The best stuffed bell peppers

In many American households, a recipe for stuffed bell peppers is a staple. With inexpensive ingredients that are readily available in most supermarkets, the recipe can be easily altered. A quick and easy dish to suit the taste of any family member.

The simple recipe can also be dressed up for those who enjoy experimentation. Any recipe can be considered a success only if it is successful in satisfying the needs of each person consuming the meal. In the case of stuffed bell peppers, there are many variables that contribute to the end result of the dish.

Ingredients

Although every cook should feel free to add any ingredient that could make the recipe more delicious, the basic recipe begins with rice, oil, a meat mixture and the chef’s choice of bell peppers. Any type of rice can be used, but it should be used as filler and should not overpower the taste of the meat mixture.

There are many types of meat that can be used, but it is crucial to the recipe that the meat be ground. While for many, ground beef is the easiest and most agreeable to all who will be eating, ground chuck can be used for people who enjoy a less fatty meat. For a twist on the dish, ground sausage or turkey can also be used.

Each kind of meat has its own respective temperature at which the meat is deemed safe to consume, so it is important to be informed about this before beginning. The meat can be cooked with or without oil, and the most basic additions to the meat mixture are diced onions and garlic.

After cooking the meat, onion and garlic through (until the meat is to temperature), tomatoes are added. Besides these simple ingredients, it is up to the cook which herbs, spices and condiments to use. Oregano, salt and black pepper are used in more classic recipes, while more daring formulas can add cayenne pepper, paprika or hot sauce.

Cooking methods

To begin the cooking process, all ingredients should be readily available and the oven should be preheated; the most common cooking temperature is 350 degrees. Because it tends to take the most amount of time, the rice is generally the first preparation of the dish.

It is important that the rice is allowed to cool enough to handle, depending on how it will be mixed with the meat. Many people believe that mixing these with the hands is the best practice.

The meat mixture should be thoroughly cooked before it is placed in the pepper to ensure that there is no risk of food borne illness. While some people prefer to add vegetables such as onions and garlic to the meat right away to allow softer texture, others wait and add these vegetables after the meat is browned and is simmering.

Depending on the type of meat chosen, there may be a small or substantial amount of grease that will need to be drained off before adding tomatoes or sauces. This will allow the most flavors from these ingredients to be retained.

Instead of placing peppers directly in the oven, soften them first. To do this, place the peppers in boiling water for two to three minutes, then remove them and allow them to cool. Another method for softening peppers is to steam them on a rack over boiling water for about ten minutes.

In both methods of softening the peppers, the tops, stems and seeds should be removed before beginning. After they’re cooled, drizzle oil on the inside of each pepper, then carefully fill each one with the meat mixture. If you prefer that the outside of the pepper is more browned, the oil can also be rubbed on the outside of each pepper. If the peppers do not stand up as desired, a small knife can be used to remove a portion of the bottom of the pepper.

After adding the meat mixture, many people top each pepper with tomato sauce, ketchup or different kinds of cheese. When complete, place the peppers on an oiled cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 40–50 minutes.

With such a simple recipe that is easily altered, it’s easy to see why stuffed peppers are such a popular dish, as well as one with which people continue to experiment. The secret to making the best stuffed bell peppers is to find the additions that best represent your taste.

How to make chicken stock from scratch

Chicken stock can be used as a base for soup, gravy or be used in place of water in stuffing. Learning how to make chicken stock from scratch is not difficult and it may be done on the stove or in a crock pot if you want to start it earlier in the day.  There are two different methods for creating broth, the difference is largely what chicken parts you are using.

Ingredients:

Two lbs of chicken parts such as backs, wings or legs(1)
One medium onion
One large carrot
One large parsnip
Two stalks of chopped celery
Spice sack (rosemary, parsley, thyme, garlic powder, bay leaf)(2)
Salt and pepper to taste
One Tablespoon of olive oil
48 ounces of cold water (6 cups)

Place the tablespoon of olive oil into the bottom of a large dutch oven.  Add the chicken parts and cook until they are no longer bleeding when pierced with a fork. Drain the excess fat if you prefer a stock that has less grease/fat.

Add cold water, salt and pepper and spices.  Peel the onion, carrot, celery and parsnip (you may elect to not peel the carrot and parsnip, just be sure they are thoroughly cleaned) and add them whole to the pot.

