Host an Elegant Wine and Cheese Party

There are few culinary combinations that work together as well as wine and cheese. By learning just a few basics of wine and cheese pairings, you can create combinations that bring out the true complexities of both, allowing you to experience new nuances of flavor. Use these five tips to host an elegant wine and cheese party for your friends and family.

Wine and cheese pairings from Hickory Farms

Source: James Merrell via Real Simple

Start by gathering your wines and cheeses. While as a general rule, white wines make better pairings, you can also use a lighter-bodied red. When creating your pairings, choose to contrast your flavors. If you’re using a creamy cheese, for example, a dessert wine will bring out its natural sweetness, while dry wines will add a pleasing acidic note. To make sure you enjoy your selections, try out your pairings before serving them at a party.

Wine and cheese pairings from Hickory Farms

Source: James Merrell via Real Simple

Next, send out your invitations. For something unique, make your wine and cheese invitations with personalized coasters that your guests can bring along to the party.

 

Wine & cheese from Hickory Farms

Source: James Merrell via Real Simple

 

Prepare your wine and cheese. Place sliced cheeses on slate trays with the name and description of each cheese written on the platter and remove your cheese from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving. Chill your white wines to about 45 degrees and your reds to 60.

Wine and cheese party ideas from Hickory Farms
 

Put out some snacks. Options that pair well with cheese platters include Hickory Farms’ Mixed Nuts or Colossal Cashews from the Hickory Holiday Celebration, or the Shortbread Cookies and  Signature Beef Summer Sausage included in the Winter Wonderland Basket.

Wine and cheese pairings from Hickory Farms

Source: James Merrell via Real Simple

Create a festive atmosphere. Prepare a few tasteful decorations, such as fresh flowers and candles, and a sophisticated playlist featuring jazz and classical music.

With these simple wine and cheese party ideas and one of Hickory Farms’ gourmet wine and cheese baskets, featuring fine wines, creamy cheeses, fresh fruits and delicious snacks, you’ll have everything that you need to throw an elegant wine and cheese party.

 

Cooking Safety Tips

On the day of your holiday feast, the kitchen is the most important room in your home. But between sautéeing, broiling and baking, accidents can happen. At Hickory Farms, we want to make sure everybody has a safe and joyful holiday season with these basic cooking safety tips.

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Take precautions for your holiday feasts.

A night or two before the feast and cooking, fire safety tips should be your priority. Walk around your home and check all of your fire alarms. If smoke from the cooking causes the alarm to go off, avoid the urge to remove the battery.

Before you begin cooking, scrub your range top and oven. Get rid of as much build up as possible to prevent unexpected flare ups. Also, make sure all of your supplies are approved by a recognized testing facility and keep a small fire extinguisher at the ready.

Dress to impress and show off your arms. Long sleeves with loose cuffs can easily catch on fire while cooking.

Be Attentive

With your guests talking and laughing in the living room, it can be tempting to leave the kitchen for just a moment to join them. However, unattended pans can quickly turn into kitchen fires.

Keep your working space clean. Avoid placing items, such as towels and pot holders, near the oven or stovetop where they can burn.

Know how to react

If a fire does break out, be prepared. If a fire breaks out on the stove top, turn off the heat and place a lid over the flames. Grease fires often require a fire extinguisher. For oven fires, keep the door closed and turn off the range.

If you follow these simple safety tips, enjoying this time with your family can be one of the best parts of your holiday celebration. Enlist some of your relatives to help you in the kitchen and put out a platter full of Hickory Farms’ pantry essentials to nibble on while you cook. But above all, enjoy a warm and safe holiday celebration!

 

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.

 

Source: Stuart Miles via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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 by Dec. 2.