Unique Gifts for National Employee Appreciation Day

Hickory Farms would like to join you in honoring your employees for Employee Appreciation Day on Friday, March 7. Let your valued employees know that you appreciate their contributions to your company’s success by sending them a nice gift. Take a look at some of our favorite suggestions below.

Source: Birchbox

Birchbox is a cool monthly subscription service that sends a box of high-end grooming and beauty supplies to your recipient. These boxes can be customized by the recipient, so that they receive only products they’ll actually use. If your employees get a new box each month, they will definitely feel the appreciation year round!

 

Hickory Farms Vineyards and Orchards Gift Box is a thoughtful gift for an executive assistant or personal secretary. It’s packed with a bottle of Bogle Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc, 5 oz. of our Classic Cheddar and some delicious pears and an apple, perfect for letting in a little glimmer of summer on a late winter day.

Source: Apple

Every office has at least one employee who’s always plugged in to his or her headphones. An iTunes gift card will allow your co-worker to pick the songs they like to listen to all day long.

A gift certificate for two to a nice restaurant is a great way to reward your employees after a hard day’s work. Choose something relatively upscale where they can linger with their significant other or a cherished friend.

 

Or you can keep things simple and treat the whole office at once with our Hickory Celebration Feast. This basket is chock full of goodies, including bottles of Kendal Jackson Reserve Cabernet and Chardonnay, beef summer sausage and smoked Cheddar, fresh and dried fruit, rice crackers, mixed nuts, pistachios, shortbread cookies and chocolate covered almonds. There’s something to please every palate, all packaged together in an attractive gift basket!

Hickory Farms strives to provide only the best for your gift-giving occasions. Make sure you check out our business gifts selection. We offer volume discounts and, as always, 100 percent satisfaction guaranteed.

Impressive Cheese Platters for Party Guests

Nothing gets the party going quite like the delicious combination of fruit, cheese and wine. By choosing complimentary flavors of gourmet wine and cheese, you’ll be able to make the perfect cheese plate. Wow your guests with a fantastic platter using these simple guidelines.

Source: Food Network

Start by selecting the cheese. This is where you get to be a little bit adventurous and have some fun. As a general rule, you want to pick between three and five different varieties and have two ounces of cheese per guest. Try mixing and matching cheeses with different flavors and textures to really keep your guests on their toes. Start with one blue cheese, one soft ripened cheese and one hard cheese, such as artisanal cheddar. Then, spice it up a little more by adding a fun or exotic cheese you’ve never tried before. Remove the cheese from the refrigerator at least an hour before serving.

Next, it’s time to add the accompaniments, starting with the fruit. Create a pretty presentation by rimming the platter with mixed slices of fresh fruit, including apples, plums, pears and peaches. Then pile on the dried fruits. Your platter should be filled with golden and dark raisins, dried apricots, cherries, dates and any other festive fruits you can think of. Finish by adding slices of baguette and wafer crackers, a mix of jams and chutneys and your serving utensils.

Source: What’s Cooking America

Finally, it’s time for, perhaps, the best part – the wine! To keep your gathering casual and fun, don’t worry too much about directing your guests in their pairings. Instead, stock a collection of whites and reds in both dry and sweet options and encourage your friends to dig in. The more combinations your guests try, the more fantastic pairings you’re going to find.

 

With these simple tips, you can make a gourmet fruit and cheese platter you and your guests will love to snack on. For a great starting point for your party, pick up a Hickory Farms Vineyards and Orchards Gift Box. With wine, cheese and fruit, you’ll have everything you need to begin an amazing platter.

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.