Cheese Fondues Make for Cozy Dinners

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What better way is there to enjoy a cozy dinner with your sweetie than with some fine wine, great conversation and a bubbling pot of cheese fondue? Combining just the right amount of decadence with a creamy texture, fondue is synonymous with romance. Treat someone special to a memorable meal this Valentine’s Day, or any day, by whipping up delicious cheese fondue with these simple tips.

 

A great fondue starts with delicious cheese. For a lovely, gooey texture, choose cheeses that melt well, such as the Classic Cheddar in our Cheddar Flight. If you want to create a complex and unique flavor, pick at least two different varieties. Start with your special someone’s favorite cheeses and experiment with your ratios until you find the perfect combination.

Source: The Guardian

You can make your fondue even better by combining gourmet cheese with a little wine. To keep it traditional, choose a dry white wine, such as a Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc. Not only does the wine make the cheese taste fantastic, it also helps break it down, making the fondue even creamier.

With your ingredients ready, it’s time to get melting! Combine your gourmet wine and cheese in a small pot with just a dash of thickener, such as flour. For best results, shred your cheese and combine your thickener with the wine before mixing together. Now, all you have to do is let the cheese melt, and pour it into your fondue pot for serving!

 

While the basic recipe for fondue is simply cheese, wine and thickener, you can always have a little fun by getting a bit more creative. Try using unique cheeses, such as the delicious options from our Hickory Farms Smoked Flight of Three Cheeses, which include Smoked Garlic Cheddar or Smoked Pepper Jack. If you’re feeling even more adventurous, try adding a little something extra with a flavored liqueur, such as cherry brandy, or spice up your fondue with nutmeg and mustard powder.

With these tips, you can enjoy a romantic meal surrounded by Hickory Farms’ gourmet cheese and wine and, most importantly, your special Valentine.

Family Fun – Fireside Activities for Cold Winter Days

 

When winter winds are blowing and snow piles up outside, there’s no better place to be than in front of a roaring fire. Delight the entire family with an indoor fireside picnic with Hickory Farms’ Hickory Fire Side, which includes beef and turkey sausages, four varieties of cheese and our special Sweet Hot Mustard. Add in a bottle of Lucinda & Millie Chardonnay, and you’ll have some yummy fixings for an indoor picnic.

Of course, the food’s not the only great thing about a picnic! Check out these fun activities you and your family can enjoy, while relaxing at home on a cold, winter day.

 

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Involve everyone in creating a family scrapbook by collecting photos from past celebrations and vacations, souvenirs from theme parks and ticket stubs from movies. Include programs from dance recitals, certificates and ribbons from awards at school and athletic events. Allow your kids to express their innate creativity with markers, stickers, glitter and glue sticks.

Source: Saveur

Making fondue is almost as much fun as eating it! You can start with our Cheddar Flight, which includes four varieties of cheese, some cubes of crusty French bread, as well as a couple slices of delicious apples and pears from our Fresh Fruit Trio Gift Box. Finish off the evening with this recipe for Ultimate S’Mores toasted over an open fire.

Watch classic movies and TV shows. Introduce a new generation of children to the delights of “Shirley Temple,” “I Love Lucy” and the slapstick comedy of “The Three Stooges,” while the whole family snuggles by the fire.

You can also organize an indoor scavenger hunt on a snow day when the kids are home from school. Write down clues on scraps of paper that lead to special stashes of treats like homemade cookies or the next clue.

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Work on a family project next to a warm fire. Let your kids assemble a large puzzle or a homemade masterpiece on poster board.

Hickory Farms is proud to be a part of your memorable family traditions since 1951. Call us at 800.753.8558 or visit www.hickoryfarms.com to place an order for delivery right to your door.

Learning How to Pair Wine & Meat

Our wine pairing series continues! We started with Wine and Cheese Pairing 101 and Wine and Cheese Pairing for Intermediates, and then moved on to the Truth About Wine and Chocolate. Today, we’re switching from sweet back to savory as we explore wine and meat pairing.

Tracy Sellers of the California Bountiful blog reminds us that wine and food pairing is about creating harmonious relationships that bring out the best elements in one another. As executive chef Michael Tuohy told Sellers, “A good match will bring out the nuances and enhance the flavors and unique characters of both the food and the wine.”

There is an old rule that red meat should always be paired with red wine and white meat should always be paired with white wines. But as most sommeliers will confirm, sticking to this type of rule can result in missed opportunities to enjoy truly heavenly combinations. As Master Sommelier Larry Stone says, even the slightest pinch of salt above what a recipe calls for can completely change a dish and, in turn, the wine that it will best pair with.

The best approach when learning how to pair wine with meat is to keep an open mind and try to test your palette and pay attention to the subtleties. Take cues from the sauces, seasonings, spices and other flavors to decide which red or white wine will bring out the juiciness of the meat or the flavors it’s cooked with. Here are a few of our favorite tips from the Food & Wine editors to get you started.

 

  • Meats and fish prepared with rich sauces go great with Chardonnay.
  • Pair meats dressed in a tangy or tart sauce with a Sauvignon Blanc.
  • Unoaked wines pair nicely with any dish that you can squeeze a lemon or lime on.
  • With lighter meats, focus on pairing the wine with the sauce.
  • Cabernet often enhances juicy red meats.

Practice your wine and meat pairing skills over a fun meal with friends. And to make it even easier to get the wine cork rolling, start with Hickory Farms gourmet food and wine boxes such as our Summer Sausage Trio, Fruit & Cheese Fest, Toast the Traditions box, or our Vineyards & Orchards package.

wine baskets