Another attempt at Royal Lunch Milk Crackers

August 23, 2014

If you’re making stuffing you can substitute Heritage Mills Lunch Crackers for the Royal since in stuffing the taste isn’t that crucial. Heritage Mills is available on the internet. But if you’re eating them straight, you can notice a difference in flavor and consistency. Nabisco is never going to bring them back, so if you want them, you’ll have to make them yourself. This is a result of their takeover by Kraft Foods, Inc. Kraft Foods also bought Cadbury, in case you’ve noticed a change in the quality of your easter eggs too. Don’t buy stock in Kraft. Make your own mac n cheese.

Curiously enough, it is really hard to find a recipe for ANY cracker. I don’t have any in my recipe books, nor was searching the web very fruitful. I found one public recipe for common crackers. I do have an empty box of Royal Lunch Milk Crackers from which I got the ingredient list. I think between the cracker recipe and the Royal Lunch ingredients a recipe may be created after much experimentation, trial and error. I wish you luck. Let me know how you do. I’ll be posting my experiments as I go. I don’t have any diastatic malt powder so I may try substituting Barley Malt syrup instead.

Royal Lunch Cracker ingredients:

Enriched Wheat Flour (contains niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), Riboflavin (vitaming B2)

Vegetable Shortening (partially hydrogenated canola oil)


Malted milk (adds a trivial amount of cholestrol) I have no idea whether this is a liquid or a powder.

Leavening (calcium phosphate, baking soda)


Egg yolks (adds a trivial amount of cholesterol)

There you have it. Good luck.

Here is my best guestimate for a home made version:


4 cups bread flour or King Arthur whole wheat white flour or regular flour. Try it each way. You can even try cake or pastry flour.

1 TBSP Sugar

1 tsp Salt

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

1.25 tsp diastatic malt powder*

1 cup lard

2 egg yolks

Enough milk or water to make dough if necessary. Okay, so the RLMC box doesn’t list milk or water. But some liquid is needed as egg yolks aren’t enough.

Sift together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder and diastatic malt powder. Cut in lard until mixture has the consistency of corn meal. Beat in egg yolks. If necessary add enough milk or water to make a stiff dough.

Roll 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured board. Cut into 3 inch rounds with sharp biscuit cutter. Prick surface with a fork.

Place on parchment paper on a baking sheet, refrigerate for 30 min.

Brush surface with milk.

Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 15-18 min. or until light golden brown.

Allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

*A little research on the internet has discovered two forms of malted milk powder. Non-diastatic malt is for flavoring. Like for malted milk balls and malted milk shakes (and the secret ingredient in bagels). The other, diastatic malt, has enzymes that turn starch to sugar. They give bread a finer texture and longer shelf life and some sweetness. Bakers use diastatic malt for bread to help with leavening. It also gives bread a crustier crust. Guess which one I think is in this recipe? That’s right, the diastatic stuff I.E. with the enzymes. But I’m not sure. So I’ll have to try it both ways. BTW you can get diastatic malt all sorts of places including amazon and eBay. King Arthur Flour carries it. But try your health food store first. Who needs a pound of the stuff. 1 tsp per 3 cups. So about 1.25 tsp for this recipe *if* this is the stuff. Another reason I think it’s the diastatic stuff? The non-diastatic makes the crust shiny (like bagels). If you’ve seen a milk cracker, it’s quite dull. Very matte finish.

You can make your own diastatic malt: sprout a cup of wheat berries by covering them with water in a jar for 12 or so hours, dump out the water & rinse with clean water, and place the jar in a darkish, warmish, place. Rinse the berries every day with clean water and return to their place.

In 2-3 days they will begin to sprout. When the sprout is as long as the berries themselves, dump them out on paper towels, dry them off, and set on a cookie sheet in the sun for a day or so to dry out. Then put the cookie sheet in a 100F oven for an hour or three. Do not let the temp get above 130F or the enzymes will be destroyed.

Then grind the dried malted berries into flour, and use it in your favorite recipe at a rate of approx. 1 tsp. per 3 cups flour.


Beef and Bean Enchilada Casserole Dinner

May 23, 2013


For beans:

1 1/2 cups dried pinto beans (soaked overnight)

1/2 onion

1 clove garlic (on a toothpick)

1/2 tsp ground cumin

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1/2 tsp sugar

small piece salt pork

6 cups water for cooking

For rice:

3 TBSP lard

1 1/4 cups uncooked white rice (not instant)

1 small onion, minced

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp garlic powder

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

3 cups chicken broth or you can use chicken bouillon (I use Better than Bouillon)

For casserole:

1/2 pound lean ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1  4-ounce can diced green chiles
Dozen 6-inch corn tortillas
2 cups enchilada sauce (or make your own)

1 small can chopped black olives

1 cup chopped green onions

1 1/2 to 2 cups shredded four cheese Mexican blend

Optional: shredded lettuce, sour cream

Cook beans first. Then do the casserole. You can make the rice while the casserole is baking.


