Sunday, March 6, 2016

Happy Birthday, IKEA!! **Some Assembly Required

So, listen, let's get some things out of the way. I am not a chef. I am not a photographer. I am not a food blogger. Okay, now that we have that out of the way...

A few weeks ago, I was browsing Facebook, and saw a post wishing IKEA a happy birthday, and it was so hilarious to me. Once I was done laughing, I shared it with my great friend Tamara over at Confessions of a part-time working mom. Not long after that, she decided we should sort of recreate the funniness ourselves. As terrifying as the idea was, of course I was on board. After all, I was the one that brought the graphic to her attention. 

Here is the graphic. I have no idea who deserves the credit for it! Whoever you are, you are HILARIOUS!

So, of course, my magnificent friends all worked amazing magic. I will share links to their greatness below. Now, me. Well, I got there eventually. I probably have ulcers now. I am not sure why I was so terrified to do this post. I guess mostly because I am not a food blogger. I do not create masterpieces in the kitchen. I don't cook traditionally. I am not really a cup of this and a teaspoon of that type of cook. I am more of a handful of this and quite a bit of that and a pinch of this, type of cook. 

I guess it probably should not surprise you that I quickly abandoned the idea of doing a cake. I don't know about you, but when I think IKEA, I think meatballs. So, that is what I decided IKEA needed for their birthday, meatballs. As if I weren't stressed enough, I also decided to experiment a bit. I have been wanting to try a certain ingredient for a while, and I decided why not now.

Now, when discussing my post with Tamara, I had originally decided I was going to include some extra ingredients in the pictures, because if you have ever put together one of their complex storage systems, you know, there are always extra parts. You just have to pray they are truly extra, and you didn't just forget them. Speaking of their complex furniture, is it complex to you? Are you one of the lucky ones that puts it together easy peasy? Me? I get it together, eventually. 

I decided not to include extra ingredients in the picture, because at the end of the day, I was so nervous, I just wanted to get it done correctly. I did have fun thinking of ideas of things to include as extra ingredients. The top of the list was a bag of Swedish Fish! Honorable mentions were a potato, an orange, an apple, applesauce, or some cereal. 

Now, this will just be the recipe for my meatballs. You can pair them with pasta or potatoes. You can mix them with gravy or with pasta sauce. They make excellent meatball sandwiches. They are great on their own. I had originally planned on eating ours with gravy and mashed potatoes, but once they were done, and my pictures were taken, Chad requested a menu change. We ate them plain with french fries. It just what he really wanted. Then today I put some in some marinara and baked them on bread with cheese, for some delicious sandwiches. I froze all the leftovers. These freeze well. 

What you need:

* 3 lbs of lean ground beef
* 1 lb of sausage
* 1 large onion, grated
* 2 large bell peppers, I grate one and very finely dice one
* 1 can (14,5 oz) of diced tomatoes, juice drained
* 2 boxes (12 oz) of stuffing mix (Yes, stuffing. I used Betty Crocker Chicken, Weird. I just one day thought to try it in meatloaf or meatballs, and then finally decided to actually try it. We all loved it.)
* 3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese (You could use fresh, but I went the lazy route)
* 3 tablespoons garlic powder (Yes, you could definitely use fresh, but I went the lazy route)
* 2 tablespoons oregano
* 2 tablespoons parsley
* 2 tablespoons coarse ground black pepper
* 4 large eggs (I only put two eggs in the pictures, because four looked crowded)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

Put your meat in a large bowl, and break it up. I like to break two eggs into a bowl, to make sure I don't get any shell into it. Then I pour the egg into the meat.

I then add the stuffing. Using my hands I mix the meat, eggs, and stuffing well. I add the remaining two eggs and the Parmesan cheese. I mix a bit more.

I then add in the peppers, onions, and tomatoes. I mix well, still using my hands,

Then I add the garlic powder, oregano, parsley, and ground pepper. I mix them well. 

I form them into balls and place them on a baking sheet. My first batch, I baked with aluminum foil down, to help with the clean up, but I did not like how they browned up. So the additional batches, I put Pam on my baking sheet and baked. They browned better and had a slightly crispier outside. If you like meatballs that are less brown and crispy, definitely bake your meatballs with a aluminum foil lined baking sheet. If you want them a bit more brown and slightly crispy, then coat your baking sheet with Pam and bake. 

You bake them for 22 to 25 minutes at 400 degrees F.

If you like really large meatballs, you may need to add additional bake time. I don't make uniform meatballs, but all of ours are similar in size, and I usually bake them for about 24 minutes. 

I think they are tasty and moist. I hope you enjoy them! 

Interesting little side note.... I actually let Gigi help a little bit. It was hard for me. I am not a huge fan of kids in the kitchen. I am terrified of her getting hurt. Since I took pictures prior and actually prepped everything, things were organized and in dishes. So, I thought it would be harmless for her to just dump the ingredients into the bowl and the appropriate time. Chad is not a great photographer either, but we did get some photos to share! Overall, it was a great experience! 

Please, if you try them, let me know if you liked them. Also, do not hold your breath for anymore recipes from me! 

NOW!! Check out the other awesome posts wishing IKEA a happy birthday!!


  1. Oh, Jules, you did an amazing job!!
    The directions are how I would wish for them to be in many other "professional" recipes, and even though it's 1am my time, I want some meatballs now!
    What I like the absolute best about this post is the fact that you let your little helper get busy in the kitchen! Thanks, Chad, for taking these pictures, capturing a great moment!

  2. You did a great job so don't be so hard on yourself. We each have different blogs, different styles and different talents. That's what makes our group so great. I love the meatballs.

  3. Your meatballs look delicious. I love the surprise ingredient, what a cool idea.
    And I think it's great that you got over your fears and let Gigi help in the kitchen. The best way to keep her safe is to be sure she properly knows how to function in the kitchen.

  4. OMG! Stuffing mix in the meatballs is a terrific idea. I'm like you. I cook because I have to or we'll starve. Sometimes I get a little adventurous and sometimes its Kraft Macaroni and Cheese out of the box. I'm not a food snob. I can't wait to try these because I've been wanting to find a new meatball recipe and well I love Stove Top Stuffing and that just makes perfect sense. Plus you had meat at meatball sandwich. I'm even stuffed on lasagna right now and that still sounds delicious!

  5. I love cooking and I love meatballs, but I just cannot handle ground beef. I put all my ingredients in a ziploc bag and knead it that way! Then I can turn it out into a pan for meatloaf, but I'd have to have my husband make meatballs.

  6. I think my husband and daughter would be thrilled if I made these, but I hate cooking with raw meat! That's why I usually bake ;-)

    They look delicious, though! And good for you getting your LO into the kitchen. I'm horrible about that because I hate the idea of there being an even bigger mess than the one I will likely make!

  7. This website definitely has all of the information I needed concerning this subject and didn't know who to ask.



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