All posts by Adam Norris

Planning a North Carolina Wedding During a Pandemic

Posted in: Wedding Catering Raleigh

The wedding industry in North Carolina is a billion-dollar one. Thanks to COVID-19, it has been flipped upside down. The pandemic has left brides, grooms, their families and friends, vendors of all sorts, and venues all guessing and wondering “what happens next?” Many soon-to-be newlyweds have been left with just three choices – cancel, reschedule, or get married. So how are you supposed to move forward? We’re planning a large series that we hope will help you make all the right decisions that will be safe and fun for your big day whether it’s later in 2020 or in 2021! Need a reliable Raleigh wedding catering service? Look no further than Catering by Design. We’re following all the safety guidelines and look forward to serving your family and friends.

Raleigh wedding catering

Current Status

For North Carolinians, we have yet to move into Phase 3. Phase 2 will stay in effect until at least September 11th. Under Phase 2, there is no limit on gathering size for weddings. However, the max gathering cap does apply to pre-wedding activities and receptions. So receptions are still going to have to remain adequately sized.

August and September Weddings

You’ve probably already made your decisions on whether to move forward or to reschedule the wedding. If you live in a highly-populated area or outbreak spot, please consider postponing for the safety of yourselves, guests, and vendors.

If you’re moving forward then consider holding everything outdoors. You’ll also need to maintain social distancing, handwashing, disinfecting, and wearing face masks when possible. Please consider reducing guest lists to only close family and loved ones. You can also pivot to a microwedding and reschedule your reception later.

Fall Weddings

You only have a few weeks to make up your mind if you have not already done so. With lots of unknowns still up in the air regarding Phase 3 or NC’s reopening, you will have to do what is right for you. If you’re planning on rescheduling then you need to act fast to reserve your backup dates. Make sure contracts have some kind of COVID disclaimer to move deposits to new dates with a possibility of a third move. If you are postponing be sure to get your change-the-dates out quickly.

Since North Carolina has a fairly mild fall season, converting to outdoor events will be a great option if you’re moving forward with your ceremony instead of postponing. If your indoor venue can erect an outdoor tent, that’s a great option as well. The goal is to keep as many people outside as possible to slow any germs from spreading. You will still need to social distance yourselves, wear protective masks when you can, disinfect frequently, and provide handwashing stations.

Regardless of which direction you choose, please be aware that the pandemic situation is evolving and could change drastically in the weeks or months ahead. Try to make sure all of the vendors you are working with are flexible with rescheduling or postponing with COVID-specific language in the contracts.

Winter Weddings

Most experts are agreeing that postponing winter weddings or moving locations to warmer climates, where activities can be held outdoors, are the best choices for vigilant couples. Even though we do have what is considered to be mild winters in North Carolina, holding an outdoor ceremony can be really tricky getting the weather to cooperate. Even if you were to move your ceremony further south, most of the wedding destinations are now close to COVID hotspots. However, things could change for the better, or worse, in the coming months.

If you must move forward with your nuptials, try working with your venue to see if an outdoor tent can be erected. These can be easily heated and most are designed to provide better natural ventilation. If a tent cannot be provided, see what can be done about indoors social distancing measures, infection control, handwashing stations, etc.

If travel is deemed safe again, a destination wedding might also be a good idea for your needs. For this to happen quickly you’ll need to work with a very experienced professional who is focused on safety and sanitation as well as destination wedding planning.

Whichever road you choose, please keep reassuring yourself that you will eventually get married. Your wedding day might not happen the way you want it to, but at least you’ll have a great story to tell when you’re older.

Award-Winning Raleigh Wedding Catering

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. Catering by Design is an award-winning Raleigh wedding catering company that is ready to help you with all of your needs. We’re practicing all of CDC safety guidelines for catering during COVID-19 to ensure that you and your guests are well taken care of.

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.

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More Kid Friendly Valentine’s Day Treats and Recipes

Posted in: Catering in Raleigh NC

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. If you want to turn up the fun this year, then you’ll really enjoy today’s topic. In our last post, we talked about heart-shaped pancakes, lots of chocolate-covered goodies, and lots more. Be sure to go back and check out. Below we will be rounding out the rest of our favorites list. Need affordable Raleigh catering for an upcoming event this spring? Please call Catering by Design. You’ll love our menu selections, tasty flavors, service, and incredible prices.

