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  • 3 Delicious Deep Red Wine Recipes

    3 Delicious Deep Red Wine Recipes

    Whether you drink it along with your dinner or add it to your recipe, a bold red wine is a great addition to any meal. Use the fruity Cabernet Sauvignon from our Hickory Farms Signature Gift Box to cook a rich and comforting meal with one of these delicious red wine recipes.

    Source: Hickory Farms

    Source: Hickory Farms



    Short Ribs with Veggies


    Source: Foodandwine

    Source: Foodandwine

    Braised meat cooked low and slow is the perfect cold weather meal. Start by making a marinade by combining the bottle of wine with leek, onion, garlic, carrots, and herbs. Then, place the short ribs in storage bags, pour the marinade over the top, and refrigerate overnight.

    The next day, brown the ribs and veggies before transferring to a roasting pan. While the meat roasts, make a sauce of wine, mushrooms, shallots, and thyme. Serve the sauce over the tender meat.


    Leek Wine Soup

    Combining leeks and red wine into a silky soup is the perfect start to any dinner party. Begin this decadent dish by sauteeing saffron and leeks until tender. Then, pour in the red wine and simmer until reduced. Once the mixture is thickened, add chicken stock and large chunks of toasted peasant bread. Use a stick blender to puree the soup and finish with a dash of cream, as well as a bit of salt and pepper.


    Beef Stew


    Source: Foodandwine

    Source: Foodandwine

    Beef stew is the classic red wine dish. To make this traditional version, start by browning flatiron steak in a cast iron pot. Once the meat has a nice caramel color, add onion and garlic. When the onion is soft, combine flour, your wine, a bay leaf, and herbs. Be sure to remove any browned bits before covering the pot and transferring it to the oven.

    While the stew cooks, sautee a mixture of pancetta, mushrooms, carrots, and pearl onions on the stove top. When serving, top the stew with the pancetta mixture.

    Whether you add wine from our Hickory Farms gift baskets to one of these recipes or pair it with chocolates or summer sausage and cheese, our red wine will really bring out the flavors of your meal.

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  • Celebrate a Sweeter Thanksgiving with Holiday Desserts

    Celebrate a Sweeter Thanksgiving with Holiday Desserts

    No holiday dinner is complete until you've had dessert. Whether you're a chocolate lover or prefer a bit of spice and fruit, one of these Thanksgiving treats is sure to be the perfect dish to cap off your holiday feast. Take advantage of our delicious collection of Hickory Farms desserts to add something extra special to your treats.

    Peanut brittle from Hickory Farms

    Hickory Farms Peanut Brittle

    Apples are one of nature's finest fall fruits. Celebrate the harvest with a Caramel Apple Cake. Start by baking an apple spice cake with applesauce, cloves, ground ginger and allspice. Then, make the topping by melting caramel candies with a bit of water. For a traditional take on the recipe, finish the cake with chopped walnuts or, for something a little bit more festive, substitute the walnuts with a dusting of our Famously Thin Peanut Brittles, roughly chopped in a food processor.

    Holiday sweets from Hickory Farms

    Hickory Farms Farmstead Fruit Spreads

    Blueberry Pound Cake is a fantastically flexible dish that can be either a sweet ending to your meal or a festive Thanksgiving breakfast. To prepare the cake, blend dry cake ingredients with vanilla, eggs, butter and, of course, blueberries. Take the finished cake to the next level by drizzling it with a fruit glaze. Simply combine one of our Farmstead Fruit Spreads, such as Wild Blueberry, Strawberry or Red Raspberry, in a small saucepan with water until everything's well combined.

    Holiday desserts from Hickory Farms

    Hickory Farms Peppermint Snow Mints

    For an easy-to-prepare treat, try a delicious combination of chocolate, mint and buttery crackers. In a double broiler, melt a handful of dark-cocoa-mint wafers and dip each cracker until fully coated. Top the crackers with our crushed Peppermint Snow Mints.

    Holiday sweets from Hickory Farms

    Peppermint Snow Cookies

    Give your guests holiday dessert options with a cookie platter. For a twist on a holiday classic prepare a batch of chewy chocolate Gingerbread cookies with molasses, ground ginger, and chocolate chips. Arrange your homemade cookies on a platter along with our delicious Lemon Shortbread Cookies.

