So upon request....Here's my version of Watergate Salad. I've seen a ton of different ways of making this salad. Some of the scarier versions use marshmallows, raisins, carrots and lime jello...mmm yeah. Mine's killer I promise! Definite crowd pleaser! The measurements are very imprecise and flexible, you can throw in more or less of each ingredient based on personal taste and availability.
So you need:
Pistachio Jello Pudding mix (I reccomend Lite) Cool Whip (Lite here too!) Canned Pinapple Chopped Pecans (Walnuts would work too)
So decide how much finished dessert you want to make. I make double because even if there are leftovers (not very often, I'm proud to say) it is even better the second or third day. So if you do want to make a larger amount, double the quantities below OR use bigger tubs of cool whip, more pinapple and the big packages of pudding. Again you pretty much just have to get ration of liquid right, and even if it does end up a little softer than you'd like (It should be the consistency of mouse with chunks of pinapple and pecans!) you can always let it set up a bit in the refrigerator.
Anyway! Scoop two regular sized tubs of cool whip into a large mixing bowl. Pour in two regular packages of pistachio Jello pudding mix, and two regular sized cans of pinapple..one drained and the other undrained (I like to use one can of crushed undrained and one can of small cubes drained). Mix together until the pudding is dissolved. Fold in your nuts (about a cup). If it seems a little thick, add the remaining pinapple juice. If it seems a little thin, refrigerate until it is the right consistency.
Taste testing is the key! If you think it needs more or less of something, knock yourself out. I like it heavy on the pinapple and nuts, so I always throw in more.
Oh and I use Sugar Free Jello and Lite Cool Whip 'cause it makes it a little less rich (you can eat more!) And because I have quite a few diabetics in my family...not the PERFECT diabetic recipe, but not to bad either.
This is one of the easiest recipes I've ever run across. My Dad passed it on to me (he used it when he was a boyscouts troop leader!)
It's pretty adaptable, the only vital ingredients are: 1 cake mix, and 1 stick of melted butter or margarine, and prepared pie filling (either from a can or something you've cooked yourself...it just needs to be a syrupy reduction)
Take your cake mix (I suggest vanilla, but your could try a cinnamon spiced version or whatever you think would be good). Stick the mix in a large bowl. Mix in the melted butter/margarine with your fingers until mix comes together slightly and is crumbly. (It will be very dry) Set aside.
Grease your pan (I suggest a large glass baking dish) with your leftover butter/margarine wrapper. And pour in whatever filling you choose to use. Canned pie filling works great (two cans is about right), But if you wanted to use fresh fruit you absolutely could, spice it to your liking (try not adding too much sugar, the cake mix topping is really really sweet and rich!).
Now you can crumble your cake mix on top and pop into a preheated 350 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the topping is golden and a little crunchy and the filling is bubbly.
All I know is that the key is the juiciness of the prepared filling. The cake soaks a lot of the liquid up, so you can try baking the fresh or frozen fruit (without cooking it a bit first) but I'm not sure how it will turn out. It's worth a try though! That would be a little healthier and less rich. (If you make it the "normal" way, you'll see what I mean)
Oh and try mixing nuts into the cake mix too!
Hope that made sense, this is a kind of throw it together, trial and error sort of recipe from my dad...so this is as good as it gets! But I'll answer questions is something's not clear.