An Alfresco Affair – Outdoor Party Ideas

Summer is the perfect time to throw an alfresco affair! This summer, let loose and have fun enjoying old friends’ company and the pleasure of making new acquaintances. Hickory Farms has found a few great ideas you can use to make your next get-together the soirée of the summer.

gourmet gift baskets

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

  • You can enhance your outdoor ambiance with colored paper lanterns, or strands of lights, strung through backyard trees or bushes. And to adjust the grooves for every mood, we followed the lead of Los Angeles-based party planner and photographer Amy Neunsinger. She uses the music service Sonos to play different tunes in separate party areas, all controlled by a click of her Smartphone.

gourmet ham

  • Hickory Farms Spiral Sliced HoneyGold Ham pairs beautifully on a platter alongside some lightly grilled fruit. The tropical delights of mango and kiwi in our Very Special Variety Fruit Gift Box make a fresh and light dessert. Just add a sprig of rosemary for some additional flair!
gourmet gift baskets

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

  • Keep all your treats together on an attractive appetizer tray, so your decor looks organized and put-together. Plus, you’ll have plenty of room on this tray for our Hickory Farms Mustard Variety Pack and a wide selection of cheeses.
gourmet gift baskets

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

  • Let guests build their own wraps with different kinds of tortillas, shredded lettuce or spinach, Greek yogurt, shredded cheese, cucumbers and olives. For meat lovers, shred some grilled chicken and add it to the veggie mix. Then, top it with a little olive oil, if you desire.

gourmet wine gift baskets

Hickory Farms also has a great selection of wine gifts that are perfect to serve at any summer gathering with friends. They also make wonderful hostess gifts for the thoughtful guest to have on hand for spur-of-the-moment invitations that come so frequently when the weather warms up. 

Ordering from Hickory Farms couldn’t be any easier. Just a few clicks of your mouse will have your order shipped right to your door. Or, you can place your order by phone at 800.752.8558.

Seasonal Recipe: Dried Fruit Thumbprints

hickory farms

Source: Martha Stewart

Making some fruity desserts is a delicious way to celebrate all of the fresh things growing around us this spring. By combining dried fruit, jam and just a little hint of chocolate, you can whip up one of our favorite spring recipes — delicious Dried Fruit Thumbprint cookies — to enjoy with your friends and family!

Making your marbleized dough

The base of these flaky cookies is made with two different flavors of dough — one chocolate and the other vanilla. Both contain essentially the same ingredients, including flour, salt, sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla. However, to make your chocolate dough nice and rich, mix in a heaping scoop of unsweetened cocoa powder.

To marbleize or mix the batches of dough together, start by rolling both into ropes that are about a half-inch wide. Then, form the base of your cookies by pinching off a piece of each rope and rolling it together to form one chocolate and vanilla swirled ball. Finish by holding your dough and using your thumb to press a small well into the center of each cookie before refrigerating for half an hour.

hickory farms

Source: Martha Stewart

Adding the final touches

After your cookies have had the chance to firm up a bit, it’s time to throw them in the oven for a few minutes. While they’re baking, start mixing up your fruit and jam filling. For the right ratio of fruit, simply combine one cup of dried and chopped fruit with one tablespoon of jam. 

hickory farms

Source: Martha Stewart

The type of fruit and jam flavor you pick is entirely up to you. You can try pairing our Wild Blueberry Fruit Spread with yellow and white dried peaches or pairing our Strawberry Fruit Spread with pears and plums. Mixing Raspberry Fruit Spread with mangoes and apricots is another combination that works well together. Finish the dessert by spooning the filling over the top of your cooled cookies.

hickory farms

hickory farms

With this delicious recipe, some fresh fruits from our Dried Fruit Collection and spreads from our Farmstand Fruit Spreads collection, you can bake a fruity dessert and make the perfect sweet ending to your spring feast.

Bountiful Tastings: Baby Shower Fruit Baskets

A bountiful fruit plate is a light and healthy dish perfect for any spring baby shower. Rather than simply placing fruit on a platter, you can transform your fruit display into a fun decorative item that matches the shower’s theme. Add a truly unique design to your baby shower buffet with these fun ideas.

Source: Mandatory Mooch

Why put fruit in an ordinary bowl when you can serve it in a baby fruit carriage?

Starting with a watermelon, cut off most of the top half of the melon, leaving a small overhang that looks like the hood of the carriage. Then, scoop out the watermelon, leaving a light pink coating. Afterwards, finish the carriage with four wheels made of orange slices.

Inside, transform a peeled cantaloupe into an adorable baby’s face, using blueberries or grapes for eyes, a melon ball for a nose and placing a pacifier where the lips should go. Put the face at the top of the watermelon carriage and fill the rest with an assortment of your favorite fruits.

Cute animal designs are always a great option for baby showers

Source: Ordinary Parent

You can make a fun fruit frog by topping half an apple with two marshmallows for eyes and a strawberry for bright red lips. Place the frog in the center of a platter and surround it with fruit kebabs filled with berries, melon and grapes.

Source: Canadian Family

Birds made out of fruits are another great way to dress up your buffet. You can make baby owls out of grapefruit slices using blueberries as eyes and orange sections for little wings.

Source: Tidy Mom

Rubber ducks make a fun and simple baby shower theme. Simply create a cute fruit platter to match by layering rows of blue and purple berries. Amp up visual interest with a row of floating rubber ducks – just add a few drops of blue food coloring to the water for a pop of color.


You can pair any of these great baby shower fruit platter ideas with a Hickory Farms gourmet fruit basket, such as our Bountiful Tastings gift, featuring delicious fruits, nuts and cheeses. With these ideas, you’ll be on your way to hosting a memorable and delicious spring baby shower.