Throw a Fun Ice Cream Social This Summer!


Did you know that July is National Ice Cream Month? Not that most of us need an excuse to eat some ice cream, but the folks at Hickory Farms thought that inviting some of your friends over for an old-fashioned ice cream social would be an excellent idea. With our entertaining tips, both adults and teens can have a blast throwing their own ice cream social this summer. Sending invitations lends an air of formality to a tradition that has roots running all the way back to the 18th century. These invitations are trendy and unique, but still invoke a touch of nostalgia for your party. If you have antique heirloom crystal, this is a great time to use some pieces for your social. You can also hunt for parfait glasses, tall sodas, tulip sundaes and banana boats at flea markets and second-hand stores for a nice, vintage touch. It can be hard to estimate how much ice cream you’ll need, but this is a good rule of thumb — for two scoops of ice cream a cup for 30 guests, plan on a minimum of two gallons of ice cream (buy half pints for more varieties), seven half-cup varieties of sauces, …

Host a Patriotic Block Party for Independence Day


A good way to get to know your neighbors this Fourth of July is to host a patriotic block party, and Hickory Farms has a few entertaining tips to get you started! If your neighborhood has a community gathering spot – like a clubhouse, pool, or ball field – make that your central location. If not, each family can pitch in offerings from their grills and turn it into a long, meandering block of camaraderie. Decorations Red, white and blue decorations are a necessity, of course! And fly those flags high for our country’s 238th birthday. The beauty of a festive block party is its individuality, so make sure to do your own creative thing. Activities A neighborhood parade can be the day’s highlight and involve everyone from tots and teens to proud veterans. Organize a small parade with decorated bikes, wagons, 4-wheelers and golf carts interspersed with walking groups and maybe even a few horn players and drummers! You probably don’t need a city permit, but a larger parade involving vehicles might, so be sure to check first. Kids enjoy sack races and a good game of horseshoes. You can even get adults involved with a pick-up softball game before the fireworks begin. Refreshments …

Pack the Perfect Basket for a Fun Outdoor Meal


What could be better than sitting on some fresh-cut grass with a warm breeze and a delicious gourmet basket? For the finest in al fresco dining, spend a little time reconnecting with nature by gathering your friends and family for a lovely picnic. Grab your basket and pack up these four enticing dishes to create one memorable meal. The Appetizer Fight off hunger with a couple yummy Chicken Bites. These are easy to share with your friends and family. Start by cutting up pieces of boneless chicken breast into chunks. Then, give the chicken a little bath in buttermilk before tossing it in crushed crackers, like our Olive Oil & Rosemary Crackers, mixed with a bit of flour, salt and pepper. Pan fry the chicken in hot oil and serve your cute little bites with a side of our Honey & Pineapple Mustard, or try our Chipotle Ranch Sauce. The Salad Since lettuce doesn’t tend to travel well, pasta-based salads are a great alternative for a picnic salad. Cook and drain your pasta as you sauté a variety of fresh seasonal veggies, such as garlic, onions, peppers, zucchini and squash. Add a dash of white wine and fresh cooked black …