Back Deck Recipes: Holiday Feast!

December 2015

Nothing rings in the holiday spirit quite like delicious food! Here are a few of our favorite recipes shared on and that we thought our ambitious cooking houseboaters would like. Don't forget to check out more recipe ideas on Houseboat magazine’s Pinterest page. Happy Holidays, everyone!

Drink: Holiday Punch II by Aleta


1/3 c. white sugar

1 qt. cranberry juice

2 c. unsweetened pineapple juice

3 Tb. almond extract

2 liter bottle ginger ale


In a large container, mix together sugar, cranberry juice, pineapple juice and almond extract. Refrigerate for 1 day.

To serve, pour juice mixture into a punch bowl. Stir in ginger ale. Original recipe makes 32 (4 oz.) servings.

Dinner: Maple-Roasted Turkey with Sage, Smoked Bacon, and Cornbread Stuffing by Tyler Florence


1 c. unsalted butter, room temp.

1/2 bunch fresh sage, finely chopped

Kosher salt and black pepper

2 large onions, finely chopped

6 c. cornbread, cubed

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1/2 c. heavy cream

3 c. chicken stock

1 (12 to 14 lb.) fresh turkey

1 c. pure maple syrup

1/4 c. hot water

8 strips smoked bacon

1/4 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 lemon, juiced


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mash butter and sage in bowl and season with salt and pepper. Melt 4 Tb of sage butter, add onions, cook and stir for 15 min. until soft and golden. Remove from heat. Put cornbread in large bowl and scrape sautéed onion on top. Add egg, cream, and just enough chicken stock to moisten stuffing without becoming soggy (about 1/2 c.) Toss well to combine; season with salt and pepper.

Discard turkey neck and gizzards. Rinse bird inside and out with cold water, pat dry. Sprinkle cavity and skin liberally with salt and pepper. Using your fingers, gently lift skin from breast and legs to slip pieces of sage butter underneath, rubbing in as you go. Fill bird with cornbread stuffing (without packing tight); cook remaining stuffing separately in buttered baking dish. Truss turkey; place in large roasting pan and in oven.

Meanwhile, in small bowl, whisk maple syrup and hot water to thin the glaze out a bit, and baste turkey every 30 min. The turkey should take about 3 hours to cook (i.e. 15 to 20 min. per lb.) If legs or breast brown too quickly, cover with foil. About 2 hours into cooking, cover turkey breast with bacon strips; continue to roast and baste for another hour. Turkey is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted into meatiest part of thigh registers 170 degrees (thigh juices will also run clear). Transfer turkey to cutting board and let rest for 20 min. so juices can settle back into meat.

Skim off fat from pan drippings and place the roasting pan over 2 burners set on med-high. Using wooden spoon, scrape up brown bits stuck to bottom of pan. Whisk flour into drippings, stirring as it thickens. Add remaining chicken stock and bring to simmer; season with salt and pepper and hit it with a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten flavor. Simmer for 5 min. and strain. Serve gravy with maple-roasted turkey and cornbread stuffing.

Dessert: Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake by Stephanie Phillips


16 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/2 c. white sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 (9”) prepared graham cracker crust

1/2 c. pumpkin puree

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 pinch ground cloves

1 pinch ground nutmeg

1/2 c. frozen whipped topping, thawed


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Blend in eggs one at time. Remove 1 c. batter and spread into bottom of crust; set aside.

Add pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg to remaining batter and stir gently until well-blended. Carefully spread over batter in crust.

Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 min., or until center is almost set. Allow to cool, then refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Cover with whipped topping before serving.

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