Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Pomegranate On Snow

Photo courtesy:  My friend Rovshana Samadova. Taken in Washington D.C. Rovshana didn’t know it would end up on my blog, but as an avid hunter for anything pomegranate I spotted it in her photo archives and bugged her –  she was kind to let me use it. Love the pomegranates! Thank you, Rovshana!


Another year is almost gone, so unbelievably fast – at least, this is how  I felt. And another year is just around the corner. And I hope it will be a great one for every one of you!

I would like to thank all of your for making each year for me extra special – for it is your support and friendship what really fuels my enthusiasm for blogging. I look forward for fresh fuel in the near year as well:)

May the New Year bring joy to your hearts, happiness to your homes, success to all your beginnings. May there never be hunger in the world and may there be peace on earth!

On December 31 Azerbaijanis around the world celebrate another great holiday – Solidarity of World Azerbaijanis. Happy Solidarity, friends!

See you in 2012 – with more recipes, stories and pictures.

Love to all.


AZ Cookbook in AZ Magazine – With Steve Hollier

AZ Cookbook in AZ Magazine - With Steve Hollier

Steve Hollier Photo

Photo by Steve Hollier: Absheron National Park.

A couple of months ago I received an email from Steve Hollier, new editor of AZ Magazine in Baku. He was asking if I would like to run my own food column in the magazine. I who always thinks I can handle more than I really can, didn’t think much before saying Yes. So, our collaboration began. We exchanged ideas via emails and we became friends. We looked forward to the first for both of us – Steve for the first issue under his editorial direction, I for the first official AZ Cookbook column.

Steve came across as a nice, honest, and polite person. He knew I was busy with a zillion other things, so to make my life easier, he suggested we only use recipes and picture from the blog in the beginning, polishing them as needed. About a week ago, the magazine was published. Steve emailed me with the news and I emailed him back thanking him. Then we exchanged more emails discussing the recipe for my next column. In his last email to me he was asking if it was ok to edit the chicken recipe we agreed on a bit. I wrote him back a few days later early in the morning, before my work hours, apologizing for my delay and saying I will email him with more details after my work hours. I was expecting his reply in the evening.

But it didn’t go as I expected. I received a message from a friend who said Steve was no  more…Steve died from a heart attack around the time I emailed him my last message. This came as a shock and I am still deeply saddened. I have never met Steve in real life but I had a feeling he was a wonderful person and looked forward to meeting him on my next trip to Baku. Steve made Baku his new home and he will be laid to rest in the city, where, as his wife Sandra wrote in her email to me, “he had so much fun…”

I promised Steve I would post the link to the first AZ Cookbook column on my facebook page and I did. Here it is in case you missed it. Steve, thank you for the opportunity…

I would like to invite you to visit Steve’s wonderful blog about Azerbaijan, the land of fire as it is known and as he called it there. You will enjoy tons of interesting articles about Steve’s travels, encounters and more, most accompanied with captivating photographs from the country he loved dearly…


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