Our News

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.

Catering Raleigh NC Services

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.

Read More

Back to School Tips for High School Parents

Posted in: Catering Company

Being a parent of a high school student is rewarding and challenging. This is especially true if your child is entering their freshman or senior year. The high school years will be some of the most memorable times of your child’s life, so make the most of it with these back-to-school tips. If you need the most affordable catering Raleigh NC has to offer this fall or winter, calling Catering by Design is a great decision. We will save you time and money on school events, wedding receptions, business luncheons, social parties, award banquets, holiday functions, birthdays, and more.

Catering Raleigh NC

Back-to-School Tips for Parents of High School Students

Set the Tone Early

As a parent, you will need to focus on setting the right tone early on, within the first couple of weeks of school. Pay special attention to them these first few weeks. Communicate with your children about their day, what they like and don’t like, and any problem areas they foresee for the rest of the year, etc.

Managing Time

High school is all about getting prepared for adulthood. Whether they’re going to college, the military, a trade school, or starting a full-time job, they will need to know how to manage their time effectively. It’s your job to help them set up the right schedule that will allow them to be successful with time management. A good schedule and routine will also help reduce their stress levels. Make sure that your child has adequate study time, family time, gets to sleep at a decent hour, and still has time for all the fun stuff they want to do.

Managing Stress

High school is stressful for your son or daughter. Helping them manage that stress is key to a successful year. Start the day off by making sure they’re up early enough not to feel rushed. If they’re already feeling like they’re going to be late, that sets a negative tone for the rest of the day.

Be sure you understand the signs of stress. These can include problems sleeping, changes in eating habits, a short temper, depression, and worrying about or fixating on something for a long period of time.

Award Winning Catering Raleigh NC Services

Do you need highly rated yet affordable catering Raleigh NC services for your next business meeting, school event, social function, or wedding reception? Please call Catering by Design! We’re one of the most trusted and affordable catering companies in the area. We have menus that can be fully customized. We also have the best prices and customer service in the Triangle. Getting married in 2018? Brides and grooms should give us a call today to schedule a free menu tasting.

Don’t need full service? Ask about our delivery services.

Read More

Tasty Options You Can Put Inside a Hot dog Bun That’s Not Meat

Posted in: Raleigh Catering

I love a great tasting hot dog, especially while tailgating at a game or camping in the mountains. Some of my vegetarian friends never get to experience these delightful dogs so we’re coming up with tasty alternatives. Below we’ll list a few of our favorite non-meat ingredients that would taste great inside a hot dog bun. Looking for affordable Raleigh caterers for your next event this fall or winter season? Call the professional team at Catering by Design today. You’ll love our amazing menu packages, exceptional customer service, and great tasting food.

Raleigh Caterers

Grilled Portobello

Grilled portabello is a great meaty substitute. Take it up a notch by using a dry rub before putting them on a grill. Start by removing the stems and slicing them longways. Then toss in a bowl with some olive oil, add your rub and grill them for 6 to 8 minutes. Be sure to turn them a few times in between for even cooking.

Grilled Marinated Carrots

Carrots in a hot dog bun might sound pretty silly, but it’s a great meat alternative. The key is the marinade. I like to use soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, sesame oil, and smoked paprika. This gives the carrots a deep and savory flavor. Once grilled they even kind of look like a hot dog.

Grilled Avocado

Yes, you heard me right. Grilled Avocado goes great on a hot dog bun. Cut them in half and remove the pits first. Then brush them some olive oil and grill for about 3 minutes open side down. Salt and pepper to taste when they’re done and load them up in a bun. Pairs great with any of your favorite toppings.

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

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