Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Tsar's Guard Parade: Zharkoe Recipe

I am so happy to be part of the Tsar's Guard Parade to celebrate The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye. Because I am a big food lover I decided to showcase a recipe for Zharkoe which is a Russian beef and potato stew. Don't forget to check out the rafflecopter giveaway at the end of the post!

Title: The Crown's Game
Author: Evelyn Skye
Release Date: May 17, 2016
Pages: 416
Publisher: Balzer+Bray
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love . . . or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear . . . the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.

Zharkoe (adapted from recipe from Lorie's Place)
Servings: 6-8
3 lbs. beef, cut into cubes
4 small onions, sliced
3 cups water
2 bay leaves
2 tsp. salt
16 black peppercorns
5 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters or sixths
3 carrots, cut into quarters crosswise
Olive oil
  1. Heat large saute pan or dutch oven with olive oil. Place beef and half the onions into pan. Brown beef in hot oil for 10-15 minutes or until light brown. While beef is browning, peel the potatoes, cut them, and saute them in a large pan with hot oil for 10 minutes.
  2. Put remaining of the sliced onions on top of beef.
  3. Pour water into the pan/dutch oven and add bay leaves. Bring to a boil on the stove top, then lower heat and simmer for 2 hours. Stir occasionally. Add water (little by little) as needed. The liquid should be mostly covering other ingredients.
  4. Add salt, peppercorns, potatoes, and carrots. Simmer for another 30 minutes or until the potatoes and carrots are done. Take out bay leaves before serving.
Enjoy Zharkoe while reading The Crown's Game.


Evelyn Skye was once offered a job by the C.I.A., she not-so-secretly wishes she was on "So You Think You Can Dance," and if you challenge her to a pizza-eating contest, she guarantees she will win. When she isn't writing, Evelyn can be found chasing her daughter on the playground or sitting on the couch, immersed in a good book and eating way too many cookies. THE CROWN'S GAME is her first novel.

Evelyn can be found online at

Twitter |Facebook | Goodreads | Tumblr | Instagram

Giveaway Details
1 winner will receive an ARC of The Crown's Game. International.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Don't forget to follow the rest of The Tsar's Guard Parade Tour! Find the complete Tsar’s Guard Parade Schedule at Evelyn Skye’s website!


  1. Ohh that recipe sounds yummy. I love making beef stew too. I'll have to give it a try. The book looks wonderful and I'm really excited to read it. Great post Nicole 😀

    1. I love beef stew! It's such a hearty meal and it's so tasty! Also, it heats up well as leftovers. Definitely check out The Crown's Game when you have a chance.

  2. I am *so* intrigued by this one! I rarely reach for fantasy but I love anything with a Russian setting so that's a big draw. Plus the story sounds so exciting!

    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

    1. I will be posting a review on it in a few weeks. The Crown's Game is not overly heavy on the fantasy. I love how the culture intertwines with the plot and the characters.