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A food blog with delicious recipes and stories.

Ingredients

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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Yogurt Soup with Fresh Herbs and Chickpeas (Dovgha)

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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One of a Kind – Tall Chicken or Turkey Pie

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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Chocolate Curd Cheese (or Ricotta) Muffins

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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Shorgoghal – Spice-Filled Flaky Breads

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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Classic Lemon Bars

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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How to Make Curd Cheese (Kesmik) and Farmer Cheese (Shor)

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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Cynthia’s Guyanese Butter-Flaps

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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Grated Pie Filled with Fruit Preserves

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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Flattened Spiced-Herbed Chicken

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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Mexican Wedding Cookies aka Universal Delight

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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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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Classic Dinner Rolls – Best Ever!

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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