Ooh, I love paranormal romance!
I’m super excited that today I get a time travel paranormal book to read.
Today I’m reading Protect Her by Sophia Kimble. It’s a paranormal with some bad-ass historical elements. Think Outlander but in Poland and Scotland.
Why I love this book
When I was toodling around the world teaching English, I spent a year in Poland. The history and the food there is very rich. So I loved that Sophia used elements and stories from Poland’s history in her book. It really gave the book a uniqueness because that’s just not a region we see a lot of in romantic fiction. If you’ve been on an Outlander binge like most of us, and like that historical realism try out Protect Her to get a new fix with a twist.
Here’s a bit about the book:
Protect Her by Sophia Kimble
Golden Alexander is trapped in a nightmare.
Trying to flee her hallucination of a demon, she runs heart first into the brooding alpha male she’s been dreaming about for years, and then her nightmare really begins.
Kris Pietka is done with women…he’s broken. But when he meets Golden, an overwhelming need to protect her tests everything he thought he knew about himself, and the paranormal.
A bond forged centuries ago thrusts them together as they search for a way to break an ancient Druid curse prophesying their demise. Racing against the clock, they travel from Vermont, to the Carpathian Mountains in Poland, and the Scottish Highlands in search of answers and a way to break the curse.
But something evil watches—it covets, and time is running out.
Will fate allow love to prevail against unbeatable odds, or will Golden wake to find it was all a delusion?
Pick up a copy today from Amazon.
As part of The 12 Days of Christmas celebration, Sophia donated a $5 Amazon card, paired with a set of hand-painted ceramic penguin holiday mugs from Ryan Jo Summers to the prize list. Click HERE for this and many more random drawings.
About the Author
Sophia Kimble has always wanted to be an author, but for years, life got in the way. She wouldn’t change a thing about how her life turned out, though. Her family keeps her laughing and loving. Her wonderful husband and two extraordinary children stand beside her every step of the way and make this journey called life worth living.
Sophia has worked as a nurse for twenty years, but has put that career path aside to devote her time and imagination to writing down the stories that keep her up nights.
She takes her love of the paranormal, history, and genealogy, and weaves them into tales of family, fated love, and supernatural occurrences.
Connect: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Reading Sophia’s book reminded me of the fun times I spent in Poland.
So today I’m reading and making a Polish snack that works great as an appetizer for holiday parties – placki ziemniaczane which are better known to us English speakers as Potato Pancakes. Mmmm. They’re more like what we American’s think of as hashbrowns, but better! They are the perfect food to snack on while lounging about and reading a good book.
Why I Love this Recipe
Make them big or small, throw in a myriad of extras, serve them with a dipping sauce, or pour gravy all over them, but anyway you want to make Placki is delicious. The first time I ever had them, a teacher friend of mine invited me over for dinner after work. He was a Scot, but was married to a Polish girl. They taught me how to make Placki with mushroom gravy. Dinner was accompanied with Zywiec beer -Mmm mmm, delish!
These are hearty little snacks you can make for your lover, or a great meal for the whole family.
Placki Ziemniaczane or Polish Potato Pancakes
- 6-8 medium-sized potatoes, peeled
- 2-3 small shallots (you can substitute and onion if you can’t get shallots)
- 1 Tbsp mashed garlic (or 1-2 garlic cloves- grated)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tablespoons plain flour
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Vegetable or Olive Oil for shallow frying
- Extra spices you like such as majoram or dill
For the mushroom sauce
- 1 onion, peeled, finely chopped
- 2 cups of mushrooms (I use baby bellas, but button work great, and I’ve heard that chestnut mushroom as great in this dish)
- ½ cup vegetable stock
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 Tbsp sour cream
- Extra sour cream to serve
- Fresh dill to garnish
Grate the potatoes and place them into a microwavable safe bowl. Using the finer side of the grater, grate the shallot or onion and add it to the potato. Microwave the concoction for 2 minutes and then dump it into a sieve or colander. Let the excess water drain, and then use the back of a spoon, or even your hands (but be careful to see if the mixture is hot first), squeeze out a little more water/juice from the potatoes and onion. Getting rid of this extra liquid will make your pancakes crispy and light instead of greasy. Discard the liquid, and then put the shallots or onions and potatoes into the bowl. Add the garlic, egg, two tablespoons of flour and season with sea salt, pepper, and any other spices you like. Stir everything together – the mixture will be pretty thick.
Heat a little vegetable oil in a large, flat frying pan. I suggest using a medium heat because there is nothing worse than a burned potato pankcake. Drop three or four spoonfuls of the mixture into hot oil, and flatten to make small pancakes.
Fry for 2-3 minutes per side, turning once, until golden brown. Transfer the pancakes to a plate lined with a paper towel. Repeat until all the potato mixture is used, adding a little fresh oil if necessary. You can serve the pancakes immediately, or keep them warm, wrapped in tin foil in a low oven.
To make the mushroom sauce to serve with the pancakes, heat a little oil in a clean frying pan. Fry the chopped onion on a low heat for ten minutes until golden and soft. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further few minutes, until soft. Pour in the stock and simmer for one minute, then pour in the cream and stir in the sour cream. Allow to bubble and simmer. I like to serve the sauce in a little bowl on the side for dipping, along with some extra sour cream topped with a little dill. But you can also pour it right over the pancakes, and serve with a dollop of sour cream on top.
Just for fun
Here’s some more Polish food for Christmas fun – these guys crack me up. (Although, as a side note, none of these are actually Christmas dishes, as most Poles are pretty strict Catholics and they eat fish at Christmas, but they are all traditional Polish dishes. Plus, when you read Sophia’s book, in the first chapter Mary Pietka is making Golumpki which is basically cabbage, wrapped around meat – lol – and the third Christmas dish in the video.)
Be sure to enter the giveaway and drop a note if you try the pankcakes and/or Sophia’s book. I’d love to hear how you liked them both.
2 thoughts on “On the fifth day of Christmas I go to Paranormal Poland!”
Dzień dobry, Aidy!
What an awesome post. I’m so flattered you read my book! My husband’s matka used to make Placki’s, but I’ve never tried them with mushroom gravy. I will definitely try yours on Christmas.
I just made pierogies this weekend, but mine were with potato and onion filling and fried. Sorry Veggie Tales, number two in your video was without meat, which is traditionally how the Poles ate them for Lent. But it was my husband’s, babci’s recipe straight from Poland, and oh so good.
Your friends sound familiar, I’m a Scot and my husband is a Pole…big surprise where Kris and Golden’s heritage came from in Protect Her. 🙂
Can’t wait to read Curvy Temptation!
So happy to have you and your book on the blog today!
You’re right, I’ve only ever had potato perogies too. I used to get miny fried ones from a food cart at the bus stop. Mmmm.
I thought about sharing a recipe for perogies today, because they make a great finger food (unless you boil them – lol). But, memories if friends and placki’s won out. 🙂
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