November 26, 2014

A Bit of Blogging Fun

A Bit of Blogging Fun. Anna Johnston -

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.

Peanut Butter French Toast

In the spirit of this awesome blogging community, I’m thrilled to have been nominated for the Liebster Award by Gary Lum, the writer behind Yummy Lummy, which is all about promoting other people’s blogs, and offering a chance for you to discover new blogs along the way.

So get ready friends, because we’re going to have a bit of blogging fun today. I’ve been given 10 questions to answer, and then I’ll be passing the baton onto another 10 bloggers.

What’s the best meal you’ve ever cooked?
As a qualified chef, preparing stand out and amazing foods comes with the territory, so it’s hard for me to pinpoint the best meal I’ve ever cooked. But when I was working in London at the Covent Garden Hotel, Gordon Ramsey did send compliments to the chef (me) that prepared his entree. #shamelessbrag Crab claw, avocado, tomato & scallion salad, creme Friache, from memory the dish had a bit of an Australasian feel to it. That was pretty cool!

Chef Anna Johnston

What food makes you remember your childhood?
Lamb, mostly because it was the protein of choice for majority of the meals we ate growing up, and apricots, we had a gorgeous apricot tree out the front of our home, it was perfect for climbing and always gave us a bounty of fruit great for jam and chutney, worked a treat to throw at my little bro too.

What is your favourite kitchen appliance and why?
My wok and my juicer. I am all about meals that can be prepared quickly.

Anna Johnston - JuiceWhat is your dream meal?
I am really keen to try the ‘Glamburger’, it has black truffle, a Kobe Wagyu beef patty, lobster, beluga caviar, a duck egg, venison and edible gold leaf. And it only costs around $1500.00 #boom

Name one food person who you admire and why?
Cheffie! He is one of the best people I know. His passion for food, teaching, training, mentoring, advising is totally inspiring.

Anna & Cheffie

What recipe are you planning that you’re excited about?
Pretty pumped to try making the ceviche, one of the Pressie kitchen Spring specialities.

Share something unique/weird about you in the context of food?
Right up until I began my cooking apprenticeship at age 20, I wouldn’t touch raw meat, chicken in particular. I totally blew my family away when I said I was going to become a chef.

What’s your favourite meal?
Hmmm… Any meal that I don’t have to cook myself, that… and sushi, I could eat sushi every day.

Anna Johnston Sushi

Name one technique or strategy that is working well for your blog right now?
Sharing content regularly on all of my social media platforms definitely increases traffic to my blog.

Name one app that you can’t live without?
I am obsessed with Instagram, it is such a fun app to quickly share amazing photos with your networks.



I am nominating these cool cats to participate. Some of the following are recent discoveries, others I have loved for a very long while. All are super rad!

Sriprae – Abuchon
BAM – Bam’s Kitchen
Agness & Cez – ETramping
Alice – Girl in a Food Frenzy
Eileen – The Food Avenue
Tim – UrbanDuniya
Kim – My Inner Chick
Rachel – Rachels Kitchen NZ
Liz – Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard
Raymund – Ang Sarap

So tell me dear reader, who are your favourite authors? And do you prefer reading from a kindle/hand held device or a physical book?  

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shenANNAgans is Anna Johnston, a 30 - something Aussie gal with an unwavering passion for the Hospitality industry. I love the quirky and unusual, designing events, travelling far and wide and eating food from all around the world. I am coffee blooded, a craft beer enthusiast, wine drinking yogi who enjoys writing about her adventures.

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Sophie - December 22, 2014 Reply

This was such a cool lovely post! Loved reading & seeing it all! xxx

    Anna - January 2, 2015 Reply

    Thanks Sophie. How cool is it to connect with so many amazing peeps from all over the globe. 🙂

K / Pure & Complex - December 9, 2014 Reply

This was such a cool post. It was fun getting to know more about you. Congrats on winning this award as well.

    Anna - December 10, 2014 Reply

    Thanks heaps! I appreciate your very kinds words. And yes, it’s always nice to be acknowledged by your peers. 🙂

Kris Johnston - December 8, 2014 Reply

Good question there.

You nailed it on the head when you named the foods that brought you back to your childhood. Lamb and apricot.
It also reminded me of the apricots that dropped to the ground and went soggy…. great to throw right back at you. 🙂

What a great community you are part of here.

