It is the time of year we grab our parkas, gloves, goggles, and ski hats and escape to the mountains either for a few runs, or long a weekend. After a day on the slopes it is not uncommon to hear, “This is one of the best beers I have ever had.” Or, “These nachos are really hitting the spot now.” There is something about a hard but fun day on the mountain that makes everything better afterwards. Many ski areas have a slew of busy pubs and lodges with an après ski offering. If you really want to kick off your ski boots and warm your toes by the fire we suggest hosting your own intimate après ski at your rental, condo, or even at home.
Keep the food hot and familiar. In Europe, après ski food typically includes warm snacks and beers. For this approach, we like the idea of friends gathering around a fondue pot, dipping winter vegetables and hearty breads. Also shrunken comfort foods, like mini chicken potpies, or small servings of tomato soup in mugs with baby grilled cheese sandwiches are all wonderful warm-up foods!
For stick-to-your-bones meals, set a Crock Pot before first tracks to cook cold weather favorites, like beef stew, or chicken cacciatore. For a really simple shortcut, serve carb-heavy foods like spaghetti and meatballs to keep energy for the weekend.
Straightforward desserts are best for cold-weather après ski meals. Brownies hot out of the oven, apple caramel bars, hot fudge sundaes, or, if you are lucky enough to have fire, make indoor s’mores!
Colorado is known for our many craft beers, which are perfect for après ski hangs. A few of our favorites are the heavier Oatmeal Stout from Breckenridge Brewery, the flavorfully spiced Juju Ginger from Left Hand Brewery, and Boulder Beer Company’s standard Never Summer Ale. Sparkling wine and spiked apple cider or hot cocoas are also ideal for fireside sipping.
Other Foods for the Hills
Breakfast is important when heading out for an athletic day. Before skiing, food should be thought of as fuel. But that does not mean it can’t be good too! Pull together a quick vegetable frittata, or pack homemade granola and have with Greek yogurt and fruit for sustained energy to keep you on the lifts and down the hills until lunch.
With ski resorts charging astronomical prices for mediocre burgers and frozen fries it’s easy to see why many resort goers chose to bring their own lunch. Bagged lunches have the tendency to be boring and child-like so we suggest bringing a lunch with adult tastes. Make hearty sandwiches like turkey with bacon and avocado, pulled pork sandwiches, or salami, mozzarella, and tomato. Try a hot wrap with seasoned black beans, rice, and cheese in a tortilla for a warm healthy burrito (most resort cafeterias have microwave for public use.) Or bring along leftovers from the Crock Pot you had going the night before.
Most importantly, stay warm, well fed, and have fun on the slopes!