There I was, Wednesday morning, all red-nosed from the cold I’ve had for roughly 2 weeks, standing in line at my local Starbucks when, at roughly 7:30 in the morning, I was approached by a sweet young woman. She apologized for bothering me but she wanted to say ‘hello’ because she follows the blog and is a ‘fan’. Then she introduced me to her mom and we kibbitzed a bit until it was my turn to order. When I left that Starbucks, with my bucket of coffee in hand, I had regretted not letting her know how much it meant to me that she came by to say ‘hi’. That, as corny as it sounds, I think maybe Gd brought us together at that moment, at 7:30 on a Wednesday morning because I needed her.
It sounds a bit selfish, and maybe it is, but I needed to run into Michal. Recently, I’ve been lacking the motivation to cook and to blog. I’ve lost some of my love for the process. My ‘mojo’, as it were. Between work, the kiddo, finalizing details of the forthcoming Passover cookbook I’ve been working on with my girls, Sarah, Liz and Amy, I haven’t had the strength or even desire to cook. It was bringing me down a little bit. I just invested all this money into this new site. How can I now be feeling like I want to back off of this food blogging thing for a while? I’ve become a little too obsessed with checking my stats and I’ve been having the feeling that I’m pretty sure the only folks who actually read this blog are those I’m either related to or have known my whole life. I’ve been frustrated because the BlogHer Food Conference is going to be in Miami this year and I can’t attend because it’s over Shabbat and the powers that be won’t let me buy a ticket for one day so I can attend on Friday. I’ve been wondering if folks in the food blogging world get scared when they see a blog called, “Jewhungry”? Like maybe I’m ‘too’ Jewish and it’s alienating. I’ve been questioning my purpose for doing this and wondering if I really want to keep at it.
But then I met this ‘fan’ and she brought me hope and a little bit of validation; two things I didn’t know I needed so badly until they were there. I am so grateful she wasn’t shy and she just came on over and introduced herself. I hope she reads this post so she knows how grateful I am. Next time, coffee’s on me.
Now, for this recipe. As a Southerner, I often look for ways to incorporate, mayonnaise and/or buttermilk into, um, EVERYTHING I EAT. And, in an effort to be a little bit more ‘homemade’, I’ve been making my own dressings lately. This za’atar ranch is a cute little blend of who I am–beautiful unique za’atar (hyssop) from the Middle East; a flavor I fell in love with while living in Israel combined with creamy, tangy buttermilk (a shout out to my Southern roots). I recommend using this as a dressing on salads or a dip for sweet potato fries or veggies. Feel free to play with the thickness until you get the consistency you like. My measurements recommended below are for a creamier dip. Enjoy!
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch long slices, then 1/4-wide inch strips
- 1TBSP kosher salt
- 1/2 TBSP pepper
- 1/4 TBSP paprika
- 2/3 cups buttermilk
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- 2/3 cup mayonnaise
- 2 TBSP chopped fresh parsley
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 TSP sea salt
- 1/2 TSP ground pepper
- 1 1/2 TBSP of za'atar
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Let heat while cutting up your sweet potatoes
- Toss sliced sweet potatoes in a large bowl with olive oil.
- Add the olive oil, kosher salt, pepper and paprika to the bowl and mix well.
- Place fries on a large baking sheet making sure that fries are not overlapping.
- Baker for a total of 25 - 30 minutes.
- For dip/dressing --- Combine all dip ingredients into a food processor and process for 30 seconds.
- Can be refrigerated for up to 10 days.
Is SUPREMELY delicious as a salad dressing.