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This and that........ and Pantry Staples

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So, I have been back from my mini vacation for almost a week now, and, I have been procrastinating on that promise I made you before I left. Truth be told, I am feeling a bit uninspired. I do have a bunch of photos and cool recipes to share but I just have not had the initiative to. Yes, I feel awful and blasphemous saying that but I am hoping, acknowledging and saying it loud will start the process of healing. I felt like taking a break from this space and now am forcing myself to turn around and face my demons and hoping you can help me with it.

Now, I don't really know the cause or reason for the ennui but I can feel the intense sense of pride that I usually feel when I open this space has dissipated in the recent week. No, I am cavalier about it and no, I have not lost interest per se. I suppose, it is only one of those cyclical downswings in the take of things when I ponder about the purpose of it all.

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I am not seeking validation here. This space provides me a creative outlet and a place where my individual voice can scream aloud with whatever emotion I am feeling without censure or restraint, if I choose to. I know that. I also know that this space has opened several windows into myself and many doors of opportunities. All this is great! All this makes me smile, laugh and leap with joy. It also makes me wretchedly agonize over

"What next?"

. It takes me to the depths of my lows where I question how

content I am NOT

.

It is easy to chalk this up to the very human fallacy of wanting, seeking, needing more and ever more.... Ok. Fine. I am human. I want more. Accepted. But WHAT?! I am also competitive and restless and need to be constantly challenged to be happy. I bore easily and have a voracious appetite for new experiences. Sometimes, I create my own challenges (not all productive, I'll admit) but more often, I seek an environment that stimulates me.

Now, where can I find that?

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Well, anyway, that is my rant today! :) I am leaving you with some photos of what I have up to lately and a recipe for a few

homemade pantry staples; Rosemary Preserved Lemons, Tahini Sauce leading to a finger licking-ly good Hummus

.

Homemade Tahini Sauce

1 cup white sesame seeds, unroasted

pinch of sea salt to taste

1/3 cup fresh olive oil

Spread the sesame seeds evenly in a baking tray and gently roast them in an oven at 325F turning them over every 5 or so minutes until they are lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Process the seeds while still warm until you get a crumbly meal mix. Continue pureeing while streaming in the olive oil until a smooth, creamy paste forms. Add the salt and pulse to mix. Transfer to an airtight container and cool to room temperature. The sauce will keep in the fridge for a month or more.

Rosemary Preserved Lemons

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3 ripe lemons, sliced 1/2 inch thick

1/3 cup sea or rock salt

2 healthy sprigs of rosemary

Prepare an airtight glass jar, just large enough to fit the lemons by steaming and letting it air dry. Make sure there is no moisture in it. Tear and place one sprig of rosemary at the base of the jar. Sprinkle a bit of salt. Layer the slices of lemon alternating with more salt. Squeeze down on the slices to release the juice. Fit in all the slices. Top off with remaining salt and the rosemary.

Store in a cool, dark place for a week, shaking it every 2 days. Transfer to the refrigerator and use as needed.

Lemony Z'atar Hummus

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1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight

3 T tahini sauce (from above)

2-3 slices of preserved lemon (from above)

1/4 cup olive oil

water as needed

salt to taste

2 tsp Z'atar

Cook the chick peas in water (pan or pressure cooker) until very soft and the shells fall off. Remove the skins of the chickpeas. Yes, it is tedious but very worth the texture of the hummus. Let the chick peas cool to room temperature. Process the rest of the ingredients till a smooth paste is formed.

Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of z'atar.

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Share your creations tagging @ashafsk on Instagram and hashtag #MadeFromFSK