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Posts Tagged ‘Heat and eat pizza’

IKEA Pizza


Started in 1943 by 17 year old Ingvar Kamprad, IKEA has grown to become the world’s largest furniture retailer. The name is an acronym for the founder’s initials, plus Elmtaryd (the farm where he grew up), and Agunnaryd (his hometown in Southern Sweden).  The stores are massive, have nearly everything one would need to furnish a home, and many of its wares need to be assembled by the purchaser.

As of January 1 of this year, the company operates 349 stores in 43 countries around the world, generating over $23 billion in sales annually.  Media reports have speculated that IKEA is the world’s largest consumer of wood.

Many of the stores feature one or two cafes, both self-serve style, one with complete meals of a Swedish influence, the other featuring hot to go snacks at bargain prices.

You can drop off your rugrats at the front door at their in-house daycare center, and stop for a bite to eat halfway through your excursion, in case you just can’t make it another step without eating some meatballs and lingonberries.

The foodatorium near the exit is in the midst of a mini-grocery featuring Swedish foods; in addition to frozen meatballs, you’ll find all manner of fish products, and berry spreads, among other choices. The ‘to go’ counter has bulk cinnamon rolls, hot dogs, and pizza slices, featuring “meal deals”.  For a little more than a couple bucks, you can get two hot dogs and a soda, for instance.  Yogurt cups and cones are also available.  Once again, IKEA figures they have to take care of customers, and sells these snacks so you have enough energy to get to your car miles away in the massive parking lot.

I haven’t been in to an IKEA for quite awhile, tho Mrs Burgerdogboy and I used to enjoy an outing on occasion.  We purchased kitchenware from time to time, and a couple of those giant repro prints they feature.  I especially liked one we picked up that was a shot from Amsterdam, and it reminded me of a past Valentine’s Day excursion we took to the land of tulips.

I stopped in the store today because I needed a kitchen tool I knew they would have, and grabbed a slice on the way out;  like the hot dogs, the pizza combo offers a slice and soda for a little more than $2.00.

It’s a heavy on the cheese and herb affair, not bad, not great. I almost couldn’t choke it down after the guy in line in front of me squirted about a quart of ketchup on his.  Ugh.

Hot dogs solo are often just 50 cents.  Worth a trip in, if you skip the store, and go right from the entrance to the snack shop by the exit. You can make your Swedish grocery shopping list online before you make the trek.

Ikea Pizza

IKEA Pizza


Culinary Circle Flatbread Crust 3 Meat Pizza


Culinary Circle is a private label brand from manufacturer Richelieu Foods.  Products are marketed in a large variety of grocery chains, including Super Valu, Albertsons, Cub, and Shaws.

Richelieu dates back to 1862, and for the first 100 years or so, was primarily known as a packager of salad dressings and sauces.  Diversification came with the influx of new capital from a sale to private equity.

Their frozen pizzas are manufactured in plants in Wisconsin and Ohio, for nationwide distribution.  Richelieu was named “Pizza Manufacturer of the Year” in 2006

The flatbread crust pizza comes shrink wrapped on a cardboard round inside a box for display.   Toppings include a blend of cheeses (Parmesan, Romano, and fontina) , capicola ham, Italian sausage, and salami.

For my personal palate, I added sliced green olives.

This is a conventional oven affair, 400 for 16-20 minutes.   I’m not sure what “flatbread” refers to these days, there are so many products which use it as a descriptor.  In the case of this pizza, its a square pie, which a slightly thicker crust than is what is generally offered as “thin crust” pizzas.  In other words, for the frozen pizza industry, I would call this a fairly standard thickness.

The sauce is slightly sweeter.  Toppings are adequate. Overall, to me, the flavor and texture is slightly better than the average “value brand” frozen pie, like Tony’s or Totino’s.

It’s an “OK” product and a relatively good value when priced right.

Below are pix of the unbaked pie, and the finished from the oven pizza.

