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NC Catering Tips | Easy Summer Recipes

Posted in: Catering in Raleigh NC

They say if you teach a man how to fish, he can always feed his family. At Catering by Design, we really enjoying sharing great recipes for all your do-it-yourself NC catering events. These easy summer recipes are great for backyard barbecues, neighborhood parties, pot lucks and many more.

If you need a professional caterer for your next event, consider Catering by Design. We’re one of the best NC catering companies located in Cary, North Carolina.

raleigh nc catering easy summer recipe

Caprese Skewers

Prep: 10 min        Yield: 20 servings

Total Time: 10 min


  • 1 package 8-inch bamboo skewers
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 2 (1 pound) tubs bocconcini (small balls of fresh mozzarella), drained
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 24 leaves fresh basil
  • Salt and Pepper


Using a skewer, put 1/2 tomato, cut side up, followed by a piece of mozzarella, basil, second piece of mozzarella and finish with another tomato half. Continue until the skewer is full.

Season skewers with salt, pepper, oil and vinegar, or your favorite balsamic vinaigrette

NC Catering Super Tip: To add extra flavor to your Caprese skewers, you should marinate the mozzarella in garlic, herbs and olive oil, either overnight or for a few hours, depending on your time.

raleigh wedding catering easy recipe for Gazpacho


Prep: 20 min      Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Total Time: 20 min


  • 1 red onion
  • 4 plum tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 23 ounces tomato juice (3 cups)
  • 1 hothouse cucumber, halved and seeded, but not peeled
  • 1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced


Chop the cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onions into 1-inch cubes. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until it is coarsely chopped. Don’t over-process!

NC Catering Super Tip: If you do not have a food processor you can use a sharp knife and cutting board. This method does require extra time and patience.

After processing the vegetables, combine them in a large bowl and add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well and chill before serving. The longer gazpacho sits, the more the flavors develop, and the better it will taste.

Raleigh Corporate Event Catering Custom Drink Menu

Blackberry-Bourbon Iced Tea

Prep: 5 min    Inactive Prep: 3 HR     Yield: About 1 1/2 quarts
Cook: 5 min

Total Time: 3 hr 10 min


  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 6 good quality black tea bags
  • Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish
  • Good quality bourbon, to taste
  • 1 1/2 quarts cold water
  • 3 cups fresh blackberries
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • Ice, as needed


First, you’ll need to combine the blackberries, sugar, and coarsely chopped mint in a large bowl. Then mash with a potato masher or wooden spoon and let sit while making the tea.

While the blackberries are macerating, using a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Remove from heat, add the tea bags and let steep for about 3 minutes. Remove the tea bags and pour the tea over the blackberry mixture. Let the mixture sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour for the flavors to blend.

Pour the mixture through a strainer, into a pitcher and press the remaining juice from the solids. Cover and refrigerate until cold for about least 2 hours.

NC Catering Super Tip: You can also pour the mixture into a bowl, set inside an ice bath, to cool the mixture faster if you’re pressed for time.

Serve the blackberry tea over ice, in tall glasses, and float a shot of bourbon on top. Add garnish of fresh mint sprigs.

Ready to plan your next NC catering event? Call Catering by Design. We have budget friendly menus that are compatible with any event under the sun. We can also work with you to plan your own custom menu. Call us today or just come by the kitchen. We’re located at 132 Kilmayne Drive in Cary, North Carolina.