    With a few simple recipes and some festive holiday sweets from Hickory Farms' Sweet Indulgences line, you can cap off your Thanksgiving feast with a dessert that your guests are sure to love!



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  • Celebrate National Barbeque Month with Healthy Recipes

    Celebrate National Barbeque Month with Healthy Recipes

    May is National Barbeque Month, and you can celebrate the occasion by cooking up a delicious meal full of smoky, flavor-packed treats. With these scrumptious recipes from Hickory Farms, you can grill up a healthy dinner from start to finish.


    Source: Chris Gentile via Bon Appétit

    First Course

    For a fun spin on a traditional bread course, substitute plain, white bread with a delicious Grilled Flatbread. Make the dough by combining yeast with warm water and adding flour. Allow the mixture to rest before kneading in some sour cream. Then, roll the dough out into flat pieces and throw them on the grill for a nice char. After flipping, finish the flatbread with your choice of toppings, or with one of our delicious cheeses.


    Source: Peter Ardito via Fitness


    For the main course, opt for a sweet and smoky grilled pork tenderloin. Start by marinating your tenderloin in a mixture of maple syrup, cider vinegar, garlic and our tangy Sweet Hot Mustard. When the pork has absorbed the flavor, place it on the grill and pour the marinade in a saucepan and allow it to reduce. Afterwards, slice the pork and serve the marinade sauce on top.


    Source: Howard L. Puckett via Cooking Light

    Side Dish

    Grilling brings out a rich, caramel-like flavor in veggies. You can enjoy these delicious flavors in a Pasta and Grilled Vegetable Salad. Simply slice up whatever veggies you prefer, such as squash, eggplant and bell peppers, toss them in some olive oil with a pinch of salt and pepper, and then throw them on the grill. When your veggies are finished cooking, toss them with some pasta, a couple slices of our Turkey Summer Sausage, some Peppercorn White Cheddar and your favorite vinaigrette dressing.


    Source: Peter Ardito via Fitness


    Even sweet treats are better on the grill. For a truly decadent end to your grilled meal, cook up some Grilled Balsamic Peaches. Begin by combining balsamic vinegar and sugar in a small pan and sauté until it's reduced by half. Then, finish the sauce by adding vanilla and pepper. While you're making the sauce, slice some peaches in half and grill them on the side. Assemble your dessert by topping the peaches with melted butter, ice cream, your homemade balsamic syrup and an array of nuts from our Finest Mixed Nuts Tin.


    With these four healthy dishes and our fine Hickory Farms ingredients (our Traditions of Home basket contains everything you’ll need!); May just might become your new favorite month for BBQ-inspired fun.


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  • Chunky Double Chocolate Caramel Brownies

    Chunky Double Chocolate Caramel Brownies

    The holiday season is loosely translated to the “chocolate” season in our family. Whether we’re gifting each other our favorite chocolates, candy bars, or truffles, some of us end up with countless boxes of these festive holiday chocolates...more than we could ever eat! If leftover chocolate is not a problem in your home, you’re one of the lucky few.

    Pedestal chocolate cropped

    That’s where these Chunky Double Chocolate Caramel Brownies come in to save the day. By chopping and folding in bits and pieces from into this semi-healthy brownie batter (it has applesauce that replaces some of the fat in this recipe, so it’s not too bad!), you’re turning your holiday chocolate gifts into a delicious, chocolate packed treat.

    Chocolate full box croped




    American confectionery craftsmen and women make the Hickory Farms Signature Chocolate Collection with the finest ingredients, along with premium milk and dark chocolate, and these chocolates are like little bites of heaven. The flavor combinations include Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel, Almond Butter Toffee, Raspberry Sorbet Heart, and Espresso Coffee Cream, among others. For this recipe, I chose all the caramel based chocolates to accentuate the caramel flavors of the brownies. These brownies are the perfect treat to bring to teachers, family members, neighbors, or friends. They’re decadent enough for the holidays, but simple enough to make any day of the week!

