Houseboater Friendly Holiday Recipes

Cooking on a houseboat is a different and fun experience, but where to start? Most of our guests use a collaboration system for meals and cooking. You’ve got Friday, I’ve got Saturday, etc. Depending on which houseboat model you choose for your adventure, check with us to make sure you’ll have the appropriate cookware for preparing what you’ve planned. We provide most of what you’ll need, so your list of what to bring is sure to be a short one! And keep in mind, you’ll need to bring a selection of condiments and spices to dazzle your group’s taste buds!

With many holiday gatherings just around the corner we thought we’d share a couple delicious and easy Holiday recipes that would be ideal to cook and enjoy out on the lake.

Holiday Recipe #1: Honey Glazed Ham


Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of


  • 1 (5 pound) ready to eat ham
  • 1/4 cup whole cloves
  • 1/2 brown sugar
  • 1/4 honey
  • 1/3 cup butter


  1. Preheat the oven at 325 degrees.
  2. With your knife, make shallow cuts about 1/3″ deep that extend all the way from top to bottom on each side of the ham. Leave about 1″ between cuts. Make cuts going in the opposite directions with your knife. The pattern formed should be diamonds along the ham. Stud with whole cloves. Line the pan with lots of foil and place ham on top. Add baby carrots if you are feeling adventurous.
  3. In the top of a double boiler, warm the honey, brown sugar and butter. Keep glaze heated while baking ham.
  4. Brush glaze on ham and then bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Baste ham every 10 to 15 minutes with the glaze. During the last 4 to 5 minutes of baking, turn on broiler to caramelize the glaze. Take it out of the oven, and let set a couple minutes before serving.


Holiday Recipe #2: Eggnog Pie


  • 1 (.25 ounce) package unflavored gelatin

    Photo courtesy of

    Photo courtesy of

  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup rum
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 pinch white sugar
  • 1 (9 inch) pie shell, baked (graham cracker is best)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg


  1. In a smaller bowl, mix gelatin and cold water; set aside for softening. Mix milk and 1/2 cup sugar in another small bowl. Microwave for 3 minutes or until milk begins to boil.
  2. Steadily pour hot milk into beaten eggs, constantly whisking. Cook custard in the microwave, whisking after each minute, until it thickens, about 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in softened gelatin and combine until melted. Mix in rum.
  4. Let filling cool to room temperature. (Do not refrigerate)
  5. In a medium bowl, whip cream until soft peaks form; then beat in 1/4 cup sugar.
  6. Set aside 1/2 cup of whipped cream for garnish; keep refrigerated. Fold remaining whipped cream into eggnog mixture. Pour filling into pie crust and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
  7. Garnish with reserved whipped cream and a dusting of nutmeg.

5 new extreme watersports you need to know about


Water flying is all the rage nowadays, with various types of water flying to choose from in your extreme watersports adventures.

  • Hydroflying (Jetpack): A jetpack strapped to the rider’s back gusts a jet of water down from each shoulder to propel them upwards, using the push of a PWC. Hover above the water, soar above the water, or even dive below the water and come up like a dolphin.

  • Flyboarding: Flyboarding takes the model of hydro flying and mixes it with wakeboarding. The rider stands on a ‘board’ and attached are two water jets. Once on, the board shoots the jet of water down, carrying the board up into the air. The jet’s water  power comes from a long pipe that trails behind and sucks water.

  • Flybiking: Like the last two extreme watersports, water propulsion allows the Flybiker to float above the water. This is only different because the rider is seated, making it the easiest to get used to.

Electric Jet Board

These boards are quick and light. These boards are silent and make no emissions which means they are environmentally friendly. Shaped like a thick surfboard, these electric boards allow carving and shredding through any type of water, flat or rough. The boards array from the Manta, best for learners and calm water, to the Blade for bold moves, and the speedy Carver, which zooms around at up to 45mph. Just insert the battery, switch the board on and jump in, no paddling or balance required.

Blob Jumping

The Blob is a enormous, moderately-inflated air bag that performs like a water trampoline. The “blobber” is placed on the outlying edge, while another partaker (or three) hurdles from a platform onto the opposite side of the blobber, projecting the blobber into the sky. Blob Jumping is definitely something from Looney Tunes.


A Subwing  is yet another fresh, state-of-the-art water sporting board. While being pulled by the tow boat, a rider skates along underwater naturally. The Subwing is two hydrodynamic wings disjointed by a rubber swivel ball in the middle. Riders hold at the anterior of the wings, or by clutching a rubber loop on the stern. Riders control the drive of the Subwing by tilting the two independent wings in countless angles. The wings tilt up and down to dive and float up, or twist sideways to turn.

