July 23, 2014

Schroom Boom! #MushroomMania2014

I’ve had a turbulent relationship with the mushroom, as a child, not gonna lie, it was one of the foods I felt better belonged half chewed and shoved down the back of my dad’s recliner lounge. #iwasthatkid

A few years down the track when I began my cheffing apprenticeship at the National Convention Centre, where we catered for 1000+ events. Boxes and boxes of button mushrooms would land on my bench to be sliced. As a newbie to the kitchen and not entirely comfortable with my giant chef’s knife, it was rather intimidating, but I set myself a challenge…. To slice the mushies with my eyes closed. Mission Accomplished!

Schroom Boom! #MushroomMania2014 Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com 

Now all grown up, I love mushrooms, they are a stock standard ingredient on the weekly shopping list, but when dining out I wouldn’t necessarily order mushroom meals. The $100 voucher kindly gifted to me by Power of Mushrooms, a campaign organised by the Australian Mushroom Growers Association, means I was ordering dishes I might otherwise have not during the month.

Early Saturday morning, coffee calling, we tucked into the usual 17 layers of warmth and headed out for some Canberra mushie yummies. First stop – Pulp Kitchen.

Mushroom Meal/s #1

Cotechino sausage with soft fried egg, gruyere béchamel, button mushroom on toast
The Farmhouse Breakfast – Fried eggs, Cumberland sausage, bacon, roast Portobello mushroom, steamed green beans & sautéed potatoes
Three cheese omelette w/ a side of mushrooms

Schroom Boom! #MushroomMania2014 Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

Dang it was delicious, twas the perfect way to start the day.

My mushie gift card still had a few quid on it for the spending, so Sunday morning I ventured out for breakfast at Scope Mount Stromlo Café. If you feed me well at breakfast, there isn’t much of a need for me to eat for the rest of the day.

Schroom Boom! #MushroomMania2014 Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

Mushroom Meal #2

Scope Breakfast – Scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages, mushrooms & curried rosti

Ahhhh right… I hear you say! I’m going to sing praises of the fleshy fungus because I was paid to do so. Not the case my friends and I don’t say this lightly either, I generally choose to not write about an experience if I did not enjoy it. It’s likely the Scope gang were having a bad day, but this meal was not at all to my taste, the presentation of the food was not fit for sharing, the service was clunky and I won’t be going back in a hurry either! Feeling rather unsatisfied with that mushroom encounter, I hit the shops up to spend the remaining dollars on dinner for the next few nights.

Mushroom Meal #3

Wild Mushroom Risotto w/ fetta, palm sugar balsamic reduction & herbs from my garden.

Schroom Boom! #MushroomMania2014 Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

 This was heaven and hands down the richest, most flavoursome mushroom risotto I have made in yonks.

Mushroom Meal #4

Roast Chicken & Balsamic Mushrooms

Schroom Boom! #MushroomMania2014 Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com
I am reluctant to share too many recipes here on the blog, as I really don’t want it to be all about food. So I ask that you stay tuned, and if you REALLY want to know, shoot me a message and Ill hook you up.

July is mushie month, so if you are a mushroom fan, now is the time to let your friendly fungi flag fly. There are $100 gift cards up for grabs until the end of July. For full details, see here.

So tell me, what’s your go too mushie meal? And do you love to eat out for breakfast on the weekends?

Ready to take this relationship to the next level?

Yeah you are…. SUBSCRIBE by entering your email address below to receive weekly updates on my latest shenANNAgans, recipes, reminiscences and reviews too. 



