Four Simple Starters Guaranteed To Kick Off Any Special Occasion


    Another incredibly simple starter to make is bruschetta. Don't panic, it sounds and can look much fancier than it really is. You can put this together with a few simple ingredients and it really can look splendid. All you'll need is bread, tomatoes, grated parmesan cheese, garlic, olive oil, basil vinegar, salt and pepper (cheese can be optional Incase your catering for any vegans). A top tip here is to invest in the bread you will be using. A toasted baguette cut down into slices or a rustic bread will be best. Layering a small amount of garlic, pesto and chutney onto the bread first will add an extra kick of festive flavour. Topple your tomatoes on top with your cheese and grill for about a minute.

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Mediterranean Style Stuffed Peppers

    Super easy to prepare and cook. Stuffed peppers are a superb way of bringing some colour to the table. Red, green or yellow then decide what's going in the middle. Filling the hollow of the peppers with couscous, courgettes and mozzarella will have your guests mouths watering. You'll need an oven and a hob for this recipe. Bake your peppers lightly whilst you prepare your courgettes by cooking them in a saucepan. Stir in the couscous for about a minute then add boiling water. Leave it to simmer for five minutes then remove it from heat to settle. If you like things hot and have any chilli powder close by then a light dusting stirred into the mix will spice things up. Once you've got your stuffing, fill the peppers and add a topping of mozzarella. Place the peppers under the grill for a couple of minutes and they should be perfect for serving.

Eggplant And Potato Tarts

    If your thinking the difficulty level just raised sufficiently then think again. In total the preparation and cook time of this meal should average thirty minutes. You’ll have to slice down two medium sized eggplants and have four potatoes sliced just a bit thinner. Also have two sheets of puff pastry at the ready. Preheat your oven to 200C. Fry your eggplant and potatoes separately until they turn a golden brown. Caramelize some chopped onion and garlic together in a pan for about eight minutes then stir in some parsley. Season with some salt and pepper. Cut the puff pastry into small manageable sized circles then add a spoonful of your onion mixture top it off with your potato and eggplant slices. Bake them all in the oven for fourteen minutes. Best served hot with a small side of salad.


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    So there you have it. The examples given are guaranteed to keep things easy and pleasant for now but once you've mastered the basics you can look into some more advanced recipes. These are but a few options of many and hopefully you'll now feel inspired to give some of them a go. You might find that you're making starters before every meal from now on.

simple starters for any occassion

In the mood for more crowd-pleasing with minimal effort? Check out my collection of the easiest sides for a Thanksgiving Dinner (because it's absolutely crazy to think they are only acceptable once a year)!

FOOLPROOF Thanksgiving Sides worth noting


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Foolproof Thanksgiving Side Recipes for a Busy Mom

Foolproof Thanksgiving Side Recipes for a Busy Mom

Thanksgiving is my husband’s favorite holiday, so last year I hosted my first true Family Thanksgiving with 10+ guests, and this year will be our second.

Last year, I was working full-time with a 6 month old baby. And I like to think I nailed it… But more on that later!

As hostess, I am responsible for cleaning and decorating, which is an awesome alternative to ruining the holiday with a lackluster turkey. 

The trade-off was perfect, but I couldn’t expect to completely opt-out of cooking. Nor did I want to. I love cooking most things, but the time it takes just isn’t always at my disposal. I knew I needed some foolproof Thanksgiving side recipes.


These recipes all have a few things in common which make them foolproof. They:


  • can be made ahead or take less than 30 minutes from start to finish!
  • are an upgrade from pre-fab cardboard food
  • make the table spread look super pretty and fresh




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