Ski areas for non-skiers: ski and apres ski, why we should go and what we should wear

Skiers around the world are getting excited when the weather is getting colder: they smell snow and ski. Other normal and adequate adults tend to spend a bit less time outdoors. Even avid runners, when the temperature strikes minus in Fahrenheit, prefer to take a day off. This year I cannot ski, so spending some time in the ski area as a non-skier led me to several points:

First, it is a great way to enjoy winter because in the ski area cold feels differently than in the office setting, so grab your coffee and go for a walk.

Second, this keeps your kids healthy and happy as this is one of very few reasons to get them out of house and iPads in a cold weather – they have fun, they get stronger and also they eat and sleep better.

Third, the sun exposure and its reflection by snow boosts the mood for days and weeks after. Isn’t this the best way to deal with season depression that many people experience?

Forth, this is a great opportunity to hang with friends and to meet new people. Even if I am alone spending hours while waiting for my daughter, I meet people and chat.

Fifth, après ski is something to enjoy and the fact that you spend so much time outdoors qualifies your body for this pleasure.

What to wear? Dress up in layers. Ski jackets and snow pants work great but I also like sheer coat with ski pants and turtleneck or thick sweaters. Fun hats are always fun. Remember to take sunglasses  – it can be a lot of sun.

Live your life full even in winter. Happy New Year!


Quick tips for chic brunch

Having party guests overnight, inviting friends or simply wishing to enjoy your weekend morning, brunch is something to consider. Having brunch is not an old tradition: it began in England in 19th century. This is one of the easiest ways to enjoy weekend meals and socialize. Here are my quick tips for how to make brunch at home.  Quick is important: for various reasons we tend to sleep longer on weekends and therefore wake up hungry.

  1. Alcohol drinks. To minimize thinking and creativity time, keep some sort of sparkling wine at home (Spanish Cava of Italian Prosecco are one of the best options). I would not go for expensive Champagne, especially if you are going to add juice.  If you have kids, most likely you already have juice or lemonade: any of these will work for mimosa cocktail. But straight sparkling wine will do too.  Just in case you do not have it. Use a tea spoon of liquor (for example, amaretto) or cognac to flavor coffee.
  2. Coffee. I love French press – quick and looks cozy on the table. Can make good coffee with no coffee machine. Occasionally, although this  is not a widely used brunch drink, I do turkish coffee (sold online and in asian stores. Brand Mehmet Kahveci works well and is used by turks as well, which is a good sign). Just in case you do not have it.   I can`t believe you do not have it. Sure black tea works too. You can also  cook it on slow heat with milk, cardamon and sugar.
  3. Pastry. Long time ago I was trying to bake my own croissants. Never worked ( not to mention that this is not the best exercise one wants to do Sunday morning), until I learned that my french friend keeps frozen croissants from Trader Joys in her freezer. Bake them for 10 min and give the dough chance to rise overnight. Delicious.  Just in case you do not have it. Crepes take a bit of time ( 20 min) but can be served with honey, syrup, smocked fish, mushrooms, sour cream, caviar – anything ( use flour, milk, egg, and olive oil to make a sour cream consistency liquid. Pour to cover preheated frying pan, flip on the other side in one minute – done. I usually do 3-4 per person). Bread and butter will do too (sliced bread with butter can be quickly baked in the oven with garlic and herbs and served as bruschetta with tomatoes and basil).
  4. Fruits. Strawberries, blueberries, mango, raspberries.. you name it. Fruits are healthy and refreshing. Add one to flute with sparkling wine too. Just in case you do not have it.  Use confiture and honey.
  5. Eggs. How to cook them depends on your guests preferences or on what else you  have at home. For example, boiled eggs go well with smocked salmon (halve them and put slices of salmon on top), while scrambled can be done with goat cheese ( add goat cheese to butter for a nice flavor). Omelettes can be paired with arugula salad. Benedict eggs are just great. Just in case you do not have it. Rare, but happens. Fry sliced in circles potatoes and beacon. Alternatively,  serve cured meats or liver pate (Trader Joys has nice one with truffles or fry chicken liver with onions and mash it – serve with fig , cranberry or raspberry confiture).
  6. Veggies. Cucumbers and avocados are great. Just slice them. Just in case you do not have it. Olives and feta cheese can do the trick.

Enjoy your weekend!