Many thanks to the more than 100 readers who responded to our Dump Cake query (Jan. 12)! Their recipes were attributed to sources far and wide, but many found it on a Duncan Hines cake mix box years ago. The original recipe--more like a cobbler than a cake--follows. Many readers added a sprinkling of coconut along with the nuts.

Dump Cake

(About 12 servings)

20-ounce can crushed pineapple in syrup, undrained

21-ounce can cherry pie filling (may use blueberry or apple)

18-ounce box yellow cake mix (without pudding)

1 cup chopped pecans

4 ounces (1 stick) butter, very thinly sliced, plus extra for pan

Ice cream or whipped cream (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking pan.

Dump the pineapple and syrup into the pan and spread it evenly. Carefully spread the cherry pie filling evenly over the pineapple. Sprinkle the cake mix evenly over the pie filling. Sprinkle the pecans over the cake mix. Cover the nuts with the slices of butter.

Bake the cake in the preheated oven until golden and bubbling, about 50 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.

Per serving: 410 calories, 3 gm protein, 59 gm carbohydrates, 19 gm fat, 23 mg cholesterol, 6 gm saturated fat, 286 mg sodium, 2 gm dietary fiber


I was wondering if you had an easy, spicy recipe for jambalaya? Thanks so much for your help and Happy New Year.

Joan Allen, Baltimore

This recipe was published in The Washington Post in 1991. Although it is not a true jambalaya since the rice is cooked and served separately from the spicy stew, it is incredibly quick and easy to make.

Chicken Jambalaya

(4 servings)

This microwave stew-of-sorts combines Cajun seasonings, vegetables, smoky sausage and chicken; serve it over cooked rice.

The recipe was tested in a 500-watt microwave oven. For a full-power microwave oven (625 to 700 watts), reduce the total cooking time by about 30 percent.

2 tablespoons corn oil

1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped onion

4 scallions, thinly sliced

1/2 pound smoked sausage, such as andouille or kielbasa, diced

1 1/2 cups red bell peppers, seeded and chopped

1 1/2 cups chicken stock or broth

10 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon dried basil

1/4 teaspoon mace

1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder

1 bay leaf

Ground cloves to taste

Salt and black pepper to taste

1 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut in 1-inch cubes

About 4 cups cooked rice

In a large rectangular glass baking dish, heat the oil, uncovered, on high for 2 minutes. Stir in the onions and scallions and cook, uncovered, on high until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sausage, red peppers, stock or broth, garlic and all the herbs and spices. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and cook on high for 10 minutes.

Remove the plastic, stir in the chicken and cover with a paper towel. Cook on high for 5 minutes, stir, then cover and cook for 5 minutes longer.

Discard the bay leaf. Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly. Serve warm over rice pilaf.

Per serving: 658 calories, 49 gm protein, 70 gm carbohydrates, 19 gm fat, 8 gm saturated fat, 122 mg cholesterol, 882 mg sodium, 5 gm dietary fiber

Send your recipe 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