Fun Spring Basket Ideas for Kids

 

Filled with candy, toys and special surprises, kids always look forward to receiving their spring baskets. Choosing a theme is a great way to make each basket reflect your child’s unique interests. Grab a couple brightly colored baskets, some tinsel or tissue paper, and make this year’s spring baskets even more special with some fun ideas.

Source: JIU via Woman’s Day

  • For the budding artist, fill a basket with items that will inspire your children and bring out their creativity. Great options for an artistic basket include sidewalk chalk, finger paints, crayons, markers, coloring books and sketch pads.
  • If you have a little fashionista, create a basket brimming with things for playing dress up. Add some sunglasses, nail polish, costume jewelry and hair accessories for a truly stylish basket.
  • Sports fans will love a basket with football, baseball and basketball-themed treats. Load each basket with sports cards, ball caps and foam balls. If your little ones also play sports, consider adding small pieces of sports equipment, such as shin guards or batting gloves.
  • Dollar stores and bargain bins are full of toys that can be combined for a fun and affordable basket. Choose miniature books, bouncy balls, modeling clay, silly putty, or any other little toys you can find.
  • For a great opportunity to spend some quality time with your older children, consider filling their spring basket with fun activities rather than toys and treats. Stuff a basket with vouchers for the movie theater or admission tickets for local museums or zoos. Another great alternative is movie night in a basket. Simply fill a basket with a movie or two, a box of microwaveable popcorn and a bag of your teen’s favorite candy.

 

Once you have your kid’s baskets prepared, make sure to get a spring basket treat for yourself. With Hickory Farms gift baskets, such as our Bountiful Tastings or Hickory Tropical Delight, you can treat yourself to an adult twist on the traditional spring basket that includes fresh fruits, yummy cookies, decadent cheeses and other delicious treats that are perfect for a spring feast. Your kids will love it too!

 

Throw an Irish-Themed Party for St. Patrick’s Day

It’s almost that time of the year to wear green! Here at Hickory Farms, we’d like to help you get in the mood with a few entertaining tips, so you can throw your own Irish-themed party.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Green, of course, is the color of the day, so decorate with emerald shamrocks and leprechauns with their pots of gold. You can make an Irish door hanging with inexpensive supplies from your local craft store, or learn how to fold a green napkin into a cute shamrock shape.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Cook up some Irish-inspired treats like a Smoky Cheese and Potato Soup that can be made with the cheddar from our Deluxe Smokehouse Collection Gift Box. Use a shamrock cookie cutter to cut out a piece of bread to smear with pesto and float atop the soup. You can also fix some beer-glazed sausage and apples using our award-winning beef summer sausage and apples from our Orchard’s Bounty Gift Basket.

 

You can’t go wrong with serving a traditional Irish meal of corned beef, cabbage and new potatoes. Use Hickory Farms Sweet Hot Mustard from your well-stocked pantry to give it a burst of flavor.

Source: Crazy-Frankenstein.com via Houston Culture Map

Break out the green beer (just add a couple drops of green food coloring to the cups before pouring) and Irish whiskey. While darker beers like Guinness won’t react as well with the coloring, they’re authentically Irish enough to stand-alone. For an authentic experience, serve up some Irish car bombs, a potent mix of Jameson Irish whiskey and Irish cream liqueur dropped into a pint of Guinness. Slainte!

Whatever holidays you and your family celebrate throughout the year, Hickory Farms has all the essentials to make your gatherings memorable. Order online, or find a store near you.

Seasonal Recipe: Orange Cake with Mulled Wine Cranberry Jam

Source: Serious Eats

Combining bright, bitter fruit and warm, citrus flavors, orange and cranberry are one of winter’s classic flavor combinations. Bring this amazing pairing to your dessert table with a delightful Orange Cake with Mulled Wine Cranberry Jam. Using the gorgeous Mandarin oranges from our Hickory Farms Fresh Fruit Trio Gift Box, this perfectly sweet and spicy cake is destined to be a new family favorite.

Source: Alvimann via morgueFile

Bake the Cake

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees and lining two pans with parchment paper and baking spray.

Combine sugar with the zest of one of your Mandarin oranges in a food processor and pulse until all of the zest is broken up, releasing the flavorful oils into the sugar. Then, in a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and a pinch of salt.

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites with a whisk until they form soft peaks. Slowly add some sugar, continuing to beat the eggs until the peaks have stiffened.

Combine butter and your orange sugar in a stand mixer. Afterwards, add egg yolks one at a time. Finish the batter by incorporating your flour mixture and a combination of milk, freshly-squeezed Mandarin orange juice and vanilla. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Source: Alvimann via morgueFile

Add the Finishing Touches

In a medium saucepan, combine wine with spices, including cloves, ginger, cinnamon and peppercorn. Mix in a bit of sugar and a dash of orange peel, bringing everything to a boil. Simmer until the sauce forms a thick syrup. Then, combine the syrup with cranberries and continue cooking until the fruit forms a jam-like consistency.

Start your butter cream frosting with syrup by boiling sugar, corn syrup and wine. In a separate bowl, whip egg whites into peaks before streaming in the syrup. Complete the decadent icing by adding butter. Finally, finish by layering the cake with jam and topping with frosting.

 

Combining delicious fruits from Hickory Farms‘ gourmet fruit baskets with flavorful spices, this cake makes a festive ending to any winter meal. Make sure to toast the New Year with this one-of-a-kind cake.