AZCookbook is 10 + Cuisine and Culture Tour Update

Guba-Style Baklava, Photo by Pierre Cabanettes |

This is Guba-style baklava, one of several baklava varieties known in Azerbaijan. Photo is courtesy of Pierre Cabanettes who traveled to Azerbaijan a few years ago and took beautiful pictures. He kindly let me use this one in my cookbook, “Pomegranates & Saffron: A Culinary Journey to Azerbaijan.” In my Cuisine and Culture Tour to Azerbaijan and Georgia, we are going to have exclusive access to a pastry shop in Guba region and witness firsthand how this unique baklava is made.

Dear readers, first of all, please forgive me for my lengthy absence from the blog scene without letting you know the reason. The year started off for me with a scary type of flu, and although I have mostly recovered, I am still in the rehabilitation stage. But luckily, all is well and I survived, for which I am grateful.

I took this illness as a sign (along with other signs) – it was time for me to recharge, to take a break from the many things I had been juggling up until the new year, to slow down and to take care of myself. Therefore, I am currently taking the time off from writing blog posts and producing YouTube videos. I need it. I thank you for your patience and support.

I started this blog exactly 10 years ago, in January, 2008. Back then I thought that I would most likely have a few readers at all times at most  (I was stepping into a very niche ethnic food category after all), and I had never expected that it would eventually grow into something bigger than I had imagined. At that same time, when my cookbook idea was rejected by publishers,  I knew I could rely on my blog to spread the word about my passion to write one. And it is thanks to my readers that my book, “Pomegranates and Saffron: A Culinary Journey to Azerbaijan,” happened. I am truly blessed to have gained so many friends from all over the world thanks to my blog. So, Happy Birthday, AZCookbook! I am glad I started you 10 years ago! And thank you to all of you, my readers, for reading, commenting, and cheering along the way! I hope to resume blogging at one point.

But now, into the update. As you know, I am leading my very first Cuisine and Culture Tour to Azerbaijan and Georgia in July, so I’ve been focusing on planning it. I have a wonderful, diverse group of people who signed up and I am meticulously working on every step of my itinerary to provide them with unforgettable experience in the Caucasus. Although the deadline has passed, if you are interested in joining the tour, let me know as I have a few spots left. I have just recently announced it on my Facebook page that I added one more place to the itinerary to visit in Azerbaijan – Khinalig, the highest and the most remote village in Azerbaijan, a 5,000-years-old charming place surrounded by the majestic Caucasus Mountains,  where people speak their own unique language and have preserved their own culture for centuries. I am excited and so is my group, and we cannot wait for the adventure begin. Hope you can join us.

Thank you for everything. I hope your new year is off to a good start and you are enjoying every second of it!

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