Seasonal Recipe: Poached Pears over Ice Cream

When it comes to fall fruits, there’s nothing quite like a nice, crisp pear. This versatile fruit can brighten your cranberries, add a subtle sweetness to your stuffing, or liven up your dessert buffet. Impress your guests this season by finishing your meal with decadent poached pears over vanilla ice cream.


Source: The Pioneer Woman


Preparing your pears

Begin with five pears that are slightly firm to the touch. Remove the peel and slice the pears in half. Then, using a spoon, take out the seeds and the core, before running your knife through the fruit a few times for a nice, rough chop.

Now’s the time to add the goodies! Place your diced pears in a medium-sized mixing bowl and douse them with a liberal amount of sugar and just a pinch of salt. Stir the mixture to coat and set the bowl aside.


Source: The Pioneer Woman


Time for the toppings

Grab a generous handful of pecans and place them on a large cutting board. Take your chef’s knife and chop the pecans until there are no big pieces remaining.

In a second mixing bowl, add one and a half cups flour, one-third cup of brown and white sugar, a bit of cinnamon and some chopped pecans. Melt a stick of butter in the microwave and add it to your bowl. Then, mix the butter, flour, sugars, cinnamon and pecans together.


Source: The Pioneer Woman


Assembling the dessert

After lightly buttering a baking dish, spread your pears in an even layer before adding toppings.

Now, all you have to do is pop the dish in the oven for half an hour at 350 degrees. Afterwards, top with ice cream and serve while still warm!


Sharing the love

This delicious dessert also makes a great gift idea. Simply print off the recipe and tuck it into one of our many amazing Hickory Farms pear baskets, like the Hickory Holiday Celebration, which includes tons of gourmet goodies, such as wine, sausage and cheese; the Fresh From the Farm Basket, which features an abundance of artisan delicacies, or, for the true fruit lover, the Orchard’s Bounty Gift Basket.

No matter which basket you choose, anyone on your list is sure to love this thoughtful and delicious Hickory Farms gift.

Spring Salads & Summer Smoothies

As the weather starts warming up, many people tend to shift their diets just a bit to incorporate lighter meals filled with fresh fruits and veggies. Whipping up a cool, refreshing smoothie or salad makes for a great meal on a spring or summer day because they are quick to make and since you don’t have to use the oven or grill, you’ll stay nice and cool while preparing your meal!

If you’re in need of a few new ides for fresh fruit smoothies and salads, check out some of these great recipes we’ve recently come across.

This mango-peach smoothie includes a little bit of orange juice and vanilla soy milk, creating a creamy, sweet treat.


smoothie ideas

Photo via All Recipes


A Kiwi Sensation smoothie made with kiwi, mango, and pineapple can also be made with spinach to get a little bit of your daily dose of veggies in!

smoothie ideas

Photo via All Recipes

When it comes to salads, you can stick to traditional fruit salad recipes or add an extra splash of flavor and texture to a vegetable-based salad. Either way, you’ll have a delicious dish that is also nutritious.


If you’re craving for a taste of your favorite island paradise, this tropical fruit salad will do the trick. Its ingredients include mangoes, pineapple, pomegranate seeds, and dried coconut. Yum!

Photo via Epicurious

Radiance Fruit Salad combines some of the best flavors of spring and summer – kiwi, cantaloupe, and strawberries topped with a honey, lime, and mint dressing.

gourmet fruit baskets

Photo via Food Network

Or give this Crunchy Fennel and Green Apple Salad a whirl. Extra-thin Granny Smith apple slices add just the right touch of tartness for a refreshing summer salad.

hickory farms

Photo via Cooking Channel

Of course, you can always make your favorite fruit salad into a smoothie by altering the recipe just a bit and tossing it in the blender. Or, you can use this fruit salad smoothie recipe for guidance. It’s made with grapes (red or green – your choice), an orange, pineapple, cucumber, carrot, and apples.

fruit salad ideas

Photo via Food Network

What are your favorite fruits to mix up in smoothies and salads during the spring and summer? Leave a comment to share with us.

Cute Snacks for Outdoor Play Dates with Kids

After being cooped up inside all winter long, kids (and parents) are counting down the days until its prime, outdoor playtime weather! The arrival of spring opens the door to tons of options for fun activities to enjoy with kids. One of our favorite ideas is to arrange an outdoor play date with friends at the park, bringing along cute snacks that kids will love.

Lots of pre-packaged snacks for kids are made in the shape of animals, but they’re not nearly as much fun as trying to make your own. This fruit peacock is made from juicy pears, grapes, blueberries and a baby carrot. You can add in other fruits to make it even more colorful and tasty!

peacock fruit snack for kids

Photo via Be Different Act Normal

You can use cookie cutters to make meat and cheese sandwiches into fun shapes. What kid could resist this dinosaur sandwich and kiwi tree?

fun snacks for kids

Photo via Play and Learn Pals

How about these adorable hardboiled egg mice chasing after tiny bites of cheese? These are sure to make kids giggle and make them actually want to eat their lunch!

snacks for outdoor play dates with your kids

Photo via

But don’t let the fun stop at animals! Here’s a creative snack made of slices of meat, cheese, and veggies that will inspire kids to put on their pretend astronaut helmets for a space mission around the playground.

creative snacks for kids

Photo via Rafa Kids

Who wouldn’t love making their own edible flower gardens? In fact, you can simply bring lots of tasty snacks and let kids use their imagination to make their own creative display. Tell them you are making an exception to the “don’t play with your food” rule just this once!

fun kids snacks

Photo via Creative Kid Snacks

What types of fun snacks do you carry for outdoor play dates with your children? Leave a comment to share with us, or better yet, share a picture with us on the Hickory Farms Facebook page!