Hi there. I’m Feride (read “e” at the end as you would in sauté. I am also known as Farida). I live in sunny Long Beach, California.
I am the recipe developer, content creator, and food photographer behind AZ Cookbook, my bi-lingual (English and Azerbaijani) food blog. I am also a cookbook author (more in a bit). I’ve done lectures and presentations about Azerbaijani cuisine (history, culture–I love food research!) and my book at various venues (check out Schedule & Events for past and upcoming events).
This blog has been up and running since January of 2008. It is my small virtual home, my creative outlet, where I share my love of food and all things food and culture.
My focus is on fresh, bright, and only the delicious foods made from scratch, suitable for both novice cooks and seasoned chefs. I provide detailed, precise recipes that will work in any kitchen.
My passion lies in the cuisines that I love and am most familiar with and this is what I mostly blog about—Eastern European, Turkish, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean. Here you can find many recipes for both sweet and savory Azerbaijani and Turkish dishes. However, because I love exploring cuisines in general, I also publish recipes I find particularly interesting and note-worthy, regardless of where they come from (like Guyanese butter-flaps and Indian mango lassi — so good!)
I can’t wait for you to try my recipes and share them with your friends and family! I encourage you to subscribe to my blog so I can send you recipe updates straight into your inbox. I also hope you’ll join me on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Let’s get cooking together!
WHY AZ COOKBOOK
AZ is for Arizona. Just kidding. But seriously, a lot of people ask me if AZ is for Arizona and if yes, then why. The truth is, AZ is for something else. It has a double meaning. It implies all kinds of foods from A to Z and is also short for Azerbaijan, where I am from. And since this blog is mostly a compilation of recipes, I thought “cookbook” fit right in. Hence the name AZ Cookbook.
WHY POMEGRANATE IN THE LOGO
First and foremost, for my love of it. I am a shameless pomegranateholic (does such word exist?). Every year, I wait for the hit pomegranate season so I can eat as many as of the fruit as possible. I cut them open, pick out the ruby arils, fill my mouth with them, and let them send their sweet and sour juices every which way, including my face (totally worth it!), while I happily devour them.
My love for the fruit is not random. I grew up in a country where pomegranates are as common as apples. They are used extensively in traditional cuisine. They are the national fruit, and their iconography is everywhere. They appear in folk tales, stories, poems, paintings, architecture, and other designs. It ended up in my logo design, too. Why not? Check out my recipes with pomegranates.
Recipes on AZ Cookbook come from various sources: my personal recipe collection, my Azerbaijani mom and my Turkish mother-in-law, relatives, friends, numerous cookbooks, magazines, websites, and other food blogs. I meticulously test all the recipes before publishing them here. They absolutely have to work and my readers often report that they do. Browse the Recipe Index by Category, by Ingredient, and by Monthly postings. All posts are also featured in the Picture Gallery. Also, check out my Shop for kitchen items and ingredients you can use to cook up my recipes.
Yes, I published a book! It is called Pomegranates and Saffron: A Culinary Journey to Azerbaijan. I had a unique idea, I dreamed about my own book, and published it after 7 years of hard work and obsessive determination. But it was so worth it. I am happy to share with you that my book won 5 major awards:
1) Gourmand World Cookbook Award – Best Eastern European Cookbook in the U.S.
2) Gourmand Best in the World Cookbook Award –International Jury’s Choice.
3) Living Now Book Award – Silver Medal in Ethnic Cookbooks category.
4) National Indie Excellence Award – Winner in International Cookbooks category.
5) Best Books Award – Finalist in International Cookbooks category.
You can get your copy of the book on AZ Cookbook store (U.S. and international shipping available) or on Amazon (U.S. shipping only). I would be happy to sign your book if you request so during checkout (option available on AZ Cookbook store only).
Saveur listed AZ Cookbook among the 55 Great Global Food Blogs. My work has been featured on radio programs, print publications, websites, and blogs. I am beyond thrilled! Please see my Press section of the blog for the full list of nods and mentions.
Unless stated otherwise, I style and photograph all the pictures for this blog. I did most of the photography in my book as well. I am not a professional photographer but I am constantly working on upgrading my skills. There is so much to learn! I use Canon Digital Rebel XTi. I dream about upgrading it to Canon EOS 6D. The lenses I use: Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM macro lens and Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM standard lens. I am very happy with both. I edit my photos in Photoshop Elements, which works great for me, but I am also keen to try my hand at Photoshop Lightroom one day as I hear good things about it.
All text and photography appearing in this blog is the exclusive property of AZ Cookbook. Please respect my work and do not copy, display, or distribute any text or photo from this blog without my permission. Contact me if interested.
USE OF MY RECIPES
If you like a recipe on my blog and would love to try it in your kitchen then post it on your blog, I am all for it. But please do not just copy and paste the recipe. Try it, write about it, and link back to its original source on AZ Cookbook. It is so rewarding to see my recipes tried and mentioned on other websites and blogs.
ADVERTISING AND AMAZON LINKS
Some of the links on this blog are affiliate links to products on Amazon or other websites. I only recommend products and services that I believe will be of value to you and help you in some ways. AZ Cookbook receives a small commission if you click on those links and make a purchase. Your price doesn’t change whether you buy a product or service via affiliate link or not. I also display ads on this blog. Any fees that I receive from running both the affiliate links and ads help me keep the blog running so I don’t stop sharing great recipes with you for free.
I love reading your comments! Please keep them coming. I welcome constructive feedback. If you leave a question about a particular recipe in your comment, I will try to answer it as soon as I can. You can also email me but keeping your questions in the comments section may be helpful to other readers who may share the same concern or have the same question. In that way, we’ll learn together.
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