May 28, 2012

Girl's nights, summer breezes and's kind of a funny story!

I had my beloved friend Aryan here visiting me from Sweden this weekend....a great choice in terms of timing as the weather was really amazingly beautiful!! We've been getting lots of sun on our noses, dipping our feet in the lake, eating lots of good food, enjoyed quite a few ice creams, breakfasts, popcorn and numerous episodes of Cougar Town (seriously girls!! Watch it!! ;)), accompanied by plenty of laugh-out-louds ;))
The view from half-way down Mont-sur-Rolle
Ary and I made a stop at a Gelateria in Rolle and enjoyed it by the lake. 
Swans, flying in....
.....and then landing on the water right in front of us.
Our Saturday BBQ:
Tiger Shrimps, Scallops and Asparagus served with a Saffron Couscous Salad, Roasted Garlic and Avocado...yummy!!
OMG!!! We tried putting Gruyere Double Cream and Fresh Blueberries on top of the classical Swiss bread Butterzopf and I swear it is DIVINE!!!! Not sure I can ever go back to butter, cheese or jam.....hehe!
Refreshing feet dipping in Lac Leman.....
Me, 20 week's pregnant! Half way there!!

A new breakfast favorite!! A delicious yoghurt from Mövenpick =p
The thing about Aryan and I is that we always, ALWAYS, end up in the funniest situations together (here, one of the occasions I previously blogged about: ;)). Probably because honestly, we are both a bit.......well let's just call us spontaneous and perhaps a bit disorganized, shall we? ;)

Yesterday, we decided to go for a hike in the beautiful Vallee de Joux. To be more precise, to the Dent de Vaulion. A beautiful spot at 1483m's in the Swiss Jura mountains with a view of Lac de Joux. I had hiked up this route before, so in theory, I should have probably recognized the way to go. In reality, I simply didn't. I remembered it being something like 6 km's one way, which is a reasonable distance in my "condition" (20 week's pregnant), considering the hike up and the hot day we had chosen.
So, as any pregnant lady would do before heading into the wilderness, I prepared a picnic for us with amazingly yummy looking Tuna/Egg/Mayo Baguette's and a big bottle of mineral water and put the Baguette's in the refrigerator for cooling while we were getting dressed and getting our gear together.
Blossoming trees along the way....

One hour later,we had arrived at the parking spot and headed in (what we thought was) the right direction, full of energy, excited to get to the top and have our picnic. Around 15 minutes later, after a whole lot of gossiping and catching up, we found ourselves a bit insecure about which way to go as there were no signs and quite some options. We had a guy walking behind us so we asked him (who didn't speak a word of English) which way to go to the Vaulion. He told us to go straight.....we think......and so we did. Then we walked......and walked......and walked.......and walked a bit more.....and realizing we were a bit lost, we asked another kind lady for directions as there were still no signs anywhere and we had reached a dead end. She pointed us in the direction of the top. Most of this way, which was probably already 6km's, was flat and we had been walking in the shade of the forest the majority of the time, so we were still very fresh. 5 minutes later, we were starting to walk upwards in the hot and blazing sun and to keep our energy level high while the road was elevating, we started to fantasize about the picnic we would have at the top. We were considering turning back several times as we never seemed to reach that darned peak and the heat was almost unbearable!! But the thought of those Baguette's kept us going. 

1 hour later, we finally saw it, our destination!!! The TOP! We had now hiked for 15km's. By now our legs felt like led and the last 100 meters felt like a marathon, but we just knew it would be worth our efforts. Finally there, we chose a beautiful spot and started to make ourselves comfy for our picnic. Aryan, who was unpacking everything suddenly stares at me with a weird, kind of frightened look and says "Linda.......did you take the Baguette's out of the refrigerator??" and that's when we reached the ultimate anticlimax!!! We were about to have a picnic - with WATER being our only food!!!!
The view from the top
....a quite tired and hungry Aryan 
.....and an even more exhausted, preggers Linda.....
Honestly speaking, if it wasn't for the fact that we knew from previously passing it, that 100 meters down, there was a restaurant, I think we would have broken into tears......instead, we laughed ourselves to those tears, wondering how on earth it is possible for things like this to ALWAYS happen when we're together!! =)))))

So....Cheese Fondue instead of picnic....I guess it could be worse ;))
After enjoying the view for 15 minutes or so, we headed down to the restaurant and had a great dinner, Aryan had a Carbonara and I had a Cheese Fondue. Not sure how often you eat these kind of foods, but considering the amount amount of energy they contain, they make you surprisingly tired!! Anyhow, we knew we had to walk the 15 km's back as we didn't dare to walk any other way than the one we knew, we'd better get started.....

