scroll down to mentioned posts for full recipes...

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 ( 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 offshore mothers, working mothers and women 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...

feed susie's your mouse on the aquarium

living in France

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°.


the fly in the web said...

A friend has been practising this for years now...there were classes in her area..and she reckons it's the only reason she's sane, coping with her B and B, family, health name it.

Susie @ DesperateAngloHousewives, Bordeaux said...

@ Fly, hopefully once I am able to actually do the movements I might also join the land of the sane. Just for breathing alone it is amazing...

Leslie said...

Ok I am going to book a week away. Tian looks splendid.
Great to have you posting again, we have missed you. Great mix of sage and humour.

Sarah G said...

Could you please give us the address of the Qi Gong retreat?
Sarah, Middlesex

Susie @ DesperateAngloHousewives, Bordeaux said...

Dear Sarah
I have popped in the web address at the bottom of the post. Ask to speak to Lionel and mention that you read about him here....

Deb said...

Yeah you are back!! Superb summery post true about women being those who just have to keep ploughing on.

Anonymous said...

Dear Susie, is Qi Gong like yoga?

Jo said...

Fab post really missed you!

Anonymous said...

Bliss, you are back!
One of your biggest fans. Did you realize how many of us love adore to read you!

Susie @ DesperateAngloHousewives, Bordeaux said...

Wow we are so flattered by your kind and certainly unmerited comments. Will keep writing!
Thanks so much
Susie desp Anglo housewife

Anonymous said...

As usual desperate Anglo housewives hits the spot!

John said...

LOL about your "posterior"!
You are by far the funniest woman on the web

Stacey B said...

Is the Qi Gong place in Bordeaux?

Susie @ DesperateAngloHousewives, Bordeaux said...

@ Stacey, no it is not in Bordeaux, in the Lot & Garonne. Check web site for more information.

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

Bio Chartrons, Cours Portal, Pl Paul Doumer

Marché St Michel, Pl St Michel, Saturday mornings

La Cuisinerie des Chartrons, 50 Cours Portal


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What's for Dinner ?


Gourmet Classic Egg Nog

Beat 12 egg yolks until light and gradually beat in 1 1/2 cups of fine white sugar.
Beat until mixture is light coloured and thick.
Turn the mixture into a chilled punch bowl set in crushed ice.
Blend in 1 quart each of milk and heavy cream.
Stir in slowly 1 1/2 quarts of bourbon, 1 pint cognac and then fold in 12 stiffly beaten egg whites.
Sprinkle with 1/2 cup dark rum and freshly grated nutmeg.
Makes about 50 4 ounce servings.

Lemon Roasted Chicken Pollo al Limone

1 free range chicken ( 1.25 kgs)

4 lemons

4 large cloves of garlic, finely sliced into strips

1 branch fresh rosemary

1/4 cup melted butter
salt, black pepper

Wash lemons. Cut 2 into rounds and juice the other 2.
Do not throw out skins of juiced lemons.

Pre heat oven to 180°.

Slice garlic into strips and de-leaf rosemary. Make small holes in the skin over the back of the chicken with the point of a small knife and insert rosemary and garlic.
Rub chicken with salt and pepper.

Incorporate lemon juice with melted butter and brush over chicken. If there is any butter and lemon mixture left over dip sliced baguette in mixture and pop it inside chicken, seal with the skins of juiced lemons. This will perfume the chicken during roasting.

Cook for about 1 1/2 hours or until the juices run clear. Take out of oven, cover with tinfoil and set aside for about 10 minutes before carving.

Serve with fresh steamed french beans drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice.

Boeuf Bourguignon

800 gr beef chopped into cubes
50gr butter
100gr lardons/chopped bacon, not smoked
100gr white small onions
25 gr flour
3 dl red wine ( the better the wine the better the results!!) + a glass for the cook
3 dl good bouillon ( beef/ veal)
Several dried bay leaves

Melt butter in a casserole ( type le creuset/le staub). Add bacon, onions. Sweat then remove aside.
Pat beef with paper towels then brown in same juices.
Sprinkle over flour and pour over hot bouillion.
Add bacon, onions, red wine and bay leaves.Cover and let bubble for about 2.5 hours. Turn off.
30 mins before serving, heat gently and add 100 gr of finely chopped mushrooms. You can leave mushrooms whole if they are not too large for a rustic effect.
Serve with steamed potatoes (or fresh pasta) and chopped parsley...

