Maria’s Introduction

12_22_14 maria picture
Maria LIbera Vallone

No matter where you live, or what time of day it is, I’d like to welcome you to the wonderful world of Thasc’s new blog. My name is Maria and I hope to often come into your lives with different topics ranging from experiences I’ve had in my travels and in my kitchen; topics that would invigorate lively discussion and commentary and at the same time explore the very special people here at Thasc and their wonderful talents which come from the heart and soul of their amazing lives.

Let me tell you a few things about me. I have been a teacher and adjunct Professor of Italian for over 34 years, teaching mostly in the Boston area but also abroad in Italy on 2 different occasions after being awarded Fulbright scholarships sponsored by the United States government. I have also taught on two campuses in Florida; Miami Dade Community College and Florida International University. I initiated the first Italian Exchange between two high schools in the United States and that exchange is still going on between the cities of Florence, Italy and Newton, MA. after almost 30 years. I have lived in Beijing, China, teaching English there and climbing the Great Wall twice! I also trekked over 500 miles through China with 5 of my students to Xian, Shanghai, Nanjing and Hong Kong. I had to learn Chinese, of course, and rank that as one of the most exciting experiences of my life. I am a calligrapher and learned over 500 Chinese characters!

One of my passions is cooking and I love preparing Italian dishes for lots of people. I also love traveling and am so fortunate to have met the wonderful people at Thasc and feel like they are family. I have traveled through the British Isles and most of western Europe. I have worked with the underprivileged and handicapped in my communities winning an award for Human Rights recognition in 1997. One of my favorite things in life is working with animals of all kinds. I have a rescue cat named Sofia who lights up my life and at many times dismantles it! Where would we be without these wonderful creatures?!

My hope is that I can share my favorite stories with you and introduce some delicious recipes all while incorporating your feedback. I do have a dual degree: a Master’s in Italian Language & Literature and a B.A. in English with a minor in Art. I adore young people and have learned many things from them during my tenure.

I am so proud to be a part of the Thasc family and would like to invite you to jump on my carousel to take a special ride each week. Looking forward to your comments and suggestions very soon!

Maria Libera Vallone

THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.

19 thoughts on “Maria’s Introduction

  1. Dana Burdick December 24, 2014 / 4:10 am

    Maria sounds like a wonderful and fascinating person. Her story was very inspiring. I to am italian, and speak it somewhat. I am a great italian cook also, and l am looking forward too hearing some of Maria’s recipes. Too climb the great wall of China twice,that most have been amazing! A full blown scholarship, wow! She seems like a really great, fun and very smart lady. She is going to be a very big asset to the company. I am looking forward to hearing all her good stories and trying those delicious italian dishes. Welcome!


    • Maria January 1, 2015 / 1:29 am

      Dear Dana,
      I enjoyed reading your comment so much. Soon I will be posting some very popular and east Italian recipes for you to try. I also have great stories about China and what it was like to live there. You’ll also learn about the many wonderful people who are the creators of this lovely art here at Thasc. Keep writing as I enjoyed hearing from you so much! Maria


  2. Stefano December 24, 2014 / 12:55 pm

    That’s why you are who you are….SPECIAL!!!! ZIA ESPECIALE!!!! XOXOXOXOX
    Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Wonderfully Healthy, Happy, Italian New Year filled with every joy you can think of!!!! We are overdue for dinner at Posillipo’s Love you! CRUIZ


    • Maria January 1, 2015 / 1:26 am

      Dear Stefano,
      I am so happy to hear from you. Now you don’t have to wait to go to Posillipo as I will be posting recipes here!!!
      Thanks for writing!


  3. Pam Finck December 25, 2014 / 6:01 pm

    I am very lucky and proud to call Maria…Zia since I am her nephew’s wife. During family gatherings, I have been a fortunate recipient of Zia Maria’s amazing 7 course Italian epicurean feasts. Hopefully, you too one day will get to delight in her amazing cooking.


    • Linda Stearns December 31, 2014 / 10:38 pm

      I am curious about Thasc and the relationship Maria has with this group. Maria’s writing is concise and interesting and look forward to reading this blog. Both for the foods she brings and the adventures she continues to have. I like that she is able to see the ying and yang of sofia lights up my life and also dismantles it.


