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Ingredients

Rice Pilaf with Butternut Squash and Beans

butternut-squash-rice

“When are you going to change that cookie picture on your blog?” – recently a good friend of mine reproached me nicely.  She is right. I have been away for too long. But my mind has always been here, really. Please bear with me as I disappear and emerge from the abyss of silence from time to time. I am not quitting […]

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Savory Cheese Cookies

Savory Cheese Cookies

I made these cookies a few days ago using the recipe from my friend Nur’s newly launched  blog in Turkish. I posted the picture bragging about my accomplishment on AZ Cookbook’s facebook page. Requests for English and Azerbaijani translation ensued soon after, which was expected, I think not because the picture was grand (you see the same picture here), but […]

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Turkish Baklava – Step by Step

Turkish Baklava

Have you ever tried Turkish baklava? If you have, you would agree with me that it is one of the most luscious, delicious baklava varieties out there in the world. Dripping with syrup, buttery, flaky, sweet, crunchy – it is so good! As much as I love store-bought Turkish baklava (Gulluoglu brand is awesome!) I also enjoy making it myself […]

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Golden Rice Crust for under Rice Pilaf

AZ Cookbook | Rice Crust for Under Rice Pilaf

Azerbaijani rice pilafs prepared with the “drain” and “steam” technique are called by the general name – suzme plov, which literally means “drained pilaf.” The name stems directly from how the rice is prepared. Thoroughly washed and presoaked rice is par-boiled in salted water, then drained and heaped in the form of a pyramid oftentimes atop of a gazmag, crust that […]

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Pickled Purslane

AZ Cookbook | Pickled Purslane

What else can one do with purslane besides drenching it in a zesty garlicky yogurt sauce for a nice salad? One can pickle it. And then enjoy it and perhaps declare it one of the best things one has ever tasted! I am personally a big fan.  Since the times I was a little girl growing up in Baku and […]

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Purslane Salad with Yogurt Dressing

Purslane Salad with Yogurt Dressing

Meet purslane. It is a weed, but a good one. Purslane has succulent fleshy leaves and stems with a slightly acidic flavor close to that of spinach and watercress. This leafy vegetable is offers some neat health benefits; it features in itself Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, including vitamin A, vitamin C, and some vitamin B, as well as important dietary minerals, […]

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Apricot-Orange Preserves

Apricot-Orange Preserves

We have a big apricot tree in our backyard. It fact, it is the only tree we have there. And we had high hopes for it when we had just moved into our house a few years ago. We imagined seeing the tree covered in apricots every summer and us happily piling them up into baskets to even more happily […]

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Saj-Fried Chicken with Vegetables

Saj-cooked chicken with vegetables

What fried? Saj-fried? You may ask. And I will explain. Saj is a nifty kitchen utensil, my friends. And it has a long history. Before the invention of frying pans and a gas stove, Azerbaijanis used a saj, a slightly dome shaped iron pan that resembles a shallow wok, both for cooking and bread making, depending on the side used. […]

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Turkish Spinach Pie or Cheese Pie (Borek)

Turkish Spinach Pie (Ispanakli Borek)

One of my favorite categories of dishes in the amazing Turkish cuisine is the borek category. Borek (börek) is a savory pie. There are tons of  borek recipes across Turkey – the regional varieties come in all sizes and shapes – small and big rolls, spirals, bundles, envelopes – differing in the fillings used. Albeit their differences, one thing that […]

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Azerbaijani Pasta With Meat and Yogurt Topping

Khengel - Azerbaijani Pasta with Meat and Garlicky Yogurt Topping

Pasta is not only made in Italy:) On chilly winter days a few things can be as comforting to Azerbaijanis as gathering around a table to enjoy warm and satisfying pasta dishes, khemir khorekleri (dough dishes), that come in a variety of forms and shapes. Take khengel, for example. Khengel is a versatile category of pasta dishes that branches out into […]

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Cinnamon-Walnut Apple Roll-Ups

Apple Filled Rollups

Hello 2012! Hello AZ Cookbook readers! I hope you had a great time during the holidays and ready for another hopefully wonderful for everyone year ahead. I can’t wait to share new recipes with you. I will begin this year’s blogging on a sweet note – with these melt-in-yout-mouth tender roll-ups stuffed with apples. Delicioso! I baked them for the […]

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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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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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