Sunday, September 29, 2013


Although the cool of fall air hasn't quite made it to Texas yet. I don't think we will be doing any more tubing and swimming til next summer. We packed up all the floats and brought them home to store in the garage over the winter.

I brought home all the bed linens  and towels to give them a good wash.

I still intend on going up to the boat at least once a month. I have lots of comestibles for the fall/winter on board.

I want to make some sauerkraut and sausage, pumpernickel sticks with the fondue, and baked spice cake on the boat for October. I have to do a nice spiced apple cider and hot chocolate.

I am thinking of spending Thanksgiving on the boat and making Mexican Turkey in the pressure cooker. My friend made it last year and she said everyone loved it.  Here are a few recipes I want to try for Thanksgiving:

Southwestern Turkey with Garlic-Ancho Chili Paste and Gravy

Bon Appétit  | November 1994
  • Serves 14


  • 3 large heads garlic
  • 3 large dried ancho chilies, rinsed, stemmed, seeded, torn into pieces
  • 1/2 cup corn oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1 17-to 18-pound turkey, neck and giblets reserved
  • 2 tablespoons corn oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds turkey neck or wings, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon whole allspice berries
  • 5 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 2 cups (about) canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 6 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • Cayenne pepper


For paste:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Separate heads of garlic into individual cloves (do not peel). Pierce each clove once with toothpick. Scatter garlic on baking sheet; roast until tender and beginning to brown, about 25 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Peel garlic, cutting hard tip off each clove. Pack enough garlic into 1/2-cup measuring cup to fill (about 40 cloves); reserve any remaining garlic. Blend 1/2 cup garlic in processor to form course puree.
Meanwhile, place chilies in small saucepan. Add enough water just to cover. Simmer over medium-low heat until chilies are soft and most of water evaporates, about 15 minutes. Add chili mixture, oil, cumin, and honey to garlic in processor. Puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 week ahead. Cover paste and garlic; chill.)
For turkey:
Pat turkey dry. Season with salt and pepper. Slide hand under skin of turkey breast to loosen skin. Spread 1/2 cup garlic-paste over breast under skin. If stuffing turkey, spoon stuffing into main cavity. Rub 2 tablespoons paste all over outside of turkey. Reserve remaining paste for gravy. Tie legs together loosely to hold shape of turkey. Place on rack set in roasting pan. (Can be done 1 day ahead if turkey is not stuffed. Chill turkey and paste separately.)
Position rack in lowest third of oven and preheat to 325°F. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Add neck and giblets, turkey neck pieces and onion; sauté brown, about 15 minutes. Place contents of skillet around turkey in pan. Add celery, tomato, allspice and any reserved garlic to pan; pour in 2 cups broth. Roast turkey 1 hour 30 minutes. Tent turkey and entire pan loosely with heavy-duty foil. Continue to roast turkey until meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 180°F. or until juices run clear when thickest part of thigh is pierced with skewer, basting often with pan juices and 3 cups broth, about 1 hour 40 minutes longer for unstuffed turkey (about 2 hours 25 minutes longer for stuffed turkey). Place turkey on platter. Tent with foil; let stand at least 30 minutes. Reserve mixture in pan for gravy.
For gravy:
Using tongs, remove turkey parts from pan; discard. Pour mixture in pan into sieve set over large bowl. Press on solids in sieve to release liquid. Spoon fat from pan juices; add enough broth to juices to measure 6 cups.
Stir 1/2 cup reserved garlic-chili paste in heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until liquefied. Add flour and stir 1 minute (mixture will be very thick). Gradually add 6 cups broth mixture, whisking until smooth. Simmer until reduced to 4 1/2 cups, about 20 minutes. Season with cayenne, salt and pepper.
Serve turkey with gravy.

Smoked Chile Scalloped Sweet Potatoes


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 heaping tablespoon chipotle pepper puree
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced 1/8-inch thick
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Whisk together cream and chipotle puree until smooth.

