Cheese & Pears – Sweet and Savory Pairings

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Topping a crisp, juicy pear with creamy cheese is a delicious and texturally-rich flavor combination. Whether you’re looking for a quick midnight snack or sophisticated hors d’oeuvres for your next dinner party, a cheese and pear pairing is a fun and sophisticated option. Perfect your pairings with these simple tips.

Start by becoming familiar with the flavor profiles of your pears. Comice pears, for example, are rich and creamy, featuring an almost custard-like texture with a strong, sweet flavor and a delightful scent. If you prefer a snack that’s light, crisp and refreshing, you may want to choose the smooth and slightly citrusy d’Anjou pear.

 

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After you’ve selected your pear, it’s time to find the perfect cheese. The first thing to consider is what cheeses have flavor profiles that will complement your fruit. Comice pears, for example, are so sweet that they benefit from just a little bit of salt. Try pairing your Comice with a salty, full-flavor cheese, like a Manchego. D’Anjous, on the other hand, work well with fresh, bright cheeses, such as feta. Golden pears, which are sweet and crisp, pair with anything from a strong blue cheese to a creamy aged cheese.

 

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Another important factor to consider is texture. To create the most interesting pairings, go for textural contrast. Top your creamy Comice pears with Stiltons or Gorgonzolas that feature just a bit of crystal formation or a slightly grainy texture. Crisp d’Anjous go great with smooth and creamy cheeses, such as a fresh goat Chevre.

Finish your delicious treat with a beautiful presentation. For plated or pass around dinners, prepare your pears by slicing them thinly, topping each piece of pear with a slice of cheese and finishing with a sprig of rosemary or sage for color. For something less formal, spread your cheeses and pears on a platter and let your friends dig in.

 

With the delicious pears and cheese in our Hickory Farms gourmet fruit baskets such as our Slice of The Season Trio, you can easily enjoy this fantastic sweet and savory combination at any gathering.

 

Quick & Nutritious Breakfast Ideas

 

We all have those harried mornings when everyone is rushing out the door with no time for a sit-down family breakfast. However, that doesn’t mean nutrition has to be left on the back burner. Hickory Farms makes six different flavors of Farmstand Fruit Spreads – Red Raspberry, Cherry, Wild Blueberry, Blackberry, Apricot and Strawberry. You can quickly spread these delicious flavors on some toast, biscuits or a bagel for your busy family members to enjoy as they head out for the day.

Check out some other quick and easy breakfast ideas below for mornings when time is short.

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Keep it Light

You can’t go wrong with fruit and cheese. Apple slices go particularly well with sharp cheddar. Toss in some walnuts for protein and you’ll have a well-balanced meal. Hickory Farms stocks a full selection of fruits, cheeses and nuts in gourmet gift boxes at varying prices.

Make your own granola using our Dried Fruit Collection, with its assortment of white and yellow peaches, plums, mangoes, almonds and other fruits. Fill a small container or baggie to snack on when your energy flags during the afternoon slump.

You can also make nutritious breakfast smoothies with any combination of fruit, fat-free plain yogurt, a dash of skim or soy milk, honey and ice. Just puree in a blender for a delicious option when time is at a premium, but you need a healthy start to your morning.

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Quick & Hearty

Huevos Rancheros, made with slices of hard-boiled egg, cheese and Hickory Farms Spiral Sliced HoneyGold Ham tucked into a tortilla, is a hearty, tasty beginning on a cold winter morning. It’s a perfect choice when eating on the run.

No matter the season, Hickory Farms is fully stocked year round with gourmet delights and gift baskets designed for every gift-giving occasion, along with staples to keep your own pantry full.

To learn about special discounts and new products, “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Call 800.753.8558 or visit www.hickoryfarms.com to place your order today.

New Year, New You – Healthy Eating Resolutions

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The New Year is a great opportunity to determine what changes you’d like to make to start 2014 with your best foot forward. One of the most common resolutions is to start eating better. Begin working toward the new you this New Year with these simple healthy eating tips.

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One of the keys to healthy eating is foresight and preparation. If you’re hungry and only find processed foods and calorie-laden snacks in your cupboard, them it’s time to make a change. Avoid tempting yourself by purging your cabinets of unhealthy foods and stocking up on wholesome treats like our delicious Hickory Farms Dried Fruit Collection.

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Breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day. Skipping your morning meal can slow down your metabolism and can lead to bad food choices later on. Enjoy an easy high-fiber, protein rich breakfast by adding a choppedFuji apple and a handful of Berry Bounty Nut Mix from our Fruitful Gift Box to a bowl of Greek yogurt.

Eating the same healthy food day after day can quickly become boring. Avoid this pitfall by introducing a wide variety of fresh fruits, such as apples, oranges and pears into your diet.

 

Also, don’t forget that it’s OK to not be perfect all of the time. When you have a craving for something sweet, don’t stress out. It’s alright to occasionally treat yourself, in moderation. Keep a Holiday Cravings Assortment Gift Box on hand for infrequent nibbling. Then, take a deep breathe, relax and get back on track for your next meal.

Exercise is another key to great health. Spend at least 30 minutes each day doing some sort of physical activity, even if it’s just a quick walk around the block.

 

With these simple tips and our healthy and delicious baskets from Hickory Farms’ Fruits and Nuts collection, you can make 2014 the year you truly embrace a well-balanced, wholesome diet.