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Green Beans with Eggs (Lobya Chighirtmasi)

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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Ukrainian Cabbage Salad

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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Black Velvet Chocolate Mousse

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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Savory Potato-Carrot Loaf

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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Lemony Fish Bughlama with Vegetables and Herbs

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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Strawberry Whipped Cream Cake

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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A Perfect Classic Sponge Cake

Classic Sponge Cake

You’ve probably heard it before. Maybe you’ve said it to yourself about sponge cakes: “My cake didn’t rise a bit. It was one big gooey mess. Dense and tasteless. It rose in the oven only to fall flat as soon as I took it out. I’ll never bake another sponge cake again, never ever!” Sounds familiar? It definitely does to […]

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Wheat Berry Salad with Roasted Vegetables

The inspiration for this salad comes from kisir, my favorite Turkish salad, made of bulgur, fresh vegetables and lots of fresh herbs. In my salad, I roasted the vegetables and tossed them with cooked wheat berries and lots of fresh herbs. A splash of olive oil, lemon juice and pomegranate paste  and you will not want anything else for the […]

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Turkish Sesame Ring (Simit)

Turkish Sesame Ring - Simit

If you ask a Turk living away from Turkey to name 5 foods items he or she misses the most, chances one of them will be simit. M. would also add cheese and tea to go with it. Simit is a popular street food – a crispy and chewy twisted ring studded with sesame seeds all over. It is sold […]

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Happy Novruz!

Happy Novruz! Happy Spring, everyone! Wishing you peace, health, prosperity and wonderful new beginnings!

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Moldavian Mushroom Stew (Tokana)

I stumbled upon the recipe for Moldavian mushroom stew while leafing through Anya von Bremzen and John Welchman’s “Please to the Table: The Russian Cookbook.” I immediately thought I could put mushrooms I bought during my recent grocery outing to a good use. The dish was easy to put together and was great with mashed potatoes I made to go […]

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Coconut Meringues + Happy International Women’s Day!

Today is the International Women’s Day, a holiday that is celebrated widely in Azerbaijan just as in many other parts of the world. I would like to congratulate all the women on this occasion and wish them all the best. As a dedication to them, here’s the recipe for my favorite meringue with coconut. Light as a feather, these will […]

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How to Make Plain Yogurt at Home

When I lived in Baku, I remember how every Saturday an old jiguli would stop in front of our  nine-story apartment complex and an energetic woman in her late 60s known as sud satan (milk seller) or more affectionately, sud satan khala (aunt milk seller) would hurriedly step out of the car and open its trunk to proudly display its […]

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Tiramisu from Scratch – Daring Baker’s Challenge

And I thought I made tiramisu in the past…Store-bought ladyfingers, store-bought mascarpone cheese, whip up a no-cook raw egg-mascarone cream in seconds, slather it in-between the soaked-in-coffee ladyfingers, and call yourself the tiramisu queen… Until the daring bakers announced the challenge for the month of February! TIRAMISU from SCRATCH! Yes, yes, ladyfingers from scratch, mascarpone cheese from scratch, cooked zabaglione, […]

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Honey Cake (Medovik) – Step by Step

honey cake

In my recent interview to Women’s Forum I mentioned that I didn’t cook much back in Azerbaijan, but that I baked a few cakes. Well, honey cake, known as medovik or medoviy tort in Russian, and balli tort in Azeri, originally Russian but equally famous across the ex-soviet republics, is one of those cake. My sister and I, or sometimes […]

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Lemon Upside-Down Cake

Calling all lemon lovers! This is ONE cake you must try – it will tantalize your lemon loving palate like no other. The cake tastes super lemony with intermingling sweet and tart notes. The lemon slices arranged on the bottom of the pan become an impressive top once the cake has been baked and inverted. Every time I bake this […]

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Lamb Patties from Lenkeran (Shami)

I disappeared again.  You must be used to this terrible behavior of mine. Please forgive me. I was around fighting this crazy cold I got from who knows where which I finally defeated. Thank you for all your emails asking me about my whereabouts. I really appreciate it. You guys are great! I can’t wait to share one special recipe […]

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AZ Cookbook is 2 + Cream Cheese-Swirled Brownies

Today AZ Cookbook is 2 years and 2 days old! Yay! For some odd reason I thought the blogiversary, that is the 2 years mark, was today, but after checking back on my It’s official now post I realized it was on January 23. Bummer. But it’s ok. Better than skipping the 1st blogiversary altogether last year, only to remember […]

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Olive-Walnut-Pomegranate Medley (Zeytun Perverde)

The recipe for zeytun perverde,  a delectable Persian appetizer made of green olives, walnuts, and pomegranate arils, comes from my dear friend Nahid’s mom, aunt Khedije, an exceptional cook of both Azerbaijani and Persian dishes (she is an Azeri living in Iran). Zeytun perverde originates in the North of Iran. If pomegranate is not available where you are, or if […]

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Honey Rolls

I love baking rolls, especially those that garner me lots of praise and compliments (that’s how modest I am), and this is exactly  what mi amiga Marysol’s honey rolls have been doing for me ever since I’ve spotted her  recipe and the appetite-stirring pictures on her delicious blog, I’ve made honey rolls using Marysol’s recipe several times already, each time […]

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HAITI Needs Your HELP!

AZ Cookbook | Logo

Dear friends! At this time of a devastating tragedy that struck Haiti, let’s lend our helping hand to those affected. There are numerous organizations that accept donations. Remember that no donation is too big or too small. Every penny counts. Here  are some places you can donate. PLEASE HELP. THANK YOU! Red Cross UNICEF Save the Children Doctors Without Borders […]

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Cabbage Rolls Stuffed with Meat, Rice, and Fresh Herbs (Kelem Dolmasi)

Hi there. I am back (did I sound like I just awoke from a winter sleep or what?). I hope you all had a great time during the holidays. Happy New Year to you and your loved ones once again. I was planning to begin the new year with a sweet recipe, but changed my mind because I’ve been wanting […]

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Happy Holidays + Cocoa-Sour Cherry Slices

The school is off, the kids are at home running around and begging to be entertained by their not-so-much-of-a-child-entertainer mom, and I’ve been busy baking cookies these past few days to give to neighbors and friends as our family gift for the holidays. So it’s all hectic, but good. I haven’t forgotten you and just wanted to write a short […]

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Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

In the beginning, long time ago, I didn’t bake oatmeal cookies. They came in from our favorite store, Costco. M was the only one who ate them. Kids found them too “cinnamony.” I thought they were delicious but heavy, hence passed on them.  Later, when I became somewhat “daring” in the kitchen, I made Quaker’s vanishing oatmeal cookies in a […]

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Pomegranate Bracelet – Soo Edible

Pomegranate Bracelet Salad

I went to a Russian school in Azerbaijan. Or to be more precise, it was a mixed school, with half of the students getting their education in the Russian language, with the other half – in Azeri. I was in the Russian half. I remember how as a schoolgirl I was enamored with the writing of the Russian writer Aleksandr […]

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