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.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Kitchen Memories and Garlic Chilli Prawn Pasta - April 16, 2016 Reply

[…] regular occurrence, hours of my days were often spent doing the same task; slicing 50 kilograms of mushrooms, (I’d set myself challenges to chop blindfolded), piping 1000 beautiful butter rosettes, (you […]

Hello Fresh - Everything But The Chef .... Wait?! - July 23, 2015 Reply

[…] much as I enjoy cooking, I do suffer kitchen fatigue from time to time. The frosty grey gloomy weather in Canberra […]

Denise Browning@From Brazil To You - September 18, 2014 Reply

I did not enjoy mushrooms as a child either. But just like you, I love them as an adult. I use them in many dishes and also can eat them simply sauteed by themselves.
My children hate them but I know there is hope for them. 🙂

    Anna - September 18, 2014 Reply

    Haha… Denise did you stuff them behind the recliner too?
    Oh yes, there is still hope for the kids, look us right. #mushiemad 🙂

Sophie - August 25, 2014 Reply

I am a big mushrooms,lover! Love it nearly into everything! Mmmmmmmmmmm.

Lovely mushroom dishes!

    Anna - August 25, 2014 Reply

    Oh I hear that Sophie! Mushies are soooooo good and work with a lot of different dishes. 🙂

Dedy@Dentist Chef - August 24, 2014 Reply

i’m a huge fans of mushrooms, lovon it all the way!

    Anna - August 25, 2014 Reply

    They really are good huh Dedy?! 🙂

Erin | The Law Student's Wife - August 3, 2014 Reply

I despised mushrooms as a kid too, and now I just can’t get enough! Could we be mushroom soulmates?

    Anna - August 3, 2014 Reply

    Mushie soul sistas. 🙂 Funny the way our tastebuds mature huh Erin.

Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl - July 29, 2014 Reply

I say to myself very often “eat more mushrooms!”. I love them so darn much so why aren’t I eating them all the time? Thanks for the reminder on mushroommania!

    Anna - July 29, 2014 Reply

    Happy to remind you about the tasty and oh so goodness of the mushie Pamela. 🙂

Hotly Spiced - July 26, 2014 Reply

I always loved mushrooms but my daughter was never a fan and she used to pick them out of her dinner and line them up around the edge of the plate. Now, just like you, she loves them. I can’t believe you sliced them with your eyes closed – what a skill xx

    Anna - July 28, 2014 Reply

    Haha… The plate lining bit was a common occurance too, although that process took a heck of a lot longer with my parents insisting that I eat them, me stubbornly refusing. 🙂 Yeah, I was very proud when I mastered the eye closed chop.
    Hope you enjoyed NYC Charlie. xox

Choc Chip Uru - July 25, 2014 Reply

Ok don’t hate me! I am not a fan of mushrooms at all! But reading through your post, I really feel the need for such delicious mushroom dishes!
How do you do this to me!!?? Change basically everything about my cuisine choices 😛

Choc Chip Uru

    Anna - July 25, 2014 Reply

    Ha! Thats hilarious CCU. 🙂 Thought for sure you’d dig mushies, Im totes surprised. LOL!

Allison - July 25, 2014 Reply

I adore mushrooms! While I was visiting the west coast a couple of weeks ago, I had the most intense-tasting mushrooms. SO GOOD! They are just incredibly satisfying, savoury, and rich. Whenever I’m craving something savoury, I also gravitate towards mushrooms. Those meals look too good for words. And yes! I love to have breakie out on weekends once and a while. So much fun!

    Anna - July 25, 2014 Reply

    Awesome Allison, I’m curious to know what the intense tasting mushroom was? And yeah to the weekend breakfast adventures, it’s always a lovely treat. 🙂

Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice - July 25, 2014 Reply

What a great post, Anna! I absolutely LOVE mushrooms! I would eat them all day, every day, if I could! Now if only I could convince my husband to share the mushroom love, too… 🙂

    Anna - July 25, 2014 Reply

    Thanks heaps Gayle. Yay to being a mushie fan, such a shame the hubby doesn’t enjoy them tho, hopefully you can sneak them into foods without him knowing. 🙂

court - July 24, 2014 Reply

I once made a parmesan and garlic risotto then used it to stuff a field mushroom. I topped with more parmesan & olive oil. It was maybe the best thing I ever made.

I am liking your risotto tho. Dinner invite?

