shenANNAgans

Adventures from an Aussie Food, Travel & Hospitality Buff

Connecting people through good food, booze, travel and hospitality

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BOOMSHAKALAKA! Welcome to shenANNAgans Recipes, reminiscences and reviews compiled by coffee blooded, craft beer enthusiast, wine drinking yogi, Australian award-winning writer, chef and globetrotter, Anna Johnston. www.shenANNAgans.comRecipes, reminiscences and reviews compiled by coffee blooded, craft beer enthusiast, wine drinking yogi, Australian award-winning writer, chef and globetrotter, Anna Johnston. www.shenANNAgans.com

Recipes, reminiscences and reviews compiled by coffee blooded, craft beer enthusiast, wine drinking yogi, Australian award-winning writer, chef and globetrotter, Anna Johnston.

Get your chef on and join me on my quirky and unusual adventures in the kitchen creating seasonal, often plant based, gluten free, dairy free and sugar free dishes. Chomp, stomp and romp your way around the globe, take a peak into my dating shenANNAgans and meet my favourite foodie friends and industry colleagues.

Come on in and have a look around, I’m sure you’ll find something to amuse or interest you!

Freshly Published

Avocado Mango and Ginger Smoothie

Today, we’re going tropical. My avocado mango and ginger smoothie is like a little island holiday right in your own kitchen. It will totally transport you to somewhere warm and sunny… at least in your mind! I’ve been feverishly buying up all the fruit and vegetables high in vitamin C this past few weeks, because scurvy my friends, is a real problem. But now, I’ve got [...]

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Staff Meals – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Is it politically correct to complain about the food when you're living on a tropical island and having all your meals catered for you? I’m thinking..... NOT! It wasn’t until I found myself googling symptoms of scurvy that I started to think about all the amazing places I’ve worked at and realised (with the exception of just one place) that “the staffie” has had man [...]

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Chai Spiced Coconut Banana Bread

One of my all time favourite breads is banana bread, especially Chai Spiced Coconut Banana Bread. Before moving to Daydream Island, I used to bake lots of it in my kitchen and loved to vary the ingredients depending on how I felt or the result I wanted to achieve. We always seemed to have a couple of bananas sitting in the fruit bowl on the counter ripening, and eventually, [...]

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A Fruit Symphony – Apple Rhubarb Rose Oven Jam

A jam the color of a summer sunrise or a rosy summer sunset. This apple rhubarb rose oven jam is sweet and gently tangy, it is perfect on granola, scones or bread but also delicious when slightly warmed with a heaped spoonful of ice cream or even straight from the jar if you dare! This is a fruit symphony disguised as a jar of jam. I probably shouldn't tell you this but my [...]

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Daydream Island – Part 3: The Opportunity

Well, no surprises I guess, but I’ve become a card carrying, born again true believer that we have to follow our hearts and pay attention to that wise little voice inside of us that keeps pushing us and saying, 'yes – you can do this', regardless of how afraid we are, regardless of how much is unknown.  We just gotta take a leap of faith sometimes! I hoped that the conseq [...]

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Daydream Island – Part 2: The Consequences

As soon as I had irreversibly made the decision to leave Canberra and all my family and wonderful friends to go live and work on my tropical island in sunshiny North Queensland, Australia, I was hit by a storm of emotions that is hard to describe. Fear, loss, a serious case of the scaredy-cats about my ability to exist without my people or to perform even the most basic event m [...]

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Daydream Island – Part 1: The Decision

I ain’t gunna lie friends – most of 2016 has been down right shitty, so awful in fact that the rainbows and unicorns that usually feature in my happy place to constantly remind me of all the amazingness possible in life, seemed to have disappeared. I found myself alone and so bored with my life that it seemed nothing could bring back the fun. I became unconscious about my [...]

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3 Minute Baked Apple

The 3 minute baked apple loaded with coconut sugar, dates, shredded coconut and slivered almonds is the easiest, fastest and most delicious and relatively healthy gluten free dessert ever! Babysitting Audrey Joan, my beautiful and perfectly perfect niece is one of those tasks I am yet to fully master, everything is new and exciting for this little lady and sitting still f [...]