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Valentine’s Day Rice Crispy Treats

One of my most favorite ideas on this list. You have so many different options for making fun Valentine’s Day-themed rice crispy treats. You can use a variety of cookie cutters to make different shapes, think hearts and X’s and O’s, different food colors, and lots of toppings as well.

Valentine Oreos

Super easy and super cute. Best of all, super quick and super cheap. 30 minutes from start to finish. All you need is a few bags of Oreo cookies, colorful candy melts, and sprinkles.

Cookie Butter Popcorn

If you thought the popcorn recipe in our last post looked delish, this one will def knock your socks off. This recipe from iheartnaptime looks divine. I can tell you right now that I will be making this one as soon as I can get by Trader’s Joes.

Oreo Kitty Cookies

Here is another great idea that transforms simple Oreos into really cute kitty cookies. This one is even easier as there is really no cooking involved. Just get the white fudge dipped Oreos and you’re all set. Your kids will love the fact that they can do all the decorating.

We hope you and your family have a wonderful and festive Valentine’s Day this year. If you’re looking for great tasting food at affordable prices for your next event, keep reading to see how Catering by Design can save you lots of time and money.

The Best Raleigh Catering for Spring 2020

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.

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Easy Valentine’s Day Treats You Can Make With Your Kids

Posted in: Raleigh Catering

Want to take your Valentine’s Day festivities to another level this year with your kids? Get them in the kitchen to help you whip up a few of these super cute themed treats. Looking for affordable Raleigh caterers for your 2019 event? Call the professional team at Catering by Design today for more information. You’ll love our amazing menu packages, exceptional customer service, and great tasting food.

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Heart-Shaped Pancakes

If your kids love making pancakes then they’ll really enjoy this one. Get some heart-shaped cookie cutters and use them as pancake molds. Place them in your pan or on your griddle and just pour the batter straight in. Mix in your favorite fruits or sweets.

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Sticks

This one is so easy and fun and your kids will love it. All you need is some pretzel sticks, chocolate for dipping, and your toppings. You can buy chocolate in many different colors for extra fun. Be sure to have plenty of Valentine’s Day-themed toppings to make them look festive.

Cupid’s Crunch Popcorn

This is a great treat for your family to eat and also to give as a Valentine’s Day gift. The recipe is so easy to follow and it only takes a few minutes to make a large batch. All you need is microwavable popcorn, colored chocolate, pretzels, and sprinkles. Check it out at ThisMammaLoves.

Pink Sugar Cookies

These soft-baked cookies are divine and easy to make. You don’t have to be a kitchen wiz to whip up a delicious batch. They’re great for Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Here’s the recipe.

Ready for more fun and kid-friendly Valentine’s Day treats? Be sure to come back to our blog for part two of this series. 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 2020

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!

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More of Our Favorite Holiday Desserts

Posted in: Cary Catering Services

Did you come back to see the other holiday treats and desserts that made our favorites list? Welcome back! Christmas cookies, fudge, peppermint bark, and more topped our featured list in the last post. Below you’ll find out which yummy sweets will round out our favorites! Searching for the right Cary NC holiday catering services? Be sure to call Catering By Design today! You’ll love our prices and customer service.

Cary NC holiday catering

Yule Log

This traditional dessert is served near Christmas, especially in France, Switzerland, Belgium, Canada, the United Kingdom, and many other countries as well. This dessert is made of a sponge cake rolled up to resemble a miniature Yule log. I’ve seen some Yule logs that were almost too pretty to eat. Here’s a recipe if you’d like to give it a try.

Reindeer Bait

This fun holiday treat goes by many different names. You might have heard reindeer poop or food or even Christmas crack. Regardless of what you call it one thing is for sure, it’s super delicious and addicting. If you’re heading to a holiday party, make this your contribution and you’ll be the most popular person there. Here’s an easy recipe.

Fruitcake

Fruitcakes have been around since the Romans. It’s celebrated in countries all over the world. Even though I’m not a huge fruitcake fan, if done correctly they’re very good. This 5-star recipe seems like a winner.

Gingerbread Houses

I adore making gingerbread houses with my kids. It’s so much fun watching them decide which candies to use to decorate and which ones they’re going to eat right away. Gingerbread houses are so much fun to make. If you’ve never made one before give it a try. You can buy kits at most stores or make your own from scratch.

Out of all of these yummy treats from the last two posts, let us know which one is your favorite on social media! We’d also like to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. Thanks for being fans of Catering By Design!