Water Scooters

A Water Scooter is a personal water propulsion device that can be used in a pool or lake, as well as the ocean. It is often used for scuba diving. The least expensive Water Scooters pull at 2mph, a perfect speed for exploring underwater. A water scooter allows you to dive effortlessly, are easy to rent and aren’t too expensive to buy.

The 10 Best Boat Flicks

Searching for a few marine themed movies to watch while the rain pours down into Shasta Lake or in your stateroom next summer? We’ve got you covered with the top 10 boater-friendly movies right here!

Houseboat (1958)

houseboat movie poster

Tom Winston, a widower, attempts to raise three bright children without help. He receives unforeseen assistance from Cinzia, when the kids decide she should be the new maid. She is truly an Italian socialite trying to escape from her domineering father.

Jaws (1975)

Jaws the movie

When a gargantuan great white shark starts to threaten the small island community of Amity, a grizzled fisherman, police chief, and a marine scientist go out to end it.

Overboard (1987)

Overboard movie poster

A harsh but attractive heiress screws over a hired carpenter, who later is the first one to find her when she develops amnesia. Looking for payback he persuades her that she’s his wife. (Or, how not to fall overboard, learn your lessons and repossess your yacht.)

Dead Calm (1989)

Dead Calm Poster

A mass-murderer captures and seduces a woman after sends her husband off to die on the vessel whose crew he’s just killed. Yikes!

The Hunt for Red October (1990)

The Hunt for Red October Poster

In 1984, the USSR’s best submarine captain in their newest sub interrupts orders and instead goes en route for the USA. Is he trying to fail the mission, or to start a war?

Cape Fear (1991)

Cape Fear Poster

A convicted rapist, free from prison after serving a 14-year sentence, stalks the family of the lawyer who initially defended him.

Wind (1992)

Wind Movie Poster

Will Parker, played by Matthew Modine, fails the Americas Cup, the worlds prime sailing award, to the Australians and elects to form his own group to win it back.

Captain Ron (1992)

Captain Ron Poster

Learn how to fix and fall in love with an antique yacht while learning to navigate and sail with an imposter captain Ron. Who is Ron?

Titanic (1997)

Titanic Poster

“Jack, this is where we first met.” Well, of all the thoughtless things to say when your voucher to the USA begins to seem like a one-way ticket to a water filled doom. Nevertheless, James Cameron’s version of the historic Titanic catastrophe as an epic love story ended up being a big-budget awards magnet and it’s tough not to be awestruck by the utter scale of the production.

Kon-Tiki (2012)

Kon-Tiki movie poster

Well-known traveler Thor Heyerdal’s heroic 4,300-mile crossing of the Pacific on a balsawood raft in 1947, in an exertion to demonstrate that it was possible for South Americans to settle in Polynesia in pre-Columbian times. (Try it before you buy it, your first boat, I mean.)

Houseboating Recipes: Easy Thanksgiving Edition

carved turkey

image courtesy of

Cooking on a houseboat is a different and fun experience, but where to start? Most of our guests use a collaboration system for meals and cooking. You’ve got Friday, I’ve got Saturday, etc. Depending on which houseboat model you choose for your adventure, check with us to make sure you’ll have the appropriate cookware for preparing what you’ve planned. We provide most of what you’ll need, so your list of what to bring is sure to be a short one! And keep in mind, you’ll need to bring a selection of condiments and spices to dazzle your group’s taste buds!

Thanksgiving is this week so we thought we’d share a c0uple delicious and easy Thanksgiving recipes that would be ideal to cook and enjoy out on the lake.

BBQ Your Thanksgiving Turkey

While not the most traditional, barbecuing your turkey is an easy and delicious way of cooking it — it ends up succulent every time!


  • 12 pounds whole turkey
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste


Turkey on Grill

image coutsey of

  1. Prepare the BBQ for indirect medium-high heat.
  2. Rinse turkey and make sure to pat dry. Once dry, brush turkey with vegetable oil. Season inside and out with salt, pepper and Italian seasonings.
  3. Place turkey, breast side up, on a metal grate inside a large roasting pan. Arrange pan on the BBQ. Grill 2 to 3 hours, to an internal thigh temperature of 180 degrees F. Remove turkey from grill and let stand 15 minutes before carving.
  4. The turkey drippings may be used to prepare a gravy by placing a metal pan under the turkey inside the roasting pan, and mixing in about 1/2 cup water, adding more water as necessary to prevent the drippings from scorching. Remove the pan about 30 minutes before the turkey is done cooking.

