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Tips For Making Great Cocktails At Home

Posted in: Catering Company

In our last post, we talked about the specific tools every bartender needs to be a great at-home mixologist. Below you’ll find a list of industry secrets that’s used by the pros to make perfectly crafted cocktails. If you’re searching for a Raleigh catering company for a summer event, please call Catering by Design! You’ll love our vast menu selection, awesome customer service, and affordable pricing.

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How To Make A Perfectly Crafted Cocktail

Only Use Fresh Ingredients

Freshness matters when you’re crafting a cocktail. For that reason, you want to make sure you’re not using concentrates, bottled juices, or other old ingredients. Freshly squeezed fruit juice is far superior in flavor to their bottled counterparts. Be sure to keep your fruits at room temperature for cocktails. They’ll yield less juice if they’re straight from the refrigerator.

Fresh herbs also taste better than store-bought. Think about starting a small herb garden. Herbs are really easy to grow and maintain.

Know When To Shake and When To Stir

To dilute cocktails, you’ll either shake or stir them. However, this depends on the drink you’re making. Any cocktails containing fruit juices, cream liqueurs, simple syrup, sour mix, egg, dairy, and others thick or flavorful mixers should be shaken. You’ll stir drinks that include distilled spirits and light mixers.

Use The Right Ice

Using the right type of ice is crucial for making great cocktails. When serving spirits on the rocks, use a single large ice cube or cocktail stones. These will not dilute the drink. This is great for whiskey and scotch. Cracked ice is great for making frozen drinks, and shaved ice is ideal for adult snow cones or a thick cocktail slurry.

Budget Your Booze

If you’re mixing drinks, don’t waste all of your money buying top-shelf. The most expensive spirits are often best enjoyed by themselves, not mixed. Mixed drinks are best made with alcohol that can be enhanced using other flavors.

Don’t Forget To Garnish

Garnishing takes your cocktails to the next level. Finish off your mixed drinks with brightly colored edible flowers, brandied cherries, and lemon or orange peel. Even savory items like olives and salt-rimmed glasses will work for some drinks.

We hope the tips in our last two posts will help you make great cocktails. Be sure to keep coming back to our blog on a weekly basis for more great recipes, cooking tips, and more. If you’re looking for the best catering at unbeatable prices, keep reading.

Affordable Raleigh Caterers For Summer Events

Searching for an affordable catering option for your next event? If so, call the experts at Catering by Design! We offer the best packages in the Triangle. Just take a look at our many menu options. We’re one of the highest rated Raleigh caterers for events of any size. If you do not require full catering service, be sure to ask about our delivery options. Please call us today with any questions or to place an order.

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Your Summer Guide To Making Great Cocktails

Posted in: Catering Company

If you’re planning on having friends over this summer, wow them with your bar skills by making great cocktails. Making a great home cocktail uses a combination of art and science. Having the right tools also helps. So if you’re ready to become a mixologist, check out our summer guide to making cocktails. If you’re searching for affordable Raleigh caterers for an upcoming wedding, neighborhood event, business meeting, lunch, and anything in-between, call Catering by Design. Ask about our delivery services.

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Making Great Cocktails: The Equipment

Anyone can make cocktails at home, but it all starts with having the right equipment. The traditional tools used for making cocktails are below. Here’s what every good bartender needs to be successful:

  • Jigger
  • Muddler
  • Bar Knife
  • Bar Spoon
  • Ice Tongs
  • Cutting Board
  • Bottle Opener
  • Citrus Stripper
  • Hawthorne Strainer
  • Cocktail Shaker

Here’s a short explanation for what some of these tools are used for:

Jigger – This is your measuring cup. It’s a two-sided device that helps you measure out the right amounts of liquid for your drinks. Jiggers range in sizes from about 1/2 oz. to about 2 oz.

Muddler – You’re muddler is used to crush and squish fruit, herbs, and sugar cubes. Muddlers release flavors and is an essential tool for some cocktails.

Bar Spoon – This is not your traditional kitchen spoon. It’s long handle and twisted shaft is used for stirring. The small spoon size is for measuring out smaller amounts of liquid.

