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March Madness | Final Four Dip Recipes

Posted in: Catering Company

Affordable Raleigh Catering

The college basketball season is wrapping up and if your favorite team has made it through March Madness and on to the Final Four, then why not celebrate with a catered party? We found a couple great recipes to make your final four party a slam dunk. These fresh and delightful dips will make all your chips and wings taste better. From bleu cheese, to sun dried tomatoes, these chip dips will add excellent flavor and a touch of class to tip off. Give them a try, because we all know that a freshly-made dip wins out over store-bought every time. Both of these dips are very tasty, as well as quick and easy to make. Let us know how your attempts turn out in the comments below.

Baked Bleu Cheese Dip

You’ll absolutely love this warm and creamy bleu cheese dip. This gooey baked decadence is perfect for crudités, chips and buffalo wings.

Prep Time – 5 minutes
Cook Time – 20 minutes
Serves – 8

16 ounces – softened cream cheese
4 ounces – crumbled bleu cheese
1/3 cup – cream
1/2 teaspoon – garlic pepper
2 – chopped green onions

Directions: This dip might be even better the next day after it rests overnight. If you want to save some time, we suggest making this dip the night before and just leaving it in its baking dish overnight until you’re ready to serve it. When it’s party time, simply take your dish out of the fridge and put it right in the oven. Just heat it up for a few minutes and you’re ready to serve.

Start by preheating your oven to 350°F. Next, take your cream cheese, cream, and garlic pepper and mix together in a medium sized bowl and blend until smooth. Now you’ll stir in bleu cheese and green onions. Now place this in your blender and pulse for 2 or 3 times to combine the ingredients. Finally, spread the mixture into a medium baking dish and bake for 20 minutes until the center is heated all the way through. This dip should be served warm.

Recipe Source: http://www.foodchannel.com/recipes/recipe/baked-bleu-cheese-dip/#ixzz3SayFLcQI

Affordable Raleigh Catering

Sun Dried Tomato and Green Onion Dip

Prep Time – 15 minutes
Cook Time – 0 minutes
Serves – 10

1/2 cup – drained and chopped sun-dried tomatoes
16 ounces – softened cream cheese
1 cup – sour cream
1 cup – mayonnaise
2 teaspoons – hot red pepper sauce
2 teaspoons – kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons – freshly ground black pepper
4 – thinly sliced scallions

Directions: First, puree the sun dried tomatoes, cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, pepper sauce, salt, and pepper in a food processor, or blender, until smooth. Next, add your scallions, but leave about 1 tablespoon of the sliced green part for garnish. Pulse this mixture a few more times until all the ingredients have been combined. Finally, you should transfer the dip into your favorite serving bowl and serve at room temperature. You can garnish the dip yourself with the remaining scallions, or allow your guests to add them as they wish. Serve at room temperature.

Recipe Source: http://www.foodchannel.com/recipes/recipe/sun-dried-tomato-and-green-onion-dip/#ixzz3Sb2pKfi4

Affordable Raleigh Catering

If you are looking for affordable Raleigh catering, call Catering By Design. We have the perfect menus for any sized event, both large and small. We can even deliver the food and leave if you do not need full service catering. Give us call with any questions about our delivery catering services for Raleigh and the surrounding area.

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Get a Perfect Wedding Video with These Tips

Posted in: Wedding Catering Raleigh

affordable wedding catering Raleigh NC

Do you want to have a great video recording of your wedding? If you’re planning on having your big day recorded so you can watch it for many years to come, you should continue reading part 2 of our wonderful wedding videotaping tips. Last week we posted part 1 of this miniseries to get you familiar with a few tips on how to make finding your videographer easy and stress free. Today’s post is going to fill you in on a few ideas to make sure you’re narrowing down your videographer vendor list properly so you’re choosing the right fit for your personality.

