Easy Lunch Ideas Entertaining

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One of the best ways to save money is by planning crazy good easy lunch ideas entertaining ahead. We all work hard for our money so why not spend it on amazing food? These cheap lunch recipes will have your co-workers talking about how awesome you are! It’s true, everyone loves a great lunch that they didn’t have to spend a lot of time making.

Asking your friends if they want to eat always works but if you prepare these meals in advance you can throw them into the oven when your friends arrive and give yourself more time for fun conversation.
Easy-Lunch-Ideas-Entertaining is a blog dedicated to providing the best party food, drink and easy lunch ideas for all your entertaining needs. You can find everything from easy party food recipes to simple appetizers for less than $1 per serving!

Related Post: Chicken With Ranch Dressing In Crock Pot

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Easy Lunch Ideas Entertaining

Discover easy entertaining recipes on Easy Peasy Foodie. Dishes which look and taste impressive, but are easy to make! (Promise I won’t tell!!)

Whilst most of my cooking is the quick and easy weeknight kind, I also love throwing dinner parties for my friends.

But here’s the thing…I want to enjoy my dinner parties too! I want to hang out with my guests and eat all the delicious food and have lots of fun. I DO NOT want to spend my evening stressing in the kitchen.

So I have created a whole bank of recipes that are perfect for easy entertaining. Recipes that look impressive but are simple to make and recipes that can be made way in advance. Leaving you with more time to get ready for the party (or get the kids into bed, at least!).

1. Easy Peasy Jewelled Couscous

Easy Peasy Jewelled Couscous
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Impressive… But Super Simple Jewelled Couscous

My favourite recipes are those that look impressive, and taste amazing, but are incredibly easy to make! My Easy Peasy Jewelled Couscous fits this bill. It’s so simple to make but is a real showstopper.

All you need to do is rehydrate the couscous, add lemon juice, olive oil, herbs, pistachio nuts and pomegranate seeds. Then – to get the full showstopper effect – simply tip the couscous out onto a large serving platter and scatter with more herbs, pistachio nuts and pomegranate seeds. Best of all, it takes just 15 minutes to make!

Collage showing 6 process shots for Easy Peasy Jewelled Couscous
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A Sneaky Pomegranate Seed Cheat…

Pomegranate seeds can be a real faff to get out of the pomegranate, can’t they? And oh they make such a mess! I’ll let you into a little secret… I cheat! I use the little pots of pomegranate seeds you can get in the ready-prepared fruit section of the supermarket. It makes life so much easier and there’s much less clearing up!

Perfect For A Dinner Party (Or Any Time!)

Because this Easy Jewelled Couscous recipe looks and tastes so impressive – but is sneakily super easy to make, it’s a great option for a dinner party. You can enjoy the oohs and aahs from your guests without spending hours in the kitchen beforehand!

However, this recipe is so easy to make, that you could make it any time you fancied – even on a busy midweek evening!

Overhead shot of Easy Peasy Jewelled Couscous
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What To Serve With Jewelled Couscous?

This simple jewelled couscous is the perfect partner for tagines and other Middle Eastern dishes. It goes especially well with lamb tagines, such as:

  • Easy Lamb and Aubergine Tagine
  • Easy Lamb and Apricot Tagine
  • Moroccan Lamb Shank Tagine

Alternatively, this Easy Peasy Jewelled Couscous works well as part of a mezze spread featuring other Middle Eastern dishes, such as:

  • Easy Peasy Homemade Hummus
  • Easy Oven Baked Falafel
  • Lamb Stuffed Aubergines with Mint, Feta and Pomegranate Seeds
  • Easy 2 Ingredient Yogurt Flatbreads
  • Oven Baked Chicken Shawarma with Garlic Sauce
  • Lamb Kebabs

What To Drink With Jewelled Couscous?

Because jewelled couscous is usually served as a side dish, I recommend choosing a wine match based on the main course – a lamb tagine will work best with a robust red, whereas a chicken tagine is likely to partner better with an aromatic white, for example.

If you are serving this as part of a variety of mezze-style spreads featuring lots of different Middle Eastern dishes, then good options are a fruity Southern French Rosé, a herbaceous New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc or a spicy Rioja Crianza.

Easy Peasy Jewelled Couscous Easy Lamb and Aubergine Tagine
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Easy Lamb and Aubergine Tagine

Can You Reheat Jewelled Couscous?

You can, but I don’t recommend it. Instead, I recommend you eat any leftovers cold – it makes an awesome packed lunch that will send your colleagues wild with jealousy! Put any leftovers into an airtight container and place them in the fridge, where they will keep for up to 3 days.

2. Chocolate Cornflake Nests (Only 3 Ingredients!)

Easter Chocolate Cornflake Nests (only 3 ingredients!)
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A Quick And Simple Easter Chocolate Nest Recipe

Chocolate Cornflake Nests, filled with mini eggs, are a real favourite to make at Easter time. They are an excellent easy peasy recipe to make with kids (My kids love to make them – usually several times – every year in the run-up to Easter!) and are perfect for all kinds of Easter parties and bake sales.

Some chocolate Easter egg nests, though, involve lots of ingredients, lots of kitchen equipment and overly-complicated instructions. Not so with my super simple recipe… My Easter Chocolate Cornflake Nests only use 3 ingredients and produce excellent results every time!

Closeup of Easter Chocolate Cornflake Nests
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How To Make Easter Chocolate Cornflake Nests

All you have to do to make these quick and simple Easter Nests is melt milk chocolate over a pan of just-boiled water, then stir in the cornflakes. Next, place 24 cupcake cases in 2 cupcake trays. Then, place 1 heaped tablespoon of the chocolate/cornflake mixture into each cupcake case and spread out to make a nest shape, with a hole in the middle. Finally, place 3 mini eggs in the centre of each nest and refrigerate for 1 hour to allow the chocolate to harden again. Easy Peasy!

Collage showing 6 process shots for Easter Chocolate Cornflake Nests
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The Best Ingredients For Easter Chocolate Nests

This recipe should work with any brand of cornflakes, milk chocolate and mini eggs. However, to get the best results I recommend using Cadbury’s Dairy Milk and Cadbury’s Mini Eggs. The cornflake brand matters less, but I have to admit, I do prefer Kellogg’s cornflakes in these Easter Chocolate Nests.

Box of Kellogg's Cornflakes, bar of Dairy Milk, 2 packets of Mini Eggs
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Cornflakes Vs Shredded Wheat Vs Rice Krispies – Which Is Best For Easter Chocolate Nests?

Cornflakes, Shredded Wheat and Rice Krispies all work well in Chocolate Easter Nests,lly, I think lately flakes produce the best tasting Easter Nests. However, Shredded Wheat indisputably produces the best-looking nests!

This recipe is written assuming you are using Cornflakes in your Chocolate Easter Nests. It will also work with Shredded Wheat and Rice Krispies, but you will need to slightly adapt the quantities of the other cereals.

How To Melt The Chocolate For Easter Nests?

There are several different ways you can melt the chocolate for Easter Nests, but the easiest way (and the way least likely to go wrong!) is to half fill a saucepan with just-boiled water from the kettle and then place a glass bowl over the top of the water so that it touches the water on the base, but the water doesn’t come up too far on the sides. Ideally, the bowl should fit snuggly on top of the saucepan so there is no danger of the water getting into the pan.

Whatever you do, do not allow any of the water to get into the glass bowl or the chocolate will ‘seize’ and be ruined.

Break the milk chocolate into squares and place it in the glass bowl. The heat of the jus-boiled water will gently melt the chocolate. Stir occasionally to assist the process. When the chocolate has completely melted, remove the bowl from the pan and carefully dry the base of the bowl.

You should be very careful with boiling water – and especially so if you are making these Easter Nests with children!

Melted milk chocolate in a glass bowl over a saucepan of just boiled water
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Chocolate Mini Egg Nests – The Perfect Easter Baking Project For Kids!

These Chocolate Mini Egg Nests make a great Easter ‘baking’ project for kids because they are so quick and easy to make and because even quite small children can get involved with almost all of the steps. Kids can help break up the chocolate, stir the cornflakes into the melted chocolate, place the cupcake cases into the cupcake tin, spoon the chocolate/cornflake mix into the cupcake cases and, of course, place the mini eggs into the nests! Older children may also be able to help with melting the chocolate, under close supervision.

How To Store Chocolate Cornflake Nests

To keep them fresh, store these Easter Chocolate Cornflake Nests in an airtight cake tin or plastic box.

Once hardened, you can store them at room temperature, if you prefer… but they will stay harder and be less prone to melting all over your hands if you keep them in the fridge.

Overhead shot of Easter Chocolate Cornflake Nests in the cupcake tray next to an open packet of mini eggs and several mini eggs
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How do Long Will Chocolate Cornflake Nests keep?

These Chocolate Cornflake Nests will keep for up to a week if kept in an airtight container. (Though they will taste at their best in the first 2-3 days.)

3. Easy Duck Fat Roast Potatoes

Easy Duck Fat Roast Potatoes
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Easy Duck Fat Roast Potatoes

Making duck fat roast potatoes is just as easy as making regular roast potatoes… but using duck fat takes your roast potatoes to the next level… infusing them with that fantastic duck fat flavour AND making them extra crispy!

Start by heating the duck fat in a hot oven. Meanwhile, peel, cut and parboil your potatoes. Carefully remove the hot duck fat from the oven and tip in the par-boiled potatoes. Quickly turn the potatoes in the fat, then return the potatoes to the oven and roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on how you like your roasties!

To ensure even cooking and maximum crispiness, remove the potatoes from the oven twice during cooking and turn the potatoes in the hot fat/spoon over the hot fat. Work quickly and then return the roasties to the oven.

Collage showing 6 process shots for Easy Duck Fat Roast Potatoes
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Where To Get Duck Fat?

You can easily buy duck fat from the supermarket these days. Alternatively, roast a whole duck in the oven and, part way through, drain the fat off into a new roasting tin, before returning the duck to the oven. Turn your parboiled potatoes in the hot fat, then place them in the oven and follow the rest of the recipe as stated.

Overhead shot of Easy Duck Fat Roast Potatoes in a white bowl
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What To Serve Duck Fat Potatoes With?

The most obvious thing to serve roast duck fat roast potatoes with is a whole roast duck! Alternatively, you could serve these delicious roasties with roast duck legsroast chickenroast turkey or roast beef.

Overhead shot of Easy Duck Fat Roast Potatoes, Cauliflower Cheese, Roast Duck, Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Roasted Carrots and Parsnips
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What To Do With Leftover Duck Fat Roast Potatoes?

Duck-fat roast potatoes are so delicious that it is extremely unlikely you will end up with any leftover roast potatoes. However, if you do, simply place them in a plastic lidded container and store them in the fridge, where they will keep for up to 3 days.

Either eat cold, or reheat in an oven set to 220C (200C fan/gas mark 7 / 425F) for 10 to 15 minutes, or until piping hot all the way though!

Can You Freeze Duck Fat Roast Potatoes?

Yes, you can. Follow the recipe as stated, but only roast for 30 minutes. Allow cooling then put the part-roasted potatoes in a lidded container and place them in them the freezer, where they will keep for up to 3 months.

Defrost overnight in the fridge, then place in an oven heated to 220C (200C fan/gas mark 7 / 425F) and roast for a further 30 minutes, or until piping hot all the way through and done to your liking.

4. Easy Frangipane Topped Mince Pies

Easy Frangipane Topped Mince Pies
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I am a huge fan of mince pies and I always make several batches of my star-topped mini mince pies every year. However, this year I have been working on a new mince pie variation – my Easy Peasy Frangipane Topped Mince Pies!

These little pies of wonderfulness have a traditional homemade shortcrust pastry bottom, which is then filled with mincemeat and topped with a luxurious frangipane. Finally, I scatter a few flaked almonds on the top for maximum flavour and to add a delicious crunch. (And they look really pretty!)

Overhead shot of Easy Frangipane Topped Mince Pies on a cooling rack (without icing sugar)
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Super Easy To Make…

These Easy Frangipane Topped Mince Pies look and taste impressive but are super easy to make. The homemade shortcrust pastry is made from only 3 ingredients: flour, butter and water. (It is so easy to make my kids have been making it since they were about 4 years old!)

The mincemeat is from a jar (promise I won’t tell!) and the frangipane is as easy as making a basic cake mixture – just mix butter, sugar, an egg and ground almonds (US – almond flour).

Finally, the decoration just couldn’t be simpler… a scattering of flaked almonds and a sprinkle of icing sugar (US – confectioner’s sugar)!

Collage showing 6 process shots for Easy Frangipane Topped Mince Pies on a cooling rack (without icing sugar)
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Super Popular!

While these easy peasy mince pies might be super simple to make they are utterly moreish – my family demolished these in record-breaking time… and my kids just couldn’t get enough of them (despite being initially a little sceptical – haha!)

I am very confident that if you make these for a Christmas party or family gathering, everyone will be very impressed and you will get plenty of compliments… just make sure you make enough, as they will disappear FAST!

Easy Frangipane Topped Mince Pies piled onto a plate. Once of the mince pies has had a bite taken out of it.
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What To Serve With Frangipane Topped Mince Pies?

These frangipane-topped mince pies are delicious on their own, served warm or cold. Alternatively, they are wonderful with custard, cream or ice cream. And, of course, they are also delicious with brandy butter and brandy cream!

What To Drink With Frangipane Topped Mince Pies?

I know not everyone is a fan of dessert wine, but I for one LOVE it, and these frangipane mince pies are a great match for dessert wines such as Banyuls, Rivesaltes and Maury. Alternatively, these mince pies go brilliantly with sweet sherry (for example cream sherry) and tawny port… both of which are likely to be knocking around at Christmas time!

A ruby-coloured port (such as LBV or vintage) also goes well, but a tawny port is the better match if you have it!

Easy Frangipane Topped Mince Pies on a cooling rack, having just been dusted with icing sugar
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How Long Will Frangipane Mince Pies Keep?

In the very unlikely scenario that you / your family / your friends don’t hoover up these delicious frangipane topped mince pies in a matter of seconds, they will keep well in an airtight tin at room temperature for up to a week.

Related Post: Crockpot Chicken With Onion Soup Mix

Can You Freeze Frangipane Mince Pies?

Absolutely! Simply place the mince pies in a lidded container in your freezer, where they will keep for up to 6 months. Defrost at room temperature for a few hours before serving.

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