After walking downhill for about 5 minutes, I made a joke saying "Ha haaa! Maybe we should just hitchhike back??" and by the time I had finished the sentence, a car was coming and as if we were totally telepathically connected, both of our thumbs went up and 10 seconds later, we were in that car, intending to just hitch a ride down the steep part as our legs were so tired........but it was just too comfortable and before we knew it, we saw our car.
Yep! A weekend in typical Aryan/Linda fashion ;))


May 19, 2012

Saturday in photos

Amazing weekend so far...... One with no plans, no must-do's, just relaxation, good food and movies. Just what a pregnant lady needs ;))
Since I've had to stop running (honestly, it got too heavy and is not as enjoyable when you can't go your normal pace), I am going for walks as often as possible. Walks in this area are more like hikes though as wherever you go, you can count on some serious climbs!

Currently, I am in love with life, with nature, with spring, with the world and obviously with Chris and our little "bump" ;)) Besides some of the pregnancy cramps that seem unavoidable, I am enjoying every second.....every breath....and it's with such an incredible excitement that I look upon and envision our future.

Some snapshots from today.....
The little brook is flowing with melted mountain water is now filled with tadpoles =))
Face a'la naturelle, as it should be in spring in the country side ;))
I found a large, four-leafed clover!
.....the weather had problems to make up its mind today! For a while, it looked as if the storm was coming.
I made dinner..... 
Oven baked Salmon & Cherry Tomatoes, served with Chive topped Potatoes, Butter & Lemon fried Asparagus and accompanied by a Basil and Lemon Pesto Sauce. Yummy!
Now hoping to end this great day with popcorn, the movie "Contraband" and hopefully also a new episode of "Person of interest" that we recently started to watch and have become quite addicted to! If you need a new series to watch, one filled with action. I would recommend this one for sure! It grows on ya ;)
We started to watch "Alcatraz" after all the hype, but truthfully and personally, I didn't find it that good or appealing at all.... Here the teaser trailer for "Person of interest":

What are you up to?
Wishing you all a lovely Saturday 


May 15, 2012

Photo blog: A world so beautiful

I somehow find it so immensely sad that so many people fail to see how much beauty is all around us. Especially when all we have to do is to stop for a few seconds, a minute at the max, and just soak it all in. The photos below were captured in the matter of minutes. It's really all it takes.....
A fragile dandelion, reaching for the sun......

A spring meadow, illuminated, as the sun begins to set...... 
A spring evening sunset, so strong and spectacular.....
A rapeseed field, stretching on for miles.....
The moment we start finding happiness in the small things life has to offer, is the moment we can truly start enjoying it......


May 13, 2012

Chris's Vegetarian Thai Curry

After several requests, here it is, the recipe of Chris's veggie thai curry that I'm always drewling over and posting pictures of on Instagram..... Written by Chris.

cup of basmati or jasmine rice
1 tablespoon of butter or indian plant butter (you will find it in an Asia food store)
1 teaspoon of salt

Rinse the rice in a strainer. Fry the butter, salt and the rice in a pan until it is shiny. Add 1-1.5 cups of water. Put the lid on the pan and wait until the mixture boils, as soon as it boils, switch off the stove and leave the pan on the hot plate for about 15 minutes.

Vegetarian Thai Curry
Ingredients (3-4 people): 
2 tablespoons of butter or indian plant butter
1-2 tablespoon of sesame oil (if you like the taste, otherwise use normal oil)
1 tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of Curry paste (I use Mae Ploy and I found it quite spicy, if you use something else try and add more curry paste to enhance the taste, if you like it)
1-1.5 tablespoons of fish sauce
1 stick of lemongrass
Veggies (potatoes, pumpkin, aubegine, thai-aubergine, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, etc)
Sweet (Thai) basil (some prefer Lemon- or Orange-Leaves)
1 pack or can of coconut milk (about 0.5 liters)

Prepare all the veggies and ingredients first, cut the lemon grass into pieces and open the pack or can with coconut milk. Put the butter into a frying pan and heat it up. Add the curry paste and the lemon grass and fry it good. Then add the coconut milk and the same amount of water (you can flush out the pack or can which contained the coconut milk). 