Cover and simmer for one hour.  At that time, remove the bones, onion and parsnip, carrots and celery. Remove any meat from the bones, discard the bones and any skin or gristle. Mash the carrots, parsnip, onion and celery and blend it back into the stock and simmer for an additional half hour.  If you used a spice sack, remove and discard. If not, remove and discard the bay leafs.

This stock is very rich and may be used as a base for soup or may be thickened for soup or chicken pot pie. If you prefer a thinner stock, simply chop the vegetables finely and add them to the broth after the bones have been removed rather than mashing them and adding to the base.

This recipe may also be used for turkey broth or for beef broth simply by changing the spices and bones that you have elected to use. This is a simple broth that may also be steeped in a crock pot if you would prefer to not watch over it all day long.

(1) If you elect to use a chicken (or turkey) carcass versus parts, eliminate the olive oil, combine carcass with all spices and vegetables in a large pot and cook for 3 hours on low heat uncovered. Drain and remove all bones and bay leaf, blend vegetables together and add back to the broth. If you wish to remove fat, you can refrigerate the broth for about an hour and skim the fat from the top of the pot before using the broth.

(2) About spice sacks: you may use a spice sack or simply toss these spices into the pot. Make sure if you toss them in the pot that the bay leaf is removed prior to using the stock.

Etiquette tips for the holiday season

Christmas is the time of year when people tend to think more of others than they do of themselves. They look forward to making others happy, whether it be with a special gift or a simple, yet heartfelt, Merry Christmas greeting. The holidays are time when families and friends gather together to make Christmas memories. As you spend time with your loved ones this holiday season, remember to pay special attention to Christmas etiquette.

If you’ve ever found yourself knee-deep in Christmas muck, then you know how quickly the joyfulness of the holidays can turn sour with offensive words or behaviors. People tend to be more sensitive around this time of year, so even if you weren’t intending to hurt someone’s feelings, you may very well wind up bruising their ego before you even realize it.

One of the easiest ways to hurt someone’s feelings is to show ungratefulness toward a gift they’ve bought for you. Even if the gift is a purple polka-dotted vase with olive green felt flowers bursting from it, it’s important to show gratitude. Remember, it’s not about the gift; it’s about the thought that went into purchasing it, and even if it’s apparent that little to no thought was involved, they still bought you a gift, so smile and say thank you.

Another important thing to remember with regard to Christmas etiquette is that not everyone may be as joyous and merry about the holiday as you are. For many reasons, some people find Christmas to be a depressing time of year. Take this into consideration, and don’t overdo your enthusiasm around people who have good reason to be less merry than you.

Grin and bear it when it’s appropriate. You may not get along with your family, but if there is a communal gathering and you’re invited, go and keep your personal feelings out of it. For lots of families, there are at least a few older family members who may or may not be experiencing their last Christmas on earth. Put your personal issues aside, and enjoy the time you have with these elderly (Or sickly) family members.

If you’re attending a company Christmas party this year, proper etiquette dictates that getting inebriated isn’t a good social move. Keep your alcohol consumption to a bare minimum if you intend to drink at all. Bad things tend to happen, and rumors tend to fly, when there is a lot of drinking at company Christmas parties.

In addition, don’t dress provocatively, and keep your hands to yourself when interacting with fellow coworkers and or their spouses. Office rumors can get started from the silliest of things, and spread like wildfire with the slightest of breezes. Remember, you may be having a good time in the heat of the moment, but you will have to face your coworkers, and bosses, when the morning comes. Don’t do anything at the company Christmas party you wouldn’t do during a normal business day at work.

Christmas is a time of year to sit back, and enjoy camaraderie among family, and friends. Still, it’s important to not forget etiquette during the holiday season.

Can you tell me about the different Ways to Cook Eggs

Eggs are the ultimate fast food!

They are a fantastic source of protein, and contain vitamins D, A and B2, iodine and minerals all contained in their own little environmentally friendly container!

