Thursday, January 31, 2013

Greek Style Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie, such a comfort food and fairly easy to make, her is my Greek version.

I buy a whole chicken and use 3/4 of it on a different meal, Fried Chicken or Chicken and Rice in the oven.  I take my 1/4 piece of chicken plus the wings and boil them in water to make a stock.  I do this the night before I want to make my chicken pot pie, once the stock is cooled I pull the meat off of the bones and put aside in a separate container.
Cut 2 potatoes and 1 carrot into little cubes and place them in your chicken stock, get it to a boil and cook for 5 minutes, add cut up chicken and thicken it if needed with a rue (butter/flour mixture).
While this is cooking make your pastry base, I use an old family recipe (the family member is not old just the recipe) from my Aunt Jeanie, you can find it here, or use your own.  Put it in the fridge to chill while you make the bechamel sauce.

Bechamel Sauce:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
4 cups milk
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg

In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over low heat until melted. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Over medium heat, cook until the mixture turns a light, golden sandy color, about 6 to 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the milk in a separate pan until just about to boil. Add the hot milk to the butter mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth. Bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes or untill thickened, stirring constantly, then remove from heat. Season with salt and nutmeg, and set aside.

Now for the production:

Roll out your pastry to fit your pan, I used a Pampered Chef stoneware.

Then put in your potato, carrot and chicken mixture (ps you can add other stuff here like celery or whatever you like)

Next spread your bechamel sauce on top. (one time I put a crust on top of the bechamel and my husband thinks it taste better that way, so if you use my pastry recipe, there is enough to do this)

Place your bakeware on a tray, just in case there is juice spillage.

Place in the oven at 375 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes. (my husband turned it up on the one pictured above and that is why it is burned, I was about ready to blame the kids, but he told me he did it, the reason why there should only be 1 cook in the kitchen.)

Let it cool for about 10 minutes, the bechamel sauce stays really hot, serve and enjoy.

Let me know if you make this, it is really creamy with all of the yummy bechamel sauce and just a great comfort food.


Some really good giveaways going on now.

Kate Spain, Honey, Honey, 40 pounds box of scraps , ends Feb.1

Jennifer of Ellison Lane Quilts is having a Spread the Love Valentine Blog Hop,
with giveaways at each one, January 28th to February 1st.

Check out all the stops in the hop and enter the giveaways every day this week! 
Blog: LR Stitched - Giveaway: Lima Sews Fabric Shop
Blog: Owen's Olivia - Giveaway: During Quiet Time  
Maureen Cracknell is giving away a 24 fat quarter of Large Chevron print from Riley Blake Designs, if you have not gone to her blog she has giveaways every Friday and always has really great  tutorials. ends Feb.1
Another totally awesome blog to follow is Pile O'Fabric with Alyssa she is having a giveaway for a new sponsor, a colorful "Over the Rainbow" from Bloomerie, I wish I could buy this now, any who this giveaway ends Feb. 6, enter it here.  She also has giveaways every Friday and is doing a BOM that can help with your quilting right now.
Hawthorne Threads is having their weekly giveaway of a fat quarter bundle of Life in the Jungle.
Quilt Taffy has a giveaway every Thursday, but you have to act fast it is only open 1 day.
Someday Crafts has a directory of giveaways that restarts every Thursday, so check them out too! you can also add your giveaway there.
Craft Buds also has a round-up of giveaways that is always being updated and you can add your own.
Okay that's it for now if you know of anymore and want to share just type them in the comments.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Just found another Salt Water Giveaway.

Wanted to share that I found another blog giving away some Salt Water goodiness.
Imagine Gnats (plus like 7 other giveaways, so worth it, ends 1/31)
or you can just go to the Etsy store that is a sponsor, looks like she still has the aqua color way, Pattern Crush, and at a good price.