    Anna - December 9, 2014 Reply

    Hahaha… good memories. 🙂 We had a pretty good childhood. LOL!
    And yes, I have made some amazing friends, very cool it is. 🙂

Shikha (whywasteannualleave) - December 8, 2014 Reply

Great read! And from what I’ve heard, getting a compliment from Gordon Ramsay is a big compliment in itself! And still newer to Instagram than most of my fellow friends and bloggers, I too am still in that phase with it where I think it’s the best app ever!

    Anna - December 8, 2014 Reply

    Thanks heaps! 🙂
    And yes, it was pretty great to hear a compliment from Ramsay, but the kitchen I was working in was crazy busy and very strict, which meant I was allowed zero time to soak it up.
    Insta is fabulous! Heading over to find you now. 🙂

Alice - December 7, 2014 Reply

Thanks so much lovley!!! It was such a pleasure to met up and say hi in person last week and I’m really impressed by your zeal and love for what you do! I must say that Kobe burger is sounding pretty good, now we just have to win the lottery! Thanks for the nomination too, I dont know that my story is half as interesting at the moment though 😉 Lol!

    Anna - December 8, 2014 Reply

    It was amazing to meet you the other week Al, and give you a giant hug! I cant wait for us to be neighbours and for that to be a regular thing. 🙂
    YEAH the burger sounds amazingly delish right?! Teehee… yes we will need an influx of moula to make it a thing in our lives…. I’ll get the lotto ticket this arvo.
    And your story is about to get crazy interesting, cant wait to meet the little one. xox

Tina @ Tina's Chic Corner - December 6, 2014 Reply

Isn’t it amazing how you can make friends with someone even if you’ve never met them or talked with them live?! I too have met so many new people and I love it. 🙂

    Anna - December 6, 2014 Reply

    It’s incredible Tina, sort of crazy too. But, that’s why I love blogging, you connect with people over the things you are passionate about. 🙂

Kathy @ Olives & Garlic - December 3, 2014 Reply

Wow that dream meal sounds spectacular. I can see how that’s your favorite.

    Anna - December 3, 2014 Reply

    Doesnt it sound amazing?! 🙂 Although… the gold lead, seems a strange addition. But hey… why not right?! 🙂

The Squishy Monster - December 3, 2014 Reply

Great post, girl! I can’t believe I don’t own a wok!!

    Anna - December 3, 2014 Reply

    Why thank ya lovely one. 🙂
    WHAAAAT…. How do you not own a wok? It is the ultimate kitchen item, you can cook everything in it. 🙂

Raymund - December 2, 2014 Reply

Thanks for nominating me, its my pleasure.
Interesting to see some facts here like you loving your wok, same here I cant live without it and use it for almost everything

    Anna - December 2, 2014 Reply

    I have been known to travel with my wok, that’s how much I love it. LOL! 🙂

Tim | UrbanDuniya - December 1, 2014 Reply

I remember that drink!!! <3 <D

And some great other pics here too – WANTTTTTT 🙂 And thanks for the nomination 🙂

    Anna - December 1, 2014 Reply

    Teehee…. That drink was a cracker Tim, I had to share. 🙂
    LOL! I could go a plate of the peanut butter french toast too.
    AND… You are totes awesome, thanks for the entertaining blog posts. I think you rock. 🙂

Bam's Kitchen - November 30, 2014 Reply

It is so fun to learn a little bit more about you Anna. Raw chicken is kind of gross, even if you are a chef, don’t you think. I refuse to even take photos of it in its uncooked form. Loving your fun and energetic posts, always fun to read. Take Care

    Anna - December 1, 2014 Reply

    Yeah, raw chicken is still kinda gross to me too, BAM!
    And I thank you for your lovely words, that is very kind of you. xox

My Inner Chick - November 30, 2014 Reply

LOVE this!
Covent Garden Hotel! OMGGGGGGGosh.
Gordon Ramsey!
R u serious? WOW.
Also, thank you for the mention. How Sweet.
My fave authors: Nabokov, Berg, Li, PLATH, Strayed, Gilbert, and I LOVE the new author, Gillian Flynn.

xxxx KISS from MN.

