Writing’s On The Wall

There is something terribly fascinating about James Bond and the 007 brand. Be it the image of the forever-dapper English gentleman, always clad in impeccable tailored suits, with models (literally) falling in his arms, and his constant shield of calm and cool, never dripping one speck of sweat, not even after he’s fought and beaten a whole army of villains. Whatever it is, I love it.

Yesterday, hubby and I went to see Spectre at the local cinema theatre. Coincidentally enough, the last film we went to see at a cinema together was Skyfall, and that was back in England. Wanting to see the latest Bond film was on top of our to-do list, but somehow life took over and we forgot about it. Till yesterday. In 45 minutes we managed to get ready, leave the children in the hands of their loving grandmothers, and catch the movie from the very beginning.

I like Daniel Craig. I love his build and features, his haughty look and confident walk. The majority of people I’ve talked to don’t agree with me. Most women mention Pierce Brosnan, someone whose charm I never saw or understood. It’s all about preferences. You can keep Pierce Brosnan. I’m just fine with Daniel Craig.

Spectre starts off in Mexico, and continues in Rome, Tangiers and of course, London. A James Bond is nothing without the exaggerated fights and the last-second miracle which always saves him and the woman accompanying him. Agent Q features again this time round, in a more important role than in Skyfall – something I’m not complaining about. And this time round Christoph Waltz is the 007 villain. I loved him in the Tarantino films, especially in Inglorious Basterds and Django Unchained, and I did a small ‘yay-dance’ when I saw him this time round. Monica Bellucci doesn’t appear for as long as I thought she would, and instead we see more of Léa Seydoux. She gives this Bond film a feel of 1940s elegance, with her looks and outfits and way of moving.

Yes as with all James Bond films, I did enjoy this 007 film. They’re never meant to be award-wining films, but they’re meant to entertain you and watch it with a smile, because you know that whatever happens James Bond always ends up with the girl, the crease-free suit and the car.

 

Autumn Simples

I love the in-between seasons – spring and autumn are my all-time favourites. New seasons equals new foods, new recipes and new ideas. Autumn is particularly abundant in beautiful colourful foods, and the recipes are equally pleasant. I love this season because it means that the oven is no longer off-limits, and I can once again start baking.

With work and a family to take care of, I can not prepare complicated recipes. With Bettina now crawling all over the place and having just discovered the wonders the inside of a fridge has to offer, I have to be quick in the kitchen because otherwise it’s having her grab the insides of my knees and following me around, begging me to give her a piece of whatever I’m cooking. Girl loves her tummy.

So my recipes have to be quick, uncomplicated but as tasty as can be.

Through Facebook and several cooking groups, I’ve discovered several recipes which I have tried out and am so happy to share with you because they’re not fussy at all, and the result suggests otherwise.

I’m cooking this Chicken in Sweet and Sour Sauce every week now. I was promised a restaurant-like plate and I have to say, it is true! The oven-baking gives it a great effect, and if I have to suggest one small thing, it would be do use less sugar than said. I found the chicken to cook more tenderly with less sugar to caramelize the whole dish. You can add pineapple bits which I think fit in just perfectly! I added some jasmine rice cooked in cloves and cardamom seeds with some peas to give it some colour and it came out just right.. As always, it’s all about preferences 🙂

Pasta is always a winner in our house, and in fall I love the combination of pumpkin, sage and walnuts, or pancetta, mushrooms and herbs. I love combining the sweet with the salty, fruits with vegetables and meats. One pasta dish which is my fall-upon dish whenever I’m totally stuck is an easy plate pasta with red sauce, red wine, black olives, anchovies, some chili, raisins, and topped up with toasted breadcrumbs and pine nuts. Divine!

When I lived in England, I discovered a pork recipe which I love, if only for the sweet scent that fills up the kitchen whilst cooking it. I often hold myself back with the dates and apricots here, because it can come a bit too sweet for a dinner dish.  I’ve recently discovered a grain mix, just right to substitute rice – spelt, barley, durum wheat, rice and oats all come together for a great nutty taste, and it goes just right with this dish!

I can’t mention cooking with giving you a cake recipe. I found myself with extra apples the other day, and together with figs and walnuts I baked this cake, which is simply perfect for winter. The only problem I found with this cake was that I could not stop eating it. So be aware that this cake is seriously addictive. If you’re counting your calories, I don’t recommend this. You won’t be able to stick with one small piece.

So roll those sleeves and start cooking 😉

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Oven-Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken. Photo doesn’t do it justice, I promise!

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Apples, walnuts and brandied figs about to go in the cake mixture!