Check the Online Reviews – We cannot stress this tip enough. Be sure you do your due diligence and check out all the online reviews that you can find. Check Facebook, Google, The Wedding Wire, and Yelp for a great start. Make sure to read them all if you can. Look for any negative patterns across the different review sites. Even after you’ve narrowed your list down, ask your top few picks to provide you with customer references. Call those former customers and ask them questions such as “Did they capture the most important parts of your wedding?”, “Were they a positive presence throughout the day, professional, and pleasant to work with?”, as well as “Were you happy with the final overall product?”

In-Person Meetings – Once you’ve narrowed your list down to your top 3 – 5, schedule an in-person meeting. You’ll want to get a feel for how you two mesh with each other. You will want to feel comfortable with their personality, and they will want to feel comfortable working with you. Once you meet them in person, you should have a better idea of whether or not you’ll want to hire them. FaceTime or Skype also works if you just cannot meet in person.

Read Your Contract - Make sure you have all of your bases covered in writing in your contract. The fine details should include all of the logistical details, such as the date, time, and location of your wedding, the coverage time – or how long they plan on being at your venue, the number of videographers onsite, an itemized list of what your finished product will consist of – highlight reels, full-length production, outtakes, and all digital media files, the cancellation policies, and the total cost.

Affordable Wedding Catering Raleigh NC

For world class pricing and wedding catering Raleigh NC services, Catering By Design should be at the top of every bride’s list. Check out our menus, then call us to plan your FREE menu tasting. Our customer service, prices, and attention to detail cannot be beat. Come see why we’ve won so many wedding catering awards. Call us today, you’ll be glad you did.

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The Royal | Pi Day Wedding in Raleigh

Posted in: Wedding Catering Raleigh


The Royal Banquet is located on Hillsborough Street, right across the street from Meredith College. This historic jewel of a venue is just minutes from Raleigh’s bustling downtown scene. The Royal is an exceptional location with an old world feel. The elegant tones and décor, with the wrought iron chandeliers, really highlight the charm of this historic building. You’ll love the exposed brick walls as they provide a great backdrop for pictures. Need a large venue? The Royal can accommodate a maximum capacity of 300 guests. This makes The Royal one of the top venues for all life’s special occasions including anniversaries, baby showers, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, birthdays, bridal showers, christenings, corporate events, debutante balls, engagement parties, graduations, holiday parties, memorials, proms, quinceaneras, and even sweet 16 parties.

Catering By Design had the wonderful pleasure of catering a beautiful wedding reception here last weekend. We’ve highlighted the post with some of our favorite pictures, but to see the entire gallery, please visit our Pinterest gallery. This wedding reception meal was unique as the bride and groom chose to have an updated American Breakfast for dinner. The buffet featured a Four Cheese Egg Casserole that was served with Applewood Smoked Bacon, Sausage, Cheesy Grits, and Diced Seasoned Potatoes. The breakfast menu was completed with our homemade Biscuits with Butter and Jelly.

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Fresh Waffles were made on-site and served at an interactive waffle station. These golden brown delights were paired with Maple Syrup, Whipped Cream, Mixed Berries, and Chocolate Sauce. The kids were more excited to eat the waffles than they were the special desserts.

wedding catering Raleigh NC

Also featured at the reception was our Made to Order Omelet Bar. They were so good that our team had to work double time to keep up with the demand of the hungry guests. The omelet bar included Shredded Cheddar, Feta, Bacon, Ham, Red Peppers, Mushrooms, Onions, Spinach, Grilled Vegetables, and Salsa.

wedding catering Raleigh NC

Since the wedding day was actually “Pi Day”, the bride and groom opted to have a wonderful array of homemade pies for dessert. They were absolutely gorgeous and the meringue work was outstanding.

wedding catering Raleigh NC

Unmatched Wedding Catering Raleigh NC Services

For world class wedding catering Raleigh NC services, Catering By Design should be at the top of your list if you require affordability with unmatched attention to detail. Brides, please take a look at our wedding menus, then give us a call to plan your FREE menu tasting. Our customer service, prices, and customizable menus cannot be beat. Come see why we’ve won so many catering awards.