Orange-Glazed Grilled Acorn Squash

grilled acord squash

image courtesy of

One of our favorite easy Thanksgiving recipes is Orange-Glazed Grilled Acorn Squash. It is a wonderful tribute to the typical Turkey day “side-a-palooza”.


  • 4 acorn squash1/4 cup melted butter
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 4 whole allspice berries
  • 1 stick cinnamon


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cut the acorn squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and membranes. Brush the cut side of each with the butter and season with salt and pepper. Position squash cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.
  3. When the squash is baking, mix the cinnamon, brown sugar, allspice and orange juice in a saucepan. Cook on high heat, stirring often, until reduced to 1 cup.
  4. If it is not already on, preheat the BBQ to medium-high. Position the squash, cut side up, on the BBQ, and brush with the orange glaze. Cook for 5 minutes, flip them over and cook for 5 more minutes. The squash should be tender and glaze should be caramelized. Remove from the BBQ and brush with more glaze. Serve warm.

This dish is quick and easy with so many compliments, it will be the talk of the table this Thanksgiving year!

Gobble Gobble

Gobble Gobble

~”Food is essential to life therefore, make it good”- S. Truett Cathy~

Cyber Monday 2014


My Thanksgiving with a view

Celebrating gratitude has never been better than the time my family and I decided to try Thanksgiving on a houseboat.

The road to Jones Valley Resort

The road to Jones Valley Resort

I woke up Thursday morning to something delicious baking in the oven, the marvelous aroma wafting through the houseboat as I roused to the solitude of Shasta Lake on Thanksgiving.

I looked outside and soaked in the view – I’m on the water! I realized how quiet it was outside, the lake was all ours. It seemed that my family and I had the whole place to ourselves. The fish were pretty much the only thing making wrinkles in the water.  In the afternoon that would change, as we decided to make splashes of our own by using the waterslide. But for the morning I just slipped into the hot tub and welcomed the morning with a delicious cup of coffee and allowed the bubbles to stir around me.

From the hot tub I viewed the beautiful fall colors, watched wildlife stir, and savored the quiet.

A few of the benefits of Thanksgiving on a houseboat didn’t come to me until I went on the trip myself. Consider a few of my notes:

1. Turkey and pumpkin pie was provided: it was a great help to have those staple items already bought, waiting for us when we arrived.

View treasures you wouldn't normally see in the summer

View treasures you wouldn’t normally see in the summer

2. We still had the option to bake the turkey the traditional way: we did have the option, but we opted to grill it. A pie in the oven and a turkey on the grill was the way to go!

3. Avoiding the traditional dishes that I don’t like: For example, we conveniently roasted all of our marshmallows over a bonfire Wednesday night – that meant no marshmallows to make Aunt Kim’s baked sweet potatoes!

4. Don’t need to do the dishes: Let me explain – Of course there are a complete set of dishes on board to use if you do so choose, and the dishwasher is available to clean most of them… but a houseboat trip gave us the excuse to not use our fine china and to opt instead for ‘oh-so-fine’ paper plates.

5. No unexpected drop-ins: I don’t know about you, but during the holidays we get many a neighbor, friend and relative (the one you try to avoid) who walk in unannounced, which can be fun most of the time. However, it is amazing to have the break from the people you didn’t plan for.

6. We could still watch the big game on TV all afternoon – Dad would have survived without watching the Big Game on Thanksgiving, but he would have been grumpy! If we decided to endure Dad’s grumpy mood we could have hid the remote (ahh, just like home).

All in all, the oven is on standby for your pies, the grill is primed for your turkey, the water is patiently waiting, and your crew will be hungry after a day cruising on the water. The vote is in – enjoy your Thanksgiving, the houseboating way!

Fall at JV

Halloween on a houseboat – Part II

Celebrating Halloween on a houseboat is a splendid alternative to the average night full of trick-or-treaters. This is Part II of the 2-part Halloween blog on Part I of this blog gave you ideas for Halloween on a houseboat with kids. Part II gives you ideas for a Halloween party on a houseboat without kids. So grab your Halloween décor box and come aboard!

Location, Location, Location

Spooky decorated Tital houseboat on Shasta Lake

Spooky decorated Titan houseboat on Shasta Lake

The most important part of planning a Halloween party is location. Location controls many things including the date and time of the party, ambiance and how many people to invite.

