Our News

What’s the Difference Between Baking Powder and Baking Soda

Posted in: Raleigh Catering

If you want to build a great foundation for baking you really need to understand the differences between baking powder and baking soda. Even though both are leaveners, chemically they’re different. We’ll explain in further detail below. For the best Raleigh NC catering service, only Catering by Design will do. Call us today to learn why our customers love us and keep coming back.

Raleigh NC Catering

Baking Powder

Baking powder contains an acid to neutralize its baking soda. Baking powder is typically baking soda, cream of tartar, and sometimes cornstarch. Cream of tartar is a dry acid. Most baking powder is also double acting, meaning it has two leavenings. The first occurs when the baking powder gets wet, like when you mix dry and wet ingredients. The second occurs when the baking powder is heated.

A good rule of thumb is to use around 1 teaspoon of baking powder per 1 cup of flour.

Baking Soda

If you remember your chemistry days then you’re probably familiar with acids and bases. Baking soda is a base. It needs an acid to activate and produce carbon dioxide to make your goods rise while baking. You’ll often see recipes call for acids like buttermilk, brown sugar, yogurt, lemon juice, vinegar, cream of tartar, molasses, applesauce, natural cocoa powder, or honey when baking soda is being used.

If you use too much baking soda in your recipes, or forget to use an acid, then your finished baked goods will have a metallic or soapy aftertaste. Baking soda is also three to four times stronger than baking powder so you’ll want to use the “less is more” approach. A good rule of thumb is to use around 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda per 1 cup of flour.

We hope this information will help you conquer your next baking adventure. Need more tips? Be sure to visit back with the last two posts from this series. Looking for a catering vendor for your next event? Keep reading to learn how Catering By Design can help you.

Award Winning Raleigh NC Catering Service

Do you need affordable Raleigh NC catering service for your next fall or winter event? Call Catering by Design today to learn more!

We are a highly rated and affordable catering company and we great menus that can be fully customized. We have the best prices and customer service in the Triangle as well. Give us a call today to schedule your service.

Read More

More Tips for Beginning Bakers

Posted in: Raleigh Catering Services

The holidays are right around the corner. That means baking season will be starting soon. If you’ve always wanted to try your hand at baking, but have some reservations, have no fear! We’ve got some great tips for beginning bakers. In our last post we talked about starting simple, learning the fine art of measuring ingredients, and more. Keep reading for a few extra really great baking tips. Need affordable Raleigh catering for an upcoming event this fall? Please call Catering by Design. You’ll love our menu selections, tasty flavors, service, and incredible prices.

Raleigh catering

Buy Some Basic Items

You can’t do a good job without the right tools. If you really want to be a good baker then buy a few basic supplies like a set of liquid and dry measuring cups, spoons, spatulas, mixing bowls, and baking pans. If you have the extra cash you should also invest in a hand or stand mixer as well.

Read and Prep First

Before starting any new recipe you should take the time and at least read it over once. The more familiar you are with the recipe the fewer mistakes you will make. Also, prep and measure out all of your ingredients as you’re reading over the recipe. Lay them all out on your counter in order of how the recipe is written.

Respect Room Temperature

If your recipe calls for an ingredient to be room temperature then be sure you adhere to it. Don’t just skip over it like some beginners. This can be a crucial mistake down the road. Leave your ingredients on the counter for about 1 hour to achieve room temperature.

Keep the Oven Door Closed

While your goods are baking in the oven keep the door closed. It can be really tempting to constantly peek but this lets cool air in and can affect how the items cooks or rises.

Chill Cookie Dough

If you’re baking cookies from scratch chill the dough first. This helps with cookie consistency and boosts the flavor.

The Best Raleigh Catering for Fall 2019

Catering by Design offers the best Raleigh catering services in the area. We have great menus that will fit any sized budget or type of event. We specialize in family, social, community, and corporate events as well as wedding receptions, birthdays, anniversaries, and more. You can also customize your catering menu, truly making your event “catering by your design.”

Give us a call soon to schedule either a delivery or full service Raleigh catering.

Read More

Baking Tips for Beginners

Posted in: Raleigh Catering

Many home cooks are scared to death of baking from scratch. Baking requires more precise measurements and attention to detail so it can appear to be difficult and even intimidating. It doesn’t have to be and we’re going to share a few tips that will hopefully make your baking adventures more fun! Looking for the best Cary event catering this fall or winter? Call us at Catering by Design today! Learn how we can help you save time and money on great food and customer service.