Citrus Stripper – Garnish takes your cocktails to a different level and a citrus stripper is the right tool for the job. It’s sharp channel is used to cut strips of orange, lemon, or lime peels.

Hawthorne Strainer – This device fits on top of your cocktail shaker. It’s used to strain out the ice or other solids while making the cocktail.

Cocktail Shaker – This is a metal shaker with a tight fighting top that’s used in most every bar in the world. It’s the big item in the picture above.

For more great cocktail making tips, take a look at the next post. We’ll be discussing more secrets that’ll turn you into a master mixologist. If you’re looking for the best catering at unbeatable prices, keep reading.

Affordable Raleigh Caterers For Summer Events

Searching for an affordable catering option for your next event? If so, call the experts at Catering by Design! We offer the best packages in the Triangle. Just take a look at our many menu options. We’re one of the highest rated Raleigh caterers for events of any size. If you do not require full catering service, be sure to ask about our delivery options. Please call us today with any questions or to place an order.

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Dealing With Wedding Day Disasters

Posted in: Catering Company

Don’t let a wedding disaster ruin your magical day. There’s ways you can fight back against bad luck, and we’re here to help. In our last post we talked about DIY disappointment, wardrobe malfunctions, and food follies. Today we’re going to continue with more tips that will help you deal with wedding disasters and not freak out. For the most affordable wedding catering Raleigh NC has to offer this summer, look no further than Catering by Design. You’ll love our fresh food, awesome flavors, fantastic customer service, and great prices.

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How To Deal With Disasters On Your Wedding Day

Bad Weather

Let’s face it, the summertime weather in the great state of North Carolina is unpredictable. If you’re getting married over the next few months, having a rain plan in place makes sense. Afternoon summer showers are very common, and sometimes it can rain for days, so be ready. You should have a good grasp on the weather by the Monday before your ceremony. Use this time to adjust your schedule, talk to your vendors, buy extra umbrellas, rent tents, or secure other rain related items. Be as prepared as possible.

Surprise Guests

This happens more than one would think. In fact, it happened at my wedding. You’ve sent out your save-the-dates and RSVPs, have finalized your head count, and suddenly 2,3,4,5 or more guests just show up. This isn’t too big of a problem if you plan ahead for this kind of thing happening. We were unprepared and had to scramble to find seats at the reception. We also had to come out of pocket for the extra plated meals. Thankfully, we had enough space and cash on hand to take care of everything. As soon as you figure out that there’s extra people to seat and mouths to feed, let the right vendor know so they can be better prepared.

Random Problem Survival Kit

It’s hard to plan for random problems that pop up out of the blue. That’s why you should put together a small survival kit. Here’s a list of common items to include in yours. These things should help you deal with lots of different issues that can randomly happen. Feel free to add to this list.

  • Tape
  • Tissues
  • Tampons
  • Scissors
  • Superglue
  • Sewing Kit
  • Trash Bags
  • Extra Cash
  • Screwdrivers
  • First Aid Kit
  • Bottled Water
  • Pens and Notepad
  • Double-Sided Tape

Dealing with wedding disasters isn’t so bad if you do your best to be as prepared as possible. Just remember not to panic and stay calm. If you’re still searching for affordable wedding catering, keep reading to see why you should call Catering by Design. We can help you with big savings.

Award Winning Wedding Catering Raleigh NC Services | Catering By Design

Do you need highly rated yet affordable wedding catering Raleigh NC services for your summertime wedding reception? Please call Catering by Design! We’re one of the most trusted and affordable catering companies in Wake County. We have wedding menus that can be fully customized. We have the best prices and customer service in the Triangle. Bride and grooms should give us a call today to schedule a free menu tasting.

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What Can Go Wrong At Your Wedding? Here’s What You Should Plan For!

Posted in: Wedding Catering Raleigh

What happens when everything goes wrong at your wedding? You’ve spent months, or even a year or more, planning the most important day of your life. Now there’s a disaster at every turn. Do you freak out, or do you turn lemons into lemonade? Over the course of the next few posts we’ll be talking about some of the things that can go wrong at your wedding and how to deal with them. Avoid a wedding disaster by calling Catering By Design. We’re the number one Raleigh wedding catering company for food and fun. You’ll love our great customer service and wedding packages. Call today to learn more.

