AZ Cookbook - A food blog with delicious recipes
My Book
A food blog with delicious recipes and stories
New Plans!

Pomegranates and Saffron

Hello, friends of AZ Cookbook! I have some news to share with you. About my new plans.

As you know, I am done with my cookbook and it took me years, or 7 years to be precise, to complete it, from the inception of the idea to seeing the book come off the press (I  worked full-time at one point, too). It’s over and I am happy to finally see the fruit of my labor. But….I realize that while I focused entirely on the book, I neglected blogging—writing new recipes, sharing them, and interacting with you—although I did my best to do these things when I could.

Why did it happen so? Well, “blame” my stubbornness, or maybe call it crazy determination.  Seven years ago, after  my cook proposal got rejected by several publishers, I promised myself I would not give up, and that I would set out on this journey myself and produce a beautiful book.

I didn’t want a lousy book with hastily written recipes that I could aggressively  market and make a quick profit. No. I wanted to write something valuable that could live on. It was going to be the first ever cookbook on Azerbaijani cuisine and food culture to be published in the U.S. It had to be good. So I worked hard on it, literally day and night. Call me crazy. Obsessed. Yes, I was a bit of both. I was in charge of the process. I am very happy that I never ever gave up, although at times I realized this project was ruthlessly and actively consuming my life.

But, as cover-letterish as it may sound, the challenges presented to me during that time made me stronger, more confident, and made me believe that I could do it, that I was capable of doing the job of a publishing house, that I could live my small American dream in a big country I made my second home. And I feel proud for what I have accomplished. I learned a lot and I am still learning. I am grateful for every single lesson along the way, easy or hard.

So, yes, my dedication to the book came with satisfaction, but also with a side effect. Lack of blogging. I shared recipes on the blog only when I could squeeze in some time. I felt guilty doing so but I felt I had no choice as I had to finish the book.  And now that the book is done, I realize that I missed being an active food blogger.

Cookbooks

And I recently made a big decision.

I have hired myself to be a full-time food blogger, guys! It is no longer a hobby for me. Food blogging will be my JOB! Hey, there are many super-successful food bloggers out there, and I can be one of them!

Of course, it will be difficult to explain to my parents and some relatives and friends what exactly food blogging is and how it can be anything than a hobby, and how a sane person can make any living out of it. But it’s ok. They’ll support me anyway. And there still will  be people who will continue to ask me, “So, when are you going to work?” (I was even numerously asked this when I was working on the book!). But it’s ok again. These are little things  that don’t distract me any more. There are so many amazing and beautiful things out there to focus on. Life is full of them and I am ready to explore!

So, to make it short, guys—I am back. And now I count on you more than before. Some of you have never left my side, came back, checked for updates, emailed me, and even asked how I’d been. I am so grateful for this love and support. Throughout these years, I’ve made many friends from all over the world  and this has been my favorite thing about food blogging. I mean it!

I look forward to new friendships through this blog. I will share my recipes, stories, pictures, and more with you here. Often. With passion. With love. Because this is  what I want to do and how I want to do it. I have big dreams for AZ Cookbook. I believe this little virtual corner of mine will sprout into something bigger than a food blog (other than my cookbook). And I do believe dreams CAN come true.

Stay tuned friends. AZ Cookbook has a lot in store for you.

To start receiving new updates from AZ Cookbook via email, please subscribe to the blog. In this way you won’t miss a single recipe/giveaway/news that I will post here. Here’s the link:

http://www.azcookbook.com/subscribe/

And you get a bonus—my free e-Cookbook! Also, check out the newly launched AZ Cookbook Store for some exclusive tea blends and more!

By the way, the books are on their way from NY to LA and I should be receiving them by November 15. So if you have already pre-ordered them, stay tuned! If you would like to pre-order, here’s the link (special date of $35 ends tomorrow, regular price of $38 after that): http://www.azcookbook.com/product/pomegranates-and-saffron/

Thank you, guys! I am very excited about the new, awesome adventure that awaits me and you on this blog! You are an amazing group of supporters!

- Feride

Dream

This “Dream” plate was sent to me by the Universe. Many years ago, when I had just started blogging and embarked on a book-writing adventure, I went to a fundraising event where they were running a raffle. This is is what I won with my raffle ticket! The most inspirational raffle gift ever that came just in time and, with an awesome message!

  • “Oreshki” Walnut Cookies with Dulce de Leche
    March 6, 2015
    "Oreshki" Walnut Cookies with Dulce de Leche
    Meet some of the most unique cookies that hail from my childhood—walnut-shaped cookies called oreshki. Oreshki means “nuts” in Russian. In this particular case, it means “walnuts.” How are these cookies and my childhood related? Well, long ago, when I was much younger and growing up in Azerbaijan, the country was part of the Soviet Union. Which means that I,...
    READ MORE
  • Links to Reads: February 2015
    March 4, 2015
    Links to Reads: February 2015
    Time for the February Links to Reads.  Here are some of the share-worthy articles I read this past month. Enjoy! * Natural? Organic? Free-range? What do these mean? * Visual feast: If the world’s major cities were made of food. * About shark finning bans. Do they work? * The chicken was first domesticated for cockfighting not food....
    READ MORE
  • Easy Homemade Dulce De Leche
    February 25, 2015
    Easy Homemade Dulce De Leche
    Years ago, when I first heard the term dulce de leche in America, it struck me as fancy and I didn’t quite know what it was. Candy made of milk, or sweet made of milk, as the translation goes. Hmm. Until I found out it was nothing more than what we called “cooked or boiled condensed milk” back in Azerbaijan,...
    READ MORE
  • The Perfect Lemon Tart
    February 17, 2015
    The Perfect Lemon Tart
    If you’ve seen my About Me page, you’ve probably noticed me beaming with happiness over a tart, looking like I am teasing you guys. That, my friends, is the perfect lemon tart. Big time teaser. I baked it for a photo shoot 4 years ago and had been procrastinating posting the recipe on the blog for the longest time. Until....
    READ MORE
  • Garlicky Beet Salad with Yogurt and Walnuts
    February 13, 2015
    Garlicky Beet Salad with Yogurt and Walnuts
    Tell me what comes to your mind when you read the blog title? Let me guess. Perhaps, just like me, you think it sounds super duper healthy? Am I right or am I right? I think I am right. Health on a plate, literally. Beets, garlic, plain yogurt, walnuts. Each ingredient in this salad I’ll write about speaks of nutrition...
    READ MORE
  • Links to Reads: January 2015
    February 3, 2015
    Links to Reads: January 2015
    February is here. I am a bit late with previous month’s Links to Reads, but better late than never. Here’s a selection of some of the interesting articles I read in January. Enjoy! * What type to use? How’s and why’s of cooking oils. * Burying fig trees? Yes. It is a curious Italian tradition. * United Nations goes United...
    READ MORE
  • Just Cookie Dough
    January 29, 2015
    Just Cookie Dough
    Recently I was contacted by Hampton Creek about possibly willing to try one of their  products—Just Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. I agreed as I am always curious about all-natural products. Plus, I knew the kids would be happy about their favorite thing on Earth—chocolate chip cookies. I received the cookie dough nicely, professionally packaged in a big ice box. The...
    READ MORE
  • My Cookbook Won!
    January 25, 2015
    My Cookbook Won!
    Dear readers. What you’ve just read in that picture is what I’ve been trying to wrap my head around ever since I received the notification email a few days ago.  My cookbook, “Pomegranates & Saffron: A Culinary Journey to Azerbaijan,” has been named the W-I-N-N-E-R in the Eastern European cuisine category among the books published in the U.S. I read...
    READ MORE
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