Featured Recipe: Hot Ham & Cheese Dip

We’re nearing the end of the holiday season, with New Years Eve parties right around the corner. So many of us have leftover Christmas Ham, so why not do something amazing with it? Today, I’m sharing the perfect recipe for a holiday 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.


5 Ways to Give Back During the Holidays

The holiday season is the perfect time to share what you have with others. Make your community a brighter place by joining Hickory Farms and giving back during the holidays in these five ways.

Donate your household items

Items that you no longer use can be a welcome addition to another home. Donating your items to charitable organizations helps you recycle your goods, while the funds that are raised through their purchase go toward programs to help low income families, such as job training and resume preparation.

Volunteer your time

Make a day of service an annual part of your holiday celebration. Gather your family together and read about the various philanthropic charities working in your area. Then, decide how you can best give back. Whether you would like to serve food at a homeless shelter or organize baskets of toys for children in need, volunteering with your kids can teach them important life lessons.


Drop off a gift

Expand your holiday gift list to include a few people that you don’t know. Stop by a local hospital ward or a retirement home with a festive gift basket to share delicious treats and a few laughs. You are sure to make someone’s holiday season a little more special and come home with a few new friends.

Cook a feast for the hungry

Family dinners are an important part of any celebration. Share the joy of a great meal with less fortunate individuals in your region by packaging up holiday meals and handing them out to the homeless.


Source: No Kid Hungry

                 Source: No Kid Hungry


Support a great charity

Join Hickory Farms as we aim to battle childhood hunger as a National No Kid Hungry Partner for Share our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. Since this initiative has launched, the organization has served more than 107 million meals. By donating just $49, you can buy $490 holiday meals for hungry children.

With these five ways to give back this holiday season, you can help enact change in your community. This year, help us at Hickory Farms make the holidays a true season of sharing.

Featured Recipe: Pear, Plum & Almond Country Morning Granola

During the holiday season, our schedules are packed to the brim with commitments. Everything from the kid’s recitals to your cousin’s pancake breakfast, and your best friend’s dinner party in between it all, it’s hard to always have a grateful gesture at hand. This season, striving to be more thankful for those around me and the experiences that surround me, I’ve started reminding myself that preparation is what it’s all about. Preparing sweet treats for guests, friends, and family members makes us not only greet them with a small token of our appreciation, but it’s something we can think ahead and prepare even a couple of weeks ahead (as long as it’s stored in an airtight container!)


Take this Plum, Pear, & Almond Country Morning Granola for example. It’s the perfect housewarming gift to bring over to your neighbors as well as a delicious hostess present to bring to your next dinner party. Another great idea is to make small bags of this granola, tie it with twine, and leave on the nightstand of your overnight guests. Everyone loves a little midnight snack or early treat.

Granola 03

It’s also a fantastic way to transform the Hickory Farm’s Dried Fruit Collection into a completely new treat, perfect for snacking on the go. The use of quinoa is optional but adds great nutrition and fiber to the mix – plus, kids love the crunchy texture and added natural colors.

Dried Fruit Cropped

Plum, Pear, & Almond Country Morning Granola

Makes 2 quarts


4 tablespoons coconut oil

4 tablespoons honey

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

4 cups rolled oats

1 cup tri-color quinoa, uncooked but rinsed (optional)

1/2 cup roasted salted almonds

1 cup dried plums, chopped

1 cup dried pear slices, chopped

Granola 02

Preheat the oven to 325F. Grease a large baking sheet and set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the coconut oil, honey, dark brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla extract.

Set aside, and in a large bowl stir together the oats and quinoa. Drizzle melted oil mixture over this dry mixture until well combined.

Spread on the baking sheet and bake for about 50 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to ensure even baking.

Once golden brown and crunchy, stir in the almonds, plums, and pears. Let cool and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Granola 01

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.