    Anna - December 1, 2014 Reply

    Hey Ya Kim! 🙂 I sure do love your enthusiasm and amazingly happy comments. Thank you!
    LOL … All true! 🙂
    I have got me a copy of Gone Girl for my holiday reading. Cant wait!
    Giant hugs and love from Aus. xox

Agness - November 30, 2014 Reply

This food is just way toooo delicious!!!

    Anna - December 1, 2014 Reply

    Oh yeah Agness, the peanut butter French toast was A-Mazing! 🙂

Sophie - November 29, 2014 Reply

It is so cool to read more about you, my beloved friend! xxx

    Anna - November 29, 2014 Reply

    Thank you so much for your kind words, Sophie. Wishing you a beautiful day. Hugs from Australia. xox

Anna (Hidden Ponies) - November 29, 2014 Reply

Compliments of Gordon Ramsay – that deserves a brag, lady! And funny, I’m the same way – I don’t mind cooking, but any meal I don’t have to make myself is one of my favourites 🙂

I am allll about physical books, but I’m also technologically challenged. I can see the handheld devices for holidays, but I don’t go on those very often, so I hope real books don’t go anywhere soon!

    Anna - November 29, 2014 Reply

    Teehee! Yes, it really does deserve a cheeky brag. 🙂 But at the time, the chef of that kitchen was one of the scariest I have ever worked under, when he told me, he yelled it across the kitchen, I wasn’t even sure it was a compliment at the time. LOL!
    Yep, all about the physical book myself, I like the way they smell and feel. #creepy LOL But the holidays are easier with the handheld, so that is how I roll these days. 🙂 Thanks for stopping in, you rock lovely one. Happy weekend to you. x

Denise Browning@From Brazil To You - November 29, 2014 Reply

Great interview! An opportunity to learn more about you and your job. I would totally try the glamburger as well. The mention of black truffles would be enough to sat YES! 🙂

    Anna - November 29, 2014 Reply

    Heck yeah, the glamburger does sound phenomenal. I do wonder about the gold leaf tho, its the one ingredient that doesn’t make sense. Either way, can’t wait to try that feed.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella - November 28, 2014 Reply

That’s so funny that you wanted to become a chef but didn’t like a lot of food! I think it gives hope to a lot of fussy eaters. I hated seafood as a child but now I absolutely love it! 😀

    Anna - November 28, 2014 Reply

    Hahaha…. I know, I used to wear kitchen gloves and a carving fork, you can imagine how well that went down in my first year of my apprenticeship.
    Funny the way our tastebuds change, I didn’t much care for seafood as a kid either, but can’t get enough of it now.
    Happy weekend Lorraine. x

Tandy | Lavender and Lime - November 28, 2014 Reply

so nice to read more about you Anna! I would not mind a taste of that burger as well, just to know why it is so expensive. Have a super weekend 🙂

    Anna - November 28, 2014 Reply

    Thanks Tandy. 🙂
    I know right re the burger, it’d be interesting to see if you felt it was worth it or not.
    You have a fabulous weekend too.

Jean | Holy Smithereens - November 28, 2014 Reply

Congratulations on the nomination Anna! And wow, seriously, a compliment from Gordon Ramsey! That deserves a whole blog post in itself 🙂
That glamburger sounds RICH in sense of the word! I could never be a chef and this is why I love browsing food blogs and I’m glad to have discovered yours 🙂

    Anna - November 28, 2014 Reply

    Thanks heaps Jean! 🙂 You are super sweet.
    Yes, it was pretty fantastic getting a compliment from Ramsey, but I had hardly a moment to take it in, the chef was super scary, when he told me, he yelled it. LOL! But you are right, I shall dig up the photos from my time in London.

Eileen @ TheFoodAvenue - November 27, 2014 Reply

Great post, chicky! The peanut butter french toast looked amaaaaazing!! Thanks again for the shoutout 🙂

    Anna - November 28, 2014 Reply

    Thanks lovely one! 🙂
    And heck yeah…. I am making a replica of the peanut butter french toast for breakfast tomorrow. It was sooooo good!
    You are most welcome, thanks for your support and for putting out awesome content.

