Monday, June 29, 2009

Cheney Family Cruise - Alaska 2009

Not only have I plastered photos of our recent Alaskan cruise all over facebook, I look at them at least twelve times a day. It was a great little escape for Dana and I and I don't regret AT ALL leaving the kids home.

A few months ago, when my four brothers planned this trip (in place of our 2009 Cheney Family Reunion), we Drakes decided we weren't going to make it. It just happened to fall the same week as Jessie's River Trip and Daniel's High Adventure; Jennie would be working hard to earn college tuition and couldn't really take time off; I wasn't thrilled about going somewhere "FREEZING COLD" and it simply wasn't part of our financial plans this year to fly the family to Anchorage. About three weeks before the cruise, we (I) decided that we (I) couldn't stand to miss out. A light bulb went on and a completely novel idea emerged..."LET'S GO WITHOUT THE KIDS!" Thankfully there was still room on the ship. I reserved a cabin, booked our flights, and started packing...oh, and I told Dana our plans.

One of my favorite things was walking up to my sister-in-law, Lisa, on the ship and saying "Excuse me, is this seat taken?" We had a blast watching facial expressions as we surprised each of them one by one. They were totally blown away.

Entering beautiful Glacier Bay National Park.

Formal Dining

Our ship at port in Juneau.

Ideal jacket necessary!

Juneau--Alaska's capital city.

Shopping in Skagway.

Another night at dinner.

Our brochure photo. (Ha!)

Friday, June 5, 2009

One Every Once in a While

So, they say that once you have your basics in food storage like wheat, rice, beans, and oats (which you could technically survive on, but which are not fun to eat for long periods of time in and of themselves) you can begin to add a few items that will expand your storage and add variety and flavor. Can you imagine the comfort and relief chocolate chip cookies will deliver if you are quarantined within the walls of your home during a global pandemic? Three must- haves for food storage baking are:

powdered eggs, ...

powdered butter,...
...and of course, my home-sealed Chocolate Chips!

Use your own favorite cookie recipes. You don't have to reconstitute the eggs or the butter, just add them to your dry ingredients and then increase the liquids according to directions on the can.

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup butter flavored shortening
1/3 cup powdered butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 cups flour
2 Tbsp. whole powdered eggs
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1-2 cups chocolate chips

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Stir dry ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside. Cream sugars, shortening and butter, add vanilla and water. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Scoop by tablespoon onto foil-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 8 minutes or until beginning to brown around the edges. Cool slightly before taking from cookie sheet. Enjoy warm with an ice cold glass of milk. :)