Countdown To A Flavorful Feast


Well worth the 364-day wait, the time-honored bounty of Thanksgiving dinner rouses eager anticipation for weeks in advance of the big day. Whether you’re a seasoned dinner host or an eager first-timer, treat your guests to an unforgettable feast — from the main attraction all the way through to dessert.

To help simplify the planning process, McCormick is counting down to Feast Day, sharing inspiring recipes and helpful tips at McCormickSpice. In a series of themes, the Countdown will guide you through the meal’s most essential elements, from spectacular side dishes, turkey and gravy preparation to the pie.

“The Thanksgiving table is filled with favorite dishes — and it’s the signature twists on those favorites that can make them stand out,” says chef Mark Garcia of the McCormick Test Kitchen. “The key to the most memorable food experiences is to make sure every bite is bursting with flavor. Ginger is the special touch in sweet potatoes, vanilla helps create a luscious chocolate pecan pie and sage makes the turkey worthy of Turkey Day.”

Join the “Countdown to Feast Day” to share your own ideas for an unforgettable feast while the helpful flavor experts at McCormick answer questions, offer tips and provide daily support in anticipation of the big day.

For more Thanksgiving inspiration and recipes visit Let the countdown begin!

Swap your secrets for spectacular sides in the “Countdown to Feast Day,” like Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon Pecan Crunch, a tasty variation of typical Thanksgiving sweet potatoes.


Family Features photo

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon Pecan Crunch

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon Pecan Crunch

Preparation time: 15 minutes; cooking time: 1 hour; makes 8 servings

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar, divided

2 tablespoons orange juice

2 teaspoons McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract

1-1/2 teaspoons McCormick Ground Cinnamon, divided

1-1/2 teaspoons McCormick Ground Ginger, divided

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

1 cup dried cranberries

6 tablespoons butter, cut up, divided

1/2 cup flour

1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix 1/4 cup brown sugar, orange juice, vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon each of the cinnamon and ginger, and salt in large bowl. Add sweet potatoes; toss to coat well. Spoon into 13-inch-by-9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with cranberries. Dot with 2 tablespoons of the butter. Cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix flour, remaining 1.2 cup brown sugar and remaining 1 teaspoon each cinnamon and ginger in medium bowl. Cut in remaining 4 tablespoons butter with a fork until coarse crumbs form. Stir in pecans. Remove sweet potatoes from oven and stir gently. Sprinkle evenly with pecan topping.

Bake, uncovered, 25 to 30 minutes longer or until sweet potatoes are tender and topping is lightly browned.

Source: McCormick

The Main Event — A hearty helping of holiday flavor

Whether you’re a first-time host or seasoned pro, there are certain secrets to help ensure a holiday meal that is both elegant and effortless. Keeping a few key ingredients on-hand, like Swanson chicken stock and broth, helps make preparing for the main meal a little less stressful and also allows for more options when it comes to dressing up leftovers. Here are some recipes that are sure to please.

For more holiday tips and recipes, visit


Family Features photo

Herb Roasted Turkey with Pan Gravy

Herb Roasted Turkey with Pan Gravy

Preparation time: 15 minutes; roasting time: 3 hours; cooking time: 10 minutes; makes 12 servings

1, 12- to 14-pound turkey

1 tablespoon olive oil

1, 26-ounce carton Swanson

Chicken Stock (regular or unsalted; about 3-1/4 cups)

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon dried basil leaves, crushed

1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Remove giblets and neck from turkey cavity. Rinse turkey with cold water and pat dry with paper towel. Tie ends of drumsticks together.

Place turkey, breast-side up, on rack in roasting pan. Brush turkey with oil. Insert meat thermometer into thickest part of meat, not touching bone.

Stir stock, lemon juice, basil, thyme and black pepper in large bowl. Reserve 1-3/4 cups stock mixture for the gravy. Pour remaining stock mixture over turkey.

Roast at 325 degrees for 3 hours, or until thermometer reads 165 degrees, basting occasionally with pan drippings. Begin checking for doneness after 2-1/2 hours roasting time.

Remove turkey from pan, cover and keep warm. Spoon off any fat and pour off all but 1-1/2 cups pan drippings.

Stir reserved stock mixture and flour in medium bowl until the mixture is smooth. Add flour mixture to the pan. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan. Serve gravy with turkey.


Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole

Preparation time: 10 minutes; baking time: 30 minutes; makes 12 servings

2 cans (10-3/4 ounces each) Campbell’s Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup (regular, 98% Fat Free or Healthy Request)

1 cup milk

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

8 cups cooked cut green beans

2-2/3 cups French’s French Fried Onions

Stir soup, milk, soy sauce, black pepper, beans and 1-1/3 cups onions in 3-quart casserole.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until bean mixture is hot and bubbling. Stir bean mixture. Sprinkle with remaining onions.

Bake for 5 minutes or until onions are golden brown.

Ultra Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Preparation time: 15 minutes; cooking time: 20 minutes; makes 6 servings

3-1/2 cups Swanson Chicken Broth (regular, Natural Goodness or Certified Organic)

5 large potatoes (about 2-1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 7-1/2 cups)

1/2 cup light cream

2 tablespoons butter

Generous dash ground black pepper

1, 14.5-ounce can Campbell’s Turkey Gravy, heated according to package directions

Heat broth and potatoes in a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain potatoes well in colander, reserving broth.

Mash potatoes with 1/4 cup reserved broth, cream, butter and black pepper. Add additional reserved broth, if needed, until desired consistency. Serve with gravy.


Moist and Savory Stuffing

Moist and Savory Stuffing

Preparation time: 10 minutes; cooking time: 10 minutes; baking time: 30 minutes; makes 10 servings

2-1/2 cups Swanson Chicken Broth (Regular, Natural Goodness or Certified Organic)

Generous dash ground black pepper

2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)

1 large onion, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)

1, 14-ounce package Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned Stuffing

Heat broth, black pepper, celery and onion in 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring often. Remove saucepan from heat. Add stuffing and mix lightly. Spoon stuffing mixture into a greased 3-quart shallow baking dish. Cover baking dish.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until stuffing mixture is hot. For crunchier stuffing, bake uncovered.

Don’t fret about what’s left!

Want to make leftovers seem a little less left over? Plan ahead by stocking your kitchen with the basics — eggs, milk, cheese, bread, canned soup and broth.

This French Onion Turkey Casserole, made with Campbell’s Condensed French Onion Soup, is a welcome departure from the standard hot turkey sandwich, and uses ingredients many people already have on-hand.

French Onion Turkey Casserole

Preparation time: 20 minutes; baking time: 45 minutes; makes 8 servings

Vegetable cooking spray

6 eggs

1, 10.5-ounce can Campbell’s Condensed French Onion Soup

2 cups milk

1 cup shredded Swiss cheese (about 4 ounces)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves or 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves, crushed

9 slices Pepperidge Farm

Farmhouse Hearty White Bread, cut into cubes

2 cups shredded or cubed cooked turkey

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2-quart shallow baking dish with cooking spray.

Beat eggs, soup, milk, 1/2 cup cheese and 1 tablespoon thyme in large bowl with fork or whisk. Add bread cubes and turkey. Stir and press bread cubes into milk mixture to coat.

Pour bread mixture into baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and thyme. Let stand for 15 minutes.

Bake for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Source: Campbell’s


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.