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Dealing With Wedding Day Disasters

Food and Beverage Problems

Since we’re a highly rated catering company, food and beverage is near and dear to our hearts. If you have special dietary needs or other custom request, be sure to communicate these early and often. It’s okay to repeat these needs to ensure your menu is perfect. If someone has a deadly food allergy, the last thing you’ll want is to have a life-threatening emergency during your reception. That’s why it’s important to hire a caterer that’s well organized, detail oriented, and has great customer reviews – like Catering By Design.

Wardrobe Malfunctions

Wardrobe malfunctions are never fun to deal with. They always happen at the most inopportune times. Having a wardrobe problem on the biggest day of your life can be terribly stressful to deal with. Having a professional seamstress available can really be a lifesaver. If you don’t have room in your budget, try to recruit a friend or family member that can at least sew on a button to help out.

DIY Disasters

Thanks to Pinterest, many brides-to-be try to save money by going the DIY route. Just know that there’s a lot of risks involved. Your finished product might not turn out exactly as you’d like, so account for the disappointment factor when making these decisions. If friends and family are providing favors, like with photos, video, floral arrangements, making your wedding cake, or others, be sure to have a contract. Having everything in writing will help set expectations.

For more tips on dealing with wedding day disasters, check out our next post. If you need an affordable wedding caterer with great credentials, keep reading to save money and time.

The Best Raleigh Wedding Catering for Summer

Catering by Design is Raleigh’s top choice when it comes to catering summer weddings. We have affordable menus that can be customized to meet any of your needs. Please click here to check out our Raleigh wedding packages. Brides, call us today and ask about our free tastings.

We’re an award winning wedding caterer that’s been serving the families of the Triangle for decades. Be sure to ask us about our delivery options if you do not need full catering service. When only the best will do, call Catering by Design.

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More Tips For Making Homemade Restaurant Style Salads

Posted in: Catering Company

Salads are great to eat anytime of the year. They’re a big hit in my home. We all love to eat and make salads because we use the same tricks restaurants use to take theirs to another level. We started talking about these in our last post. Click here to jump back and read it. Below you’ll find even more tips that will turn your salads from ordinary to extraordinary.

If you’re searching for the most affordable catering companies Raleigh NC has to offer, call Catering by Design. We offer big savings, awesome customer service, and great tasting food.

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Homemade Restaurant Salads

In our last post, we talked about the importance of mixing, seasoning, and prepping your greens. Here we’ll be talking about dressings, toppings, and more.

Make Your Own Dressing

It’s easy to buy salad dressing. It’s offered at every grocery store across America. However, if you really want to turn your salads up a notch then making homemade salad dressing is the way to go. It’s actually easier than you would think. In fact, a classic vinaigrette is three parts oil to one part vinegar. Adding other fresh ingredients will give the dressing an extra flavor punch.

Balance The Flavors

Salads from fancy restaurants do a great job of balancing flavors. So keep this in mind when you’re making them at home. Use as many flavor profiles as possible with salty, sweet, acidic, and bitter elements.

Herbs, Herbs, and Herbs

Herbs can really freshen up a boring salad. If you have leftover herbs from a previous dish, add them into your base of greens or chop them up to use a topping.

Toasted Nuts

Nuts are often used a topping to give salads a different texture. If you really want your taste buds to go nuts, then toast them beforehand. Toasting nuts will make them extra crunchy and brings out more of their earthy flavor.

Don’t Dress To Early

Don’t dress the entire salad too early. This can make your salad soggy and prematurely wilts the lettuce as well. Save the dressing until right before plating.

If you’re searching for a caterer for your next summertime party or event, keep reading to see why calling Catering by Design should be at the top of your list.

Affordable Catering Companies Raleigh NC

Catering by Design is one of the best catering companies Raleigh NC has to offer. Call us today and we can help you with everything from table linens to personalized menus, and more. We’ve been the top caterer of choice for families, companies, brides, and more in North Carolina for years. Call us today to ask any questions and we’ll let our delicious flavors do all of the talking. Be sure to ask about our affordable delivery services as well.

