Food Styling with Ikea
A couple of weeks ago I went to a Snap/Ikea event that was SO much fun!!
To start off our morning we were treated to breakfast, Ikea style!! I was so impressed with the Ikea food… I loved the Breakfast Potatoes and Swedish Pancakes! Yum!! After eating and visiting with some of the other 75 bloggers that were there, we were each given a mini shopping spree!! Oh! AND I can’t forget the fabulous Ikea Chocolate Bar! Plus, we also got the new 2013 catalog before it was even in the store, so that was a fun treat!
As most of you know, I’m a foodie at heart, so I headed right to the tableware department where I fell in LOVE with the whole entire place 🙂 As I was taking in the huge assortment of shapes, sizes, and colors of kitchenware… I decided I wanted to do a post on Food Styling; what an awesome way to show off all my new Ikea ware!
Here’s a photo of my Ikea finds for the 3 different food styling presentations I’m going to show you all and the recipes that were inspired by my Ikea/Snap fabulous morning!!
Whenever I’m considering how to style a dish I’ve prepared, I think about what the dish says to me, and how I want my readers to interpret the dish. Then I think about what colors, textures, shapes, and sizes of tableware will help express that message through the presentation. I usually stay conservative on the dishes I use in styling- I have a lot of different shapes and sizes of dishware in white! Food usually looks the most appealing on a white background and it’s easier to see the details of a dish if it’s showcased on a white dish. Then, I throw in splashes of color through place mats, napkins, back drops, and props.
The first thing I knew I wanted to make and style with Ikea tableware was Swedish Crepes AND as I was checking out I noticed the bottles of Lingon Berry Preserves… I ran and grabbed a bottle for this recipe and to include in the styling! I really like to add a welcoming/personal touch in my food styling! I want my readers to feel like they could sit right down at my kitchen table and enjoy a cup of tea and crepes with me! I don’t mind a few creases in my towel, an open jar of preserves, and the knife that I just used to prep the crepes still on the plate. I like the texture and I want it to feel inviting and to speak to a reader in a personal way.
Swedish Crepes with Lingon Berry Preserves
1/2 C milk
1/2 C flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp melted butter
Whip eggs and 1/4 C milk, add flour and salt until smooth, add remainder of milk, mix until smooth, add butter, mix until smooth. Batter should be really thin. Cook in a hot, cooking sprayed small frying pan. Pour 1/8 C batter into center of pan, circle pan to make a large, thin pancake. Cook 1 minute. Once batter sets, turn over. Cook 1 additional minute until lightly browned. Spread Lingon Berry Preserves in the center of each crepe, top with whipping cream, bring the sides in covering toppings. Add additional whipping cream on top if desired. Enjoy!
*This recipe is a traditional Swedish Crepe… my kids’ dad lived there for a couple of years along time ago and he rewrote it in English for me to use 🙂
While we were eating breakfast at Ikea, the Marketing and Public Relations Director, Celeste, came around to our tables and chatted with us a bit… she told us that just the day before the Draper Ikea store had converted to using solar power! There are now 4300 panels on top of the building and it’s the first store in Utah to completely convert!! That discussion inspired creating this appetizer! So, in honor of Ikea going “green” and doing right by the environment… here’s my green-styled appetizer!
I didn’t really have a specific recipe in mind at the time I found this beautiful green place mat and the darling paper napkins! I often like to use place mats or linens that have texture (ie: the lines in the place mat) because they add another dimension to the picture. I already had the white base cloth which also has a small texture to it. I added the olive oil bottle, basil leaves, and tomato in the back ground to tie in the theme of the dish! The serving spatula and olive oil drizzled on the plate is a welcoming sit-down-and-eat-this-with-me touch!!
I was drawn to this place setting during my shopping spree at Ikea- I knew I’d figure out something wonderful to serve on it! AND this is it… Grilled Zucchini Bruschetta! It’s so fresh and delicious… you’ll LOVE it!!
Grilled Zucchini Bruschetta
1 gigantic sized zucchini, cut into 3/4 inch rounds (I got 9 slices)
2-3 heirloom tomatoes (I used Mr. Stripey)
4 0z fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
14 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
sea salt and pepper
Heat grill to medium high. Place zucchini rounds on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with olive oil, sea salt, and pepper. Grill 3-4 minutes per side or until edges are slightly softened and grill marks show. To thinlyslice basil leaves- stack, roll, and thinly slice with a sharp knife. Place a slice mozzarella, slice of tomato, and sprinkle of basil on each zucchini round. Place each appetizer on serving plate, sprinkle with additional olive oil. Serve warm and enjoy!
We grow a big vegetable garden and sometimes we have zucchini that hide and grow giant-sized without me even realizing! This is a fun way to use those big zucchini’s and other fresh from the garden vegetables 🙂
For my last Food Styling example and recipe I whipped together this yummy Chicken Garden Pasta Salad! I used the Ikea glass bowl, which is beautiful on it’s own, and then I found an amazing woven mat to use under it- which is great with the glass bowl because you can see more of the mat through it!
Sometimes, when I’m putting together a food styling photo, it takes me a couple of tries to get the right combination and achieve the look I’m after 🙂 I want to share part of the process I went through to get this final food styling presentation photo…
In the picture below I used a white cloth under the woven mat which washed out the salad. The salad is also dressed with an oil-based dressing which left smears on the inside of the bowl- making it look dirty. That’s a bad thing when working with clear dishware, make sure there are no smears or water spots! I wasn’t happy with the salad tongs on the mat either.
So, I picked out two other colors of cloth to try and I decided to use the bright yellow one to brighten up the salad and photo! I wiped out the bowl to remove the smears and moved the tongs into the bowl which gave a more welcoming feel to me 🙂
I was eventually pleased with the outcome of my food styling and re-styling adventure on the dish!
Chicken Garden Pasta Salad
2 C chicken, cooked and shredded
10 oz mixed vegetable pasta
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced (I like to leave stripes)
1 large tomato, chunked
1/4 C light Italian dressing or to taste
sea salt and pepper
2 T feta cheese, crumbled
Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, except cheese. Toss to coat. Top with Cheese. Enjoy!
I had such a fun time putting this Food Styling with Ikea post together, I’d just like to thank Ikea and the Snap conference for the really fun and inspiring event!