Smoked Salmon Lox, Dill and Cream Cheese Scrambled Eggs

Count 2 eggs per guest
Bunch chopped dill/

Half a slice of smoked salmon per guest
Cream Cheese ( Philadelphia/St Moret)
Butter on hand

Scissor chop dill, cover and set aside
Chop salmon, cover, into fridge
Beat eggs, add pepper, pink peppercorns if you have them.

Have bagels ready, cut in half and ask one of your guests to earn their brunch by toasting them.

Pour mixture into large pan on lowish heat and pull/drag mixture gently towards the middle of the pan with a wooden spoon/spatula.
Add in a few shavings of butter, not too much.
Scatter over salmon, spoon about 2 teaspoons of cream cheese per guest over the top ( just slop it on, don't stir in) and lastly scatter over dill.
Don't leave eggs or they will dry out.
Serve with toasted bagels

Heavenly Green Soup

3 courgettes
large onion
150g chopped lardons/bacon (bacon can be replaced with quality vegetable stock for vegetarians)
1 turnip
bunch chives chopped
bunch flat parsley chopped
3 tablespoons cream cheese
salt & pepper to taste

Chop all vegetables and throw into large pan with bacon. Cover with water and let bubble away gently for about 45 mins checking water level regularly.
Remove from heat and throw in fresh parsley and chives.Let stand for about 15 mins.
Add cream cheese and blend until smooth and green...
Serve with salt, pepper.

Susie's Dark Chocolate and Chestnut Muffins

1 cup natural yoghurt ( Greek is best)
2 large farm free range eggs, beaten
2 cups flour ( you can also use half flour, half bran )
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon/1 sachet baking powder
1/2 cup olive oil
Dark cooking chocolate (I use Nestlé, Corsé 70%)
Chestnut purée or Bonne Maman Confiture de Marron


Pre heat oven 180°
Put yoghurt, eggs, flour, sugar, baking powder, olive oil into a bowl...mix until creamy.
Cut cooking paper into large squares and line muffin tin..paper should go at least an inch over the top.
Spoon 1 large spoon of mixture into each, add a decent spoon of chestnut puree and then top up with muffin batter mixture.
Break off half a line of dark chocolate and insert lengthwise down into the this for each muffin.
Into oven for about 20 - 25 minutes or until they "smell" cooked...should bounce back at your touch.


Apple , Pecan Toasted Rolled Oats : grate a granny smith apple, mix a cup of roughly chopped pecans with a sachet of vanilla sugar, teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 cup toasted rolled oats

Rhubard, Cardomom & Lime : cup cooked rhubarb, 1/2 teaspoon cardomom powder, zest of a lime

Blueberry & Lemon : cup frozen blueberries, zest of a lemon

Date, Walnut & Marscapone: 1/2 cup chopped dates, 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts, a spoon of marcapone/cream cheese per muffin, zest of lemon

Susie's Red Wine Sausage Hot-Pot

6 Duck sausages (adapt for vegetarians with Tofu sausages)
1 large onion
1/2 teaspoon Piment d'espellette/chilli
2 large fleshy tomatoes, the riper the better, cut into chunks
250 mushrooms, finely sliced
200ml tomato coulis
1 large glass Bordeaux red ( can be substituted with cider, in this case add a chopped apple too )

Brown sausages, set aside
Put olive oil and piment into your Le Creuset casserole pot. Warm through and add chopped onion, sweat.
Add sausages, tomatoes, mushrooms, tomato coulis. Simmer and stir through for about 10 mins.
Add wine, pop lid on and siommer gently for about 45 mins.
Serve with Potato and parsely mash.

Mother's Pumpkin Soup
1baby squash
1 large red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
3 sticks celery, finely chopped
1 large young turnip
250 gr chopped bacon
parsley, chives
1 Creuset casserole pot

Mother used to steam her pumpkin/squash and then peel it. Working mother, I don't have time for that and have learnt ( thank you Janice) to pop it in the microwave with an inch of water and zap for 10 mins. Scoop out the flesh.