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Practical Ideas for In-Office Catering

Posted in: Catering Company

Business Catering Raleigh NC

Did you know that Catering By Design was more than a wedding catering company? We are also one of the top providers for affordable business catering Raleigh NC services. We’ve actually been the number one choice for office catering for over two decades serving businesses throughout the Triangle area. We’ve recently updated our corporate menus and wanted to give you all a few ideas on how our catering services can be practical for your next meeting or event.

For starters, our business catering menus are budget friendly for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. We can help you with full meals, or light snacks and coffee. We also have a full section dedicated to light and healthy options. Our customers love the fact that our menus are out of the ordinary, and not just the standard sandwiches and chips. We have several different menu options to choose from such our traditional southern menu that features several of North Carolina’s favorite culinary delights. We also have the All American Menu, The Southwestern Menu, as well as Tropical and Asian influenced menus. You can also choose full service catering, or just delivery.

Our business catering Raleigh NC services are perfect for both formal and casual business events. Whether you are having a formal awards banquet, or casual team building adventure, Catering By Design will be there to make sure everyone has a great meal.

Affordable Business Catering Raleigh NC Services

Catering By Design is your go-to business catering Raleigh NC speciality company when you need great customer service and awesome prices. We’ve recently updated our corporate menu section for 2015 and have prices to fit any of your corporate events. We can also just deliver the food at your scheduled time if you do not require full-service catering. After we make sure everything is OK and approved, we’ll pack up and take off. Many of our customers love this budget friendly option.

Still not sure about our food and service? Then give us a call today and ask us about our Lunch And Learn Program. This is where we all get to know each other over some of our food and you get to tell us what you think. Our schedules are already filling up so call us today to get on the list.

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The Top Videography Tips for Your Wedding

Posted in: Catering Company

Raleigh caterers

For some brides in NC, having their wedding videotaped is something that is non-negotiable when it comes to budget space. The problem is that videography packages can be pretty expensive for quality work. You’re going to pay anywhere between $1,000, to more than $15,000 depending on the type of package that meets your needs. Raleigh caterers, Catering By Design, have put together a few tips that should help any bride get the video of her dreams, and one that she will want to watch on repeat every anniversary.

Ask Other Vendors for a Professional Referral - You should really take advantage of this service to save yourself a lot of searching time. Every vendor that you work with for your wedding should be more than willing to refer some of their most trusted industry colleagues. We suggest that you start with your wedding photographer. Some photography contractors also provide videography packages as well. If they are not providing the taping, we recommend that you start by asking this vendor for a referral as their industries somewhat overlap and these vendors should be pretty familiar with each other.

Take Your Videographer Search Seriously- If you are hiring a contractor to video your wedding then you should take this search just as seriously as you would any other of your wedding vendors. You do not want to put this on the back burner and wind up with a C level wedding service provider. You’ll be under enough stress as it is so making sure all of your vendors are top notch will be key to having a smoothly running day. We suggest that you go ahead and flag money for a videographer in your wedding budget right from the beginning. This will help make finding one a priority.

Hire a Vendor That Matches Your Own Personal Style – Videographers have their own different presentation styles, just as other creative vendors, like Raleigh caterers or photographers do. You should make an effort to really watch a lot of their sample work to make sure you’re getting a video that you like and not one that you’ll be ashamed to watch. For instance, if you’re looking for a lot of dramatic effects then you would want to avoid a videographer that shoots with more of a documentary approach.

Raleigh Caterers for Spring Weddings

Catering By Design is your go-to business catering Raleigh NC company when great prices and awesome customer service are a must. We’ve recently updated our Wedding Catering Menus for 2015 and have prices to fit any sized reception. If you do not require full-service catering, we can just deliver the food at your scheduled time and take off after everything has been approved. Brides, call us today and ask about our free menu tastings. This is a chance for you to get to know us and our food. Our schedules are already filling up so call us today to get on the list.

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Fashion Forward Fundraiser at Belk Crabtree Valley Mall

Posted in: Catering Company

Belk, Inc. is the nation’s largest privately owned department store company in the United States. They operate more than 300 fashion department stores in 16 Southern states. In the past year, their sales totaled over 3.5 billion dollars. We had the extreme pleasure to cater their 4th Annual Belk Fashion Forward shopping event. This is the signature fundraiser for the Junior League of Raleigh, and the event was held at the Belk store inside Crabtree Valley Mall.

