SOURCE: McCormick

November 09, 2011 12:59 ET

Countdown to a Flavorful Feast Day

MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - Nov 9, 2011) - (Family Features) 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 www.Facebook.com/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 www.mccormick.com. Let the countdown begin!

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon Pecan Crunch
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.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook 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

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. 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 x 9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with cranberries. Dot with 2 tablespoons of the butter. Cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes.

2. 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.

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

Nutrition Information Per Serving: 439 calories, Fat 19g, Carbohydrates 63g, Cholesterol 23mg, Sodium 257mg, Fiber 6g, Protein 4g

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