About Valentina

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Remember when you were a kid, how exciting it was to wake up on your birthday?  That feeling of “can’t wait to get out of bed and see what wonderful things the day would bring?”

I feel incredibly fortunate to get this same — almost giddy — feeling, thinking up new, delicious flavor combinations.  (Really!)  I absolutely can’t wait to get in the kitchen, gather my ingredients, turn on my music, and cook!

I grew up in a world of antiques, vegetable gardens, photography, painting, love, and really, really delicious and interesting food.  Cooking On The Weekends combines all of those things — and allows me to share them.

In a nutshell, my food blog is about cooking creative, comforting food, for casual entertaining.

I want to hear from you! I’m so excited to share my cooking ideas and creations! I want to inspire you to cook! I will always be thrilled to receive your comments, questions and thoughts.

A few things to know about Valentina and food:

  • My recipe ideas come from anywhere and everywhere:  my fruit bowl, food images in magazines, walking down an aisle in the market, talking with people, colors, the weather, my mood, my kids, a book, a TV show, the seasons, and the list goes on.
  • I have too many favorite foods to list.
  • Foods are rarely too rich for me. I don’t really get it when someone says they can only have one bite because a dessert is too rich (particularly chocolate).
  • I believe most foods are OK in moderation. (Yes, that includes sugar!)
  • I eat just about everything — with the exception of sea urchin and okra.
  • I always try to cook with local, fresh, healthy ingredients.
  • I cook every cuisine I can.  I adore using flavors from other countries and learning about how people eat in other cultures. LOVE it!
  • My ten-year-old son was diagnosed with Celiac Disease five years ago.  He and my husband are gluten-free, so I often experiment with recipes for new gluten-free cookies, cakes, etc.  And I always try to give gluten-free options in my recipes.
  • I have an aversion to “fake” foods, like Tofurky, for example.  I would rather skip an ingredient than use a “fake” substitute.  (P.S. I do love tofu — just not when it’s pretending to be something else!)
  • It doesn’t get much better than eating a ripe plum off my parents’ tree in their backyard.
  • I love how chocolate chips go from dry to wet as soon as they’re mixed into cookie dough.
  • I’m in love with comfort foods!
  • My kitchen is my retreat, and you can learn why here.
  • And I tend to use a lot of exclamation points.  I can’t help myself. I am just so excited about what I’m cooking!

And what do I do when I’m not in the kitchen?  I hang out with these loves of my life.

My boys and adorable dog, Maple. xo

My sweet husband

Copyright Information:

I’m so happy that you love Cooking On The Weekends!  You’re welcome to link to recipes and posts on this blog — however, please note that all the content and photography is wholly owned by me. One cannot reprint any writing, recipes or photographs found on this site without express written consent. Thank you!

Top photo credit: Gail Albert Halaban


{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

roz Brody June 13, 2011 at 7:19 pm

Your site is wonderful. I can hardly wait to try some of your recipes.


valentina July 8, 2011 at 5:42 am

why thank you, Roz!


timothy July 21, 2011 at 2:24 pm

The reason I ask, is I have heard recess peanut butter cups are not GF. Just started my new lifestyle this week, not real excited, but I love this combo.


valentina July 21, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Hi Timothy, yes these are gluten-free through and through! The Hershey’s Reese’s Mini Peanut Butter Cups (that come wrapped), are 100% gluten-free. Hershey’s products can vary and you have to read each label very carefully, as even the product size might change what’s in the ingredient list. In terms of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, the main ones to look out for are those that are holiday specific (an Easter bunny shaped one, for example). Also, in my post I mention Erewhon brown rice cereal as the best choice for gluten-free, but I wanted to mention that Kellog’s now has a gluten-free brown rice cereal as well. This is exciting news in our gluten-free world! ;-) I hope you will try these super delicious treats! And if you have more questions about a gluten-free diet, feel free to email me directly (look under my contact info). I know it can be daunting entering a gluten-free lifestyle. I will tell you that it becomes easier as you get in a groove with it. :-)


Mary Jo Frazier, dds August 29, 2011 at 7:44 pm

Valentina, your blog looks great!


Laura March 10, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Love your blog!


valentina March 11, 2012 at 1:30 am

Thanks for checking out my blog, Laura! Hope you’ll be back to cook share in my food love! :-)


Sandra April 15, 2012 at 12:50 pm

lovely blog, can tell your a mum!

not sure if it’s in the US yet but genius gluten free bread, is a product that gets rave reviews for being the closest tasting to bread in the UK, might be worth checking out. :)


valentina April 16, 2012 at 6:10 am

thank you, Sandra! :-)


Maria May 26, 2012 at 11:19 pm

Just wanted to say that I like your blog very much! Your recipes are great and really inspiring! Keep up the good work.!!!


valentina May 27, 2012 at 4:03 am

Thanks so much, Maria! :-)


Alaine @ My GF & DF Living July 25, 2012 at 2:43 am

I just found your site and I am really impressed by your recipes! I love your motto too that it’s good to indulge especially with chocolate! :) .


valentina July 25, 2012 at 5:30 am

Thank you so much, Alaine! So happy to connect with you! :-)


dana September 7, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Valentina, I just stumbled onto your website and I am happy someone shares the same enthusiasm for food as I do. I dream recipes! I look forward to finding something interesting to make :) Enjoy your day!


Maria April 4, 2013 at 8:02 am

When’s the cookbook coming out? :)


valentina April 5, 2013 at 4:11 am

I love that question, Maria! Someday. :-)


Erika June 1, 2013 at 7:24 pm

Dear Valentina,

I simply loved your blog. I have been inspired by your “avocado and zucchini bread with olive oil” and cooked something quite similar which I posted in my blog (in Portuguese) with link to yours, of course.
I’m much less skillful than you, but I don’t mind, I share your views on the pleasure of cooking and I enjoy spending time trying our new things, creating with trivial ingredients. My 3 year old daughter is allergic to conservatives and food coloring so I have been cooking more and more.
Congratulations and Thank you.


valentina June 1, 2013 at 9:34 pm

Hi Erika, thanks so much for your lovely comment! Happy to have readers that think like me. :-) I’m heading to your site now . . .


beth August 3, 2013 at 1:17 am

Just came across your site today and I’m very excited to find so much inspiration here. I love how inclusive your recipes are and how your focus appears to be on delicious, fresh, wholesome food without any dogma. I can tell how much you love what you do.


Antoinette January 2, 2014 at 1:47 pm

Love your site! Been gluten- free for almost 6 months and it has not been easy. Cooked gluten free holiday meals this year for the first time (including lasagna and my 17 yr old son had no clue! Amazing.)


valentina January 5, 2014 at 11:54 pm

Thanks, Antoinette! Once you get in the groove of eating gluten-free it will become 2nd nature. Wishing you a very happy new year! :-)


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