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Serious Entertaining: A Pre-Ski Breakfast

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[Photographs: Carrie Vasios]

People love to après-ski and it's not hard to understand why. To be honest, it's so relaxing to sit before a fire, hot drink or snack in hand, that sometimes I wish we could cut straight to the après part of skiing.

But what about breakfast? It's an important meal to think about on any day, but especially one that may include strenuous exercise, inclement weather, and overpriced or inedible lodge food. This Pre-Ski Breakfast menu is tasty and hearty, ensuring you'll have more than enough energy to make it until cocktails.

As we reach Spring Break and the final weeks of the ski season, you'll want to spend as much time as possible on the slopes. Luckily much of this breakfast can be made ahead, making it possible to be well fed and the first one on the lifts. In fact these breakfast recipes are perfect for anyone with house guests. So take a look, even if you're headed to Tampa instead of Tahoe.

Cheddar Scones with Chive Butter

If you like savory food in the morning, you'll love these super cheesy cheddar scones. Though admittedly rather large (er, you'll burn up those calories on the first run, I promise!) they stay incredibly flaky and light. A generous dose of grated cheddar ensures pockets of gooey cheese and a sharp, salty bite. Serve these scones warm with a little chive butter for an added layer of flavor.

Do ahead: You can make these scones up to a week in advance. Keep them in the freezer then bake them off in the morning.

Hearty Ski Granola

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Hearty, nutty and only slightly sweet, this is ten times better than any store-bought granola. You can use any blend of dried fruit and nuts that you like, though I think that hazelnuts, almonds, golden raisins, and dried cranberries make a heavenly combination. Pack the extra granola in small jars for your guests to take home.

Do ahead: This granola can be made up to a month in advance and stored in an airtight container.

Soft and Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies

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Can a cookie be soft and crunchy? Yes, if you add whole peanuts to a moist base cookie with a soft, cake-like crumb. This version of a traditional peanut butter cross cookie is a nut lover's dream: The combination of whole peanuts and crunchy peanut butter produces a rich, concentrated peanut flavor. Give your friends small packs of cookies to help sustain them on the slopes.

Do ahead: These cookies will stay for three to five days packed in an airtight container.

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