Let’s Go Ice Skating!

Who doesn’t love a little ice skating adventure? Some might be afraid to try it, but with this simple guide on how to ice-skate, we think you’ll be ready to give it a go before winter is over!

Skates

White ice skates on ice

Image: dfwhappenings.com

If it’s your first time ice-skating, it is important to get a good pair of skates. Many ice skating rinks rent by the hour or you can just purchase your own if you plan on going year-round to indoor rinks.

Tying Your Skates

An ice skate on a persons foot, showing how it should be tied

Image: icemom.blogspot.com

Make sure your skates are not too tight or your feet will become numb. On the other hand, if your skates are too loose, they will not provide the proper support for your ankles.

Warming Up

Many ice skating locations are outdoors or indoors if it’s not winter. Since it requires freezing temperatures to maintain the ice, the temperature can be fairly chilly and your muscles will probably be cold at the start. Before you get on the ice, it is wise to dress warmly. Don’t forget gloves. To warm up before getting on the ice, start with some bending and work your way up to some stretches. If you jump right into stretches, you might end up injuring yourself, so be cautious.

Skating Lessons

Ice skating lessons on a rink with adults

Image: www.expressandstar.com

There are many ice skating lessons that are offered at most rinks. You can take a few group lessons, which are available for all ages. Or, if you know an experienced skater, they can teach others how to skate!

Don’t Look Down!

Teenagers holding on to each other while ice skating outdoors

Image: imgarcade.com

It is recommended to keep looking up, rather than looking down at your feet to see where you are going. This will help you avoid bumping into other skaters on the ice.

Don’t Lean Backwards

If you are leaning backwards, you might end up falling down all the time. It’s best to keep your knees bent and your weight forward. Hold your arms out in front of you and open them wide to stay balanced.

Stopping

Woman showing how to stop on ice with skates on

Image: figureskating.about.com

This is the most important thing that you should know how to do! To stop, bend your knees, turn the toe of each skate inwards, point your heels out and push out on your heels. Doing this will slow you down and bring you to a stop.

Direction

Ice skating counter clockwise, black and white moving photo

Image: todaysdocument.tumblr.com

If you are ice-skating in a crowded location, it is important to follow the directional rule on the ice, either clockwise or vice-versa. If you skate the wrong way, you can hurt yourself and others.

Falling

Women falling while ice skating

Image: imgkid.com

It is normal to fall a good amount of times before you actually get the hang of ice-skating. Just remember to remain cautious at all times. If you’re still nervous about falling, you can wear knee, elbow or wrist pads and a helmet.

To find ice skating rinks or frozen lakes near you, download your state parks Pocket Ranger® app and search By Activity from our Explore feature!

Remember to check ice conditions on all lakes, ponds, etc. before heading out!

 Related articles

Get Outdoors! State Park Events This February

We’ve uncovered plenty of ways to get out in the state parks this February. Pull on that winter coat, hat and mittens, grab the family and friends, and head over to one of these great events.

Maine

Poster for the 2015 Great Maine Outdoor Weekend; one of our recommended state park events [Image: greatmaineoutdoorweekend.org]

Image: greatmaineoutdoorweekend.org

For one weekend this February, the entire state of Maine will be bursting with tons of incredible outdoor opportunities. The Great Maine Outdoor Weekend is a biannual event that’s all about getting everyone outside to enjoy all that Maine has to offer. From skiing to snowshoeing, sledding to ice fishing, and even unique events like a sauna steam bath in a cedar-lined, wood-fire sauna, there’s something for everyone. To encourage people to try new activities, all of the events are at an introductory-level and at little to no cost to participants. Free gear rentals are also included! We’re excited to try fat biking at the Winter Sporting Festival & Snowshoe Dance in Freeport and learn about owls on a moonlit snowshoe hike at the Center for Wildlife in York!

Georgia

Reenactors gather outside a colonial building at Wormsloe State Park in Georgia [Image: gastateparks.org]

Wormsloe Colonial Life Area [Image: gastateparks.org]

There are two rousing historical events at the Georgia State Parks this February that you should definitely check out. The Colonial Faire & Muster at Wormsloe Historic Site will present visitors with a flashback of Sutler’s Row, a military encampment found at the site in the 18th century. All weekend long, there will be craft demonstrations, military demonstrations, and period music and dance. The faire will also feature woodworking, blacksmithing, colonial cooking, and cricket. If you’re looking for competition, enter the First Annual Colonial Cook-Off at Fort King George Historic Site. Research a historical recipe for soup, bread, meat, vegetable, or pie/cobbler, and cook it for the judges to win.

