Friends of the tribe – A christmas special with Ann Krause

co-33What skill from your life as an engineer comes useful in cooking?

Engineering is all about creative problem solving, and so is cooking! It’s just channeling my “anything is possible” mindset in a different way.

What’s the most rewarding thing Sumptuous Spoonfuls has given you?

Friends! I’ve met so many wonderful people since I started my blog. I had no idea when I started food blogging that it would lead me to this amazing community of foodie friends. So many of these people I’ve never met in person have become so close to me. We help each other, inspire, console and protect each other. They are an also an endless source of inspiration for me and I often wish I could reach out and give them a big hug or sit down for a cup of tea (or wine!) with them.  I feel so honored and blessed to call these wonderful people my friends.


I notice you use a lot of fresh herbs in your recipes, you must have a herb garden. Share a picture?

herbs-in-pots
I keep my herbs in pots so I can bring them in for the cold winter months, because I just HAVE to have fresh herbs. Here’s a photo I took a couple years ago, 2 kinds of basil, parsley, oregano and thyme. Some of these are still alive today.

What’s your signature style of cooking? Do you have a must-cook recipe that you share with new cooks?

I don’t know that I have a ‘signature style’, really. My cooking is very eclectic and varied, but some of my foodie friends refer to me as “the salad queen” because I really love to make beautiful, delicious salads. I am particularly fond of little bites (appetizers, dips, etc.), too, because that is how I eat: small snacks throughout the day and evening. I rarely sit down for a big meal. With new cooks, I like to give them easy stir-together recipes that you just can’t mess up, like my Herbed Bacon Sundried Tomato Cheese Spread

What are your favourite Christmas food traditions?

My daughter and I love to make this pretty braided Swedish Christmas bread at the holidays. I also love all things peppermint and cranberry and am always thinking of new twists on old favorites.  

kardemummakrans

Who are your blogger friends who you turn to for inspiration, critique, or just good food?

Oh I could name SO many … Ann at The Fountain Avenue Kitchen, Sonali at The Foodie Physician, Ally at Ally’s Kitchen, Abby at Manila Spoon, Michele at La Belle Cuisine, Melissa at ChinDeep, Marie at Citronlimette, Linda from Linda’s Italian Kitchen, Justine at Full Belly Sisters, Lauren Kelly, Nutritionist, Sawsan at Chef in Disguise, Christie at Zestuous, Mia at Mia’s Domain, Sherron at Simply Gourmet … I could go on and on and on and still not mention them all …

When you have unexpected guests (hungry too), what would you whip for them quickly?

I almost always have a soup or dip on hand that I can reheat, and there’s usually homemade bread too. I’ve also been known to whip up a spontaneous pasta dish from what I have on hand. There are always several kinds of good cheese in the cheese drawer and things I can pull from my veggie drawer and freezer, and of course, fresh herbs. Omelets or frittatas are another quick, fabulous option … I make a killer omelet.

The Mighty Denver Sandwich

How do you make sure all your recipes are on the healthier side?

I cut down on the fat and sugar and replace whole wheat flour and flaxmeal for white flour. Usually in baked goods, it’s fairly easy to replace fat with yogurt or fruit and most of the time I can cut the sugar in half and still have a delicious result. I use lots of spices, vanilla, fruits and vegetables in my foods, and (mostly) lean meats. I research the health benefits of the flavors I love (like garlic, ginger, vanilla, and cinnamon) and incorporate those naturally healthy flavors in my recipes.

What’s the most encouraging thing a reader/follower has written to you?

The ones from readers that tried and loved one of my recipes mean the most to me. I almost cry tears of joy to hear their stories!

What are you cooking for Christmas this year?

I’m thinking this Cranberry Eggnog French Toast Bake would be a great make-ahead breakfast full of holiday flavors and color. Things get crazy at Christmastime and breakfast sometimes gets neglected, so I like to have a “trick” in my back pocket to feed the family in the morning.

  • Ann

    What a lovely interview, and I am honored to be mentioned…especially among such a fabulously creative group. Likewise, Ann, you are an inspiration to me and so many others!! xo, Ann from The Fountain Avenue Kitchen