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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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What’s In Season? July Fruits and Veggies

Posted in: Raleigh Catering Services

Fortunately for us, there’s lots of tasty fruits and vegetables grown right here in North Carolina. There’s produce, like peanuts and okra, that even thrive in our hot and humid summers. So if you’re wondering what’s going to be at the Farmers’ Market this weekend, check out our July list below. If you’re looking for wedding, social, or business catering Raleigh NC services, call Catering by Design. We keep our costs low and clients happy. We can also help you find just the right menu for your budget. Call us right now to learn more about our packages and services.

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What’s In Season For July? A List Of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

In some areas of NC, a portion of these items might not be available at your Farmers’ Market. We suggest checking out your neighborhood supermarket if you’re having trouble finding something. Most of these fruits and veggies should be available there. Here’s the big list for NC produce in July:

  • Butter Beans
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cabbages
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Collards
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Figs
  • Garlic
  • Green Onion
  • Greens
  • Herbs
  • Honeydew Melon
  • Nectarines
  • Onions
  • Okra
  • Peaches
  • Peanuts
  • Peppers
  • Peanuts
  • Plums
  • Potatoes
  • Shallots
  • Snap Beans
  • Sprite Melons
  • Yellow Squash
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon
  • Zucchini

If you want to keep up with all of the fruits and vegetables that will be available in North Carolina, be sure to come back each month. You’ll find lists for each season of the year. You’ll also have access to fun and easy recipes that your friends and family will love. Plus, you can read posts with information that will aid you in the kitchen. We also love helping out brides, grooms, and their families with awesome wedding tips. At Catering By Design, we’re so much more than just a catering company. Keep reading for more information.

The Best Business Catering Raleigh NC Services for 2019

Still looking for a catering service for a business function, wedding reception, social or community event? At Catering By Design, we have fully customizable menus for budgets of any size. Call us today and ask about our lunch and learn program for businesses. If you do not need full service catering, be sure to also ask us about our delivery options. An affordable alternative that really makes a positive impact on your friends, family, clients and staff. If you’re getting married, call us and schedule a free menu tasting. This is a free service we offer that many of our competitors charge you extra for.

We’re an award winning catering company that’s been providing smiles to people all over NC for many decades. We promise you’ll love our food, outstanding customer service, and unbeatable pricing. Call us now 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!

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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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More Butter Substitutes for Healthier Eating

Posted in: Catering Company

Welcome back to our butter blog. Butter is delicious and it’s a major part of baking and cooking. Butter is also high in saturated fat and calories also. That’s why many people look for butter alternatives. As we mentioned in our last post, three of my favorite butter subs are avocado, applesauce, and olive oil. I’ve tried these and love them. Below we will tell you about a few more you should try out. If you’ve tried any of these, let us know on our Facebook page. 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.

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Mashed Bananas

Mashed bananas are great in desserts, especially banana nut bread. Did you know that you can use them in just about any baked dessert recipe as a butter or oil substitute? Mashed bananas will add natural sweetness, rich flavor, extra nutrients, and texture to your dishes.

Greek Yogurt

If you’re on a plant-based diet then Greek yogurt isn’t going to work for you. For those looking to reduce their saturated fats and calories, Greek yogurt is a yummy choice. Use Greek yogurt best in loaf cakes and brownies. It will add density and moistness to them.

Prune Puree

I’m not going to lie, this one blows my mind. Never in a million years would I ever consider using prune puree as a butter substitute. But the more I read up on it and look over recipes, the more I want to give it a shot. After all, prunes are just dried plums, and I love plums! If you’re going to give this a shot, I’ve read that this one works well in dense baked goods and ones that are darker in color. You’ll want to use about 1/3 cup of prune puree to replace 1/2 cup of butter in baked goods.

We hope these last two posts on butter replacement ingredients have given you a few new ideas to try. Be sure to keep coming back each week to read more helpful kitchen tips and tricks.

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.

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Better Than Butter – Butter Replacements

Posted in: Catering Company

If you live in the South then you probably eat butter in and on just about everything. But for some people, eating a lot of butter is not something they can do for health related reasons or diet restrictions. Finding a good butter substitute can also be a headache. That’s why were going to help you out. We’ve found a list of great butter alternatives that we think you should try. Take a closer look below. 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.

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Avocado is a wonder food. I’m actually mad at myself because it took way too many years before I came around to trying it and now I love it. Avocado is actually one of the best butter substitutes I’ve tried. It is perfect because of its richness. You can use avocado in sweet dishes or with savory recipes. In fact, you won’t believe how well it pairs with chocolate. You can even use avocados in cheesecake! Mind blown!


