All posts in Raleigh Catering

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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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.

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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


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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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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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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Spiked Popsicle Recipes for Memorial Day Celebrations

Posted in: Raleigh Catering

Memorial Day is the unofficial kickoff for summer and it’s right around the corner. Many people like to celebrate Memorial Day with friends and family at the beach, the lake, and even at their homes with a cookout. If you’re celebrating summer this Memorial Day, check out these adult oriented boozy popsicle recipes. Just be sure to make some nonalcoholic versions for the kiddos or they’re going to be mad at you. Did you know that all Raleigh catering companies are not the same? If you’ve got an upcoming 2018 event, call the pros at Catering by Design for great prices, customer first service, and affordable delivery options.

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Tasty Boozy Popsicle Recipes

Margarita Popsicles

Margaritas are a big summer favorite for lots of people. Cool off this Memorial Day with these delicious frozen treats. You can find the recipe here at The Cookie Rookie.

Peach Sangria Popsicles

Peaches are at the top of my list of favorite fruits. I also love a good sangria. That’s why this popsicle idea is a match made in Heaven for me. Check out this easy to follow recipe from Everyday Annie.

Vodka Gummy Bears Pops

Adults that want to revisit their childhood will love this idea, because who doesn’t like gummy bears? This popsicle recipe is really easy and will be a sure hit among your friends. Recipe courtesy of A Spicy Perspective.

Blueberry Cabernet Cheesecake Popsicle

Do you love blueberries? How about cheesecake? If so, you’re really going to want to try this one. Bakers Royale is providing the recipe for this amazing idea. We are using a Cabernet Sauvignon for this adult frozen treat because it pairs wonderfully with blueberries. I think you’ll love it.

Pretty much any cocktail can be turned into a frozen treat. Check out this link for even more great ideas for your spiked popsicles. If you want an awesome catering experience for an upcoming 2018 event or wedding please keep reading to see why you should call Catering by Design. We’ll save you time and money.

The Best Raleigh Catering Companies for 2018

All Raleigh catering companies are not the same, especially if you are looking for one that specializes in great customer service, prices, and the best flavors. We’ve got affordable menus to fit any budget. You can also customize your catering menu with family recipes, or for dietary restrictions. Please give us a call soon if you have any questions, or would like to discuss our catering services. We also offer free tastings for brides and grooms.

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How To Make Mason Jar Salads

Posted in: Raleigh Catering

Here’s a great idea and a new twist for making salads. One of the big new trends right now is mason jar salads. If you do them right, you’ll be the talk of the town. It’s a really cute option for modernizing traditional plated salads, which can get boring after a while. So keep reading to learn how to make mason jar salads the right way. If you’re looking for affordable Raleigh caterers for an upcoming neighborhood gathering, business banquet, lunch meeting, or wedding, call Catering by Design. Be sure to ask about our delivery services.

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Mason Jar Salads Instructional

Wide Mouth Mason Jars – Buy the wide mouth variety to easily pack, eat, or remove the salad from the jar.

Dressing First – Always, always, always, put the dressing in as the first layer. This will act as a marinade for the second layer and as dressing for the entire salad.

Hearty Second Layer – The second layer should be hearty enough to act as a dressing barrier to the rest of the layers. It should also be a vegetable that would taste good marinated or pickled. Start with halved grape tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, carrots, and cucumbers.

Order By Weight – From here you’ll want to layer the rest of the salad by weight with the greens and lighter elements, like croutons, on top.

Packing Proteins and Fruit – If you’re making these salads for a gathering or event, be careful about prematurely packing meats, cheeses, nuts, and fruit. If I’m making these for my dinner guests, then I’ll just pack the jars before everyone arrives. If I’m prepacking the salads for future lunches, dinners, or catering events, I’ll add these elements the day of.

The Right Tightness – If you’re going to be eating the salad directly from the mason jars then be sure to leave some shaking and mixing room. You want all the ingredients to somewhat mix together. If you’re going to be dumping the jars into bowls, then you can pack the jars tighter.

