Category Archives: cooking

Fork me now omelette. She’s quick, she’s easy and she’s a little bit sassy.

We have a little black market thing going. I can’t reveal too much but we have a friend with happy chooks “somewhere south of Bathurst” who every couple of weeks delivers to our door the freshest, yellowest, fork me now eggs you’ve ever tasted.

We also have a little no carb thing going. Some days it works. Somedays not. But this is my favourite way to start a well intentioned no carb day. Having said that, I’m a chilli fiend. You might want to hold back on the chilli if it’s not you’re thing.

We were served this every morning at the Jackaranda Guesthouse in Delhi, a lovely B&B in Greater Kailash, a suburb just south of central Delhi. If you’re ever looking for a nice place to stay, it’s a good spot – markets and restaurants just a couple of blocks away.

Very finely – and I mean very finely and evenly – chop some tomatoes, French shallots, green capsicum and Thai green chilli.

I’ve tried it with other chillies but it just doesn’t taste the same. So now, when I find Thai greens in the shop, I buy a few and pop them in a freezer bag. I’ve also tried it with onion and it’s not the same either. So stick to the script with this one …


Two eggs. Don’t fork them too much. Just a little.

lightly fork the eggs

Tip them into a lightly oiled frypan and swirl it around so the eggs spread evenly.

Mix up your ingredients and sprinkle them evenly over the omelette.

Fold over and over again.


fold the omelette

It’s as simple as that. But very tasty.

spicy omelette

Spicy Delhi Omelette

2 large teaspoons of finely chopped..
ripe tomato
green capsicum
and French shallot


A little finely chopped Thai green chilli – to taste.
2 eggs.

That’s it! Enjoy.

And if you have a favourite omelette combo, please feel free to share.



Traditional spaghetti alla marinara … in which Paolo reveals his mother’s secret ingredient

I learn something in the kitchen every time we visit these guys.

They are great cooks. Not flash chefs, just seriously good cooks, using the best of what’s on hand which in Liguria tends towards vegetables, seafood and salads.

In nine days at Sottovalle, we did 2700kms worth of day trips into the mountains and all along the coastline. Long, happy days filled with good food, big walks and plenty of laughter. But today was a rest day.

The boys had been sent down to Aquarta Scrivia earlier in the morning to get some seafood – any excuse to visit ‘The Office’ – read plane tree covered cafe spilling with pastries.

The recipe is below but I’m going to point out a few tips I learnt along the way …

It all starts with parsley and one and a half small cloves of garlic. Don’t overdo the garlic. Chop together finely and divide into two. One half is held back and added right at the end.


Now the secret ingredient…

2 anchovy fillets (under salt!) washed and rinsed three times under water.

(A later P.S. to this … I can’t find anchovies under salt so I’ve used the little ones in oil. I’ve made it twice and the second time I used about 8 little anchovies and it benefited from the extras)


chilli jar

Normally I would heat my pan and then add my first ingredients. But no!

Put them into a cold pan and VERY, VERY gently bring up the temperature and fry them off.

gently frying

If the garlic burns you MUST start again.

frying off parsley garlic anchovies chilli

Mussels, clams and prawns measured by the handful.

clams mussels prawns

Clams soaked in salt water to get rid of any muck.

Mussels steamed in a separate pan. Remove from their shells and don’t keep the juice. These guys regard it as dirty.

clams soaking


The squid is very gently fried and then the temperature turned off till we are ready with everything else.

frying off the squid

Get yourself a couple of handy prawn peelers.

steve and paolo peeling prawns


Back on the heat and the mussels and clams are added.

mussels added

clams added

Throw in the prawns, a few chopped tomatoes, a little glass of white wine and cover till the clam shells open.

tomatoes and parsley and garlic

table and garden

Meanwhile bring your pasta water to the boil and you know when they say “Add salt.”  Add salt!


When the pasta is cooked and stirred in with the seafood, that’s the moment to add your remaining garlic and parsley. It adds a note of freshness right at the end.



Find yourself a pretty setting and some good company.


