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Roast Duck with Pomegranate-Honey-Orange Glaze

Roasted Duck

I’d had my eyes on Martha Stewart’s roasted duck recipe for the longest time and finally had a chance to make it this Sunday. It turned out great and looking exactly as it looked in Martha Stewart’s book where I got the recipe. And it was super delicious! The duck roasted slowly in the oven with its fat slowly rendering […]

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Double Crust Apple Pie

All American Apple Pie

I love fruits pies, and the all American apple pie happens to be in the list of my favorites. Homemade all American apple pie is my double favorite. Guess what. It is really really really not that difficult to put together. You know how to make a perfect pie crust already. All that’s left to do is you throw together your […]

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Pie Crust (Pâte Brisée) – Step by Step

All-Butter Pie Crust

Making pie crust, or pâte brisée, from scratch is easy as pie. Seriously. It’s not rocket science. Ok, some store bought pies may be good but once you make your own, you never look back. It’s all about crust – a good crust makes a pie perfect! All you need is to arm yourself with a foolproof pie crust recipe […]

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Sautéed Mushrooms – Not your usual kind

Sauteed Mushrooms

I love love mushrooms. I am a mushroom lover in the family. Kid are not big fans. Sadly, albeit my numerous experiments and attempts to fancy up kid-friendly mushroom dishes a.k.a disguise mushrooms to the point that that kids wouldn’t notice, my efforts have not paid off so far  –  kids still frown upon anything mushroom. Things are a bit […]

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AZ Cookbook in AZ Magazine – With Steve Hollier

Photo by Steve Hollier

Photo by Steve Hollier: Absheron National Park. A couple of months ago I received an email from Steve Hollier, new editor of AZ Magazine in Baku. He was asking if I would like to run my own food column in the magazine. I who always thinks I can handle more than I really can, didn’t think much before saying Yes. […]

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Apple Butter

Apple Butter

Our recent trip to the apple orchard with my daughter’s Girl Scout troop was a lot of fun. Just like last time we were there, there were not too many apples left to pick from trees any more, there were, however, a lot of apples of all sorts already bagged and inviting us, apple-hungry city dwellers, to buy them in […]

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Meat Stuffed Flatbread (Et Gutabi)

Cooking the Gutabs, Filled Flatbreads, on a Saj

It has been more than a year since my last trip to Azerbaijan. Memories are still hovering fresh above my head and it feel like I was there yesterday. I do miss many things about that trip. I miss our trip to Balaken and Zagatala in particular. It was a bittersweet trip, however, as I was no longer to see […]

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Turkish Bulgur Salad

Turkish Bulgur Salad

I have to be punished. I disappeared for the longest time again. Consider this a lame excuse, but I have been trying to adjust to my new life with a full time job, while juggling a zillion other responsibilities and projects my restless persona keeps creating for myself.  I felt a bit overwhelmed at the beginning, but things are much better […]

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Olive Walnut Mini Breads

Olive Walnut Mini Breads

I love love these cute little breads. They are rich, I won’t lie. I hate to lament my muffin tops after I bake the breads in huge batches, without giving a break in between. But if you are less of a glutton than I am and can control your appetite, you will be just fine. You will survive. These mini breads […]

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Banana and Berries with Cream

Banana and Berries with Cream

The recipe for this amazing dessert comes from a darling person, aunt Turkan, my friend’s mom. Aunt Turkan made it for one of our get-togethers here and I absolutely loved it. It was mixed fruits – plums, bananas, berries, grapes and other fruits I can’t remember –  lushly covered with a creamy blanket. The cream, my friends, was out of […]

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Fresh Berry Pavlova

Cake Pavlova

Friends, thank you for taking the time to watch the first episode of AZ Cookbook on AZRU TV. Some of you watched it even without understanding a single word I said:), but were kind enough to leave words of encouragement in their comments. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. For those of you who missed my post about […]

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Cinnamon Rolls

Glazed Cinnamon Rolls

Do you like your cinnamon rolls super soft and puffy or do you prefer them somewhat crunchy on the outside and soft, yet not bready on the inside? I belong to both camps. I love cinnamon rolls of all sorts. I am not picky with them. Especially when they are homemade. Here’s the recipe for the second variety. I’ll come […]

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Roasted Zucchini Salad with Garlicky Yogurt Dressing

Roasted Zucchini Salad with Yogurt Dressing

I first tried this salad that originates  in the Aegean regions of Turkiye at my dear friend Canan’s house many years ago. I was hooked. A subtle sweetness of roasted zucchini, good old plain yogurt infused with garlic, a drizzle of olive oil with a dash of paprika on top (or, if I am in  a mood for aroma – a sprinkle […]

