Literary-ly Inspired: Lola’s create your own pavlova + Piece of Cake by Kate Forster

When I saw that strawberries and blueberries were on special at the grocery store the other day, I got an overwhelming urge to make my own Lola style pavlova from Kate Forster’s Piece of Cake. 

There’d also be a classic pavlova with a selection of toppings for the customers to create their own perfect desserts.

“They’ll get little bowls of crumbled peppermint crisp, summer berries, passionfruit pulp, little chocolate chips – milk, white and dark – and then, finally, salted toffee shards.”

 

I think the beauty with this dessert is that it’s as easy or as complicated as you want to make it. I choose to buy everything pre-made. The supermarket was out of merengue nests so I just bought mini meringues and put a handful in each bowl.

My initial ingredients:

I had:

  • Mini meringues
  • apple
  • bananas
  • kiwi fruit
  • passionfruit
  • Peppermint crisp bars
  • lemon curd (which I didn’t end up using)
  • strawberries
  • blueberries
  • chocolate (which I didn’t end up using either)
  • whipped cream (that I also didn’t end up using)

I chopped all the fruit and put in the meringue and peppermint crisp (which I’ve never had before but are very tasty) and thought it was sweet enough. I think that’s one of the benefits of getting to pick and choose what you want. I love pavlova type desserts with bananas in them. And the apple was my own addition cause I had some in the kitchen.

Ta-dah! My Lola inspired dessert.

It wasn’t until I was washing up after dinner that I realized that I forgot to include the salted caramel shards that I made (using this recipe). But I think that just gives me an excuse to make this again 😀

It may not be as pretty as a Lola creation but I like to think she’d be proud of me 😛

 

Literary-ly Inspired: Slam Poetry and SLAMMED!

I’m not usually a poetry person. And after an incident with TS Eliot nearly had me failing year twelve English – poetry isn’t something I like to indulge in.

So why did I spend a gorgeous Saturday afternoon in a classroom off a library full of slam poets? Because I was literary-ly inspired by the book Slammed by Colleen Hoover.

Literary-ly Inspired is a new feature on my blog.

Have you ever read something in a book and wanted to try something new because of it? Either it’s going some place or cooking something. Even taking a class because a book aroused your curiosity. That happens to me all the time! And I thought it was about time that I stopped saying how cool it would be to broaden my horizons and just started doing it! It doesn’t have to be something big. And – like my post today – it doesn’t have to be all that connected to a book. It just has to be something that is different from your regular everyday life that you would not have done had you not been inspired by something literary.

How Slammed by Colleen Hoover inspired me to attend a Queensland Poetry Slam Heat


Slammed (Slammed, #1)

Earlier this year I read Slammed by Colleen Hoover (you can read my review here) and I loved it. But more than that – I was intrigued by the Slam Poetry element. Such passion, such feeling. So despite my reservations regarding poetry, I got online and investigated. I found that there is a reasonably active slam poetry scene in my state with workshops and many of the heats for the state competition being free! Click here to check out the Australian Poetry Slam website.

Home

So last Saturday I decided that it was time to try and immerse myself in the world that is slam poetry.

What is Slam Poetry?

To put it simply – Slam Poetry is the art of competitive poetry. The only rule is there are no rules… you know. Except for the rules.

For the slam heat I watched every participant would get two minutes to get up front and put on their performance. And audience participation is encouraged. Five judges were selected at random from the audience of non-participating spectators and got to have their very own Slam names  – my personal favourite was Vespatina. Although Birdy, Pythagoras and the Bubonic Plague were brilliant names too. Each participant performing gives a score between negative infinity and ten with the top and bottom scores being omitted. Oh and my favourite rule – each first time slammer gets three hugs.

After the very enthusiastic Benedict started things off and someone was selected to be “the sacrifice” the slam was up and running.

And to tell you the truth – it wasn’t what I was expecting. To be entirely honest – and I admit that yes, I was relying on stereotypes – I was expecting the modern-day equivalent to beatniks – the hipster. But I couldn’t have been more wrong. The nineteen slammers came from all walks of life. There were grandmothers and grandfathers. Bush poets and people who had never written a poem before. Poets who walked the stage and those who delivered their performance from a fixed microphone. One poet even started singing. Some performances were serious, others romantic. A few about cancer and one about the gods. There’s so much variety!

There is no right or wrong way to slam.

The Verdict?

 

Before going, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I couldn’t quite perceive the whole idea that whilst everyone was being scored that points were not all that important.