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From My Travel Diary

I Came. I Saw. I Conquered Mt Kosciuszko

All the feels washed over me! Proud, delighted, amazed, awesome, accomplished, happy and also a little damp….. I Conquered Mt Kosciuszko! Carb loading my foodie friends, is all you need think when considering joining the fit freaks on escapades that involve a 4 hour hike to the rooftop of Australia. Not that I feel I need an excuse to stuff food in my pie hole, especia [...]

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Site Seeing, Sake Shots & Sushi Burgers in Japan

Consuming 1000 shots of Sake the night before a walking tour was never going to end well, and let me tell you, the pain I felt as I hauled my butt out of bed #dryretch was excruciating, but #cheekyvom absolutely worth it! To me, travelling inevitably means one thing: good eats and experiences I wouldn’t easily find at home. There was that one time I overdosed on the most e [...]

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Awe Inspiring Milford Sound New Zealand

With much reluctance I forced my eyes open and turned toward the wall of windows in our cabin as our huge cruise ship eased ever so gently into the mouth of Milford Sound in the Fjordland National Park in New Zealand. Getting out into nature at sunrise is *mostly a rewarding experience, especially when the mind and body get with the program and start operating in unison. But t [...]

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A Heart of Gold – Shwedagon Pagoda

Have you heard of Shwedagon Pagoda in the far off lands of Myanmar (formally Burma)? I went there with zero expectation, but it quickly became obvious that the magnificent Pagoda was a highlight not to be missed. I’d heard it described as stunning, astounding, intense, monumental and magnificent, and from all I’d researched, I would never see anything as incredible as the P [...]

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A Cheeky Food Hop & Singapore’s Iconic Super Trees

Eating is definitely one my favourite pastimes when I travel. I’ve been known to plan entire holidays based on the foods I can hoover, especially Peruvian cuisine, which always showcases the local practices and ingredients of the region I am visiting. So the thought of tasting and sampling my way around Singapore created much tummy excitement.   [...]

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Kep, The Crab Capital of Cambodia

If you’re going to get your ‘cruise on’, I can totally vouch for the luxurious healing and restorative powers of many weeks at sea in exotic waters, and the friendships you build that take up a warm treasured spot in your heart that live on forever. After a month cruising on our decadent floating home, we had well and truly established firm friendships with many of our f [...]

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A Foodie Abroad – Dala, Myanmar

I learnt a long time ago, that often the best adventures are those that are unplanned, and on a whirlwind visit to Myanmar recently, this little foodie abroad noted that statement couldn’t have been truer. With a day to myself, I hopped the police escorted tour bus manned by a bubbly guide Mon-Mon, who entertained us as we bounced and bumped the hour and half drive into the c [...]

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Heaven on Earth – Champagne Bay, Vanuatu

Picture perfect powdery sand pathways that lead to white beaches edged with old-growth trees and coconut palms that line crystal clear sparkling turquoise waters. #takemeback There are times when the bitter cold of the Canberra winter become almost too much for this summer lover to handle. ‘Winter Wonderland my *bleep!’ In my humble opinion there aint nothing fun abou [...]

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Cooking Inspiration

From the Tree to Me – Crispy Caramel Cups

Do you ever get caught up in an imaginary story in your head? Well no surprises to you guys I guess, ‘cos I do! There I was, slowly walking the aisles of Wiffins at the Fyshwick markets, a market place I have visited almost every weekend since I arrived in Canberra nearly 20 years ago, gathering ingredients I needed for a special feast I was preparing for my health co [...]

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Kitchen Memories and Garlic Chilli Prawn Pasta

Extra large Queensland prawns are a sweet dinner treat that brings back memories of my commercial kitchen days, sitting on milk crates for hours peeling the shells to reveal that meaty goodness. They're abundant at my markets now and are best cooked (in my humble opinion) simply with some garlic, chilli and mung bean vegan spaghetti. Prawns are my favourite seafood to eat a [...]