And allora! Spaghetti alla marinara Forest View B&B style courtesy of Louise & Paolo and Paolo’s mama.

louise and paolo


Thanks for sharing lovelies.

Enjoy  xx


Spaghetti alla Marinara

1 and 1/2 cloves of garlic
A small handful of fresh parsley
2 anchovies (under salt!) washed and rinsed three times in fresh water
(If you can’t get them under salt I used 8 small ones in oil)
1 chopped, dried red chilli
Extra virgin olive oil

A handful of prawns (when peeled)
A handful of squid
2 handfuls of clams
2 handfuls of mussels

1 little glass of white wine, say …  half an Australian glass of white wine.

A handful of chopped fresh tomato.




1. Cover the base of a fry pan in extra virgin olive oil. No heat yet.

2. Chop the garlic and parsley finely and add half to the pan. Reserve the other half till the end.

3. Wash the anchovies three times under fresh water. Chop and add to pan.

4. Chop 1 dried red chilli and add to the pan.

5. Very gently bring the heat up and fry and stir till the anchovies dissolve into the mix. The mixture MUST NOT burn. If it does you MUST start again. It’s a very gentle process.

6. Add your chopped squid to the pan and fry gently.

7. Add the prawns and mussels. Stir gently.

8. Add the clams, tomatoes and white wine. 

9. Stir and cover till clam shells open.

10.Turn off heat till pasta is al dente.


Meanwhile …

11. Bring pasta water to boil. Add plenty of salt. Cook spaghetti till al dente.

12. Drain spaghetti. Pour into the seafood pan.

13. Add the remaining chopped parsley and garlic and toss gently.

13. Pour into a warmed platter and serve.


Paddock to plate … literally

Can I take you on a little food journey?

It begins at The Zin House in Mudgee at their annual Farm Forage.

zin house farm forageWith pink peppercorns a plenty.

pink peppercorns at the zin house

Not so lucky though with the yabbies and farm prawns. They’re there, all three of them, heads and tails smashed and sautéed in butter and drizzled over scrambled eggs laid by the girls this morning. Pass some of Kim’s freshly baked bread please. So much yum in one little dish.

scrambled egg with yabbie and egg

Borage and chive flowers. Rocket. Freshly pulled onions pickled in a little vinegar and sugar. Local cheddar foraged from Kim’s fridge.

rocket and borage salad

Autumnal prettiness, Zin style.

scales and quinces

Brown Hound and Chief Raspberry Thief. Yes we’re on to you Louie.

brown hound

Roasted apples, crab apples, feta and hazelnuts washed down with a sangiovese rose – if I remember rightly – but please don’t quote me. The courses kept coming, six in all. And so did the wine. Say no more.

Crabapples, apples, feta and hazelnuts

Good mates and kiwis both. Kim Currie with Guest Chef and Chief Forager, Jared Ingersoll.

Kim Currie and Jared Ingersoll

Fast forward to Friday, to a Food Styling and Photography Workshop with 2013 Australian Blogger of the Year, Sney Roy of Cook Republic fame.

Who says you can’t play with your food?

Sney Roy Food Photography and Styling Workshop first exercise

I love these days. When you work by yourself so much, it’s wonderful to be surrounded by so many talented and inspiring girls, a number of them nutritionists setting out to get people on the right track with their food.

Sney Roy Food Photography and Styling workshop

Lots of playful exercises.


a Food Styling and Photography workshop.

And group. (I came home and did a bit of post on the shots I took and added some text just to see how it might play out.)

bok chou with writing

I’ll leave you with a little dash of wabi-sabi from Sneh’s kitchen to finish with. She wanted to fix it and I said no, I like it just as it is.

whatever you are, be a good one

What ever you dooo this week

have a good one.


  • Get new posts
    emailed to you

  • About me

    Hi I’m Margaret Hogan, an Australian based designer, writer and artist.
    A sprinkler of creative magic.
    A wanderluster and weaver of gentle tales. read more.
    Or visit our design business...
    red moon creative

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Unless stated all photos on destination
    here&now are my original copyrighted
    photographs. By all means blog
    my photos but please link back
    to this page. Thank you!

    site design (me) red moon creative