But I think I get it now. Slamming isn’t about winning – the two that won the heat and are going through to the next round both seemed rather surprised and a little taken aback. It’s about wanting a place to express yourself. To challenge yourself into stepping outside your comfort zone and doing something you wouldn’t ordinarily do.

After things got started – there was a certain vibe in the air. We may have not been in a dark atmospheric bar like surroundings like Lake and Will – but there was a lot of energy in the air and it was impossible not to get swept up in the excitement. I found myself really getting into it all. It was a lot of fun and I didn’t expect that.

I’m so glad that I went. Will I go again? It’s a highly likely possibility. Will I perform? I think that’s still fairly unlikely but not an outright no. I’m incredibly shy in situations like that and I’m not sure writing poetry is something I’m quite up to but I think I get the whole idea and feeling that Colleen Hoover wrote about in Slammed. 

Literary-ly Inspired: Kolache and Nearly Broken

That’s right. I have a new feature. And it comes with its very own play on words.

Have you ever read something in a book and wanted to try something new because of it? Either it’s going some place or cooking something. Even taking a class because a book aroused your curiosity. That happens to me all the time! And I thought it was about time that I stopped saying how cool it would be to broaden my horizons and just started doing it!

It doesn’t have to be something big. And – like my post today – it doesn’t have to be all that connected to a book.

It just has to be something that is different from your regular everyday life that you would not have done had you not been inspired by something literary.

Homemade Sausage Kolache inspired by Nearly Broken by Devon Ashley


nearly broken

Last week I was reading Nearly Broken by Devon Ashley (check out my review here) and Megan wakes up to find a bag of jalapeño kolache. Little known fact about myself – I love jalapeñoes. And I love trying new things.

What is a kolache? Well I didn’t know. And nor did the super-handy dictionary on my kindle. Now I was very curious. What could these spicy breakfast foods be?

According to Wikipedia (a semi-reliable search when looking for foreign food related questions):

Kolache /kɵˈlɑːtʃi/ (also spelled kolacekolach, or kolacky, from the Czech and Slovak plural koláče, sg. koláč) is a type of pastry that holds a dollop of fruit rimmed by a puffy pillow of supple dough.[1] Originating as a semisweet wedding dessert from Central Europe, they have become popular in parts of the United States.

Texas-Style Homemade Sausage Kolache

Texas-Style Homemade Sausage Kolache as seen on Confections of a Foodie Bride

And just like that my craving for the baked good began.

I found a recipe and after a trip to the supermarket (and one to the kitchen goods store. Who knew I didn’t own a cheese grater?) I was ready to begin.

I’m not going to just reiterate the recipe. The one at the link I used is the one I followed. I don’t think I was quite prepared for just how long it would take. It takes a VERY long time to bake kolache. You have to let it rise for two hours. Then in the fridge overnight. Then after you have formed your unfilled dough it needs to rest for twenty minutes before filling. Then after filling, rest for another twenty minutes before baking.

It took forever.

But, nearly a day after I started (because I got caught up and couldn’t fill and bake until 24 hours after I had started) – FINALLY! I had over twenty gorgeous little baked kolaches. And – even I was impressed with just how pretty they turned out to be.

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Look at how pretty my kolaches are straight out of the oven!

The Verdict?

I found it surprisingly therapeutic to make these. There’s something about playing/baking with dough that is fun and relaxing at the same time. I made most of mine with jalapeño, cheese and sausage but a few without the jalapeño because I ran out – and amazingly the ones without were my favourite! The dough is very sweet – so much sweeter than I was expecting but considering all the flour in the mixture I shouldn’t have been surprised.

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Action shot of one of my Kolache.. it tastes better than it looks!

These tasted okay at room temperature but so much better after I gave them 30 seconds in the microwave. Like – couldn’t believe how much better.

Will I be making these again? Probably not. The recipe made over twenty. I put most of them in the freezer because apparently they defrost very well. It is SO hard to know if you are making something right when you’ve never tried what it is supposed to turn out as. I’m glad I made them – they were fun. But I think next time I try kolache it will be at a bakery or deli and NOT from my own kitchen.

So that’s the first literary-ly inspired post. There will be more in the future. I’ve got some things I plan to do that I never would have thought to try had it not been for books I’ve read so keep an eye out for them. Thanks 🙂

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This is me trying to take a creative photo… I think it’s slightly more blurry than creative! 😛