Throw a Halloween Party to Remember

From cute and playful to scary and spooky, coming up with a particular theme for your Halloween party is a fun way to show off your festive spirit. Plus, your options for party decor and tasty appetizers are virtually endless. Make this year’s gathering extra special by impressing your guests with one of these four party ideas.

gourmet food basket

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Crime Laboratory

Transform your home into a crime lab for a fun twist on the murder mystery. Welcome your guests with their lab coat and ID badge and leave clues so they can find the suspect. For the buffet, fill measuring cups with cubes of our cheeses and sausages and place an assortment of our mustards in petri dishes. Little decorative touches, like fingerprint pillows and placing flowers in beakers, will round out the design.

gourmet food basket

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Alice in Wonderland Tea Party

For a quirky and colorful soiree, throw your own Mad Hatter tea party. Tell your guests to dress up in mismatched vintage clothes and hats. Simple decor options include antique tea pots and framed character silhouettes. For an easy buffet, make an assortment of finger sandwiches from our sausage, cheese and fruit spreads. You can even decorate them with tomato slices shaped into hearts and diamonds, so the sandwiches look like playing cards. Serve the sandwiches with teas from our Ceylon Tea Collection.

peanut brittle popcorn

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Pumpkin Carnival

Throwing a pumpkin carnival is a great theme idea for all ages. Fill your home with cute games, such as a black cat bean bag toss or a ghostly can game, which can also double as decorations. Stick with simple carnival-themed snacks like our Peanut Brittle Popcorn with Chocolate Drizzle and bowls of our mixed nuts.

honeygold ham

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Harvest Festival

If you live in a region that’s still relatively warm in October, host a harvest party outside. Set up a long table decorated with red and orange tablecloths, pumpkins and fall-hued leaves. If possible, try to have a bonfire roaring in the background. For dinner, serve seasonal fruits, including our apples, peaches and nectarines, paired with cinnamon-flavored whipped cream. For something a little heartier, make a couple sandwiches with our HoneyGold Ham.

gourmet sausage and cheese
With these simple Halloween party ideas and a couple gourmet ingredients from our Hickory Farms gift baskets, you can put together a memorable get-together in no time.

6 Basic Elements of Food and Wine Pairings

Many people love enjoying a glass of wine at dinner. However, they might not know how to successfully pair their meals with the perfect drink. Here are a couple tips you can follow for a fabulous (and doubly delicious!) wining and dining experience.

gourmet wine basket

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

In general, there are six separate food elements that interplay with wine.

1. Fat Element

There’s fat in dairy products as well as in meats and sausages. Because wine is produced without fat, a balance must be found with the wine’s acidity. The tannins in a robust red will cut the fat’s heaviness, or you can complement its essential richness with the wine.

2. Acid Element

Wines have acidity, as do foods like fruit, particularly citrus. The right level of acid gives a wine its signature zing. Select wines with enough acidity to stand up to a specific dish to amp up your wine’s unique verve.

3. Salt Element

If you’re serving salty snacks, like nuts or an array of cheeses, you might be surprised that the best wine choice is a sweet Sauternes. Sparkling wines are also perfect palate cleansers with salty foods.

4. Sweetness Element

Some people might think that sweet wines pair well with sweet foods, but that’s not necessarily the case. While cured ham with a hint of sweetness can be paired seamlessly with a Chardonnay, you want to make sure you’re not overdoing these flavors. A Bittersweet Chocolate Ice Cream Truffle would never blend with a dry red, so try a semisweet red like a harvest zinfandel instead.

5. Bitterness Element

The bitter notes in wine are produced from tannins and can be tempered by fatty foods. Mustard and collard greens may have a bitter taste, but they can be paired with a Zinfandel or a Pinot Blanc. Foods and wines with bitter notes don’t do well together.

6. Texture Element

Texture in food and wines is measured by lightness and heaviness. Consider how pleasant a glass of white wine can be with some sliced fruit as an appetizer, or on its own. When you plan a big meal, a Pinot Noir or Chianti would be most appropriate.

gourmet wine basket

Hickory Farms wine gifts are already expertly paired so you don’t have to guess at a good match — it’s already made! You can place your order online today for a quick home delivery.

Plan a Stress-Free Family Reunion Picnic

Summer is a great time to plan a festive family reunion and a fun picnic where everyone can enjoy a whole lot of mingling and reminiscing. Hickory Farms has put together a few suggestions for making your family reunion a stress-free and fun occasion for all.

gourmet food basket

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

  • Location, location, location. Choose a spot everyone will enjoy spending time at, such as a state park, nearby lake or beach with covered areas for meals, picnic tables and a grill. If most of your family members live nearby, your local park may be the best option.
gourmet food basket

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

  • As family members arrive, give them each a gift bag. Include an itinerary of the day’s events, along with a sheet with everybody’s contact information, including email, snail mail addresses and phone numbers. This will help family members stay in touch throughout the year. It’s also a nice idea to include a commemorative T-shirt, beach towel or drink koozie printed with the date and name of your family’s reunion.

gourmet fruit basket

  • Each family member can bring their own dish, but as this is a day-long event, you want to make sure there are a couple snacks for hungry kids. Luckily, Hickory Farms Spiral Sliced Honey Gold Ham is a picnic-perfect solution for hungry family members and can also double up as your reunion’s main course. Our Summer Fruit Collection contains a nice selection of fruits for healthy, low-cal snacking. Potato Salad is a hit at any outdoor gathering, so make sure it’s on the list.
gourmet food basket

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

  • Since this is a gathering of generations, make sure you provide a variety of entertainment for people of all ages to enjoy. A deck of cards, some board games, horseshoes and softball equipment for a pick-up game are all great options for the entire family to enjoy. Don’t forget to designate someone as videographer to capture priceless family memories.

Hickory Farms makes it easy to bring gourmet goodies to your reunion. Our Bountiful Tastings basket and a wide variety of our fruit and nuts selection can generate a delicious boost of energy to keep the fun going on all day long. Just shop online, or call 800.753.8558 for a quick delivery right to your door.