IKEA’s Famous Meatball Recipe Isn’t a Secret Anymore

IKEA’s New Cooking Sheets Might Actually Be Idiot-Proof (Video)

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By Cooking Panda

Do you ever feel like you can screw up the simplest of recipes?

Do you underportion and overseason? What does “a pinch” or “a dash” really mean, anyway?

Hey, I feel you. Fortunately for you, so does IKEA.

That’s why they came up with idiot-proof recipes, called “The Ikea Easy Recipe Series,” a cookbook that comes printed with food-safe ink on cooking parchment paper, where all you need to do is lay your food out on the recipe sheet to measure it, fold it up and bake it. Provided that you stay within the lines, your food should come out just dandy.

“When it comes to cooking, most people are hesitant to break from routine,” the Swedish furniture company says in the promotional video (below) they made for the product. “They find new foods and recipes to be intimidating. IKEA wanted to show people that getting creative can be deliciously simple.”

Deliciously simple indeed. With this color-by-numbers system that incorporates actual IKEA products to take out the mystery, it couldn’t get any easier. If you’re a college student, bachelor or anybody else who never really cooks, this might be the ticket for you.

So far, these books are only available in Canada, but cross your fingers that they’ll make it worldwide soon.

Check out how simple these “Cooking for Dummies”-type stay-in-the-lines recipes are.

From easy ravioli and meatballs:

To restaurant-quality salmon with lemon and herbs: 

It really can’t get any easier.

All the portions are drawn out, so there’s no mystery whether or not you’re using enough pepper.

All you do is fit your ingredients into the pre-measured outlines, spread the seasoning, roll up the parchment and toss it in the oven.

And just like that, dinner is ready!

As I said, these are just about idiot-proof, and they look wonderful for non-cooks.

Since these are sadly not available around the world yet, if you don’t live in or near Canada, you might need to sit tight or get started cooking on your own.

Not sure where to start? The Kitchn readers recommend following recipes, googling any questions, starting with simple stuff like stews and using your own common sense to learn from each batch you make to improve it.

Need some simple recipes? You might like these five to 10 minute dinners.

Source: Kitchn, Bored Panda / Photo Credit: Pixabay, IKEA via Bored Panda

Tags: cooking for dummies, easiest cookbook, easiest recipe ever, IKEA, IKEA cookbook
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Ikea Is Planning To Open Stand-Alone Restaurants

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By Cooking Panda

Ikea holds a special place in many people’s hearts; and if your childhood was anything like mine, the Swedish superstore with the small Scandinavian menu actually played a big role in your life growing up.

I remember watching actors romp around in the fake Ikea rooms on screen, and copying them myself when my parents dragged me to accompany them as they browsed and shopped for new furniture and home accessories.

When I got my first apartment, Ikea offered some extremely affordable pieces, and I remember painstakingly trying to assemble my very first desk chair purchased from them.

To me, Ikea was mainly about the furniture — but as Gerd Diewald, the man who runs Ikea’s food operations in the U.S., told Fast Company:

“We’ve always called the meatballs ‘the best sofa-seller’… Because it’s hard to do business with hungry customers. When you feed them, they stay longer, they can talk about their [potential] purchases, and they make a decision without leaving the store. That was the thinking right at the beginning.”

And it’s that kind of reasoning that has prompted Ikea to consider expanding its food division into stand-alone cafes in city centers. After all, Ikea’s food has totally blown up in popularity over the past several years, and now the company is known just as much for its Swedish meatballs as it is for its hard-to-assemble but cute and affordable furniture pieces.

Ikea isn’t just blindly promoting its food more heavily now, however; it is responding to its customers, and implementing buyer’s voiced desires for healthy menu options. And, it’s just plain affordable. Fast Company suggests that you could feed a family of four for $20 or less at Ikea, which is quite a feat; I can hardly feed myself in New York City for that price.

“It’s an experience just going there, and that’s what people are looking for in a restaurant meal these days,” Bonnie Riggs, a restaurant-industry analyst at NPD Group said to Fast Company. “But more than that, what you get for your money is far superior to many other family-dining restaurants.”

What do you think of Ikea’s potential restaurant expansion? Would you be interested in dining at an Ikea restaurant?

Source: Fast Company / Photo Credit: Ikea Austria/Instagram

Tags: furniture warehouse, home business, IKEA, scandinavian menu, swedish meatball
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IKEA Is Opening Up A DIY Restaurant — Are You Interested? (Video)

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By Cooking Panda

So we all know that the name “IKEA” goes hand-in-hand with affordable furniture. But did you also know that the company is interested in food and cooking?

I certainly didn’t. I mean, I know food is available in-store, but IKEA is actually very interested in bringing people together though cooking and being in the kitchen. We know this now because it has announced that it will be opening a brand new pop-up restaurant in London called The Dining Club.

There are so many cool things about this idea that I hardly know where to start. First of all, according to Fortune, the model is set up so that parties of up to 20 people can come and have one of their own cook a meal for the group. Trained head chefs will oversee the meal preparation, and cooking sessions will be available for brunch, lunch or dinner. Secondly, the experience is free! Cooking, meals and drinks are covered.

