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Watergate Cake!


 
When I have posted the recipe for Watergate Salad ,   I have been asked by several people for the recipe for this yummy Watergate Cake!   I vaguely remembered this cake, but it wasn't something we made all that much for some reason.  

So I went on a search for a good recipe for Watergate Cake.   There is not all that much out there, even in my oldest church cookbooks.  What I did find, I sort of combined to come up with this recipe and the results got rave reviews from the family and friends who taste tested it!  

This is a great cake for the Christmas holidays with it's pretty light green color.  I garnished with maraschino cherries to add some red!   It would be equally pretty for St. Patrick's Day or Easter also! 

Here is what you'll need: 

1 (15.25 oz.) white cake mix
3 large eggs
2 (3 oz.) boxes instant pistachio pudding, divided
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup Sprite or 7-Up
2 tsp. vanilla, divided
1 cup chopped pecans, divided
1 (8 oz.) carton frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 cup milk
Maraschino cherries for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  

Spray a 9"x13" baking pan with nonstick baking spray. 


In a mixing bowl, mix the cake mix, eggs, 1 package of the pudding mix,  the oil, the Sprite or 7-Up, and 1 tsp. of vanilla.   Beat for 1 to 2 minutes.   Fold in /1/2 of the pecans.  


Pour into the 9"x13" baking pan.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until a pick inserted in the middle comes out clean! 
Allow to cool before frosting!


Mix the other pudding mix and 1 cup cold milk in a bowl.  Beat until it starts to thicken.  Add 1 tsp. vanilla.  Fold in the whipped cream until blended.  Spread evenly on the cooled cake. 

Sprinkle with the other 1/2 cup of chopped pecans.  I garnished with maraschino cherries, which is pretty for Christmas!   Refrigerate until ready to serve!


















Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake!

           

                    
Many of you have said you are really trying to drop a few pounds since the first of the year and as you know most of what I post is not all that diet friendly.  The really popular, classic southern foods just aren't usually low fat.   I have said that I will try to find some recipes that are lower in fat and sugar and if I can find some that actually taste good, I will post them.

The recipes on this site are all made by me or my mother and occasionally by a friend or other family member and taste tested to be sure that they are actually good, before you ever see them.  Sometimes, I make them more than once, because the first run just didn't suit me or the pictures were not great.  I do not want to post recipes that will get bad results and a lot of complaints. 

That's the quickest way to lose readers.  I know, because I have had that experience with a lot of recipes myself.  If I continually try recipes from a site or someone's cookbooks and get bad results, I lose faith in what they put out there and eventually quit paying attention.

Most of the family classics, we have down to a science and don't have to really fret over, except to actually measure the ingredients, which for many. we never did anymore.   That has been challenging at times.  To remember to slow down enough to measure so you know it's not just a smidgen of this or a handful of that.   

This little cake was my mother's creation and I had my doubts at first, but after tasting it, I was really impressed.  It is really low in fat, but you would never know it.  It's creamy and really delicious.

Here is what you will need for this:

1  1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1 (8 oz.) light cream cheese, softened
1  (14 oz.) can fat free sweetened condensed milk
1 (3.5 oz.) sugar free chocolate instant pudding
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup light sour cream
8 oz. light frozen whipped topping, divided

Garnish
pint of fresh strawberries
chocolate curls

For the crust, combine the graham crackers, butter, and sugar.  Press into a 8 inch springform pan.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.

Beat cream cheese, condensed milk, pudding mix and vanilla.  Mix the sour cream and and half of the whipped cream.   Fold that mixture into the pudding mixture.  Reserve the rest of the whipped cream for the top. 

Pour the chocolate mixture into the crust and chill in the refrigerator overnight. 

                                                                                      
When it has chilled, spread the reserved whipped cream over the top.  It will just be a thin layer.  Garnish with the  strawberries you have capped and sliced in half and chocolate curls.  

If you do not have a springform pan, you could also make this in a two quart baking dish and cut it in squares.



 Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake!






 


Roasted Pork Loin with Mushroom Gravy!


This transforms a pork loin into something worthy of serving to company or special enough for your holiday menu, but it's so easy you won't believe it!  This is also a relatively low fat recipe, believe it or not with not very many ingredients!   Usually, anything with gravy, that is not the case!  I like this cooked in the oven, but you can use your slow cooker also with some adaptation, I will give those instructions at the end.  

 Here is what you will need: 

3-5 lb. pork loin
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. minced garlic
1  (10 3/4) oz. can  cream of chicken with herbs soup (I used Campbell's)
1 medium sweet onion, diced
2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced (I use a white button mushroom)
2 Tbs. soy sauce
3 cups water
2 Tbs. cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water


Place the pork loin in a roasting pan or heavy baking dish!   If you spray it with some nonstick spray it cleans up easier.  Sprinkle with the seasoned salt, black pepper and garlic.   Spoon the soup over the top of the pork loin.  You can substitute cream of mushroom soup or plain cream of chicken soup, but the cream of chicken with herbs gives the gravy a nice flavor!  

 Place the diced onion and sliced mushrooms over the soup.  Sort of press them into the soup so they stay on top for now.  Sprinkle the 2 Tbs. of soy sauce over the mushrooms.  I don't add a lot of salt to this recipe, because the salt in the soup and the soy sauce is sufficient with just the 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt.   Pour three cups water around the pork loin in the bottom of the baking pan. 
 Cover tightly with foil or if you are using a roasting pan, place the lid on and place in a 350 degree oven for 2 hours.

Mix the 2 Tablespoons cornstarch into 1/2 cup cold water in a bowl or cup until there are no lumps and it's smooth.  Carefully remove the pan from the oven and take foil or lid off.  Whisk the cornstarch mixture into the pan juice around the pork loin.  Turn the oven up to 450 degrees and place the pan back in the oven, uncovered for about 20 minutes.   This will thicken the juice and make your gravy.  It also sort of browns the top of the pork loin so it looks nice.


Plate the pork loin on a platter and allow it to rest for about 10 minutes before slicing in thin slices!  Spoon some of the mushroom gravy over the pork loin and place the rest in a gravy boat or bowl!  This makes plenty of gravy for serving on the side! 


We like this served with mashed potatoes, but you could serve with rice or egg noodles also.  If you have picky eaters, you can leave the mushrooms out completely and it's still delicious! 


***Slow Cooker Instructions:   Follow all of the same steps above, except decrease the water in the crock around the pork loin to 2 cups.  Slow cookers do not allow for much condensation during cooking so you never need as much liquid. Cook on low for 8 hours.  

An hour before serving turn the slow cooker up to high.  Make your cornstarch slurry and whisk into the juices, cover and let it go for an hour on high.  Whisk at the end to be sure it's smooth.   This method doesn't produce as pretty a pork loin...can pork be pretty???  I think it can...lol!!!  However, it tastes just as good! 

 If you are serving this for company or a holiday meal and want a pretty presentation, you can place it in the oven at 450 degrees to thicken the juices and brown the top like I did in the oven method.  Some slow cooker liners are oven proof, but some are not, so be sure of what yours is before you put it in the oven at a high temp.  You might need to transfer the pork loin to a baking dish if go to this trouble.  


See, this is pretty pork!!! 







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