Top Rated Cary NC Holiday Catering Services

If you need the best Cary NC holiday catering services for your next event this winter, call Catering by Design. Our holiday schedule is filling up quickly so don’t hesitate to make the decision to call us today. Get your date reserved now before it’s too late!

We’re an award-winning caterer in Cary, North Carolina and guarantee that you’ll love our food, service, and especially our prices. Call us today to learn how we can save you time and money.

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Our Favorite Holiday Desserts

Posted in: Catering in Raleigh NC

The holidays are a time for getting together with your friends and family to celebrate. It’s also my favorite time of the year to eat all the goodies! I love sweet holiday treats … and quite frankly, who doesn’t? We thought it would be fun to share some of our most favorite holiday desserts, treats, and recipes. We’d love to hear yours as well. So be sure to let us know on social media. If you need affordable Raleigh NC holiday catering, look no further than Catering By Design. Call us today to get scheduled for service.

Raleigh NC holiday catering

Christmas Cookies

Since Santa Clause loves his cookies, we decided to put this holiday favorite at number one! Whether you’re making gingerbread or sugar cookies, make this the year you start an annual tradition of baking cookies with your kids and loved ones.

Peppermint Bark

Peppermint bark might be the ultimate holiday sweet treat. You will not believe how easy it is to make. You don’t really need any special baking equipment either. It takes about an hour to fully set.

Classic Christmas Fudge

To me, nothing says Christmas more than homemade fudge. Here’s an easy-to-follow recipe. You might want to customize it to your tastes though.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake

This one joins two of my favorite all-time desserts; cheesecake and red velvet cake. Combining these two will be the best decision you’ve ever made in the kitchen! Be sure to check out the recipe on Delish. If you make this will you bring me some? Please?

We hope you enjoyed reading about some of our favorite holiday desserts. Head on over to the second part of the series to see which other treats made our list!

Affordable Raleigh Holiday Catering for 2018

If you are looking for reliable Raleigh holiday catering for your next event, please call Catering by Design today. Our team of highly trained professionals is ready to take your call to schedule your service today. We are an award-winning catering company that can handle holiday, business, or social events of any size, and we have menus for all budgets.

Planning a fall or winter wedding? Brides and grooms will 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!

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Beer Poached Pears with Chocolate Sauce for the Holidays

Posted in: Raleigh Catering

One of the best things about the holiday season is all the tasty treats. An unusual one that you’ll really love is beer poached pears covered in homemade chocolate sauce. They’re super easy to make and taste so good. Below you’ll find an easy-to-follow recipe. If you need affordable Raleigh holiday catering, call the pros at Catering By Design. We can help you save time and money on your holiday event food needs.

Raleigh Holiday Catering

Ingredients

Beer Poached Pears
4 – medium-sized red bartlett pears
1 bottle – your favorite dark ale (citrus dark ales tend to work best)
1 cup – water
1 tablespoon – honey
1/4 cup – sugar
1 heaping teaspoon – nutmeg

Chocolate Sauce
1 – 91% dark chocolate bar
1/2 cup – whole milk
1 heaping tablespoon – sugar

Instructions

Start by washing, drying, and peeling the pears. Next, you’ll need to cut the bottoms off each pear and core it. This will also help them stand when poaching and serving. You don’t have to core them but the seeds could give the pears a bitter taste after poaching.

Add all the poaching ingredients into a medium-sized saucepan and bring to a mild boil. Add the pears and poach for about 20 minutes or until tender.

To make the chocolate sauce add the milk to a shallow saucepan and warm it over medium-high heat. Break the chocolate bar up into smaller pieces. When the milk starts to steam, add the chocolate bar pieces and sugar. Reduce heat and mix slowly until the ingredients have combined.

Now let the pears cool, cover in chocolate sauce, and enjoy!For the best holiday catering that you can depend on, call Catering By Design. Call us today to learn more.

The Best 2019 Raleigh Holiday Catering

If you are looking for reliable Raleigh holiday catering for an upcoming event, please call Catering by Design today. Our team of highly trained professionals is ready to take your call and schedule your service today. We are an award-winning catering company that can handle holiday, business, or social events of any size, and we have menus for all budgets. Don’t need full-service catering? Ask about our delivery options. This is an amazing alternative when you do not need a full staff.

Planning a winter wedding and reception? Brides and grooms will 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!