All the V.I.Ps had a great time at the event. The guests enjoyed two fashion shows that featured a few of the latest spring Belk fashions, registered for awesome door prizes, and they even had a chance to do a little shopping with a discount from Belk on their purchases made during the event. Everyone was also treated to heavy hors d’oeuvres and desserts, wine, specialty drinks and other beverages that were provided by Catering By Design. There was even a signature drink for all the guests to enjoy, thanks to Sugarland Breweries. The Pineapple Upside Down Cake was made using Sugarland’s Butterscotch Gold Moonshine, Pineapple Juice and garnished with yummy yellow pound cake.

Overall, the Fashion Forward Fundraiser event offered a night of catching up with friends, discovering new spring fashion trends, and supporting the Junior League of Raleigh. We peppered this post with our favorite pictures, to see the rest of them please click here to visit our Pinterest gallery.
Catering Raleigh NC It was all hands on deck tonight to make sure all the the heavy hors d’oeuvres were perfectly prepared for the 500 V.I.Ps in attendance. The apps were all butlered and we started off the guests with Butter Poached Shrimp with Dill and Crème Fraiche on an Edible Pretzel Spoon.
Catering Raleigh NC The Chicken Banh Mi with Pickled Vegetables was served in an Edible Spring Roll Cone. Other than the dessert, this was one of the guests’ favorites.  Catering Raleigh NCEveryone loved the Ahi Tuna on Won Ton Crisp with Spicy Wasabi Aioli. Catering Raleigh NC Featured here is our Peking Duck Spring Roll with Spicy Orange Dipping Sauce. Not pictured from tonight’s menu are our Thai Red Curry Beef Skewers. You’ll be able to see this item on our Pinterest page.

Catering Raleigh NCFor dessert, the guests enjoyed the different varieties of Strawberry, Raspberry and Chocolate-Mango Mousse that were served in little Edible Chocolate Cups.

Special Event Catering Raleigh NC

Catering By Design is one of the best special event catering Raleigh NC companies. We’re the Triangle area’s experts for fun, food, and fantastic flavors. Please call us today for all of your special event catering needs. We can also help you with everything from picking out the perfect event location, to providing you with table linens, or full bar service. We’ve been one of the top caterers in North Carolina for years, so call us today and ask us about our special event catering specials.

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Wedding Photography Tips

Posted in: Raleigh Catering

Raleigh catering for weddings

The closer you get to your wedding day, the more nervous you’ll get about making sure all the fine details are all buttoned up. You’ll wonder about all the vendors having their staff ready so that your big day goes off without a hitch. One of the most important elements of your wedding day that you’re probably worried about is getting the right pictures. After all, these are going to be memories that you are going to want to share for a lifetime. Don’t worry, we’ve put together a great list of tips to make sure you get all the correct shots for your wedding book. If you are looking for the best in Raleigh catering, then look no further than Catering By Design. Our wedding menus are perfect for any budget and are fully customizable. Call us today and ask about our FREE menu tastings.

Wedding Day Photography Tips

One of the first things that you need to do is make a list of some of the must-have poses for your wedding. Things like pictures with you and your family, you and your bridesmaids, you and your maid of honor will be a good place to start, but take it step further and really think about your venue. Maybe there is a winding staircase that you wanted to take advantage of, or maybe the property features an old barn by the pond, both of these ideas would be a good backdrop for a few photos.

Pinterest is a great place to look for inspiration as well. Just login to your account and search for your wedding venue. You’ll probably find a lot of creative options that you had never thought of. You might even find a few that you’ll want to scratch from your list. Just don’t go overboard with it because too much Pinterest can actually add to the stress that you’re already under by making you want to add too much with too little time.

You should also make a few trips out to your venue during the timeframe of your ceremony, when it’s available of course, and take note of the lighting and how/where the sun shines on the places that you want to be photographed. Make sure to scout out the inside and outside of the grounds. You can also ask the venue staff for suggestions. They should be experts at helping you pick the best places to be photographed while on their property.

