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The Durham Arts Council | Winter Wedding Series

Posted in: Catering Company

The Durham Arts Council is a truly unique setting located in historic downtown Durham. This Durham wedding venue is versatile, attractive, fun and affordable. It features beautiful art galleries, a dance floor, theatre, and allows you to choose the caterer of your choice.

The grand Pavilion is a two story space surrounded by large glass windows and features a large winding staircase that makes the perfect setting for brides that want to make a grand entrance for their introductions. Brides will love the luxurious feel of the twinkling lights that have been suspended from the Pavilion’s high ceilings. Overall, this is a perfect venue for weddings and wedding receptions in Durham NC.

Durham Arts Council Dec13-2014-0105

We had the pleasure of catering a beautiful winter wedding here recently. We’d really like to thank and congratulate the bride, Ashley, and her handsome groom, Brandon, for allowing us to be a part of their magical wedding day and we wish them all the best. A big thank you to Martina Jones for doing a fabulous job planning and styling the lucky couple’s wedding. We highlighted this post with some of our favorite pictures from their big day but to see the entire gallery, please visit us on Pinterest.

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While everyone was waiting for the bride, groom and wedding party to be announced, the reception got kicked off with a stationary table of hearty hors d’oeuvres by the bar. This table featured our famous Beef Wrapped Portobellos with Sesame Ginger Marinade and a savory Greek inspired Spanakopita.

Once the tables were released to the dinner buffet, guests were greeted by a lovely fresh Caesar Salad and a tasty dish of Pan Seared Chicken Marsala.

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The groom enjoyed a T-bone steak, and the wedding guests devoured the Rosemary Crusted Top Round of Beef at the carving station. Wholegrain Mustard, Horseradish Sauce & Balsamic Onion Marmalade, Assorted Rolls and Butter were available to make miniature sliders.

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Guests also enjoyed the Penne Pasta Tossed with Broccoli and Roasted Peppers and Mashed Potato Bar. Toppings included Shredded Cheddar Cheese, Handmade Bacon Bits, Sour Cream and Scallions. For dessert, everyone indulged in the wonderful wedding cake.

wedding catering Raleigh NC

Wedding Catering Raleigh NC | Catering By Design

At Catering By Design, we offer only the best in wedding catering Raleigh NC services to The Triangle and surrounding areas. Call us today and we can help you plan your big day with a meal that everyone will be sure to remember. We offer free menu tastings to our brides and their families. Go ahead and give us a ring and let’s plan your menu tasting.

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More Office Gift Exchange Ideas

Posted in: Corporate Catering

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If you work in a job setting that is full of holiday cheer, you might be having your gift exchange soon, or after the first of the year. If you want to switch things up a little, you can check out part one of this series and then read the rest of this post below. We wanted to give you a few more ideas of how you can add something different to your gift exchange instead of doing the same thing you have done the past few years. Still need to plan your corporate holiday party? Call Catering By Design for affordable and top notch business catering Raleigh NC services.

Book Swap – This idea will only work if everyone likes to read books. It does not matter if the books are on a kindle, or iPad, or a traditional hardcover. Have all the participants write their names and a few of their favorite types of books. Encourage your employees to either buy a real book or a gift card to purchase an e-book. At the gift exchange draw names out of a hat. You can even combine this with elements of White Elephant, or Dirty Santa for extra fun.

Present Auction – This is a new way to add a little spice and friendly competition to the annual gift exchange. Everyone who wants to participate in the present auction should bring in a gift of a set value that will be put on display in the office. Each participant will then be assigned 100 points to use in the auction (you can use as many points as you like). The present auction should continue until everyone has used up their points and wins a gift. You can also hold a silent auction if this will make everyone more comfortable. Just get some boxes with lids and have them out so participants can write their bids on slips of paper to be drawn later. Assign someone to calculate the winners afterward.

