A food blog with delicious recipes and stories


  • Oven-Baked Tandoori Bread | AZ Cookbook
    Links to Reads, November 2016
    November 30, 2016 by
    Good bye (almost), November and welcome, December! And hello, friends! Hope you all had a wonderful time on Thanksgiving and are looking forward to the upcoming holidays. I’ve had a busy time and did a gazillion things this month, including holding book signing events, teaching cooking classes, celebrating my new award (Pomegranates and Saffron won the Best Books Award /...
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  • Links to Reads, October 2016
    Links to Reads, October 2016
    November 3, 2016 by
    Good  bye, October and hello, November!  October Links to Reads are here! Top 10. Enjoy! Don’t forget to click on “Read More” at the end for more cool links. *  The once eternal life of plastic seems to be coming to an end in France – the country has just banned plastic forks. * Food critics versus Yelp reviewers –...
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  • Colorful Cauliflower
    Links to Reads, September 2016
    September 28, 2016 by
    September is drawing to an end and this month’s Links to Reads are here! Oh what a month it has been so far!  Tons of scheduling, focusing, and delivering. I had a lecture at the Los Angeles Public library, hosted Culinary Historians for the exclusive all-Azerbaijani dinner in our house and have been doing cooking classes at home (yay, they...
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  • Fresh Walnuts. Istanbul, Turkey.
    Links to Reads, August 2016
    August 29, 2016 by
    Hello, friends! Time for August  Links to Reads!  That picture above was taken in August too, but two years ago, when I was in Istanbul to print the First Edition of my Pomegranates & Saffron cookbook. One day, I had some time to take a stroll in the bustling aisles of the city’s magnificent Grand Bazaar, where walnuts, some still...
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  • Azerbaijani Firni in Lahij
    Links to Reads, July 2016
    August 2, 2016 by
    Welcome, August! And good-bye, July! Time for a new round of cool links from various sources, so hi there, July Links to Reads! Top 10 links I enjoyed reading. * In Mexico City, trash is recycled both to curb the local waste disposal problem and help the poor get food in return. * Unlike Japanese sashimi, Korean sashimi prizes live...
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  • Berries and Bananas
    Links to Reads, June 2016
    July 1, 2016 by
    Time to say good bye to the first month of the summer. It flew by, just like all the previous months. Well, hello July and hello June Links to Reads. This is what I enjoyed reading this past month. Hope you do, too. Top 10: * Ever wonder what “triple washed” on the labels on supermarket salad greens mean? Why...
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  • Apricots
    Links to Reads, May 2016
    June 2, 2016 by
    It’s officially summer! Well, hello June! Hope you bring positive and warm summery vibes to everybody! May Links to Reads are here, too. This is what I read this past month and what I couldn’t wait to share with you. All worth reading. Enjoy! * Just when you thought people’s palates embrace the hype, new, and exciting, you learn that...
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  • Links to Reads: April 2016
    Links to Reads: April 2016
    May 3, 2016 by
    Well, hello May! And hello, April Links to Reads! Time to share this past month’s top 10 articles I found quite interesting. Enjoy reading! Personally, I always do. * Striking food photographs from all over the world, each telling a unique story. * If you call kale a healthy food, think twice, as no food is healthy. Nutritious? Yes. Healthy?...
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  • Dried Fruits and Nuts, Istanbul
    Links to Reads: March 2016
    April 1, 2016 by
    Good bye, March! Hello, April. This means it’s time for a new round of Links to Reads.  Enjoy my top 10 from the month of March. * Not your grandmother’s cooking: Who gets to cook what’s on your plate? Evan Kleiman claims you don’t have to be a native of a particular country to be able to cook and write...
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  • Dried Herbs Market in Lahij, Azerbaijan
    Links to Reads: February 2016
    February 29, 2016 by
    Are you ready for the new round of Links to Reads.  Sit back, relax, and enjoy the top 10 from February. * Turns out that it is possible to ditch white bread in favor of other substitutes, such as whole wheat bread, rye bread, and others. For health reasons? No. For patriotic ones. This was done before. Find out. *...
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  • Stuffed Flatbreads - Gutab | AZ Cookbook
    Links to Reads: January 2016
    February 4, 2016 by
    Hello, first Links to Reads of the year. Here’s what I read this past month and I bookmarked to share with you. Enjoy! * We all know China is a tea-rich country. But did you also know that the world’s oldest tea (plus the finest tea!) was discovered in an ancient Chinese Emperor’s Tomb? * Pampered vegetables? Yes, such exist...
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  • azerbaijani cookbook
    Links to Reads: December 2015
    January 8, 2016 by
    My very much belated December 2015 Links to Reads are here. Well, hello 2016! Happy New, friends of AZ Cookbook! Hope it will be great to everybody. Let’s start receiving positive, happy news from around the world. We all need them, don’t we? This past year was a string of blacks and whites for me personally. Release of the Second...
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  • Pomegranates in Baku | AZ Cookbook
    Links to Reads: November 2015
    December 3, 2015 by
    Another round of Links to Reads here! Hello, December! Good bye, November. What did I do this past month? Was busy with finding ways to distribute “Pomegranates & Saffron” via various channels, among a myriad of other things. The book is now available on Amazon (free shipping you guys!). If you are outside of the U.S., you can purchase it...
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  • Pomegranates of Azerbaijan | AZ Cookbook
    Links to Reads: October 2015
    November 3, 2015 by
    Time for the Links to Reads! Hello, November! Good bye, October. Until recently, October was the month my father was born in. In 2015, it also became the month I lost him. On his very birthday, October 15. I would like to dedicate the October Links to Reads to my Dad—a science researcher, a person with encyclopedic knowledge, an avid...
