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The Land of Lincoln is a vaguely arrowhead-shaped state in the heart of the Midwest. It is home to the third largest American city, Chicago, which sits along the shores of Lake Michigan. The poet Carl Sandburg described Chicago as “the hog butcher for the world.” The city was made so by the invention of refrigerated railroad cars. With refrigeration, meat could be packed in Chicago and shipped in cold cars to the East Coast. In the 1800s, John Deere, an Illinois blacksmith eased the way for agriculture in the Prairie State by devising a better steel-bladed plow capable of cutting through the hard Illinois prairie. Today, Illinois is a major producer of soy, corn, and wheat. In 1943, a couple of Chicago restaurateurs first presented their cheesy, thick-crust pizza to a mostly pizza-puzzled crowd at Pizzeria Uno. Though not an overnight success, Chicago-style deep-dish pizza is today a hit throughout the country. Three years later, just down the road in Springfield, the Cozy Dog Drive-in applied the finishing touch on the corn dog by inserting the first stick into one end of a deep-fried dog! After that, state fair fare would never be the same again.

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Featured Cook

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Tyler, Texas, USA
Living In: Champaign, Illinois, USA
About me:
Displaced Southerner who really identifies with my new adopted midwest hometown. I consider learning to cook well one of my greatest achievements.

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Photo by Diana Muhlenbruch

Diana Muhlenbruch 

Home Town: Channahon, Illinois, USA


Cooking Level: Expert
Living In: Freeport, Illinois, USA
About me: Raised by a mother who never opened a box to make supper, and always had a huge garden. Was cooking at age 17 for a living.
Photo by Guinevere Murphy

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Newest Reviews

Smoked Cheese Ravioli

Reviewed on Apr. 1, 2015 by Karen Martin   view full review
Not too good. The cheese sauce needed something besides cheese and milk to make it work. It...

Meatloaf Cupcakes

Reviewed on Apr. 1, 2015 by George   view full review
Loved them. To deal with Angela's problem; I put the mashed potatoes in a pastry bag and used...

Mel's Crab Salad

Reviewed on Mar. 31, 2015 by jan   view full review
Very good flavor(but I did only use 1 t sugar). Made it to go along with my homemade...

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