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“Karma” by @DonnAugustine with a side of Penne ala Vodka #review & a #recipe

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I received KARMA from the author this summer when I was feeling down. I am a huge fan of her unique world builds and this new one is promising to be another rich contribution to her bibliography. I won’t go into what the book is about, you can read that in the synopsis. Just from this you can see  it is going to be a hoot. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to review the book so I had the author send me a fun list and included an inspired recipe (a blast from the past actually) to go with the list! I did decide to do one of my mini-reviews because I want you all to grab it off Amazon and read it!

Top Ten Foods to “Die” For

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Ice Cream. Have you heard the slogan for it? I scream, you scream, we all scream? Has no one ever wondered if maybe there’s something a little ominous about that?

Filet Mignon. I like to order it rare and bloody. When I eat it, it looks like I just slaughtered something in my plate.

Truffles. Chocolate, I can feel the endorphins racing through my body already. These make the die for list since I think I could kill for them.

Sicilian Pie. Makes me feel like I’m part of the family (wink, wink).

Cheesecake. My arteries are squeezing shut as I eat this fatty deliciousness.

Salt and Vinegar Potato Chips. Its flavor is salt! That’s some serious balls for a snack to call it’s flavor salt and it’s also probably not very good for your health.

Cookie Dough. The inclusion of uncooked eggs makes this treat a delicious danger. I can feel the salmonella poisoning already.

Penne Vodka. This is a favorite dish and I figured earned an honorable spot for the inclusion of alcohol.

Caesar Salad. I love a crunchy piece of romaine with a perfect Caesar dressing. The name is what gives this dish its spot. The dude was stabbed by all of his senators, so I say it qualifies as deadly.

Lasagna. If you don’t think it’s dangerous, you should see what it did to Garfield.

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I plan on writing a longer one for Amazon, but for the purpose of a this post I am going to give you the basic reasons why I think you would not only like KARMA, but love it. Donna Augustine has a grasp on one of the most important aspects of writing urban fantasy. She is able to weave a modern time setting with the poetic meter style of prose and on top of that? She shreds a bunch of elegant and smartly snark-style of humor on top of it all and bam, another book one to a promising series! On top of it all? She adds a side of steamy romance that does not take away from the story, but flavors it just enough to make it a completely satisfying dish for the brain!

 Some of my favorite quotes from KARMA:

“My manners were never really worthy of the south, anyway.”

‘He looked at me with such intensity I wasn’t really sure if he wanted to kill me or fuck me. And not in an, I want to have sex with you because you’re so special and pretty. It was more along the lines of I have a penis and you aren’t listening to me.”

“Sometimes I’m amazed I’ve made it this far in life without ever being punched in the face”