If you have eggs in your refrigerator or store cupboard you are guaranteed a meal as the humble egg is so versatile and can be served for any meal. Not only this, but they also cook really quickly, consequently they are perfect as the basis of fast, easy and nutritious meals

At one time it was thought that eggs contained high amounts of cholesterol, and yes, eggs do contain dietary cholesterol. But this type cholesterol that we get from our food has much less effect on the level of cholesterol in our blood than the amount of saturated fat we eat, so nowadays it is not thought necessary to limit the amount of eggs you eat ( remembering that everything should be eaten in moderation). An average-sized egg (60 g) provides approximately 7g of proteins, 2 eggs provide as much protein as 100g of meat or fish; and an added bonus is that for those watching their weight the energy value for an average egg is approximately 90 kcal.When it comes to ways of cooking with eggs lets start with the basics; and what could be more basic than the old favourite – a boiled egg; a lovely well cooked boiled egg (especially with bread or toast ‘soldiers’), is the ultimate comfort food, however many people do struggle to get their boiled egg just as they want it.

With these simple instructions boiling the perfect egg should be no problem.

Take your lovely fresh egg (and do try to use only free range, they really are so much better) and place it in a small pan. Cover with at least 2.5cm of cold water, add a pinch of salt and place the pan on a high heat. When the water is almost boiling, gently stir the egg and set a kitchen timer for the result that you want from these timings:

3 minutes for soft boiled yolk and set white

4 minutes for slightly set yolk and set white

5 minutes for firmer yolk and white

6 minutes for hard boiled with lightly soft yolk

7 minutes for firmly hard boiled

Reduce the heat slightly to keep water bubbling and stir the egg once more. Once cooking time is complete, remove the egg from the pan, place into egg cup and serve immediately.

The next basic way of cooking eggs is poaching them. This does not have to be a difficult procedure and it is quick and easy to cook a poached egg ready to serve with your morning toast.

For one perfect poached egg you will need:

1 large fresh egg

Water for boiling

Pinch of salt

Dash of vinegar

To cook your egg, fill a pan with 5cm of water. Add a pinch of salt and the vinegar (which doesn’t taste at all but does help to set the egg). Bring to a gentle boil. Crack the egg onto a plate and then tip it into the water. Set a kitchen timer for one of the timings below:

3 minutes for a runny egg yolk

4 minutes for a slightly set yolk with a runny middle

5 minutes for a firm egg yolk

When the cooking time is complete, carefully remove the poached egg from the boiling water and serve immediately.

For extra speed when cooking a poached egg you can use the microwave. Crack the egg into a large teacup or ramekin dish filled with ½ tablespoon of water. Use a cocktail stick to pierce the yolk and white and poach in the microwave on HIGH for 40 seconds (750 Watt oven)/60 seconds (650 Watt oven). Stand for 1 minute and serve

The third basic cooking method for eggs is scrambled eggs; a good plate of scrambled eggs is delicious as a breakfast or light lunch, and for a delicious plate of luxury scrambled eggs just add 2oz of chopped smoked salmon to the basic recipe or you can add grated cheese, chopped ham or chopped herbs.

To make a perfect dish of basic scrambled eggs, for each person you will need:

2 large fresh eggs

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons milk or cream

A small knob of butter

Gently beat the eggs together with salt and pepper, add the milk to the beaten eggs to give a much softer result. Put the butter in a non-stick pan over a medium heat, when sizzling, add the egg and stir briskly with a wooden spoon. Continue to stir the eggs for 1-2 minutes, scraping the egg off the base of the pan as it sets. When most of the egg has set, remove the pan from the heat and continue to stir for 30 seconds until fully scrambled. For extra speed and to avoid a difficult pan to wash, it is possible to scramble the eggs in the microwave.

Beat together the eggs, milk, butter, salt and pepper in a microwave safe jug or bowl. Cover with plastic food wrap and microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes (650 watt oven)/1 minute 30 seconds (750 watt oven). Stir mixture and microwave for a further 30 seconds (for both 650 and 750 watt ovens). Stand for 30 seconds before serving. DON’T overcook, there’s nothing worse being served grey and hard, rubbery scrambled eggs.

The next basic cooking method is the fried egg. To get a good fried egg you need:

1 large fresh egg

2 teaspoons oil

OR

Low fat cooking spray.

To cook simply place the oil or spray in a small frying pan (skillet) and place over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, use a knife to crack the shell and tip the egg into the hot fat. Cook over a low to medium heat until the white is set. Tilt the pan slightly and use a teaspoon to scoop the surplus hot fat over the top of the egg until the yolk is cooked to your liking. For over easy eggs, carefully slide a spatula underneath the cooked egg and flip over to cook the yolk for 1 minute.

The final basic cooking method is a basic omelette, to make this you will need:

2 large, fresh eggs

Pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon cold water

2 teaspoons oil

OR

Low fat cooking spray.

