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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 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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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 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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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

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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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 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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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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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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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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Azerbaijani Yogurt Soup with Fresh Herbs (Dovgha)

I wrote on AZ Cookbook facebook page that the epitome of spring and summer in Azerbaijan was coming soon to my blog. I gave a hint, alright, that it was going to be a soup. Most people guessed it right! Dovgha! Yes, it is dovgha, a popular Azerbaijani yogurt soup cooked with lots of fresh herbs! I  was saving this recipe for […]

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Tall Chicken Pie

My friend Victoria (remember her?) knows I am always on the lookout for great recipes to share with you. Not that I don’t have enough recipes in the house (this reminds me I have to organize them nicely – currently they live in a state of total mess) but I want unusual recipes and these kinds do not come by […]

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We have mastered the art of making curd cheese at home, haven’t we? Now the time has come to incorporate our cheese into delicious dishes, both savory and sweet. We’ll begin with sweet then we’ll move on to savory dishes as well. In my future posts. One day I decided that wanted to use a freshly made batch of curd […]

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Cream of Spinach Soup

If you like me are a big fan of creamy anything soups, then you will love this creamy spinach soup. It is easy to make, is nutritious and very delicious. I spotted this recipe a while ago while leafing through my friend Miriam’s huge recipe collection and used it shortly after. The family loved it, and even the kids who […]

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Along with scrumptious multi-layered pakhlava (baklava) and tender nut-filled shekerbura, spice-infused flaky bread shorgoghal (alternative spelling: shor goghali) is another irresistable edible attribute of Novruz. In fact,  the three are a must on a festive goodie-filled tray, khoncha, a centerpiece of Novruz table. For its shape, the golden crust and the yellowish spice filling it encases, shorgoghal is regarded as […]

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Happy International Women’s Day!

Happy International Women’s Day to all my lady readers and their loved ones! Wishing you all a life as beautiful and colorful as this rose.

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We are fighting chocolate desserts versus lemon desserts wars. 3 members of the family against 1, myself representing the minority camp. But I am hanging in there, little by little converting the chocolate addicts to fancy lemon laden sweets now. I think it’s working as they happily devoured most of these luscious lemon squares when I first made them.  If […]

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Indian paneer,  Italian ricotta,  Russian tvorog and Azerbaijani kesmik.  What do they have in common? A lot. These are similar variations of soft cheese made from curdled milk. (In fact, curdled milk translates as kesilmish sud in Azeri. The name kesmik comes from “kesmek” or “kesilmek” which  means to curdle.) The common technique in making these cheeses involves combining milk […]

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I didn’t have the slightest idea about Caribbean food until one day I came across Cynthia’s renowned blog – Tastes Like Home, where Cynthia writes about Caribbean food and culture, weaving her personal memories into her writing, all this  accompanied with beautiful photographs that Cynthia takes herself. Cynthia and I became instant friends, at the moment virtual ones, with hopes […]

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