    Chocolate half cropped



    Chunky Double Chocolate Caramel Brownies


    1 stick unsalted butter

    3/4 cup cocoa powder

    1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce

    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

    2 cups granulated sugar

    3 large eggs

    1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

    1/4 teaspoon baking powder

    8-10 Hickory Farms Signature Chocolates, roughly chopped

    Caramel sauce, to taste

    Crop 4

    1. Preheat the oven to 350F and lightly oil two medium sized loaf pans. Set aside.
    2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and whisk in the cocoa powder, apple sauce, and vanilla extract.
    3. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs. Add the warm chocolate/butter mixture and mix until blended. Add the flour, salt, and baking powder and stir but do not over mix.
    4. Fold in chopped Signature Chocolates, pour into previously greased pans and bake for 40-50 minutes until fully cooked.
    5. Serve warm with a generous drizzle of caramel sauce.



    Caramel brownie crop 4

    With the Hickory Farms Signature Chocolate Collection, and great friends and family, you have all the tools to turn any evening into a delicious, chocolate-filled experience.


    Marnely Rodriguez- Murray is an established chef with an extensive culinary background as well as a friend of Hickory Farms. Marnely brings masterfully created recipes using your favorite Hickory Farms products, just in time for the Holiday season. With a specialty in pastry creation, Marnely has been genius in turning every dish into a masterpiece.




    Read More »
  • Deliciously Cold Spiked Apple Cider with Granny Smith Apples

    Deliciously Cold Spiked Apple Cider with Granny Smith Apples

    Although apple cider is traditionally associated with a chilly autumn evening, with the right recipe, it can also make a fantastic summer treat. Grab some of our delicious Granny Smith apples from the Hickory Farms Very Special Variety Fruit Gift Box, and whip up this refreshing summer cider cocktail.

    Source: Hickory Farms

    Source: Hickory Farms


    The Gift Box

    With so many delicious varieties of fruit, including Navel Oranges, Bartlett Green Pears, Kiwi Fruit, Mango, and more, every fruit lover will savor this gift box. While the crisp and juicy fruit tastes great on its own, the vibrant flavors will also add something special to any recipe. Chop up the fruit and serve it with Greek yogurt, toss it with mint for a sweet salad, or invent your very own unique recipes by using these amazing ingredients as inspiration.



    Source: Pixabay

    Source: Pixabay

    The Drink

    Now that you have found the perfect apples, it is time to whip up your refreshing cider cocktail. If possible, try to find a spiced cider from a local farm or orchard. Then, pour the cider into a pitcher with ice and stir the cider well so that it gets nice and cold. For a little kick, pour in some dark rum. If you like it a little spicy, you can also mix in a bit of cinnamon schnapps.

    Now that you have the cocktail assembled, put it in the refrigerator to chill further while you prepare the garnish. Simply chop your Granny Smith apple into bite sized pieces and toss them with lemon juice to prevent the apples from browning. Using a decorative skewer, place about four pieces of apple on each skewer. Now all you have to do is pour your cocktail into a highball glass, garnish with the apple skewer, and let the fun begin.

    With this cold and refreshing cocktail paired with our fresh Granny Smith apples, you can enjoy the delicious flavors of apple cider all year long. Fill your home with a fantastic assortment of fresh fruits with the Hickory Farms Very Special Fruit Gift Box.


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  • Featured Recipe Cheddar Apple Pie

    Featured Recipe Cheddar Apple Pie

    Head into your kitchen and bake a pie this weekend! I promise it will lift your mood, calm your energy, and result in a bright and savory Cheddar Apple Pie. Wondering why anyone would ever add cheddar cheese to a pie crust? Well, it’s not a modern technique whatsoever. Combining nuts, sweets, fruit, and cheese has been happening since ancient times. The sharp taste of the cheese and the sweet and juicy flavors of the apples creates a flavorful fall pie that will really ignite the taste buds.


    3 year aged cheddar


    That’s why the Hickory Farms 3 Year Aged Cheddar pairs so well with the seasonal apples. The sharp cheese balances the sweetness of the apples. Serve this pie with a glass of Malbec and you’ll discover a pairing that you’ll fall in love with this holiday season.




    Cheddar Apple Pie 02


    Another great reason why pie-making is one of my favorite kitchen tasks is because you can get the entire family involved or even have friends over for a pie making afternoon. While someone peels and slices the apples, others can make the pie dough, and grate the cheddar cheese, all while joyfully thinking that the results are going to be a luscious, apple-filled, cheddar-studded pie! Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream or a dollop of fresh whipped cream.




