A dream in the making {Coriander-crusted sea bass}

Coriander seeds are one of my favorite spices. Photo courtesy of essential health.

Coriander seeds are one of my favorite spices. Photo courtesy of essential health.

“Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird,
That cannot fly.”
–Langston Hughes

Yesterday I sent my cookbook proposal off to two agents who specialize in cookbooks, one is a friend of a friend. This friend (Thank you, Carmel) also happens to be my main cheerleader for this book. Writing a cookbook is a dream, a goal, a wish I’ve had for years. Before I had my daughter 5 1/2 years ago, I’d written a few pages describing the concept, then I let it languish until this summer.

After a conversation with Carmel, I dove right into writing it. I thought, “if not now, when,” “now is the time,” and “why not?” (whynot cafe + wine also happens to be the name of my favorite cafe, and I worked on the proposal there.)

At whynot cafe + wine this is written on a mirror:

There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why… I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?—George Bernard Shaw

I can hardly believe I finished it, all 60 pages of it while being a busy mom, but it’s true that we make time for what we love. And it’s also true that baby steps lead to completed projects. I started writing it in the summer and worked on it during any moment I could, and I finished it about a week ago. Yes, time can stretch when you want it to, and now something that once seemed like a challenge has come to fruition.

If you want to follow a dream, my advice is this: Take whatever moments you can to work on it. They add up.

The cookbook is inspired by my treks around NYC visiting chocolate shops, Indian spice stores, Italian markets, Greek stores, farmer’s markets, a store specializing in salt, and so on. I hope to inspire others to be adventurous out and about and in the kitchen.

What can you do today towards one of your dreams?

Here is a recipe I am including in the cookbook (and sorry I don’t have a photo yet).

I bought tangy Greek yogurt at Titan Foods in Astoria and coriander at Kalustyans, both of which appear in my App: iFoodShop.

Coriander-crusted sea bass with ginger yogurt sauce

Serves 2
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 20 minutes
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Gourmet


  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley (chopped)
  • 3 Teaspoons fresh lime juice (separated)
  • 3 Teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger (peeled and minced)
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 2 6 ounce sea bass fillets


Mix yogurt, parsley, 1 teaspoon lime juice, 1 teaspoon oil, ginger, and garlic in small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Place fennel seeds and coriander seeds in mortar + pestle and crush. Sprinkle fillets with salt, pepper, and crushed seeds. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add fillets, seed side down. Cook until brown, about 3 minutes. Turn over. Cook until just opaque in center, about 3 minutes. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons lime juice. Place fillets on plates. Serve with sauce and lime wedges.

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