Next on my list of favorite butter subs is unsweetened applesauce. You won’t believe how amazing it is for baked goods. Applesauce adds flavor depth and also helps to keep your baked items moist. You should really try it the next time you want to make a chocolate cake. For your recipes you’ll use about half the amount of applesauce in place of the butter.

Olive Oil

Butter or olive oil? Which is better for you? Both are 100 percent fat. Both have more than 100 calories per tablespoon. However, olive oil has less saturated fat and no dietary cholesterol making it a better cooking choice compared to butter.

We’ve got some more butter alternatives in our next post. Be sure not to miss it. For the greatest catering in the area at the best prices, keep reading to learn more about how Catering by Design can help you save time and money.

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.

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Memorial Day Fruits and Veggies

Posted in: Catering in Raleigh NC

Memorial Day is Monday, May 27th so enjoy that three day weekend and celebrate! If you plan on having a cookout for your friends and family, it might be wise to know what’s going to be in season and in stock at your local grocery store. In today’s post, we’re going to fill you in on all of the fresh fruits and vegetables you can expect to find. If you need affordable catering Raleigh NC services for your Memorial Day event, give us a call today. You’ll love our prices, food, and great customer service.

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Fruits and Veggies for Memorial Day 2019

Fresh Berries – If you love fresh berries, then you’ll love the fact that most of them are in full production by the end of May and early June. Strawberries and blueberries will be abundant with raspberries and blackberries ramping up. Great for all of your dessert needs for your Memorial Day BBQ.

Corn – A big Memorial Day favorite is grilled corn on the cob. You’ll find better prices and more availability as it comes into season.

Mushrooms – For that earthy taste, enjoy the abundant amount of mushrooms that should be available. Mushrooms are great for throwing on the grill, using in pasta dishes, and pair well with meats and wines. With decent temperatures, there should be all sorts of mushrooms available by the end of May.

Memorial Day Melons – Just like with summer veggies, the summer melons will also be making the transition to full production mode. You’ll find all of your favorites like watermelon, honeydew melon, and cantaloupe.

Taters – By the time we get to Memorial Day, farmers everywhere in the US will be digging potatoes. Red, rose, white, yellow and russet potatoes will be at their peak with flavor and production.

We hope today’s post helps you get a better feel for all the fresh produce that’s in-season for the unofficial start to summer. Please keep in mind that this is just a partial list and there’s more out there and available.

Highly Rated Catering Raleigh NC Services

If you need the best catering Raleigh NC has to offer for your Memorial Day 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.

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Spring Weddings at The Pavilion at Carriage Farm

Posted in: Catering Company

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The Pavilion at Carriage Farm is a beautiful and elegant wedding venue with a country vibe that is located about ten miles on the outskirts of downtown Raleigh, NC. The Pavilion combines lots of rustic beauty with all the modern conveniences and comforts of a big city wedding venue. From large outdoor ceremonies to intimate nighttime galas, you’ll find everything you’ve dreamed of at this gorgeous estate.

We recently had the great honor of catering a magical celebration of the joining of two families at The Pavilion and wanted to share a few highlights. To see all the pictures, please visit with us on our Pinetrest page by clicking here. If you need a reliable Raleigh catering company for a wedding in 2019 know that Catering by Design is the area’s top choice for great food, fun, and affordable prices. Call our team of pros today to learn more about how we can help you save time and money.

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The tables were set up with beautiful linens, elegant plate settings, and lovely centerpieces with flower arrangements of roses and other greenery.

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For cocktail hour we served one of our hottest and most requested appetizers. These chicken and mango salsa stuffed phyllo cups are always a big hit!

raleigh catering

For dinner, we served a smorgasbord of tasty foods. We started off the buffet with this gorgeous spring salad of fresh greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, and more.

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We also had this great macaroni and cheese bar with all the fixings including diced ham, bacon, chives, and different types of cheeses.

raleigh catering

Also on the buffet was a colorful medley of roasted vegetables, a NY strip carving station, and stuffed chicken breasts in a creamy pesto sauce.

raleigh catering

For dessert, all the guests got to enjoy a piece of this beautiful wedding cake. It was almost too pretty eat!

Best Raleigh Catering for Wedding Receptions and More!

All Raleigh catering companies are not the same. So, if you have a wedding reception planned in 2019, make the right choice by calling the professionals at Catering by Design. We have the best menus for events of any size, large or small, formal or informal. From weddings, renewals, and anniversary parties, to corporate events, awards banquets, tailgates, birthdays and more, Catering by Design can make sure your food and fun are on point. Don’t need full service catering? Be sure to ask us about our delivery options. This is a great way to provide excellent food to your guests when you have limited budget.

We’ve been serving up smiles to people all over North Carolina for decades. So give us a call today and see why we’re the number one choice for Raleigh catering companies!

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