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

PAMPERING and RESTORING – Holland America Spa Cruise

Today is Cruise Ship Day in Airlie Beach, which means Market day! Rows and rows of locals from near and far pitch their tents and sell their wares for the hundreds of ship dwelling tourists who get to spend a day wandering our markets and shops and sampling some good old fashioned North Queensland hospitality. So, tell me dear reader, have you ever taken time out to comp [...]

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Dingo Beach – Where The Locals Go To Get Away From It All

When you live in the beautiful Whitsundays and get to wake up and nod off to sleep each day with fresh, clean salty air wafting through your bedroom windows, and just a short stroll to the beach and café for that all important morning coffee, where everything you’d want for is just 5 minutes away, it’s possibly a little disturbing to find yourself wondering, ‘where do th [...]

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Just Tuk’n Around Progressive Dinner

This my friends, is the story of the time we went on a Just Tuk'n Around Progressive Dinner. If you're up for fun and a wild ride then the Just Tuk'n Around Progressive Dinner is a hilarious action packed way to check out some sights and flavours that make up just a little piece of my tropical paradise in Airlie Beach, North Queensland. So tell me dear reader, when was th [...]

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All Systems W O A H… Big Fun on Big Fury!

Three days, two of my favourites folk visiting us from chilly Canberra and one great big desire to show off my little piece of paradise here in the Whitsundays meant just one thing. It was all systems WOAH with a trip out and around the islands at breakneck speeds on Big Fury, a 900hp jet boat sounded just the way to tick a whole lot of fun off the bucket list and drink in the [...]

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Simple Fun and Green and Gold Zucchini Puttanesca

THIS Green and Gold Zucchini Puttanesca is guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser! Not only a spectacular way to showcase zucchini, but it’s simple to make, juicy, ridiculously delicious and has a healthy amount of good for you thrown in too. Never thought I’d find myself appreciating the winter, gone are the days of waking to -4c temperatures with frozen toes and an icy nose, y [...]

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You Say Tomato, I Say Tomarto! Plus… Caprese Salad

A good Caprese salad is a culinary endpoint! It's a dish that's perfectly balanced and downright delicious, to improve upon it by changing its basic form or structure is simply impossible. I think it’s happening! That weird thing that clicks into gear when we reach a certain age, (HA... only people who reach a certain age, say things like... 'reach a certain age'). Anyho... [...]

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Dinner in a SNAP! Pan Fried Salmon with Soy Bean Linguini

Dinner in a snap, made from scratch! Pan fried salmon with tomatoes, asparagus, kalamata olives and vegan soy-bean linguini. It really is amazing what you can make in 20 minutes when you get creative! I have a confession to make! I have this vision of myself swanning home after work, donning a cute and oh so pretty apron and preparing a Masterchefesque dinner that I proudly p [...]

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A Cheeky Trip to the Land of Politicians & Roundabouts + AKIBA Canberra

Do you ever get the feeling your life has shifted gears when you weren’t looking and you find yourself living a new sort of pace? You never know what’s around the corner do you? I mean seriously folks, 2017 has already been a bit of a mind basher for me with all the unexpected, sometimes challenging but amazing experiences coming my way! So, here’s the thing, it’s been [...]

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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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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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PAMPERING and RESTORING – Holland America Spa Cruise

Today is Cruise Ship Day in Airlie Beach, which means Market day! Rows and rows of locals from near and far pitch their tents and sell their wares for the hundreds of ship dwelling tourists who get to spend a day wandering our markets and shops and sampling some good old fashioned North Queensland hospitality. So, tell me dear reader, have you ever taken time out to comp [...]

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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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Dingo Beach – Where The Locals Go To Get Away From It All

When you live in the beautiful Whitsundays and get to wake up and nod off to sleep each day with fresh, clean salty air wafting through your bedroom windows, and just a short stroll to the beach and café for that all important morning coffee, where everything you’d want for is just 5 minutes away, it’s possibly a little disturbing to find yourself wondering, ‘where do th [...]

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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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Flying Through the Whitsunday Skies on a Reef and Island Scenic Flight

Monday's are BREATHTAKING and AMAZING and INSPIRING and BEAUTIFUL in the Whitsundays, especially when the good people at GSL Aviation kindly allowed me to hitch a ride on a Reef and Island scenic flight.   [...]

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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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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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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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