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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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So I had this grand idea of redesigning my blog a little (nothing major) to start the near year’s blogging afresh, but little did I know that redesigning a blog is not as simple as it sounds to me. Honestly saying, I am not the one redesigning it and it is  M. whom I have forcefully mobilized to undertake what […]

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Happy New Year & Solidarity Day!

Happy Holidays from AZ Cookbook

Hey, friends. Just wanted to wish you all a very Happy Near Year. I wish you only the best, which includes health, happiness, luck, tons of joy, great friendships, realization of all of your dreams, a peaceful sky above your head, prosperity, a table food of food to share with your loved ones, and many other things that will make […]

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This recipe appeared on my blog on December 18, but yours truly accidentally deleted it from her dashboard and was never able to retrieve it. Luckily she had a copy on her Azeri-language blog, which she is copy-pasting here, postdate.  All the original comments were gone with the post, so she is also copy-pasting them here manually, one by one, […]

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We’ve grown quite addicted lately to these little nutty cookies bathed in snowy powdered sugar. In the US, they are commonly known as Mexican wedding cookies. But turns out that they are the same as Spanish wedding cookies, or Austrian kipferin, or Russian tea cakes. My Mexican-American friend Bertha approved of them as being Mexican, but also added that once, […]

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Fudgy Brownies

Some like them cakey and spongy, some like them dense, moist and fudgy. I belong to the latter group that would never say no to the kind of brownies you see in the picture above. These little squares are very intense, and mind you, very rich. But it is hard to resist the temptetation to reach for another serving, and […]

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A Glimpse of the Annual Pomegranate Festival in the Region of Goychay in Azerbaijan. Dancing the “Pomegranate” Dance. Photo Source: Respublika newspaper. Friends, I am happy to share with you the news of the recent launch of Azerbaijani Radio Hour program in Washington D.C’s New World Radio station (WUST AM 1120). A weekly one-hour program (first half in English, second […]

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Spiced Walnuts

Ideally I should have posted a recipe for Thanksgiving, right? But these days, I’ve been so overwhelmed by our invitation to a Thanksgiving dinner at our friends’, that I can’t seem to be capable of putting together something grand and Thanksgiving worthy  to share with you. But I have this wonderful recipe for spiced walnuts that I made a couple […]

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These days the family likes to hear “Dinner rolls are served!” more than “Dinner is served!” because they can’t get enough of homemade dinner rolls, especially when they are utterly, sinfully, ultimately good, like the ones made from the recipe below. When the rolls are almost ready, the hungry members of the family line up in front of the kitchen […]

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Quince Preserves

Quince, how do I love thee. That’s right. I have a soft spot in my heart for this exotic fruit  (for pomegranates too, remember?). I like to eat it as is, skin and all, and I also like it in the form of preserve. Quince in Azerbaijan is especially delicious and the land of my ancestors, the region of Ordubad, […]

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Chocolate Pear Cake

Pear season is in full swing in California. Chocolate season is always in full swing in the family. Combine the two – you get a very chocolaty peary cake that you wish could stay in season for the longest time. If you love moist cakes, then you will love this cake. Treat pears as your bonus. Enjoy. Chocolate Pear Cake […]

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Remember the recipe for baked honey chicken wings that turned me into a selfish glutton? From the book laden with kid-friendly recipes? “Anne, Ben Aciktim” which from Turkish is “Mommy, I am hungry” is the name of the  book to blame. As the name suggests, it gives busy moms .. ahem.. (modesty aside) like myself, relief from raking their brains […]

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Do you see yellow in the picture? I mean the beautiful yellow inside the slice of bread? Don’t rush to blame photoshop for this. The poor thing is not to blame (at least not completely) and does not deserve a possible “color enhancement” accusation. It’s all because of turmeric. The power spice is blame as I happened to add it […]

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Just like in neighboring Azerbaijan, yogurt is an indespensable kitchen staple in Turkey, too. It is added to salads, made into sauces with garlic to scoop onto pasta dishes, used to moisten the layers of borek pies, to fix a refreshing yogurt drink, ayran, or turned into this wonderfully  light but still a filling soup called yayla corbasi.  Yayla chorbasi […]

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About two decades ago I started to collect recipes, jotting them down in my very first recipe notebook. The very first recipe, written neatly with my then legible handwriting was called Banani, which is plural for banana in Russian. The bananas in the recipe have nothing to do with the banana fruit, except for their shape  - they are shaped […]

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I am Here + Photo Essay

Maiden Tower, Baku

Hello, friends. I am back. It’s been long since we last chatted, hasn’t it? I hope you all had a wonderful summer! As to me, I had a great and busy one with my family and friends in Turkiye and Azerbaijan. So much so that I rarely surfed the Internet and did anything online, including blogging, which is quite shameful, […]

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Flying High

heathrow-parking-airplane

Photo from here. Soon after this post goes public, I will be be boarding a plane to fly to our first destination, Turkiye. I am looking forward to seeing my family and friends both there and in Azerbaijan. I am not sure how soon I will gain access to the Internet when there, so please forgive me if I am speechless for […]

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I know, I know, you are probably thinking, “Here we go again – she disappeared for a long time and is back with another excuse.” But please forgive me.  We are getting ready for our big trip to Turkiye and Azerbaijan, so lately I have been obsessed with packing suitcases and making sure nothing is forgotten before we leave. So, […]

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Come warm days, I crave vegetable salads more than anything else. The lighter the salad, the better. Although at times I don’t  mind going for substantial and filling ones. This is a classic Ukrainian salad, very light and healthy. You can serve it as a start-up salad or as a side dish to meats. Enjoy! Ahem..Let met try it in […]

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Here’s the recipe for a super easy chocolate mousse that you can whip up in no time. The waiting time to devour it is a little long, but it is totally worth it. Foamy, light, luscious and velvety –  you’ll love this mousse! Black Velvet Chocolate Mousse Barely adapted from Luscious Chocolate Desserts, by Lori Longbotham The fist time I […]

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The minute my reader Gunel from Azerbaijan sent me this recipe, I was hooked.  Savory potato-carrot loaf? Baked in a loaf pan? Really?  I mean, I am familiar with potato breads, but this is no bread. This is something different. Its texture it is more like kourkouto I am still addicted to,  but it comes in a different shape and tastes […]

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In Azerbaijan, bughlama is the general name given to the dishes in which the main ingredient, fish, meat or poultry, simmers with minimal or no liquid added to it, typically along with fresh vegetables and herbs. In fact, the word bughlama comes from bughlamag, a Turkic word which means to “steam” or “to cook in its own steam.” This particular […]

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Now that we’ve made our perfect sponge cake, it’s time to take this classic to the next level – slather it with whipped cream and adorn with strawberries and you have a double classic. You can’t go wrong with cream and berries combination. Enjoy! Strawberry Whipped Cream Cake Barely adapted from Williams-Sonoma Baking To make the cake you will need: 1 […]

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