Expiration Times – Mason jars are air tight so the salads should keep for about a week, and sometimes longer if sealed correctly. This also depends on how tightly the jars are packed too. The more air that gets trapped inside, the quicker the salad will spoil.

Affordable Raleigh Caterers For Summer Events

Searching for an affordable catering option for your next event? If so, call the experts at Catering by Design! We offer the best packages in the Triangle. Just take a look at our many menu options. We’re one of the highest rated Raleigh caterers for events of any size. If you do not require full catering service, be sure to ask about our delivery options. Please call us today with any questions or to place an order.

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What’s in Season? October Fruits and Veggies

Posted in: Raleigh Catering

The fall season is in full effect now that we’ve entered into the month of October. It’s my favorite time of the year. The weather is cooling off, the leaves are changing, and pumpkin flavored everything is on all the shelves. There’s nothing better than the changing of the seasons to fall and most North Carolinians love all the food at harvest time.

So in today’s post, we’re covering all of the best produce that’s currently in season for October around these parts. All produce is different, depending on where it’s grown, so they’ll hit their peaks at different times. Here’s what you’ll typically find at local grocery stores and farmer’s markets. Do you have an event coming up and need affordable Raleigh caterers? Call Catering by Design. You’ll love our prices, customer service, and menu selections.
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Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables for October

Here’s the list of fruits and vegetables that are in season for October around North Carolina:


  • Apples
  • Cranberries
  • Raspberries
  • Figs
  • Pears
  • Pistachios
  • Pomegranate
  • Almonds
  • Chestnuts
  • Walnuts
  • Persimmons
  • Quinces
  • Lemons


  • Artichokes
  • Basil
  • Cabbages
  • Chard
  • Winter squash
  • Beets
  • Turnips
  • Radish
  • Yams
  • Eggplant
  • Lots of peppers
  • Sweet corn
  • Pumpkin

Other fall vegetables include fresh beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, celery root, daikon, garlic, greens, arugula, kale, parsnip, sweet potatoes, rutabaga, and more.

If you need a few additional resources on where to buy the freshest fruits and vegetables this fall, we found a really good place to look. Here is a directory of all the NC Farmers Markets. All you have to do is select your county and click submit. Then you’ll be taken to a list of all the great places to buy farm fresh produce.

We hope this post will help you plan the best meals for your friends and family this October. If you need more fun food ideas, be sure to visit back with our blog soon for great recipes, food and cooking tips, and more.

Affordable Raleigh Caterers for Fall Events and Receptions | Catering by Design

If you are looking for reliable Raleigh caterers 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 events of any size.

Planning a 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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Thanksgiving Turkey Buying Tips

Posted in: Raleigh Catering

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If you’re like most American families out there you’ll be in the 95% of those that have turkey at Thanksgiving this year according to Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away and if you have not thought about buying your bird for the big day then you should probably get going. If this is the first Thanksgiving that you’re cooking dinner, you might be a little confused by all of the options out there.

Today we’re going to fill you in everything that you’ll need to know to buy the perfect type of turkey for your holiday feast. If you’re searching for Raleigh caterers for a holiday event, call Catering by Design today for really great prices and services.

Turkey Buying Tips!

When it comes to buying a turkey, there are going to be several options you will find during your search. Here is a basic breakdown of each turkey type.

Natural – Natural turkeys have been processed, but minimally. However, they do not contain artificial flavors, ingredients, coloring or preservatives. This year natural turkeys are selling for between $1.30 – $2.50 per pound. You can typically find them at most supermarkets.

Organic – Organic turkeys can be considered free-range also. Organic means that they have been fed grains that are pesticide and chemical free. Organic turkeys are also not given antibiotics, steroids or other hormones. This type of turkey will typically have a stronger turkey flavor than natural birds. These usually cost more and can sell for around $4 – $5 per pound. You’ll find them at high-end grocers as well as local farms, depending on where you live.

Kosher – Kosher turkeys are birds that have been processed according to Jewish dietary laws. These turkeys have been salted inside and out, and are left to drain before soaking and washing. The salting pulls out the moisture, which makes the meat more dense. Kosher birds also have a fuller taste, and are more expensive than natural turkeys. Kosher birds cost between $3 – $6 per pound.

Free-Range – Free-Range birds are raised outdoors on a farm where they can roam around as they like. They also eat natural food, like bugs and grubs. This type also has a robust flavor and texture compared to natural turkeys. These cost around $4 – $6 per pound and you can even find them at some supermarkets, natural food stores or turkey farms.

Buying Fresh or Frozen?

This might be a hard question as well so we will break it down. If it were me, I would buy a fresh turkey. They just taste better, are more tender, and typically are also juicier. However, the drawback is you cannot buy one too far in advance or it will go bad. This can leave you without a bird if you are not prepared. If you want a fresh turkey you should pre-order one and have it on hold for Thanksgiving.

Frozen turkeys can be purchased at much lower costs, and several weeks ahead of time. However, frozen turkeys can dry out quickly if not prepared correctly. Also, you have to make to time to defrost your bird. It can take a whole day per each 5 lbs of turkey. So if you have a 20 lb turkey, you’ll need a good 4 days for it to thaw out.

Searching for Top Rated Raleigh Caterers for Thanksgiving? Call Catering by Design!

Do you want to relax and enjoy Thanksgiving? If so, call the experts at Catering by Design for the best holiday catering packages. Just take a look at our holiday menus. We’re one of the highest rated Raleigh caterers for all of your Thanksgiving needs.

We also offer the most affordable menus for events of any kind. If you do not require full catering service, be sure to ask about our delivery packages. Please call us today with any questions or to place an order. Please hurry, our holiday calendar is filling up fast!

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Fun Halloween Recipes | Stuffed Mummies and Pear Ghosts

Posted in: Raleigh Catering

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Do you need a few scary good recipes that will help you celebrate Halloween in a fun and easy way? We’ve got just what you’re looking for. These two dishes are great for a snack, or make for the perfect appetizers for your Halloween party! Today we have stuffed peppers that are wrapped in cheese to look like mummies, and a great dessert or snack recipe that will transform an ordinary pear into a spooky ghost. Needless to say your kids will love these.

Stuffed Pepper Mummies

Prep: 25 | Cook: 35 | Total: 60 | Servings: 8 (1 stuffed pepper half each)


16 – ripe olive slices
4 – medium poblano peppers, cut in half lengthwise, seeded
8 – slices mozzarella cheese, divided
1 pound – mild country sausage
1 can – no-stick cooking spray
1 can – 8 oz Hunt’s Tomato Sauce with Basil, Garlic and Oregano
1 can – 10 oz diced tomatoes & green chilies, drained
1/2 teaspoon – garlic powder
1/2 cup – chopped yellow onion
1 cup – cooked long-grain white rice
1/4 cup – water


First, preheat your oven to 375°F. Next, get your 13 x 9 baking dish and spray it with cooking spray. Now place each pepper in the dish with the cut-side down and add 1/4 cup of water. Cover and bake for 20 minutes, or until the peppers are almost tender. While the peppers are baking, take 4 of your cheese slices and cut these in half, cut the other 4 slices into thin pieces; set them aside for later.

Next grab your large skillet and heat it up over medium heat. Add the sausage, onion and garlic powder, and cook for 5 minutes or until the sausage is no longer pink. Drain the sausage and add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and rice to the skillet. Mix everything up to combine all of the flavors.

Now place this mixture in each pepper and top each piece with a half slice of cheese. Cover the dish again and bake for about 10 minutes, or until everything is nice and hot. When ready, remove from the oven and let it slightly cool. Now place the thin cheese strips over each pepper in a crisscrossing pattern to resemble a mummy. Use the olives to make the eyes. Enjoy!

(Recipe Source)

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Pear Ghosts

Prep: 10 | Cook: 30 | Total: 40 | Servings: 4

1 – cinnamon stick
1 – pinch dried cinnamon
1 – small bag of sunflower seeds
1 – small bag of dried blueberries or currants
4 – ripe pears, peeled (leave stalk intact if possible!)
7 oz – pomegranate juice
10 oz – apple juice


First, take your peeled pears, apple juice and cinnamon stick and place them in a large enough sauce pan. Cover the mixture and simmer gently for about 20 minutes. When the pears are slightly soft, remove from the saucepan and place on a plate. Next remove the cinnamon stick and continue to gently simmer the remaining apple juice for another 5-10 minutes. You want to reduce the apple juice to a slightly thickened syrup, then remove.

Now grab another small sauce pan and gently simmer the pomegranate juice for about 10 minutes until it also becomes a slightly thickened syrup, then remove.

Take each pear and cut a small slice off the bottom to form a base; they should be able to stand on their own. Give each pear a “pair of eyes” by using a skewer to make two holes and pushing a blueberry or currant in each spot firmly. Press the sunflower seeds in underneath, in a circle, to give the shape of a mouth. Now drizzle the pomegranate syrup over the pear to simulate the “blood” and use your apple juice syrup to make a small puddle around each ghostly pear. Serve them as a treat, snack, or appetizer.

(Recipe Source)

Affordable Raleigh Catering Companies for Halloween Parties | Catering by Design

Finding the best Raleigh catering for Halloween is easy when you call Catering by Design. We’ve got the best menus for any of your catering needs. We’re an award winning catering company and have been serving up smiles to people all over North Carolina for decades. We can guarantee that Halloween is better when you’re working with our highly-trained staff, so give us a call today and see why we’re the number one choice for Triangle caterers!

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Spooky Recipes for Halloween

Posted in: Raleigh Catering

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Halloween will be here before you know it. If you’re planning on hosting a rocking party for your friends, family, and all those little witches, ghosts and goblins then you should get a jump on your planning. Over the next few weeks you’ll be seeing all the decorations, costumes, and party supplies hit the shelves ramping-up for the big day.

Today’s post is going to give you an amazing recipe that will help make sure your Halloween party doesn’t scare off all of your guests.

Harry Potter Butterbeer

Straight from Hogsmeade Village, this tasty beverage is perfect for children who are familiar with the Harry Potter series. This beverage takes about 25 minutes to prepare and makes a total of 4 servings. If no kids are attending, you can substitute your favorite rum or spiced rum.

Prep: 15 min.
Cook: 10 min.


1 cup – brown sugar
2 tablespoons – water
6 tablespoons – butter
1/2 teaspoon – salt
1/2 teaspoon – cider vinegar
1/4 cup – heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon – rum extract
1/2 cup – heavy cream – extra
4 (12 fluid ounce) cans or bottles cream soda


First take a small saucepan, and stir in the brown sugar and water over medium heat. Bring this mixture to a soft boil. You will want to cook this until your candy thermometer reads 240 degrees F. To test if it is ready, take a small amount of the syrup and drop it into a glass of cold water. If the syrup forms a small ball then it should be ready for the next step.

Next add in the butter, salt, cider vinegar, the 1/4 cup heavy cream and stir. After heating all the way through, remove and let the mixture completely cool. Once cooled, mix in the rum extract.

Now take a medium sized plastic bowl and combine 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar-cream syrup with remaining 1/2 cup heavy cream. Beat this mixture until whipped and the cream can hold a soft peak for two to three minutes.

Finally, pour 1/4 cup of the remaining brown sugar-cream mixture into a tall glass and stir in about 1/4 of a bottle of cream soda. Top the glass off with the remaining cream soda and add a little of the whipped cream. Repeat for all glasses.

The Best Raleigh Catering for Halloween Parties | Catering By Design

The best Raleigh caterers for Halloween are just a phone call away when you contact the professionals at Catering By Design. We’ve got the best menus for any of your catering needs. From Halloween parties, to weddings, renewals and anniversary parties, and even corporate events, awards banquets and more, Catering By Design can make sure your food and fun are on point. 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 caterers!

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