Cary Event Catering

Tips for Beginning Bakers

Be Brave

I’ve heard professional bakers say that cakes, and any dessert, can smell your fear. It’s kind of true. Don’t approach baking with fear. Be brave instead. Dive in fearlessly to a recipe and let your confidence reward you with a perfectly baked dessert.

Start Simple

Start out on your baking journey with something simple that feels comfortable. Do not try bake an elaborate cake or dessert. That can be too overwhelming and make you lose confidence. Even beginning with box cake mixes is okay if you’re just starting out. You have to start somewhere.

Learn How to Measure Ingredients Correctly

One of the most crucial elements to baking is measuring ingredients correctly. Baking is a science that requires precision with ratios. You can’t just throws random ingredients together and get something edible like with cooking. You should watch some videos on how to level off dry ingredients, like flour, to get the right amounts. You should also measure your flour with a spoon instead of scooping. Scooping flour can over pack your measuring cup and you could end up with 100% more than you intended. This will result in a big fail and overly dry baked goods.

Be sure to head on over for part two of this series where we’ll discuss even more great tips for beginning bakers. For great tasting food and unbeatable customer service, call Catering by Design for big savings.

Affordable Cary Event Catering

Searching for high quality and affordable Cary event catering this spring or summer? Call Catering by Design. We’re one of the top rated catering companies in the Triangle area. We can help you with any type of event with very affordable packages. From business luncheons, awards banquets, grand openings, and charity events to birthday parties, anniversaries, block parties, and more, we can cater it all! Our team of highly trained pros is ready to answer questions or to schedule service for you.

Getting married this year? Brides and grooms love our free menu tastings. This is a free service we offer that many competitors charge for. Please click here to check out our wedding menus. Call us today to learn more.

Read More

Funky Food Facts You Might Not Be Aware of

Posted in: Raleigh Catering Services

We love everything about food. We also love learning and educating. We uncovered some fun food facts that you probably didn’t know. I know some of these really surprised me and hopefully you’ll also find these interesting. Do you need affordable Cary caterers for your next fall or winter event? Call the experts at Catering by Design today. You’ll love our selections, prices, and customer service.

Cary Caterers

Strawberries and Raspberries Really Aren’t Berries

This one blows my mind, but it’s true. Strawberries and raspberries are not botanically berries. These fruits come from a single flower with at least two ovaries. This makes them aggregate fruits. Other berries are simple fruits that come from one flower with only one ovary. Get this, bananas, tomatoes, and kiwis are berries.

Brown Sugar Is White Sugar

Yep, brown sugar is just regular refined white sugar with molasses added back in.

Caesar Salad Was Invented in Mexico

According to the legend, Italian-American restaurateur Caesar Cardini invented the salad in 1924 in Tijuana, Mexico. Even though Cardini lived in San Diego at the time, he operated a restaurant in Tijuana to avoid the restrictions of prohibition that was happening in the US.

German Chocolate Cake Is Not from Germany

American baker Samuel German developed a dark baking chocolate for the Baker’s Chocolate Company in 1852. The brand name, Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate, was named in honor of him. On June 3, 1957, a recipe for “German’s Chocolate Cake” appeared as the “Recipe of the Day” in The Dallas Morning News created by Mrs. George Clay, a homemaker from Dallas, Texas.

Pineapples Do Not Ripen After Picking

After a pineapple has been picked it will not ripen any further. That means leaving it out on the counter for a few days will not make it taste any sweeter.

Please visit back with our blog often to read more helpful tips on nutrition, easy recipes, kitchen gadgets and tips, wedding trends, and lots more.

Best Cary Caterers for Fall and Winter 2019

If you are looking for reliable Cary caterers for your next event this fall or winter, please call Catering by Design right now. Our highly trained team of professionals is ready to take your call or schedule your service. We’re an award winning Cary catering company that can handle events of any size.

Having a wedding? Brides and grooms love our free menu tastings! This is a free service we offer that most of our competitors charge for. Please click here to check out our menus, or call us today with any questions or to ask about our specials!

