Well, it's Thursday again and as you know in this house, it's Spaghetti Day.  Today I just kept it simple since the kids wanted "curly noodles" - aka, rotini.  I cooked the rotini while the trips were at school, put it into a gallon baggie and placed it in the fridge to reheat later.  I came across this Applesauce Cake recipe and not only did it look yummy, it was easy to make. The hardest part was trying to find my springform pan!!  When I got home, I then thawed and cooked a pound of hamburger, adding italian seasoning and garlic to it while it cooked. Then I added a large jar of Pregos Chunky Garden Sauce, let it come to a boil, then brought it to the table. Reheated the noodles in the microwave, then added them to the sauce and stirred and served!

Applesauce Cake
  from Family Fun Magazine
3/4 cup raisins or sweetened dried cranberries (we used Craisins)
1 2/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup smooth, sweetened applesauce, at room temperature
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (optional)

Confectioners' sugar

1.  Butter a 9-inch cake pan (we used a springform pan) and set it aside. Place the raisins or dried cranberries in a small bowl and add enough hot tap water to cover them. Set them aside to soften. Heat the oven to 350ยบ F.
2.  Sift the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices into a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer until it's soft and fluffy. Beat in the sugars 1/2 cup at a time, then beat in the egg and yolk, and lastly, the vanilla extract.
3.  Using a wooden spoon, stir a third of the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture until it's smooth. Add half of the applesauce, another third of the dry ingredients, the remaining applesauce, and the final third of the dry ingredients, stirring well after each addition.
4. Thoroughly strain the water from the raisins or cranberries. Then stir them and the pecans into the batter until they are evenly distributed.
5.  Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spoon. Bake the cake on the center rack until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes.
6.  Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 1 hour. Then run a knife around the edge of the pan and remove the cake (or the sides of the pan, if using a springform pan). Let the cake cool for another hour or so. Finally, to enhance the flavor of the cake and to allow it to become moist and dense throughout, cover it snugly with plastic wrap and let it sit for another 2 hours.
7.  Before serving the cake, generously dust the top with confectioners' sugar. Makes 10 to 12 servings

What I did differently:  I did not use raisens or craisens because no one in my family would eat the cake with them in there. But I did add 1 cup of cinnamon chips. They melted nicely and gave an extra "oomph" of cinnamon.

Breakfast:  Eva is now on a PB Toast kick and the trips wanted the mini bagels with pb.  I like it because it's easy to make, lol.  I added a banana and we were all set!

After School Snack:  The trips need a mini meal in order to make it through swimming, so I went through my Bento box ideas and came up with this today (especially since it's all that I had in my pantry!).  My kids have never eaten an egg salad sandwhich, but have eaten and liked hard boiled eggs, so I made up some hard boiled eggs to make egg salad.  Family Fun magazine also had these really cute mini caramel apples, so I made up a few of those.  So in my Glad plastic sandwhich boxes I put:
          Half an egg salad sandwhich, cut in half
          Carrot Sticks
          2 Mini Caramel Apples
Well, it was the first time they had egg salad and it went pretty well.  Joey and Ella ate their sandwhich, but Eddie and Eva did not (I wasn't expecting Eva to).  Surprisingly, Eddie only ate the pretzels - no sandwhich or apples!!  Mr. Garbage Disposal! Must've been waaaay to new and strange looking!!
Mini Caramel Apples

Bite-size versions of the fall fair treat, these tiny "caramel" apples are a great party snack.

4-inch lollipop sticks
Melon baller
Granny Smith apples (one apple makes about 8 mini apples)
Butterscotch or peanut butter chips
Chopped nuts, nonpareils, sprinkles, shredded coconut (optional)
Small paper candy cups

1.  First, cut the lollipop sticks in half at an angle (the pointy end will go into the apple pieces easier). With the melon baller, scoop little balls out of the apple. Each ball should have a section of apple peel. Push half of a lollipop stick into the peel of each ball. Pat the apple pieces dry.
2.  Melt the chips according to the package directions. Dip and swirl the mini apples in the melted chips, then roll the apples in nuts, sprinkles, nonpareils, or coconut, if desired. Place the mini apples in paper candy cups to set.

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