Well, you have the best location there is – a houseboat! A houseboat is a cool spot for a Halloween party, one that your friends and family will be talking about for years to come.

After you set the location, its time to decorate the space. The next most important part of throwing a Halloween party is, yep, you guessed it – décor! With ‘adults only’ attending, the décor and theme can turn a little hair-raising at times. Some themes to go for include Funeral-chic, Gothic Charm, Haunted Mansion or a simple style of all black décor with a pop of color. Try some of these spine-chilling décor ideas:



1. Wicked Window: Halloween is not complete without creepy windows! Luckily our houseboats are covered in windows to decorate. Use candles, spider webs and plastic spiders. Get creative!
2. The Pickled Face in the Fridge: When the image of the head is placed in the curved jar full of water, it provides the spooky illusion of a decapitated head in a jar of preserving fluid.
3. Terrariums: Fill recycled glass jars with spiders, cotton ghosts, or moss and branches from the shore to make Halloween terrariums.
4. Eight Legged Cake:  Spookify the popular ‘cake ball’ fad by adding legs.
5. Candy Corn Centerpieces: Using old bottles, spray paint, candles and candy corn.

With spider webs scattered around the galley, it’s fun to add to the “Haunted Mansion” feel by having a fire roaring in the fireplace. Play classic scary flicks on the television in the background – such as “Halloween”, “Psycho” or “Dracula”. Mute the movie and play some spooky music on the houseboat’s surround sound to make the party even more over-the-top.

Eat, Drink & Be Scary

One of the most important things when throwing any type of party is food and drink. Depending on which model you choose for your party, check with us to make sure you’ll have the appropriate cookware for preparing what you’ve planned. We provide most of what you’ll need,  so your list of what to bring is sure to be a short one! Plan your food and drink accordingly.

Tombstone Taco DipSpider Deviled Eggs, and Jello Worms are among the many recipes we recommend for your Halloween bash on our houseboats. Creepy crawly is the way to go!

You could also try some easy Halloween themed punch, such as the Ghostbuster, Rotting Pumpkin or Dragon’s Blood Punch. To add to the creepiness of these drinks place some Vampire Fangs and Floating Hands in the cups and bowls. And the party will not be complete without some Brain Hemorrhage shots!

Make it a costume party!

Scary costume or fun costume, Halloween on a houseboat is not the same without dressing up. According to Mashable, the top costumes of 2014 are Maleficent, the evil faerie from 1959’s Sleeping Beauty, and a Bavarian men’s costume, which is popular for Oktoberfest, and is reused for Halloween.

If someone happens to forget their costume, it would be good to have some masks ready. Masks are easy and still count as a costume! Just visit a site like and print out a few for your forgetful guests.



Your guests are bound to have the best time ever celebrating Halloween on a Houseboat.

Have A Hauntingly Delightful Halloween! Boo From The Crew at!

Halloween on a Houseboat – Part I

Halloween on a houseboat? How in the world can you make a “summertime” event Halloween-esque?

Celebrating Halloween on a houseboat is a splendid alternative to the average night full of trick-or-treaters. Part I of this blog will give you ideas for Halloween on a houseboat with kids. Part II will give you ideas for Halloween on a houseboat without the munchkins.

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

Spooky Décor

When you first arrive on the houseboat, it may be fun to have the kids help spookify it! Most kids love arts and crafts, and creative décor will help set the mood for the

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

exciting adventure of houseboating on halloween. Some great DIY décor ideas include:

  1. Glowing Eyes: Made with old toilet paper rolls and glowsticks. Hide them around the galley, main salon, deck ….or even in the wilderness outside! (Just be sure to retrieve them later of course!)
  2. Lawn Ghosts: Poke a styrofoam ball through the top of a garden stake and cover it with white fabric. Great for kids to have the freedom to put the ghosts where they decide.
  3. Hanging Bats: Made with black craft foam, googly eyes and fishing line. Kids can hang them wherever they see fit!
  4. Paper Mice: Cut out these Martha Stewart templates and paste them on the stairs.
  5. Glass Jar Luminaries: You can apply acrylic paint with a sea sponge, wait for your base coat to dry, and then either use paint, Sharpies, or paper to add your embellishments to the mason jars. Just add a glow stick or electronic candle!

With the houseboat all spookified, the activities can begin!

Tricks and Treats

Most obviously, the best part of Halloween is the candy! However, there are other delicious treats you can have the kids help make. Candy Corn Pretzel Hugs, Candy Pretzel Bones, White Chocolate-Covered Strawberry “Ghosts”, Marshmallow Pops, and for the health nut, a Spooky Fun Fruit Tray with clementines and bananas.

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

Have a scary movie marathon

If the kids are old enough, pop in a creepy flick and shut off the lights. Relax (as best you can with a scary movie) and grab a blanket for hiding when things get too bloodcurdling to handle.  Of course, some scary movies aren’t suited for younger kids. So skip the Saw series and put in a Halloween favorite like “Hocus Pocus”, “The Nightmare Before Christmas”, “Halloween Town” or  “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”.

Have a pumpkin-carving contest

Everyone can get into pumpkin carving! Are your kids feeling creative, or even competitive? Put everyone’s skills to the test by challenging the kids to a pumpkin-carving contest. Cleanup can be easy with some old newspapers on the deck, or out front on the beach!

Tell spooky stories by the campfire

Grab a flashlight and some blankets and head out to the bonfire. Roast some marshmallows to make s’mores and throw in some candy corn and orange sprinkles to be more festive. Tell your best scary story sitting lakeside on a crisp fall night next to a crackling fire. See who raises goosebumps first!

Tune in next week for Halloween on a Houseboat – Part II!

2014 e-newsletter Group Winner

This week has chosen the winner of the 2014 e-newsletter contest. The winner of this contest gets a FREE houseboat vacation!

So without futher ado, this years winner is….

Drumroll please…

Mike H. from Mendocino, CA!

Congratulations Mike! Enjoy your FREE houseboat vacation!

How to enter

You may be asking yourself: How can I enter this simple contest?

Mike won his free houseboat vacation by opting into’s e-newsletter mailing list. You can opt-in to our e-newsletter mailing list on any page of our website!

Look down and to the right on your browser window.
You’ll see this box:
Simply complete the few questions and that’s it, you are automatically entered! Its that easy!

Free houseboat vacations

There are many more ways to win a FREE houseboat vacation with including entering the Full Pool Contest, Clean Boat Contest or Video Contest. Check out all of our ways to win a free houseboat vacation here.

Houseboating Recipes: Carne Asada & Grilled Peaches

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Cooking on a houseboat is a different and fun experience, but where to start? Most of our guests use a collaboration system for meals and cooking. You’ve got Friday, I’ve got Saturday, etc. Depending on which model you choose for your adventure, check with us to make sure you’ll have the appropriate cookware for preparing what you’ve planned. We provide most of what you’ll need, so your list of what to bring is sure to be a short one! And keep in mind, you’ll need to bring a selection of condiments and spices to dazzle your group’s taste buds! Since summer is winding down we would like to share an Indian Summer favorite, one of our favorite delicious and easy houseboating recipes – Carne Asada tacos.


Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Carne Asada
Chopped onions
Cilantro Salsa
Chipotle crema


Chile pepper
Lime juice
Ziplock bag


  1. First, you marinate the meat in a ziplock bag with salt, pepper, chile powder and lime juice. Stick the ziplock in the fridge for 4 hours.
  2. After the meat is well marinated, we fire up the grill with a medium-high flame. While the grill is warming up we will chop the green onions and cilantro as well as prepare the salsa and chipotle crema.
  3. Brush the grates with some oil to keep the meat from sticking. Grill the steak for 7 to 10 minutes per side, turning once, until medium-rare. Remove the steak and let it rest for 5 minutes to allow the juices to settle. Thinly slice the steak across the grain on a diagonal.
  4. Warm the tortillas for 30 seconds on each side on the grill, until toasty and supple.
  5. Assemble your tacos!

Delicious! If there are enough leftovers you can make yummy breakfast burritos in the morning. Two meals in one cooking session!

What about dessert? We would never forget our beloved sweets… One of our favorite desserts to make on a houseboat during an Indian Summer are grilled peaches with mascarpone and honey.

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Grilled peaches with mascarpone and honey




  1. Preheat a grill to medium-high
  2. Place the peaches cut-side down onto the grill and cook until lightly charred- 2 or 3 minutes.
  3. Take the peaches out, cut sides up, to a grill-proof baking sheet or dish and drizzle evenly with honey.
  4. Place the dish on the grill and cover the grill. Continue to cook until the peaches are soft, about 5 minutes, depending on the grill.
  5. Remove the baking dish from the grill and divide the mascarpone evenly among the plates and drizzle with additional honey, if desired. Serve immediately.
Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Your easy and delicious carne asada tacos and sweet, but simple, peaches are best enjoyed out on the deck with your family and friends at sunset. You won’t forget it!







~”Food is essential to life therefore, make it good”- S. Truett Cathy~