Greetings From The Land Of Lincoln! - The travels of Chef Luigi Blog at - 275757

The travels of Chef Luigi

Greetings from the Land of Lincoln! 
May 21, 2012 7:40 pm 
Updated: May 22, 2012 3:59 pm
I arrived safe and sound late last week here in Illinois. My host, CookinBug, tells me that I am so lucky to have my visit come at a time when the weather is absolutely lovely. Personally, I thought Saturday was a little too warm! I suppose you'd be overheating too if you were wearing a full chef's outfit and hat 24/7. I sure wish someone would take me shopping sometime... but I digress...
I arrived at CookinBug and Mr. CookinBug's home and was hustled off the UPS truck along with about five other huge boxes! Apparently the CookinBugs have a "mobile audio" business that they run on the side...which from what I gather means that they put speakers and stuff in cars, trucks, boats, and even big semi trucks! Mr. CookinBug was nice enough to unpack me while his wife was still at work... thank goodness because I had quite the headache after being bounced around between all these things that he later told me were subwoofers. That didn't make much sense to me since they looked nothing like dogs! I guess I have a lot to learn!

Me with some of the "subwoofers" that I shared the UPS truck with! Silly name!
After CookinBug came home from work she introduced me to the rest of the family... Chase & Layla, their Patterdale Terriers. Now, why these things aren't called subwoofers I don't know because they certainly do a lot of 'woofing' when they get excited and wrestle around! I think I'll surprise them before I leave and have CookinBug help me make them some yummy treats to thank them for sharing their home with me. I think they could still smell Miss Daisy May and her puppies from deathbycanon's house on my coat because they were very interested in sniffing me! I bet I also smelled like those yummy rolls that Caroline and I made last week. Ohhh, how I dreamt of those rolls on my ride here!
Meeting Chase & Layla - the real 'woofers'!
After getting the tour of the CookinBug house and unpacking my luggage, it was time to start dinner! We decided to make Super Nachos since it would be quick and surely yummy! We weren't disappointed; they really hit the spot after my bumpy ride from Minnesota! The recipe called for salsa, but CookinBug said she'd rather just use a big fresh tomato instead. I was a little nervous, but she assured me that tweaking is perfectly acceptable and I must admit she made a good call - it gave the otherwise heavy nachos a fresh taste! I sprinkled all the toppings on while she cleaned up the kitchen... looks pretty good, right?
Super Nachos - bring on the sour cream!
After dinner we took the dogs for a walk around town and I got to see how lovely this little town is! Lots of beautiful green grass, huge old trees, flowers in bloom, historical homes, and did I mention hills!? Wow, my legs were burning by the time we got back to the house! I'd heard that all of Illinois was nothing but flat and boring scenery but there's no truth to that!
I thought it would be time to relax after that, but CookinBug wanted to make a cake for her coworker's birthday the next day, so we got to work! We settled on Fresh Strawberry Upside Down Cake because the strawberries at the store looked amazing and CookinBug thought her friend would like this kind of thing. First, we cut the strawberries into chunks then stuck them in the food processor to crush them a little. We poured those into the pan and spread them around a little - very sticky! Then we sprinkled the strawberry gelatin and then dumped a bunch of marshmallows on top. The recipe said 3 cups, but I got a little carried away! Then we had to mix up the cake batter... check out all those eggs! Apparently CookinBug bakes a lot and Mr. CookinBug eats a lot of egg whites! After mixing up the batter all I had to do was spread it around and it was ready for the oven! Easy peasy! I must admit that I wondered how this thing was gonna taste....

Of course we HAD to taste test it before CookinBug took it to work! I must say I was pleasantly surprised... it was delicious! I bet it would be even better with a big dollop of whipped cream!
Well, that's enough for tonight; I'm told it's time to go water the garden and I think I'll tag along! I'll keep you posted on my adventures in Illinois! Ciao!
May 21, 2012 8:57 pm
Oh Chef, I am sure you had those "woofers" under your special "spell" as soon as you arrived. That dessert sounds and looks wonderful. Make sure you add it to your cookbook that you are, I am sure, making of your adventures this year. Your smile tells it all.
May 22, 2012 8:28 am
Those nachos look great! Have fun in Illinois!
May 22, 2012 3:59 pm
Great story, Chef! Have fun!
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Chef Luigi

Member Since
Feb. 2010

Cooking Level

Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Indian, Italian, Southern, Nouvelle, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Low Carb, Healthy, Vegetarian, Dessert, Kids, Quick & Easy, Gourmet

Photography, Wine Tasting

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About Me
Hello everyone! I'm Chef Luigi, Chef Tony's little brother. My brother Tony got a new job, so I am now the new Allrecipes traveling Chef. I'll be traveling from home to home; cooking and having fun. I can't wait to visit everyone!
My favorite things to cook
I love to cook EVERYTHING!
My favorite family cooking traditions
Well, I have to admit cooking with my brother Tony is my favorite tradition. We've been cooking together since we were kids. Sitting on counters watching and learning.
My cooking triumphs
When my brother Tony said I'm a better cook than he is! Ha :)
My cooking tragedies
There are too many to list, but that's how you learn, right?
Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States