    Anna - July 25, 2014 Reply

    Oh heck yes, that sounds amazing Court, risotto stuffed mushies. And absolutely yes to coming for dinner, it’s potluck. Lol! 🙂

Krista - July 24, 2014 Reply

I’ve only had a hate/hate relationship with mushrooms thus far. 🙂 Perhaps one day I WILL get to visit you, and you can work your mushy magic and change my mind or palate? 🙂

    Anna - July 24, 2014 Reply

    Oh bless Miss Krista. 🙂 Deal… I shall cook some yummy mushie meals for you when you visit, and show those tastebuds of yours just how delicious the mushroom can be. 🙂

Pink - July 24, 2014 Reply

Omg this has gotta be my most favourite blog post evaaaa.

1. Cause it’s written by you, whom I love
2. Cause it’s written about an ingredient that I love.

Love love love love it. Xoxo

    Anna - July 24, 2014 Reply

    Nawhhhh, thanks lovely one. 🙂
    1. Love you right back.
    2. Mushies sure are a tops ingredients.

Tandy | Lavender and Lime - July 24, 2014 Reply

I love mushrooms in any shape or form, but I am too scared to cut them up with my eyes closed 🙂

    Anna - July 24, 2014 Reply

    HAHA… It took me a good many months to master the eye closed cutting Tandy. 🙂 And a whole bunch more months to enjoy them. 🙂

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella - July 24, 2014 Reply

OMG Anna you are adorable! I can’t believe you stuffed it behind the lounge! 😛 So cute 🙂

    Anna - July 24, 2014 Reply

    Awhhhhh I dont know about that…. Pretty sure my parents didnt think I was too adorable at that point. LOL! 🙂 But its funny now.

Hannah - July 24, 2014 Reply

I love to eat out for breakfast on the weekends and week days! I’m a strong believer that going out for breakfast is a good idea every day of the week.
I love to have my mushies sautéed in truffle oil.

    Anna - July 24, 2014 Reply

    Yeas… every meal that I dont have to cook is a bonus right?! Especially breakfast. 🙂
    Boom, truffled eggs are tha BEST!

Kathy @ Olives & Garlic - July 24, 2014 Reply

I love love mushrooms, especially with a creamy sauce over pasta or quinoa.

    Anna - July 24, 2014 Reply

    Sounds absolutely delish Kathy! I always forget about quinoa, shall add that to the weekday dinner menu. 🙂

Rachel (Rachel's Kitchen NZ) - July 24, 2014 Reply

I love mushrooms – we have a grower here in Hawke’s Bay who grows huge Portabellos and love to roast them. That risotto looks amazing and I do love mushrooms for breakfast:)

    Anna - July 24, 2014 Reply

    Wow, thats really cool Rachel, Portabellos are the business, especially slow roasted. Drool! 🙂
    Thanks very much, tasted fabulous too. 🙂

Tina @ Tina's Chic Corner - July 24, 2014 Reply

Love love love mushrooms! I’m not sure which is my favorite meal. I made a spaghetti squash with mushrooms a while back. It’s amazing how much flavor is in a mushroom so the meal can be super simple and tasty. 🙂

    Anna - July 24, 2014 Reply

    Spaghetti squash… Now that sounds gooooooood Tina! 🙂 And couldn’t agree more, mushies are a meal on their or a wonderful addition to a dish, plus they are easy to prepare and cook. Winning all round.

Dionne Baldwin - July 24, 2014 Reply

I am laughing at the idea of finding chewed mushrooms in the furniture! Oh that’s funny. I don’t blame you though, at least I wouldn’t have when I was little. Now I love them.

I love stuffed mushrooms and they are so good in pasta with a savory sausage.

