Monday, December 24, 2018

Love, Actually and a Merry Christmas to you!

Love, all around us.


I was delighted to see Debra is hosting for Food and Flix this month and she chose the film Love, Actually.   It’s one of my favorite Christmas movies. Now I recognize that these are completely unrealistic situations and outcomes, but I don’t analyze too much because I just want to sit and watch and enjoy.

Billy Mack is the most realistic scenario, in my opinion.  It's conceivable that an old rocker releases a holiday version of an old song.  Colin Frissel's quest to find a beautiful American woman to fall in love with him is fairly ridiculous, but very amusing. I love Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson - their story was a heart breaker.  (They are enjoyable to see as Severus Snape and Professor Trelawney in the Harry Potter movies too).

My favorite story line is Aurelia and Jamie's - could they really learn a language in 2 weeks?  Who knows, motivation can be powerful where love is concerned.  It's still my favorite followed closely by the Prime Minister and Natalie's story line.  Jamie's proposal is epic and I have to share that here too.  

In the spirit of that story line I made a Portuguese fish stew. This is a recipe from David Leite’s book, The New Portuguese Table. I know if I had picked the prime minister and Natalie story line I would’ve gone with chocolate biscuits.


This is an easy stew to make and while it doesn't have potatoes or rice, it is very filling if served with homemade bread.


Portuguese fish stew

1 leek, sliced into half moons
2 garlic cloves, diced
1 red or yellow bell pepper, sliced
1 1/2 pound of firm white fish, I used cod, cut into small chunks
3 ripe tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup white wine (I used Sancerre)
1/2 cup vegetable or fish broth
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Roughly a 1/2 cup of milk
Parsley, salt and pepper

Chop veggies and saute in olive oil, about 5 minutes.  Add salt, pepper, broth and fish.  Cook on medium high heat for 8 minutes or so.  Now add chopped tomatoes and mix gently.  Add wine, then sprinkle with cornstarch.  Slowly add milk and let simmer a few minutes.  Sprinkle with Parsley.

This is good with a baguette, butter and a wedge of cheese. A light supper that warms you on a chilly evening.

Sharing with:

Our host, Debra at Eliot's Eats - see her post HERE
Deb in Hawaii for Souper Sunday.
Beth Fish Reads for Weekend Cooking Series
Joy's Book Blog for British Isles Friday


  1. I've never watched this movie because I'm not a fan of Hugh Grant but I think I'll give it a try since you like it so much.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  2. I hope you are having a wonderful Christmas Eve & Christmas celebration. Your fish stew is really tempting -- I might make it later on this week, as I have all the ingredients on hand!

    best... mae at

  3. Oh, I do so love this movie. I love every single minute of it!

  4. Glad you like the movie, Tina. Yes, there are a few ridiculous story lines, including the "stand-ins" and the whole Peter-Juliet-Mark scenario. ??? Anywhoo, love you went the Portuguese route here. I almost held my Portuguese bread for my post. Hope you had a very Merry Christmas!

  5. What is it that makes it Portuguese? Hope you had a great festive season. Now for the New Year.... Cheers

  6. Vicki, It's not brilliant but I love the Jamie story line. There is a some language, just warning you :-)

    Mae, I sure love a fish chowder and this was a good excuse to make it.

    Nan, me too!

    Debra - Love it, and yes, so many scenarios that really don't seem plausible but I watch for entertainment. Glad you hosted this one.

    Carole, It;s from David Leite's book, The New Portuguese Table. It was a great holiday, hope you had a good time. You are having a heat wave, right?!

  7. I really need to rewatch Love Actually. I watched it shortly after it came out and enjoyed it but remember very little about it. We watched a version of A Christmas Carol on Christmas night and it was such fun that I think it'll be a new tradition. Hope you had a merry Christmas Tina!

  8. Katherine, which version of A Christmas Carol did you watch? Our favorite are the versions with Alistar Simms & the other has Patrick Stewart. We also watch It’s a Wonderful Life.

  9. This sounds like a lovely movie, any time of the year! And that Portuguese Stew would be perfect for some halibut a friend caught in Alaska (along with the salmon).

  10. I had to think for a second, and then said, Oh yeah, it's the Colin Firth story! LOLOLOLOL I so miss Alan Rickman. Your stew/soup looks awesome! I didn't watch any holiday movies this year, but I bet I could still find this one on one of my streaming services. It's one of the best!

  11. One of my favorite movies. Still hoping to join in Food 'N Flix at the last minute tomorrow, but we'll see. ;-) Your stew looks amazing--I'd love a big bowl right now. Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays. Happy New Year!

  12. Perfect inspiration. Love this recipe and can't wait to try it. Welcome back.

  13. I am part of the thumbs up clan too lol. Love fish stew, this one looks great One on my faves is the Brazilian version, just a few nice changes, check out moqueca.

  14. I enjoy Love Actually, too. The Portuguese fish stew is a great selection -- also chocolate biscuits!


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