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Playing Tourist and Pork Belly Adobo with Filipino Garlic Rice

Pork Belly Adobo with Filipino Garlic Rice takes hours to cook and the smell of it stays in the house for days, it is a very fatty, high-calorie dish and certainly not something you eat every day, but it is TOTALLY worth the indulgence!!! Working in the hospitality industry is sometimes like traveling the world, it seems to attract adventurers who have [...]

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Meet Alicia from The Foodie’s Colouring Book Plus… A GIVEAWAY!

The ‘Meet….’ series gives you a glimpse into the inner workings of some of my all time fave peeps, cheffing superheroes and foodie friends. I ask the same ten questions and you get their heartfelt responses. As an adult, I can eat ice-cream for breakfast and legally drink (which is pretty rad) but sometimes..... CONFESSION..... I just want to colour! [...]

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Autumn Days and 3 Healthy Popcorn Recipes

Dear Autumn, every year you subdue me into a false sense of contentment with your perfectly pretty red and golden leaves and that rich blue sunshine as your backdrop. And every year I find myself stealing any chance I can to walk amidst your colourful crunchy leaves and be seduced into planning picnics and daydreaming as I watch your falling leaves flutter their way to earth on [...]

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Care Bear Stares, Hammer Pants & Great Gran’s Marmalade Jam

Very seldom does the bro put in a special request for me to make something, but last week when a 5kg box of the most gorgeous brown navel, a new variety orange arrived from my Instagram pal Rina, he asked ‘Will you make me some of that Marmalade jam we had as kids?’.  How could I refuse? As Great Grans Marmalade Jam bubbled away on the stove top, the homel [...]

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The Lazy Baker’s Guide to Choc Malt Milkshake Macarons

Macarons have been on my ‘must make someday’ list for years now. I first saw these magical, airy, delicate, gluten-free (waaaaaay high maintenance & temperamental) meringue mushroom sandwich cookies when I spent an afternoon hanging with Adriano Zumbo (one of Australia’s most celebrated pâtissiers) at the CIT in 2012.  A bunch of up and coming chef and [...]

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Raw Vanilla Coconut Fig Slice

Imagine if Jesus and Julia Childs planted a tree blessed by Ghandi at the top of Mt Everest and watered it with pure unicorn blood until maturity where it sprouted into a glitter explosion of pure amazingness. That's what this Raw Vanilla Coconut Fig Slice is! Who would have thought that hauling my butt to the top of Australia would have uncovered a new passion, sure as heck n [...]

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Reminiscences

‘Art Meets Food’ at the Wedgwood Tea Room

Have you ever found yourself staring at a painting and attempting to analyze the mind of the artist or the work on display and wondered, ‘If that painting was food, what would it taste like?’ I have…. and I’m going to throw it out there and say, I reckon the Tom Roberts inspired High Tea and Lunch at the Wedgwood Tea Room may have answered that question.  So how [...]

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What’s Crackin’ 2015

What's Crackin' 2015...... Happy New Year friends! How are you all and did you have a wonderful Christmas? Were you able to take some time out and rest after the epic-ness of 2014? Did you eat your body weight in food and drink yourself merry? Are you ready to get crackin' on 2015? OK, interrogation over! As my Asian adventures come to a close, I'm reflecting on [...]

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QT Canberra ‘Gals Only’ Experience

It’s not every day you get an invitation requesting you pack your bags for a night of toasting, 5 star dining, more toasting, dancing and partying, followed by a Peter Alexander sponsored slumber party. You see friends, QT Canberra have launched a VIP Hen’s & Celebration package and they tasked some of Canberra’s most fabulous and fine professional socialites ( [...]

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The Sibling Tag

I thought I’d do something a little bit different this week and post about one of my all-time favourite people, I know many of you have siblings and would be able to relate to some of the answers we give in the sibling tag. This post will give you a bit more of a look into my life, introducing you to my one and only sibling: my brother Kris! Sooooo…. Without further ado, p [...]

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A Gumboot Tour & Picnic in the Vines

Imagine strolling through the vines, gumboot on foot, bubbles in hand, sweeping vistas of rolling hills littered with gum trees, and the sun poking through the stormy clouds overhead.   [...]

