Après Ski Party, Colorado Style

Every winter, my daughter, the once-competitive-but-now-just-obsessed snowboarder, goes nuts waiting for that first major snowfall. Like so many others in Colorado, she lives for ski season and waits excitedly to see which resort will open first. I used to ski quite a bit, but now, with my knees a little worn and torn, I must admit: I’m much more into the après ski party than the actual skiing itself.

If you’re preparing après ski fare, there are just three rules I think you should follow. The food should be warm—especially if your crowd is coming in from one of those biting, windy days in the high country. It should be filling—skiing burns a lot of calories, and most people show up hungry after a day on the slopes. And it should be easy to make ahead of time—you want to enjoy the day of skiing with your gang instead of spending it in the kitchen.

This menu hits the mark on all fronts: it’s warm, filling and easily prepped the day before. Serve these dishes with a big green salad and dessert of your choice for the perfect après ski feast.

Double Stuffed Potato Bites
Yields 50 appetizers

Make these tasty snacks the day before and store them on a baking sheet in the refrigerator, ready to pop into the oven when the crowd returns from the slopes. 

Chipotle Bison Chili with Lime Crema
Serves 12

Chili is always better when it’s reheated, giving the flavors a chance to really meld together, so make this the day before and heat it up when you’re ready to serve dinner. You can also prep toppings the day before—just be sure to slice up the avocado at the last minute so it doesn’t turn brown.

Oven-Roasted Polenta with Green Chiles
Serves 12

For a break from traditional cornbread, try these hearty roasted polenta squares. Make the polenta the day before then roast the squares right before serving.

About the author: Michele Morris leads cooking dinner parties and teaches private and group cooking classes for both kids and adults. For more great recipes, cooking tips, and resources, visit her website, cookingwithmichele.com.

Categories: Entertaining, Recipes