Culinary Circle Flatbread Frozen Pizza

Culinary Circle Flatbread Frozen Pizza


Home Cookin’ – Red Baron Pizza w/ Cheese Sticks


Red Baron Pizza and SidesI have home tested quite a few frozen pizzas, including other offerings by Red Baron.  Tonight’s choice, due to a sale price of 2 / $7, was Red Baron’s Classic Pepperoni packaged with a side of  Mozzarella Cheese Sticks.

The image I found on line (left) for the package states “12 Cheese Sticks”, but my package included the disclaimer “11-13” cheese sticks.   I received 12 in my box, I guess packing limitations prevent the precise number being included in each pack.

The pizza and cheese sticks are wrapped separately of course, and have different baking instructions.  The pizza called for 400 degrees, and about 18 minutes; the instructions said to put the cheese sticks in the same oven when there was 11 minutes left on the timer (providing you were eating/serving both at the same time).

I looked deep inside the box to see if there was a packet of dipping sauce; most cheese sticks at fast casual restaurants come with a side of marinara, and I see no reason why for a couple pennies more Red Baron didn’t include same, but they choose not to.  I whipped up a quick marinara from some of our canned garden tomatoes, easily done while waiting for the pie and sticks to bake.

I’ve been lukewarm on Red Baron in the past, but the product seems to continually improve.  I liked the crust on this one, slightly crispy, and the toppings were ample.  At the sale price, it’s a ‘bargain’ in the world of frozen pizza.

My largest “complaint” about the cheese sticks, and it’s not directed at Red Baron specifically, but any company that tries to emulate frying food in the oven, is the cheese sticks aren’t adequately crispy.  That is, not reminiscent of the finish food gets when its fried.  This ‘complaint’ includes most every pseudo fried product I have tried, from fish filets to ravioli.   It’s a technique food science simply hasn’t figured out yet.

Mrs. Burgerdogboy, the beneficiary of the bulk of the cheese sticks, enjoyed them.  She liked the texture (stringiness) of the hot cheese.  And of course, my house-made marinara added to the experience!

Red Baron’s “Pizza and Sides” line is also available with “Wingz”, boneless fried chicken bits, I will get around to trying those in the future.

Do I recommend this product?  Yes, it’s as good as any in the ‘value-priced’ segment of frozen pizza, and the addition of the ‘side’ makes it pleasing for an after school or family snack.

Red Baron Pizza and Sides Review

Red Baron Classic Pepperoni Pizza Review


Home Cookin’ Test – Culinary Circle Pizza for One


SuperValu, a Minnesota based grocery chain (# 3 in US) is the owner of Albertson’s who carry SV’s in-house line of “Culinary Circle” products.  CC makes several varieties of frozen pizzas, including the ultra flat bread pizza for one product.

5.8 oz, microwave or conventional oven, I always choose the latter, which called for about 12 minutes at 425, but it took less than that in our oven.

The crust is cracker thin, the pepperoni and sausage is flavorful, I would have preferred more cheese.  The sauce leans to the “sweet” side, and overall, the pie flavor is reminiscent of any of the budget offerings in frozen pizza.

It doesn’t weigh in on the frozen pizza value for me, at about 50 cents per ounce.

I’ll buy it again when I see it as a sale item, it does provide a hot small meal adequate for most palates.

Culinary Circle Pizza for One Sicilian Style


Signature Cafe Fresh Pizza (Safeway)


Picked up the massive 42 ounces sausage pizza at Safeway the other nite.  At 7.99, a real “cost per ounce” bargain.  This is a medium crust pizza, with ample toppings.  The sausage bits are larger than most frozen pies, and because this pizza is not frozen, it bakes faster than a frozen pie.

I added pepperoni, olives,  and extra cheese on half, which of course, drove my investment way up.   But Mrs. BDB eschews cooked pepperoni, and I try and defer to her tastes on occasion, tho she doesn’t care much for pizza in general.

Other posts on Signature Cafe items on the site.

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