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A Bit of Blogging Fun

If I had to pick one thing I love most about being a 'foodie' blogger, it would be the awesome community. The people I have met, and friends I have made from all over the world. This wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for my blog, and for that I’m uber grateful. In the spirit of this awesome blogging community, I’m thrilled to have been nominated for [...]

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Happy Birthday to ME!

I turned 33 on the weekend. Thirty-three! I reckon it has a nice ring to it. Maybe it’s my lucky number. If the 3 bird poops #YESthree I copped at my B'day picnic are anything to judge by, (they call me ‘Bullseye Johnston the Bird Target’) my luck-o-metre is peaking and I am in for one heck of a fabulous year. I don’t know at what age it becomes inappropriate to a) D [...]

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The Fresh Awards and Vegan Banana Blueberry Ice Cream

The night arrived and with a spot of leave from the day job to attend a mid-week quick getaway to Sydney, where much to my amazement a quirky little story I’d written about Kenny The Coconut had earned me a spot as Finalist for the 2016 Blogger Award for Best Green Grocer Story at the Sydney Markets Fresh Awards. During the lead up to this night of nights, I’d come to appr [...]

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The 'Meet.....' Series

Meet Alicia from The Foodie’s Colouring Book Plus… A GIVEAWAY!

The ‘Meet….’ series gives you a glimpse into the inner workings of some of my all time fave peeps, cheffing superheroes and foodie friends. I ask the same ten questions and you get their heartfelt responses. As an adult, I can eat ice-cream for breakfast and legally drink (which is pretty rad) but sometimes..... CONFESSION..... I just want to colour! [...]

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Meet Maria De Los Angeles

The ‘Meet….’ series gives you a glimpse into the inner workings of some of my all-time fave peeps and cheffing superheroes. I ask the same ten questions and you get their heartfelt responses. I first met the gorgeous and vibrant Miss Maria, affectionately known as ‘Token’ via the Press Club kitchens a couple of years ago (Token, because she was the ONLY female chef i [...]

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Meet the Crafty Couple behind The Beer Crate and WIN BEER

Meet the crafty couple behind the Canberra-based beer delivery service The Beer Crate, Murray Emerton and Mandy Francis. My beer drinking tastes seem to accommodate most varieties of the bubbly brew I fondly refer to as Jesus Juice, but in recent times I've found myself returning to old favourites like Coopers Pale Ale and Toohey's Old which might put me at odds with the trend [...]

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Meet Clayton from ‘Chefs Run Wild’

The ‘Meet….’ series gives you a glimpse into the inner workings of some of my all time fave peeps and cheffing superheroes. I ask the same ten questions and you get their heartfelt responses. You may remember I introduced you to Clayton’s twin brother Chad & best friend Lyndon via this series a few months back? I came across these awesome lads in 2011 via the [...]

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Meet Pink from East Street Canberra and Green Papaya Prawn Salad

The ‘Meet….’ series gives you a glimpse into the inner workings of some of my all time fave peeps, cheffing superheroes and foodie friends. I ask the same ten questions and you get their heartfelt responses.  If there is one cuisine in the world I would happily eat a couple of times each week, it is Vietnamese food. It'd be lightly spiced warming soups or [...]

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Meet Cheffie

The 'Meet....' series gives you a glimpse into the inner workings of some of my all time fave peeps and  cheffing superheroes. I ask the same ten questions and you get their heartfelt responses. Do you know Paul Butler? Or, if you live in the Berra... you’d know him as Chef or Cheffie?  You must – and if you don’t, what rock have you been living unde [...]

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Meet Chad from ‘Chefs Run Wild’

The 'Meet....' series gives you a glimpse into the inner workings of some of my all time fave peeps and cheffing superheroes. I ask the same ten questions and you get their heartfelt responses. I came across Chad & his twin bro Clayton and their best friend Lyndon via their YouTube Channel “Without Borders” in 2011. These guys are 3 chefs from Canada who filmed t [...]

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