South Dakota

After battling back from the brink of extinction, the bald eagle is now at a healthy population across the lower 48 states. At Eagles & Bagels Walk in the Park, learn more about the bald eagles that reside at Oahe Downstream Recreation Area. On this one-and-a-half mile guided walk, park rangers will take participants to eagle habitat to observe the birds. Besides sharing interesting information about bald eagles, the rangers also have great tips for the best ways to view and photograph the raptors. Afterwards, discuss your eagle sightings while warming up at the group lodge over a hot coffee and bagels.

Bald eagles perched in tree in winter [Image: www.fws.gov]

Image: www.fws.gov

If you’re looking for a way to get the whole family outdoors, head to Custer State Park for a day on the ice! Through the Family Ice Fishing Program, learn the basics of ice fishing, ice safety, and how to identify fish species. Plus fishing gear, such as poles, bait and tackle are provided free of charge! The park has four mountainous lakes that hold northern pike, largemouth and smallmouth bass, and many species of trout. Any fish that you bring home for supper, make sure to cook up into something special.

Washington

A verdant old growth forest at Rockport State Park in Washington [Image: adventureawaits.com]

Lose yourself in the beauty of the old growth forest at Rockport State Park [Image: adventureawaits.com]

Explore the woods on one of Rockport State Park’s Guided Deep Forest Hikes this February. Tour the rare, old growth forest of ancient cedars, firs, hemlocks and maples that make up the 670-acre park. This ancient forest has never been logged, making it a rarity with a fully intact ecosystem. Some Douglas firs at the park are 250 feet tall and over 300 years old! The park is at the base of Sauk Mountain, which offers outstanding views of the North Cascades.

Louisiana

In honor of Black History Month, visit Rosedown Plantation State Historic Site for their Enslaved Life at Rosedown program. During the plantation’s peak years of cotton production, there were as many as 450 slaves at Rosedown. Visitors will learn about the history of African-American enslavement as well as the lives of the slaves kept at Rosedown. There will also be a tour of the plantation grounds, including its many outbuildings, home sites, work areas, gardens and fields. In addition to the tour, Rosedown Plantation Historic Site has curated an exhibit showcasing the lives and accomplishments of African-Americans throughout history. This exhibit features notable historical figures, such as scientist George Washington Carver, composer Scott Joplin, actress Hattie McDaniel, and more.

A reenactor cook dinner over an open fire using bushcraft techniques [Image: www.techetoday.com]

Learn bushcraft this February! [Image: www.techetoday.com]

Walk in the footsteps of the Native Americans and early pioneers at Longfellow-Evangeline State Historic Site’s Bushcraft event. Learn practical skills, like fire-building, tanning, and camp cooking through engaging, hands-on demonstrations. The park was once the hunting grounds of the Atakapa Indians, but through a royal French land grant, became a cattle ranch. Later, influenced by Creole and Caribbean influences, the site was also used to farm indigo, cotton and sugarcane.

Attend any of these events? Share your photos with us on Instagram!

Homemade Fire Starters for Your Camping Trip

Contributed by Katie Levy, Adventure-Inspired

On a recent winter camping, two of my trip companions managed to get a fire started in the snow with only fallen, dead, wet branches and the kindling we could find around us. When the temperatures started dropping, I was incredibly grateful to have a warm blaze for us to gather around. It takes some serious skills to do what my trip mates did; location choice, careful planning, and a good foundation were key. But when you’re headed out camping, take a few of these tools to use as fire starters.

Winter campfire outdoors in snowy field [Image: www.notyouraverageordinary.com]

Image: www.notyouraverageordinary.com

My List of Homemade Fire Starters for Your Camping Trip

100% Cotton Ball Soaked in Vaseline

Cotton balls are among the easiest things to carry on a trip because they’re incredibly light and don’t take up much space in your pack. They also burn quickly, and so does petroleum. Take a handful of cotton balls, rub Vaseline or petroleum jelly on them, and seal them in a plastic bag. These will work well as fire starters.

