I’ve made SO many food friends through my blog that I thought it would be a good idea to introduce you to some of the people I really admire. I know, there are only so many Fridays but I plan on living a long time, so hopefully I can interview you too!
My first interview is with Marnely Rodriguez-Murray – the newly married and fantastically happy @Nella22. Why Marnely? For me, it’s an honor to interview her first because when I went to Twitter for the first time, she was the first person to be truly kind to me.
Not that everyone isn’t nice, Marnely went out of her way to make me feel welcome and worthy of talking to. Maybe your first days on your blog or Twitter or Facebook saw floods of people knocking on your door but that’s not how it was for me – so I was determined to do the hard yards and earn my spot.
How did I do that? I watched what Marnely did and that’s what I did. Simple eh?
Not only was she kind to me on Twitter but I found myself spending more and more time on her blog and drooling over the fantastic food she creates. Her recipes inspire me to tweak for new flavors and textures in my own cooking.
Many of us are pretty good with a knife and a spatula but Marnely graduated from the Culinary Institute of New York and I love that place. The restaurants at the school show off the sort of food graduating chefs can prepare. You eat and then you go into that gorgeous courtyard and walk around. slowly. You’re too full to move at a fast pace. That’s the sort of food Marnely creates.
She’s not only got the education but she’s also worked some cool jobs for a food lover. She was an overnight bread baker in Colorado, a chocolate maker in Virginia (swoon) and a pastry cook on Martha’s Vineyard.
Marnely is very proud of her Caribbean heritage, growing up in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, she loves the cuisine of the Caribbean. She says she’s on “an endless search for Caribbean flavors, new adventures and gastronomic inspiration” which she can share through her food writing and recipe development.
I want to know more about the food she loved as a child. Food memories are very important to me. Like Marnely, I have moved far away from where I grew up and special foods trigger happy thoughts of years gone by.
Her favorite food is a banana and her food addiction is coffee. I suspect that now that she’s married, she’s definitely hooked on love.
Please visit her blog, Cooking With Books, for great recipes, cooking tips, reviews and you’ll find inspiration and a lovely new friend. How she has the time for all she gets done, I honestly don’t know.
These are a few of my favorite recipes you’ll find on her blog. When I saw that cranberry swirl muffin I instantly started to salivate. Imagine that muffin coming up to your lips along with a cup of Marnely’s favorite coffee? Insanely delicious, I tell you!
There are heaps of food bloggers around the world and while most of them are wonderful writers, photographers and cooks, Marnely puts the personal touch on everything she does. She’s one of those people who always make the time to do or say the right thing. She’s also made over 59,000, yes that’s fifty nine thousand, tweets. Talk about keeping up with the food community! I keep telling myself she started first.
And now for a recipe from the divine Miss Nelly. I chose these nutty Mexican Wedding Cookies because I think they sound (and look) wonderful.
- 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
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Mix all the dry ingredients.
- Add butter and pecan butter and knead in until dough comes together (crumbly dough, but when squeezed in your palm, it stays formed)
- Rest in fridge for an hour and roll 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!)
- Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes and then roll in powdered sugar. Joe the Baker suggested adding spices such as cinnamon to your powdered sugar for a more adult taste!
- Enjoy, at a Mexican wedding or on a random weekday!
Great choice for a first interview, Maureen! Nelly is so lovely, and she really knows how to harness the power of social media in a very genuine, real and supportive way. Love her! 🙂
Maureen, I love your idea of introducing other foodies. Marnely’s food looks delicious! I’m going to head over to her site right now to check it out. Thanks for the introduction!
Marnely Rodriguez says
I am so happy to be here! Thank you Maureen for this lovely post, definitely made my week a happier one!
claudia lamascolo says
Very supportive of you and great intro!
Norma Chang says
Maureen, Thanks, I am heading over to Marnely’s. That poached lobster is calling my name.
Nami | Just One Cookbook says
Hi Maureen! I really like your new series Food Writer Friedays! I’m looking forward to meet new bloggers like today. I’m heading over to her site now!
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
She sounds lovely! Thank you for introducing her to us Maureen! 😀
What a great review!
Goddamn! Avocado lime pie!
Just visited her blog – haha I think I’m addicted now!
Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake says
Her blog is fantastic! Thanks for doing the review 😀
Like her and yourself, I have also moved away from my home country (China). I came to Australia when I was 8 but I remember the food I used to have and things I used to do like it was yesterday. I’m fortunate enough to go back every year so I don’t miss it too much and well, Chinese food is everywhere so it’s great. But some things do still trigger those happy thoughts of childhood every now and then. 🙂
She has some really great recipes!
Katherine Martinelli says
What a great post! I really enjoyed being introduced to a new blogger. Marnely sounds wonderful and her blog is just awesome. I’m following her on Twitter now as well! 🙂
Kiran @ KiranTarun.com says
Lovely blogger spotlight — a great way to connect with great bloggers 🙂 Off to check out her blog.
Jill | Dulce Dough says
Very nice feature! I will definitely check out Marnely’s blog!
I think what I love most about Marnely is her kindness and generosity. I know her from twitter and she is always ready to engage, chat, laugh and share. And she is just adorable. That said – fabulous cook, too! Great first interview!
I love that you chose Marnely for your interview…I like you found her to be one of the nicest people on twitter when I joined. She has offered me so much advice, great conversations and is just all around one of the nicest people I have talked with!
So so informative. This is a great kick off to your series! GREG
Maureen, what a wonderful idea of introducing bloggers, I’ve already seen the very talented Marnely’s blog and it’s a treat to read! p.s. lovely cookies! 🙂
EA-The Spicy RD says
Lovely post on Nelly! She’s such an inspiration to so many food bloggers including myself. Not only is she supportive of other bloggers, but she also has some amazing recipes on her blog and a fabulous sense of humor! Cheers to you both!!