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Penne ala Vodka Pancetta

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Penne ala Vodka Pancetta
This is my to die for recipe which was first posted almost three years ago HERE. It has become a hugely popular recipe and has been pinned over 1200 times onPinterst. Considering I posted it almost exactly 3 years ago when I was excited breaking 5 readers a day? Well.. this is definitely a recipe... TO DIE FOR!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup vodka _(don’t buy the cheap stuff, there is a reason you cook with alcohol it makes the flavors pop! I use my homemade Pepper Vodka for an even bigger pop)
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 pound prosciutto, chopped (you can get it from the deli like I did above if you plan on eating it a lot (it is great fried like our American version), but you can also buy it already chopped in the deli section of most markets)
  • 2 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup of finely chopped yellow onion (yellow onion tend to hold their flavor even when cooked down into a sauce, remember we want it to POP!)
  • 2 TBSP chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 TBSP chopped fresh basil
  • 2 TBSP of finely chopped sun-dried tomato (this is something I discovered when I was in my sun-dried tomato phase. I love the texture and the way a hint of sweetness is added.)
  • salt and/or pepper to taste (I add this because depending on the ingredients at times I need to add more, less or none.)
  • 4 cups of whole Roma tomatoes, blended (Use canned, it makes life easier. Drain the juice and use San Marzano tomatoes if you can find them! If you like chunky sauce, use the chopped version or crush them with your hands)
  • 1 to 1½ cup heavy cream (If using whipping cream I would only use 1 cup but with regular heavy cream I usually use 1½ cups. YES I think there is a difference!)
  • 1/2 cup of fresh grated Parmesan cheese (don’t be lazy and buy Kraft© Parmesan, that isn’t real!! Grate it you lazy sod!)
  • 4 TBSP of unsalted butter (this is optional and only used if the sauce ends up being to acidic. This can happen if you use cheap tomatoes or ones that have been sitting on the shelf to long. Add one tablespoon at time till it loses the unwanted edge to the flavor.)
Instructions
  1. Pour vodka in a glass bowl (or glass if you have no glass bowl but it needs to be glass people), add the red pepper flakes and set aside for at least an hour while you prepare everything else.
  2. Grate the Parmesan with a hard cheese grater and set aside (you can grate more to use for garnish the dish later)
  3. Chop or dice Pancetta (this really is your preference. I personally like to have it the same consistency as I chop my corn beef for hash as you can see from the picture)
  4. add olive oil to a mid sized sauce pan over medium heat. When heated add Pancetta and stir. Saute the bacon down then and add the onions and garlic stirring till the onions JUST begin to caramelize (see the photo)
  5. Add 1 tablespoon of parsley and the sun-dried tomato. Continue sauteing till most of the grease is cooked off (no more than 5 more minutes you do not want the onions completely soggy and browned).
  6. Turn the heat down to medium-low, adding the vodka mixture. Simmer for 10 minutes
  7. Add your tomatoes, the rest of your parsley, basil and ½ cup of Parmesan cheese. Stir after each ingredient. Continue to stir for the first five minutes and every five minutes after that for 15 more minutes. (you can opt to cook this longer if the sauce is not cooking down, but do not over cook or the flavor will begin to become acidic, this is when you start adding butter. So taste after 15 minutes and then no more then 10 more minutes in my most humble and awesome opinion)
  8. While you are cooking and stirring the sauce gently whip the creme (you want it to start thicken but not whipped in the thickness of the whipped creme you put on that pumpkin pie last month. AND YES you can GENTLY whip things.. be playful, gentle and make sure you give it good aftercare when you are done weg)
  9. Serve over chicken, with penne (traditional), or you can substitute and use linguine or fettichini

about-the-book

“Karma” by @DonnAugustine with a side of Penne ala Vodka #review & a #recipeKarma
Series: Karma #1
by Donna Augustine
five-stars
Pages: 344
Published by Strong Hold Publishing
on 2014-07-09
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Amazon • • Goodreads •

People say karma's a...well, you know. Personally, I don't think I'm that bad.

It's not like I wanted this job. I wasn't even in my right mind when I accepted the position.

Now, I'm surrounded by crazy coworkers like Lady Luck, who's a bit of a tramp,

and Murphy's Law, who's a bumbling oaf. But the worst is Fate. He's got a problem with transfers like myself, and I have to see him constantly. It's unavoidable. We're hunting the same man, my murderer.
Author Note: This is an urban fantasy, with a continuing storyline. Although there is a romantic interest, this is not a romance. 

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About Donna Augustine

Donna Augustine’s lifelong ambition was to become the crazy cat lady. Unfortunately, when family allergies cut short her dream of living in a house full of furries, she turned her ambitions toward writing. Combining her love of fantasy, scifi, horror and romance, she tries to string together interesting twists on urban fantasy.

A native of New Jersey, when she isn’t writing, or overdosing on caffeine, she can occasionally be spotted in disguise at the local dog park.

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8 Comments

  1. Love this and the book looks like I would totes dig it. xx

    A

  2. Thanks for hosting me today : )

    • You are so welcome! Thanks for the book when you sent it, it really got me through a bad time this summer.

  3. looks and sounds fantastic! Thanks for the great recipe 🙂

  4. Awwww, thank you, Kriss! That was so nice of you : )

    Erin, I’d love to take credit for the recipe but that was all Kriss. I’m going to try it, too. It looks like a good one.

  5. Great book, beautiful cover and well written story. Humor and action perfectly blended with a hint of romance with a touch of ‘I would so do the same thing’! I am really looking forward to the next book in this series which is releasing soon. Donna Augustine is a wonderful writer and easily became a favorite of mine. I highly recommend this book!

  6. Thank you so much Dawn!

  7. Once again, Kriss, you have introduced me to another author that I just KNOW I am going to adore! Thanks for what is going to be another amazing addiction to my TBR list! Also, I love your top ten foods to die for list… and I even agree with most of them 🙂 And the penne recipe… what can I say? Shoot, I should just move to your house.

    Thank you for sharing your book with us, Donna – can’t wait to read it.

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