Gently beat the eggs together with salt, pepper and a teaspoon of cold water. Warm a medium frying pan over a high heat and add oil or spray with cooking spray. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and cook over a high heat for 1-2 minutes.

As the egg begins to set, use a spatula to push the set egg towards the omelette centre.

Continue until the entire egg mixture is set. Cook the set omelette for another minute, then loosen the edges with a spatula and fold the omelette in half. Tilt the pan and slide the omelette onto a warm plate and serve immediately.

You can also make omelettes in the microwave. Beat the eggs, water, salt and pepper. Place 1 tbsp of butter in an 18cm non-metallic pie dish and melt in the microwave on High for 30 seconds. Pour in the egg mixture, stand pie dish on an upturned plate in the microwave and cook on MEDIUM-HIGH for 1 minute. Use fork to draw the outside of the cooked egg into the centre of the dish and microwave on MEDIUM for a further 2 minutes. Stand for 1 minute before serving.

These are the five basic ways to cook eggs but there are many other ways of using eggs.You can make quiches, frittatas, baked eggs and so many more dishes. This recipe for Spanish Eggs is an excellent egg recipe.

SPANISH EGGS

4 large eggs
4 teaspoons olive oil
1 onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 red pepper, de-seeded and chopped
4 plum tomatoes, sliced
100g mushrooms sliced
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 x 198g can sweet corn, drained

 Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4.

 In a large frying pan heat the olive oil, add the onion and garlic and sauté until soft but not brown. Add the pepper to the pan and fry for a further 10 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, mushrooms, parsley and seasoning and continue cooking until the tomatoes begin to soften. Stir in the sweet corn and remove the frying pan from the heat. Pour the mixture into an ovenproof baking dish. Make 4 small hollows in the vegetable mixture and break an egg into each; place the dish in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until eggs set.

As eggs are one of the most nutritious foods money can buy, you have no excuse to get cooking with eggs!

Canning Pears

Canning your own pears is a bit time consuming, but the difference in taste from commercially canned pears is well worth the trouble. Your carefully chosen fruit will taste sweeter without all the added sugar, sweeteners or calories. You may be overwhelmed at first, but you will soon develop a routine and find it is not at all hard.

You Will Need:

Fresh pears – 2 to 2 pounds will yield a quart of canned pears
Sugar or fruit juice, white grape or apple work well
Lemon juice or Fruit Fresh
Canning jars, lids and screw-on rings – available at most grocery stores
Water Bath Canner
Large cooking pot

Select Your Fruit

The most crucial step to successful canning is choosing and preparing your fruit. Pears are actually better when picked slightly under-ripe, as they bruise so easily. They sweeten up beautifully at home. Look for the same quality in the store or farmer’s market that you do if picking your own. Look for fruit that is firm, neither hard nor mushy, and free of bruises and blemishes. D’anjou pears have a softer feel, sugar pears are very firm, and Bosc pears are somewhere in between. Keep them on a counter for a couple of days to allow them time to finish ripening.

Get Your Equipment Ready

A water bath canner is worth its weight in gold when canning. It is very deep with a close fitting lid, and has a wire rack with handles fitted inside that makes removing hot jars much easier. They are available at home kitchen stores. You can also use any large, very deep pot with a good lid, or a pressure cooker. These instructions are for the water bath canner or pot. If using a pressure cooker, consult your cooker’s instruction manual.

Other canning equipment is also sold, such as jar gripper tongs for lifting the filled jars, large mouth funnels for filling them, and lid lifters, equipped with a magnet for getting the lids out of boiling water. They will make your life easier, but are not essential.

You will also need a large pan, like a stew pot, to prepare your syrup, and ladles or spoons. Wash and rinse all equipment thoroughly before use.

Sterilize Your Jars

If your dishwasher has a ‘sterilize’ cycle, simply pack it with all your jars, lids, and screw rings and run the cycle. If not, place jars in boiling water for 10 minutes. Remove from water and set aside to cool. Add screw rings and lids to the boiling water, turn off the flame, and allow them to sit in the water for about 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Make the Syrup

Pears only need a light sugar syrup. Use 2 cups of sugar for every 6 cups of water, which should process 8 to 9 quarts of pears. Sugar stabilizes the color of the fruit and helps it retain its shape, as well as heightening the flavor. You can use as much as 4 cups of sugar if your taste buds prefer, but the less you use the healthier and more cost conscious your finished product will be.

