scroll down to mentioned posts for full recipes...

Gooey Lemon Lime Salted Butter Slice ( Toys - manual or machine post)

Asparagus Appero Velouté ( A Thousand and One Things to do with Aparagus)

Oeuf Mollet ( A Thousand and One Things to do with Aparagus)

Fresh Asparagus ( A Thousand and One Things to do with Aparagus)

Strawberry Fool (Temperatures Rising post)

Death and Co (Desperate Target post)

Susie's Tian ( Summer Bliss post)

Spiced Up Chocolate Mousse ( Mummy Porn? post)

Bay Leaf and Lemon Roasted Coquelet ( Pizza Face post)

Cottage Cheese Salad ( Ouch! post)

Sunday Chilli ( Co Co CO Communication post)

Resolution Chicken Soup ( Sunshine and Joy post)

6 Minute Succulent Foie Gras ( Foie Gras Shortcut post)

Carrot & Coconut Spiced Soup ( Charm and Charme post)

Amaretto Chocolate Cake ( Autumn Dash post)

Sunday Supper Fettucini ( Haircut Hell post)

Susie's Fennel Seed and Lime Chicken (The Gracious Art of Meditation post)

Nigella's Coconut Rice ( The Gracious Art of Meditation post)

Cherry Tomato Curry ( The Gracious Art of Meditation post)

Old Fashioned ( Navigation Nightmares post)

End of Summer Apple Tart (Keeping Up post)

Warm Ravioli du Dauphiné Salad ( Cold Summer, Warm Salad post )

Pecorino, Tuna, Fresh Basil and Summer Tomato Salad (Salad Days post)

Easiest Dreamiest Dark Chocolate Ice cream ( Beware Pigeon post)

Ginger Kisses ( Mmmwah Mmmwah Dahling! post)

A "Lucky Stiff" Cocktail ( Are we all chambermaids ? post)

Blueberry, Banana, Carrot Smoothie ( Get Thin, Get Thin, Get Thin post)

Chilled Cucumber and Coriander Soup ( Husbands who do Housework post)

Pear, Almond, Dark Chocolate Spiced Coffee Cake ( Go Dutch! post)

Orgasmic Dark Chocolate and Lime Zest Gateau (Loss is Plus post)

Warm Parsnip Salad (Season's Parsnip post)

Champagne and Raspberry Gratin(Champagne! post)

Laksa ( Getting On post)

Cheat's Christmas Cake ( Last Minute Madness post)

Pecan Pie ( The Joy of "Thanks" post )

Flourless Dark Chocolate Almond Brownies ( Antumn Brownie post)

Christmas Chocolate Truffle Fudge Cake ( Christmas... Already ? post )

Foie Gras Sauternes Terrine ( Oh, To be a Duck post )

Fig Pear Apple Spiced Almond Crumble ( Linguistic LOL post )

Pepper, Fresh Tomato,Garlic, Serrano, Pasta Shells ( God Give us Parity post)

Lemon Ginger Hot Toddy for Colds ( Husbands with Colds post)

Autumn Tomato Soup ( Big Noise post)

Chocolate Mountain Crisp Cookies ( working, WORKING, Mothering, Exploding post)

Inspired Chicken Liver Paté ( Everything's Gone Retro post)

Spiced Apple Yoghurt Cake, Lemon Butter Icing ( Body Balance post )

Raspberry, White Peach and Limoncello Cups ( Disdain and More Summer Pudding #3 post )

Very Berry Summer Pudding ( Very Berry, Summer Puddings #2 post )

Minted Peach Soup ( Back to School, Summer Puddings #1 post )

Full Fibre Toasted Muesli ( World Cup Fever? post)

Energy Spring Salad ( Energy Spring Salad post)

Chicken Breast Tossed in Basilled Gremolato (Gremolato GOGO post)

Osso Bucco ( Monday Osso Bucco post)

Moistest Almond Expresso Cake with Coffee Butter Icing ( The Cake Which Gets you What you Want...Anything! post)

