Wednesday, April 6, 2011



It is commonly believed Wacky Cake may have been created as the result rationing durind WWII, when milk and eggs were scarce. Active ingredients in wacky cake include flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, vegetable oil, white vinegar and vanilla extract. Some recipes add brewed coffee instead of water. The cake may be topped with powdered sugar or even served plain.

It is a common dessert in homes during the lenten season for that little something sweet. It is surpringly moist and delicious!!!

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar*
6 T cocoa
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
¾ cup oil
2 T vinegar
2 t vanilla
2 cups water
Mix well….by hand or mixer, and pour into an ungreased 13x9 pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes.
Dust with powdered sugar when cool.

I made mine with 1 cup sugar and 1 cup Splenda* and I used Rich’s frozen Non-Dairy Whip Topping. It comes in the freezer section, you thaw and whip it. I pour this into my coffee as well during Lent…I just can’t drink coffee black. It is in keeping with lenten guidelines of allowable products


While not as savory and tasty as regular pork and smoked meat laden sarma, this recipe is sure to please the palate during Lent. Serve it with a boiled potato if you wish!

• 30 to35 cabbage leaves …..2 heads of cabbage
• 2 ½ cups of partially cooked rice (preferably brown rice) or pearl barley
• 3 large onions, finely chopped
• 1 cup chopped celery
• 2 grated carrots
• 1 cup chopped celery
• ¼ olive oil
• 2 sm cans mushroom, chopped
• 1 tsp cumin
• 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
• ¼ cup of finely chopped fresh parsley
• 1 tsp pepper
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 teaspoon of cumin
• 1 tsp Cavender’s Greek seasoning (optional)
• 1 hot or jalapeno pepper, halved (I add this to almost everything I make!)
• 1 lg 28oz can tomatoes, finely chopped
• 3 to 4 cups of water (approximately)
• 2 T vegetable base

Make the filling: Combine onions, carrots, celery, salt, pepper, cumin, in olive oil and saute in pan for 5 minutes. Let cool in large bowl.
Add 2 ½ cups rice in 5 cups water and boil for 20 minutes or until most of the water is absorbed. Brown rice is not done at this point. It will continue to cook and swell in size during baking. Let cool. Combine with above items and add 2 cans chopped mushrooms and season to taste.

Prepare cabbage leaves: Remove the core of the cabbage, and stick a large fork into the center. Bring a large pot of water to a boil with 3 Tbs of white vinegar, and immerse the cabbage to loosen the outer leaves. When the outer leaves start loosening, remove them using the fork. Return to pot and repeat until all cabbage leaves have been removed. Chop middle part of cabbage and place on the bottom and corners of roaster or greased pan.

Prepare rolls: Remove hard core from each leaf. Place about ¼ cup filling for each roll at the core end, roll , fold in each side and roll up. Roll loosely as they swell during cooking. Place each sarma seam side down in your pan. (They may be flash frozen at this point and used at a later date. This recipe makes enough for a large roaster pan. My large roasting pan no longer fits in my new oven, so I make the same amount and freeze the rest
Place tomatoes on top and cover with 3 to 4 cups of water which has 2 T of vegetable base or Vegeta added. Cover with foil
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 ½ hour.
Make a zafrig or roux and pour over sarma and slightly mix adding more water if need and bake for another 30 minutes. This is optional. Taste at this point to determine if you want more flavor.

Zafrig (roux)
• ⅓ cup oil
• 1 large onion
• ⅓ cup flour
• ½ tsp paprika
Prepare the zafrig (roux). Use equal parts oil to flour. Saute onion in oil in skillet until translucent. Add flour, salt, pepper and paprika (for slight color), stirring to prevent burning, until zafrig starts to brown (5 minutes maybe). Remove from heat and pour over soup, using the liquid from the sarma to mix the roux.



Before I post anymore recipes I have to tell you all something. I never buy boxed broths. They are far too expensive and are far too easy to make yourself. I’m NOT talking about homemade broth from scratch….although homemade is the best to use….just ‘Who has the time for that?’

Bouillon cubes are way too salty. I’m talking about the soup bases out there for sale. Most can be found on the grocer’s shelves, others in kitchen supply houses open to the public, like GFS…my new favorite place to shop, or Costco.

Here are some of them. The vegetable bases are fabulous to use during Lent when we Orthodox refrain from meat or dairy products.
Give them a try…..they will make things easier on yourself. Not all require refrigeration after opening. Be careful of the salt, especially with the Vegeta. I think they enhance most recipes and I sometimes add them to veggies and always add them to rice dishes.

More easy recipes to come using these products.