Pour the water and sugar into the stew pot. Bring to a slow boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cover and keep hot, but not boiling, until you are ready for it.

Unsweetened apple or white grape juice can be used instead of water, but use only half the sugar. This is much more expensive and the taste is slightly different, but some folks prefer it as a healthier alternative.

Prepare Your Fruit

Wash and peel pears, and slice in half. Remove cores and any brown spots or blemishes. Leave as halves or slice as desired. If you are not ready to process them immediately, pour a little lemon juice or Fruit Fresh – a commercial preparation of citric acid – over them to prevent darkening. Stir gently to make sure all sides of the cut fruit is coated.

Hot Pack Canning

This is preferred for fruit in general. Hot packing allows the fruit to settle better and helps remove trapped air from its fibers.

Have your canning jars ready next to the stove. Bring syrup back to a gentle boil. Add prepared fruit and boil for 5 minutes. Ladle fruit into jars, swishing each jar around as you fill to help pack the fruit tighter, to within inch of the screw threads.

Ladle hot syrup over the fruit. Using a narrow rubber spatula or butter knife, run the knife between the fruit and the jar. Tip the jar slightly as you do this, pressing gently on the fruit with the knife and going all the way around the inside of the jar, so as to remove air bubbles. Syrup should completely cover the fruit, and leave inch of air space at the top of the jar. Fruit should be tightly packed but not crushed, and none should be floating.

Wipe the threads with a clean damp paper towel. Apply lids, then the screw rings. Tighten snugly but do not over-tighten.

Process the Jars

Place sealed jars on the wire rack in the canner. Cover with hot tap water, at least 1 inch over the tops of the jars. Heat to boiling. Cover and boil for at least 20 minutes, but no more than 30 minutes.

Carefully remove jars from canner and place on racks or cutting boards. Place so they will not touch each other or get bumped, and out of drafts. Allow to cool thoroughly, usually overnight.

Remove the screw rings if you wish. Test the seal of each jar by pressing on the center of the lid. If it pops up and down, it is not sealed. Store in refrigerator and use immediately. If you wish to try re-processing, empty the contents into a pan, wash the jar, and start from scratch with a new lid.

Storing

It’s a good idea to write the date on the lid so you can keep track of your stored food. Then store your finished produce in a cool, dark, dry place. Check your canned food periodically for signs of rust or bad seals. Throw these away, as they are not safe to eat. Normal shelf life is 12 to 18 months.

Final Tips

Your pears may take on a slightly pink or brownish tinge. This is a normal chemical reaction to being heated. They are perfectly safe and the flavor will not be changed. If they turn dark brown or bubbly, they are no good.

Avoid storing jars near any heat source, as this will cause them to spoil faster. They must be kept cool and dark.

Butter Replacements for Baking

There are many reasons to replace butter in baking, and its not just to reduce fat grams. Butter is loaded with cholesterol, and additionally, many people are concerned about hormones in their dairy products, but buying organic butter can be a serious financial investment. In order to decide how you will replace butter in your recipe, you need to understand the purpose of butter in your baked goods.

In cookies and cakes, butter is typically creamed with sugar to add air to the recipe. This air adds structure to the recipe and also helps prevent all of the moisture from being lost in the baking process. As the flour is mixed in, the fat in butter coats many of the grains and helps to prevent gluten from developing as you mix the batter. Gluten is the substance in flour that makes breads chewy, and too much gluten development in your recipe makes baked goods tough. Pie crusts and crumble toppings use butter to promote a flaky, crisp texture by literally frying the flour and also creating little spaces in the layers as the butter melts.

Generally you can use shortening as a one-to-one replacement for butter, but it adds unhealthy transfat. Another option would be to use a transfat-free, but still full fat margarine, like Earth Balance or Canoleo. However, these options are still all high in fat.

Picking a lower fat or healthier option to replace butter in your recipe should depend on the purpose of butter in your baked good. For example, crumble toppings need a certain amount of fat to “crisp” up. Without fat, crumble topping turns into an unappetizing granola. Using a reduced fat margarine will work as a one-to-one replacement in this case. This should allow you to cut the fat in your crumble by 1/3 or 1/2.