Dryer Lint or Sawdust

Dryer lint stuffed into empty toilet paper rolls to be used as fire starters  [Image: myloveforideas.blogspot.com]

Stuff dryer lint into empty toilet paper rolls for easy transport! [Image: myloveforideas.blogspot.com]

It’s a nuisance when it comes to doing laundry, but dryer lint is among one of the most flammable materials I discard in my house. I get a treasure trove’s worth every time I take care of my dirty clothes hamper. Before you think about throwing out what’s in your lint trap, consider keeping it in a sealed plastic bag for your next outing. Sawdust, another easy-to-discard material, works just as well.

Phone Book, Magazine, or Newspaper Pages

On a backpacking trip this summer, my trip partner brought an entire phone book along for us to use as a fire starter. (Don’t worry, we didn’t take the entire thing on the trail with us!) Grab some old reading materials, rip out a handful of pages, and keep them in a sealed plastic bag so they’ll stay dry.

Natural Cord or Rope

Cord and rope are among the emergency items I try to always have around on camping trips. If your cords or ropes are made with natural fibers, they can also double as fire starters. Fibers like jute, hemp, and sisal are great options. Simply take the cords or ropes, unravel them, and you’re on your way to building a beautiful, warm blaze.

Greasy Snacks

Who knew Doritos were so flammable? [Image: lifehacker.com]

Who knew Doritos were so flammable? [Image: lifehacker.com]

Though I don’t advocate burning food unless you really need to, or carrying things like cheese puffs on backpacking trips, if you happen to have them around, some of our favorite greasy treats have proven to be remarkably effective fire starters. I’ve seen cheese puffs, Fritos and every variety of Doritos work well.

Of course, starting a fire when you’re camping comes with great responsibility. Read rules and regulations for fires where you’re headed before you go. Some campgrounds require you to refrain from gathering wood around your campsite in an effort to protect trees, and some parks and forests restrict fires depending on conditions.

Choose a location far from underbrush and other large areas of flammable materials. Keep your tent, tarp, and other synthetics far, far away. Use pre-built fire pits whenever possible. Make sure the fire is completely out before you leave; check it at least twice to be sure.

What are some unique, homemade fire starters you’ve used in the past? Or tried and true methods you’ll always turn to? We’d love to hear from you!

Warming Up Winter: 3 Hawaii National Parks

Contributed by Cassie Title

It may be a cliché, but we have to say it: When the weather outside is frightful, most of the country likes to go someplace warm. And while we love all sorts of outdoor winter-weather activities, we also like to please the masses. So here’s our solution—dip into those savings and head somewhere warm. Check out the trip we’ve planned for you to Hawaii! And—added bonus—you can use your Pocket Ranger® National Park Passport Guide or our comprehensive national park listings on pocketranger.com on all of your island adventures.

Let’s begin our virtual tour of three Hawaii National Parks!

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

Volcano erupts red molten lava at one of the Hawaii National Parks

Image: www.usainaday.com/big-island-day-trip-volcanoes-national-park-from-oahu

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park is open every single day, including holidays. Besides being incredibly convenient, the park has some big attractions. Volcanoes are what created the islands of Hawaii, so it’s especially interesting to see two of the world’s most active volcanos, Kīlauea and Mauna Loa, which are continually shaping the land. Be sure to explore the summit of Kīlauea by driving on Crater Rim Drive. It’s an 11-mile road that’ll allow you to check out amazing, scenic landscapes, like desert and tropical rain forest. You can also see the sights by walking, so hiking and backcountry hiking are musts, as is viewing active lava flows. You can also bike, camp, and check out the Jaggar Museum and Overlook. 

Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park 

Palm trees sway over sandy beach in Hawaii

Image: www.pubs.usgs.gov

In Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, there are the usual suspects (activity-wise): bird watching, fishing, hiking, wildlife viewing, and snorkeling. Of course, the scenery is beautiful—seashore, sunset, coral reefs and tropical fish galore. You’ll glimpse sea turtles, shorebirds, or maybe even Hawaiian monk seals. But the park is also special because it’s historical, hence the name. Make sure to see petroglyphs “left by the original Hawaiian inhabitants,” the Ai’opio fishtrap, and the ki’pohaku, stone carvings found throughout the park. All of these will paint the picture of how the native Hawaiians were able to inhabit this land.