Read More

When to Buy Generic at the Grocery Store

Posted in: Raleigh Catering

We love to talk about saving money on groceries. That’s why you should start replacing some the brand names in your grocery cart for generics and store brands. In our last post we busted lots of myths that might keep people from buying generic and store brands. Today we’ll focus on which generic items we think you should try the next time you go grocery shopping. Need affordable Raleigh event catering this fall or winter? Call Catering by Design. We’ll save you time and money on your catering needs.

Raleigh event catering

Baking Ingredients

You can feel good buying generic for most of your baking ingredients. Things like flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, brown sugar, syrup, oils, and mixes should all be available under a store brand. Save your money for brand name chocolate, honey, molasses, extracts, and flavorings.

Dairy

I personally buy all generic dairy. I cannot tell any differences at all. I buy generic milk, butter, yogurt, cheese, ricotta, sour cream, and cottage cheese. I think the only brand name dairy product I buy is coffee creamer.

Canned Goods

Most of the canned goods I buy at the grocery store are store brand items including vegetables, soups, beans, and fruit. I do make a few exceptions for certain soups, baked beans, and tuna.

Frozen Foods

I buy brand name pizza, quick microwave meals, and burritos. I buy store brand frozen vegetables, frozen fruit, frozen juice, ice cream, and frozen waffles.

Condiments

I like brand name salad dressings, balsamic vinegar, hot sauces, marinades, steak sauces, mayo, and ketchup. I buy store brand spices, salt, pepper, other seasonings, mustard, pickles, relish, and apple cider vinegar.

Now granted, all these buying decisions are based on what’s on sale as well. Sometimes the brand name item has a better price so I’ll go with whichever will save me the most money in the end. If you have an event coming up soon and need great tasting food with affordable prices, call Catering by Design.

The Best Raleigh Event Catering for 2019

Searching for high quality and affordable Raleigh event catering this spring or summer? Call Catering by Design. We’re one of the top rated catering companies in the Triangle area. We can help you with any type of event with very affordable catering packages. Our team of highly trained pros is ready to answer questions or to schedule service for you.

Getting married this year? Brides and grooms love our free menu tastings. This is a free service we offer that many competitors charge for. Please click here to check out our wedding menus. Call us today to learn more.

Read More

The Truth About Grocery Store Generics

Posted in: Raleigh Catering Services

Buying groceries is not cheap. However, many people shell out lots of extra dollars weekly for brand name items. The reality is buying generic and store brand items are often just as good, and can save you a lot of money over the course of a year. There are a lot of myths surrounding non-brand name food and today we’re going to bust them! For the most affordable catering Raleigh NC services for your next event, give us a call at Catering by Design. Our prices, food, and great customer service are unbeatable.

catering raleigh NC

Why Are Brand Name Items More Expensive?

Paying more money for an item does not mean it’s going to be better quality 100% of the time. When it comes to brand name foods the extra costs involved are mostly to pay for advertising, like TV commercials and magazine ads.

Myth Busters

Generics Are Not as Tasty

In many blind taste tests conducted throughout the years, researchers have found that consumers can hardly tell any difference in taste between brand name and store brand food items. Sometimes, the store brand brand product rated better in taste than the name brand equivalent. Yet many consumers still opt for the more expensive brand name snacks, diary products, cereals, etc. because they think they taste better since they cost more money.

Generics Are Not as Nutritious

They next time you’re grocery shopping be sure to compare the labels of the brand name products with the store brand. You’ll probably be surprised to find that the store brand labels are almost identical to the brand name products. This is another common myth that shoppers often fall for. They believe that if the product costs more then they’re going to be more nutritious. In some cases you’ll find that the store brand versions will have less sugar, sodium, and better nutritional value.

Top-Rated Catering Raleigh NC Services

If you need the best catering Raleigh NC has to offer for your next summertime or fall event, call Catering by Design. Our calendar is filling up quickly so don’t hesitate to make the decision to call. Get your date reserved now before it’s too late!

We’re an award winning Raleigh caterer and can guarantee that you’ll love our food, service, and especially our prices. We can handle events of any size and have packages for types of budgets. We even offer delivery services. Call now to learn more.

