Starting a Supper Club

We all know that good company and good food are two ingredients that can always be used to whip up a good time. That’s why we love the idea of a supper club. With a supper club you always have something fun to look forward to!

While the idea of a supper club may sound fabulous, organizing one can be another story. But with the proper planning, you can start a supper club that turns into a tradition you and your friends can enjoy for years to come. Not to mention, it’s a wonderful way to make sure that everyone is carving out time from their busy schedules to clink glasses and share delicious food, great conversation and lots of laughs.

To help you set up your own supper club, here are our favorite tips and tricks compiled from entertaining experts around the web.

Select the Perfect Sized Supper Club

Merritt Watts of Everyday Food recommends selecting a group of six to 10 people for supper clubs. This way, your supper club will be large enough to ensure conversation is always lively, while small enough to fit around one dinner table. It’s also a great size because you will still have a party even if a few people are unable to attend.

Keep the Conversation Going

It’s much easier to keep a supper club going when you set up a line of ongoing communication. Look for an e-mail service, third party website or another tool for creating an online calendar that everyone has access to and which anyone can edit. This can also be the place where members can plan menus and post notices about themes or items-to-bring. As a post on The Daily Meal reminds us, communication is key to a successful supper club.

Always Make it Engaging

Letting everyone be a part of the menu selection by voting or having each member contribute a dish can always be a great way to keep everyone involved, but try to find ways to get everyone excited about each supper club gathering, whether it’s with a fun theme or a fascinating cooking lesson. Themes by culture or region like French and Italian can be nice, but don’t be afraid to get creative. One supper club enthusiast from San Diego, Andrea Myers, told Cooking Light that her club has had fun with themes like “finger foods – where every course can be eaten with your hands – and things your mother used to make.” You’ll notice there’s never a lull in conversation when a supper club gathering is designed around a cooking lesson such as learning more about pairing wine and food.

hickory farms

Source: Better Homes & Gardens

Do you have a supper club or have you organized one before? Share your supper club stories in a comment below!

For more summer entertaining, gourmet food and cooking ideas, be sure to stay tuned to the Hickory Farms blog.

An All-Star MLB Cookout

Nothing goes together like summertime and baseball, America’s favorite pastime. So why not invite a bunch of friends over to celebrate the 84th annual All-Star Major League Baseball game coming up on July 16, 2013?

We love Rachel Ray‘s idea for throwing a baseball cookout in your backyard. With the right decorations, you can make your guests feel like they’re right in Citi Field. You can even fashion your own JumboTron with a rented projector and a blank canvas or suspended white sheet. If you don’t want the hassle of renting equipment, simply set up one or more TVs outside with plenty of speakers so guests don’t miss a pitch. To mimic stadium seating, arrange seating in tiers. Or if you want to make it more casual and extra comfortable, create seating areas with chaise lounges, floor pillows and blankets. Don’t forget to put out bug spray and sunscreen, too.

If you don’t already have some, pick up some inexpensive bats, mitts and a few baseballs and set them out so guests can play an impromptu game during the 7th Inning Stretch. Better yet, borrow some equipment from friends and neighbors or ask guests to bring their own.

summer entertaining ideas

Source: Hin255 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Create your own concession stand by continuing the baseball theme with your food spread. One great idea it to set up a buffet table and cover it with a strip of Astroturf, which you can find at your local home improvement store. Then, scatter some baseball cards around serving platters and table settings.

Another idea is to create your own mini pendants with construction paper in your team’s colors and use them as food labels. Come up with a fun way to keep track of beverages like with decorated koozies that your guests can take home with them. And we love this idea from Heart Tree Home – cut the corners off of large white dinner napkins to turn them into home plate napkins. So easy, yet so cool!

summer cookout ideas

Source: Heart Tree Home

Make sure your players and spectators are well fed!  A spread of gourmet meat and cheese from Hickory Farms with Our Signature Summer Sausage is sure to hit a homerun with guests. And for dessert, you can serve our Italian Ice Cream Truffles. You can even draw baseball stitches on them, or let kids decorate their own ice cream baseballs! Head over to the Hickory Farms online store to start preparing for your All-Star cookout.

hickory farms

Unique Twists on Traditional 4th of July Fare

The 4th of July is almost here, and we can hardly wait for a day filled with family, friends, food, and fun! But instead of the traditional Independence Day fare, why not shake things up just a bit by putting a unique twist on your favorite American dishes? Here are a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing for your 4th of July menu.

If you’re grilling out for the Fourth of July, try this Grilled Potato Salad. Grill seasoned potato slices to perfection and then combine them with oranges, red onions and arugula. Dress them in red wine vinegar and olive oil, and you’ll have a side dish packed with surprising flavor and texture.

 

4th of july entertaining

Source: Food Network

 

Pasta salad is another tried-and-true cookout staple. But this year, consider getting a bit more creative by mixing up your own pasta salad. Food Network has an easy outline you can use to get your own pasta salad started. In addition to its suggested protein options, you can try gourmet sausage from Hickory Farms in your recipe for an interesting twist.

4th of july recipes

Source: Food Network

 

Most casual parties aren’t complete without some crispy potato chips. We like the patriotic spin Epicurious food writer Kelly Senyei suggests with Red, White, and Blue Potato and Beet Chips. You’ve got the same crispy crunch as standard potato chips, but also a hint of sweetness thanks to the beets.

patriotic party themes

Source: Epicurious

 

If you’re serving burgers and hot dogs as the main dish, try out a new marinade for your meat or new toppings or condiments such as our Sweet Hot Mustard. Another great idea is to add oregano, basil, and parmesan to your ground beef before you throw it on the grill for burgers that are chock full of flavor while still low in calories. Try putting out some unique burger toppings. Sliced apples, for example, can add a touch of tartness and a nice crunch.

4th of july party ideas

Source: Better Homes & Gardens

 

For a fresh spin on grilled chicken, try whipping up a marinade of lemon juice, soy sauce, fresh ginger, lemon pepper, and garlic. Serve it with a sweet fruit salsa.

4th of july entertaining ideas

Source: Health magazine

How are you planning to put a unique twist on your 4th of July menu? Leave a comment to share with us!

Visit the Hickory Farms website to purchase gourmet food baskets containing fresh Summer Sausage, fruit, nuts, condiments, and more.