Marnely Rodriguez-Murray

Meet our latest guest editor Marnely Rodriguez-Murray, author of food blog Cooking with Books living in Martha’s Vineyard, MA.

How did you develop a love for cooking?

My love for cooking was inspired by my mother (doesn't everyone respond to this question by saying their mother?!) But yes, my mother used to (and still does) bake on a daily basis.

Everything from cakes, brownies, cookies, there was no need for an occasion for her to bake. Seeing her in the kitchen and later being in the kitchen right next to her, made my love of cooking stronger!

Tell us about your work with SheKnows.com and your blog Cooking with Books! I started the blog about three years ago, after a trip to Las Vegas, NV. Let me tell you, Vegas isn't only a place for gambling! My husband and I eat everywhere from the fine dining restaurants to the local buffets, enjoying every minute of it.

Once back home, I needed a place to share all these delicious experiences and the blog started! Now, I write about my travel, as well as recipes I develop for my readers, like my most pinned recipe Habanero Jack Grilled Cheese with Pears & Prosciutto.

SheKnows has been a site I've read for years now and it seemed organic for me to pitch them my writing ideas and get hired! I now write informative food pieces that I love, like Foodie's Guide to NOLA and Baking 101: Choosing the right flour.

We met each other on #FoodieChats! How would you describe that Twitter chat and what's the best thing about it?

#FoodieChats was founded by my now good friend, Steve Green. We tweet every Monday at 8pm EST and normally have a theme, whether pizza, bacon, desserts - basically we chat about the food we love!

You grew up in the Dominican Republic. What is your favorite dish from childhood?

Growing up in the Dominican Republic was a dream come true. The bounty of fresh produce was amazing and now that I live in New England, I look back and miss it, since you can't get as much tropical fruits!

But since I get to visit, I indulge in all the fresh fruit like guavas, tamarind, mangoes, papaya, and more. My favorite Dominican dish? Has to be Asopao, a Dominican take on Italian risotto!

Tell us about where you’re living: Martha’s Vineyard! How would your characterize the cuisine from there?

I've been so lucky to move from one gorgeous island to another. MV food is traditional New England (think clam chowder, lobster rolls), but the island has some amazing chefs doing incredible, new things.

Sourcing from local farmers, utilizing the gorgeous shellfish that surrounded the island (scallops, oysters, and quahogs oh my!), and creating gorgeous recipes is what the chefs are all about. Even though I work 16 hour days during the summer, I still make time to visit the local farms!

Local artisan treat of choice?

Only one? So many great artisans making amazing treats on island! Here are my favorites: Chilmark Coffee Company and Not Your Sugar Mamas.

What ingredient in our April box would you most be inclined to try and why? 

Rancho Gordo // Ayocote Blanco Beans (Napa, CA) - I grew up eating beans at every meal: in my morning eggs, in my lunch rice, as soup for dinner!

What do you like most about The Fare Trade concept?

I've tried out over 25 subscription boxes in the past two years and what I think makes The Fare Trade concept different it is that it's curated by professional chefs and artisans, so I know the products are carefully selected and amazing!

Photo Credit: Eli Dagostino

cookingwithbooks.net / @nella22 on Twitter @marnely on Instagram

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