*Put chopped bacon, celery and red onion with 2 tablespoons olive oil in pot. Heat should be medium, get them to sweat.

*Peel, chop turnip and add to pot

*Add pumpkin flesh and crushed garlic.

*Cover with about 3 cups of water

*Cover and let simmer for about 45 mins. Check liquid level constantly.

*Mix. I use an electric " wand" which I can put directly into the pot.

*Serve with a spoon of creme fraiche and chopped parsley and chives.

Wednesday 28 10

I love Panna Cotta...its up there with junket, another forgotten delight from childhood. Panna Cotta is wonderful alone or flavoured with seasonal fruits, chocolate, coffee, caramel, first Panna Cotta as a child was flavoured with rose water and served with crushed roasted pistachio's my basic recipe served with Bonne Maman Chestnut Jam.

Very easy...serve with tuile, amoretti biscuits, or crushed/chopped macarron.

Panna Cotta for 6

500g cream

50g sugar

4 gelatine leaves

1 dessert spoon castor sugar

1/2 teaspoon natural vanilla essence

4 tablespoons Bonne Maman Chestnut Confiture


Put cream and sugar in a large pot and heat gently, do not boil. Just before boiling point turn down flame and let simmer for about 10 mins.

Put gelative leaves in a dish and cover with water - leave 10 mins. After 10 mins remove with fingers and add to cream. Stir.

Meanwhile heat chestnut confiture through gently and add 4th gelatine leaf to it, stir until dissolved.

Pour cream mixture and layer with Chestnut Confiture into glasses of your choice..Let set in fridge for around 5 hours.

Friday 23 10

As promised an Artichoke Risotto..this recipe is based around the old classic Risotti alla milanese, Saffron Risotto. I prepare my artichokes separately as I find this is the best way to maintain their delicate flavours...this recipe is dedicated to my neice Kate who is an artichoke fanatic

Susie's Side Artichokes

Buy good quality 400g artichokes in brine, not oil. Buy halved artichokes, they are easier to deal with...

1 teaspoon capers ( something we don't see enough of anymore!)

1 clove garlic, crushed

olive oil


In a wide based pan heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, low heat.

Add capers and crush them with the back of a spoon until mushy. Add garlic.

Drain artichokes well. Add them to caper mixture and toss around until heated through. Turn off heat.

Heat through gently before serving with risotto....I plonk mine on top of risotto served in huge white bowls.

For the Risotto alla milanese

1 onion, not too big

1 litre bouillon/stock, veal is best ( I use fond de veau) but chicken or veg will do

50g butter

400gr arborio or vialone rice

10cl strong dry white wine (plus a glass for the cook!!)

1 dose powdered saffron or decent sized thread ( thread is best!)

parmesan, salt, black pepper to serve


Heat stock

Chop onion and toss it around with half the butter until soft. Add rice. Pour over wine....watchover until the wone has evaporated comppletely then reduce heat.

Pour over stock, add saffron making sure it is well dissolved.

Stand over your risotto pot, continue to stir with love and enjoy your glass of deserve it!!

When all the liquid is nearly gone, not dry, add the rest of the butter, salt, pepper. It should be creamy in texture..

Serve with artichokes and parmesan...YUMMMMMMMmm

Tuesday 20 10

An easy autumn dessert to warm the soul. Serve in individual beautiful glasses.

Slow Poached Figs & Amoretti Biscuits

1kg figs

glass Sauternes

large packet Amoretti biscuits


Wash figs and place in a large thick based saucepan. Cover with water, sauternes ans let simmer for about 45 minutes. Do NOT boil.

Let cool.

Crumble amoretti biscuits and layer bottom of individual glasses. Top up with fig mixture, let cool in fridge.

Serve with good vanilla ice cream.

Monday 19 10

Chicken & Prawn Green Thai Curry

A spice blast to send all germs running. This can be made easily, anywhere, by anyone. There are lots of shortcuts for busy girls...If you don't have one, buy a wok, they are so useful and versatile. A fabulous meal can be thrown together in a few minutes. Ikea sell them but the best are in quality kitchen shops like Happy Kitchen, Cuisinerie de Chartrons, BHV, etc

Feeds 4 - 6.

green curry paste (Eurasie)

bunch corriander chopped roughly

4 chicken breasts,diced

a handful of frozen prawns (Picard!!)