Read More

This Food Prep Trick Could Save You Loads of Time

Posted in: Catering in Raleigh NC

I’m always looking for ways to save time and money when it comes to food. I recently stumbled upon this one trick while researching another topic and decided to give it. I have to say, it’s simple and it works. Keep reading for the big reveal. Looking for affordable Raleigh wedding catering, business catering, or event catering? Call the pros at Catering by Design. We have the best options for Triangle weddings, corporate meetings, banquets, social events, birthday parties, and more.

Raleigh Wedding Catering

So here’s the big secret! It’s really basic so don’t be disappointed. When you return home from the grocery store start prepping right then. Do not just take the groceries out of their bag and put them away in the pantry or in the refrigerator. Get to work. This will save you loads of time during week ahead when you’re tired and your kids are screaming about when dinner is going to ready. Over time this method will also help you save money by reducing food waste as well.

Here’s how you can make it work for you. When you get back home from the store you should get your grocery list back out and compare that with the meals you plan on cooking during the week. With your list in hand, put away the items that you know you’re not going to be needing right away and place other grocery items out on your counters so you can take inventory of what you have to work with.

Next, get out your glass or plastic storage containers and get to slicing, chopping, peeling, washing, blanching, etc. Put all of your prepped ingredients into these containers and strategically place them in the front of the fridge so you can easily see and access them.

When you get home from work or have had a long day being a stay-at-home parent, making dinner doesn’t take all night to complete. Doing as much leg work as you can before crunch time hits will save you many valuable minutes during the week. Don’t stop at your veggies either. You can start soaking dried beans, make your salad dressings or pasta sauces, and many other things beforehand as well.

If you’re looking for great food at even better prices, keep reading to see why calling Catering by Design for all of your event food needs makes sense!

Affordable Raleigh Wedding Catering and More

All Raleigh catering companies are not the same. This is especially true if you’re looking for a vendor that specializes in affordable pricing, great customer service, and fantastic flavors in 2019. Don’t get all stressed out over doing all the work, 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 dietary restrictions. Brides will love our free menu tastings, something our competitors charge for. Please give us a call soon if you have any questions or would like to discuss our catering packages or delivery services.

Read More

How You Can Eat Frugally This Month

Posted in: Raleigh Catering Services

If you’re like me, you’re probably always looking for ways to save money and cut costs around the home. This includes reducing the weekly grocery bill and how much we spend on eating food! In today’s post we will look into ways that you can eat frugally not only for this month, but everyday. For the best Raleigh NC catering service, only Catering by Design will do. Call us today to learn why our customers love us and keep coming back.

Raleigh NC Catering

Coupons

If you’re not a coupon cutter then you should start. Coupons can save you hundreds of dollars each year. Some grocery stores even double coupons up to $1.00 face value once a week or at least once a month. You can also get rebates on some of your purchases depending on what the manufacturer offers.

No Alcohol

If you’re going to eat out, opt for only drinking water and skipping the alcoholic beverages. Restaurants can charge quite a bit of money for mixed drinks, craft beer, and wine. This can save you a lot of money on your tab.

Meal Planning

Meal planning is very important to reducing your monthly grocery and food costs. It all starts with making lists, taking inventory, and smart planning. When planning your meals be sure to take note of what you currently have in the pantry that you can use. This will save you time and money on your grocery shopping.

Eat Less Meat

Meat is one of the most expensive grocery items. However, you can get your protein in other tasty ways. This month, challenge yourself to step outside of your comfort zone and make it a point to really drop your meat intake. Your body probably feel a lot better and so will your bank account.

White Box Challenge

Once or twice a week, or more, you should complete the white box challenge. This means that you should eat meals made from what you have leftover in your refrigerator. The goal is to stay away from the grocery store as long as possible in hopes of reducing your food waste.

Award Winning Raleigh NC Catering Services

Do you need affordable wedding catering Raleigh NC services for your reception? Call Catering by Design today for a free menu tasting!

We are a highly rated and affordable catering company and we have wedding menus that can be fully customized. We have the best prices and customer service in the Triangle. Give us a call today to schedule your free tasting.

Read More

How to Make Baby Food at Home

Posted in: Catering in Raleigh NC

Is your little one finally ready to start eating food? It can be an amazing experience for both parents and little ones to experience those first bites of food. We know you only want to give your baby the best tasting and most nutritious food available. That’s why we’re going to explain how to easily make your own baby food right in your own kitchen. Looking for affordable Raleigh caterers for your next summer or fall event? Call the professional team at Catering by Design today. You’ll love our amazing prices, exceptional customer service, and great tasting food.