Red Pepper Tomato Tuna Pasta Bake (Pasta Bake for really Frustrated Mothers post )

Spring Strawberry & Blueberry Spiced Crumble (Dessert for a Spring Evening post )

Quinoa Asparagus Feta Salad (Annual Cringe post)

Lavender Dream Ice Cream ( Lavender Dream post)

Nasturtium, Cream Cheese & Ham Sandwiches ( Flower Power post)

Best Potato Salad Ever ( First Spring BBQ post)

Basil, Chive, Goat Cheese Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms ( Portobello Fresh post)

Balsamic Berry Salad ( Berry Power post)

Moist Raspberry and Lemon Zest Dessert Cake ( pre Wedding Supper post )

Mackerel Crumble (Omega Me post)

NYC Pecan and Choc Chip Cookies (MyAmericanMarket.com post)

Stawberry and Cherry Tomato Salad with Basil and Mint ( Salad Days post)

Spring Detox Smoothie ( Incredible Blimp post )

Baked Cinnamon and Orange Zest Cheesecake( On Cheesecake post)

Blood Orange Braised Endives (Beautiful Blood Oranges post )

Egg Free Choc Mousse ( Orgasmic Choc Mousse post)

Timeless Onion Soup ( Mid-Term Suppers post)

Caper, Red Onion & Bacon Tart ( Late Lunch Tart post )

Dale's Poisson Cru ( Don't Tell Them its Raw post )

Duck Sausage Curry ( Mid Week Bangers post )

Easy Crepes with various toppings (Its "Crepe Day" in France post)

Red Onion Tart (Winter Suppers Again - Classic Red Onion Tart post )

Classic NYC Bloody Mary ( Hangover Brunch Cure post)

Pesto Salmon (more Winter Suppers, Pesto Salmon post)

Soothing Lemon Soufflé ( Winter Suppers - Back to easy desserts post )

Mash and Variations (Winter Suppers 3 - The Glory of Mashed Potato post)

Braised Vegetable Hot Pot with Espelette Chicken ( see Winter Suppers 2 post)

French Apple Tart, Unadulterated ( Supper for Winter Term 1 post)

Spicey Chorizo Tomato Spaghetti ( Supper for Winter Term 1 post)

Veal/Veau Orloff, Julia Child (Just what is Veau Orloff post)

Christmas Detox Hints ( Over Christmas post)

Espuma Roquefort, Celery, Panacetta (We Workshopped post) Mille Feuilles Sud Ouest (We Workshopped post)

Gourmet Classic Egg Nog (Christmas Spirit post)

Lemon Roasted Chicken (ps More on Backdoor post)

Mrs Wood's Heavenly Honey Cake ( Mrs Wood's Heavenly Honey Cake post)

Black Ink Spaghetti with Shellfish (Spaghetti al Nero di Seppia post)

Boeuf Bourguignon, Simple ( Food is Love post)

Smoked Salmon, Dill, Cream Cheese Scrambled Eggs (One Plate Brunch post)

Heavenly Green Soup ( Things Green post)

Dark Chocolate & Chestnut Muffins ( see Sunday Muffin post)

Rhubard, Cardomom & Lime Muffins ( Sunday Muffin post)

Date, Walnut & Marscapone, Lemon Zest Muffins (Sunday Muffin post)

Apple , Pecan, Toasted Rolled Oats Muffins (Sunday Muffin post)

Susie's Red Wine Sausage Hot-Pot ( see Perspectives Men & Women post)

Mother's Pumpkin Soup ( see 70's Orange post)

Mimosa ( see Back to Brunch post )

Chestnut Panna Cotta

Artichoke Risotto

Risotto alla milanese/Saffron Risotto

Susie's Side Artichokes

Slow Poached Figs with Amaretti Biscuits

Janice's Fig Preserves ( see Getting Figgy post)

Chicken and Prawn Thai Green Curry

Mother's Waldorf Salad

Cherry Tomato and Pistachio Deep Dish Tart

Walnut Tart

Green Crunch Salald

Gorgonzola & Parsley Fettucini

Berry Pavlova

Susie's Pesto - Parsley and Walnut, Basil and Pinenut

Tomato Home-Tapenade Poached Chicken Easy Tart

Susie's Comfort Risotto

Pat's Basil & Corn Soup

Susie's Raspberry & Lemon Zest Tiramisu

Chicken Stock


Desperateanglohousewives has the goal to network with local, offshore women and men from all over the globe.

