Pack the Perfect Basket for a Fun Outdoor Meal

What could be better than sitting on some fresh-cut grass with a warm breeze and a delicious gourmet basket? For the finest in al fresco dining, spend a little time reconnecting with nature by gathering your friends and family for a lovely picnic. Grab your basket and pack up these four enticing dishes to create one memorable meal.

gourmet food gift basket

Source: Seeded at the Table

The Appetizer

Fight off hunger with a couple yummy Chicken Bites. These are easy to share with your friends and family. Start by cutting up pieces of boneless chicken breast into chunks. Then, give the chicken a little bath in buttermilk before tossing it in crushed crackers, like our Olive Oil & Rosemary Crackers, mixed with a bit of flour, salt and pepper. Pan fry the chicken in hot oil and serve your cute little bites with a side of our Honey & Pineapple Mustard, or try our Chipotle Ranch Sauce.

gourmet food gift basket

Source: Charles Schiller via Country Living

The Salad

Since lettuce doesn’t tend to travel well, pasta-based salads are a great alternative for a picnic salad. Cook and drain your pasta as you sauté a variety of fresh seasonal veggies, such as garlic, onions, peppers, zucchini and squash. Add a dash of white wine and fresh cooked black beans, then continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Finish by combining the pasta and veggies with a big scoop of pesto sauce and diced pieces of our Beef Summer Sausage.

gourmet food gift basket

Source: Michael Weschler via Country Living

The Entree

No picnic is complete without a delicious sandwich. For a simple gourmet treat, stop by your local bakery and choose a fresh baked artisan loaf. Spread our Horseradish Sauce on one slice of bread, and then top it with a pile of thinly sliced roast beef, pieces of our Peppercorn White Cheddar and a heap of caramelized onions.

farmhouse cheddar
 

The Cheese Course

For a fancy dessert alternative, end your meal with a traditional cheese course. Simply slice pieces of our Farmhouse Cheddar, Peppercorn White Cheddar Blend and Smoked Cheddar Blend, and serve everything with crackers, assorted preserves and some ripe seasonal fruits.

With these delightful picnic dishes, featuring items from our Hickory Farms’ Pantry Essentials, you can enjoy a flavorful summer full of delicious treats!

Delicious Poolside Snacks for Kids’ Birthday Parties

Kids with summer birthdays always throw the best parties, and there’s nothing like a pool party to have some great fun in the sun. Hickory Farms has compiled some suggestions for delicious poolside snack recipes your young ones will love.

summer sausage

Source: Delish

  • Party food doesn’t have to be full of sugar. Give your kids a boost of the natural energy they need with Quick Kebabs. Alternate pieces of fruit, cheese and sausage on wooden skewers and serve on a platter. Our Orchard’s Bounty Gift Basket has plenty of fresh fruit, cheddar cheese and summer sausages to make this a hearty snack. You can also include some sweet treats from our Dried Fruit Collection to add some interesting textures.
garden vegetable cheese spread

Source: Ken Burris via Delish

  • Easy-to-make Frogs on a Log is a delicious treat that balances healthfulness with savory flavors. All you have to do is split celery stalks and spread the center with Hickory Farms Garlic Mozzarella or Garden Vegetable Cheese Spreads. You can also place some sliced green olives with pimento on top of the spread for a nice contrast in flavor.
hickory farms

Source: Delish

  • Mini Rice-Cake Stacks are a yummy, crunchy creation that keeps kids’ energy levels high without a lot of empty calories. Simply spread apple cinnamon rice cakes with peanut butter or Nutella and add some banana slices. Top with another rice cake for a kid-size sandwich they can munch on when they climb out of the pool.
hickory farms

Source: Delish

  • During the summer months, it’s just too hot to fire up the oven. But you can make these No-Bake Cookies in just 10 minutes. Use finely ground graham crackers, raisins, honey, peanut butter and unsweetened coconut. This recipe makes 16, so you can double or triple as needed.

hickory farms ice cream truffles

Hickory Farms offers up plenty of fabulous birthday treats for kids of all ages, including our Italian Ice Cream Truffles, which come a dozen to a box and feature a variety of scrumptious flavors, including Tiramisu and Cookies & Cream. Call 800.753.8558 to place your order in time for all of your family’s summer birthday celebrations.

5 Ultra-Light Backpacking Foods for Long Day Hikes

The summer months are great for taking long hikes, either solo or with the family. Wherever your wanderlust takes you, your appetite will surely follow. According to OutdoorsNW, adults need between a half and a pound of food per day while hiking. Luckily, Hickory Farms has come up with five foods that are easy to bring along on hikes, so you can reach each peak and summit with energy to spare. Below are some of our favorites.

gourmet food basket

Source: Tes at Home

The sweet yet salty taste of homemade Thai Beef Jerky is a compact snack that will last a month if stored in an airtight container and refrigerated until the day of your hike. Three pounds of sirloin tip makes a pound and a half of jerky. Just add honey, soy and fish sauce and some ground coriander. It’s simple and delicious!

gourmet nuts

Nuts can be a healthy component of most diets, containing both carbs and protein. Our Mixed Nuts Gift Tin features a trio of pecans, cashews and almonds you can portion into baggies for a quick on-the-go snack as you’re hiking along and checking out the surrounding flora and fauna.

gourmet cheese

When you’re ready to sit down and catch your breath, break out the cheddar and crackers, using your trusty utility knife to slice the cheese. Our Cheese Trio Gift Box with two flavors of cheddar and Mission Jack Blend taste great when paired with our Olive Oil & Rosemary Crackers, and can easily fit in a knapsack. Our Summer Sausage is also a good choice to bring this snack full circle.

gourmet fruit basket

Dried fruit, either alone or as part of a trail mix with GORP (good old raisins and peanuts), is both tasty and highly portable. It’s a favorite of hikers everywhere.

gourmet fruit basket

Firm-skinned fresh fruit like oranges, apples and pears are full of juices that keep hikers hydrated. Just remember to bring along your water too.

Hickory Farms has plenty of fruit and nut selections and pantry essentials to make any hike a gourmet experience. Order online today or call 800.753.8558 for home delivery.