Bring Homemade Flavors on the Road this Thanksgiving with Travel-Friendly Side Dishes and Desserts
HUNT VALLEY, Md. (October 26, 2015) – For the millions of Americans traveling this Thanksgiving, figuring out how to get homemade side dishes and desserts to your host’s house  can be tricky. That’s why McCormick is making the turkey day trek a little easier by sharing tips and recipes for portable sides and desserts that feature the signature flavors of the season.

“Whether you’re heading to a family get-together or going to a ‘Friendsgiving’ feast, you can bring holiday dishes that are just as delicious as they would be at home,” said Chef Kevan Vetter of the McCormick Kitchens. “Use a slow cooker to make mashed potatoes by slow-simmering potatoes in stock and bay leaves, then whipping them up with black pepper, garlic, milk and some butter. Take it on the road then plug in to keep warm once you get to the gathering.”

Slow Cook the Sides: Save the oven for the bird. Prepping side dishes in a slow-cooker not only allows for easy travel, but also makes cleanup quick and simple – no prep bowls, pans or serving dishes required. Plus, slow simmering gives the spices and herbs ample time to infuse the dish with pure flavor.

  • Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes: Serve with five minute, lump-free Perfect Turkey Gravy or make a loaded version by adding sour cream and bacon.
  • Slow Cooker Cranberry Apple Stuffing: Customize this seasonal side – flavored with sage and onion – with your favorite stuffing add-ins, like pecans or sausage.
  • Slow Cooker Creamed Corn: Sweet and creamy with a fragrant blend of smoked paprika, thyme and garlic, this side is sure to be a crowd favorite among the spread.
  • Slow Cooker Cinnamon Sugar Glazed Carrots: Slow-cooked to perfection, then tossed in brown sugar, cinnamon and ginger just before serving to create an instant glaze.
    • Tip: For the best-tasting glaze, use a quality cinnamon that complements the sugar with pure flavor. Look for a clump-free ground cinnamon that has a deep brown, mahogany color. It should have a warm aroma and taste with a little “red hot” cinnamon heat.

Keep it Cool and Ready to Serve: From apps and salads to sides and cocktails, impress your host and fellow guests with ready-to-serve, no-reheating-necessary creations.

  • Cinnamon Pecan Pie Topping: A crunchy, decadent topping to pour over brie or vanilla ice cream. This recipe can also double as a hostess gift – simply spoon into a clear jar and tie with a ribbon.
  • Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Cranberries and Toasted Walnuts: Skip the roasting and shave the Brussels sprouts instead. Toss in a light vinaigrette with pure vanilla and rich sage flavors.
    • Tip: This vinaigrette gets a holiday twist by using the finest pure vanilla flavor. High quality vanilla extract should have a dark, rich color with bourbon, rum and a hint of floral aroma and taste. 
  • Green Beans with Bacon Mustard Vinaigrette: Cook beans and chill at home, then toss in a smoky mustard sauce just before serving.  
  • Spiced Cranberry Sangria: Steep clove-studded oranges, cranberries and cinnamon sticks in sweet white wine and tart cranberry juice the night before for this ultimate holiday sip. 

Bring Pies for a Crowd: Slab pies and bars can feed twice as many guests as a traditional round pie. Feature seasonal flavors and fruits, such as cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, cranberries and apples.

  • Candy Apple Slab Pie: A vibrant red filling brings this favorite fall dessert to the Thanksgiving table.  
    • Swap out the food color for caramel sauce, then drizzle with caramel topping for an irresistible Caramel Apple Slab Pie.
  • Cranberry Meringue Slab Pie: Cranberries are the star in this dessert that combines sweet and tart flavors, topped with a fluffy meringue.
  • Pecan Pie Bars: Cinnamon, vanilla and pecans combine to create that nostalgic pecan pie in bar-form.

Giving Flavor for the Feast
As you sprinkle a little sage on your stuffing or stir a little vanilla extract into a pie, join McCormick in giving back with flavor this holiday season. During this time of year, food banks across America will be accepting holiday staples so families in need can enjoy a special meal, too – and spices and herbs are a great way to help them do just that. McCormick is proud to annually donate approximately $5 million worth of spices and herbs to food banks across the U.S.

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About McCormick
McCormick & Company, Incorporated is a global leader in flavor. With $4.2 billion in annual sales, the company manufactures, markets and distributes spices, seasoning mixes, condiments and other flavorful products to the entire food industry – retail outlets, food manufacturers and foodservice businesses.  Every day, no matter where or what you eat, you can enjoy food flavored by McCormick. McCormick Brings Passion to Flavor™. For more information, visit

1 Based on donations given over the past three years


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Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

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