Soak beans overnight. Drain. Cook in 6 cups of water with all ingredients listed for beans for two hours. Remove onion, garlic and salt pork and discard. Drain beans.


In a large skillet, cook the ground beef, garlic and onion together over medium heat until the beef is browned and the onion is tender. Drain any fat, if needed. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, beans, and chiles; set aside.

Spray a 9×13-inch pan nonstick spray.

Cut the tortillas as follows: cut two into quarters, cut six into halves. Lightly fry the quarters, halves and four whole tortillas for about 30 seconds each until they are just slightly limp but not crisp.

Place half of the tortillas in the bottom of the prepared dish, placing the 4 points of the quarters in the corners, one half between corners on each end and two halves between corners along each side and two wholes in the middle. Top with half of the meat mixture, drizzle 1 cup or half of a can of the enchilada sauce, sprinkle with half the green onions, half the black olives and half the cheese. Repeat the layers one more time. At this point, you can cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 24 hours before baking.

To bake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove plastic wrap, cover with foil and bake for 30-40 minutes. Uncover, and bake 5 minutes or so more, until the cheese is nice and bubbly.

Serve on bed of shredded lettuce with a side of rice. Sour cream optional.


Heat the lard in a skillet, add rice, onion and spices. Stir. When the onion has become transparent add the broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover with the lid tilted so steam can escape. Simmer for 20 min and do not stir. If all liquid has been absorbed.

Lentil soup

May 12, 2013

To cook lentils, simply pick over to remove debris or shriveled lentils, rinse, and drain.

Older lentils will take longer to cook because they have lost more moisture. Do not mix newly-purchased lentils with old ones. They will cook unevenly.

Bring 8 cups of water to a simmer.

Add 1 cup rinsed lentils

1/2 roma tomato, cut in half

1/2 yellow onion, cut in half

1 tsp minced garlic

several twists of a pepper mill

1 bay leaf

1-2 TBSP of olive oil

1 1/2 cups small elbow macaroni

Simmer for 20 min with the lid tilted to allow steam to escape. Lentils should be al dente.

Then add macaroni. Simmer an additional 10 min. until macaroni and lentils are tender.

Fish out the bay leaf. You can either eat the onion and tomato or fish them out too.

Add salt to taste after lentils and macaroni have finished cooking. Salt added to the cooking water will toughen the beans so wait until they’re done to add salt.

Hoppin’ John

For Hoppin’ John, follow the above recipe only do not add the macaroni. Hoppin’ John is wonderful served over Basmati rice.

Käsespätzle – German mac and cheese.

May 10, 2013

Spätzle are german home made noodles. Käse is cheese. So this is home made German mac and cheese.

I like to eat this as a main dish. A big bowl with a side salad is dinner.

Käse Spätzle


Serving Size : 4 sides or 2 main dishes


1/2 cup flour

1/2 tsp salt — plus more for seasoning

pinch white pepper — plus more for seasoning

pinch ground nutmeg

2 eggs

1/2 medium onion — sliced

pinch sugar

5 tablespoons butter — divided

1/2 teaspoon hungarian paprika

3 ounces emmentaler cheese- shredded or grated

bread crumbs
chopped parsley for garnish


Sift together flour, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Beat eggs in a medium bowl. Into the eggs, mix in the flour mixture, beat with a spoon with holes until smooth. It should be about the consistency of thin brownie batter. Let stand for 30 minutes. You want the flour to develop the gluten.


While the batter rests, melt 1 TBSP butter in the large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion, sugar, salt, pepper and paprika and cook until it begins to caramelize, stirring occasionally. On low medium low heat this will take almost an hour, probably until your spätzle are ready.


Bring pot of salted water to boil.


Dip the Spätzlebret and scraper in boiling water, then put a spoonful of dough on the board and scrape small pieces of dough off and drop into boiling water, using caution as water may splash. Boil about 3-4 minutes, stirring gently or until they float. Remove from water with slotted spoon, put in colander over a bowl and continue. (Can be made ahead and chilled until ready to use. Spätzle also freeze well.) Dip between each batch. Make only a spoonful at a time.


You can also use a ricer or several different styles of spätzle makers. In a pinch you can put a colander over the pot, then put the dough in the colander and stir with a spoon while it drips through the holes.


I prefer using a Spätzlebret. They are available on amazon and eBay. There are plenty of videos on YouTube showing how to use a Spätzlebret. Frau Lutz uses a thicker dough and really loads up the board, but she has had a lifetime of practice. Notice how often she dips the board in the boiling water. And she really does use only a little at a time. It just takes a little practice. I’d suggest using an offset spatula for icing cakes to scrape the board.

Melt 1 TBSP butter in fry pan and sprinkle with bread crumbs to brown. Reserve.


Now you can do one of two things. You can fry them or bake them.




