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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.

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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.


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.


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.


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 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.

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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.”

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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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What’s Wrong with My Tomato Plant?

Posted in: Cary Catering Services

If you’re a backyard gardener like myself, you’ve probably tried your hand at growing tomatoes a few times. You’ve probably had a few rounds of trying to figure out what’s wrong with your tomato plants as well. Today we are going to cover some of the problems you may be experiencing with your tomatoes this summer. Do you need affordable Cary event catering this spring or summer? Call Catering by Design today! Learn how we can help you save time and money on great service and food.

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Leaves Are Yellowing

First, if this is a big and bushy plant you might not have a problem at all. Some of the bottom leaves will turn yellow due to lack of sunlight. Also, a lack of watering can create yellowing leaves. On really hot summer days you should give the plants a good soaking, especially if they’re bearing fruits.

Dying Container Tomatoes

If you have your plants in containers and they’re dying then they’re probably not getting enough water. If you notice that the stalks and branches are withering away this is a good indication that their roots have dried out.

Fruits Are Splitting

When your tomatoes are ripening and they start to split then this is another indication of an uneven watering problem. When the fruit is ripening and it is getting too much water the skin will split as it cannot hold anymore water. It essentially pops like an overfilled balloon. This is essentially an aesthetic issue and will correct itself with proper watering.

Blossom-End Rot

Blossom-end rot starts as a small tan-colored blemish that turns into a big sore. This is not a disease. It’s actually a calcium deficiency. Give them some tomato fertilizer and see if it fixes your problem.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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Potassium Packed Snacks

Posted in: Raleigh Catering

Potassium is an essential nutrient. Our bodies rely on it for a wide range of functions. When you’re suffering from a potassium deficiency you can experience constipation, fatigue, kidney problems, weakness in the muscles, breathing problems, and even heart issues. So as you can see, potassium is really important. If you want to up your potassium intake with some tasty snacks then you’ll love today’s post. Keep reading to learn more. Do you need affordable Cary caterers for your next summer or fall event? Call the experts at Catering by Design today. You’ll love our selections, prices, and customer service.

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According to the American Heart Association foods that are rich in potassium are important for managing high blood pressure as it reduces the effects of sodium. The more of it you eat, the more sodium you lose when urinating. This helps reduce tension in your blood vessel walls and further lowers your blood pressure.

When you’re packing up your lunch and snacks for the day or out grocery shopping this week, keep these items in mind to help you load up on this essential nutrient.

  • Cantaloupe
  • Honeydew melon
  • Raisins and dates
  • Prunes and prune juice
  • Fat-free or low-fat milk
  • Avocado, ½ cup: 364 mg potassium (120 calories)
  • Banana, 1 medium: 422 mg potassium (105 calories)
  • Peaches, dried, ¼ cup: 399 mg potassium (96 calories)
  • Stewed prunes, ½ cup: 398 mg potassium (133 calories)
  • Apricots dried, ¼ cup: 378 mg potassium (78 calories)
  • Acorn squash, cooked ½ cup: 448 mg potassium (58 calories)
  • Baked potato, medium with skin: 941 mg potassium (163 calories)
  • Edamame (cooked soybeans) ½ cup: 485 mg potassium (127 calories)
  • Baked sweet potato, medium with skin: 542 mg potassium (103 calories)
  • Grapefruit and grapefruit juice (If you’re using cholesterol-lowering drugs please check with your doctor first.)

Don’t forget to visit back with our blog often to read more helpful tips on nutrition, easy recipes, kitchen gadgets and tips, wedding trends, and more.

Best Cary Caterers for Summer and Fall 2019

If you are looking for reliable Cary caterers for your next event this summer, 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!

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What Are the Germiest Things in Your Kitchen?

Posted in: Catering Company

After reading today’s post you are probably not going to ever look at your kitchen the same way again. You probably think the germiest place in your home is your bathroom. According to a study by the NSF it’s actually your kitchen, or things in your kitchen. Below you’ll find the list of problem areas you should be aware of. Do you need affordable Raleigh event catering this summer or fall? Call Catering by Design today. We will save you time and money on your event and catering needs.