Also, make sure you have a sit down meeting with your photographer and create a timeline for all of your photos that will be in concert with the other time elements of your wedding. You are really going to want everything to flow smoothly and this meeting will give you an opportunity to make sure your photographer is on the same page with the other vendors, like the caterer.

Overall, have trust in your wedding photographer. If they are a hired professional then this is their craft … this is what they do. You should be willing to give them some creative power of their own. This way they will be sure to capture the quality images that you’ll love for a lifetime. If you have done your research then you shouldn’t have anything to really worry about as long as you communicate your needs.

Award Winning Raleigh Catering for Weddings

Brides, we’ve been serving smiles to the Triangle for years and we know what it takes to make sure your wedding reception is as wonderful as you’ve ever dreamed. We offer free menu tastings, so please call us today and schedule yours. Our wedding menus are fully customizable and we invite you to bring in your own family recipes so we can incorporate them into the biggest day of your life. Give us a ring, or stop by our kitchen in Cary.

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Perfect Petals for Your Wedding

Posted in: Wedding Catering Raleigh

wedding catering Raleigh NC

If you have been following our blog then you know we’ve been writing a lot about this year’s most talked about wedding trends. We even recently published part one in a series on wedding flowers where we discussed this year’s top flowers, buds, and the seasons they go best with. Today we are going to continue that series with part two of the flower trends and discuss some of the finer details and alternative ideas that we like.

Flower Crowns

We really like this trend and it fits in well with the country wedding theme that North Carolina brides love so much. Wearable flower crowns are not anything new, but more and more brides are becoming accepting of this bohemian look. Especially a good alternative for brides wanting a casual, or beach wedding, this idea is great for spring, summer, and fall weddings in North Carolina.

You really have limitless possibilities with this trend and can use delicate flowers like gypsophila, or go with fuller blooms like a rose and hydrangea mixture for a big impact.

Spring Pastels

Pastel colors are always a springtime favorite here in NC. These pretty colors celebrate warmer weather and a transition into a new season. We suggest using soft and creamy color palettes in peach, coral, powder blue, violet, and ivory.

Summery Hanging Flowers

For your wedding reception flowers, take advantage of your lovely venue and keep your guests looking up, instead of down. A great idea we love for North Carolina weddings is statement trees. Basically pick out the most unique tree on the grounds and hang bottles from the branches filled with pretty, fresh cut flowers. Great for country and rustic weddings this will make the perfect backdrop for your wedding photos. You can also add battery powered, miniature LED lights to the bottom of the bottles for an awesome night time effect.

You can also use hanging baskets in a waterfall-like display for outside weddings. Petunias are a great choice and come in many beautiful colors.

Winter Wool

Winter can be a hard month in some states to get premium flowers and blooms, but one hot European trend that we really like is taking hold in America and can help with this problem. Some brides are loving the idea of using natural, earthy materials as featured elements in their wedding bouquet. Using materials like wool to wrap their wedding bouquets is a really unique idea that adds a nice level of creativity. Shades of grey wool would be a great compliment to most winter bouquets.

Five Star Wedding Catering Raleigh NC

Brides, when you need the best wedding catering Raleigh NC services, please call Catering By Design. You’ll love our FREE wedding menu tastings, so contact us right now to schedule yours today.

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Duke Medicine Charity Event at the Power Plant

Posted in: Catering Company

We recently had the honor and privilege of catering the Duke Medicine Resident’s Charity Auction event that was held at the Power Plant’s newly refurbished Boiler Room facility. This rustic event venue is located in downtown Durham’s American Tobacco Campus. The Boiler Room consists of a main pavilion, the great hallway, and a rear horseshoe shaped corridor that circles around the base of the iconic Lucky Strike smokestack. This dramatic setting is perfect for any charity event, wedding reception, catered function, or any other type of public event need. The power plant facility was originally constructed in 1930, but has recently been restored back to a representation of its former glory featuring the original mammoth coal-fired boilers. We would like to thank Duke Medicine for choosing us to be a part of their wonderful event.

