Best Kept Kitchen Secrets

Even the world’s most famous chefs cut corners in the kitchen. Today, we’re going to share some of the tricks that top chefs hide under their toques in order to save time and trouble in the kitchen without sacrificing flavor or quality. These six top chef shortcuts can help you go from an amateur to an at-home chef and entertainer extraordinaire.


  • Breadcrumbs make a great substitute for flour when you need to thicken a sauce. Allow them to simmer for several minutes to release their starch, and remember to strain the sauce before serving. Your sauce will be thick and flavorful with no floury taste.
  • Use a pair of kitchen shears to cut meat swiftly with no mess. They make it easier to get the exact sized pieces you want while keeping your hands clean. Kitchen shears are also a quick and easy way to mince garden herbs for your favorite recipes.
  • Instead of starting from scratch, use a ready-made sauce or condiment to quickly add a zip to sauces, marinades and dishes to cut down on prep time.
  • Fresh cheese is a must for authentic Italian and other dishes, but soft cheeses can be difficult to grate quickly and easily. One trick is to freeze the cheese for 20 minutes to make grating a breeze.
  • Waiting for butter to soften adds precious minutes to a busy cook’s tight schedule. Hasten the process by grating the butter in a bowl. The small pieces soften much faster.
  • Homemade stock is the lifeblood of many great recipes, but is time consuming to prepare. Having pre-measured amounts on hand can save tons of time and energy. The next time you make a pot of stock, fill a muffin tin with the liquid after it cools and throw it in the freezer. Once frozen, pop the individual helpings out and store them in labeled and dated freezer bags.
hickory farms

Source: Marin /

It’s no secret that Hickory Farms is a great gourmet shortcut with fresh fruits and nuts, award-winning sausage and cheese, and pantry essentials like Chipotle Ranch Sauce, Horseradish Sauce and Sweet Hot Mustard. Visit our website to place your order and stock your kitchen like a top chef!

Add Flair to Favorite Recipes with Hickory Farm’s Sweet Hot Mustard

universally popular condiment, mustard crosses all cuisine lines. From standard-issue yellow to more special varieties that blend with exotic ingredients to create unique, sweet and savory flavors, mustard can take countless dishes from bland to altogether mouthwatering.

If you ever feel stuck when it comes to jazzing up a dish, just remember what Anna Bates of the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel says: “With 700 million pounds consumed worldwide annually, you can bet there are more ways to enjoy mustard than simply slathered on a brat.”

While everyone loves our Sweet Hot Mustard with Hickory Farm’s signature beef or turkey summer sausage and our delicious cheeses, this zesty condiment can be used to form a savory base for sauces and marinades to add a twist to a traditional dish or flair to a favorite recipe. As Patti Levenson of the National Mustard Museum says, “Mustard is a great emulsifier. . . It helps create thicker sauces and keeps vinaigrettes together.”

Instead of using butter and hot sauce, use Hickory Farm’s Sweet Hot Mustard to make a healthier version of Buffalo wings. For another tastier and healthier chicken dish, try these Chicken Kabobs with Sweet Hot Mustard. The mustard infuses the meat with its aromatic flavor so you can reduce the amount of salt. This recipe for Fried Green Beans with Sweet Hot Mustard also sounds fantastic and would make a great appetizer or side dish for family dinners.

You can also try folding our Sweet Hot Mustard into turkey- and salmon-burgers. It adds flavor without fat while also moistening the consistency. Or, try this Crispy Baked Salmon with Sweet Hot Mustard for special occasion dish.

hickory farms sweet hot mustard

Source: The Weekend Gourmande

The savviest cooks know to keep a ready supply of the staple ingredients like mustard, to turn out gourmet dishes on demand. Stock your pantry with a 3-pack of Hickory Farms Sweet Hot Mustard, one of our best-selling items, to infuse family dinners or holiday gatherings with extra flavor.

hickory farms

Available for order online!

Celebrate Friendship Near & Far

The bond of friendship is truly transformative. Friendship fosters love, compassion, understanding and generosity. These are the values that have the power to make the world a better place.

July 30th was International Day of Friendship, when we are encouraged to celebrate the friendships that unite individuals, countries and cultures across the world. As the United Nations reminds us, friendships that span international borders bring individuals and cultures together inspiring peace efforts and promoting international understanding and respect for diversity.

The idea of designating a day to celebrate friendship was actually first promoted in 1919 by the founder of Hallmark Cards, Joyce Hall. But what started as a company campaign, ended up turning into something much more poignant. When the card industry eventually lost steam, the UN encouraged this annual celebration of friendship by naming Winnie the Pooh as the world’s Ambassador of Friendship in 1998. Finally, in 2011, the 65th Session of the UN General Assembly officially declared July 30 as International Day of Friendship.

We love the idea of encouraging kids to celebrate friendship. TLC has some great ideas for parents to help kids celebrate friendship with games like toss and catch and crafts like special seed bracelets. You can also help kids to make international friends by helping them find pen pals through organizations like Students of the World. While kids are making bracelets or writing their first pen pal letter, parents can stack together some Winnie the Pooh themed meat and cheese crackers. Kids are sure to love these friendly and smiley snacks!

hickory farms

Source: Disney Baby

Hickory Farms is happy to help adults celebrate the special bonds of friendship, too, with thoughtful gift baskets that can be shipped anywhere in the country and to international neighbors in Canada. From our Award Winning Sausage & Cheese and our famous HoneyGold® Ham to our Fruitful Gift Box and special seasonal offerings like our Italian Ice Cream Truffles, there are so many ways to show friends you care with a special package from Hickory Farms.

hickory farms gift baskets

Fruitful Gift Box from Hickory Farms

What are some of your favorite ways to celebrate friendship and show appreciation for a friend?