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Fantastic Foods to Candy for the Holidays

Posted in: Catering in Raleigh NC

People have been candying foods since the 1300s. Mainly because it’s a great way to preserve them. Most candy whole fruits, smaller pieces, or pieces of the peel. These are placed in heated sugar syrup which absorbs the moisture and preserves it. If you like to make homemade goodies for your friends and family during the Holiday season, then candying is something you should try. Candying is also a great way to use up leftover kitchen bits that would otherwise wind up in the trash. Over the next few posts, we’ll talk about some of our favorite foods that are great for this technique. Need the best holiday catering in Raleigh NC? Call Catering by Design today for big savings.

Holiday Catering in Raleigh NC

Candied Apricot

Candied apricots are great snacks by themselves for the holidays. They also taste great in baked breads, cakes, and muffins. Be sure to check out the recipe.

Candied Ginger

Candied ginger is great for baked goods like gingerbread cupcakes, vanilla ice cream, and can be used in salads as well. You can also save the syrup for cocktails. Here’s the recipe.

Candied Citrus Peels

Grapefruits, oranges, citrons, and lemons all work well for candying. Not only do they make great baking ingredients but you can munch on them as a snack as well. Your kids will love them. You can also use the candied peels as a garnish for cocktails as well. An easy-to-follow recipe can be found here.

Glacé Cherries

To make glacé cherries you take maraschino cherries and candy them in sugar syrup. They work well in baked breads, muffins, and cakes, or as a treat by themselves. Here is a recipe. If you candy them correctly these treats can last for over 6 months.

Candied Strawberries

These tasty chips will add a sweet and bright pop to cakes, pastries, pancakes, and your morning cereal. You can even pack them in your child’s lunch as a snack. Check out the recipe!

Stay tuned for our next post for several other foods that can be candied that you might not normally consider.

Affordable Holiday Catering in Raleigh for Winter Events

Looking for reliable holiday catering in Raleigh for your next event? Call Catering by Design. Our team of highly trained professionals is ready to take your call to schedule your service today. We are an award-winning catering company that can handle holiday, business, or social events of any size, and we have menus for all budgets.

Planning a wedding this winter? Brides and grooms will love our free menu tastings. 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!

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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.

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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.

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Stay Hydrated This Summer with These Fruits and Veggies

Posted in: Raleigh Catering

Staying hydrated is always important. This is especially true during the brutal heat and humidity of North Carolina summers in the Triangle. It’s a well known fact that your body depends on water to survive. Every single cell, organ, and tissue in your body needs water to work efficiently and correctly. Hydration helps us maintain our body temperature, lubricates our joints, and removes waste. Staying well hydrated doesn’t mean you have to strictly drink water. In fact, there are several fruits and vegetables that are made up of 80-96% water. Below you’ll find 19 fruits and veggies with the highest water content. Searching for the best business, wedding, or event catering Cary NC services this summer? Call the experts at Catering by Design. Our clients love our big menu selection, attention to detail, and great pricing. We even offer delivery options as well!

event catering Cary NC

These Fruits and Vegetables Help with Hydration

Here is a list of fruits and veggies that contain the most water to help you keep hydrated this summer.

  • Grapes (80%)
  • Apples (86%)
  • Oranges (87%)
  • Grapefruit (88%)
  • Carrots (88%)
  • Peaches (89%)
  • Broccoli (89%)
  • Cantaloupe (90%)
  • Spinach (91%)
  • Strawberries (91%)
  • Mushrooms (92%)
  • Watermelon (92%)
  • Asparagus (93%)
  • Summer squash (94%)
  • Tomatoes (94%)
  • Peppers (94%)
  • Lettuce (95%)
  • Celery (95%)
  • Cucumbers (96%)

While eating these delicious fruits and veggies will help you stay hydrated and provide you with lots of healthy vitamins and minerals, you should still be drinking plenty of water. Remember folks, it’s really hot out there. Stay safe and stay hydrated. Do you need great food at affordable pricing for an upcoming event? Keep reading to see why Catering by Design should be your number one choice for great business, wedding reception, and event catering!

Best Corporate, Wedding, and Event Catering Cary NC

Catering by Design is one of the best business, wedding, and event catering Cary NC companies you can work with in 2018. We’re the number one choice for fun, food, and great flavors in the Triangle area. For weddings, graduation parties, life celebrations, awards ceremonies, business luncheons, and more, call Catering by Design to discuss our many affordable menu packages. We can help you save lots of time and money on your catering needs.

Not sure if you need full service catering? Be sure to ask us about our awesome delivery options. Same great food without the full service staff! Call us today to learn more.

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