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Making Restaurant-Quality Salads at Home

Posted in: Catering in Raleigh NC

Do you ever wonder why salads taste better when you’re eating one at a restaurant? There’s a reason for that. The restaurants have making salads down to a science. They use a few industry secrets to keep your taste buds tingling. Guess what? We’re going to share them. In the next two posts, we’ll be covering these secrets with a how-to guide for you to use at home. For the most affordable catering Raleigh NC has to offer, look no further than Catering by Design. You’ll love our fresh food, great flavors, fantastic customer service, and unbeatable prices.

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Restaurant-Quality Salads Begin With The Greens

The first secret to making a great salad begins with the greens. Here’s a few easy and simple tips that you should always start with when making your salads at home. Try these the next time you add one to your next menu and watch your friends and family be amazed.

Mixed Greens

Try not to use just one type of lettuce or greens for your base. A mix of greens will automatically elevate your salad from the start. You can even buy mixed salad greens at most grocery stores. When mixing your greens, be sure to keep flavor and textures in mind. If you’re looking for more of a crunch, add iceberg or romaine lettuce. If you’re looking for a pop of flavor, add watercress or arugula.

Seasoned Greens

Did you know that fresh produce also needs to be seasoned? That’s right, and it’s often overlooked by home salad chefs. Even though you’re not cooking your greens, adding some salt, pepper, and other seasonings will make your salads shine. So do yourself a flavor favor, and do not forget to season the greens.

Chopped Greens

A salad will become instantly better when it can be easily eaten. Giant chunks or leafs of lettuce can make eating one cumbersome and messy. Be sure to spend some time chopping everything in your salad into bite-sized pieces. Everyone will be thanking you!

For more great salad making tips, be sure to visit back with our next post by clicking here. If you’re still searching for catering for your next summer event, keep reading to see why you should call Catering by Design. We will save you time and money.

Award Winning Summertime Catering Raleigh NC Services

Do you need affordable catering Raleigh NC services for an upcoming event? Call Catering by Design today!

We are a highly rated and affordable catering company in Raleigh. We have menus that can be fully customized and options for any sized budget. We have the best prices and customer service in the Triangle. Give us a call today with any questions. Be sure to ask about our delivery services.

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Father’s Day Foodie Gifts For Outdoorsy Dads

Posted in: Catering in Raleigh NC

We’re a week away from Father’s Day! Now is the time to get your shopping completed for all of your favorite dads out there. Luckily, the pros at Catering By Design is here to help you out with some great gift ideas. In our last post, we talked salt blocks, brew kits, and more. Check it out by clicking here. Below we’ll be covering some great Father’s Day gifts for the dads who love being outdoors. Keep reading to learn more. If you’re searching for Raleigh catering companies to help you celebrate Father’s Day, call to Catering by Design.

Catering By Design is number one in the Triangle area for food, fun, and flavors. You’ll also love our prices and customer service. Be sure to ask about our delivery options for even more savings.

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Father’s Day Foodie Gifts For Outdoorsy Dads

Heat Resistant Gloves

If your dad likes to cook over a campfire, then he knows all about having hot hands. Tending a campfire can also be a little painful if you get too close. That’s why these certified 932°F heat resistant gloves are a great idea. No more crispy fingers and singed hair with these.

Terra Hiker Camping Cookware

All camping dads need good cookware. This 3 piece set from Terra is inexpensive, durable, and lightweight. That’s a win-win-win for outdoor adventure dads.

Fishing Pole Campfire Roaster

It’s time to upgrade your campfire roasters with these fun fishing pole alternatives. With the flick of your wrist, you can flip your hot dogs or marshmallows over for even roasting. Your kids will love these as well.

Outdoor Popcorn Popper

Everyone in my family loves to pop and eat popcorn. When we go camping, it’s one of the things we have to buy and pack in. Big bags of chips can take up lots of space and be cumbersome to deal with. That’s why this outdoor popcorn popper is a great idea. You can use it over a campfire, or on a charcoal or gas grill. You’ll be eating popcorn in as little as 4-5 minutes.

