November is here! I can close my eyes and easily smell the quintessential smells of the holiday season. I can also envision sharing laughter and having lighthearted conversations with friends and family over a warm and comforting meal. It doesn’t get more hygge than that since friends, family, food, and fun are the central motifs in our lives! This is the time of the year that most of us can gather together despite conflicting schedules and distance.
McCormick® Makes it Home for the Holidays
With the holiday season on the horizon, you’re probably already planning on what entrees, side dishes, and desserts that you’re going to create. I love enhancing my favorite recipes with McCormick®. McCormick® has a wide array of herbs and spices, extracts, and gravies to give dishes the right amount of flavor! For 130 years, McCormick® has been the flavor behind your favorite holiday recipes. Their wide range of flavors includes everything from Pumpkin Pie Spice and Sage to Black Pepper and Pure Vanilla Extract. With premium flavors and ingredients, meals are transformed. McCormick® truly makes it home for the holidays!
Casseroles and pies are a favorite in my household. We all have varying tastes in food. However, it is often hard to turn down pies like butternut squash pie, which is reminiscent of sweet potato pie in flavor, or pecan pie. Pies usually go quickly in my household. This is why I usually make at least 2 pies and in different flavors since we have our particular favorites. As for casseroles, the creamy Brussel sprouts au gratin is an all-time favorite! For the key extracts and spices, the spice aisle in Meijer was my primary source of inspiration. There are so many varieties of McCormick® products available!
Creamy Brussel Sprouts Au Gratin
❏ 1 pound Brussel sprouts, outer leaves, and stems removed if using fresh Brussel sprouts
❏ 2 medium-size potatoes, diced
❏ 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
❏ 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
❏ 1 small onion, finely chopped
❏ 1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
❏ Salt for taste
❏ 1 teaspoon of McCormick® Ground Black Pepper
Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
Spray a 9×12 casserole dish with olive oil. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the Brussel sprouts and cook until tender (I season my Brussel sprouts with salt by taste, while
Cook potatoes in salted water until tender (I season my potatoes with salt by taste, while cooking). Drain.
While the Brussel sprouts and potatoes are boiling, prepare the sauce. Melt butter in a medium pan. Add flour on low heat, stirring constantly until starting to brown a little. Pour in the milk while stirring. Cook, while constantly stirring, until it thickens.
Add chopped onion and 3/4 cup of the shredded white cheddar cheese into the sauce. Stir until cheese melts.
Place diced potatoes evenly at bottom of the casserole dish. Place Brussel sprouts evenly on top of potatoes. This is a good time to sprinkle more salt if needed. Pour the cheese sauce over the top of potatoes and Brussel sprouts.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
Take out of the oven and sprinkle the remaining shredded white cheddar cheese and McCormick® Ground Black Pepper on top. Bake for another 5 minutes or until cheese melts.
Butternut Squash Pie
- 2 cups of pureed butternut squash (medium)
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup butter
- 3/4 cup of light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoon of McCormick® Ground Cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of McCormick® Ground Nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon of McCormick® Ground Ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon of McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 9-inch unbaked or frozen deep-dish pie crust
- Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
- Peel the squash. Cut in half. Take out the seeds. Bake for about 30-40 minutes. If using the frozen squash, follow the heating directions according to the package.
- Once the squash is tender, place in blender or food processor and blend with the 1/2 cup butter until smooth.
- In a large mixing bowl, put in two cups of pureed butternut squash.
- Add the eggs and McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract to the pureed butternut squash mixture. Use a whisk to mix.
- In a medium mixing bowl, put in brown sugar, cornstarch, McCormick® Cinnamon, McCormick® Ginger, McCormick® Nutmeg, and salt. Stir to combine.
- Add the mixture to the pureed butternut squash mixture.
- Slowly add the milk a little at a time while stirring to mix.
- Pour filling into pie crust.
- Bake approximately 1 hour 20 minutes or until the center is no longer moving unsteadily in the center and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out
- Butternut Squash Pie is so delicious with whipped cream or ice cream on top!
❏ 1 cup corn syrup (light or dark)
❏ 3 eggs, beaten
❏ 1 cup of sugar
❏ 4 tablespoons of butter (melted)
❏ 4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
❏ 1 teaspoon of McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
❏ 1/2 cups of pecans (chopped or whole)
❏ 9-inch unbaked or frozen deep-dish pie crust
Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
Add flour and sugar.
Add corn syrup, beaten eggs, and melted butter; stirring with a whisk, then with a mixer.
Add McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract and pecans. Stir with a whisk, but don’t use a mixer since it breaks up the pecan more if you used chopped pecans.
Pour filling into pie crust.
If using a prepared frozen pie crust, place a cookie sheet in the oven and preheat the oven at 350 degrees. Pour the filling into frozen crust and bake on preheated cookie sheet.
Bake on center rack of the oven for 60 – 70 minutes.
If the pie crust is over-browning, cover the edges with foil.
Tap the center of the pie lightly. It should spring back if done.
Let the pie cool for 2 hours on a wire rack before serving.