Saute spätzle in remaining 3 tablespoons of butter until golden brown, toss with onion mixture and cheese and season with pepper and salt. Top with fried bread crumbs that have been browned in butter.




Butter and line a 1 1/2 – 2 quart casserole dish with bread crumbs (“Paniermehl”).

Spread half the spaetzle on the bottom of the dish and top with half the cheese and onions. Repeat with the remaining spaetzle, cheese, and onions. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake covered until bubbly, about 15 minutes.

If you like, brown the cheese topping under the broiler during the last 5 minutes.

Either way, sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve hot.

Shrimp Rice Curry Salad

May 10, 2013

Curried Rice and Shrimp Salad

a cold rice salad

Make the curried rice first:


1-1/2 cups rice mix. (I use Royal blend of brown, red, white and wild rice. You can use any mix you like from the bulk bins.)

1/2 medium onion, finely chopped

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp garam masala (from the bulk spices or mix your own)

3 TBSP butter

3 cups chicken broth

3/4 tsp each dried basil, marjoram, thyme and sage

1/2 teaspoon salt


In a large saucepan, saute rice, onion, minced garlic and garam masala in butter for 5 minutes.

Stir in broth and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 18-22 minutes or until rice is tender.

Cool the rice before proceeding

Curried Shrimp Rice Salad

1 recipe curried rice, cooled. (see above)

3 cups cleaned, cooked bay shrimp

1 cup diced celery

1 diced green bell pepper

1/2 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 TBSP curry powder mix* (see below)

sprig of parsley for garnish

dash of paprika

Reserve 3 shrimp for garnish. In bowl, combine cooled rice, the remaining shrimp, celery and bell pepper. Mix thoroughly. Whip cream to soft peaks and combine with mayonnaise. Add curry powder mix. Add to taste so if you want more, add more. Stir into shrimp rice mixture. Cover; chill. To serve, line a bowl with lettuce leaves, spoon in mixture, garnish with the three reserved shrimp and parsley leaves. Sprinkle with a little paprika for color.

You can serve this salad like any other curry with sides of shredded coconut, cashew nuts or chutney.

Curry powder mix:

1/2 cup curry powder from the bulk bins

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp ground cardamon

Add curry powder, cinnamon, cloves and cardamon and mix thoroughly.

Mary’s Beef and Four Bean Chili

April 3, 2013

Beef & Four Bean Chili
Serves 8


Cooking spray
1 pound boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2-3 pork sausages, casings removed
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 chopped onion
1/4 cup minced green peppers or 1 can diced green chilis
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups beef broth
1/2 TBSP paprika
1/2 TBSP ground cumin

1 tsp coriander
1 TBSP chili powder

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp cocoa

1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1/2 can tomato paste

1 TBSP red wine vinegar

1 TBSP Worchestershire

1/4 cup red wine
1/4 cup each: pinto (or pink), kidney (or red), white and black beans

shredded cheese

corn bread

Optional: chopped avocado, chopped cilantro leaves, chopped onion, chopped tomato, sliced radishes, lime wedges, sour cream


1. Soak beans overnight. Drain. Add plenty of water to cover. Cook 90 min. Drain.

2. Heat a fry pan or wok over high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle beef evenly with salt and pepper. When pan is hot add sausage and break up into crumbles and stir. Add beef to pan; sauté 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove from pan. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion and pepper; sauté 8 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in a little of the broth, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.

3. Combine all ingredients in crock pot and simmer on low for 8-10 hours. Longer if necessary.

4. Serve with shredded cheese and cornbread and optional garnishes.


In honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday

March 2, 2013

Cat Hat cookies

5 cups all purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

4 large egg yolks

2  tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tsp pure almond extract

1 tsp red liquid food coloring (can use red paste food coloring)

Large Floppy Hat cookie cutter (from




In a bowl, whisk the flour with the salt.

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and almond extracts and beat until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the flour mixture, a little at a time, and beat until you have a smooth dough.

Remove half of the dough from the mixing bowl. Wrap in plastic and put in the refrigerator. To the remaining half add the red food coloring and beat on low speed until well blended. If you find the dough too soft, cover and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.

Roll out one color into a long rectangle about 3/8 of an inch thick. Cut it into four long strips 4 inches wide. Do the same with the other. Now you are going to stack them: 2 white, 1 red, 1 white, 1 red, 1 white, 2 red. Wrap them in plastic and press them until they form a tall rectangular log. Place the dough in the refrigerator for 5-10 min. to firm.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and place rack in center of oven.

Now slice the dough into 1/4 inch slices from top (double red) to bottom (double white). Using the “hat” cookie cutter, cut the striped slabs into hat shapes. Place on parchment paper covered baking sheets.

Bake cookies for about 8 – 10 minutes or until set and the edges of the cookies are just starting to brown. Do not over bake. Remove from oven and let cookies cool completely on baking sheet. Cover and store in an airtight container for about a week. These cookies can be frozen.