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.

gourmet food basket

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.

gourmet cheese
 

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.

farmhouse cheddar

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.

gourmet ham

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.

gourmet cheese

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.

gourmet fruit basket

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!

Easy Tips and Tricks for Perfect Grilling

A delicious, smoky flavor, and a nice char, makes everything taste a little better — especially when cooked on a grill. Whether you’re an experienced grill master or are picking up tongs for the first time, these grilling tips can help elevate the flavors of your summer menu.

beef summer sausage

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Get the perfect sear

A nice sear is the key to perfectly grilled meat. Steaks should have a good char on the outside with some pink on the inside. You can achieve this by patting off any marinade so that the steak is nice and dry. Then, simply leave your steak alone until it’s time to flip. The longer you leave the steak untouched, the more the char will develop.

mustard variety pack

Add some flavor

A simple glaze can impart tons of flavors into a variety of meats. For a super easy glaze, try melting one of our Farmstand Fruit Spreads onto the grill or brushing on our Cranberry Mustard.

smoked gouda

Make your burgers nice and juicy

A great burger starts with even cooking. Because burgers tend to puff up in the middle as they cook, this can be a bit difficult. By creating a small indentation in the middle of your burger before placing on the grill, the meat will stay in better contact with the grill. Finish with some yummy condiments like our Smoked Gouda and Sweet Hot Mustard.

grilled veggies

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Get your veggies

Grilling isn’t only great for meats; it can also make for some amazing veggies. Coat your veggies in olive oil, salt and pepper before applying directly to the grill. Add greater complexity to your sides by chopping grilled veggies and mixing them with pieces of our Farmhouse Cheddar, some pasta and a balsamic vinegar dressing.

With these simple grilling tips, along with our Hickory Farms cheeses and gourmet mustards, you can prepare a grilled feast your guests will love.

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.

gourmet food gift basket

Source: Seeded at the Table

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.

gourmet food gift basket

Source: Charles Schiller via Country Living

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 beans, then continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Finish by combining the pasta and veggies with a big scoop of pesto sauce and diced pieces of our Beef Summer Sausage.

gourmet food gift basket

Source: Michael Weschler via Country Living

The Entree

No picnic is complete without a delicious sandwich. For a simple gourmet treat, stop by your local bakery and choose a fresh baked artisan loaf. Spread our Horseradish Sauce on one slice of bread, and then top it with a pile of thinly sliced roast beef, pieces of our Peppercorn White Cheddar and a heap of caramelized onions.

farmhouse cheddar
 

The Cheese Course

For a fancy dessert alternative, end your meal with a traditional cheese course. Simply slice pieces of our Farmhouse Cheddar, Peppercorn White Cheddar Blend and Smoked Cheddar Blend, and serve everything with crackers, assorted preserves and some ripe seasonal fruits.

With these delightful picnic dishes, featuring items from our Hickory Farms’ Pantry Essentials, you can enjoy a flavorful summer full of delicious treats!