Haleakala National Park

Wilderness hike, photographed by Matt Wordeman, an NPS volunteer. [Image: www.nps.gov/hale/planyourvisit/wilderness-area.htm]

Wilderness hike, photographed by Matt Wordeman, an NPS volunteer.
[Image: www.nps.gov/hale/planyourvisit/wilderness-area.htm]

Activity-wise, Haleakala National Park is a bit of an overachiever. There’s birdwatching, camping, hiking, interpretive programs, scenic drives, scenic overlooks, stargazing, swimming, and wildlife viewing. You’ll get some great views by hiking to the Summit district, which is the mountain area. You can also head to the coastal area of Kipahulu, where you’ll gaze at waterfalls and “sweeping ocean vistas.” And of course, you’ll have to check out the summit of the Haleakala volcano! This park is full of cultural significance, so make sure you start off with a visit to the museum.

Rocky summit of a mountain in Hawaii

Summit of Haleakala volcano [Image: www.nps.gov/hale/planyourvisit/summit-area.htm]

Since we started off with a cliché, you had to expect it, friends. Have fun on your real (or virtual trip) to these Hawaii National Parks. We wish you safe travels. Aloha!

How to Beat Cabin Fever

Short days, long nights, cold temperatures: This time of year, it may seem easier to just stay indoors and watch TV marathons. We totally get it. But stay indoors for too long, and you’re bound to experience some cabin fever. So find your hat and mittens, pull on your snow boots because we’ve come up with 10 great ways to beat cabin fever and get outdoors!

  1. Make Art


Don’t limit yourself to building snowmen this winter. Use British sculptor Andy Goldsworthy as inspiration; make beautiful yet transient works of art with the nature-made materials that surround you. Goldsworthy uses rocks, ice, leaves, and twigs to create incredibly balanced, outdoor artwork. With a little patience, you can, too!

  1. Make War

Got snow? Beat cabin fever by getting together with family and friends, build multiple fortifications, arm yourselves with an arsenal of snowballs, and let ‘em rip! Seattle, Washington holds the Guinness World Record for the largest snowball fight. On January 12, 2013, 5,834 people gathered in Seattle to take part in the world’s largest snowball fight to date!

  1. Scout

Tracks of bird wings in the snow

Even birds make tracks in the winter. [Image: www.oldnaturalist.com]

Winter creates a whole new landscape, and with that new opportunities to scout for wildlife. Test your tracking skills, and look for signs of wildlife, such as tracks, scat, and nests. If you’re looking to go with a group, some state parks offer guided nature walks. Check out the Events Calendar found in our Pocket Ranger® apps to find nature hikes near you, and use the Photo Waypoint feature to identify and capture your wildlife discoveries. Share your wildlife finds on the free Trophy Case® app!

  1. Skate

Break out the skates, and bid adieu to your cabin fever! You may be a bit rusty that first go-round the rink, but ice skating is something that you can easily pick up. If it’s your first time on the ice, take a skating lesson to get a grip on the basics. Or if you’re ready for some action, get together a pick-up hockey game or test your figure skating skills.

  1. Feed the Birds

Birds have it pretty tough in the winter. Help them out by supplying bird feeders in your backyard. Most birds that winter in colder areas of the country need to eat seeds, such as black oil sunflower seeds, nyger, suet, and white millet. And don’t forget the water! Unfrozen water in wintertime can be a godsend for thirsty birds. Share your bird sightings with a likeminded community through our new, free Bird Feed app.

  1. Get Moving

Girl and dog hike in the snowy woods in Vermont getting rid of cabin fever

Don’t forget to bring along Fido! Pets get stir crazy in the wintertime, too. [Image: Thomas DeSisto]

Being active in cold temperatures does your body a world of good. Getting your heart pumping will boost the level of virus-killing cells in your bloodstream, keeping seasonal colds and flus at bay. Doing physical activity in colder temperatures also makes bodies use more energy to keep warm. This translates to burning a whole lot more fat, something we’re all anxious to do post-holidays! There are plenty of ways to stay active outdoors this winter. Hit the slopes and go downhill skiing, snowboarding, or tubing/sledding. Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and winter hiking is a great way to get into the quieter, more remote areas of wilderness. Or, if you’re looking for a new thrill, try your hand at dog mushing or skijoring!

  1. Fish On

Man holds large 29" chain pickerel fish after a day of ice fishing.

