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Mariaraynal is a skilled writer -- both professionally, as an executive speechwriter for General Motors near her home in suburban Detroit, and in her spare time, as a freelance food writer and blogger. As a result, her recipes are eloquent and clear and always a pleasure to read and cook from. But hers aren't just good recipes, written well. They're also rife with smart, original ideas. Her Vanilla Cinnamon Pancakes call on vanilla in three ways -- in a compound butter, infused into maple syrup and in the batter itself. Her Antipasto Couscous Cakes meld the flavors of an antipasto platter into crispy little cakes (we love her trick of molding the cakes with a measuring cup). And her winning Roasted Bagna Cauda Broccoli brings revelatory new flavors to a steadfast side. She's also an enthusiastic supporter of our Editors' Pick recipe testing process (she even blogged about it here) and we always look forward to reading her candid, thoughtful reviews. See her profile page and fan her here.

Read mariaraynal's profile Q&A below:

  • What is the strangest food you have ever eaten?
    Sea urchin
  • What do you cook when home alone?
    Pasta, usually with olive oil, shallots, garlic, prosciutto, white wine, greens, sliced grape tomatoes and Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Your most treasured kitchen possession:
    My huge orange LeCreuset dutch oven
  • Your ideal meal:
    Pasta, preferably made by an Italian home cook. Ribollita, too - I love rustic soups and stews.
  • Something you'd like a chance to eat or cook:
    I'd like to be more proficient with Asian cuisine.
  • The number of bottles of wine you own:
    about 15
  • The ideal number of guests for a dinner party is:
  • Kitchen pet peeve:
    The mess. Flavorless food. People who consider food "fuel."
  • Your favorite cookbook:
    So many, too many! I adore chefs and food writing.


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Comments (17)


over 5 years ago menumaniac

Yay for Maria! So happy to see her here!


over 5 years ago mariaraynal

Thanks to you all for your wonderful comments!


over 5 years ago gluttonforlife

Well done, Maria! Glad to see you're back in the blog saddle, too!


over 5 years ago lapadia

I was active on F52 towards the end of ’09 (aka - HappyCooker), went MIA for a short time, am back; and I remember you and your recipes…Congrats on being in the “Spotlight”!


over 5 years ago coffeefoodwritergirl

Congratulations Maria -- so happy to see you featured here!


over 5 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

So well deserved. Every one of your recipes is excellent!! Congratulations. ;o)


over 5 years ago Veronica

Congratulations, mariaraynal! So well deserved. Am looking forward to our next encounter--do you think food52 should have another party? I do...


over 5 years ago WinnieAb

Really happy to see Maria featured here. I just love your recipes Maria!


over 5 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Great recipes! Great blog! Congrats Maria!


over 5 years ago nannydeb

Congratulations and Hooray!


over 5 years ago roanwight

Maria, how fun is this?! Cook spotlight! Your hubby just showed me this; I'm so geeked, so proud!


over 5 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Yea, Maria! Love your recipes and your blog!


over 5 years ago MrsWheelbarrow

Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

Three cheers! Yeah! So so happy to see you featured here, Maria. Fantastic recipes, cheerful tweets, and, if it's possible, even more wonderful in real life. xox


over 5 years ago CASJ

Cheers for Maria! One of my most favorite cooks in the whole wide world!


over 5 years ago mariaraynal

I wish you could see the big grin on my face, Amanda, Merrill and Kristin -- thank you! And LND and Abbie, thanks! What a fun way to start the week.


over 5 years ago lastnightsdinner

Whoo hoo! Here's to a great cook and a wonderful lady - congrats, Maria!


over 5 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Hurrah for Maria! She is SUCH a great cook, fun friend, thinker and talker and writer about food ... it's great to see her recognized here!!!