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The Top 6 Germiest Kitchen Things

When examining kitchen items the study found that 36% of the items had positive indicators for E.coli and salmonella. Listeria was found on 14% of the items, and all of them had yeast and mold traces. Without further ado, here are the six things residing in your kitchen that are covered in the most germs.

  • Refrigerator vegetable compartment: Salmonella, listeria, yeast, and mold
  • Refrigerator meat compartment: Salmonella, E.coli, yeast, and mold
  • Blender gasket: Salmonella, E.coli, yeast, and mold
  • Can opener: Salmonella, E.coli, yeast, and mold
  • Rubber spatula: E. coli, yeast, and mold
  • Food storage container with rubber seal: Salmonella, yeast, and mold

Other Concern Areas

Microwave Plate – Be sure to also keep your microwave’s turntable plate clean. It can be covered in 120 times more germs than a pet toy.

Salt and Pepper ShakersAccording to WebMD salt and pepper shakers are a common place to find cold virus germs.

Coffee Reservoir – The reservoir is the place you store the water before brewing a pot of coffee. According the NSF study, the reservoir contains more bacteria than a toilet seat.

Be sure to visit back with our blog often for more helpful tips on easy recipes, wedding trends, nutrition, and more. If you have an event coming up soon and need great tasting food options with affordable prices, read on to learn how Catering by Design can help you.

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.

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More Benefits of Mushrooms

Posted in: Catering Company

Welcome back to our series on the health benefits of the marvelous mushroom! Mushrooms are jam packed with the good stuff and contain none of the bad. In our last post, we explained how mushrooms are a great source for selenium, B vitamins, and more. Be sure to check it out before moving on. Below you’ll find even more information about the goodness of mushrooms. Are you searching for the best catering companies Raleigh NC has to offer this summer or fall? Call the expert professionals with Catering by Design today. We offer big savings, awesome customer service, and great tasting food.

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A recent study reported that mushrooms have significantly high levels of ergothioneine and glutathione. These antioxidants are believed to help fight aging and boost health. Porcini mushrooms have the highest levels. However, even white button mushrooms have higher amounts than most of the foods you’re eating.

Mushrooms Help Your Heart

If you’re looking for a food that can help you lower your bad cholesterol, especially if you’re an overweight adult, then eat more mushrooms. Mushrooms also contain phytonutrients that can help prevent cells from sticking to blood vessel walls and forming plaque buildup. What we are saying is that mushrooms help to protect the heart by promoting healthy blood pressure and circulation.

Mushrooms also contain polysaccharides. Polysaccharides are one of the key active components in medicinal mushrooms. Polysaccharides also help prevent and protect against the adverse effects of cancer, diabetes, infections, and obesity as well.

Helps Prevent Neurodegenerative Disease

Mushrooms can help prevent and also be used as a therapeutic agent in the treatment and management of neurodegeneration diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Vitamin D

The white button mushroom variety are one of the few non-animal sources of vitamin D. When exposed to ultraviolet light the amount of vitamin D is amplified.

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If you are looking for a reliable catering company in Raleigh NC for your next spring or summer 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 events of any size.

Having a wedding? Then 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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The Amazing Health Benefits of Mushrooms

Posted in: Catering Company

Mushrooms are awesome. They taste great and are considered to be little eco powerhouses. These little fun guys (get it?) are also very nutritious as well. Eastern and Asian cultures have long known about the medicinal and health benefits of mushrooms and western societies have slowly been catching up. Today we’re going talk about some of these health benefits. 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.

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B Vitamin Bounty

B vitamins are really important to our bodies. They boost energy by breaking down proteins, fats, and carbohydrates and have a big impact on how our nervous system performs. Mushrooms contain folate (B9), riboflavin (B2) for horomone production, niacin (B3) for healthy red blood cells, and pantothenic acid (B5) for healthy skin.

None of the Bad Stuff

Mushrooms offer a host of health benefits like vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein. Mushrooms do not contain high calories, sodium, or cholesterol.

Serious Amounts of Selenium

You’re probably not too familiar with selenium. It’s an amazing nutrient and essential mineral that is vital to your health. Even small amounts help with metabolism and thyroid function. You only get selenium through your diet and mushrooms are the leading source for all produce. Selenium is also an antioxidant that protects cells from damage and strengthens the immune system. It also promotes healthy fertility in men, protects against heart disease, slows down aging, and more.

Like what you’re reading? Want to learn more? Head on over to our next post to check out even more great health benefits from mushrooms. Need affordable and great tasting food for an upcoming event? Check out Catering by Design!

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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.

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The Dirty Dozen – 12 Most Pesticide-Contaminated Produce

Posted in: Catering in Raleigh NC

When it comes to eating healthy, fruits and veggies are at the top of most lists. However, data from the USDA says that nearly 70% of the produce grown and sold here in the US was found to contain pesticide residue. This is even after they were thoroughly washed and/or peeled. The Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce from the Environmental Working Group provides an annual list of which fruits and vegetables fall into the dirty dozen category along with the clean fifteen. Below we’ll list the produce that made this year’s dirty list as well as produce with the least amount of pesticide residues. For affordable Cary business catering, social catering, and wedding catering, please call Catering by Design. We’re standing by to take your call!

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Dirty Dozen


Did you know that the average American eats about eight pounds of fresh strawberries a year? Did you also know that the USDA tests found that strawberries were the most likely fresh produce item to be contaminated with pesticide residues, even after they were rinsed in the field and washed before eating?


Conventionally grown spinach has more pesticide residue by weight than all other produce tested. Three-fourths of the samples tested were contaminated with a neurotoxic bug killer banned from use on food crops in Europe.


More than 92% of kale tested contained two or more pesticide residues. A single sample of conventionally farmed kale could contain up to 18 different pesticides. Yummy!


Thirty-three pesticide residues were found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program.


On average Americans eat more than 10 pounds of raw apples every year. Apples also carry around an average of 4.4 pesticide residues as well.


Grapes had up to 15 pesticides detected on a single sample. Grapes also had more types of pesticides than any other produce, with 64 different chemicals.


The USDA Pesticide Data Program found 62 pesticide residues.


Cherries had 42 pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program.


The amount of pesticide residues on pears has more than doubled since 2010, from 0.6 parts per million to 1.4 parts per million. Furthermore, 48% of the pears tested had five or more pesticide residues compared to three percent in 2010. Forty-nine overall pesticides were found on all pear samples tested. This is up from nine overall pesticides in 2010.


Tomatoes had 35 pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program.


There were 64 pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program.


Thirty-five different pesticides have been found on conventional potatoes. The chemical that is found on 76% of all conventional potatoes is chlorpropham, an herbicide that is used to stop the growth of weeds and to inhibit potato sprouting.

Clean Fifteen

  • Avocados
  • Sweet corn
  • Pineapples
  • Frozen sweet peas
  • Onions
  • Papayas
  • Eggplants
  • Asparagus
  • Kiwi
  • Cabbages
  • Cauliflower
  • Cantaloupes
  • Broccoli
  • Mushrooms
  • Honeydew melons

Affordable Cary Business Catering and More

Catering by Design is the number one source for all of your Cary business catering or other event catering needs for 2019. We make feeding your guests at your next event easy since we do all the work. Call now and ask about our full catering or delivery service. We’ve got the best menus for any of your catering needs. From university dinners, corporate events, luncheons, and awards banquets to weddings, anniversary parties, social events, and other gatherings, Catering by Design will ensure your food and fun are top shelf quality. We’ve been serving up smiles to people all over North Carolina for decades. Please give us a call today to learn more about why we’re the number one choice for Cary business catering services!

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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.

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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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