In a statement, IKEA UK Country Marketing Manager Laurent Tiersen said that the experience is “all about inspiring people to rediscover the joy of the kitchen, after our insights showed that people are spending less and less time cooking and eating together.”

According to The Telegraph, some of the fun features will include having the restaurant named after your group for the time you are there, and the ability to choose your own menu, of which there is a range of selections, with some menus even including a few Scandinavian classics.

The campaign is called: “It Starts with the food,” and its goal is to show how cooking and eating together can make these everyday tasks more fun and enjoyable and bring people together. Those interested in this experience should register online via the IKEA website. I have a feeling reservations will fill up pretty fast. The promotion runs from Sept. 10-25.

I’m hoping the experiment will go extremely well and we can try it here in the U.S. soon!

Check out IKEA’s commercial for the promotion below:

Sources: The Telegraph, FortuneIKEA UK/YouTube / Photo credit: PYMNT

Tags: cooking, Dinner Parties, IKEA, Pop-Up Restaurants
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IKEA Trollishly Made A Commercial Showing What Instagramming Food Would’ve Looked Like In 1750 (Video)

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By Cooking Panda

You just got your paycheck, so you’re ballin’ out at that hot new brunch spot with, gasp, bottomless mimosas and chicken and waffles. Your avocado toasts arrive, and you and your friend make sure the bellinis fit perfectly in your photo frame. Oops, forgot to lie your Ray Bans nonchalantly by the sugar. There you go.

A full five minutes later, you’ve got your ‘gram. Your toast lost several degrees of crispiness, but you’ve already got 14 likes, so whatev.

You and your friend are sort of spending quality time together, but not really because you’re both constantly glancing at your phones to check that minute-to-like ratio. Your friend’s post is doing better than yours. Damn. You should’ve thrown down that extra $2 for the poached egg. Everyone knows a runny yolk adds, like, a 13 percent boost in likes. The toast isn’t as good as it looks, but eating it is so much more fun than taking pics of it.

Have you done this? Probably, and IKEA knows it. That’s why the Swedish furniture company made an awesome ad parodying our obsession with documenting our meals (video below).

The video, called “Let’s Relax,” opens in the 18th century with a bourgeois family, clearly about to chow down on an elaborate feast. A servant sets what looks like a fabulous roasted bird on the table, laden with fine fruits and silver dishes. The squad is dressed to the nines and has their forks at the ready. A girl plucks an apple from the bounty, when — not so fast! — Dad wags a finger and rings a bell for the ‘gram.

Er, the painter.

The artists and helpers storm into the dining room to paint the feast with great haste (and exceptional detail, I might add), as the family goes hungry and the food untouched. The painting is done, but it’s not time to eat, for no one has SEEN the painting!!!

Artist and helpers race their carriage throughout the town for the anxiously awaited approval of random people. A few thumbs point downward, but the feedback is mostly positive, so back to the dining room they go.

They tell the hungry family the painting was a success. The family eats. The mood improves significantly.

“It’s a meal, not a competition,” the video ends, giving us a much needed reminder to put down the phones and enjoy not only the company, but the food.

This isn’t the first time IKEA’s gotten smart on their ads. In 2015, they marketed their catalog by cleverly making fun of Apple’s “self-serious” commercials.

Source: TIME / Photo credit: IKEA/YouTube

Tags: commercial, IKEA, instagram, parody
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You Will Soon Be Able To Buy IKEA Meatballs From A Food Truck

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By Cooking Panda

It looks like IKEA has fully embraced the fact that many of its customers visit stores solely for the delicious meatballs. Those meatballs, people, are GOING ON WHEELS.

The furniture giant announced that the #TogetherWeEat food truck will visit Chicago and New York City in July bearing free meatballs and other wonderful treats.

#TogetherWeEat is an IKEA campaign celebrating how food brings people together. Visitors to the limited-time truck will be graced with three meatball creations made of chicken, veggies and Swedish meatball ingredients. They’ll then be able to enjoy their free snacks at pop-up seating areas featuring IKEA furniture, furnishings and games. 

“At IKEA, we understand the great power of food in bringing loved ones together,” said #TogetherWeEat project leader Lisa Hajra.

“Simply being together to talk, share, discuss and laugh over a delicious meal is just as important as the food itself, which is why this year, we’re celebrating all the ways in which food connects people.”

The food truck comes off the heels of IKEA’s “Together, We Eat” contest in late 2015, which searched for the best stories behind family recipes and traditions that celebrate bonding over food.

Fortunately for meatball fans, customers can likely expect the retailer’s food ventures to continue growing. IKEA’s U.S. President Lars Petersson said in recent months that “food is becoming a core business” for the company, according to The Washington Post.

Catch the food truck at Wicker Park Fest in Chicago on July 23 and 24, or grab your meatballs on wheels at the Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival in Brooklyn on July 30. Read up on all things truck-related here.

Sources: IKEA, The Washington Post / Photo credit: Karl Baron/Flickr

Tags: food truck, IKEA, meatballs
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