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  • Links to Reads: September 2015
    Links to Reads: September 2015
    October 1, 2015 by
    Cherries at the farmer’s market in Yantai, China. I wanted to buy all! Wow. My Links to Reads took a vacation for the entire summer! No links. Because somebody thought there was no time to read and share some cool stuff while on vacation. A selfish act to say the least. She had an alibi. Well, there was so much...
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  • Links to Reads: May 2015
    Links to Reads: May 2015
    June 1, 2015 by
    May was busy. Super busy. I was buried in work. Because I am moving forward with the Second Edition of my cookbook. Yes, it is happening. And I am super excited.  More about it coming  to the blog soon.  Right now I’d like to take you to the Links to Reads. Here are some good articles I read in May....
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  • Links to Reads: April 2015
    Links to Reads: April 2015
    April 30, 2015 by
    We are about to say good bye to April and to welcome May to our life. I did some online reading in April. Enjoy my top 10 Links to Reads. * How the gluten-free movement is ruining our relationship with food. * Countries who cook the most and the least. * Scientists finally figure out why lobsters turn red when...
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  • Links to Reads: March 2015
    Links to Reads: March 2015
    April 3, 2015 by
    The belated March Links to Reads are ready. I enjoyed these articles. Hope you do, too. * Foie gras. Cruel or couture? * And the winner is… “Ugly” veggies. * Bringing a Native American food culture into the modern world. * What makes Indian food so delicious?  * Worldwide hunger for chocolate is driving out primates in Ivory Coast....
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  • Links to Reads: February 2015
    Links to Reads: February 2015
    March 4, 2015 by
    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....
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  • Links to Reads: January 2015
    Links to Reads: January 2015
    February 3, 2015 by
    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...
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  • Links to Reads: December 2014
    Links to Reads: December 2014
    December 28, 2014 by
    Goodbye (almost!), December! We are leaving another year behind. I look forward to a new year of happiness, health, and peace for everybody. Happy New Year, guys! Meanwhile, the December Links to Reads is ready! Enjoy! * World’s best sushi chef, Jiro Ono, contemplates the end of sushi. Tuna may be gone. Sad, sad. (On another note: I just watched...
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  • Links to Reads: November 2014
    Links to Reads: November 2014
    November 30, 2014 by
    Goodbye, November. Hello, December! November Links to Reads are ready! Enjoy! * Know your pumpkins and squash through these pictures. * A captivating food photo tour to New Orleans by National Geographic. * Most foods labeled natural actually contain GMOs! Ouch! * A journey through the history of American food in 100 bites....
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  • Links to Reads: October 2014
    Links to Reads: October 2014
    October 28, 2014 by
    October Links to Reads are here! Enjoy! * Kitchens around the world. An amazing photo tour by National Geographic. * How to stuff an avocado. * From hive to bottle: harvesting honey. * Love steaks? Here’s  how to buy the safest meat and make the juiciest steaks. * Why California’s draught-stressed pomegranate may be better for you. * 5 women who...
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  • Market Scene in Istanbul - AZ Cookbook
    Links to Reads: September 2014
    September 28, 2014 by
    Market scene in Istanbul as seen by yours truly. Time to say goodbye to September! Almost. Hello October. You came fast but you are very welcome. What did I read this past month? A few things worth sharing. Enjoy! * To refrigerate Parmesan or not? That’s the question. * So much to learn about apples! 123 varieties of it. * So...
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  • Links to Reads: August 2014
    Links to Reads: August 2014
    September 8, 2014 by
    Market scene in Istanbul, Turkey Goodbye, August and hello, September! I loved August.  I may be biased. Because my cookbook got printed that month (yay!). I spent 2 last weeks of August in Istanbul (I am now back in Long Beach). Between the time I spent in the printing house in Istanbul and the time I had a chance to see around, I managed...
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  • Links to Reads: July 2014
    Links to Reads: July 2014
    August 4, 2014 by
    Goodbye, July and hello, August! That was fast again. In July I read quite a few interesting articles and it’s now time to share the best with you. Enjoy! * Raw milk. Pros and Cons.  * Are organic vegetables more nutritious after all? Dan Charles explores the topic. * Camu camu. Anyone knows what it is? * Meet a cooking prodigy and a chef who is...
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  • Links to Reads: June 2014
    Links to Reads: June 2014
    July 1, 2014 by
    Goodbye, June and hello, July! Every time I say goodbye to a month, I go back to my calendar and check if what I said was true. How and when did we arrive to a new month? And every time I realize that time does not go by, it just flies! Time for another Links to Reads! Here are some of the articles I...
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  • Links to Reads: May 2014
    Links to Reads: May 2014
    June 5, 2014 by
    Good bye, May and hello, June! Time for another Links to Reads! Here are some of the articles I read in May. Enjoy! * “So, what the hell are capers, anyway?“  Alison Spiegel of Huffington Posts asks and explains. * Imagine eating grasshopper burgers for a second. Yuck or not? Apparently it is good. * Move over chickens! Ducks are coming! And I was...
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  • Links to Reads: April 2014
    Links to Reads: April 2014
    April 30, 2014 by
    Hello, guys! Can you believe it’s the end of April already? Where did the time fly? Good bye, April and hello, May! Time for another Links to Reads! Here are some of the articles I’ve read this month.  Enjoy! * Why bitter is better. Dr. Andrew Weil explains the benefits of bitter foods to your health. * Buying and storing...
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  • Links to Reads: March 2014
    Links to Reads: March 2014
    March 27, 2014 by
    Hello, guys! I am very happy to announce a brand new monthly feature on my blog. Please welcome Links to Reads. At the end of every month, I will be sharing with you links to interesting articles that I’d read that particular month. I spend quite some time reading online, so I thought, why not share some good finds with you?...
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