Coffee Mug Exchange – We think this idea is fantastic. Most of your officemates probably drink coffee or tea, right? Exchanging fun and decorative coffee mugs is a great and inexpensive way to have a gift exchange. You can also have fun with this and find gag gift coffee mugs with silly themes. You can also do traditional coffee mugs stuffed with edible treats inside like candies, biscotti, hot cocoa, or chocolate. This can be done Secret Santa or White Elephant style, just set a price limit and have fun.

Holiday Business Catering Raleigh NC

Catering By Design has been the number one holiday business catering Raleigh NC company for decades for a reason – great food and even better service and prices. Need to plan a corporate event? We can help noon or night. Just give us some notice and we’ll see if we can work you in. Give me call today and let’s talk food.

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International Holiday Recipes

Posted in: Catering Company

Cary holiday catering

It’s the Holiday Season and you might be tired of serving the same old recipes. If you want to try something new, but not go too crazy, check out these recipes that are prepared to celebrate the holidays in other cultures. One is a savory vegetable sauté side dish and the other is a sweet dumpling that you can serve at dessert. If you need Cary holiday catering services, check out our holiday menu. We have the best prices for any sized event. Call us today to learn more.

Kwanzaa Vegetable Sauté – This vegetable dish is African inspired and features sweet potatoes which is a staple of African cuisine. Sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamin A so this meal will give you a healthy kick. This dish is a great choice for any holiday feast.

Servings: – 8 portions as a side dish.

2 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 diced clove of garlic
1/2 cup of diced onion
1 diced tomato – also use cherry tomatoes
3 cups of peeled and diced sweet potatoes
1/2 cup of raisins
2 pinches of ground cinnamon
1 pinch of chili flakes
1/2 cup of vegetable stock
1/2 cup of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp of lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Take your medium sauté pan and place over medium heat. Next you’ll add the olive oil, garlic and onions. Sauté these ingredients until the onions are translucent. Now add your tomatoes, sweet potatoes, raisins, cinnamon, chili flakes and vegetable stock. Give this a good stir, reduce the heat and cover. You’ll want to cook on low heat for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes soften. After the potatoes soften, add the chickpeas and lemon juice, and stir. Season to taste and serve hot.

Cary Holiday Catering

Traditional Scottish Cloutie Dumpling – At Christmas in Scotland, cooks would sometimes wrap small coins in greaseproof paper and place them in the dumpling as treats for the kids. If you decide to add coins to your dumplings, please let your guests know so they do not break any teeth. Also, do not add coins if serving to young kids to avoid any choking hazards.

4 oz. of shredded margarine
2 1/2 cups flour
8 tablespoons of oatmeal
6 tablespoons of sugar
2 eggs beaten
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon of mixed spice
1 teaspoon light corn syrup
3/4 tablespoons of buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
8 oz mixed currants/sultanas/chopped raisins

Directions: First, get a large mixing bowl. You’re going to sift the flour and rub the margarine into it. Now add all of your other dry ingredients and mix everything up with a wooden spoon. In the center of your mixture form a well and add the eggs and corn syrup and mix this up really well. Now add just enough of your buttermilk to make the batter soft but also firm. Traditionally, cloths are dipped in boiling water and then sprinkled with flour. Next, fill the cheesecloth with the mixture and leave at least one inch at the top for expansion.

Place the dumpling in the boiling water and reduce the heat to a low boil. This will need to cook for about 3 1/2 hours. Top the water off as you need. Take the dumpling out of the water and remove the cheesecloth. Dry the dumpling out in front of a fire or in a 150 degree oven until it is no longer wet to the touch. Serve dumpling either hot with custard or cold with cream.

Superb Cary Holiday Catering

When only the best Cary holiday catering services will do, look no further than Catering By Design. About the only thing better than our food is our service and prices. We can cater any event – from weddings to corporate brunch. Call us today to learn more.