The writer, Susie, an offshore kiwi, is an avid food and lifestyle fanatic who wishes to share her passion for cuisine, culture and laughter. Susie brings you her weekly lifestyle comments and recipes of the moment.

Your comments count! Please click onto the comments section at the end of any post. We would also love to know what part of the world you are from...
living in France

Saturday, 21 May 2016

TOYS...manual or machine?

Are you a modern machine fan or do you prefer it the old fashioned way...by hand?

OK relax this is not a post about sex toys...that will be another day!

I have admired Nigella Lawson for years, although must admit that since she lost her wobbly bits I am not identifying as I once did. I have all her recipe books which I actually read. In one of my favourites, Kitchen, she lists her " Kitchen Gadget Hall of Shame." Everything from jam makers to super juicers were fired from her kitchen.

Totally understand these ridiculous fixations we all get for unnecessary kitchen gadgets - I once stayed up until 3am trolling the web for a second hand ice cream maker because I "NEEDED" it.
I have had everything from sausage makers (only used once because the experience was hideous and put me off sex for weeks!...what was I thinking, a sausage maker!!!) to thermal steamers not to mention the drawer full of once-used hand tools such as melon ballers, cherry pip removers, tomato peelers, and the list goes on.

In the end I could probably pick my top three which I absolutely could not live without - the three kitchen tools I would take to a desert island.

My top two are based on my ongoing love affair with lemons and limes.

My super zester which is used everyday. I am forever zesting lemons and limes over salads, cakes, fruit, gin and tonics...

This little baby is my Indian lemon and lime juicer which my friend Emma gave me years ago. It is "the thing I can't live without." It basically lives on the kitchen bench as is in constant use. I was pea green with envy recently as Emma gave the latest model to a friend and it now has a built in bottle opener...ah, bliss, another gin and tonic accessory.

Introducing Ken - my main man in the kitchen. A couple of years back I found my chap staggering about on the footpath outside the house with a coffin sized box - when I opened it I was at first horrified as had concept of kitchen tools as a rather unromantic "stay in the kitchen" offering. How wrong could I be. A real throwback to the 60s version my mother had in our pantry, "Ken" does it all and is never " unplugged!"

Here's a decadent slice to bring all three together..

Gooey Lemon Lime Salted Butter Slice

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup fine white sugar
150gr salted butter, cubed

Preheat oven to 180°. Line a 20 x 35cm tin with waxed baking paper.
Place flour and sugar into mixer bowl and pulse to sift. Add butter and pulse until crumbly. Press mixture into tin and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 140°.

4 large eggs
1 3/4 cups fine white sugar
zest of 3 lemons and 1 lime
juice of lemons and lime
1/3 cup flour

Whisk eggs and sugar together in mixer until thick and pale. Fold in remaining ingredients gently. Pour over crust. Bake a further 40 minutes. Dust with icing sugar and lime zest.

Your comments count. We'd love to hear from you.

Friday, 13 May 2016


Days off from work make me realise just why I love my
life in France so much....walking, market, coffee, crowd watching, cooking...

"Eating the seasons" has become a life choice in France. And it's easy! On my days off I just throw my basket over my arm and head off to the market where I find all the seasonal spoils. It probably sounds like a cliché but it's not.

In Bordeaux we are utterly ruined with good markets - the best has to be Capucins where the fruit and veg are lined up like jewels, the choice is phenomenal and the sellers charm you into buying twice as much as you need. 

