Many thanks to the dozens of readers who responded to the recipe request for a Wacky or Crazy Cake that appeared here recently! While there were small differences among the recipes we received, this one seems to be the most popular.

Wacky Cake

(12 servings)

This recipe is printed on the label for Super G White Vinegar.

Nonstick cooking spray

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup cold water

Frosting or confectioners' sugar (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In the baking dish, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Make 3 holes in the dry ingredients. Pour the oil in the first hole, the vinegar in the second hole and the vanilla in the third hole. Pour the water over the entire mixture and mix well.

Spread the batter evenly in the baking dish and bake in the preheated oven until the center is firm, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar or spread with your favorite frosting, if desired.

Per serving: 175 calories, 2 gm protein, 29 gm carbohydrates, 6 gm fat, 0 mg cholesterol, trace saturated fat, 203 mg sodium, 1 gm dietary fiber


My husband, Tom, and I both remember enjoying chili served over hot dogs years ago in Pennsylvania, but no matter where I looked, I could never find a recipe for it. Finally, I came across this recipe in an old Gourmet Magazine and found that it is as close to the classic "Coney Island" chili as we can get. The recipe is truly delicious, and is fast becoming a family favorite!

Sally Breig



(Makes about 8 servings)

1 small onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 pound lean ground chuck beef

1/2 cup beef broth

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon celery salt

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the onion and garlic in the vegetable oil until soft. Add the beef and cook, crumbling the beef with a spoon, until browned. Carefully drain the fat. Add the beef broth, soy sauce, chili powder, allspice, cumin, pepper, nutmeg, celery salt and ginger and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated. If desired, carefully transfer the hot mixture to a food processor and pulse 4 or 6 times. Spoon over hot dogs and enjoy.

Per serving (without hot dog or bun): 148 calories, 11 gm protein, 3 gm carbohydrates, 10 gm fat, 39 mg cholesterol, 4 gm saturated fat, 269 mg sodium, 1 gm dietary fiber

Send your question (or your answer to a reader's question) to: Prince George's Food, The Washington Post, 14402 Old Mill Rd., Suite 201, Upper Marlboro, Md. 20772. Or e-mail it to food@washpost.com.