    Cheddar Apple Pie 03

    Follow these easy instructions to make a Cheddar Apple Pie that is sure to be an instant holiday hit.


    For the pie dough:

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/3 cup shortening
    • 1/3 cup (5 tablespoons) unsalted butter, chilled
    • 1/3 cup cold water
    • 5 ounces Hickory Farms, grated 3 Year Aged Cheddar  


    For the filling:

    • 6 large apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
    • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon




    Cheddar Apple Pie 05



    1. To make dough: place all the dry ingredients into a food processor and pulse for 3 seconds. Add the shortening and chilled butter, pulsing rapidly. Drizzle in the cold water until the dough comes together. Place dough in a bowl and knead in the grated cheddar. Divide the dough into two discs, wrap in plastic, and chill overnight.
    2. To prepare the filling: sauté the apples over medium high until some of the moisture leaves the apples. Drain the apples and stir in the rest of the ingredients and let sit overnight.
    3. To prepare the pie: preheat oven to 350F and grease a pie pan. Roll out each disc of dough on a floured surface and place one crust on the bottom of the pan. Take the chilled filling and spoon into the pie pan, being careful not to include too much of the liquid that drained overnight. Roll out the second disc and place over the apple, crimping the sides and adding a couple of slits on the top of the pie.
    4. Bake the pie for 1 hour until golden brown and let sit for about 30 minutes before serving. Enjoy!




    Cheddar Apple Pie 06


    Using the delicious, crisp apples, and the super sharp 3 Year Aged Cheddar from Hickory Farms that creates a delightful pairing, this dessert will become a hit amongst guests at any gathering this season and beyond.


    Marnely Rodriguez- Murray is an established chef with an extensive culinary background, as well as a friend of Hickory Farms. Marnely brings masterfully created recipes using her favorite Hickory Farms products. Marnely has a special knack for turning every dish into a masterpiece.

    Read More »
  • Featured Recipe Hot Ham & Cheese Dip

    Featured Recipe: Hot Ham & Cheese Dip

    Ready to make something amazing with leftover ham? Today, I’m sharing the perfect recipe for your next party. A Hot Ham & Cheese Dip made with two of my favorite cheeses from Hickory Farms: Jalapeño & Cheddar Blend, a spicy but creamy cheddar, and New York Cheddar Spread, a smooth spread that melts perfectly in this dip. It comes together quickly, tastes amazing, and will impress your guests every time!



    Since you’ll be using some amazing cheeses, it’s only logical to use amazing ham as well. The Hickory Farms HoneyGold® Ham is a fantastic and flavorful ham to use in this recipe. You want a ham with a blend of sweet and smoky flavors, and this ham hits all the right flavor notes.


    Dips are a great addition to any party, whether you’re hosting in your own home or bringing a dish over to a friend’s home to share. If the latter, just place the unbaked dip in the host’s oven for a couple of minute until bubbly and golden brown. Serve with fresh vegetables like celery and it’s a completely gluten-free party dip that most of your guests can enjoy! This is also a great, gluten free dish for those with dietary restrictions.


    Hot Ham & Cheese Dip recipe 1

    Hot Ham & Cheese Dip

    Serves 4-6 guests


    1 tablespoon unsalted butter

    1/4 large onion, finely chopped

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

    3/4 cup whole milk

    1 teaspoon cornstarch

    5 ounces New York Cheddar Spread

    1/2 cup grated Jalapeño & Cheddar Blend, cubed

    1 cup finely chopped Ham

    Fresh celery


    1. Preheat the oven to 425F.
    2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, sauté the butter and onions, seasoning them with salt and pepper. Cook until onions are translucent.
    3. Add the milk and let it come to a simmer. Remove 1/4 cup of warm milk and in a small bowl, whisk with cornstarch. Pour this cornstarch mixture back into the pot and whisk quickly.
    4. Add New York Cheddar Spread cheese and 1/4 cup grated Jalapeño & Cheddar Blend.
    5. Once the cheeses are smooth and melted, fold in the ham.
    6. Spread the cheese/ham dip in a square oven safe dish and sprinkle the rest of the grated Jalapeño & Cheddar Blend. Bake until golden brown and bubbly. Serve with fresh celery.


