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

  1. Debra Jason October 11, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

    Now is the time to let your light shine and live your dream. Congrats on going for it!
    Debra Jason recently posted…Facebook: Blessing or Curse? #infographicMy Profile

  2. Belinda Rose October 12, 2013 at 5:13 pm #

    All the luck in the world to you dear Tracey on your book proposals! :) Shine bright!
    Belinda Rose recently posted…The Wisdom Our Cats Teach UsMy Profile

  3. Minling October 13, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

    Congrats on finishing your book! That’s a huge accomplishment!! You have some delicious recipes and I’ve enjoyed reading them!! Can’t wait to see more from you and try your new dishes!
    Minling recently posted…What to do when your plans failMy Profile

  4. eyenie October 14, 2013 at 4:11 am #

    MEGA HUGE congratulations on finding those moments that all added up to creating your book! YAY! Your style and take on food is so unique and yummy and cozy, that the idea of your book being out there makes me very very happy! HIgh fives to you, and thanks for this delicious recipe, too! Three cheers for you! :) P.S. I bought the ingredients for the Gorgonzola flat bread delight and can’t wait to create it!!
    eyenie recently posted…Jetsetting, Neon Dresses & Low Pain Thresholds: Women Living in NEON! Interview with The Social Media DJ Jo Westwood!My Profile

  5. Kim | a little lunch October 16, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

    Tracey, there’s something about coriander, isn’t there? And “making time…” We could live rather bland lives, were it not for spices and dreams. Congratulations on finishing your cookbook!

  6. Sue Ann Gleason October 16, 2013 at 6:46 pm #

    So excited to hear you are finished with the writing and moving into phase two of this process. Fabulous! Can you hear me clapping? I can’t wait to celebrate this milestone with you, Tracey. And the coriander-crusted sea bass with ginger yogurt sounds divine. Kitchen calling. . .
    Sue Ann Gleason recently posted…How to Survive a MANcoldMy Profile

  7. Jessica October 16, 2013 at 9:45 pm #

    I admire how you tackled this project even in little bits at a time. That’s part of my approach to fitness and overall health too — little bits add up. Everything counts! It’s exciting to see that you’ve accomplished something that’s been on your mind for so long (and isn’t Carmel such an excellent catalyst?!). Hooray for you, Tracey!
    Jessica recently posted…Sit Happens (if you want to be healthy, anyway)My Profile

  8. Shanna October 24, 2013 at 10:07 pm #

    I am so excited for you, Tracey! Just sending the manuscript to agents is a huge act (of bravery) in itself. I can’t wait to hear more about the book as this process unfolds.

    And I’m with Kim, above, there is something about coriander, isn’t there? :)
    Shanna recently posted…Join me on Radio Enso!My Profile

  9. Diana August 3, 2014 at 4:53 pm #

    Sea bass recipe ingredient lIst calling for salmon fillets :(

  10. Tracey Ceurvels August 3, 2014 at 7:39 pm #

    Hi Diana! Thank you for pointing out that typo. I’ve also made this with salmon so that must have slipped through.
    Tracey Ceurvels recently posted…Morning Mugshot My Profile

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