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Winter Recipes: Soup of the Day

Posted in: Catering Company

Gluten Free Potato And Bacon Soup
Winter is a special time of the year in most cities across the nation, especially the colder states. Whether you’re hitting the slopes on opening weekend or building snow-people outside with your family, nothing beats warming up with delicious bowl of hot soup. Here is one of our favorite soup recipes for you to try this winter. Let us know what you think in the comments. For your entire event catering Raleigh NC needs, call Catering By Design. We’ll serve you the best food, at the best prices … just check out our menus.

Potato Soup

I love potato soup. This dish is one of my most favorite cold weather comfort foods and it’s really easy to make. Total time for cooking and prepping this should be about an hour total, for everything. How great is that?

6 slices bacon cut into 1 inch pieces
5 large russet potatoes
3 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup of sour cream
1 stick of butter
2 2/3 cups of whole milk
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
4 thinly sliced scallions
3/4 cup of shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

First, you’ll need to peel, rinse and cut the potatoes into thirds. Next, place the potato chunks into a large pot, cover with water and add 2 teaspoons of salt. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer. You’ll need to cook the potatoes until they are very soft – this can take upwards of several minutes to an hour. While the potatoes are simmering, cook the bacon pieces over medium heat in a skillet until crispy and relocate them to a paper towel to drain.

After the potatoes have cooked, drain them and discard the water from the pot. Mash the potatoes until they are smooth and add the sour cream and butter. Stir this mixture until all the butter is melted and then add the milk, pepper, and remaining salt. Bring the soup back to a simmer for 5 – 10 minutes. Serve hot and garnished with scallions, cheese, and cooked bacon from earlier.

Event Catering Raleigh NC | Catering By Design

When only the best will do, call Catering By Design for top notch customer service and event catering Raleigh NC services. About the only thing better than our food is our service. We’ll treat you like family and our menus are not only affordable, but they’re also perfect for any occasion. Call us today and ask us about our Lunch & Learn program for corporate catering.

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Holiday Gift Exchange Ideas

Posted in: Holiday Catering

Raleigh holiday catering

It’s almost time for the company’s office party and if you’re having a holiday gift exchange this year, why not try something new? Having a themed gift exchange is a great way to add a little fun to the activity and take away some of the stress of gift shopping for your co-workers. In this post, we hope to give you some inspiration for your gift exchange. From trivia games, to charity donations, to a game called white elephant swap, we are sure all of these will be a hit. If you need food for your office’s holiday party, then look no further than Catering By Design. We offer the best prices and service for all of your Raleigh holiday catering needs. Don’t believe us? Then check out our menus.

Secret Santa – If you have been involved with a gift exchange in the past then you’ve more than likely participated in Secret Santa. For the newbies, and as a refresher, here is how this one works. Everyone in the office gets assigned one co-worker in secret that they must buy an inexpensive gift for. Everyone brings their gifts to a central location in the office until the party. To make it more interesting, have the participating employees leave a few hints about their identities for their gift recipients up until the big day of the party.

Charity – Do something completely different this year by giving back. Instead of giving presents to your co-workers, have everyone write down their names along with their favorite charity on a piece of paper. These pieces of paper are drawn by each participating employee and then a small donation to that charity, in the selected person’s name, is made instead of receiving a gift.

White Elephant – As long as everyone has a good sense of humor, then the White Elephant Gift Swap should be a lot of fun. Also called Yankee Swap, this game requires the participants to bring in one wrapped gift to be put under a tree, or other grouped location. Next, everyone takes a turn in selecting a present from the group. The first person opens their gift and the next person has the option to steal that gift, or select a new one. If the gift is stolen from the previous owner, that now giftless person gets to pick out another present. What makes the white elephant exchange really fun is that gifts should be weird, funny, or unwanted re-gifted things from previous parties. The game is finished when everyone has a gift.

Co-worker Trivia – This is fun way to really switch things up and learn new things about your employees and co-workers. Like above, everyone participating brings a gift and all the gifts are put together. Next, the participants should write out a little-known fact about themselves on a piece of paper and these go in a hat, or bowl. These papers are drawn one at a time and the first person to guess whom the fact is referring to gets to choose their gift first. The game ends once everyone has a gift.