    Hot Ham & Cheese Dip recipe

    With the Hot Ham & Cheese Dip, and a little help from the savory and spicy cheeses, and HoneyGold® Ham from Hickory Farms, you will have everything you need to have an appetizer that is the hit of any party. Stop at your local holiday market to find these and others to create delicious recipes through the new year.


    Marnely Rodriguez- Murray is an established chef with an extensive culinary background, as well as a friend of Hickory Farms. Marnely brings masterfully created recipes using her favorite Hickory Farms products. Marnely has a special knack for turning every dish into a masterpiece.



    Read More »
  • Featured Recipe Triple Crème Cheese Pear & Pumpkin Grilled Cheese Sandwich Featured RecipeTriple CrŠme Cheese Pear& Pumpkin Grilled Cheese Sandwich


    What’s more comforting than a good grilled cheese? A GREAT grilled cheese full of fall flavors and a variety of textures that will make your mouth scream of joy. And that’s exactly what this Triple Cream Pear & Pumpkin Grilled Cheese Sandwich is – piled on chewy ciabatta bread, layered with crispy bacon, cool pear slices, luscious Triple Crème Cheese, and a good slathering of homemade pumpkin sage cream cheese, it’s the sandwich that will win over all the other sandwiches.




    The perfect lunch when served with a side salad or a quick on-the-go snack, you’ll never want to make another grilled cheese sandwich other than this one.


    The Hickory Farms Reserve Triple Crème Cheese, with its buttery richness, lends amazing flavors because it’s created by a unique blend of fresh cow's milk and decadent triple cream. It melts beautifully in this sandwich, adds luscious cheesy goodness to it, and is even delicious on its own!


    triple creme


    Triple Crème Pear & Pumpkin Grilled Cheese Sandwich
    1 loaf of ciabatta bread
    1/4 cup cream cheese
    2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
    1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced
    1 teaspoon hot sauce
    Salt & pepper, to taste
    6 strips of bacon, cooked until crispy
    1 wedge of Hickory Farms Triple Crème Cheese
    1 pear, cored and thinly sliced




    Triple Creme Pear Bacon Grilled Cheese 03






    1. Cut and slice the ciabatta bread for sandwiches.
    2. Whip together the cream cheese, pumpkin puree, sage, hot sauce, and season with salt & pepper.
    3. Slather the pumpkin cream cheese on both sides of the bread, layer with bacon, Triple Crème Cheese, and thin pear slices.
    4. Grill on a cast iron skillet, in the oven or your favorite panini press.
    5. Serve hot!


    Triple Creme Pear Bacon Grilled Cheese 04




    Marnely Rodriguez- Murray is an established chef with an extensive culinary background, as well as a friend of Hickory Farms. Marnely brings masterfully created recipes using her favorite Hickory Farms products. Marnely has a special knack for turning every dish into a masterpiece.

    Read More »
  • Sausage Fall Flatbread

    Sausage Fall Flatbread

    It’s always a good idea during the holidays to have a backup plan, and back up plans in my entertaining world mean flatbreads! Flatbreads are a fancier word for thin crust gourmet pizzas and can be served either as an appetizer when cut into small squares or as a full meal when served alongside a hearty salad.

    Harvest Sausage Flatbread 01- revise

    A flatbread is a party waiting to happen! It takes no time to put this flatbread dough together, but it does have to rest, so be sure to factor that in. What I like to do is make a double batch of it, separate it into four dough balls and freeze two of them. That way, I’m always at the ready. They can stay in the refrigerator for up to a week and in the freezer for up to two months.

    This Harvest Sausage Flatbread showcases the fantastic Hickory Farms Beef Summer Sausage as the main topping, alongside some seasonal flavors like sweet potato and cranberries. Living on Cape Cod, cranberries are everywhere from cakes to cookies, as well as flatbreads and other savory dishes. The balance between the sweet, tart cranberries and the savory, hickory smoked sausage makes this flatbread the perfect holiday recipe to have in your back pocket!