Most cookie recipes that involve creaming butter and sugar need some amount of fat to retain their original texture. All-natural, no-sugar-added peanut butter is a good option for replacing butter in chocolate chip cookies, but will change the flavor. Using 1/2 butter or margarine and then adding soymilk to get the right consistency after adding the other wet ingredients works well, but sometimes can make cookies a little chewier than usual.
Oil can replace butter as well, but expect your cookies not to rise as well, and they may cook faster than usual, creating crispy edges.

Muffin and cake recipes are much easier to replace butter in. The more liquid in a recipe, the less vital butter is to the recipe. You might want to try a smaller batch of the recipe the first time you use a substitute. I’ve generally found that the following replacements work really well, particularly if you measure them just shy of the 1-for-1 replacement and add a teaspoon of oil. Also, don’t over mix your recipe. The more you stir while adding the dry ingredients, the greater potential for over development of the gluten in the flour.

Good Fat Replacements For Baking:
* unsweetened applesauce – adds no flavor, but can make your baked goods chewier
* pureed prunes – prunes have a distinctive flavor, so unless you love the taste of prunes, only use them in recipes that have a lot of strong flavor, like chocolate or spice cake.
* fat-free yogurt (regular, greek, or soy) – adds protein to your recipe and can sometimes make recipes a little too moist.
* you can also mix these together to create a custom butter replacement

There are many ways to replace the butter in your recipes, but the most important thing is to experiment and decide the best combinations of butter replacers for your favorite recipe!

Canned Pumpkin can Make your Baked Goods Lighter and Vegan Friendly

Baked goods, such as bread, muffins, cookies, and cakes include some kind of fat. Common fats are butter and oil; combine these with eggs and sugar and the fat content of baked goods becomes quite high. Calorie count, though, isn’t the only reason you may wish to reduce or substitute the fat and eggs in your baked goods. For example, butter and eggs are animal by-products and so can’t be used in vegan cooking.

Canned pumpkin is one solution to making your baked goods lower in fat and/or vegan friendly. But you may want to try using canned pumpkin just to add some new flavors to your traditional recipes.

Use with a mix

If you like to use packaged mixes for your cakes, cookies, and brownies, you can substitute the oil and eggs with canned pumpkin.

Packaged mixes usually have the dry ingredients mixed for you, including the sugar. You’re adding the wet ingredients, which are usually butter or oil, eggs, and sometimes water as well.

Skip the fat and eggs and add a 15 ounce can of pureed pumpkin instead, stirring it into the dry mix. This works particularly well with chocolate goods as the pumpkin complements the flavor without overwhelming it.

Baking from scratch

Pureed pumpkin is of course ideal in pumpkin breads and similar baked goods such as pumpkin pie. But you can substitute pureed pumpkin for a portion of the egg and fat in your cookie, cake or muffin recipes to add just a hint of this autumn flavor.

Try adding spiced pureed pumpkin to butter cookies, substituting one-fourth cup of the canned pumpkin for one egg. If you find the taste of spiced pumpkin too strong, use regular pureed pumpkin. Use the same substitution for gingerbread cookies or sugar cookies.

When not to use it

The butter, oil and eggs in baked goods interact with the other ingredients to create certain tastes and textures. Pumpkin has a distinct flavor and any goods you bake using canned pumpkin will carry some of that flavor.

Canned pumpkin, then, may not be suitable in certain recipes. For example, the strong taste of banana may conflict with the richness of the pumpkin, so use applesauce or other substitute for banana muffins or bread.

Goods such as lemon bars or angel food cake aren’t likely to benefit from a pumpkin substitution, either.

Canned pumpkin also changes the texture slightly, as the flour doesn’t interact with the pumpkin in the same way it does with butter and eggs. The baked goods may be denser and have a bit more crumb to them, as canned pumpkin doesn’t create as strong a bond as fat and eggs do.

How to use canned pumpkin

When baking from scratch, in recipes that call for one cup of butter use one-third cup pumpkin and two-thirds cup butter. This reduces the fat in the recipe but provides a sufficient amount of moisture and fat.

Add another fourth of a cup to the recipe to substitute for one egg. In almost any recipe, the one-fourth cup of pumpkin to one egg ratio works well.

If your recipe, whether a mix or from scratch, calls for one stick of butter, one or two eggs, and less than one-third cup of water, use a 15 ounce can of pureed pumpkin if you wish to eliminate the fat and eggs completely.