I grew up in a tiny town in central Pennsylvania where white tailed deer outnumber the people, and there are a total of two traffic lights.  When I graduated from Penn State with a major in Advertising, I knew I needed to land a job in a major city, so I gave Chicago a try and then ended up in New York City.

I married my high school sweetheart and we rescued a puppy, Sammi.  We paid ridiculous rent for a 1 bedroom apartment in New Jersey and I had an hour plus commute into New York City where I worked crazy long hours at an advertising agency.  After a few years of trying to find balance, I finally came to terms with the fact that my work life was having a serious impact on my personal life.  And when I say "serious impact," I mean I just didn't have a life outside of work. 

We always said that someday we would end up closer to home, and after about 3 years, it was time to stop pretending we would ever be "city people."  So we said goodbye to the city, found jobs, bought a house, and became official residents of Happy Valley.  Now we are closer to family, we have a big yard for our now two dogs, and we even get to eat dinner together most nights.

When we finally relocated from New York City to rural Pennsylvania, I finally had some time and energy to put into creating a blog! It's what I love to do, and I hope you find some recipe favorites that you can come back to time and time again.



The kitchen is my happy place. I love cooking, experimenting with new recipes, and just making food that tastes amazing. I’m not a professionally trained chef or a nutritionist. I’m a passionate, self-taught home cook striving for balance and creating totally doable recipes for everyone: people who work 40+ hours a week with crazy schedules (like me!), who are trying to make better choices one day, one bite at a time.

As my journey with cooking and wellness evolves, the content here changes too! While I started Maria Makes as blog to feature recipes and crafts/DIY projects, it has slowly evolved into mostly a food blog; out of convenience, really. You can only find spaces in your home for so many crafts; but ya gotta eat every day, amiright!?