Cooking Superstar

Garlic Whisk

Cook along with Colleen from Garlic Whisk

Colleen Ward
St. Louis, MO

When did you first get in to cooking and do you remember the first recipe you tried?

I grew up in a house where we cooked a lot but I really got into cooking on my own in college - to save myself from the cafeteria food. I think one of the first recipes I tried on my own was macaroni and cheese from scratch because how could carbs and cheese be bad?

What's your kitchen like and how do you keep organized when cooking?

I rent, so I work with what I have. But I'm a true believer in a gas oven - I can never go back to electric! I try to keep shelves in my pantry organized by what kind of ingredient it is - canned goods together, rice on a different shelf etc. To stay organized when cooking- especially if it is multiple recipes, I try and do the dishes as I go so I don't have a giant mess at the end.

What tips would you give to someone wanting to become a better cook?

Start with recipes that you order when you are out. You are way more likely to put the work in if it is something you want to eat! Also, I would just say try and cook more and more - practice makes perfect!

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party and what would you cook for them?

Oh my dream dinner party! I really think my dream dinner party would just be all of my close friends and family - I love sharing a meal with people I am close with! I would probably cook a hearty baked pasta like lasagna or something, with a great big, colorful salad and of course some bread. And definitely something chocolate for dessert. I think people are way more comfortable and the evening is way more fun when the food is approachable and not over the top!

Do you do any other crafts and what are your hobbies?

I attempt other crafts sometimes - I've painted a few canvases that are in my apartment. I made a Christmas tree skirt that I still use. My mom and I love going to consignment/antique stores and finding things we can repurpose!

Which cooking blogs do you love to read?

Too many- How Sweet Eats, Pinch of Yum, Gimme Some Oven, Half Baked Harvest, Natural Comfort Kitchen, Strawberry Blondie Kitchen, Bev Cooks, A Cozy Kitchen...

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Colleen Ward
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What's your favorite...

TV Show
Scandal and Homeland
Other than my own...Austin
Pretty Woman
Cook Book
America's Test Kitchen Cookbook
Itallian or Asian
Onion and garlic definitely. Sweet potatoes, pasta, cheese too!
Kitchen Gadget
Microplane. This little thing that takes the skin off of the garlic cloves. Does a broiler count? :)