In a 9 by 9-inch casserole dish, arrange the potatoes in even layers. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the cream mixture and season with salt and pepper. Repeat with the remaining potatoes, cream, and salt and pepper to form 10 layers.

Cover and bake for 30 minutes, remove cover and continue baking for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the cream has been absorbed and the potatoes are cooked through and the top is browned.
Chorizo and Cornbread Stuffing


  • 1 pound fresh Mexican chorizo
  • 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 cups coarsely crumbled cornbread
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock (low-sodium store-bought is fine)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Grated cotija cheese, for garnish (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and cook the chorizo, breaking it up with a spoon and stirring occasionally as it cooks, until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic to the chorizo and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have browned, about 10 minutes. Add the crumbled cornbread and cilantro and gradually pour in enough of the stock so the stuffing is not too dry but at the same time not too wet. Stir gently and well.

Butter a small casserole dish. Spread the stuffing in an even layer. Bake until it's heated through and lightly browned on top, about 20 minutes. Serve right away, garnished with the cilantro and cotija, if desired.



I have a big kitchen at home with every possible amenity. So only having a tiny microwave that needs replacing and 2 burners took me out of my comfort zone. I read an article on line that pressure cookers were great for one pot fast easy cook up and clean up on boats.

So I dug out a Bravetti 8qrt electric pressure cooker I bought on HSN.COM many years ago and has since lived unused in a cabinet.
Then came the task of finding pressure cooker recipes. Really there are not alot out there. My particular pressure cooker works in 3 ways a) as an electric pressure cooker, b) as a slow cooker/crockpot c) soup maker.

The blog where I have found the best recipes and instructions is:

My first recipe in the pressure cooker was



  • 3 lbs Oxtails
  • 1/4 lb of cured Chorizo, chopped
  • 1 can whole Tomatoes
  • 1 cup Red wine
  • 1 large Onion, chopped
  • 4 medium Carrots, chopped
  • 4 Garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 2 tsp caldo de tomato granules
  • 2 TB mandarin balsamic vinegar
  • ** My additions


  • Chopped Parsley or Chopped Green Onions
  • Splash of Red Wine Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar
** I served over mashed potatoes and topped with a splash of mandarin balsamic as well as the green onions and parsley

In addition to this recipe I made Baked potatoes in the pressure cooker and used up some left overs to make a Mexican spiced steak stew over rice.


 Beaujolais and Sally dressed for the occasion

 Father Javier of Emmaus Catholic Church giving the Ships Blessing

 Greg & Kathy
 We had so many more people than expected attend. It was wonderful having so many friends and family share the happy occasion.

 Kathy reading her speech
 Grayson prepared to spray champagne over the bow for the King Neptune Ceremony

 We took everyone on a Disco Cruise
We anchored out at Cypress Cove everyone got to swim, and fish and explore a treasure ship our friend had set up. The Bonacita joined us.

Saturday, August 31, 2013


Christening Agenda
Welcome everyone as they arrive and give one swag bag to each Family
Boat tour
Introduce Father Javier
Father Javier blesses the Ave Maris Stella 
Trooper Keeton sings Ave Maris Stella or
everyone please take out the blue book mark from your bags and pray the Ave Maris  Stella together
Pass out champagne glasses (Hold for King Neptune Ceremony)
4 volunteers to pour champagne around boat or have everyone lined up around boat and pass champagne bottles pouring a little with each person. 4 bottles
King Neptune Ceremony ( Greg)
Speeches (Kathy)
Eats & Drinks
Disco Cruise
Anchor out and swim
at dusk sparklers