Raleigh Holiday Catering | Catering By Design

The holidays are here and we’re ready to help. For top notch Raleigh holiday catering, Catering By Design cannot be beat. We have the best food and service with affordable menus. Call us today to book early.

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Eat These Foods for a Lucky New Year

Posted in: Cary Catering Services

Cary event catering

A lot of people like to ring in the New Year by having a traditional meal filled with foods that are supposed to bring good luck, health and fortune. We put together a list of our favorite good luck foods that you should prepare for your New Year’s feast. If you want to take this year off and spend more time with your family and friends, call Catering By Design and let us do all the work. Our Cary event catering menus are affordable and perfect for any size New Year’s party, large or small.

Greens – Greens are traditionally eaten on New Year’s Eve because of their color. Green, after all, is the color of money. Collard, mustard, and turnip greens are all acceptable, and yummy.

Beans And Peas – People also eat beans and peas for good fortune because they symbolize coins. In the United States, black-eyed peas are the traditional choice for New Year’s Eve.

Lentils – Lentils could have been grouped with the beans and pea category above but we chose to give them their own few lines. When you cook lentils, they plump up with water and this symbolizes growing wealth. They are also considered to be a good luck food in Hungary where they are typically used in soup recipes.

Noodles and Grains – Most noodles are long in length. This is a symbol for long life. In some cultures, slurping the noodles can even bring more good luck. Grains, like rice and barley symbolize abundance.

Cornbread – People eat cornbread on New Year’s Eve because of its golden color. Some people even add extra kernels of corn to represent golden nuggets.

Pork – Lots of people eat ham on New Year’s Eve because pigs are plump and they root forward.

Fruit – On New Year’s Eve in Mexico, people will eat a grape for each stroke of the clock at midnight. This represents each month of the year and if one of the grapes is sour or bitter then you’ll need to watch out for that month. Other lucky fruits include eating figs for healthy fertility and pomegranate seeds for prosperity.

Cake – For dessert, let them eat ring shaped cakes. Ring shaped cakes represent coming full circle.

Cary Event Catering From Catering By Design

For your New Year’s Eve celebration this year, how about treating your friends and family to the best Cary event catering services? By calling Catering By Design, you get to take the night off and enjoy the festivities while we do all the work. About the only the thing better than our food, is the service and prices. Call us today to learn more.

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Ideas for a Winter Wedding

Posted in: Wedding Catering Raleigh

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Winter weddings can be magical if put together correctly. You really have a lot to choose from when it comes to themes, décor, flowers and food. So much so that it might even seem overwhelming. We wanted to put together a few ideas that you can use to get inspiration if you’re planning a winter wedding. When it comes to winter wedding catering Raleigh NC services, call us. You’ll love our menus, prices and our service is unbeatable.

Themes and Symbols

Instead of picking a “theme” for your winter wedding, how about using an iconic winter symbol instead? Using a winter symbol, like a pine cone, snowflake, snowman, reindeer, or a candy cane as your focal point will not only streamline your decorating efforts, but it will also add a festive feel. Think of how much fun you can have coming up with different ways to incorporate your winter wedding symbol. A great place to start is with your invitations. Then, carry your winter symbol throughout your major décor elements such as your guestbook, seating chart, monogram, and cocktail napkins.

From our point of view, snowflakes are among the most popular of the winter wedding symbols because they are so simple. You can use all types of colors and sizes for your needs. Snowflakes look great in pretty much any color that you can think of and they are really easy to use.