    Harvest Sausage Flatbread 02 - revised

    Harvest Sausage Flatbread

    For the dough:
    1 1/2 cups warm water
    1 packet active dry yeast
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    2 tablespoons brown sugar
    2 teaspoons kosher salt
    3 cups unbleached bread flour
    1 teaspoon dried basil
    1 teaspoon dried rosemary
    1 teaspoon dried sage
    1 teaspoon dried thyme

    For the flatbread:
    1/2 cup whole cranberry sauce (Hickory Farms Cranberry Mustard can be used as a delicious substitute)
    1 medium sweet potato, peeled and thinly sliced
    2 cups fresh spinach leaves
    ½ Hickory Farms Signature Beef Summer Sausage, thinly sliced

    Other topping options:
    Hickory Farms Harvest Vegetable White Cheddar Blend cheese, grated
    Fresh apples and pears, thinly sliced
    Hickory Farms Honey & Pineapple Mustard, to taste

    To make the dough, place warm water and yeast in mixing bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes, until frothy. Add the olive oil, sugar, and salt.

    Add the flour and dried herbs and mix the dough for 5 minutes on medium and 3 minutes on high, until fully developed.

    Place dough in oiled bowl in a warm place to rise. After 1.5 hours, the dough should be doubled in size. Knead down and divide into two round balls.

    Preheat your oven to 450F and sprinkle a greased baking sheet with corn or semolina flour.

    Using a rolling pin, roll out to rectangle shapes (1/4 - 1/2 inch thick) and place the dough on the greased baking sheet.
    Slather 1/4 cup cranberry sauce or Hickory Farms Cranberry Mustard, and layer with spinach, sweet potato slices, and Signature Summer Sausage slices.

    Bake for 15-20 minutes, until crust is golden brown. Serve immediately. With Hickory Farms selection of sausage and cheese, you can transform any hors d'oeuvres or main dish into an instant fall favorite.

    Harvest Sausage Flatbread 03 -revised

    Marnely Rodriguez- Murray is an established chef with an extensive culinary background as well as a friend of Hickory Farms. Marnely brings masterfully created recipes using your favorite Hickory Farms products, just in time for the Holiday season. With a specialty in pastry creation, Marnely has been genius in turning every dish into a masterpiece.


    Read More »
  • Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup Shooters

    Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup Shooters

    At Hickory Farms, we know that holiday parties are a big part of the holiday season- getting together with friends and family, sharing a meal over the table, enjoying each other’s company. For those parties that you don’t know what to serve, a cheese platter is always a good idea. But how about you take the cheese and make it an ingredient in these quick and easy Grilled Cheese and Tomato Shooters?

    This recipe is the perfect party appetizer, since everyone gets their own shot glass of tomato soup and a slice of gooey, melted grilled cheese sandwich. These are ideal to make ahead of time and just warm up the soup and serve on a large tray - guests will love the whimsical presentation yet will be won over with the flavorful soup.

    To make the perfect grilled cheese, combine the Simply Hickory Farms Creamy Gouda with the Simply Hickory Farms Medium Cheddar. With these two cheeses, you’re bound to have a sandwich that’s not only delicious, but perfect in meltability. The Dutch style, Creamy Gouda adds just the right amount of nuttiness, while the Medium Cheddar that’s been crafted in Wisconsin and aged for six months, gives the sandwich that classic taste.

    A sophisticated twist on a classic childhood favorite, this tomato soup recipe is also great served as a main dish - but at your next party, serve it as an appetizer and you’ll see the great responses you’re going to get when you present them with shot glasses of soup! 

    Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup Shooters

    Serves 15-20

    For the soup:

    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 3 large carrots, chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
    • 1 quart chicken stock
    • ½ cup half and half

    For the sandwiches:

    • ½ loaf sandwich bread
    • 10 ounces Simply Cheddar Cheese
    • 5 ounces Simply Gouda Cheese
    • 4 tablespoons unsalted softened butter
    1. In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the onion, carrots and garlic for 10 minutes until tender and aromatic.
    2. Add the tomatoes and chicken stock, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
    3. Ladle into a blender or using an immersion blender, blend until smooth and return to pot. Whisk in half and half and cook for another 5 minutes. Keep warm.
    4. To make sandwiches, grate cheese. Layer cheese on buttered bread and toast over the stovetop or on toaster. Grating the cheese will make them melt faster and easier.
    5. To serve: spoon warm soup into shot glasses and top with a slice of grilled cheese sandwich. Perfect for parties! 


