Simple Ways to Send Holiday Greetings to the Military

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It’s important to remember our brave, dedicated servicemen and women stationed throughout the world. With the holidays upon us, many of our military personnel are separated from their family and friends. Hickory Farms wants to bring the feeling of family to them by making it easy to send an array of gourmet military gifts consisting of sausages, cheeses, fruits, snacks and sweets.   Read on for some other military care package ideas you can send to faraway loved ones.   Memories of home Give your military loved ones something that will strike a fond memory of friends, family and good times. Copy some photographs and place them inside a treasured book they will enjoy reading later. Another gift idea with great sentiment is to upload a collection of pictures to a digital frame, so your special someone far away can relive old times. Children can make an art project or write a poem for their military loved ones to help maintain that special connection across the miles. Hickory Farms supports our men and women in uniform, and we salute their service to our country by offering free shipping to APO/PPO addresses. To assure standard delivery by December 25, your order must by placed …

Prepare Your Pantry for the Start of School

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An organized kitchen and a well-stocked pantry are essential for a smooth start to the school year. There will be lunches to fix, quick breakfasts to eat before school and then easy dinners to whip up before after school programs and sports. Here’s how you can prepare you kitchen and pantry to start the busy school year off right. First, clear out your fridge and pantry. Go through your refrigerator and freezer and purge them of all questionable items and give the appliances a thorough cleaning. Make sure that you are using space efficiently. Try to keep items in designated areas in your refrigerator and pantry. If necessary, arrange movable shelves to ensure taller and bulkier items like bottles of wine and gallons of milk are in an ideal spot. Separate large packages of meat into individual units and wrap them in foil so they don’t get freezer burn. Date and label all packages so you can easily find what you need and know when it’s time to cook or toss. Once you have a clean slate, you can focus on how to maximize your storage so you can stock up on all you need to cook up quick, delicious and nutritious …

Best Kept Kitchen Secrets

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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 …