Raleigh caterers

Basic First Foods

  • Barley and rice cereal
  • Mashed bananas
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Peaches
  • Carrots
  • Squash
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Peas

Kitchen Supplies

  • Pot and a steamer basket, or an electric steamer
  • Ice cube trays or small storage cups
  • Organic fruit or vegetables
  • Immersion blender
  • Freezer baggies
  • Cutting board
  • Sharp knife
  • Sharpie
  • Water

Vegetable and Fruit Purees

The best way to introduce the basic first foods is by pureeing. It’s a very simple process. Here are the directions:

  • Fill a pot fill 1/3 of the way up and place a steamer inside.
  • Add the fruit or vegetables and bring to a gentle boil.
  • Once boiling, turn heat down to low and simmer until fork tender.
  • Remove from heat and place in a glass bowl.
  • Once cool blend with immersion blender until you get the right consistency for your baby.
  • Add water to make it smooth if needed.

Once your fruits and vegetables are pureed spoon the mixture into ice cube trays and place into the freezer up to 24 hrs. Next, place your trays on the counter and let defrost just enough that you can easily pop them out. Remove all the cubes and place into a labeled freezer baggie and place back into the freezer. These can last up to 6 months. Each cube is a 1 ounce serving.

Be sure to come back to our blog for all sorts of helpful food related tips. If you need an amazing catering experience for your next event, keep reading to see how Catering by Design can help you.

Affordable Raleigh Caterers for 2019 Summer

If you are looking for reliable Raleigh caterers for your next event, please call Catering by Design right now. Our highly trained team of professionals is ready to take your call or schedule your service. We’re an award winning Raleigh catering company that can handle events of any size.

Having a wedding? Brides and grooms love our free menu tastings! This is a free service we offer that most of our competitors charge for. Please click here to check out our menus, or call us today with any questions or to ask about our specials!

Read More

Ingredients I Always Have on Hand

Posted in: Catering Company

Over the years I have really changed how I shop for groceries. I’ve made great efforts to save money, throw away as little food as possible, and be more efficient with my meal planning. That means that there are a few pantry basics and staples that you’ll always find in my kitchen. These items don’t include things like herbs, spices, olive oil, and other cooking essentials. I’ll be focusing on what I’m buying the most of each week. If you need an affordable Raleigh catering company for an upcoming event this year, call us today at Catering by Design. You’ll love our menu selections, tasty flavors, service, and incredible prices.

Raleigh catering

Fresh Fruits

My family loves fresh fruit of all different types. All of us keep fruit packed in our daily lunches for snacks and sides. We eat a lot of bananas, apples, oranges, grapes, strawberries, and cherries. One thing I try to do when buying fruit is to select items that have multiple options of what to do with them, like eating them raw or making pies, cakes, or muffins, adding them to yogurt or smoothies, etc.

Potatoes

I like to keep a variety of potatoes on hand, including a few sweet potatoes. Potatoes can be used in many different ways, from mashed or smashed, baked russet, roasted, fried, boiled, etc. My kids also love sweet potato fries so I try to make them at least once a week.

Eggs

We go through a lot of eggs. We eat them for breakfast many days and use them hard boiled for salads and other snack needs. I also like to add eggs when making fried rice, and I use a lot of them for baking recipes.

Avocados

We love avocados in my household. We can eat them morning, noon, and night. We make a lot of Mexican inspired dishes through the week so they have to be on hand always. Avocados are also a super food. They’re packed with lots of great stuff that does good things for your body.

Rice

Rice is another starch I like to keep on hand because it is easy to cook and has lots of uses. You can prepare rice with a variety of recipes as a side. You can use rice in a variety of American, Asian, and Mexican dishes. Rice is also a great leftover food for extra meals.

The Best Raleigh Catering for All of Your Needs

Catering by Design offers the best Raleigh catering services in the area. We have great menus that will fit any sized budget or type of event. We specialize in family, social, community, and corporate events as well as wedding receptions, birthdays, anniversaries, and more. You can also customize your catering menu, truly making your event “catering by your design.”

Give us a call soon to schedule either a delivery or full service Raleigh catering.

Read More