Beat the winter blues by spending the day out on the ice! [Image: Jared McGrath]

Bundle up and get out on the ice for a day of ice fishing. While it can be nice to spend some serene hours alone on the lake, ice fishing is most often a social opportunity. Connect with others, catch some fish, and then cook a few up while sharing some warm drinks at a friend’s bobhouse. In mid-winter, ice is often thick enough for snowmobiling. To break up the day, jump on your sled and do a few laps!

  1. Fire It Up

Bonfire? Barbeque? Campfire? Pay no attention to the thermometer and head outdoors to grill up your summer favorites. Invite over friends and family to enjoy a grilled dinner while basking in the warm glow of the campfire. You’ll feel so warm, you might even think it’s the spring and you can kiss that cabin fever goodbye! Remember to pass out the marshmallow sticks for the dessert course, so everyone can make themselves a s’more.

  1. Get Climbing

Ice climbing, that is. Dangerous? A bit. Exciting? Definitely, and it will get you to shake off that cabin fever! Whether it’s scaling a glacier or ascending a frozen waterfall pickaxe in hand, with the right equipment and enough courage, ice climbing lets you see winter from a whole new perspective. Alaska, New Hampshire, Colorado, and Montana have some of the best ice climbing to be had in the U.S.

  1. Polar Plunge


For when you have a really bad case of cabin fever, shock your system back with a polar plunge into a freezing body of water! Dare yourself and a few friends or join an organization that is taking the polar plunge to raise money for a good cause. After all, you only live once!

How Do Birds Stay Warm In the Winter?

 

Image: http://www.ourhenhouse.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/blue_jay_snowy1.jpg

Image: www.ourhenhouse.org

The weather outside is frightening, you’re freezing even under all those layers of clothes, and the birds? They’re doing fine, dallying from branch to branch, appearing brave and prepared. Though most birds migrate, some are year-round, staying around for the arduous months. We wonder, how do birds stay warm in the winter? Like us, birds employ a variety of survival tactics, from using their downy feathers as protection to staying huddled in groups, and increasing food intake. Discover the many ways birds keep warm and cozy this winter.

Birds keep warm in several ways during cold weather. One way is by eating high-energy foods, especially foods with high fat content, which works as an insulator and an energy reserve. Birds eat during the day and build up fat reserves. Typically, a bird can put on up to 15 – 20 percent of its body weight in extra fat before it has trouble flying. Birds are careful not to overeat, though, since this will make them vulnerable when trying to out-fly predators.

Birds huddle together to stay warm

Image: www.pinterest.com

Once content with food, birds use their metabolism to generate heat. Birds have white fat (humans have brown fat), which becomes a high-energy fuel used to generate the warming process, called thermogenisous. This simply means shivering. Shivering adds heat from muscle movement. All birds shiver through the cold to keep their core temp from about 106°F to 109°F. Unlike the surrounding temperature, a bird’s interior is basking in the sun. Feathers come in handy, since even a thin layer will shield birds from the outside air temperature, which could mean a difference of over 100 degrees!

Feathers keep cold air away from their bodies and also trap body heat; in addition birds can tuck in a leg or two under their down feathers. It’s wise for birds to stay out of windy areas, and hide inside nooks, crannies, or woodpecker cavities. Nestling inside a tree or sitting under the sun beats staying in the bare cold. Some birds, such as chickadees, nuthatches, some woodpeckers, jays, and crows will store away (cache) food during warmer months to eat throughout the winter.

Image: www.pinterest.com/pin/30680841182874657/

Image: www.pinterest.com

When it’s cold outside, birds must abstain from energetic activities like singing or building nests to conserve energy. Birds also huddle together to conserve warmth — how cute! This helps to make them look not so vulnerable when a predator is around. While winter halts their reproduction, some birds use this strategy to counter death when their numbers are low.

It may appear that all birds are surviving winter, but sadly, not all will make it. Some birds don’t have the adaptation to withstand cold temperatures. In that case, migration is the best option, but it also means less time feeding, more time flying, and a higher chance of encountering danger, so our bird friends may be staying after all. They could use some help staying warm. When birds shiver they raise their metabolic rate, which keeps them warm but uses their fat reserves. You can set up a bird feeder and fill it with high quality seeds to replenish their energy. Also consider leaving out some fresh, unfrozen water, and adding a warm shelter like evergreens or a roost box to your backyard.