Add the hard veggies first (potatoes, pumpkin, zucchini, etc.). Add the salt, sugar, fish sauce and sesame oil. At this point you can also try and vary with different other asian sauces such as Hoisin sauce, Oyster sauce, Pad Thais sauce or the like (TRY THE CURRY AFTER EACH SAUCE-SHOT, SOME OF THE SAUCES ARE  REALLY STRONG AND CAN DESTROY THE TASTE). Add the thai basil leaves. About 2-3 minutes before you serve the Curry, add the soft veggies (cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, etc.). 
Serve the Curry with some fresh Coriander leaves on top.

I normally start the "Mise en place" then I make the rice and then I cook the Curry, which takes about 10-15 minutes, so the rice is ready when the Curry is done :).

Enjoy and let me know how to improve the taste :). 


Hiking the Creux du Van

This weekend, we have had the pleasure of having Chris's parents visiting us.
On Sunday morning, with beautiful sunshine outside our window and a big breakfast in our bellies, we headed towards Neuchâtel to hike up to and in the surroundings of Creux du Van, an amphitheatre-shaped, 150 meters high and 1400 meters wide rock wall. A beautiful and quite spectacular hike, but unfortunately for us, that sunshine that we saw outside in the morning did not choose to follow us up the mountain. Instead, once we reached the wall, it was freezing cold and very very windy, making it quite difficult to fully enjoy the glorious views this destination has to offer (not to mention that the fingers almost froze when trying to take pictures). Also for me, with my ridiculous fear of heights, I was never daring to step so close to the edge ;))
Even so, we had a beautiful day with a 10km hike containing a 350 meters climb that took roughly 2 hours excluding our break for hot chocolate and Blackberry pie. Highly recommended, but probably better to go in June when it's a bit warmer.

Below some photos:


May 2, 2012

Weird baby thought of the day.....

Obviously, most of my thoughts right now are filled with excitement and bliss about our little growing baby....those are so obvious and they are things you hear about all the time, right? Then there are these other things on my mind....things that are.....well let's call them "concerns", shall we?

I recently read an extensive article about how to bathe your new born baby! Quite an important lesson I guessed and I wanted to read it to make myself more prepared and less nervous. Instead, I found out that "Yes, you should wash your baby with some kind of baby friendly soap, but be careful as your baby can become extremely slippery"! Now I have nightmares about washing our baby and while doing so, it constantly slips out of my hands. A bit like a wet soap and when you squeeze it between your hands, it kind of takes off? Know what I mean?

Helpful reading? Eeeeehhhhh........I would more call it reading that makes you think "H.E.L.P!"


May 1, 2012

The weekend Tanja & Therese came to "town"

Imagine that it’s Friday afternoon………the sun is shining on your face….you have a massive wooden box filled with ripe, red, Spanish Strawberries in the back of your car that you plan to serve for dessert and the awareness that in just a few hours, you will be picking up two of your very dearest friends, that you have not seen in nearly a year, at the airport. 
That was how my weekend started!!!

We had 3 great days together filled with an unimaginable amount of crazy jokes and laughter and equal amounts of food and cheese ;)
We didn’t do that much. It was not really needed…….we were just catching up on old memories and making new ones and also enjoying the beautiful surroundings of Essertines.

Oh and I’m actually lying!! It was 3 friends, not two! I almost forgot to mention Eric Flat who of course also joined (he lives with Therese). You’ll see him in some of the photos below, enjoying the Swiss country side for the first time ;)))
It was a beautiful evening in Essertines!

I prepared some healthy snacks.....
Who am I kidding?? Snacks and CHEESE of course!!
....I made American Pancakes for breakfast
....for a whole army ;)
Saturday afternoon was spent in Geneva
Eric, enjoying the silence under a harmony!
Am pretty sure I saw him shivering a bit in fear here....but in the end, they got along well, Eric and the Cows!
Some views from our Sunday walk around the village
Eric was surely enjoying the country side

.....and so did Therese and Tanja =)

Our village in spring =))
The view of Lake Geneva
Buttercups fully in bloom

Beautiful spring day!!
A "neighbor" has rabbits and we were allowed to go in to see them. How cute can something get??
It was hard to get Chris out of there in the end.....and even harder to say  no to bringing one of these home!!
I wish all days would be like these!! Thanks Tanja & Therese for such a lovely and FUN weekend!!! We enjoyed it so much =)))