“Check this out…I want to make this one tonight.”
“Can we have these for breakfast?”
And so it went. For about 100 miles, my oldest son and I oohed, aahed and exclaimed over the recipes in The Ski House Cookbook.
It was the week before Christmas 2010 and my husband was driving us on our annual holiday pilgrimage to Little Cottonwood Canyon (home of Snowbird and Alta). I received The Ski House Cookbook in the mail from Amazon and cracked it open somewhere along I-70 in the Utah desert.
By the time we got to Provo, my son and I had read it cover-to-cover. We dreamed of consuming nearly every dish in the book. We were definitely looking forward to our days of skiing and now we were actually looking forward to cooking as well.
Ski Moms Aren’t Always Kitchen Moms
Ordinarily, cooking after a day of skiing is something I do reluctantly. Why? Because while I love to eat delicious food, I would prefer that someone else cook so that I can sit ’round the fire with my family and relax after a day on snow together. Fat chance. Doesn’t happen. Instead, what often did happen (notice the past-tense), was that we’d eat pasta with sauce from a jar and a salad.
Green, Blue and Black…Recipes
Finding The Ski House Cookbook was a revelation. Throughout the ski season and into the summer and fall, this cookbook went everywhere we did. The recipes are rated easy to difficult by (you guessed it!) green circles, blue squares and black diamonds. Paging through the book’s pasta section, green recipes include Penne alla Vodka, Rigatoni with Sausage and Ricotta, and Pasta with Creamy Pumpkin Sauce. YUM! And the recipes truly are quick and easy.
Graduating to the blue recipes, one finds Hearty Lasagne, and Off-Piste Orecchiette with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe. And since pasta should be easy and delicious, there are no black recipes in this section.
In fact, the handful of black diamond recipes are true splurges: for example, Eggs Benedict with Chipotle Hollandaise, Croque Monsieur sandwiches, Classic French Onion Soup, and Roast Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine Shallot Reduction. And while each of these sounds fantastic, I haven’t made any of them. I stick to the easier recipes that taste fantastic and are, well, easy.
Here are some of our favorites: Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake, 15 Minute Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese, White Bean with Bacon Soup, Spicy Roasted Chickpeas, Spaghetti Carbonara, Buttery Tomato Sauce, and Blue Cheese-Stuffed Bacon Burgers. Again, YUM!
Delicious, Real Food
As you may have noticed, while each of these recipes sounds delicious, none of them sound extravagant or outlandish. The recipes in The Ski House Cookbook are real food for real skiers, of any age. The food is creative, but recognizable, so even picky kids won’t be put off.
The Ski House Cookbook does assume that your cooking skills go beyond opening cans and boxes, but nothing is so difficult, or requires so many utensils and tools, that you can’t make it in a condo. What can I say? We love this cookbook — not only during ski season, but year-round.
Quick Pains au Chocolat
This was the first recipe we tried. It is so good we have to “try” it frequently.
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (from 17.3 ounce package), thawed and cut into 8 squares (note from BSM: I find it easier to cut into 9 squares, but maybe that’s just me)
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 2 teaspoons water
1/2 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate or chocolate chips
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2 Brush one edge of a puff pastry square with the egg wash. Place 1 tablespoon chocolate on the opposite edge of the pastry square and roll the dough tightly toward the egg wash side. Press the edge with the egg wash into the dough to seal. Place the pastry roll, seam side down, on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining squares and chocolate.
3. Brush the tops of the pastry rolls with the remaining egg wash and sprinkle lightly with sugar. Bake until the pastries are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Copyright: The Ski House Cookbook. Reprinted with permission of the authors.
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