Image: www.pinterest.com/pin/234890936789032831/

Why not use your old Christmas tree? Leave it outside for the birds. [Image: www.pinterest.com]

Next time you see a whole family of birds up in a tree, know that they’re not just hanging out, but in fact employing some survival strategies. And when they’re out singing in the spring, this means they’ve survived the winter and need to attract mates, plus defend their territory. It’s a call that seems to say, “I’m alive!”

To find birds in a state park near you, download our Pocket Ranger® mobile apps. And if you spot a cool bird, share it on our social media sites, and with our Pocket Ranger® Bird Feed App!

Winter Recipes to Keep You Warm

Has winter kept you from enjoying the outdoors? Well, with these winter recipes, you will be ready to face any snowstorm and may even be brave enough to try winter camping or wheeling in the snow! With your state’s Pocket Ranger® app, you can find winter activities that you and you’re family will enjoy!

Crab Cakes

Courtesy of Simply Recipes

Crab cakes on a bed of lettuce is one of our recommended winter recipes

Image: www.ourfamilyeats.com

If you went crabbing or plan on going this fishing season, this is one of our winter recipes that is a must try! This recipe makes 12 crab cakes.

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb. crabmeat
  • ½ stick of unsalted butter
  • ½ cup shallots, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tarter sauce
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ¼ teaspoon Tabasco
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 4 slices white bread, crusts removed, torn into small pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 2/3 fresh bread crumbs 

Directions 

  1. Heat one tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the shallots and half teaspoon of salt. Cook until shallots are translucent then let cool.
  2. Whisk the eggs together with the Worcestershire sauce, the remaining half teaspoon of salt, paprika, freshly ground black pepper, tarter sauce, lemon zest, Tabasco, parsley and the cooked shallots. Gently fold in the crabmeat with the torn bread. Then take the mixture and form into a patty about 2 ¼ inches across and ¾ inches thick. Continue this until you have made 12 crab cake patties.
  3. Line a rimmed tray with a piece of wax paper and sprinkle the bottom of the tray with half of the breadcrumbs. Set the crab cakes in one layer on the top of the layer of breadcrumbs and sprinkle with the remaining breadcrumbs. Cover the crab cakes loosely with another sheet of wax paper and place in the fridge for an hour.
  4. Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter in a large non-stick skillet on medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, place the crab cakes in the pan and cook until golden brown (3 minutes on each side). Then, place in the next batch of crab cakes in the skillet.

Crispy Garlic-Sage Potatoes

Courtesy of Food Network

Crispy garlic sage potatoes in a pan

Image: indulgy.com

This winter recipe will warm you up after your day spent shoveling snow or building snowmen with the kids. The cook time for this delicious potato recipe is 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Ingredients 

  • 4 pounds of Yukon gold potatoes
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 6 sage leaves, chopped
  • 2 sprigs sage
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 garlic cloves, smashed

Directions 

  1. Place a baking sheet on the bottom oven rack and preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Peel the Yukon gold potatoes and cut them into wedges.
  3. Toss potato wedges with olive oil, chopped sage leaves, sprigs of sage, salt and pepper.
  4. Remove baking sheet from oven, and spread wedges on the hot baking sheet. Roast wedges for 30 minutes.
  5. Stir up the wedges and add the smashed garlic cloves. Cook for another 30 minutes until golden brown.
  6. Increase the temperature to 400°F. Cook wedges until crisp for 15 more minutes.
  7. Season with salt and serve.

“Après-Ski” Soup (After-Skiing Soup)

Courtesy of Nancy Hamlin at Taste of Home

After skiing soup with vegetables in a black bowl

Image: skitownsoups.com

This après-ski soup recipe, which is French for “after skiing,” is sure to warm you up after your day of skiing! You can make this at home and take it to go: just warm it up and it’s ready. This recipe serves 6.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 ¼ cups acorn squash, cubed
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium leek (white portion only), thinly sliced
  • 3 cans reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 small zucchini, halved and sliced
  • ½ cup uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

  1. Place butter in a 3-quart microwave safe bowl. Set microwave on high for 15-20 seconds or until butter is melted. Add squash, carrot and leek to bowl and stir to coat them with the butter. Cook covered on high for 6 minutes.
  2. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cook covered on high for 12-14 minutes or until vegetable and macaroni are tender, stirring twice.
  3. Remove bay leaf. Serve or pour into a thermos for later.

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