Hail Star of the Sea Hail, thou Star of ocean,
Portal of the sky !
Ever Virgin Mother
Of the Lord most high ! Oh ! by Gabriel's Ave,
Uttered long ago,
Eva's name reversing,
Establish peace below. Break the captive's fetters ;
Light on blindness pour ;
All our ills expelling,
Every bliss implore. Show thyself a Mother ;
Offer Him our sighs,
Who for us Incarnate
Did not thee despise. Virgin of all virgins !
To thy shelter take us :
Gentlest of the gentle !
Chaste and gentle make us. Still, as on we journey,
Help our weak endeavor ;
Till with thee and Jesus
We rejoice forever. Through the highest heaven,
To the Almighty Three,
Father, Son, and Spirit,
One same glory be.  Amen.
Ave Maris Stella Ave, Maris Stella,
Dei Mater alma,
Atque semper virgo,
Felix coeli porta. Sumens illud Ave
Gabrielis ore,
Funda nos in pace,
Mutans Evae nomen. Solve vincia reis
Profer lumen caecis,
Mala nostra pelle,
Bona cuncta posce. Monstra te esse Matrem,
Sumat per te preces
Qui pro nobis natus,
Tulit esse tuus. Virgo singularis,
Inter omnes mitis,
Nos culpis solutos
Mites fac et castos. Vitam praesta puram,
Iter para tutum;
Ut videntes Jesum
Semper collaetemur. Sit laus Deo Patri,
Summo Christo decus,
Spiritui Sancto,
Tribus honor unus.  Amen.

Stella Maris
Stella Maris
King Neptune Ceremony

"For thousands of years, we have gone to sea. We have crafted vessels to carry us and we have called them by name. These ships will nurture and care for us through perilous seas, and so we affectionately call them "she." To them we toast, and ask to celebrate "The Ave Maris Stella." Then everybody raises their champagne glasses and shouts "TO THE SAILORS OF OLD…TO THE AVE MARIS STELLA"
  Everybody takes a sip.
Then follow with:
"The moods of the sea are many, from tranquil to violent. We ask that this ship be given the strength to carry on. The keel is strong and she keeps out the pressures of the sea." Again the glasses are raised, and the assemblage shouts, "TO THE SEA...TO THE SAILORS OF OLD...TO THE SEA!"
  Everybody takes another sip.
"Today we come to name this lady The Ave Maris Stella, and send her to sea to be cared for, and to care for the The Goodwin family. We ask the sailors of old and the mood of God that is the sea to accept The Ave Maris Stella as her name, to help her through her passages, and allow her to return with her crew safely. " Again, with the raising of the glasses, "TO THE SEA...TO THE SAILORS BEFORE US...TO THE AVE MARIS STELLA."
  A last, long sip by all.
  Now pour champagne over the bow and in the water around all sides of the boat to appease King Neptune, and lay a branch of green leaves on the deck to ensure safe returns. 
Kathy's Speech
I thank everyone for coming to celebrate
this joyous occasion with us
I especially want to thank Father Javier from The beautiful Emmaus Catholic Church for Blessing the Ave Maris Stella.
This is very special to me. It is thru God's grace we have this gift and have called her Ave Maris Stella in dedication to our faith.

St. Thomas Aquinas' explanation of the title "Star of the Sea" for Our Lady  should resonate with all of us. Mary is, after all, the "true north," our guiding star, forever and unfailingly leading us to her Son during our sojourn here on earth. Through whatever life my bring, we need only turn to her, trusting that she will never cast us adrift.
To our friends and family, who have come from near and far. We love every one of you. Your friendship has made our lives so much brighter. I hope we can share many happy days together on the lake.
I want to Thank my darling husband for his devotion and strong work ethic. He made all this possible. May our time on the Ave Maris Stella always be happy and filled with love.
In closing: To my husband , Thank you baby. Everyday with you is like Christmas and every weekend the 4th of July. I love you with all my heart.

I am one of those people that plans to the nth degree. I like things to go according to plan . My Motto, I stole it from the Transporter movies is " Stick to the Plan , Always stick to the plan".

Last weekend I handed out 4 invitations to members of the rosary group I recently joined. One was to a little Japanese lady I had not met before, since I am so new. Well somehow she took my inviting her  to translate into her inviting 6000 members of the parish. I can only hope they don't show up, max capacity on this boat is 12.