4 large ripe tomatoes

1 red pepper

300ml coconut milk

sesame oil ( Eurasie )

noodles of choice ( we go for the large Udon noodles which are more digestible)


Put 2 tablespoons of sesame oil with 3 tablespoons of green curry paste in wok.

When heated through throw in diced chicken and toss, then add chopped tomatoes and red pepper.

Pour in coconut milk, add 2 - 3 tablespoons water, chopped corriander and pop lid on wok and let cook for about 15 mins.

Serve with noodles tossed in sesame oil in large bowls.

Sunday 18 10
Walnuts are featuring again. Here's my late mother's fabulous Waldorf Salad. Good served with baked chicken breast or simply with a platter of cheeses.

Mother's Waldorf Salad
1 cup walnuts, toasted ( the toasting is what makes this!), chopped roughly
1 cup dates, chopped
6 celery sticks, sliced
3 granny smith apples, chopped into small pieces ( leave skin on if organic)
1 cup mayonnaise ( goddesses can make their own)
juice of 1 lemon
pinch cinnamon

Toss chopped apples in lemon juice and put aside.
Toss toasted walnuts with cinnamon and a pinch of salt.

Put everything in a bowl and stir through mayonnaise. Chill and serve.

Alternatives : Mother used to turn this into a lunch salad by adding green grapes and chicken to the salad, really's that for a 70's throw back!!!

Friday 16 10
End of the week, end of a huge week for some of us. Here's a really quick and easy tart to have with a few well deserved glasses of wine this evening. We'll be drinking Pouilly Fumé..

Cherry Tomato and Pistachio Deep Dish Tart

2 punnets cherry tomatoes
handful pistachios, ground in food processor
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt pepper
Flakey Pastry

Pre heat oven to 160°.

Line a loaf tin with flakey pastry.

Brush pastry with mustard and set aside.

Wash and dry tomatoes, prick them with a fork.
Throw tomatoes over pastry and drizzle over half olive oil.
Scatter with ground pistachios and drizzle over rest of oil.

Cook for 40 - 45 mins. Good hot or cool. Serve with an orgy of delicious ripe cheeses and a green salad.

Sunday 11 10

Walnut Tart
This sinful rich tart full of vitamins will feed 8 easily. Its a recipe I have tried and trusted for many years. Very easy and economical to prepare, it freezes well and can be served hot or cold...

Pâte feuilletée/flakey pastry ( I use Herta Trésor de Grand Mère)
1/2 cup apricot jam
250gr walnuts
250gr fine white sugar
4 eggs separated
3 tablespoons liquid cream
100gr butter softened
50ml cognac

Pre heat oven 180°

Line tart tin with pastry and brush on apricot jam. Set aside.

Throw walnuts into food processor and blend until fairly fine.

Beat egg yolks with sugar until pale and thick then stir in walnuts, cream and cognac.

Beat whites until peaked and fold delicately into walnut mixture. Spoon over pastry.

Cook 40 - 45mins.

Serve with whipped cream....

Friday 10 10

Visitors we love leave and we are all in need of major creamy comfort food and something to crunch down on.

Gorgonzola & Parsley Fettucini

Enough fresh fettucini for all

300gr gorgonzola

1cl liquid cream

100 gr butter

Bunch of flat leaf parsley chopped roughly

Lemon zest


Put gorgonzola, cream and butter together in a pot over a low flame. Stir until melted and smooth..

Cook fettucini and drain.

Pour sauce over pasta, add chopped parsley, lemon zest and serve.

Green Crunch Salad for 4, 5, 6

1 large avocado

3 sticks celery

1 granny smith apple

1 firm cucumber

Lemon juice

Olive oil

1/2 cup fresh walnuts, chopped and toasted

Method :

Roughly chop everything. Throw everything into a beautiful glass bowl, toss and serve.

Good with pasta....

Wednesday 7 10
Sometimes we just need something light and sweet to mark an event. Here's my favourite Pavlova recipe. Its simple to create, creamy, full of berries and there will be no leftovers...

Susie's Berry Pavlova

2 cups white sugar/fine grain
6 egg whites
teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cornflour
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1/2 cup strawberry jam homemade if you are a goddess like moi
3 cups whole raspberries frozen are fine
4cl whipping cream, whipped Fleurette is good if you are in France


Preheat oven to 190°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper/silicone baking sheet ( goddess material!)

Whip egg whites until they peak, slowly add sugar and continue beating for about 10 mins. The mixture should be think and glossy. Beat in cornflour, salt and vinegar.

Throw large dollops of the mixture onto baking tray to form a circle ( or whatever shape you feel like). Do not flatten.

Bake at 190° for about 5 mins and then turn oven down to 130°. Leave at 130° for 1 hour. When the hour is up simply turn off oven and let it cool in the oven.

Just before serving cover in dollops of strawberry jam, throw on the whipped cream , scatter the raspberries.

Friday 2 10
As promised my pesto recipes. They are rather personal so add or delete oil depending on desired "wetness" or texture.

Susie's Parsley and Walnut Pesto

2 large bunches of flat leaf parsley
1 cup freshly shelled walnuts ( better and cheaper than ready shelled!)
2 tablespoons walnut oil
1 teaspoon sea salt

Throw all ingredients into food processor and pulse until mixture is desired texture. Some like it chunky others fine.

Jar and freeze. Lasts about 6 months in freezer. Use immediately and lasts in fridge for about 2 weeks.

*Excellent to use in salad dressings with autumn lettuces such as endive.
*I also use it with fresh pasta and add either low fat cream or very high fat creme fraiche.
*Very good smeared on top of fresh cod and oven baked...mmm!
*Serve as a condiment with raw veg and a glass of chardonnay.
* For a change replace half a bunch of parsley with a half bunch of mint.

Susie's Basil and Pinenut Pesto

2 bunches fresh basil
2/3 cup pinenuts, pan roasted in oven until golden
1/3 cup parmesan
2 tablespoons virgin (like me!!) olive oil

Method, as above.

Thursday 1 10

Will now try to use the most of my veg basket ...and what's in fridge. A 10.5 hour teaching day and not up to much. We had fruit and creme caramel from Bio Chartrons for to bed!!

Tomato Home-Tapenade Poached Chicken Easy Tart

Flakey Pastry

Handful black greek olives pitted

Branch of fresh basil

1 large/enormous organic beefsteak tomato

1 tablespoon creme fraiche

1 tablespoon good olive oil

large celery leaf

generous glass dry white wine

knob butter

Put knob of butter into pan, throw in chicken breast....brown then add glass of wine and celery leaf, cover and leave simmer for 30 mins on very very low flame...poach, in other words.

Lay out pastry flat on a baking dish.

In food processor pulse olives and basil with a tablespoon of olive oil.

Slice tomato finely.

Put pulsed olive mixture over pastry, add tomato and a drizzle of olive oil and pop in oven preheated to 180°. Cook 25 mins. Then take out and spread spoon of creme fraiche over top. Turn off over and replace tart inside to stay warm.

Take chicken off heat and dice....take tart out of oven and sprinkle chicken and cooking juices over top.

Serve with green salad...MMMMMMMm, easy!!

Wednesday 30 10

Manic day, dealing with technical probs, freebox technicians, france telecom, broken washing machine, professional obligations...did I mention the household, children, meals etc. I need COMFORT FOOD, creamy chicken and saffron risotto served with steamed asparagus and a glass ( or 2!) of good Bordeaux. Easy, rapid, low cost and delicious....this is dedicated to Laurene, a "mother".

Susie's Comfort Risotto

2 cups arborio rice ( the real stuff from Italy not supermarket goes further!!!!! I buy mine from the italian epicerie on Cours Portal or La Bocca, rue Notre Dame)

5 cups chicken/vegetable stock ( you can buy orgasmic italien porcini mushroom stock from the italian epicerie on Cours Portal : always check salt content in stocks, many of the industrial ones contain msg)

1 cup dry white wine (remember the result is as good as the wine!!)

2 large chicken breasts, boned, and diced ( I'll be off to my favourite foodie shop in Bordeaux for this Gastronomie de Pyrennees, Cours Portal ...recipe doesn't call for a huge quantity and quality counts when feeding my family. Go and see

2 large red onions, diced

tomato puree or small can tomato concentrate

handful of grilled cherry tomatoes


saffron thread

3 tablespoons creme fraiche

shaved fresh parmesan to serve


Heat olive oil and a good knob of butter, throw in onion and cook until soft and golden. Throw in diced chicken breast...remember if you want it golden, dry it first ( thank you Julia Child!!).

Throw in rice and toss around mixture with gay abandon, this is your "creative" moment of the day, enjoy it!! Pour in stock, wine and tomato concentrate. Add saffron thread.

Leave to bubble gently, turning constantly so rice does not stick. If it sticks try a teaspoon of cold water, this usually works. Don't over stir otherwise result will be savoury porridge.

When rice is cooked and liquid absorbed ( never too dry) fold in some pesto and the creme fraiche. Serve immediately with cherry tomatoes, grilled until they burst, and parmesan shavings. I serve this in enormous white porcelain salad bowls( 1 per person!) which I bought " for a song" at Ikea.

Give the clan a daily chlorophyl dose with a side dish of freshly steamed asparagus. If you can't find fresh go see Picard....

Enjoy, relax....

Tuesday 29 09
First major day back at work. Great wine business students but came home drained feeling like I could do with a bit of the wine myself. Hence easy meal.

Truc - Leftovers are my favourite gadget...given the current financial climate they should be yours too!!

Pat's Basil and Corn Soup VF

( VF =vegetarian friendly)
My mother's easy corn soup recipe. Its a "dah" recipe which even your teenage sons who smell like hamsters could make.

1 large onion
1 large can of whole sweet corn
3cl of either vegetable or chicken stock
( ok make your own if you are a kitchen goddess or buy fab veg or stock cubes from Bio Chartrons boutique, or any other bio/organic shop, Knorr Chicken cubes are really good too. I will put a chicken stock recipe below for those of you who have the goddess in them)
handful of fresh large leaf basil
2cl milk
4 giant tablespoons creme fraiche
(it's "good" fat!! quote Mary)

Method :
Sauté chopped onion until golden. Add drained corn, leave simmer 5 mins ( meanwhile pour yourself a glass of chardonnay, you derserve it, you do two jobs, work and domestic executive).
Add basil, milk and creme fraiche. Simmer 10 mins, little simmer only not big bubbly simmer.
Take off heat. Mix, salt and pepper, serve.

Extras : You could add steamed baby asparagus spears, smoked lardons or even a little smoked fish on top. I usually just attack with a dash of Piment D'Espellette. I buy this always from the Pyrenee Epicierie and Butcher on Cours Portal, Gastonomie des Pyrenees, 12 Cours Portal. Always buy AOC piment d'espellete. Anything else is too fine and not in "petals" as it should be.

So, let them eat soup......add a nice green mesculin salad with a few cheeses. Dessert, what better than some seasonal fruit. Well that's great in theory....we are actually having leftover Raspberry Tiramisu. Recipe below.....

Susie's Raspberry and Lemon Zest Tiramisu
(I love Tiramisu...unpretentious as I am( ha ha!!) I can actually admit it reminds me of childhood trifle but better..)

1 packet "boudoir" biscuits
1 box marscapone
zest of one lemon
punnet of fresh raspberries ( or go to Picard for frozen ones!!)
2 cups expresso
2 eggs separated
5 tablespoons fine sugar
1 sachet vanilla sugar

Method :
Separate eggs, beat whites until they "peak". Mix yolks, sugars with marscapone then fold in yolks. Set aside.

Dip biscuits into expresso and line dish bottom with them. Add half your raspberries then half marscapone mix. Do that again on top....sprinkle final layer with zest. Pop in fridge.

Chicken Stock GO
(GO = Goddesses only!)

6 chicken drumsticks
2 carrots
1 large golden onion
1 stick celery
a few bay leaves
some lemon tyme branches

Put all into an enormous pot and cover with water up to one third more than volume. Boil and boil until its reduced to half. Either take chicken off bones and set aside for a pasta sauce ( for example) or simply drain and then wizz up what's left over ( obviously not the bones!!) in food processor. My mother used to leave it out overnight then drain and keep just the juices....she would add freshly chopped celery and carrots, barley, the chicken which as she said " just falls off the bone" and this would become the best best chicken soup.

I put the stock into ice trays, cover and keep in the freezer. Practical and cheap!!