We’ve posted some of our favorite pictures from this great event, but if you want to see the entire gallery, you’ll have to visit us on Pinterest.

Catering Raleigh NC
The event’s guests were treated to a buffet of Heavy Hors d’ Oeuvres. The buffet started off with a lovely display of Fresh Grilled Tuscan, Pita and Focaccia Breads that were served with Humus, Olivada, and Tomato Basil Spreads. Next was an irresistible tray of Imported and Domestic Cheeses, Assorted Crackers, and a Seasonal Fruit Garnish.

Catering Raleigh NC
We also featured one of our most requested dishes, our famous Beef Wrapped Portobellos with Sesame Ginger Demi Glaze. These delicious bites were paired with our finger sized Springs Rolls which were served with our Sesame Ginger Dipping Sauce on the side.
Next, we had our Miniature Crab Cakes with Lemon Aioli on full display. These mini-morsels are always a big hit wherever we cater.
Finally, the party-time Parmesan Crusted Chicken Bites were served with our homemade Apricot Mustard dipping sauce. The tanginess of the mustard paired with the sweetness of the apricots just makes this dipping the sauce the perfect full flavor companion.
Catering Raleigh NC
The dinner buffet was anchored with a delectable dessert tray that all the guests devoured. These Assorted Miniatures consisted of Lovely Lemon Squares, Double Chocolate Bites, Mini Cannolis, Elegant Eclairs & Creamy Creme Puffs.

Quality Charity Catering Raleigh NC

When you need the best customer service, and most affordable menus, look no further than Catering By Design. We’ve been the number one catering company in the Triangle for decades. We understand exactly what it takes to make sure the food at your next charity event tastes great and is displayed beautifully. Call us today to book your next event or to ask us any questions that you may have.While you’re on the phone, be sure to ask us about our Lunch & Learn program.

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Throw a Great March Madness Party

Posted in: Catering in Raleigh NC

Catering Raleigh NC

Do you want to throw a March Madness Party this year? Catering By Design, the local experts for special event catering Raleigh NC services, has put together a great list of tips that will keep your party guests from making a fast break to the door. For college basketball fans, the month of March is time to hopefully celebrate our favorite teams making it into the NCAA Tournament. Whether you’re wanting to throw an in-office party and let your employees enjoy a little downtime, or maybe you’re in need of some ideas to throw a large party for all of your college buds, make sure to keep reading these tips below before tip-off gets here.

March Madness Party Tips

For hosting your party, you can really go a few different directions. You can have a Selection Sunday Party. That’s the day all the teams are picked to participate in the NCAA Tournament. The tournament’s schedule also goes on throughout the month of March and into April. As a matter of fact, some of the most exciting NCAA tournament games are played during the last weekend of March and the first week of April. This first week of April usually brings The Final Four. This is where the remaining NCAA basketball teams compete for the NCAA championship title; having your party here would be great if your favorite team makes it this far.

You can even have a NCAA Tournament Bracket Party where all the party guests fill out a bracket and whoever gets the most teams right can win a prize during the championship game night.

If you’re wanting to have an office party for your employees, doing it during the first week of play is usually a good idea. Especially if you have a lot of fans of the same team, you can have your office party that day so all your employees will be productive the rest of the week. Not to mention that having a catering Raleigh NC company, like Catering By Design, help you with all the details is a great way to reward your employees for a job well done.

Speaking of catering, food is a must. You really must have something for your friends, or employees to munch on. You’ll either need to order out for pizza, pick up a few veggie trays, or ask all of your friends that are coming to bring a potluck dish if you’re not going with our catering service.

Be sure your March Madness Party has lots of viewing room with either a projector and large wall, or see if a few friends will help you by adding a few extra televisions. It is also important to think about the seating. You should go out of your way to have extra chairs and places for people to sit and watch.

Top Notch Catering Raleigh NC

Let Catering By Design help you with all of your catering Raleigh NC needs. We have the perfect menu for any sized event. We can even deliver and leave if that’s all you need. Call us today and learn more about why we’re the number one catering company in the Triangle.

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