I follow the market shopping with a long coffee outside on a terrace and watch the world go by then meander home and cook. It's bliss.

Today the markets were full of new season's asparagus in every colour, shape and form. Proudly sporting my new basket, I went to my usual chap who just loves to test his English on me. After buying what seemed like a few kilos of asparagus he turned to me winking and said, " Madame, now just WHERE would you like your asperges !" Blushing like a school girl at his innocent (one hopes!) sexual innuendo, I thrust my basket forward, smiled, paid quickly and skuttled away,totally lost in translation, for my much needed caffeine injection. 

What can I say...one man's vegetable is another man's sex toy?

Fresh Asparagus

Bunch of asparagus
Malden Salt
Olive oil
Lemin juice and zest
Freshly ground pepper

Boil 5 minutes

Serve...drizzle with best olive oil you can afford, a squirt of lemon juice and some lemon zest, a toss of Malden salt, black pepper....MMMM!!!

O t h e r   i d e a s...

Add an "oeuf mollet" or two to make this a balanced yet light meal.

Oeuf Mollet

Boil water
Place large organic eggs in boiling water
Time for 5 minutes

After 5 minutes, take off heat and plunge eggs into a bowl of iced water...wait 2 to 3 minutes then peel. Delicious served with asparagus with piment d'espellette.

Too much asparagus?..whiz them up into a thick creamy velouté to serve as an appero...Time:about 15 minutes, super easy and everyone will be wowed...

Asparagus Appero Velouté

1 kg asparagus

1 onion chopped
500ml vegetable or chicken stock
300ml fresh cream
2T finely scissored flat parsley
lemon infused oil

Boil a kilo of asparagus with chopped onion in the stock for about 8 minutes.
Drain but keep about half the liquid. Throw everything into your food processor or blender ( I use the blender for a smoother result)and whiz it all up. Add cream, continue to whiz. When completely smooth but not too liquid(stop adding cream if looks to liquid) pour the mixture through a sieve - this will make it extra velvety.
Pour into individual cocktail verrines or small expresso cups, add a little parsley to each verrine, a little Malden salt, freshly ground pepper and a few drops of lemon infused oil.
I often serve this with a big platter of radishes,gerkins,hams and patés...good on these chilly Spring evenings with a big glass of Madiran wine...

Thursday, 5 May 2016

TEMPERATURES RISING - it's menopause!

It's official - I am going to be reincarnated as something that doesn't go through menopause!

Just yesterday I received a knowing kind nod from a total stranger on the tramway when I pulled out my glasses to read a text -burning up in a hot flash,they completely fogged up as soon as I put them on. Note to self : must tell optician to devise temperature resistant lenses!  

For me it's the hot flashes which are the killer. My whole body transforms from clear skinned to blotchy burning scarlet in a matter of seconds - human combustion can't be urban legend after all. You could fry an egg on my chest! 

Clothes get peeled off at top speed only to be thrown back on again ten seconds later when the chills come on. My poor students have an air-conditioned classroom in the middle of winter - I'll be lecturing in a t-shirt (although would rather just be standing there in a muslin kaftan with no undies!!) whilst they are all shivering under their coats. 

Honestly,weren't periods, pregnancy, stretch marks, breast feeding and cellulite enough from nature already! And can someone please explain WHY,with all this heat, I'm not burning off all that new extra thigh, tummy and botty fat?? Seriously with all this heat I should be stick thin instead of feeling thicker and thicker. 

And there's more...