      • Maria January 1, 2015 / 1:22 am

        Dear Linda,
        Thank you for taking an interest in my blog and my life adventures. Please let me know what you would be interested next in hearing about. If you like food, especially Italian food, I will be putting up some recipes that perhaps you would like to try. Thanks for writing! Let me hear from you again!!! Maria


    • Maria January 1, 2015 / 1:24 am

      Thank you, Pamela. You certainly have been my biggest fan (along with nephew Scot) of my cooking. Some of the recipes I will post will look very familiar. I know your favorite is chicken marsala. So look for that as it will be coming soon and give it a try!


  4. Dana Burdick January 2, 2015 / 2:42 pm

    I wanted to just tell Maria about one of my heroes; her name was Sara. She was my Bff. She was a speech therapist, a therapist, crafty person, a world traveler, a great photography. She loved life. She was fun, happy all the time, and loved to talk. Even if you did not need a speech therapist, she still would see you for counseling services. When she walked in the room, it would lit up. If you were depressed, she made you laugh. If you were crying she wiped your tears. If you were sick she was there with a kind word. Everybody needs a friend like this. It’s to bad god took her from us, at a young age. RIP my friend, my hero!!!!! Always loved forevery.


    • Maria January 2, 2015 / 7:51 pm

      Dear Dana,
      That was a very tender story you told about your best friend, Sara. It seems she offered many of her talents to you and the world. Sometimes we borrow these people for too short a time and wish they never would leave us. It sounds as if she had a great laugh. Try to remember that each time you get down. Even though it was for a short while you are very fortunate to have had such a very special and unique friend in your life. Cherish the memories.!


  5. Maureen January 2, 2015 / 4:35 pm

    Dear Maria,

    Your life sounds fascinating! I can only wonder how difficult it is to learn to speak and

    write Chinese! I would love the experience of living in a totally different culture as you have done.

    I am half Italian and love Italian food. I am a vegetarian, although I do eat cheese and

    eggs. I hope some of the recipes you share with us will be meatless dishes. Your aunt sounds like

    a wise and talented woman. I love the idea of throwing our worries into the ocean. Her two

    paintings are beautiful. She really has talent! I hope we will be seeing more of her art. Well,

    ciao for now, Maria!


    • Maria January 2, 2015 / 7:18 pm

      Dear Maureen,
      I appreciate your thoughtful comment and I love vegetarian dishes like frittata as well. I will be sure to include my favorite zucchini, onion, tomato, basil casserole as one of them. I’m glad you like my aunt’s artwork. We think she is a prodigy!!!!
      Learning Chinese was the toughest task I’ve ever had but the one I fill the most proud of!!! What an experience that was for me.!! Hope to hear from you again, Maureen!!


  6. Robert January 2, 2015 / 6:11 pm

    Hi Maria:

    One of my favorite Italian dishes is Chicken Francaise. Do you have a recipe for this that you would be willing to share? Looking forward to hearing from you



    • Maria January 2, 2015 / 7:14 pm

      Dear Robert,
      Chicken Francaise is one of my favorites too. Recipes will be coming soon and I’ll make sure to include it…Thank you for writing and please write again! Maria


  7. katie connors January 2, 2015 / 10:46 pm

    Hi Maria:

    Thank you for sharing your story about your Aunt . You are very Blessed to have her still in your life. May she continue to be in good health.

    Love your Blog I look forward to reading about your travel adventures.



    • Maria January 4, 2015 / 7:34 pm

      Dear Katie,
      Thank you so much for writing. You are correct. I am very fortunate to have my Aunt Nancy in my life and hope so for many years to come. She really is my pillar of strength. I hope you continue to follow the blog. Feel free to make any suggestions or ask questions. We have a recipe for Chicken alla Parmigiana coming up on Tuesday!!
      Hope to hear from you soon.


  8. ric saborio January 5, 2015 / 6:26 pm

    Wow! I found your article so interesting. I’m amazed by all your accomplishments and adventures.
    You sound like a person who truly lives the joie de vivre. Also, It’s so refreshing to read about your love for your aunt. I look forward to reading more of your blogs in the future Ric


  9. Jan January 7, 2015 / 4:03 pm

    What an exciting and fulfilling life you have had, and, obviously, continue to have. Your positive energy is reflected in your blog, your simple and tasty recipe, and your aunt Nancy’s story. I look forward to your twice weekly blogs for inspiration, stories and recipes!


    • Maria January 7, 2015 / 7:28 pm

      Dear Jan,
      I’m sure you have had an equally exciting life. Let me know what your interests are and we can consider them for another blog, and mostly, thank you for reading all three of mine and for taking time to write. Come back soon!!!!


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