Great Recipes for Cool Days

By: Cruising Tips

By Carolyn Shearlock, co-author of The Boat Galley Cookbook and

On cool days, hot foods serve double duty – they warm the boat as they cook or bake, and warm the crew at meal time. All those dishes that just seemed too hot in the middle of summer are now perfect! While soups and stews are the obvious choice, hot appetizers and drinks are appealing, too. And baking cookies can put a surprising bit of warmth into the boat. While I’ve included three of our favorite cool-weather recipes below, there are lots of other good choices such as homemade spaghetti sauce that cooks for a couple of hours on the stove, beef stew, casseroles, hot chocolate, and any coffee-based drink such as coffee with Amaretto.


Tuxedo Soup
Named for its use of black and white beans, Tuxedo Soup is delicious yet simple to make, particularly if you’ve had chicken a few days before and cooked an extra piece or two.
Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Serves: 4
1 can (16 ounces) white beans, such as Navy or Great Northern beans, not drained
1 can (16 ounces) black beans, not drained
1 bell pepper (any color), diced
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon hot sauce, or to taste*
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder OR ¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons minced garlic OR 1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 diced cooked chicken breast OR 1 can (6 ounces) chunk chicken or turkey, drained
*If you don’t like food that’s too spicy, try Pickapeppa sauce – it’s flavorful without being hot.
Mix all the ingredients except the chicken in a saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, then turn the heat down and simmer for 45 minutes. Add the chicken, stirring gently so as not to break it up. Simmer for another 10 minutes, then serve.
Variation: Instead of chicken, use 6 ounces of smoked sausage, cut in ¼” slices, and add it at the beginning of the cooking.
Vegetarian/vegan option: Omit the chicken and use salt instead of bouillon powder. If desired, add 1/2 cup of sliced carrots or parsnips.

2Reuben Dip
A great hot dip that’s always well-received on a cold day!
Total Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 6 to 8
1 (12-ounce) can corned beef
3/4 cup sauerkraut, well drained
3/4 cup mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
2/3 cup shredded or chopped Swiss cheese, divided OR other meltable cheese
1/3 cup Thousand Island dressing
2 tablespoons horseradish, to taste OR prepared wasabi, to taste
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Preheat oven to 400º F.
Reserve a little of the cheese for topping. Mash up the corned beef in a bowl, then add all the other ingredients and mix. Spread in a pie pan or similar-sized baking dish. Top with reserved cheese.
Bake at 400° F. for 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and mixture is bubbly.
* As a dip with crackers, tortilla chips or pita bits
* Or spread on bread or toast slices cut into bite-sized bits
* Or hollow out a round loaf of rye bread and serve it in the center with chunks of bread for dippers
Variation: If you’ve got someone who is allergic to milk products, make a portion for them without the cheese. It still tastes great!

3Ginger Snaps
Easy and sure to please – the crew will be lined up as they’re coming out of the oven!
Total Time: 1 hour
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 10 minutes each batch, plus time to cool the cookie sheet
Makes 3 to 4 dozen cookies
2/3 cup canola oil or vegetable oil
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar or additional white sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
1 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour—can use up to half whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Extra sugar to sprinkle over top
Preheat oven to 375° F.
Mix oil, sugars, molasses, egg and vanilla.
Mix dry ingredients separately in small bowl so that soda and spices are evenly distributed, then mix dry ingredients into sugar mix.
Make into 1” balls (mixture will be soft) and place 3” apart on greased cookie sheet (as they bake, cookies will become 3” flat circles). Sprinkle sugar over each cookie.
Bake 9 minutes at 375° F. Cool on the cookie sheet for a minute or two before moving to a wire rack or plate.

4Find over 800 boat-friendly recipes in Carolyn’s book (with Jan Irons), The Boat Galley Cookbook, available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble and many other retailers. You can get a free PDF sampler of it, with 33 recipes, by clicking here. Carolyn’s web site with hundreds of galley and cruising tips is