  • Eye sight so shot that need arms a km long to read without glasses. 
  • The most simplest of vocab in my second language which just somehow escapes me.Yesterday the lost word was potato peeler..actually I couldn't remember it in English either.
  • Running up the stairs and then,once there, forgetting WHY I am there
  • Calling the children by the dog's name, and vice versa
  • Waking all hours of the night craving poached eggs on toast and then going into mad fretting fits over things of little consequence and ending up playing Scrabble online until dawn with some stranger called Kanitra in India...and she usually wins
  • Weeping over insurance ads on the tele - in fact weeping over anything
  • Desperately seeking my waisteline which seems to have left the country
  • Forever trolling online for tummy trimming bathing suits but never quite finding the power to hit the buy button
  • Constantly repeating myself
  • Did I mention I repeat myself
Last week when my raging hormones woke me up at 4am, I started googling the phases of a woman's life. There are basically three official stages, maiden, mother and crone. And, according to my research, I am, without a doubt, the latter of the three. Gulp!

I have always considered the term " crone" to be similar to such things as harridan, hag, biddy, beldam and company..In fact, I have discovered that the term " crone" is one which has been completely redefined over the last centuries. Whereas the modern term refers to a cantankerous or withered woman, the ancient term referred to a woman 45 plus who was recognised as empowered, wise and self-defined. 

I have decided the latter ancient term suits me to the ground. I shall attempt to strap on my sense of humour and as a wise, empowered, self defined woman try to cruise through the rest of this change without letting it get me down.We all deserve to find our inner "menopausal goddess." 

It's time to see the positive side of menopause and yell it out to the stars. Think of all that money you're saving on tampax - it can be redirected into chocolate and chardonnay.This is a beginning of something new not the end of life.

Meanwhile I shall go online today and buy myself one hell of a kaftan AND a tummy trimming bathing suit. I will stop beating myself up when I put the mail in the dishwasher and the dog's croquettes in the cookie jar. More walking, time out, hot bubble baths, spa days with other "menopausal goddesses" are on the menu. I am also going to try and embrace my wobbly bits and my rekindled love of gin and tonic whilst remembering the final words of the stranger on the tramway yesterday...as I was getting off she whispered to me, " Don't worry dear, it DOES stop."

In need of something cool and creamy? Here's an old recipe, great to use with new season strawberries,gariguette strawberries are the best if you can find them. 
I use about 1 1/2 cups of fruit to 300ml fresh cream.

S T R A W B E R R Y   F O O L 

1 1/2 cups fresh gariguette strawberries 
2 T icing sugar
1T lemon juice
lemon zest
300ml cream, whipped
Frangelico liqueur
Amaretti biscuits
mint leaves

Blend the strawberries to a puree with the icing sugar and lemon juice. Fold into the whipped cream and chill. Serve with lemon zest, scissored mint, a drizzle of Frangelico and Amaretti biscuits.

Your comments count. We would love to hear from you.


Wednesday, 20 April 2016


Last week I asked one of my marketing students which population target group I belong in. Having expected " Baby Boomer" or "Generation X,"  imagine this Desperate Housewife's inner goddess when he simply said, " Old. 

Trying to help him out of the hole he'd just power-dug himself I foolishly asked him to elaborate. The hole became an abyss. "You are a Senior Madam," at which stage he started giving me retirement advice. Briefly touching my head, just making sure my hair hadn't morphed into a tight blue perm, I asked him to define " Senior." He raised his eyes to heaven and replied, "4O plus! "

Putting this into perspective, France is considered one of the better places to grow old. Pensions are high but the honey-jar risks being empty when my time comes around. The legal retirement age in France now stands at 62 for people born between 1955 and 1973. However a full state pension is only awarded for those who have worked 40-43 years. With that info, my guess is that I could be going on for at least another 20 years!

Many sectors benefit from " Special Retirement Plans" which are partially financed by the concerned business sectors and of course the rest is paid by the government AKA the tax -payer. In terms of some of these I truly understand why my student was calling me a "senior." Check out the retirement ages and  please avoid chin dropping to floorboards:
  • French Millitary: average retirement age is 45.7
  • EDF & GDF ( French Electricity and Gas Companies): average retirement age: 55.4 - now I know why my gas bills have shot up!!
  • RATP ( Paris Public Transport): average retirement age: 54.8
  • SNCF( French Railway): average retirement age: 52.5 
  • Banque de France: has retirement plan based on the civil servant one, but keeps a separate fund - well, obviously!
  • Sailors: average retirement age: 57.6 - Hello Sailor!!

