This is officially my first blog from our new home in Easton, CT.  It’s very quiet in this neck of the woods; we mainly hear peepers, birds, and the incredibly active bullfrogs that live in the bog across the way.  In brief, I’m thrilled to be surrounded by nature once more.  I actually grew up about 8 miles from this cottage, in the neighboring town of Weston.  While I didn’t necessarily take nature for granted during my upbringing, 10½ years of New York City living (well, subtract a couple years in the middle when I was staying in India, Paris, and Kazakhstan) completely deepened my appreciation of it… the power of opposition, I suppose.  Anyway, here we are.

There are some amazing luxuries added back into our lives after years of apartment dwelling.  Just to name a few:

  • The use of our own WASHER and DRYER
  • The ability to step outside of our own home BAREFOOT and feel healthy about it
  • The fact we can temporarily put objects outside of our house if we need to make extra space to clean or organize (very good after a move)
  • The ability to buy groceries… LOTS OF GROCERIES and other essentials like kitty litter… I can get FAR more than I could ever lug on the subway!
  • The ability to GARDEN
  • The eventual acquisition of a basic WEBBER GRILL

There is one culinary adjustment that’s less ideal for an avid cook: the switch from gas to an electric coil stove.  We will eventually switch over again but in the meantime, I’m seeking to master my electric cooking skills.  After all, Julia Child cooked amazing meals on one for part of her career.  That’s the motivation I need.  It’s a bit of an abstract experience to not be able to see the flame or know how long it takes for the coil to cool down and heat up, but I’ll get used to it.  For small baking projects, we also have our beautiful Breville oven next to the stove. These things are stellar!


I was actually pretty pleased with my first supper cooked over electric coils and would like to share it.  It was very simple: Pan-seared cod served with roasted balsamic Portobello mushrooms, caramelized onions, and wilted baby spinach.

Note: I am still teaching at Park Slope Yoga Center Friday and Saturday afternoons. Fannie and I are also charging ahead with the Doing It podcast.  Check out episode 6!

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On Thursday night, I made my favorite hoisin glazed salmon steaks with beautiful wild fish I found at Ruskin’s Fish Market in Crown Heights.  I underestimated how much I bought and was blessed with a bounty of leftovers.  I’m not sure why it works out like this, but my husband and I often find ourselves wandering to the Laundromat every other Friday (This probably wouldn’t be the case if we had our own washing machine).  As a result, I like to make tasty suppers that don’t require too much time over the stove (it’s a great night for baking, too).

Last night’s solution was turning the salmon into a nice chilled salad with scallions and serving it up with a ginger-hoisin-butternut squash dish and a mango, avocado, baby arugula salad with miso dressing.  This dish is almost gluten free, too.  You can make it so by using gluten free soy and hoisin sauce (I used the latter).

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$$$ The Cost $$$

Dinner for 2 cost about $13.50 or so (it’ll vary depending on the price of fish)

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When it comes to cooking, there is one person for whom I am forever grateful: my mother, Laura Plimpton.  She is one of my greatest cooking teachers and inspirations.  She’s also my dial-up, completely invaluable culinary encyclopedia.

I’m infinitely thankful for the delicious, home cooked meals my mother laid on the table just about every night as I was growing up.  And for the fact these creations, so infused with love, gave me a taste of the world as my mom always fearlessly tackles dishes from all over.  I’m glad that’s rubbed off on me.  During the hours and hours I’ve been lucky enough to cook by my mother’s side, I’ve learned not only how to follow recipes, but also how to confidently cook without a book.  How blessed am I that these lessons continue on and on?

Today, I wanted to share my rendition of one of my favorite Asian-fusion dishes my mother makes so perfectly: Hoisin glazed salmon with cold sesame noodle.

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$$$ The Cost $$$

Dinner for 2 plus plenty of noodles and fish for lunch the next day: $26.26

(Or, you can say that’s the cost of dinner for 4!)

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