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Cooking Channel’s Kelsey Nixon and a host of other celebrity chefs have teamed up with McCormick this holiday season in support of their Flavor of Together program, a project which aims to raise $1.25 million for hunger relief. Between her Cooking Channel duties and promoting her new book Kitchen Confidence, Kelsey knows a thing or two about balancing a hectic work schedule with the holidays and shares some of her best advice with OK!.

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OK!: What are the five ingredients that are must-haves for your pantry?

Kelsey Nixon: Good quality canned tomatoes, broths and stocks (like Kitchen Basics® Chicken Stock), pasta, sherry vinegar and honey.

OK!:Do you have one spice/flavor obsession and, if so, what is it?

KN: I love the bright and zingy flavor of lemon! I use both the zest and juice in all sorts of recipes. I like the acidity that it imparts and the balance that it offers to a lot of rich foods. 

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OK!: Can you share one show-stopping holiday dish you’ll be sharing at the dinner table this season?

KN: I’m looking forward to making one of the recipes from my new cookbook Kitchen Confidence to share with my family. My Roasted Root Vegetables with Cider Vinaigrette are an easy side dish that is packed with flavor and it looks just as good as it tastes!

            OK!: What do you think makes McCormick’s Flavor of Together program so important during this time of year?

KN: When food and flavor are at the center of your family gatherings, you’re sure to make lasting memories and develop traditions that can be passed on for years to come. Few experiences are as rich and rewarding as breaking bread with the ones that you love. Focusing on great flavors to bring your family together this time of year will enhance the time that you spend with your favorite people.  And, McCormick’s Flavor of Together Program allows you to give back. When you share a flavor story on, they donate $1 to United Way to help feed those in need.

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OK!: What’s your favorite easy entertaining trick for the holidays?

KN: The holidays can easily get overwhelming. When it comes to entertaining, don’t hesitate asking family and friends to bring their signature dish to share. It lightens your load and is an opportunity for your guests to showcase their best dishes. 

What’s your best holiday entertaining tip? Share it in the comments or tweet @OKMagazine.

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