After a very promising start to the winter, it seems to have petered out into warm-ish gray days and the snow is all long gone. It's hard to find things to do around Munich when the winter decides to drag out the 'in-between' weather. The die-hard skiers and boarders still head to the slushy, bare slopes. The die-hard cyclists have pulled out the bikes and some of my Sunday cycling crew are out on a trip today. But neither are for me. I'm a fair-weather skier and a fair-weather cyclist. This weather just isn't fair.

Last weekend, I used up the one activity that is always great for this in-between weather. The Saffa and I headed to Austria for a wellness weekend. The concept is fabulous and I try to do it once every winter. You head to a nearby resort, preferably somewhere quaint and kitschy with lots of wood and antlers and a fireplace or two. Book a massage or a facial, then head to the sauna, the pool or the sun lounge to relax even more. Meal are typically included and very nice - a huge buffet breakfast and dinner typically a 4 or 5 course meal. Bring a good book and the camera and it's a perfect weekend getaway.

On Sunday we hiked a few kilometers up a wide trail in the mountains to a nice (and very busy!) hut for lunch and then rented a couple of sleds to fly down the mountain. There was (barely) enough snow/slush left for the run but I don't think anyone can do it without feeling like a giggling child again. Wheeeee!!

So, big idea for in-between weather exhausted and now it's another weekend at home in Munich. After tidying up the house and running a few errands, I decided I felt like another baking experiment. Oooh, did this one turn out delicious!

I decided to make a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. I couldn't find cake pans in approximately the right size so ended up buying two small springform pans. This resulted in a rather tall cake and I had to bake for longer than expected but no harm to the result. I used this recipe from Joy of Baking and only made one changed. I like my carrot cake with raisins, so added 3/4 cup raisins to the carrots and walnuts before folding into the batter. The frosting called for a teaspoon of lemon zest, which I would normally have skipped but I added it this time and the citrus flavor perfects the pairing of the frosting and cake. This carrot cake is light and fluffy, very moist and full of flavor!

Posted from Munich


Expats Again said...

Your cake looks fabulous! Would you mind sharing the name and address of the Austrian Wellness Spa? I live in Munich too and would love to do this, especially when the weather is still chilly.

Michelle said...

Hey, Sure - we went to a hotel/spa called Juffing in Hinterthiersee. They had a nice restaurant and the pool and the sauna were good. I had a massage that was ok, but I would say I have had much better elsewhere. All in all, nice, friendly and a little bit of skiing (downhill and a lot of cross country) and sledding are available in the area, although we only went for the sledding. Enjoy!

Expat Traveler said...

Oh yes that cake looks wonderful!!! And your trip, well it sounds amazing... We used to head to the indoor pools on crappy weather days. There are so many around Switzerland. As well, I'm always ready for a hike or just going into a new town near by to explore.. But as long as I'm outside, I'm happy..

Hope you can find some more fun things you enjoy!

lobstah said...

Weird, I made carrot cake this week too!