Sunday, 12 October 2014


Good Morning to you,

I have  a little secret to tell you about myself.... I love people watching.  

I love it, when I have arranged to meet a friend for coffee and I arrive first, as it is then, that I get the chance to indulge my love of people watching, and that is exactly what I was doing yesterday, if only for a few minutes.... but sometimes, that is all it takes.

I was sitting on a bench, waiting for George to finish doing what he needed to do.... and whilst sitting, I noticed a couple, who I would say were in their late 60's.

They arrived, with the lady striding out in front of her husband, who in turn was gently meandering along the path behind her.  They arrived at the lift door, which would take them to the upper floor of the complex and the lady waited for her husband to catch up. When he did, he pressed the first lift button.... but there were two lifts and two buttons.  The husband had decided which lift they would take, but the wife was not so sure, so she pressed the button, which her husband had already pressed, then moved along to the second lift and pressed that button as well.  She then proceeded to move backwards and forwards, between the two lifts, like a caged lion, waiting to pounce on the first lift which opened its door. Not content with pacing backwards and forwards, she started looking up, to see which lift would arrive first. Her husband was not as concerned, for he just stood in the same position and waited for whichever lift to arrive.  He looked at his wife and said something, which I could not over hear (and of course I shouldn't, because as Phyllis would say, that would be 'ear wigging'), she then said something back to her husband, without breaking her stride between the two lifts.

..... and then the lift arrived.... no it was not the second lift, but the first lift, which the lady's husband had pressed the button for.

The husband smiled and waited for his wife to enter the lift, but she looked so agitated, I can only imagine it was because the lift she had thought would arrive first, didn't. She had spent all that energy pacing backwards and forwards,  between the lifts, that she must have felt exhausted. I can't help but wonder what the conversation was, when the lift doors closed.

I smiled to myself, because it put  me in mind of when George and I go shopping.  No, I am not like the agitated  lady I mentioned, but George does have a little idiosyncrasy, which I will tell you about another time.... and when I tell you, I just know you will smile.

.... but for the moment, I need to get on with the cooking, and today is the second part of the potato gnocchi recipe which I shared with you on Wednesday.

On Wednesday we made the potato gnocchi and today we are going to make the tomato sauce, then layer the gnocchi with mozzarella cheese and the tomato sauce.

So it's on with the pinnie and the music I am listening to is,

my 1971 album by 'Bread'. Honestly, who did not love this group in the 1970's.

...... and I really do have to share, with you, the artwork from the back of the album, which I have always loved.

....isn't it lovely.  Although you cannot see it clearly in this photograph, the picture is made up of a series of little dots.... something akin to potato stamping.... although, I should imagine, it was someone very artistic who produced this picture and they would be horrified to hear me liken their fabulous picture to potato stamping.

Enjoy listening to 'Baby I'm - A Want You' , 'Everything I Own' or how about 'Diary'.

I bought this album before Natasha and Danielle were born, so as you can tell it is a little old and a little battered from all the moving around.... but the sound of the record is still so good.

So whilst I am listening to 'Daughter', I will organise my ingredients.


1 large red onion
6 sun dried tomatoes
1 or 2 cloves of garlic
500g passata 
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1/2 pint of water or chicken stock
sea salt
black pepper



250g Buffalo Mozzarella
50g of Parmesan Cheese

Pre-heat the oven to 180C

You will need

1 deep pie tin

Finely dice the onion

Add the olive oil to a medium sized
add the onions.

Cook until the onions are translucent.

Grate the garlic
add to the onions.

Remove the dried
oregano leaves
from the stem
and add to the onions and garlic.

Cook for a minute or so.

Add the passata.

Snip the sun dried tomatoes
into slices
add to the saucepan.

Add the sugar

the water or chicken stock
(whichever you decide to use)

add a pinch of sea salt
and freshly ground black pepper.


Bring the tomato sauce to the boil,
reduce the heat
 and simmer
for roughly 20 minutes.

the sauce is nice and thick.


Layer a third of the tomato sauce
in the base of the dish.

Place a third of the potato gnocchi on
top of the tomato sauce.

Place a third of the mozzarella
on top of the gnocchi.
(I tend to pull the mozzarella apart)

Keep layering the tomato sauce,
the gnocchi
and the
mozzarella cheese.

grate some Parmesan cheese on the top.

Place in a pre-heated oven 
roughly 30 minutes
or until

the mozzarella cheese has melted
the tomato sauce is nice and bubbly.

Whilst the gnocchi with tomato sauce
is cooking,
spend a few minutes
deciding which plate to 

I decided to use my Italian Spode plate.

colourful food 
does look lovely on white plates,
but just occasionally,
it is nice to ring the changes.....
and I have always loved 
blue and white Spode.

So today that is what I have
decided to use.
Doesn't the red tomato sauce
look beautiful 
set against
my Italian Spode plate.

Please do not be deceived by this dish being shared in two parts. Normally, I cook the tomato sauce whilst I am making the gnocchi, which of course I did here, but because I take, step by step photographs of each dish I make, it might seem like this dish is a lot of work.  Honestly it isn't, as once the tomato sauce is organised, the gnocchi does not take very long to make.

I would love you to try making your own gnocchi, as once you have tried it, you will never buy the pre-packed gnocchi ever again.

I am not against pre-packed food, as it has it's place, but making your own food, using the fashionable term 'from scratch' is so much more satisfying.

So take care and I will see you on Wednesday.

This week I will be joining,

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