August Textures | Valentina Cirasola | Author and Designer

My Zen garden is such a paradise on earth! In the morning, I salute the sun there, have breakfast, I read a book in my private corner, sometimes I like to stay still, watching the birds chasing each other and all the textures I created. During the week, I hang laundry to dry in the sun, the old fashion way. That’s right, I don’t own a dryer, never wanted one. Call me old fashion, some people call me a Martian in fact, but my way is simpler, saves electricity, saves the environment, the clothes smell like nature and not like chemicals, but then I can enjoy the textures in the wind hung laundry creates.

I am in love with my garden and not only because I designed it to transcend the ordinary look of a traditional garden. I made it mystical and playful for an intimate union of my soul and Mother Earth. (Click on each photo to view it larger).

My Zen garden it’s a working garden as well, it keeps me healthy with a great production of fruit and vegetables. The oranges abound most of the year, when the orange trees stop producing, the apricots come out and then apples. These fruits produce many textures for my table, from tarts, pies, muffins, ice-cream, vinegars and marmalades. The rest I can create with fruit and vegetables is all still in my fantasy.

Of course, it takes two to tango, the garden alone wouldn’t produce anything if I didn’t put any work into it. And what a work it is….!

In the month of August, the garden gives me a lot to do. Zucchini plants blossom with beautiful yellow flowers so big and open that the only thing I want to do is to stuff them with various ingredients every time. I make them ready for the winter, cook and pack them for the freezer.

I stuffed the zucchini flowers in the photo below with brown rice, gorgonzola cheese, arugula, olives, onion, ginger and Parmigiano cheese. Filling is low in calories, texture and taste are delicate. They bring freshness to the table and are perfect for a warm day.


With the potatoes I grow, I made potato bread, super delicious with a rough texture outside and soft inside. It’s ideal to eat it as soon as it comes out of the oven.

This blue plant was once a red cabbage forgotten in the veggie drawer of my refrigerator, when I noticed it was growing in the bag, I planted it in a pot and now I have a beautiful ornamental blue plant with great textures and shades of blue purple.


Ultimately the textures of my august garden, satisfy my subconscious body, my emotions, my physical body and give me the pleasure of the table in every season. Ciao,

Copyright © 2017 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is the designer who cooks. She has a deep interest in food that led her as an autodidact in the studies of food in history, natural remedies, nutrition, well-being and learning food of the world. She wrote two books on Italian regional cuisine and one book on color theory, in which she included one recipe for each color. Robert Taitano, a friend and business associate of says: “Valentina – an International Professional Interior Designer is now giving you an opportunity to redesign your palate”. Get your copy of Valentina’s books on

Silicone – Love Or Hate | Valentina Cirasola | Author and Designer

Silicone is not an invention of the last moment, it has entered our homes with hundreds of kitchen and bath objects and accessories to make our lives easier.
Thanks to all its properties silicone is a material that can be used in many ways. It offers all the solutions for cooking savory and sweet food, substituting the conventional cookware used so far.

The use of silicone went from commercial kitchens, pharmaceutical processing, and meat-packing plants into residential kitchens.
FDA grade silicone has been used in applications where food is present, it is guaranteed against toxicity and completely without odors.
Silicone cookware being lightweight and easy to manage are an ideal solutions for people with arthritis to the hands.


We can use silicone baking pans to make cookies, or bake a cake, to cook fish or roasts, we don’t need to use wax oven paper any more, nor butter or oils as non-stick techniques, thus eliminating some calories from our diet. Silicone cookware are flexible and bendable making the extraction of cooked food an easy process along with saving storage space without ever loosing its shapes. They are good to use up to 3000 times of cooking.

As a designer, I am supposed to report on new products. Silicone cookware is original, functional and very colorful, making the art of cooking a game even for kids. I am open to all new products and new opportunities, but I must be sincere about my own ways.  My kitchen is well supplied with the best chef cookware. The pleasure of my cooking is not only about the good aroma and good food I can cook, but is also about operating with the professional cookware and cutlery I possess. I don’t make it do, I have every possible solution in cookware for every speciality I prepare. Cooking for me is a serious matter and it requires professional equipment, but it is also a pleasurable game.

Lamb_Stew_In_Clay_Pot ©Valentina Cirasola

A lamb stew with beans in a clay pot as in my photo (right) could not taste right if it was made in an aluminum pan.
Each food need it own vessel.
I am still enamored of ceramic and clay pots and still love to cook in my stainless steel, all clad and Calphalon cookware. I am sure I will for a long time and that is the game I like to play in my kitchen. Ciao,

Copyright © 2011 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved  

Valentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior Designer with a passion for kitchens and cooking. She operates in the USA and Europe.  She loves to remodel homes and loves to turn ugly spaces into castles, but especially loves to design kitchens and wine grottos. 

She is the author of two Italian regional cuisine books available here in this site on the Books page and in various other locations:

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