Recipes Inspired by Your Kids’ Favorite Books

With National Book Lovers Day coming up on Aug. 9, it’s a great time to read a fun book with your kids. Encourage their love of reading by pairing story time with these delicious, book-inspired recipes from Hickory Farms.

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Source: Party Ideas by a Pro

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

This beautifully illustrated classic children’s tale is a great educational tool for your little ones. For the perfect pairing, read this story while your children snack on sandwiches adorably arranged into a caterpillar shape.

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Start by making six sandwiches on whole wheat bread, topping three with our Farmhouse Cheddar and three others with our HoneyGold Ham. Then, use a circular cookie cutter to create five shapes from each sandwich. Stacking each circle on its side, arrange the sandwich pieces in a swirling pattern that resembles a caterpillar’s body. Finish by creating a cute head out of a tomato with cheddar eyes and celery antennas.

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Source: Paula Deen

Green Eggs and Ham

Told in rhymed verse, every kid enjoys Dr. Seuss. You can really bring this tale to life with these fun Green Eggs and Ham cups.

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In a sautee pan, combine shallots, spinach and a bit of cream, cooking until the cream thickens. Meanwhile, line muffin cups with slices of our HoneyGold Ham. Then, add a bit of the spinach mixture on top of the ham, and crack an egg into each cup before baking.

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Source: Wonderland Recipes

Harry Potter

Lovers of the wizarding world are quite familiar with Hogwart’s favorite game, Quidditch. Snuggle up with a Harry Potter book and a plate of Savory Snitch Cheese Balls.

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In a stand mixer, blend together a package of cream cheese with our shredded Farmhouse Cheddar and a bit of butter. While you allow the mixture to chill, toast up a pan of our nuts from our Fruitful Gift Box. Then, form the cheese mixture into small balls; roll the balls into the mixed nuts and finish by pushing pretzel sticks into the ball to resemble the snitch’s wings.

If you’re looking for a fun way to make reading even more special for your kids, add a bit of festivity to story time by preparing these delicious recipes inspired by some of today’s most popular children’s books. With these delicious snacks, your kids might never want to put their books down!

5 Reasons Why Mustard is a Must for a Healthy Diet

Hickory Farms knows that leading a healthy lifestyle is important to our customers and their families. When choosing a condiment as a spread for a sandwich, mustard is the healthiest choice. Containing no high-fructose corn syrup found in ketchup, or the unhealthy fat in mayonnaise, mustard adds savory zest to burgers and ham-and-cheese sandwiches without all of the calories.

Since National Mustard Day will be celebrated on Aug.5th, we’ve highlighted some of the best health benefits of adding mustard to your diet.

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  • A tablespoon of yellow mustard has 21 mg of potassium, contributing to the recommended daily intake of 2,000 mg for adults. Potassium transmits electrical signals to the body, helps muscles contract (including the heart) and aids in digestion.
  • Mustard seeds contain magnesium and selenium, which can help fight inflammation, decrease blood pressure and alleviate the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and asthma.
  • Mustard seeds are a great source for the omega-3 fatty acids we need for healthy brain tissue growth. These unsaturated fats also play a role in preventing deadly heart disease.
  • One tablespoon of yellow mustard contains 16 mg of phosphorous. Healthy adults need approximately 700 mg of phosphorus a day to keep their heart and kidneys functioning well. Phosphorus also helps break down B-complex vitamins, fats, carbohydrates and proteins.
  • Mustard also contains protein, as well as fiber and vitamin C, which we all need to stay healthy.

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Keep Hickory Farms’ gourmet selection of mustard on hand for all occasions in your well-stocked pantry. You can choose our Variety 8-Pack featuring three flavors — Sweet Hot, Honey & Pineapple and Cranberry — or a 3-Pack of our Sweet Hot Mustard. Get creative and use them on sandwiches, as a glaze for ham and as dipping sauces for chicken wings. No matter the recipe, our mustard makes for a delicious addition to any meal!

Drop by a Hickory Farms store near you, or call 800.753.8558 to place your order today. Hickory Farms also offers online ordering and home delivery for our customers’ convenience.

6 Basic Elements of Food and Wine Pairings

Many people love enjoying a glass of wine at dinner. However, they might not know how to successfully pair their meals with the perfect drink. Here are a couple tips you can follow for a fabulous (and doubly delicious!) wining and dining experience.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

In general, there are six separate food elements that interplay with wine.

1. Fat Element

There’s fat in dairy products as well as in meats and sausages. Because wine is produced without fat, a balance must be found with the wine’s acidity. The tannins in a robust red will cut the fat’s heaviness, or you can complement its essential richness with the wine.

2. Acid Element

Wines have acidity, as do foods like fruit, particularly citrus. The right level of acid gives a wine its signature zing. Select wines with enough acidity to stand up to a specific dish to amp up your wine’s unique verve.

3. Salt Element

If you’re serving salty snacks, like nuts or an array of cheeses, you might be surprised that the best wine choice is a sweet Sauternes. Sparkling wines are also perfect palate cleansers with salty foods.

4. Sweetness Element

Some people might think that sweet wines pair well with sweet foods, but that’s not necessarily the case. While cured ham with a hint of sweetness can be paired seamlessly with a Chardonnay, you want to make sure you’re not overdoing these flavors. A Bittersweet Chocolate Ice Cream Truffle would never blend with a dry red, so try a semisweet red like a harvest zinfandel instead.

5. Bitterness Element

The bitter notes in wine are produced from tannins and can be tempered by fatty foods. Mustard and collard greens may have a bitter taste, but they can be paired with a Zinfandel or a Pinot Blanc. Foods and wines with bitter notes don’t do well together.

6. Texture Element

Texture in food and wines is measured by lightness and heaviness. Consider how pleasant a glass of white wine can be with some sliced fruit as an appetizer, or on its own. When you plan a big meal, a Pinot Noir or Chianti would be most appropriate.

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Hickory Farms wine gifts are already expertly paired so you don’t have to guess at a good match — it’s already made! You can place your order online today for a quick home delivery.