    Anna - July 24, 2014 Reply

    Haha… It is pretty funny in hindsight Dionne, but at the time, no-one, except maybe my little bro thought it was funny. I tried to tell the parentals I didn’t like them…. 🙂
    Yep, yep… snag and mushrooms are sooooo good! 🙂

Sriprae - July 23, 2014 Reply

You make mushrooms sound like soul food. 🙂 As a child…and admittedly to this day…I was/am not that fond of button mushrooms. My mother loved them though. However, I do love morels. I grew up in the country of rural Missouri surrounded by 11 acres of farm land and woods. After a good dowsing spring rain my parents would forage the woods for morels. OMG! What a time of celebration when they returned with a bagful! Mom would prepare them by dipping them into an egg batter, then coat them with flour before pan frying them. Once they’re removed from the pan, they are immediately salted. OMG. My mouth is watering…

Your meal pictures are inspiring. The roast chicken with balsamic mushrooms really look plate-licking good. 🙂 xoxo

    Anna - July 24, 2014 Reply

    Can I come live with you Sriprae?! What a wonderful and special memory… Farm land and woods, did you have a red barn? I love those barns, we don’t have them here in Aus, we are more about tin sheds, nothing romantic about tin sheds. LOL!
    Yeasss please, adding the fried morels to the foods we eat when we meet list. Hugs to you lovely lady. xoxo

Alice - July 23, 2014 Reply

I heart mushies big time! For me a great breakky is about the sides, shrooms included. I love all mushrooms and (the more expensive delights of course!) Truffles, pine mushrooms, chanterelles, the list goes on. My sweeties just a plain old button mushroom kinda guy.

Ps, your risotto looks amazing! We need an ultimate dinner party feast!!!

    Alice - July 23, 2014 Reply

    Pps, also love the snap of you in your chefs whites! Awww!!!

    Anna - July 24, 2014 Reply

    Totally agree Alice…. argh… how great are truffles?! The Japanese mushies are a go to for me, enoki, shimeji, oyster mushroom and shiitake. Yum! 🙂
    And you’ve gotta love a man that knows what he likes. 🙂
    PS: Shall we start planning ‘The Ultimate Dinner Party Feast’ now??? A Bloggers Potluck Supper. 🙂
    PPS: Thank you re me in my cheffies. I can’t believe how young I look. Happy memories.

Kris Johnston - July 23, 2014 Reply

Dang, you have made me want mushrooms now. Dinner now looks very underwhelming.
I think stuffed mushrooms with pancetta and riccotta is my favourite schroom dish.

Another week, another great read. LOVE!!!

    Anna - July 23, 2014 Reply

    Excellent! Get on chowing down on some mushies stat Nizz! 🙂
    Oh yeah… Love a good stuffed mushroom, and panchetta & ricotta… YUM #getinmybelly
    Love right back at chya! x

Susan - July 23, 2014 Reply

Mmmm, the chicken & balsamic mushrooms was really yummy & so easy too. Thanks for getting your chef on beautiful Anna, you really are a terrific cook, so it was a real treat to share all the Mushroom Mania meals with you.

    Anna - July 23, 2014 Reply

    Oh yeah, it really was huh? And you are most welcome, thanks for sharing the many mushie meals with me. 🙂

Mandy - The Complete Book - July 23, 2014 Reply

I love mushies – they used to always make an appearance on our breakfast plate and always get thrown in a lasagne, oh and how can we forget a creamy mushroom sauce with steak. Damn, now I am hungry.
Have a beautiful day Anna, its another beautiful winters day here in Africa.
🙂 Mandy xo

    Anna - July 23, 2014 Reply

    Haha… Im hungry now too. 🙂 But… Its dinner time, so home to some yummy mushie leftovers.
    Wishing you a happy fun filled day too my lovely friend, tis rather chilly here in Australia, but beautiful too.
    Hugs across the oceans. Mwah! xox

Lizzy (Good Things) - July 23, 2014 Reply

Anna, what’s my go to mushroom meal? There are so many… I love steak and mushrooms… either as a steak with mushrooms on top or as a side, or stir fried, together. We used to eat breakfast out when we were dating… now we eat at home. I can’t wait to track down some #MushroomMania action too! Love the pics of you in the kitchen!

    Anna - July 23, 2014 Reply

    Awh yeah… steak & mushies are a classic. And thats the best Liz, breakfast dates are lovely. Looking forward to hearing of your #MushroomMania adventures

Leave a Reply: