Karen Bussen

Karen Bussen
Did you know?

Karen left her native Ohio at the age of 17. She found work as a magician’s assistant on a cruise ship before making her home in New York City.

Karen Bussen
Karen's Featured Recipe
Parsley Couscous

Click here for recipe

Karen Bussen is an entertaining expert and author of  a series of books on the subject called Simple Stunning.


Her books include Simple Stunning Parties At Home; Simple Stunning Weddings; Simple Stunning Bride; Simple Stunning Wedding Organizer; Simple Stunning Wedding Flowers; and Simple Stuffing Wedding Showers


Karen’s philosophy is encapsulated in her mantra: “Less waste, more taste.” She encourages everyone to entertain as often as they can. “When the opportunity for celebrating knocks, answer the door and offer it some champagne,” she suggests.


When Karen arrived in New York, she went to work for restaurateur Danny Meyer, where she fine-tuned her knowledge of food, wine, and hospitality. She also styled flowers for Chef Rocco DiSpirito.


She opened her company, Simple Stunning, in 2000. She produces events throughout the year and is also a member of David’s Bridal Style Council, a contributor to The Daily Meal, and has launched a line of destination wedding packages for Jamaica’s Grand Palladium Resorts.


She has appeared on The Today Show, LX-New York, Bloomberg TV, the CBS Early Show, and Martha Stewart’s Morning Living on Sirius XM Radio.


Karen lives in New York City. Her website is

Latest Recipes

Cavatappi Salad with Peas, Ricotta, Basil & Mint

Cavatappi is a fabulous dried pasta. Its curly shape makes it ideal for sauces that cling to the pasta, like this ricotta paste with fres...

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Baby Lamb Chops with Goat Cheese & Herbs

Party or no party, I probably make these lamb chops at home at least once every two weeks. They are so good over a salad of baby arugula ...

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Parsley Couscous

Couscous is a wonderful side dish that is incredibly quick-cooking and light. This version is a perfect accompaniment to curries and fish...

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Ciliegie Mozzarella with Basil & Cherry Tomatoes

Ciliegie means “cherries” in Italian—because the mozzarella is formed into cherry-size ball. I like that it also refers to the cherry tom...

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Go-To Guacamole

This is all instant homemade appetizer for any time. Serve it with a big bowl of good tortilla chips and Homemade Fresh Salsa or your fav...

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Homemade Fresh Salsa

The key to success with this deliciously simple salsa is to use the best tomatoes you can get. Their sweet flavor, combined wtth the crun...

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Quick Quesadillas

These quesadillas make a nice lunch or snack served with a salad. You can add ground beef or shredded chicken as well. If you like, along...

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World’s Best Chili

I have some sports raw in my life, and the first time I made this chili it was for a Super Bowl party. It was such a hit, folks now reque...

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Brother David’s Grilled Chicken and Ribs

Brother David is my brother David, the one whose backyard I am always borrowing. He loves to grill and we all love it when he does! Hey, ...

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Sweet & Tangy Barbecue Sauce

This recipe yield enough sauce to glaze three pounds of meat. We doubled it for the chicken and ribs at our barbecue party. You’ll use ab...

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Creamed Spinach Royale

You can make this delicious spinach recipe up to two days in advance, and reheat it in a skillet or casserole dish.

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Ice Cream with Amaretto & Chocolate Abstracts

The chocolate “abstracts” in this dish look very impressive, but they are easy things to make. After you melt the chocolate, let it cool ...

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Malik’s Tropical Rosé Sangria

Malik is the talented mixologist in my group of friends (he also happens to be my boyfriend!). He keeps frosty glasses ready in his freez...

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Oven-Roasted Halibut with Cherry Tomatoes & Thyme

Halibut is a meaty yet light fish, and the brightness of the tomatoes pairs beautifully with the fresh thyme. The herb butter helps the f...

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