Stanley Mountain Vacuum Coffee System

Coffee is a necessity while camping in the back country. Having cold water is too. That’s why this integrated system makes for a great gift. It can keep drinks hot for 15 hours, cold for 13 hours, and iced for 50 hours.

Do you need an affordable caterer for an upcoming summer event? Keep reading to see why Catering By Design is number one in the area.

Affordable Raleigh Catering Companies For Father’s Day

All Raleigh catering companies are not the same, especially if you are looking for a company that specializes in great customer service. Don’t get all stressed out over cooking for your Father’s Day event, let Catering by Design help. We’ve got affordable menus to fit any budget. You can also customize your catering menu with any family recipes, or for dietary restrictions. Please give us a call soon if you have any questions or would like to discuss our catering services. Be sure to ask about our delivery packages.

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Father’s Day Foodie Gifts

Posted in: Catering Company

Father’s Day is coming up. It’s Sunday, June 18th for those of you unsure of the actual date. Have you picked out the perfect gift for him yet? If you’ve still got some shopping to do, let us help you out with some great gift ideas. If your father or granddad loves to cook or has an affinity for food and drink, then he’ll especially love these ideas. Check them out below. For affordable summer event catering Raleigh NC services, make the call to Catering by Design. Our customers love our big menu selections, attention to detail, and unbeatable pricing.

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Fun Father’s Day Gift For Foodie Fathers

Himalayan Salt BBQ Plank

If your dad appreciates outside the box gifts and he also loves to cook, then a Himilayan salt plank might just be what you’re looking for. Not only are they beautiful to look at, but Himilayan salt planks also allows your favorite chef to cook and prep foods in ways your taste buds can only dream of.

Himilayan salt is different than the regular table salt that you’re used to. It’s crystal structure is very stable. This allows it to hold its temperature for long periods of time. That means the salt block will stay hot when heated and cold when chilled. Great for serving sushi, cooking vegetables, and more.

AvoSeedo Avocado Tree Growing Kit

Here’s a neat gift that gardening dads will love, an avocado tree growing kit. The AvoSeedo Bowl makes growing your very own avocado tree easy and is far superior to the traditional toothpick method.

Beer Brewing Kit

Does dad like good cold brew on a hot summer day? Does he like to tinker with science and try new things? Then getting him his very own beer brewing kit is a great idea. Brewing beer is a lot easier than people think and it can turn into a great hobby. Here’s a link to some options on Amazon.

Need even more Father’s Day gift ideas? Be sure to visit back real soon for great picks for dads who love the outdoors. For catering you can count on, keep reading to see why you should call Catering By Design.

Summer Event Catering Raleigh NC From Catering by Design

Catering by Design is one of the best event catering Raleigh NC companies you can work with, regardless of your budget. We’re the Triangle’s top choice for fun, food, and great flavors. For weddings, graduation parties, Father’s Day celebrations, awards ceremonies, business luncheons, and more, call Catering By Design.

We’ve been one of the top caterers in North Carolina for years, so call us today and ask us about our specials and free menu tastings for brides, or our delivery services. .

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How To Grill Vegetables Without Burning Them

Posted in: Catering in Raleigh NC

If you didn’t know it, summer is grilling time. Men and women everywhere are breaking out the charcoal and filling up their propane tanks to cook some awesome outdoor meals.

However, being a top-notch grill master isn’t easy. It can take years to figure out how to properly cook different types of meats and vegetables. Luckily, the pros at Catering By Design are going to help you out.

Today’s post is going to focus on how to grill vegetables without burning them. Below you’ll find the steps to take before and during grilling to avoid a disaster. If you’re searching for Raleigh catering companies to help with your next event, call to Catering by Design. You’ll love our prices and customer service. Be sure to ask about our delivery options as well.

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How Not To Burn Vegetables While Grilling

Proper Prepping

For a successful grill, it all starts with proper prepping. Here’s a few ideas for you to consider.

The Right Slice – You have to be sure you’re slicing your vegetables correctly. Avoid cutting vegetables like squash, zucchini, onion, eggplant, and others into large blocky chunks. Use long thin strips or rounds for faster and easier grilling.

