to pick up a package of “gnumeridde” so that we could celebrate a special occasion. As he was walking home the aroma was so irresistible that he ripped a hole in the corner of the paper wrapper so that he could have just one piece.  Then he had another and then another still. When he got home we all had a big laugh because there was barely enough left for the rest of us.
I am looking forward to your next book to see what other delicious surprises you have for us.♢

“An excellent book, a better gift….” – July 27, 2010.
By: Zach Crawford – Los Gatos, CA – on Come Mia Nonna – A Return To Simplicity (Paperback).
I bought this book for my girlfriend who is part Italian and she (and I) love it! We’ve already make several of the dishes in the book and they have all come out delicious. I have also used the tips in the back of the book, there are some really cool household remedies back there. To be honest, I was more interested in having those household tips, the recipes were more for my girl.
Thank you Valentina! I can’t wait until your next book!♢

“Almost transformed to another time and place” – July 25, 2010.
By: Christina Chiesa, Commercial Realtor – San Francisco, CA – on Come Mia Nonna-A Return To Simplicity.
Valentina has written a beautiful cookbook “Come Mia Nonna – A Return to Simplicity”. She provides a wonderful picture of the bounty of the Pugliese Region, the sea kissed heel of the boot comprising Bari, Italy. Through her storytelling, observations of her grandmother and her experiences around the table, you are almost transformed to another time and place. I encourage all who read this marvelous book to eat well and enjoy the experience of this wonderful culture.♢

“It is written from the heart” – June 2010.
By: Kathy Winkelman, Owner of Gioia Co. – Los Gatos, CA – on Come Mia Nonna – A Return To Simplicity.
I will say that Valentina’s book is much much more than a cookbook. It is written from the heart and the relationships that Valentina has with her grandmother and her birthplace of Bari, Italy and the Provincia Puglia. It is a bedside book as well as a kitchen masterpiece with well written anecdotes of history illustrated by this multi talented artista. Salute! I salute you Valentina.♢

“Yummy!” – May 21 – 2010.
By: Nuchi – Los Altos, CA USA – on Come Mia Nonna – A Return To Simplicity.
Not only nice to see and full of spirit but we tasted the recipes and no surprise:
Delicious food and feelings from home.
A sure success for your dinners “Italian flavor”!♢

“Grazie, Valentina!” – May 21, 2010.
By: Helen Rae – Redwood Shores CA – on Come Mia Nonna – A Return To Simplicity.
I attend Valentina’s cooking classes in California, which led me to her terrific cookbook. It’s simple, loaded with hints and pictures, and is as easy to use as personal instruction. I love her suggestions and drawings (they’re her own drawings, by the way). The reader can find wonderful recipes that are fast, fun to make, and family-friendly (which becomes evident for those attending one of her hands-on classes: sometimes 12 or more people in the kitchen is NOT too many!). The Puglia region is known, says Valentina, for simplicity of wholesome food cooked from fresh, local produce and fish. This makes it very healthy, lower in calories than what I knew of Italian cooking in the past, and I can create these pretty, tasty meals in short periods of time. Fresh and healthy food transformed into dinner in 30 minutes? What’s not to love?
I also think this book, because of its layout and content, would be an excellent tool for those just learning to cook, regardless of age.
So, thank you, Valentina, for a cookbook I will use frequently, and I can’t wait for the next one!♢

“Redesign your palate” – April 2010.
By: Robert Taitano, Owner of – San Jose, CA – on Come Mia Nonna – A Return To Simplicity.
Valentina, an International Professional Interior Designer with a passion for cooking and kitchens is giving you an opportunity to redesign your palate.♢

“True to your heritage” – March 2010.
By: Nadine Fletcher – Redwood City, CA – on Come Mia Nonna – A Return To Simplicity.
Hello Valentina,
I’m happy to hear that your cookbook has been such a success. I buy many, many cookbooks and I must say that yours is one of my favorites – beautifully designed (of course!) and delicious healthful recipes. True to your heritage, for sure.♢

