. . . and she cooks, too!
As a full-time writer and
designer, Gina Edwards still finds time to cook, too.
Since 2003, Edwards has
been sharing her love of cooking, gardening and decorating
with audiences through the online magazine,
andshecookstoo.com, and through her creative and
Growing up in the Midwest,
Edwards learned how to cook at a young age on her
grandparents farm where they raised chickens, farmed popcorn
and had a large garden and orchard. Her mother’s cooking,
which always included all-natural and organic foods,
furthered her love of whole foods and home-cooked meals. To
this day, some of her most prized recipe collections are her
grandmother’s recipe box and hand-written cookbook that was
handed down from her mother to her.
As a child, Saturday
mornings were spent watching food and gardening shows on PBS
instead of cartoons. While in college, Edwards really
started working in the kitchen teaching herself how to make
the family favorites she had grown up enjoying – and
creating her own recipes as well.
Edwards put herself through
college with the help of writing and advertising
scholarships while working as a line cook, grocery store
clerk and library page. After graduating with a degree in
public relations from Bradley University, she started her
career working in the hospitality industry. Today, with more
than 10 years experience working and volunteering for
nonprofit organizations, Edwards works for the United Way as
a writer and designer responsible for in-house design of
print materials, community-wide public relations and
production of various videos and television specials.
In 2002, she began entering
baking contests at the local and state fairs and was awarded
multiple blue ribbons including a best of show for a lemon
twist pizzelle cookie. When her husband was laid-off from
work that year, Edwards began baking cookies for co-workers,
friends and family to earn extra money during the holidays.
Since then, the holiday baking has now grown into a
gift-giving tradition that includes baking more than 250
dozen cookies and cooking more than 25 pounds of homemade
candies each year.
The idea for the
andshecookstoo.com website came from volunteering at a
writers’ workshop for her alma mater’s library. Since
writing is a major part of her daily job, writing about
food, her favorite hobby, became a natural fit. Today, the
website is dedicated to providing straightforward,
resourceful ideas about cooking, gardening, decorating and
Before the website was
completely up and running, requests started to come in
requesting Edwards to present cooking demonstrations. For
groups large and small, these fun presentations on cooking,
decorating and entertaining have consistently received
positive feedback from those attending.
With a library of more than
400 cookbooks and travels across the United States, the
United Kingdom and Greece, Edwards furthered her culinary
education by attending short courses at the Le Cordon Bleu
School in London studying regional French cuisine and
patisserie in 2005. She is currently a member of the
International Association of Culinary Professionals.
In 2006, to answer the need
for a series of classes often requested at previous
demonstrations, Edwards has partnered with the Peoria
Heights Public Library to offer classes one Saturday a month
in the library’s meeting room.
“I really feel that "and
she cooks, too" is a business model and philosophy. We all
have jobs, families and responsibilities - and we all have
to eat. It's a realistic approach to food, decorating and
entertaining because I have a job just like the person
sitting in one of my demonstrations or the person searching
the website. When I'm working on a recipe or a decorating
idea, I can tell them how long it takes me to do it and how
I work it into my busy schedule,” Edwards said.
For more information on
upcoming demonstrations, visit our
Appearances page. If you have any questions, email