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Hummus

Hummus

Hummus, the Middle Eastern delight. I love it. Long before I found out hummus was super easy to make, I bought it from stores. Some were delicious, others we not. Then one day I decided to make my own hummus. My first hummus was ok, but not great. But I continued to make it over and over again, each time […]

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Fresh Herb Kükü (Goyerti Kyukyusu)

Azerbaijani Fresh Herb Omlette (Kuku)

This is fresh herb kükü served in Baku’s Carvansarai Restaurant. In Azerbaijan, kükü (read: kyukyu) is the general name given to dishes in which main ingredients – vegetables, herbs, meat, or fish – are bound with eggs, then browned on both sides on a stovetop. It is not to be confused with an omlette as the featured ingredients in a […]

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Spiced Banana-Walnut Loaf

spiced banana walnut bread

I made this luscious spiced banana loaf a couple of days ago and it was gone in an instant. The bread is filled with a thick cinnamon-perfumed walnut ripple that is swirled into the spiced banana-walnut batter. While baking, the loaf oozes with irresistible aroma wafting invitingly through the air. The baked bread is rather moist and dense. Absolutely delicious. Perfect with […]

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Chicken Cacciatore

chicken cacciatore

Don’t you just love dishes that pretty much cook for themselves and all you have to do is toss (or nicely arrange) the ingredients together and your job is complete? I do. Especially when I am crazy busy and every minute counts and is precious. This recipe is just right when you are pressed for time.  I stumbled upon it […]

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Read Your Fortune & Make Watermelon Rind Preserves

Watermelon Rind Preserves

Next time you buy a watermelon for its hopefully succulent flesh only, think twice, because there is more to a watermelon than just juicy flesh that quenches thirst and refreshes palates on hot summer days. What can be more to it? If you ask an Azerbaijani, he or she will tell you. First, when you cut a circle off the […]

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Roasted Vegetables Baked in Golden Batter

Roasted Vegetables Baked in Golden Batter

Come spring and summer, I crave colorful and bright dishes incorporating all sorts of vegetables. This dish is abundant with them, all bursting with color. Here, red peppers, yellow peppers, red onions, zucchini, and eggplant are first roasted then baked to  golden perfection under a blanket of milky batter that is poured on their tops. This deliciousness is then sprinkled […]

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A Cup-of-Garden Soup

Garden Soup

Here’s a wonderful colorful soup that is filling, nutritious, and delicious at the same time. One thing I particularly like about this recipe is that it is generously open to improvisation. Don’t have kale? Use spinach or whatever leafy green you fancy. Don’t have canned chickpeas? Use peas or beans you have on hand. Want to deepen the flavors? Use chicken […]

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Chicken Salad with Celery in Yogurt Dressing

Chicken Salad with Celery and Cucumber

This is one of my favorite salads from Turkish cuisine.  I love how the tender chicken breast pairs with crunchy celery, cucumber, and walnuts. I also love the fact that this salad is healthier than most of its mayonnaise laden cousins – the dressing here is good old plain yogurt, mixed, if desired, for a richer taste, with only a […]

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Chocolatiest Crinkles

Chewy Chocolate Crinkles

A brief description of these cookies – they are darn good!  They are chewy on the inside and crisp on the outside. Beware, they disappear fast. At least that’s the case in our cookie monster filled family. On another note, I am feeling darn good too, because Azerbaijan won first place in Europe’s most popular song contest – Eurovision! For the […]

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Hello, Grape Leaves!

Fresh Grape Leaves

The other day I was talking to my aunt in Baku over skype and she asked me what I had cooked for the day. “Dolma,” I exclaimed. “From canned grape leaves?” “Why? From fresh,” I said happily. “What? Fresh leaves?” Clearly, my aunt was shocked. “This time of year?” I teased her saying how our grapevine is sprawling and how […]

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Quick Herbed Cheese Roll-Ups

cheese-rollups

I’ve  been making these wonderful herbed cheese stuffed roll-ups for a very long time  and they are always a hit in the household. They are quick and easy to make. The dough is leavened with baking powder and not yeast, which means there is no rising required for the dough. But softness? It is still there! And lots of it! […]

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Rice Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers

Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers

A few years ago, when my in-laws were visiting from Turkey, we were invited to a 4th of July block party organized on our street. We were told that there would be a bake-off contest and a potluck. So the cooking members of the family, which included my mother-in-law and me only, split the duties – I  was in charge […]

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