“Such healthy recipes” – January 2010.
By: Elizabeth Kosuth – New Jersey, USA – on Come Mia Nonna – A Return To Simplicity.
Miss Valentina,
I thoroughly enjoy your book. It has such healthy recipes and the pictures are superb. I especially like the group picture in the kitchen area. I hope your book does well. Love.♢

“Full of local flavors!” – December 16, 2009.
By: John Shepardson “Programmer non gratis” – Sunnyvale, CA – on Come Mia Nonna – A Return To Simplicity.
Amazon Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic book about a part of Italy that is not well-known, Puglia! The use of local dialect, colorful and original drawings and recipes that drip with culture reveal a genuine gold mine of Italian cuisine.
You will not be disappointed with this gem!♢

Tower Book Reviews:
Customer Reviews for “Come MIA Nonna: A Return to Simplicity (Paperback)” uploaded by Valentina Cirasola (Author)

“This book is your companion” – December 22, 2009.
By: Luis – Bari Italy – on Come Mia Nonna – A Return To Simplicity.
Another cook book to add to your collection? Not at all ! Valentina’s book: Come Mia Nonna – A Return to Simplicity must find its place in the kitchen, among good food and precious wine. This book is your companion when you want to prepare tasty dishes in a short time and with success. It is your guide to astound family and friends. Valentina has cleverly brought to light the essential recipes of the Puglia cuisine with the same spirit as her grandmother and with the same passion she places into all of her work. Her passion will involve you and while reading this book you will find yourself chopping an onion, Julienning a celery, or kneading a dough, even if you have never done it. Happy cooking and thanks Valentina.♢

Click the link below to read a review from Cyberitalian:

All Valentina’s books are available in this site on the Books Page where you can order them directly from Valentina or you can order them from:

Author’s Contact Information:

Valentina Cirasola
Author and Designer
©RED- A Voyage Into Colors
©Sins Of A Queen – Italian Appetizers and Desserts
©Come Mia Nonna-A Return To Simplicity

Visit Valentina, the designer:
Design Blog:
Tel. 408-732-9782


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Teagan Geneviene
    Jan 07, 2017 @ 13:31:42

    Congrats, Valentina. Wonderful reviews.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

valentina design universe

Entertainment, TV Shows, Design Shows, Public TV,

Valentina Expressions

Luxury for Comfortable Living and Good Life Through Designs, Style, Travel, Food

Katrina Perkins

A force of Nature, with intense acting skills.

Postcards from Italy---Natalia Sarkissian

stories, one postcard at a time

In So Many Words

Creative writing inspired by life, love, laughter ... and a horse named Shakespeare

Art Gowns

The Art of Glamorous Fantasy

Paula Acton

Scribblings of an Aspiring Author


"La flamme des cuisines."

Teagan's Books

Now available: "Murder at the Bijou - Three Ingredients I"


Any old world uncovered by new writing

The Love of History

Another site/blog for loving history

Life is too short to drink bad wine

La vie est trop courte pour boire du mauvais vin

Badfish & Chips Cafe

Travel photos, memoirs & letters home...from anywhere in the world


a journey of discovery with my camera...


Vague Meanderings of the Broke and Obscure

Chasing Destino

I'll be outside of the mosh pit . . . waiting with bandaids and kleenex . . .

This Man's Journey

Home is where our story begins.

LEANNE COLE - The Photographer's Mentor

Fine Art Photographer ~ Daring to be Different

Through Harold's Lens

Harold Green Photography

The Punchy Lands!

Embrace Your PUNCHY Nature

In Bruttium

Uncovering Calabria & The Mezzogiorno, One Toe At A Time. | By Adam Underhill

Design Secrets

fulfill your craving for a beautiful home

Decorating by Donna • Intuitive Color Expert

A Virtual Color Expert who is highly specialized in designing color for your home.

Green Door Hospitality

Adventures in Everyday Entertaining


These letters are written to remind you just how much you matter, just how important you are, and just how beautiful the gift of life as a human is.


Tanaman, Alam Semulajadi Dan Yang Berkaitan

%d bloggers like this: