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Boat Chef: Baked Ricotta Dip with Roasted Tomatoes + Boat-Baked Bread

Boat Chef: Baked Ricotta Dip with Roasted Tomatoes + Boat-Baked Bread

Thanksgiving is tomorrow! And if you’re in need of an easy appetizer to bring to your celebration, check out this delicious dip and bread I made right here on the boat! It’s a no-knead bread, and it only takes about two and a half hours from start to finish, so you don’t need to be working on it all day.

As for the dip, it’s a throw together and bake kind of recipe. So simple and so delicious. It will be the hit of any party!

Scroll past video to see full recipes. I’ve split them in two so that you can make each independently if you so wish.


Baked Ricotta Dip with Roasted Tomatoes

This dip is creamy and cheesy and perfect for any holiday party!

Course Appetizer
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6
Author lifeatsixknots


For the roasted tomatoes

  • 1 package cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the dip

  • 16 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary chopped well
  • 3-4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

  2. Toss your cherry tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper in a small bowl. 

  3. Spread tomatoes out on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. 

  4. Bake for about 20 minutes or until tomatoes have expelled their juice and started to brown around the edges. 

  5. Pull them out of the oven and set aside. 

  6. In a separate bowl, combine all dip ingredients. 

  7. Spread dip mix into a small baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes or until edges start to brown.

  8. With about 5 minutes left in your baking time, remove dip, spread tomatoes over the top and finish baking.

If you don’t have a couple of hours, or you simply don’t want to make your own bread, feel free to pick up a baguette or something at the grocery store. Don’t worry, I won’t be offended. But you should try the bread at some point. You won’t be disappointed!


Boat Baked Bread

You know, like home baked bread...only in a boat? It's amazing. And its simple. 

And it's adapted from Life as a Strawberry's awesome recipe.

Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings 6
Author lifeatsixknots


  • 1 pckg Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1.25 cups warm water about 100 degrees
  • 1.5 tsp sea salt
  • 2.5 cups all purpose flour

For the topping

  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary chopped small
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder


  1. Add water to a bowl, and sprinkle yeast and sugar on top. Mix gently and let sit for about 5 minutes or until the mixture starts to bubble.

  2. Add salt to the bowl. Mix gently.

  3. Add your flour a little at a time, mixing until combined with each addition.

  4. Once all the flour is in, sprinkle a little extra flour on top of your dough ball, then flip the ball over and sprinkle a little more flour. We do this so the dough doesn't stick to the bowl while it is rising.

  5. Cover the bowl with a dish towel, and let it sit for about an hour or until the dough has about doubled in size.

  6. When the dough is ready, sprinkle a little bit of flour on a cutting board and gently tip the bowl to release the dough onto your board. 

  7. Gently fold each side into the center to make the shape of your loaf. 

  8. Sprinkle a little more flour on top and gently place your dough into a fresh bowl, seam side down. 

  9. Cover with your towel and let rise for another 30-45 minutes. 

  10. While your dough is rising, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place your empty stock pot (and lid) in the oven while it heats so it is nice and hot when you put your dough inside. 

  11. When your dough is done rising, turn it out onto a sheet of parchment paper so the seam side is now up. 

  12. Dust with chopped rosemary, sea salt and garlic. 

  13. Very carefully remove your hot pot from the oven and place your dough with the parchment paper into it. 

  14. Replace the lid and carefully put the pot back into the oven.

  15. Bake for about 30 minutes. 

  16. At the 30 min mark, remove the lid of the pot and allow to cook for another 10-20 minutes or until your crust is crunchy and starting to brown. 

  17. Remove from the oven and place on cutting board or cooling rack. Let cool slightly (but not all the way!) before serving. 

  18. Enjoy with your baked ricotta dip or with a simple smearing of butter. 

Recipe Notes

The original recipe used a dutch oven for this bread. I don't have one, which is why I used the stock pot. I believe any covered pot will work just fine as it is the steam inside that gives the bread its nice crunchy crust. 

If you have an oven with a lower heating element like ours (as opposed to one at the top of the oven), you may need to take the bread out of the pot, move your rack up and bake the last 10-20 minutes on an upside down cookie sheet to avoid burning the bottom. Your crust will also be a little less brown (like ours in the photo).


Have you ever baked bread on your boat before? Or in your house? I’d never made it until I moved onto the boat, and I think I’m hooked!


Boat Apetit!

Boat Chef: Veggie sausage, kale and potato soup

Boat Chef: Veggie sausage, kale and potato soup

It’s soup weather, y’all! And on today’s Boat Chef, we’re making a delicious veggie sausage, kale and potato soup that’ll warm you right up!

Scroll past the video for the full recipe.


Veggie Sausage, Kale and Potato Soup

This soup will warm you from the inside out on even the coldest day

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author lifeatsixknots


  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 4 leaves kale chopped
  • 3 small carrots chopped
  • 2 leeks chopped and rinsed well
  • 3 sm purple potatoes chopped
  • 2 cans white beans drained
  • 1 pkg Veggie Sausage cut into small pieces
  • 1 carton vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2-3 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp chili pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Chop veggies.

  2. Melt butter in a large stock pot.

  3. Add garlic. 

  4. Add onions, leeks, carrots, potatoes, kale, beans, veggie sausage and spices

  5. Add stock. 

  6. Bring to a boil and let simmer until potatoes are fully cooked.

  7. Serve with a nice slice of fresh bread and butter on the side.

Recipe Notes

If you eat meat, by all means, use meat sausage!

Boat Apetit!

Boat Chef: Tasty Tofu Enchiladas

Boat Chef: Tasty Tofu Enchiladas

When I moved into my first apartment as an adult, I lived next door to the cutest family ever. David and Danielle had just brought Daisy home a few months earlier, and they welcomed me to the neighborhood with open arms. Over the course of the next few years, I got to be a part of their family, and when they bought their first home and moved out of the apartment, I would spend Thursday evenings at their house watching American Idol and eating enchiladas.

This is the recipe I made on those Thursday nights (with the addition of the tofu…), and every time I eat it, I am brought back to those cozy nights on their couch, laughing and making bets on who would win it all.

Scroll past video to see full recipe.


veggie enchiladas

Tasty Tofu Enchiladas


  • 1 med sized zucchini
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/2 package extra firm tofu
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 cup frozen corn I used roasted because it’s yummy!
  • 1 package shredded Mexican cheese
  • 1 bottle Trader Joes enchilada sauce (or whatever brand floats your boat)
  • 1 package of corn or flour tortillas approx. 10


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

  2. Chop onion and zucchini. 

  3. Sautee onion. 

  4. Chop tofu into crumbles. Add about ¼ cup enchilada sauce. Let sit. 

  5. When onion is done, add onion, zucchini, black beans and corn to the tofu bowl. 

  6. Pour a little bit of enchilada sauce in the bottom of your pan and spread it around till the bottom is coated. 

  7. Lightly fry tortillas in olive oil. Coat each side with enchilada sauce. Set tortilla in the pan. 

  8. Add a scoop of veggie mixture and a sprinkle of cheese. Roll enchilada. Repeat until your pan is full. Pour remaining sauce on top of enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce bubbles at the edges.

  9. Repeat until your pan is full. Pour remaining sauce on top of enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese. 

  10. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce bubbles at the edges.

Recipe Notes

You will probably end up with some extra filling. It mixes really well into scrambled eggs for breakfast tacos in the morning!

Boat Apetit!

Boat Chef: Fallicious Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Boat Chef: Fallicious Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Fall has officially arrived in the Pacific Northwest! The trees are turning a million shades of orange, yellow and red and that nip has returned to the air. Sunshine feels fabulous on my cheeks, and I find myself constantly in the mood for something pumpkin.

If you’re feeling like me right now, this is the perfect recipe for you!

Scroll past video to see full recipe.

pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

Fallicious Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies


  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg fresh ground if possible
  • 1 cup butter browned
  • 1 1/3 cups brown sugar loosely packed
  • 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin
  • 1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Whisk together flour, oats, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg till combined. Set aside.

  3. In a separate bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar.

  4. Blend in egg, vanilla extract and pumpkin puree. 

  5. Stir in dry ingredients in 3 parts.

  6. Mix in chocolate chips.

  7. Scoop dough out with a teaspoon, approx. 12 cookies per sheet. 

  8. Bake for 12 - 14 minutes. 

  9. Allow to cool slightly, then enjoy while still warm with a steaming cup of coffee or tea. 

What is  your favorite fall recipe?

Boat Apetit!






pumpkin cookies

Boat Chef: Bodacious Breakfast Potato Stacks

Boat Chef: Bodacious Breakfast Potato Stacks

Fall has officially arrived! And colder weather calls for hot, delicious breakfasts to warm us from the inside. This recipe is so easy to make and it’s almost always a hit. We like to make individual-sized stacks, but you can totally do this in a full-sized spring form pan and serve it to a crowd as well. We top ours with a couple of fried eggs, but the sky is the limit when it comes to accompaniments.

Scroll past the video for the full recipe.


bodacious breakfast potato stacks

Bodacious Breakfast Potato Stacks

deliciously seasoned stack of breakfast potatoes

Course Breakfast
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 2 people


  • 4-5 red potatoes sliced thin
  • 2 tbsp butter melted
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast maybe more, depending on your taste
  • seasoning to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 425.

  2. Grease your spring form pans.

  3. Layer potatoes, butter, nutritional yeast, seasoning, salt and pepper until you've reached the top of your pan

  4. Bake for approx 25 minutes

  5. Top with a few fried eggs and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Make this recipe vegan by using a butter substitute...and omitting the eggs on top.

Boat Apetit!





breakfast potato stacks








Cruising the San Juan Islands: Part 2

Cruising the San Juan Islands: Part 2

*This post includes affiliate links. That means if you click a link and purchase the item, we get a little bit of commission, which we appreciate the heck out of, btw!

Port Ludlow to Mackaye Harbor

Our first experience anchoring was…fun. Aside from some quirkiness from the windlass, we did pretty good! Port Ludlow is a muddy bottom (like most of the Puget Sound area), so it was a good place to learn. We were exhausted by the time we got settled down after taking Katie to shore to do her businesses, but we managed to spend a few minutes enjoying a beautiful sunset.

sunset at port ludlow


We faced our first “living on the hook” challenge: making coffee with no shore power. Usually we use an electric kettle to get the water temperature exactly right, an important element of the brewing process when you use a Chemex coffee maker. Without power, we had to heat the water in a pan and then pour it into the kettle (we use a gooseneck kettle for even pouring). A stovetop kettle is definitely on our wish list for future cruising adventures, but for now, this worked quite nicely for us.

Before we got to the actual cruising portion of this adventure, we had one stop to make: my dad’s family’s annual reunion in Sequim.

I have such fond memories of attending the reunion when I was a kid. We made a road trip out of it several times, and those trips are some of my best memories of childhood. We would stop and camp along the way, sleeping in this green tent, all four of us (my parents and my brother, Matt. Dan was there for one trip, I believe), and cooking on a camp stove. The Pacific Northwest is known for its berries, and I remember picking strawberries one year and my mom making a strawberry pie inside the tent because it was pouring rain outside.


This was the first time in over 20 years that I made it to the reunion. Since I was a kid the last time I went, I didn’t remember a whole lot of people, so it was fun to re-meet so much of my dad’s side of the family. Jim and I both really enjoyed chatting with everyone, getting a tour of the dairy farm run for three generations by the Smith family, and having my fingers sucked on by baby cows. There was so much good food and good conversation that all around warmed my soul.

dairy farm in sequim, wa
The family farm from the mouth of Sequim Bay

That night was a full moon (or almost full), and it was red in all the smoke from the fires. We sat outside, enjoying a nightcap and listening to the music coming from the wedding at the yacht club. It was a perfect way to end a wonderful day.


red full moon


From Sequim, we made our way across the Straight of Juan de Fuca and into the San Juans. Our first stop was Mackaye Harbor on the south side of Lopez Island. We picked blackberries and checked out a cute little general store and enjoyed a beautiful walk on this green and lush island. Everyone who passed us waved from their cars, and we just loved how friendly and welcoming people were.

dirt road on Lopez Island

Next week we start really exploring the San Juan Islands. Stay tuned as we anchor at Friday Harbor, Blind Bay and more!


Boat Chef: Tummy-Warming Veggie Chili (in the Wonderbag)

Boat Chef: Tummy-Warming Veggie Chili (in the Wonderbag)

As soon as the weather gets cold, I start craving soup. Soup is such a cozy, comforting dish to warm your tummy. And while chili is technically not soup, it has the same warming properties and it sounded good on this cold Pacific Northwest fall day.

When we started looking into moving aboard last year about this time, we came across a YouTube channel called Sailing Selkie. It was a young couple who were making the transition from living in an apartment to living on a sailboat in the Seattle area. We watched their videos over and over. They were doing exactly what we were working toward! In one of their episodes, they made a delicious looking pot of soup in a Wonderbag and we immediately added it to our list of needed boat items. Sadly, Sailing Selkie is no more, but we had to credit them with our discovery of this awesome slow cooker that requires no electricity.

This chili recipe will work in any slow cooker (or even just on the stovetop if you prefer!), but it was perfect for our Wonderbag.

Scroll past the video for the full recipe.


wonderbag veggie chili

Tummy-Warming Veggie Chili

Veggie chili to warm your tummy made in a Wonderbag or other slow cooker

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Author lifeatsixknots


  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 large carrots chopped
  • 1 med sweet potato chopped
  • 2-3 jalapenos chopped
  • 2 med zucchinis chopped
  • 1 bag frozen corn
  • 2-3 cloves fresh garlic chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (or chili powder)
  • 1 can kidney beans drained
  • 1 can navy beans drained
  • 2 cans white beans (Great Northern) drained
  • 2 cans pinto beans drained
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 can petite chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can fire roasted chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can Guiness draught beer or other dark beer


  1. Melt butter in a pan. Add onions. 

  2. Add sweet potato, carrots, jalapenos to the pan and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. 

  3. Add fresh garlic and spices. 

  4. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, beans and beer. 

  5. Bring to a boil.

  6. Remove pot from stove and put it in the Wonderbag. 

  7. Set aside for 3-3 1/2 hours.

  8. Add zucchini and corn.

  9. Let cook for another 1-2 hours. 

  10. Serve with your favorite toppings. We love sour cream, a little shredded cheese and sliced avocado!

Recipe Notes

If you are using a regular slow cooker, simply put all your ingredients into the slow cooker, mix well and cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 8-9 hours.

If you are planning to leave your boat while your chili cooks, you can add the corn and zucchini with your beans and tomatoes. We just like them a little less soft, but they will be fine cooking the full amount of time.

What are your favorite chili toppings? Let us know if you try this recipe and what you think!

Boat Apetit!





Boat Chef: Hoppin’ Jalapeno Popper Dip

Boat Chef: Hoppin’ Jalapeno Popper Dip

Whenever we are invited to a party, people ask us to bring this dip.  Jim loves with with tortilla chips, while I prefer it with a sliced and lightly toasted baguette, but it is delicious on almost anything you put it on. You can take our word for that because we’ve used it to top fish tacos, baked salmon, crab cakes (you can find our recipe here!), burgers, and mixed with macaroni and cheese. And if you try it and come up with your own unique uses, please let us know!

Scroll past the video to see the full recipe.

hoppin jalapeno popper dip

Hoppin' Jalapeno Popper Dip

This dip will be the hit on any party you bring it to and pairs well with either tortilla chips or a toasted sliced baguette.

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 people
Author lifeatsixknots


  • 4 bricks cream cheese
  • 1 16 oz tub of sour cream
  • 5 jalapenos chopped
  • 1 package shredded cheese We use "Mexican"
  • 1-2 cloves fresh garlic crushed
  • 1.5 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1.5 tbsp butter melted
  • seasoning of your choice


  1. Combine cream cheese and sour cream in a bowl. Mix. 

  2. Add shredded cheese, jalapenos, fresh garlic and seasoning. Mix. 

  3. In a separate bowl, combine panko, melted butter and seasoning to taste. Mix well.

  4. Spread dip in a baking dish. 

  5. Sprinkle with panko mix. 

  6. Bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes or until panko has browned a little. 

  7. Serve with tortilla chips, sliced toasted baguette or whatever your heart fancies.






life at six knots jalapeno popper dip

Boat Chef: Steph’s Crabulous Crab Cakes

Boat Chef: Steph’s Crabulous Crab Cakes


Welcome to the first episode of our new series, Boat Chef! One of the questions we are asked most about our liveaboard lifestyle is whether or not we cook on the boat.

When we moved aboard, I promised myself I wouldn’t let the size of my galley prevent me from cooking exactly what I wanted when I wanted to. Last December I baked Christmas cookies aboard, and on St. Patrick’s Day I made Jim and our neighbor, Skip, a corned beef with all the veggies (I get double credit on that one since I don’t even eat corned beef!). I’ve made risotto while underway and handfuls of lunches on a heel.

I’ve always enjoyed cooking and I’d like to think I’m pretty good at it, so I am starting this series to share with you some of the recipes and dishes I prepare in my tiny galley.

Scroll past the video for the full recipe.



Crabulous Crab Cakes (with Sriracha remoulade)

These crab cakes are delicious and easy to make. 

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 people


For the crab cakes

  • 1/2 tbsp Sriracha sauce
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp mayonaise
  • 4-5 shakes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1.5 green onions chopped small
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • seasoning salt (or Old Bay) to taste
  • 2 eggs
  • Approx 1 lb fresh crab cracked, shelled and cleaned
  • 1 sleeve Ritz crackers crushed into crumbs
  • olive oil (or coconut oil) for cooking

For the Sriracha Remoulade

  • 1/2 green onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup mayonnnaise
  • 1-2 tbsp Sriracha depending on your taste
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • seasoning (salt, pepper, etc) to taste
  • 1/2 lemon juiced


  1. Mix remoulade ingredients together, set aside.

  2. Combine your sauces (Sriracha, Worcestershire, Dijon mustard), mayonnaise, green onion, crushed garlic, lemon juice, seasoning salt, salt and pepper in a large bowl.

  3. Add eggs and crab. Mix.

  4. Add cracker crumbs. Mix.

  5. Heat about 1/4 inch of oil in a frying pan. When it is hot, add crab mixture in small lumps, flattening each one slightly.

  6. Fry each cake for about 3 mins on each side or until they're golden brown. 

  7. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

In the video, it only shows me adding one egg. I did add a second one that didn't make it on camera


Living Aboard a Sailboat: A Quick Peek

Living Aboard a Sailboat: A Quick Peek


When we made the decision to move onto a sailboat, we knew that life would be drastically different. We knew we would have less storage space and I would have to learn to cook on a lot smaller scale. We knew that the ground beneath our feet would no longer be still and we’d have to get used to the natural motions of  a vessel floating on water. There would be adjustments to pretty much all of our functions of daily life. And that was okay with us. We’d figure it out.

And we have. We’ve adjusted to life on the boat far better than I had anticipated. Our boat home sufficiently meets all of our needs and is as comfy and cozy as we could ask for. Obviously there are elements of life on the boat that are more difficult than life in a house, but overall, the freedom and sense of adventure of living on a boat far outweigh the inconveniences.

Here are a few examples of those inconveniences:

Showering at the marina

Emptying our waste holding tank

Using only 30 amps of power at a time and having to turn off one thing to turn on another

Crawling under the table to use the head when Jim is working

Washing dishes more often (we have fewer dishes on board due to limited space)

Trying to sleep in a wind storm

Trying to work in a wind storm

Buying potable water

And a few others we outlined in the video below:

And just to even things out a bit, here is a short list of thing we LOVE about living on the boat:

The ability to be out on an adventure at a moment’s notice

Living in a marina community

Being surrounded by water all the time

The charm of our boat

The simplicity of life

The ability to focus our time on a career we love instead of hustling to pay for a house

Not having room for a lot of stuff means we don’t collect stuff we don’t need

Hearing seagulls overhead when we wake up every morning

Being the envy of our friends and family 😉

Check back next week for our humorous contrast of life on land as we house sit for some friends for a week!