About Flycakes Kitchen

I was born in Argentina, spent the first ten years of my life moving around South America, and then arrived in Manhattan in the winter of 1975 to an East River that was frozen solid. Quite a shock from the balminess of Punta Del Este. I speak Spanish fluently and have a deep attachment to the foods of my childhood. Time spent sitting across my Abuela’s kitchen table watching her make apple strudel with dough so thin I could see her fingernail color, influences my cooking to this day.

I’m a wife, mom, daughter, sister, aunt and consider myself a loyal, empathetic, thoughtful and attentive friend. I smile a lot, laugh loudly and never forget a birthday. I love my birthday, your birthday, everyone’s birthday and expect others to celebrate their birthday and my own like we’re all still six years old. I exercise every day and consider it a non-negotiable appointment I make with myself. Thankfully, I’m married to a man who feels exactly the same way and we rely on each other to get our asses to the gym on those days when the excess of the previous night (probably mezcal) is weighing us down.

My diet is far from perfect (I have a profound love affair with m&m’s and Nestle Crunch) but I try every day to take a long term view on my life, health, diet and the choices I make. I think the recipes I share reflect that balance: healthy, nutritious and simple meals followed by a little indulgence. Until recently, I considered myself a free lance pastry chef and I still very much enjoy that work but what I’ve come to understand is that desserts and sweets are a small part of my life and more importantly mine and my family’s diet. I’ve always felt very strongly that if we’re going to eat that dessert it better be the best tasting, explode-in-your-mouth-with-flavor sweet and it should be made with the purest and wholest ingredients. Ingredients that our bodies will recognize. Bring on the butter, sugar, eggs, and flour but deliver it  in such a way that ONE serving will scratch that itch.

Our son understands the importance of being active and when you live in a city with limited access to the outdooors, encouraging your kid to move can be a challenge. Our decision to spend our summers in Vail, CO is how we compensate for a school year in the city. Does he still play video games and eat crap every once in a while? Of course! But he spends the bulk of his time running, biking swimming, hiking, and playing sports and he is very aware that crap doesn’t count as food.  I strive for balance in my life and I’m trying to teach our son to self-regulate so that he can begin to make good choices in all aspects of his life starting with understanding the difference between ice cream truck ‘ice cream’ and an artisanal batch of gelato.

Flycakes Kitchen is about living life in balance. Finding it, mantaining it, and coming back to it when we’ve lost it.

Enjoy and always let your taste buds soar.

Hugs, Maria (1540)

Infused Oils and Vinegars: Jelly Bellies of the Kitchen?

I was ten in 1976. That was the year Jelly Belly introduced Very Cherry, Lemon, Cream Soda, Tangerine, Green Apple, Root Beer, Licorice and Grape. Blueberry soon followed so President Reagan could serve red, white and blue jelly bellies in the White House. I was always fascinated by their sparkly, perfectly shaped, multi colored beauty and the fact that (when fat free was all the rage) you could actually convince yourself you were making a virtuous choice by eating them.

But, what made me fall head over heels in love with this confection was the Jelly Belly Recipes. The fact that combining flavors could create a taste experience in your mouth that made you feel part creative genius, part mad scientist, part chef and part Willy Wonka was a childhood revelation. Their combinations ranged from the obvious: two bubblegums + two cinnamon = cinnamon gum, to the most creative: one french vanilla + two coconut +buttered popcorn + two toasted marshmallow = tres leches cake!!! OK people, you know the good old folks at Jelly Belly Candy Co hire a bunch of professional stoners to come up with these flavor combos. Why didn’t I work there after grad school instead of Wall Street? Continue reading (2492)