Flowers are something that many brides might overly concern themselves with if they are considering having a winter wedding. Winter is a season where not a lot is actually in bloom, but don’t worry. You’ll be amazed at how many beautiful options you’ll have to choose from. You should have no problem finding flowers such as roses, lilies, tulips, anemones and amaryllises. If you’re really feeling festive, and wanting to adopt some seasonal favorites, then try to incorporate evergreen, mistletoe and holly into your arrangements. When you’re picking your winter flowers think texture. Using holly, pine cones, berries and evergreens will capture the spirit of the season and create beautiful floral displays. Do not be afraid to incorporate as much color as you can, especially if you’re taking pictures. Color will help your pictures pop and come alive.

Winter Wedding Catering Raleigh NC

For the food, just call Catering By Design. Our winter wedding catering Raleigh NC services are top notch and a step above the competition. We offer affordable menus and the best customer service in North Carolina.

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Help The Less Fortunate This Holiday Season

Posted in: Cary Catering Services

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The holidays are a magical time for most, but for some, they can be a hard and lonely time. As one of the top Cary catering companies, we hope that if you can this year, you decide to donate your money, time or unused canned goods and non-perishable food items to one of North Carolina’s many deserving nonprofit organizations. All across North Carolina, there will be families this holiday season that will not be able to even provide a hot meal for their loved ones. With your help, we can help change all of this.

We found a really comprehensive list of all the food donation pantries located around Raleigh that can really use your help this year: Food Pantry Donations. There are also some great organizations that help families in the Capital City, such as the Raleigh Rescue Organization, The Helping Hand Mission, The Food Bank Of North Carolina, and if you live outside of the Raleigh, Durham, Triangle area, here is an entire list of food pantries that will gladly accept your donations for the entire state of North Carolina: Food Donation Directory.

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Cary Catering Companies Helping The Less Fortunate

Donations of canned food, time and money are all appreciated at any of the fine locations listed above. Even if you cannot volunteer your time to help one of the organizations, there are still lots of other ways you can help out. You can organize a food drive, or several food drives. Have one at your office by setting up a few boxes in the break room, front office, or other gathering areas with a simple sign explaining the idea of collecting food for donations. Have a community food drive and encourage all of your neighbors to pitch in. Post a message on your community’s bulletin board, or contact your homeowner’s association and ask them for assistance. Maybe they can send out an email on your behalf with all the details of the event. If you have children, help them plan a food drive at school. You could talk to their teachers and principal for ideas on the best way to implement it so that all the students can be involved. The best items are canned vegetables, fruits and meats, peanut butter, pastas, baking ingredients and condiments such as ketchup and mustard.

This holiday season, we hope you find a way to give back to your community and help the less fortunate. We hope other Cary catering companies take notice of this post and follow our lead. We love giving back and helping others.

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Affordable New Year’s Eve Catering

Posted in: Catering Company

Cary holiday catering

When New Year’s Eve rolls around this year, why not have your friends and family over to celebrate the coming of a new year with affordable Cary holiday catering? At Catering By Design, we serve nothing but exciting food and desserts! Catering By Design can provide New Year’s Eve catering in Cary, Raleigh, Durham and everywhere in between. We can deliver to your home, office, or venue of choice, or provide you with the best full service Cary holiday catering.

From home holiday parties, winter weddings, to corporate events, Catering By Design can provide all your Cary holiday catering needs for the best New Year’s Eve party your friends have ever been to. We offer buffet service, family style and full butlered plates. Our menus are affordable for both big and small events. Take this year off and dance the night away with your friends and family. Our menu options can be fully customized to meet your party needs. The best part is that we do all the work. From stuffed baked chicken, caprese kabobs, chicken wings, to sandwich, fresh fruit and cheese trays, we can make your New Years Eve catering as simple or as fancy as you like it.

We can drop the food off or, if you’re feeling like treating yourself to something special, order our full service Cary holiday catering. It is an easy, stress-free process that is really affordable. We can serve the food and provide full bartending service at the location of your choice. You cannot have a New Year’s Eve party without the drinks to celebrate; at Catering By Design our Cary holiday catering services can also provide tea, juices, beer, wine, champagne, mixers and liquor packages for your New Year’s party.