Oils and Marinades – Vegetables on the grill tend to dry out quickly and they will sometimes stick to the hot rack as well. We suggest that you marinate them, or brush them with oil or butter beforehand. This will give them a protective coating. Salad dressings work well for marinades and oil coatings will help the salt and other seasonings not slide off.

Precook Before Grilling – If you’re grilling potatoes, carrots, asparagus, or other firm vegetables, precook them first. Potatoes should get a 7-10 minute pre-grill boil. Simmer the other vegetables in a saucepan and water for about 5 minutes before grilling.

Attentive Grilling

Finally, you have watch your vegetables while they’re on the grill. These foods are more delicate and will char faster. Be sure you’re paying attention and frequently turning them to avoid burning. Shift quicker cooking vegetables to cooler parts of the grill surface as needed.

Are you looking for an awesome caterer for an upcoming social, banquet, or business event this summer? Keep reading to see how Catering By Design can help.

Affordable Raleigh Catering Companies For The Summer

All Raleigh catering companies are not the same, especially if you are looking for a company that specializes in great customer service, prices, and flavors. Don’t get all stressed out over cooking for your summertime event, let Catering by Design help. We’ve got affordable menus to fit any budget. You can also customize your catering menu with any family recipes, or for dietary restrictions. Please give us a call soon if you have any questions or would like to discuss our catering services.

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Let’s Grill Some Veggies – Peppers, Onions, And More!

Posted in: Raleigh Catering Services

Memorial Day weekend is right around the corner. That means it’s the unofficial start to the summer. Here in the Triangle area, we’ve had some funny weather these last few weeks. However, we also know that those nice summer days will be here before we know it. That’s why we think this is the perfect time of the year to take advantage and fire up your grill.

In today’s post, we’re are going to focus on grilling veggies, especially peppers, onions, and tomatoes. These recipes will be hit with all of your friends and family, so be sure to share this on Facebook with your loved ones! Do you have a summer event planned? Still looking for a great Raleigh catering company that won’t break the bank? Call Catering by Design! You’ll love our vast menu selection, awesome customer service, and affordable prices.

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A Few Ways To Serve Grilled Peppers, Tomatoes, And Onions

Grilled Red Pepper, Sweet Onion and Tomato Salad

Here’s a great alternative to serving traditional grilled veggies. This beautiful salad idea comes from Williams and Sonoma. It only uses two peppers in the recipe, but you can spice it up by using a variety of other peppers, like green Anaheims or poblanos, purple and green bells, and more. The sweet onions work best because of their milder taste. Easy to prep and quick to fix. Enjoy!

Grilled Mixed Peppers and Onions From Martha

Martha Stewart brings us our next recipe for traditional grilled mixed peppers. In this recipe, we’re using skewers. These will help keep the onion slices together and from falling into the grill. Be sure to use colorful peppers and stagger them in with the other veggies for a beautiful presentation.

Simple Grilled Tomato Steaks

In our household, we all love tomatoes. We eat them so much that we’ve been growing many different varieties in our garden over the past few years. If you love tomatoes like we do, then you’ll enjoy this grilled tomato recipe. I like to cut thick steak like slices instead of doing individual halves, mainly because my kids will eat them like this. Easy recipe that’s very healthy.

Grilled Black Bean- and Rice-Stuffed Peppers

Looking for another fun and tasty summer dinner or appetizer idea? Then you’ll love these stuffed peppers. Easy to prep and this dish can be on your table in only 30 minutes. Check it out.

If you’re searching for even more great summer recipes with more of a vegetarian focus, please visit back with our last post. If you’re looking for a great catering experience at incredible prices, keep reading to see how we can help.

The Best Raleigh Catering for Summer Events Of All Kinds

Catering by Design is the best Raleigh catering company for all of your summer gatherings. We have affordable menus that can be customized to meet any of your needs. Please click here to check out our vast selection of Raleigh menus.

We’re also an award winning wedding caterer! We’ve been serving brides and their families for many years and would love to have an opportunity to serve your family as well. So be sure to ask about our free wedding tastings. If you do not need full service catering, please ask about our delivery services. When only the best will do, call Catering by Design to find out why we’re the top choice for Raleigh catering services.

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