My Bohemian Thanksgiving Table | Valentina Cirasola | Author and Designer

Yesterday, sitting with friends at my Thanksgiving table, I was remembering the same day four years ago, when I turned on my computer early in the morning before starting the festivity cooking and found a message from my publisher congratulating me for publishing my first book. The feeling of being on 7th heaven was indescribable!!!

(Click on each photo to view it larger). EmptyPlates(Click on each photo to view it larger)

We talked about this event while enjoying the mixture of typical Thanksgiving American food and food from Puglia, Italy, in fact some recipes even came from my book. I think my friends were more surprised to see how the simplicity of my food can hold a high flavors and taste than the huge production I made.

FullPlates

It seemed to me that the mixture of food from two different cultures, called for an eclectic tablescape. I wanted to have a Bohemian style table with colors and things not matching to perfection and that is what I did. The colors of my house lean towards warm tones, they are perfect for an autumn festivity.

I chose a white tablecloth as the base for layering all the colors. Two different colors tea tablecloth covered opposite corners of the table, one black with motif of nature and birds and the other one in golden tones with classical motif.

Playing with geometry and mixing round with square plates from various dish sets was fun. The square plates designed with fruit come from Italy, I carried them with me on the plane.

I made the napkins from leftover material of other projects and closed them in brass napkin rings. Tea light holders made of rusted metal go well with brushed bronze flatware.

Glasses don’t match but the greenish tone is their common denominator that marries well with other greens on the table.

Prosecco bottle has an interesting Venetian embellishment. She is the autumn leaves lady that sometimes is on a wine bottle and sometimes is on a mirror somewhere else in the house. Her purpose is to embellish.

Thanksgiving2

Crostate-A

My Pumpkin Pie Fairy by Mark Roberts is a highly collectible character hiding between the tablescape.

Dinner was great. Menu was long, but we paced ourselves through many hours of eating, conversing, drinking and music listening. I was so grateful to have had some friends eating at my table on this day of gratitude. Thanksgiving is one day, thanks-living is a life-style.

Is there one Thanksgiving you remember more than any other? Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2013 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

ValentinaXmasValentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior Designer with a passion for kitchens and cooking. She especially loves to design all those rooms with a “make me feel good” tag attached, such as kitchens and wine grottos, outdoor kitchens and outdoor rooms, great rooms and entertainment rooms. She is a public speaker and a mentor. She is also the author of two Italian regional cuisine books and a book on colors, all available here in this site on the Books page and on
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w
Amazon:
http://goo.gl/xUZfk0

Pumpkins and Roses Welcome Fall | Valentina Cirasola | Author and Designer

I don’t know about you but I love fall, the jewel tone colors that nature brings to us, the pleasant mild temperature, comfort food again and the holidays approaching. Today, while I was preparing my garden for fall, I was thinking of all of you and what kind of tips to bring you to prepare your home for this beautiful season and the coming winter. (BH&G photos)

As an interior designer I could compile a long list of so many quick and easy fixes to get your home in order. Not to overwhelm you, I will give you just a few suggestions and if you carry them out, your home will be working for you just fine during the winter.

1. Clear the gutters of falling leaves and evergreen needles to keep all downspout clear and allow rainwater to fall freely.

2. Clean lawn equipment. Adding fuel stabilizer to the gas tank will keep the gas from oxidizing and causing corrosion.

3. Caulk the cracks where masonry meets siding, where pipes or wires enter the house and around window and door frames.

4. Clean up the exterior with a pressure washer and wash windows to prevent the growth of mold and mildew.

5. Change outdoor light bulbs with high-efficiency compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL).

6. Protect your plumbing from freezing by applying ready-made pipe jackets.

7. Check the fireplace safety to avoid chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure both chimney system and venting systems are working properly. Burn only well-seasoned hardwoods to reduce buildup of creosote, a flammable compound. Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms is a must.

8. Seal air leaks to keep your house warmer and ventilate the attic.

This is the pumpkins season, let’s turn our attention to the front door. If the color of the door is a bit tired, a coat of fresh paint (or stain depending on how your door was treated) will change the entry into a welcoming statement. Accent the door with a beautiful wreath, display potted plants and plenty pumpkins.

Now let’s go to the kitchen. The food lover in me would not want to leave you without any food talk.

In my first published book Come Mia Nonna – A Return To Simplicity, I included a perfect recipe for the Fall: Autumn Style pasta with butternut squash and prosciutto. The earthy flavor of the butternut squash blends so well with the Italian prosciutto, a type of cured pork meat, preserved under salt for a couple of years. I prepared this dish for myself last night. Bacon fits with this recipe too, but the taste is not quite the same. My recipe calls for a short pasta, but this specialty is also a vegetable dish to accompany a roast.

(Photo left: http://www.midwestliving.com/homes/seasonal-decorating/holiday-ideas/easy-thanksgiving-centerpieces/?page=2)

At the end of the same book, I included a delicate recipe for Marmalade Of Rose Petals, a real surprise.

In Sins Of A Queen, my second published book, I thought of autumn too. I want everybody’s table to be cheerful and filled with so many earthy foods.
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0

I wrote about some fun liqueur made with fruits that anybody can make at home without any difficulty. The strawberries liqueur, limoncello (made with lemons) and the chocolate liqueur are proving so successful. These types of cordial liqueurs need a couple of months for maceration process, thus September-October is the right time to start and make them ready for the holidays.

(Photos: BH&G)

Now go around the house, find all the empty containers, vases, bowls, or any vessel with an interesting look and fill them with roses, fall flowers and pumpkins. Be creative, take inspiration from my photos or make your own arrangement.
Turn your fireplace on and scatter scented candles in rooms most lived.
Let the flavor of the holidays begin and give the gift of love by preparing good earthy autumn food for yourself and your family. I really love the warmth of this season!

Ciao,
Valentina
www.Valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2011 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Robert Taitano, a friend and business associate of    http://www.wine-fi.com says:
“Valentina – an International Professional Interior Designer is now giving you an opportunity to redesign your palate”.

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, outdoor kitchens and outdoor rooms, great rooms and entertainment rooms. She is the author of two published books on Italian regional cuisine, available in this site on the Books page and in various locations:

http://outskirtspress.com/ComeMiaNonna

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lnq8baaAq0M

http://outskirtspress.com/SinsOfAQueen

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