    Read More »
  • Gluten-Free 101: How to Make it Part of Your Everyday Life

    Gluten-Free 101: How to Make it Part of Your Everyday Life

    Whether you’re making a healthy change to your diet or you have a gluten allergy, switching to a gluten-free diet is a major challenge. But going gluten free doesn’t mean giving up on your favorite treats and sweets. There are many simple ways to help you learn to love gluten-free living:

    Stay positive

    It’s better to focus on what you can eat, rather than what you can’t. Remind yourself that most nutritious and delicious foods that you should be eating are gluten free. Meat, fish, rice, eggs, fruits, veggies and nuts are all healthy gluten-free options that should be a part of your regular diet. You can still have flavorful meals that will keep you full and happy.

    Seek support

    Let your friends and family know about the change you’ve made. Have them act as a support group to keep you on track and less likely to cheat. Getting in touch with an official gluten-free support group can also help you find sources of information. Ask your doctor or dietitian to put you in touch with one of these groups.

    Shop around

    Think outside the box when you’re grocery shopping for gluten-free options. Do your research and you’ll find new sources for gluten-free products online every day. You can find a gluten-free version of almost any of your favorite foods.

    Going gluten free is easy with the number of choices out there. Check out Hickory Farms for tons of options when it comes to meats, cheeses, fruits and nuts. You can even brighten someone’s day with a gluten-free gift basket!

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  • The Best Wines to Pair With Your Holiday Meal

    The Best Wines to Pair With Your Holiday Meal

    The holidays are all about enjoying delicious food with your friends and family, but what about the wine? You can make your holiday meals even more spectacular when you pair your food with the right wine. Here’s a guide to help you find the best food and wine pairings to impress your holiday guests this year — no matter what you're serving:


    Zinfandel pairs well with almost any kind of meat, especially pork and beef. Pour a glass to go with your pork roast or brisket for the perfect complementary flavors. Zinfandel also accompanies big, hearty pasta meals like spaghetti or lasagna.

    Pinot Noir

    Pinot Noir is great for pairing with turkey or other light proteins, such as chicken. This is also an ideal wine to serve with cheese or cream-based dishes, like casseroles or creamy pastas.

    Cabernet sauvignon

    The ripe black and red fruits used in cabernet sauvignon brighten up rich, hearty dishes like roast beef or beef tenderloin. If you plan to show off your cooking skills with a robust meal, this wine is an excellent partner.


    If you’re planning any seafood dishes for the holidays, chardonnay is the way to go. Some suggested dishes include shrimp with cream sauce, crab cakes or smoked salmon. Chardonnay also pairs nicely with cheeses like mild cheddar and gruyere.

    Make the most of your holiday season with a wide variety of gifts, treats and wines. Whether you’re sending gifts across the country or preparing to host, Hickory Farms has specialty delights for everyone to enjoy.

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  • Shrimp and Cheesy Grits

    Shrimp and Cheesy Grits

    One of our favorite warm and cozy cold weather recipes is a cheesy shrimp and grits dish. Blended with the sharp bite of our Hickory Farms Reserve 3 Year aged cheddar, this is a recipe that is perfect for the entire family and simple to make!

    For the Grits

    • 1 cup stone ground grits
    • 1 cup chicken broth
    • 2 cups water
    • 4 tablespoons butter
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 1/2 cup heavy cream
    • 2 ounces cream cheese
    • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

    For the Shrimp

    • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
    • 3 slices bacon, diced
    • 1 cup diced baby bella mushrooms
    • 1/3 cup (about 2) green onion, sliced thin on an angle
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • hot sauce
    • 1/2 of a lemon
    • 1 tablespoon minced parsley
    • 1/2 cup flour
    • salt
    • pepper
    • 1/4 cup chicken broth

    Making the Grits

    1. Bring broth, water, and butter to a boil. Add in grits and sugar, stirring constantly to avoid clumps.
    2. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 30-45 minutes until done. Be sure to stir periodically to prevent grits from sticking.
    3. Stir in cream, cream cheese, and Hickory Farms Reserve 3 Year Aged Cheddar.
    4. Keep warm.

