Saturday, November 09, 2013

Cooking...without really cooking.

We are heading into the roughest part of the semester, and it seems like I have commitments almost every weekend lately, too. So today, I am thankful just to be at home and to have no plans. I need a break! But a gal's gotta eat, so I made a simple yet innovative lunch that I thought I'd share with you. Ladies and gentlemen, the Grilled Kimcheese Sandwich! I used both sharp and smoked cheddars, my homemade kimchi, and a fried egg. (Carnivores may wish to add ham, but I found it unnecessary.) SO DELICIOUS! This "recipe" is a keeper, for sure.

Since I was just enjoying my lazy Saturday, I had no intentions of baking anything. But one of my friends on Facebook posted something about making a "Watergate Cake" for her boyfriend, and I was intrigued. It's basically just a pistachio cake, but the moniker is an homage to President Nixon. According to, "After the Watergate scandal broke, there was a surge of interest in all things Richard Nixon. Turns out, pistachio was a favorite flavor of Nixon’s, and so all sorts of pistachio-flavored treats proliferated and were dubbed 'Watergate.' This cake is one of the more enduring examples, possibly because of its clever topping: 'cover up' icing." Ha ha! Not only is the name of this cake interesting, it's a cinch to make, because it's made with a boxed cake mix and instant pudding. The food purists may balk, but it was pretty tasty. I like it best once it chills in the fridge.

A couple of notes: Many recipes that you find online call for chopped pecans, but I think a pistachio cake should have, well, pistachios! Most recipes also call for powdered Dream Whip in the topping, but Cool Whip saves you a step and holds up longer in the fridge. Lastly, many recipes call for shredded coconut either in the cake or the topping or both, but I personally can't abide it. But you do as you like. In the words of Nadia G, "It doesn't affect me." (Tee hee.)

Watergate Cake with Cover-Up Icing
(Sources: cobbled together from a number of similar recipes on the interwebs)


1 box white cake mix
3 eggs
1 cup lemon-lime seltzer
1 cup finely chopped roasted pistachios
1 cup vegetable oil
1 (3 1/2 ounce) package instant pistachio pudding mix

Cover-Up Icing:
1 1/2 cups cold milk
1 (3 1/2 ounce) packages instant pistachio pudding mix
1 regular tub (9 oz.) Cool Whip
1/2 cup chopped roasted pistachios

Cake: Mix all of the cake ingredients together. Pour into a greased and floured 13x9 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until a tester comes out with just moist crumbs clinging to it. Cool completely.
Icing: Beat the milk and the pudding mix together, then fold in the Cool Whip. Spread on top of cooled cake. Sprinkle with nuts. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours untl well-chilled. 

Store leftover cake covered in the refrigerator.

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