Enough ranting for one week. 
Next week's post - Menopause, IF I remember!

Don't know about you, but I could use a drink. Just discovered a vintage martini cocktail called " Death and Co," - seems appropriate.

D E A T H  &  Co

This is a 3 to 1 ratio cocktail. Please make sure you are over 18...way over!

  • 2.50 ounces  Tanquery London Dry Gin
  • 0.75 ounce  Dry Vermouth
  • 1 dash orange bitters
Stir all the ingredients over ice, then strain into a Martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

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Monday, 11 April 2016


After a 4 year break I had one of those hallelujah "in
France" moments today that forced me back to my keyboard....

No longer a 40-something, I recently turned the page,rather reluctantly,to 50! Since I reached my half century,I have been reflecting largely on educative matters...hmmm would that have something to do with the myriads of teenagers dragging their designer-booted tooties through my corridors..?

I don't know about you but I was always told "manners before God!" What is it about we anglo-saxons,whether harking from the South Pacific or floating somewhere off the French coast (jab!), that makes manners and being polite a true part of our culture. I would go so far as to state that manners are "indigenous" to us...needless to say, this is open to anthropological debate.

So, the hallelujah moment...early this morning my trusty York,Harry, and I were out for our morning stroll. Spring is in the air, clear skies ( and that is really something in Bordeaux!), the trees are in vibrant green leaf, blossoms inside and out, it is simply gorgeous. 

The traffic alone serenades us and I have drifted back into one of those superb 1980s
moods where I forget reality of my age, Katrina and the Waves are singing "I'm Walking on Sunshine"...I am,in all probability, smiling like a nutter..maybe even humming. 

I step out onto a pedestrian crossing and an older bearded chap on a scooter stops for us, I smile, wave and say thank you, to which he breaks my Spring fever with yelling out, " I stopped for the dog, not for you!!" 

Ah France and its gallantry...at least he respected animals, I suppose?

Happy Days and welcome back to DesperateAnglo Housewives.

Here's the music,I'm Walking on Sunshine, go on have a listen!(Copy and paste...)

Monday, 13 August 2012


As the Olympics draw to their end, 
this DesperateAngloHousewife is wondering where her next wee buzz will be coming from....

I know I should be having a good old rant about sportsmanship, international cooperation and team spirit but instead I am going to be completely honest. ...All those bodies beautiful!

Am I the only 40-something who has been blowing bubbles into her Chardonnay during the men's diving? 

Was I the only creature on the planet who was reaching for the smelling salts as the men swimmers came out announced and pranced across to their starting block whilst unzipping their sweatshirts to reveal not just the most heavenly of six packs but also shoulders to weep over?

Of course one can wax lyric over the grace of the pole vaulting, the panther speed of Mr Bolt, the incredible concentration of the archers, the tenacity of the walkers...

Did anyone else notice the female athletes, their tone and all of that in their " undies?" I did have a moment's fantasy of myself sprinting around the circuit in my Marks and Spencer's hipster knickers.. An image far too scary to dwell on or render public for that matter.

Time for a walk methinks...

Friday, 3 August 2012


What makes this Desperate Anglo Housewife rant, rave, stomp, pull out her hair...?

You guessed it, more bad customer service.

Just how hard is it to train shop staff in this country to be polite, respectful, to leave their condescending attitudes at home!

End of sales, picture the left over stock, all marked right down to clear. 
I walk into a shop in Bordeaux looking for summer trousers. Find a couple of quite ordinary ones, good for work, marked down by 70%...this was not haute couture.I'm talking BASIC pants!

Roll up to checkout...

Shopgirl ( herein, SG)," We have some lovely little summer tops that would go with these."

Moi, " No thanks" (smile politely)

SG, " There's some great shirts that would match too"

Moi, " No thanks" ( smile slightly)

SG ,"Do you need some blazers? Accessories...?"