    Making the Shrimp

    1. In a large saute pan over medium heat, render bacon until crispy. Transfer bacon bits to a paper towel. Remove pan from the heat while you dust the shrimp with flour. (Reserve the oil in the pan)
    2. In a small bowl, add flour. Season with salt and pepper.
    3. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and dredge each one in the flour.
    4. Return pan (with reserved bacon fat) to medium heat and add shrimp one at a time.
    5. Cook until tails just begin to turn pink.
    6. Turn the shrimp over and cook for 1 minute.
    7. Add the mushrooms, green onion, garlic, parsley, half of the bacon, a few shakes of hot sauce and a squeeze of the lemon. Toss to cook the added ingredients.
    8. Add chicken broth to deglaze the pan.

    To Serve

    1. Divide grits among bowls and add shrimp to the center.
    2. Garnish with reserved bacon and extra parsley.
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  • How to Know When Your Pears Are Ripe

    How to Know When Your Pears Are Ripe

    Did you know that pears are one of the few fruits that don’t ripen on the tree? This means that once harvested, their sugars still need a little time to develop. Here are some tips to help you ripen your pears and know when they’re ready to eat:

    Ripen at room temperature

    When you purchase or pick pears, ripen them at room temperature, leaving them on a counter or in a bowl. Once the pears are ripe, store them in the fridge. Cold temperatures slow the ripening process, so your ripe pears will keep in the fridge for up to three to five days.

    Speed up the process

    You can accelerate pear ripening by putting them in a bowl or paper bag with other ripening fruits. The ethylene, a gas naturally emitted by fruit while ripening, from the other fruit will ripen your pears more quickly.

    Check the color

    You can tell the ripeness of some pear varieties by looking at the color. For example, some pears turn from green to yellow, indicating they’re ready to eat.

    Hold it in your hand

    Gently squeeze the area around the stem of the pear, also called the neck. If the skin of the pear gives a little, it’s ripe and ready to go. If a pear is starting to become squishy towards the center, it is overripe, but you can still use it for soups, smoothies and many other recipes.

    Hickory Farms offers perfectly ripe and delicious Crown Comice Pears in every gift box. Send the gift of sweet and juicy pears to all of the fruit fanatics in your life by visiting hickoryfarms.com/fruit-and-nuts

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  • Antipasto Salad

    Antipasto Salad

    Summer is here! So, you know what that means – hot weather, no school, days by the lake/pool and cookouts! Which means it’s also time to ditch the stove for the grill! Another alternative are meals you can make by hand, like this simple antipasto salad. It’s one of our favorite dishes to prepare during the summer because it’s the perfect blend of cured meats, briny olives, creamy cheese, and more.

    The other great thing about this recipe is the dressing - a quick and simple combination of Cranberry Mustard, apple cider vinegar, and olive oil make for your new, go to recipe for dressings this season. The Cranberry Mustard is balanced with honey and apple, both which work so well with the tart cranberry. Plus, mustard is the perfect way to emulsify a salad dressing - it won’t separate, making it a smooth and creamy dressing in seconds!

    Antipasto Salad

    Serves 4

    For the salad:

    For the dressing:

    1. Place the shredded lettuce on the bottom of your platter and layer the rest of the ingredients on top.
    2. To make dressing: whisk together all the ingredients and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
    3. Chill salad and serve tossed with the dressing. 


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  • Featured Recipe Veggie and Cheese Skewer Appetizer

    Featured Recipe: Veggie and Cheese Skewer Appetizer

    Veggie and Cheese Skewer Appetizer

    During the summer months, skewers are the perfect way to get a balanced meal without a lot of work. Typically, a few key ingredients are placed on a skewer and grilled to perfection. However, with this recipe, we’re removing the grill and creating a ready-to-eat Veggie, Sausage and Cheese Skewer Appetizer. This skewer will be perfect to hold over the family or your guests, until the entree is prepared.

    Try pairing together the great flavors of our Signature Beef Summer Sausage, your favorite cheeses, and the veggies of your choosing. Slice your sausage and cheese into bite sized cubes, and slide all of the ingredients onto the skewer. Not only are these skewers, simple and delicious, but they also provide a beautiful and colorful touch as the centerpiece to your gathering.

    Read More »
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