Marnely Rodriguez-Murray from Cooking with Books

by Maureen Shaw

Marnely Rodriguez-Murray

Last year I started a series called Food Writer Friday on my blog at  People seemed to like it but someone was unkind and my feelers got hurt and I drifted away.  Helene Dsouza from contacted me and basically said, “What gives?  No more interviews?  I really liked them.”

I explained the situation and she slapped me around a bit and told me I had a pretty thin skin for an old woman.  (I made that up because she didn’t say anything of the kind but I’m sure she was thinking it.) She suggested that we do it together so I checked and was available so here we are.

We’re going to include the interviews I’ve already done because we don’t want to leave anyone out.  We’ll rewrite so we don’t get Mr. Google offside with duplicate content.

The first interview I did last year was with Marnely Rodriguez-Murray – the happily married and fantastic @Nella22.  Why Marnely?  She was so kind to me when I was a new blogger that I wanted to give her the honor of being my first interview. The first time I went to Twitter she was there and it was Nelly who showed me the ropes.  She’s a real sweetheart!

Of course other writers are sweet and nice too, but Marnely went out of her way and made me feel so welcome and worthy of talking to.  Maybe your first days on your blog or Twitter or Facebook profiles experienced a huge flood of people knocking on your door however that didn’t happen to me – so I was determined to work hard and earn my credentials.

How and what did I do?  I watched Marnely’s moves and did what she did.  She taught me to interact with others and she showed me that I didn’t need to feel shy. Simple eh?

Also was she not only very kind to me on Twitter but I found myself spending more and more time on her blog too and I ended up staring and drooling over the fantastic dishes she created. Her recipes inspired me to be more experimental and to tweak for new flavors and textures in my own cooking.

Many in the Food blogger-verse own excellent knife and spatula skills and Marnely graduated from the Culinary Institute of New York and I love that place.  The Institute’s restaurant serves excellent food, which the graduating chefs prepare.  You indulge the food and then you go into that gorgeous courtyard and walk around.  Walk around with care because you’re too full to move at anything more than a snail’s pace.  That’s the sort of food Marnely cooks and creates.

As a food lover she’s not only got the education in her apron but she has also had some cool jobs.  She was a hard working overnight bread baker in Colorado, a sweet chocolatier in Virginia (swoon) and a pastry chef on Martha’s Vineyard.

Asopao de Pollo

Growing up in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, she loves the cuisine of the Caribbean and of course Marnely is very proud of her Caribbean heritage.  She mentioned once that she was on an endless great search for Caribbean flavors, new adventures and gastronomic inspirations. All that she shares through her food writing and recipe development on her blog. This is her mother’s Asopao de Pollo, or the Dominican version of risotto.

I needed to know more about the food she enjoyed as a child.  Food memories are very important to me and just like Marnely I have moved far away from my roots of origin and therefore special foods trigger happy thoughts of years gone by.

Her favorite food, as basic it may sound, is the humble but beloved banana and her food addiction is… Can you guess it? Coffee!  I suspect that now that she’s married, she’s definitely hooked on love.

Please visit her blog, Cooking With Books, for interesting great recipes, some unique cooking tips and useful reviews. You’ll find inspiration and a lovely new friend to treasure.  How she has the time to get everything done in her life in just one day, I have no idea.

Tomato, cheddar and pumpkin butter salad

A few of my absolute favorite recipes are from her blog.  When I saw that tomato, cheddar and pumpkin butter salad I started to salivate.  Imagine that salad on your plate?  Insanely delicious, I tell you!

There are thousands of food bloggers from around the globe and while most of them are skilled writers, photographers and cooks, Marnely adds her personal touch on everything she does.  She’s the type of person who always finds time to do or say the right thing.  You can also call her a master tweeter with her 91,000, tweets and still running.  Talk about keeping up with the food community!  I keep telling myself she was one of the first to start it all.

Now for a recipe from the divine Miss Nelly. I chose these nutty Mexican Wedding Cookies from her blog because I think they sound (and look) wonderful.
mexican wedding cookies

Nutty Mexican Wedding Cookies
Mexican Wedding Cookies, or “Polvorones” in Spanish, although traced back originally to Medieval Arab cuisine, can be found in various Latin American countries, as well as Spain, Mexico and the Philippines.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 12
  • ¾ cup flour + 1 tablespoon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground vanilla powder
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp almond flour
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • ¼ cup Artisana Raw Pecan Butter
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients.
  3. Add the butter and pecan butter and knead in until the dough comes together (crumbly dough, but when squeezed in your palm, it should stay formed)
  4. Keep the mixture to rest in the fridge for an hour and roll the whole content into small balls. Place on lined baking sheet and bake until dried. (Or press into a rounded teaspoon and slide out! You’ll have flat bottomed cookies!)
  5. Allow them to cool for 10-15 minutes after the baking and then roll in powdered sugar. Joe the Baker suggested adding spices such as cinnamon to your powdered sugar for a more adult taste!
  6. Enjoy, them at a Mexican wedding or munch on them one fine weekday!
  7. (bake time is approximate – cookies need to be dry)


Maureen Shaw
Maureen is the owner of,, and shares FoodWriterFriday with Helene Dsouza from She loves to cook and really loves to eat and entertain. She's on a quest to prove there ARE recipes better than sex. She's come close a time or two so she's still searching.
Maureen Shaw
Maureen Shaw
Maureen Shaw
Maureen Shaw

Latest posts by Maureen Shaw (see all)

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Rate this recipe:  

Next post: