stroms en suisse alpine tour, part 2

We spent the morning ice skating in Interlaken, my first time on hockey skates (much more comfortable) before continuing our trip to the Lauterbrunnen valley. After check-in at the Hotel Oberland, we wandered down a winter hiking trail along the valley floor with mountains all around. Lauterbrunnen is famous for its 72 waterfalls plummeting from steep cliff faces.

Our quiet walk ended back in town just in time to catch the New Years choir of bells from the church:

Happy New Year!


stroms en suisse alpine tour, part 1

We left Thoiry early Monday morning with a two hour wait and quick walking tour of Bern before continuing on to Unterseen near Interlaken.

We spent some time wandering around in the valley and relaxing the rest of the afternoon to be ready for our first day of snowshoeing. Tuesday. We took a train and then cable car up to First (2168 m) and snowshoed back down to Grindelwald (1050 m) in time for dinner.

Wednesday morning brought a bit of rain while we were walking to Brienzer See. We made it as far as the town of Ringgenberg and explored the church/castle by the lake to get out of the rain a bit.

The sun came out in the afternoon for some more wandering once we dried off.


joyeux noel

Joyeux Noel! Merry Christmas!

We had a fun day here with sunshine and lots of holiday goodies  Our gifts were gathered from France, Switzerland, Sweden, and some comforts from back home in the US.  Derek, Tyler and I each got snowshoes for our trip to the Alps next week.

I made vegan cinnamon rolls for breakfast with mint mochas. After a a morning of gifts and chatting with good friends and family, we joined new friends in Sergy for a Christmas feast and walked home again under the stars.


easy vegan torte

This torte is really easy and has a great texture. 

-1 cup couscous
-1 cup sugar
-1/4 cup cocoa
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-2-1/2 cups water
-2/3 c ground almonds (pecans or other nuts would also be good)

top layer*
-1/4 cup sugar
-2 tablespoons cornstarch (I used farin de mais, more like a corn meal - translation error - but it worked and not so starchy textured)
-2+ tablespoons cocoa
-1 cup soymilk  (I like vanilla soymilk-it's sweeter)

1. Mix the couscous, 1 cup sugar, cocoa, salt, and water in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium heat until thickened, about 7 minutes. Pour into a 7” - 9" springform pan and cover with ground almonds.
2. In a medium saucepan, stir the remaining sugar, cornstarch, cocoa, and soymilk together and wisk until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until very thick (like pudding). Spread evenly over the top of the cake.
3. Refrigerate until the cake is set, at least 3 hours, before serving. (don't forget to loosen pan sides before opening the spring).

*The top layer is yummy, so doubling it would work if using a 9" pan. I also drizzled a raspberry glaze over the top when serving.


happy 30th derek!

Yeah, birthday sunshine. It is rare that we don't have rain, so this sunshine was a great birthday treat. After internet installation (big YEAH), cookies and singing from our neighbor, and a pancake breakfast, we started out for a long birthday hike to Cret de le Niege, the hight peak in the Jura.

Blue sky, great views of the Alps, and snow!

After six hours of hiking, we were pretty hungry, and home to make a lasagna dinner just at the very last bit of daylight. So we celebrated with a completely vegan/organic dinner and chocolate cake, and champagne. It took a little work, but we even got all 30 candles lit.