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.
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.
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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): https://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!
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!
Beautifully written Feride!!! Best of luck to you and AzCookbook:)))
Thank you so much, Narmina!
Welcome back and best of luck. I cannot wait for new recipes and more stories and pictures of Azerbaijan.
Thank you, Ailuy! I can’t wait to share new recipes with you!
Such good news! I’ve been reading you for such a long time and I’m glad your book is out! Cannot wait to get new updates from you (and in case you reach London in the future, drop me a line, I would love to meet you). Good luck!
Thank you so much, Cristina! I would love to meet you one day, too!
Way to go my friend!
Such a good news Feride! You are one of the most “stubborn” food bloggers I’ve known. It is like the requirement of food blogging, isn’t it? Your amazing cookbook is the best sign of this! Thanks again for sending me a copy. Tried several recipes already and loved them all! I’m writing a post about one of your recipes right now, indeed.
I love to learn something new about Azerbaijan and your cuisine every time I visit your blog. And I have no doubt that you will be one of those successful food bloggers who make their living from their blogs very soon!
Thank you so much, Zerrin! What a beautiful comment. I am glad you are enjoying the recipes. I am looking forward to your post.
Good to hear you’re back! I’ve been following you blog for a while because the food you make is SO inspiring (and not seen very often on the Internet!), though I have rarely (never?) commented here. I love travelling through food, even if I don’t make all the recipes I read about, I like reading about them and thinking about how delicious they must be and how awesome is the culinary diversity around the world. And this blog precisely served that purpose for me! These last month, I was quite upset at the lack of recipes but couldn’t blame you (as you said, working on a cookbook takes some time!), and now I am happy that you’re back at blogging. And to celebrate, I’m going to promise myself to finally try one of your recipes instead of drooling in front of my screen! So I cant wait to see what the next one is going to be, because that’s the one I’ll try 😉
Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Nina! I am really flattered. I am glad you find my blog inspiring and that you will be coming back for future posts:) I am curious about the recipe you are going to try:) Enjoy!
Congratulations! I got your book as a gift from my daughter, Tarana as well. Dearest Farida!!
Finally, I can proudly show this beautiful, colorful and excellent book to my friends in Guyana, where I live.
I cook Azeri food and EVERY one loves it, but when it comes to recipe, I say: I do it from my head, I grew up with it in my far homeland Yevlakh. I have culinary books, but they are either in Azeri or Russian languages.
I admire your hard work but the results are worth it. Please keep it up.
Wish you and your family good health and happiness. I wanted to purchase two more books for presents (it will make a wonderful gift), but the list of countries, as for billing address, does not have Guyana (it is an English speaking country in South America).
Thank you so much, dear Tarana. So glad you liked the book! And thank you for your support. I just checked for Guyana. When you choose the destination country in the shipping section, it gives you the option for Guyana. I am not sure why it didn’t show when you tried. Unless I misunderstood the problem. Hope it works. Let me know if I can help. Thank you!
Dearest Feride, I am so so proud of you! You are one amazing and inspirational woman I’ve got to meet in this blogosphere world. You shall leave an amazing legacy behind. I’m kind of late in order your beautiful cookbook, I apologize. Between working full time, home, two kids and a business with my husband I barely have time. I look forward to receiving the book, making some recipes and look forward to reading and seeing beautiful recipes online. Congratulations my friend, wishing you continuous success. Love..wishing you nothing but my best, Aysegul
Thank you so much for your kind words and your support, Aysegul. I hope you enjoy the book. Happy Holidays to you and your beautiful family!