I got a call from the deli this morning about my party trays, they misread the order and thought it was for today, until I clarified next week. So that issue was averted.

I am hoping the boat detailer is as good as he claims to be. He said technically he didn't need a key to clean our boat, so I took that as he had master keys so I didn't leave a key. OK issue but I will be up there early so hopefully that job can be completed.

Husband is going to be late. If there is one thing I have learned being married to a Mariner. Its if it can go wrong on crew change its gonna go wrong.


This is Sally and Beaujolais, and they are Two dogs on a boat. For the past five weekends the dogs and I have made the 4 hour drive up to the Lake where our boat is kept at a Marina.The dogs really seem to love the boat life. They have absolutely no problems maneuvering around the boat. We do have to take long walks to the beach 5 times a day for potty breaks, and so far there have been no accidents.
In the aft area I am trying to go for the Hemingway look on a budget. A little worldly. I have since bought and added a 4 shelf mini fridge back here. The tiny fridge in the galley is just too small, and I am sick to death of lugging ice and ice chests.
My husband got a promotion and command of another ship so he didn't get to stay home this summer as planned and work out all the kinks with this boat. So I was left the chore of dealing with the shifty boat dealership South Austin Marine and the lawyer who is filing suit against them for deceptive advertising, Deceptive trade practices etc. Nothing in life is honest and on the up and up anymore, You can't trust anyone especially big business.
In the meantime I have been decorating to my hearts content and learning the local area. I completed my Texas Boater Safety Course and received my certificate. I had tried to take power boating classes but there never seemed to be enough students to make the classes a go , so they were all cancelled. My husband will be back this week, so I will have the opportunity to learn from him. All the while I have been collecting my sea time, so once I am proficient at operating the boat I will have all my ducks in row to get my 100 ton Masters Licence. It is not something necessary for ownership of this type of boat but its something I have wanted to do for self fulfillment.
This is my little galley, where aside from the microwave no cooking has been done. I brought an electric pressure cooker on board as I read somewhere they were good for one pot fast cooking on boats with limited space. Truthfully I still don't know if the stove works, I haven't had the chance to turn it on.

This is the master bed as you can see Two dogs have already homesteaded it.
This is the dining table. Much to my husbands dismay, Yes! I did hang a chandelier above the table.
Every weekend when I go up I stop and buy flowers. It just seems to add that little bit of peaceful ambiance I am looking for.

Friday, July 5, 2013


I wanted to get a cheapo beater boat that we could have fun with but not spend alot of money. We tried that last year and it was a lemon. My husband says he would rather carry on an ice chest than a tool chest so he looked long and hard and found this baby.

This time next week we will be picking up our new boat.

I have spent the last week diligently ordering linens and incidentals for it. I want it to be beautiful, a show piece on the water. My husband has been ordering man stuff like a BBQ for the deck.

I already have romantic visions of moonlit sails and romantic dinners, sleeping under the stars and being rocked to sleep by gentle waves. This is really a romantic dream since I am prone to horrible sea sickness even with Dramamine. So I hope and pray the tranquility of the lake and I will get along.

My husband and I love our dogs. They are our children. So he went out of his way to make sure the boat would be easily doggy accessible. He is even ordering a doggy dock for it. One thing about our dogs is they want to be with us all the time and we like them being with us.

We spend alot of our holiday time in this area and often cant bring the dogs because hotels wont allow them. This will be like our floating home away from home.

I already have on my agenda to have the boat blessed by the local priest, and have a full on Christening ceremony for her.

Since my husband got to pick the boat, I got to pick the name. I chose "AVE MARIS STELLA" which is Latin for "Hail Mary Star of the sea". I chose this because my husband is a Sea Captain and I pray the rosary for his safety always, when we married I had the opera singer , sing both the Ave Maria and the Ave Maris Stella. I think it is a beautiful prayer.

I am already thinking good thoughts about all the happy times we will have here.

Now my husband better get the lead out and get us dock space.