Mandy - November 27, 2014 Reply

Have a beautiful weekend ahead hon.
🙂 Mandy xoxoxo

    Anna - November 28, 2014 Reply

    Right back at you my dearest. Hugs! xox

Gourmet Getaways - November 27, 2014 Reply

We’re one in this Anna! I love meals that are prepared in a flash! Congratulations and good luck on the nomination 🙂

Julie & Alesah
Gourmet Getaways xx

    Anna - November 27, 2014 Reply

    Love that I am not the only one that feels the any food cooked for them is the best kinda food. 🙂
    And thanks heaps. It’s cool nomination, nice to be able to recognise some of my faves.

Lily Lau - November 27, 2014 Reply

Thanks for being part of this blogging community, it’s always a pleasure to read you Anna 🙂

    Anna - November 27, 2014 Reply

    Wow Lily! Thank you so much, I really appreciate your kind words.
    Wishing you a spectacular day.
    Cheers, Anna

Elizabeth - November 27, 2014 Reply

Fantastic idea gorgeous Anna and Thank you for the nomination…. I’m onto it now 🙂 Liz xxx

    Anna - November 27, 2014 Reply

    Why thank ya lovely lady. I thought it was a fun way to let some of my fave bloggers know that I think they are amazing. 🙂

Susan - November 27, 2014 Reply

What a great post ShenANNAgans! Good to meet all your blogging friends.
Have to say when it comes to catching up on all my favorite holiday reads, I can’t live without my iPad.

    Anna - November 27, 2014 Reply

    Awh… Thank You! 🙂 The iPad is rather convenient, and great you have access to your entire library. Good call! 🙂

Lizzy (Good Things) - November 27, 2014 Reply

Love it!

    Anna - November 27, 2014 Reply

    Thanks Lizzy! xox

      Lizzy (Good Things) - December 2, 2014 Reply

      Oopsies, and definitely a physical book… no kindle for this gal. Favourite authors? Too many… : )

        Anna - December 2, 2014 Reply

        Totes with you Lizzy! Love me a physical book, although they do take a good chunk out of my luggage allowance.
        Haha… I just checked in for my cruise, apparently there is an extensive library, so my reading needs should be met. YAY!

Krista - November 27, 2014 Reply

I have too many favorite authors to list, but I definitely prefer a physical book to something electronic. I like being about to fold corners and underline passages. 🙂 You are an amazing chef, my friend. I’d love to try your food in person one day. 🙂

    Anna - November 27, 2014 Reply

    I am with you on the physical book bit, there is something super lovely being able to hold it, that probably is because it means I am on holidays and in full relaxation mode. 🙂
    Well my friend, lets add dinner together to the list. I’d so love to break bread with you lovely Krista. 🙂

Hotly Spiced - November 27, 2014 Reply

I didn’t know Gordon Ramsay handed out compliments – I thought he just abused people. You must have totally impressed him. My little guy keeps telling me about that burger and asking, ‘When are we going to try it?’ Not any time soon, for sure xx

    Anna - November 27, 2014 Reply

    Totally blew me away too, Charlie. But apparently the scary guy is all for the media, he is meant to be a really reasonable guy. 🙂 But…. When the chef yelled – ANNA!!! I thought for sure he was giving me my marching orders, not a compliment from one of the most famous guys in the industry. LOL!
    Haha… I wont be eating that burger anytime soon either, but its on the list. 🙂

Choc Chip Uru - November 27, 2014 Reply

Congrats on the award 😀
And instagram is definitely a new obsession for me so I get you! Great learning a little more about you 😀

Choc Chip Uru

    Anna - November 27, 2014 Reply

    Thanks my loveliest Uru. And you are on Instagram, why am I not following you? Doing that now. 🙂

Gary Lum (@Yummy_Lummy) - November 27, 2014 Reply

Fantastic post Anna. Wow, cooking for Gordon Ramsay. I’d hang a sign, “I cooked for Gordo, he said it was good and didn’t swear!. 🙂

    Anna - November 27, 2014 Reply

    Thanks Gary! I totes appreciate the nomination, very kind of you. 🙂
    LOL… I shall look into having the sign made, it’d make for great dinner conversation too.

Rachel (Rachel's Kitchen NZ) - November 27, 2014 Reply

Oh, thank you Anna. So totally agree with you about the blogging community.

    Anna - November 27, 2014 Reply

    Thank you Rachel, your amazing recipes have kept my dinners super interesting and tasty. #yourock
    And yep, it’s cool to have mates all over the globe huh?!

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