Moi, " No thanks" ( smile dissipates....)

10 second pause.

SG, " You are just so lucky to be buying these pants."

Moi, " ? "

SG, " They are just superb and aren't you just SO LUCKY to have found them"

Moi, frown.

SG, " Honestly dear I can't begin to tell you how lucky you are to have got these, they have been that popular" blah blah blah more more more of the same.

Moi, all zen gone, " No YOU are lucky I am buying them. YOU are lucky I walked in to your shop!YOU are lucky I am helping empty your shop of your clearance stock!"

Cultural differences ? 

Thursday, 26 July 2012


Time out, alone, is a rare commodity for most of us.

For those of us who juggle busy professional lives with the daily family demands, time out is a virtual impossibility. That said, it is nothing short of a necessity.

Having had a few of life's bigger challenges thrown at me this year, I felt it was time to take my own self into hand. When life gets tough we do let ourselves go...well, I do.

 Like most women I go I go I go I go I go and then, I flop! I admit to being totally in awe of the majority of my women friends who seem to cope so well with anything. But that again is a "woman's lot"...we have to continue, there is simply no choice. We might be living in more modern times but let's be honest - who deals with the kids, the washing, the cooking, the daily grind...? 

I don't know about you, but there are days where I start my mantra before I even jump on my bike to go home. Yes, that's me you've probably seen whizzing along the Bordeaux quays in a black power-suit, chignon and pearls chanting chardonnay chardonnay chardonnay chardonnay! But frankly life is pretty sad when the only highlight in your day is the first sip of chardonnay before you start cooking, laundrey, etc etc, only to find yourself falling into bed at 11pm with the glass of chardonnay tepid and far from unfinished on the kitchen bench.

Now that alot of us have children who are getting older and more independant it is time to do something for ourselves. By "something for ourselves" I don't mean lunch out and a bikini wax - I am talking about a week out from family and work and ALONE! Turn off your mobiles and get going girls!!

I have taken myself off on a Qi Gong retreat*. A week of daily classes, learning something new. Great food, sun, relaxation, local culture and delightful company. I do feel rather sorry for the Qi Gong teacher having been landed with what could only be called Mrs Bean...picture this Desperate Anglo Housewife on her hands and knees, bum skyward, trying to get up off the ground upwards with one fluid movement. Just lift from your posterior madam, says the poor chap. Honestly, how can he even begin to imagine I can lift upwards from an area which weighs more than my brain.Impossible!
Classes have been punctuated by twice weekly full body deep tissue massage from which you emerge in, what can only be described as, euphoria.

Having refound who I am this week, I just want to shout out to all women out there to go out and do the same thing. It doesn't matter where you go or what you do- the important ingredient is just to go!

*Retreat Web Address:

Considered as a classic provençale speciality, a " Tian" explodes with summer vitality. Easy to make with all the summer veg, it is a dream teamed up with grilled fish and copious amounts of crisp provençale rosé.

Susie's Tian

2 yellow and 2 green new season's corgettes, sliced
2 large beefsteak tomatoes, sliced
2 large red onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic crushed
1 small aubegine, sliced
olive oil, salt petter,
lemon zest to finish
parsely chopped, 
thyme, chopped

Chop up all veg and basically let your artistic kitchen goddess shine through...I start by a bed of chopped onion and olive oil topped with layered vegetables. Lots of salt and pepper, chopped herbs and scattering of lemon zest, a drizzle of oil and into the oven 180° for 20 minutes and then another hour at 160°.

Popular Posts

Susie's Favourite Food & Kitchen Shops

Artiga, Basque Tableware and Linens, 73 rue des 3 Conils 33000 Bordeaux

Eurasie, Bordeaux Lac

La Bocca, rue Notre Dame

Gastonomie des Pyrenees, 12 Cours Portal

Marché St Michel, Pl St Michel, Saturday mornings


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