This post is sponsored by McCormick® but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
I have so many memories of the holiday season growing up. My family loved getting together for gatherings and their traditions every year that had to happen. That includes many yummy recipes but also things like the location of said gatherings, the menus we enjoyed and what activities happened at the gatherings after our big family meals. One example that I will never forget is after our Thanksgiving meal my mom, grandma, and aunts would sit in one room and call each kid into the room one at a time and ask for Christmas ideas. The kids would leave and the women around the table would decide who was buying what for the kids. So exciting and so many fun memories.
Holiday Traditions Centered Around Delicious Food
While that memory is one that will never leave my head or heart, I also will always remember my Grandma and her cooking and recipes, especially around the holiday season. My grandma was the person that held our family together, especially during the holiday traditions. To this day, my family still carries on her traditions. It brings me a little comfort knowing we do this; in a small way it allows me to share my grandma with my kids.
Home Cookin’ For The Holidays
I wish I had the skills that my Grandma had when it comes to home cooking. Let’s be honest, most days I am super proud of my home made grilled cheese sandwiches and canned tomato soup. But with the help of McCormick® products I feel way more confident in the meals I prepare year round but especially during the holidays. Two very important items that MUST grace our family dinner tables for holidays is at least one Pecan Pie (my grandma was THE pecan pie maker in our family) and stuffing. Stuffing needs to be plentiful on our tables!
To get this home cookin’ party started I am excited to share two recipes. Our Family Favorite Pecan Pie and a delicious stuffing recipe with a special twist on tradition. I know that my whole family will be asking for seconds for both of these recipes and in my typical cooking fashion these are easy and won’t have you in the kitchen for hours. Love that because holidays are more than just cooking…it’s about family!
Pecan Pie – A Holiday Favorite
When preparing to make Pecan Pie I always make sure I have plenty of McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract on hand. It is what makes the pies delicious and just like Grandma made.
(makes 2 pies)
2 refrigerated pie crusts
2 cups dark corn syrup
2 cups raw pecans, chopped
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 TBSP McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
dash of salt
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Prepare pie crusts in tins or pie pans.
3. Combine corn syrup, pecans, granulated sugar, eggs, McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract and salt into a large mixing bowl.
4. Using a hand mixer on slow, beat the mixture for 2 minutes.
5. Pour half of the mixture into one pie crust and the rest of the mixture in the second pie crust.
6. Bake for 40 minutes, make sure pie does not “wiggle” when done baking, if so, bake for another 2-5 minutes.
7. Remove from oven and let sit for about 5 minutes before cutting and enjoying!
I passed the test and made some amazing Pecan Pies. If you are put on pie duty this holiday season make sure you try this yummy Pecan Pie recipe.
Cranberry Apple Stuffing – A Twist On Tradition
Stuffing! LOVE stuffing any time of the year but it is a necessity on a holiday gathering. This is another fun memory I have growing up. At my parents house we would lay out some towels on my parents bed and tear up bread and let it get hard and stale to add to our stuffing. I remember how the bread would make my parents room smell amazing!!
Normally, we have stuffing that is more traditional but for this year I decided to add a little color and sweet flavors to our tradition. Apples and Cranberries are a great festive addition to any recipe.
9 cups day old bread, torn into bite size pieces
2-3 ribs celery, thinly sliced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 medium granny smith apple, diced
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries, rinsed
2 TBSP minced fresh parsley
1 TBSP McCormick® Rubbed Sage
1 TBSP McCormick® Thyme Leaves
1 TBSP McCormick® Rosemary Leaves
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 tsp McCormick® Pure Ground Black Pepper
Salt to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a large baking/casserole dish with cooking spray.
2. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat.
3. Add onion and celery, and cook until celery and onions are softened and they start to become translucent. Takes about 6-7 minutes.
4. In a large bowl, combine bread, apples, cranberries, cooked onion and celery.
6. Add half of the chicken broth to the mixture and stir until combined.
7. In a separate small bowl, beat the eggs and add them to the rest of the chicken broth.
8. Pour the egg mixture into the bread mixture, and stir until completely combined.
9. Add the salt and McCormick® Pure Ground Black Pepper, and stir until combined.
10. Pour stuffing into the prepared baking dish.
11. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for another 15 minutes.
12. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes and then serve immediately. ENJOY!
Adding the McCormick® herbs brings amazing flavor to this dish. I was a bit nervous what the apples and cranberries would do to a very traditional dish but I don’t know that I will ever go back to traditional stuffing after making this. It is delicious and the flavors scream holidays!
McCormick® Helping Make Holiday Traditions Delicious
McCormick® has been a staple in our family for years. It is no surprise because for over 100 years, McCormick® has been obsessed with flavor, and has been striving to create global flavor experiences that make every meal and moment better! Especially during these holiday seasons we all love so much.
Time to make your cooking and baking shopping list and visit your local Walmart store to purchase a wide variety of McCormick® Extract, Herbs & Spices, or Gravy products to make sure you bring all of the flavors to your favorite holiday recipes.