Don’t want to serve a full meal for your New Years Eve party but still want to have food? Check out our heavy hors d’oeuvre menu. We can take your party to a rocking level of elegance with our butlered appetizers and our level of service will truly “wow” your guests. Catering By Design can provide all the linens, tableware, flatware and china. We can even help you pick a venue as we have some of the best contacts in town.

Give us a call today, or click over there on the contact form at the right and let us know what you’re interested in. The holidays are a busy time for us and popular dates fill up quickly. We’ll do our best to accommodate your scheduling needs but calling us today might be best to guarantee your ideal date.

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Gluten Free Seasonal Recipes | Muffins and Scones

Posted in: Raleigh Catering Services

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With the fall season in full effect, we want to make sure we did not forget to post a few fun recipes for our gluten free friends. Don’t forget, at Catering By Design we’re one of the top Raleigh catering companies. We have menus to fit any budget and need. From social events, holiday parties, to weddings, we serve the finest foods with world class service. Call us today to learn more.

Apple Cake Muffins

1 cup – sorghum flour
1/2 cup – millet flour, or brown rice flour
1/2 cup – potato starch (not to be confused with potato flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons – baking powder
1/2 teaspoon – baking soda
1 teaspoon – xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon – sea salt
2 teaspoons – ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon – ground nutmeg
3/4 cup – light brown sugar
2 – eggs, beaten
1/2 cup – canola oil
1/2 cup – rice milk
1 tablespoon – bourbon vanilla extract
2 – peeled and diced medium sized apples


First, be sure to preheat your oven to 375ºF. Now, take a 12 cup muffin tin and line them all. Grab a large mixing bowl and whisk all the dry stuff together. Next, beat in the eggs and oil. After that, you’ll add the rice milk and vanilla extract. Continue beating for about two minutes, or until your mixtures is nice and smooth. Now, stir in the apple pieces and then spoon the batter into each muffin cup of the tin.

Place the tin on the center rack of your oven and bake for about 20 – 25 minutes depending on your oven. Look for the muffin tops to be dome shaped and firm to the touch. When ready, place them on a wire rack to cool, or enjoy them hot. Sift powdered sugar on top them after they have cooled down a bit, or use cinnamon sugar. This recipe makes one dozen muffins and you can also freeze any leftovers for later.

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Butternut Pecan Scones

1 cup – sorghum flour or brown rice flour
1/2 cup – almond flour
2/3 cup – tapioca starch
1/3 cup – organic light brown sugar
2 teaspoons – baking powder
1/2 teaspoon – baking soda
1/2 teaspoon – fine sea salt
1 teaspoon – xanthan gum
1 teaspoon – ground ginger
1 teaspoon – ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon – ground nutmeg
2/3 cup – butternut squash puree
2 – eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons – coconut oil or vegan butter
2 teaspoons – bourbon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon – lemon juice
2/3 cup – chopped pecans


First, preheat your oven to 375ºF. Next, take a cookie sheet and line it with parchment, or a baking mat. Take your large mixing bowl and whisk all the dry ingredients together. Now add the wet stuff and mix everything together until the dough is “workable”. Place the dough onto your lined cookie sheet. Wet your hands and smooth out the dough into a circle about 8-10 inches in diameter. Use a spatula, or wooden spoon to smooth out the edges. Press in the chopped pecans slightly and brush the top and sides with some coconut milk or rice milk, your preference. Sprinkle the top with organic raw sugar to make it nice and crusty.

Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into eight – ten slices and make sure there is a little space between each piece. Place on the center rack and bake for about 20 – 25 minutes until they are golden and firm to the touch. Serve them warm with your favorite vegan butter or homemade jam. This recipe makes 8 to 10 scones depending on how thick you like them and you can also freeze any leftovers.


For all your holiday party needs, call the experts that other Raleigh catering companies try to imitate, Catering By Design. Our menus are both fun and affordable. Call us today or just stop by the kitchen in Cary, NC.

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