Tower of Winds, scrappage

On of the neatest things in Athens is the Tower of Winds, it is located just below the Parthenon in the area known as the Roman Agora, I am fascinated by this ancient tower that was built around 50 BC and acted as a Water Clock (how cool is That), Sundial and Wind Vane, with the 8 wind deities decorated in the frieze, I have a close up shot of 2 of them.
clock and star stickers.

Foam letters and words.

Journaling all around.
Linking to CCW Creative Craft World- January Challenge.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Athens, Temple of Olympian Zeus and The Arch of Hadrian

I am putting both of these ancient sights together because they were built so close together and they were finished by the Roman Emperor Hadrian, he admired Greece greatly and wanted Athens to be the cultural capital of the Roman Empire.
Ruins of the Temple of Olympian Zeus
The Temple sits on top of another ancient sanctuary dedicated to Zeus, after it's destruction 2 sons started to build one of the largest temples in Antiquity in 520BC, but with the fall of their tyranny and the advent of Athenian Democracy the building stopped and was left unfinished for 336 years.  Then a crazy Seleucid King who thought he was the earthly embodiment of Zeus restarted the works with a new architectural plan in 174BC, work stopped at his death in 164 BC, it was half completed.  It was finally completed by Emperor Hadrian in 132 AD, some 300 years later, taking over 600 years to complete, talk about a big UFO (for my sewing buddies). It was badly damaged and sacked in 267 and was never rebuilt.  The ruins are massive and if you use a little imagination you can just picture how big this Temple would have been.  In the picture above you can see the Acropolis in the background.

Arch of Hadrian, just outside the iron fence of the Temple of Zeus
This is right on a major road, Amalias Avenue, it is like a Roman Triumphal Arch and is dedicated to Hadrian by the Athenian Panhellenes, built around the same time that the Temple of Zeus was finished around 132AD.
All of the major sights of Athens are within easy walking distance to each other, especially if you are staying in Plaka or Monastiraki areas, or just down from Syntagma metro station.  The entrance fee for the Acropolis can also get you into the Temple, you can get this ticket at the front gate to the Temple if you go there first.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

And the Winner IS.....

I really wish I could give everyone, some of this delicious fabric!
The Random Number was 13, lucky 13!  Whoever says 13 isn't a lucky number it sure isn't
You get this octopus fabric hug all the way from Greece!
Anchors Aweigh Salt Water Quilt Bundle!
 I was surprised at how many people wanted to visit Athens, and then I thought well of course they do.  It would be like going to New York State and not going to New York City.  So for the next couple of days I will show you some of my favorite sights in Athens, a very busy city with a lot of ancient history.

 Thank you everyone who helped and answered my question in the post below, I have decided to go with the blue background fabric for the aqua line and grey for the coral.  This is perfect since I want to put the quilts on my kids bunk beds and my son will sleep on top (aqua salt water anchor on blue water) and then as you go down (it is ombre fabric) it goes into grey water for the bottom bunk bed my daughters made out of the coral salt water anchor, PERFECT.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Last Day to Enter the Giveaway!

This could be yours!
If you haven't entered in the giveaway, today is your last day, it will close on Wednesday January 23 at midnight West Coast America time (why this time, because it's the one I know best).  Make sure to enter in the proper blog post - you can find it here.

As I was cutting into the fabric that came in yesterday, I was not the only one petting it!  Both of my kids love fabric almost as much as I do, and my daughter (2 1/2) constantly playacts and she says to me "I'm sewing", really cute.

Petting the fabric
I have a color question for you?
For the Anchors Aweigh Quilt I am making 2 smaller versions 1 in Aqua and 1 in Coral, the back ground fabric is in question, I got the Simply Color Ombres in Graphite Grey and Aquatic Blue, which one looks best with what?
Grey or Blue?

Grey or Blue?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Samaria Gorge, Crete

The Longest Gorge in Europe or so some places say.

The gorge is 16 km long or a little over 9 miles.  This is a day trip, there is no staying in the gorge (national park) the best thing to do is take a bus to Omalos Plateau and the entrance of the Gorge,  at the time of this writing the admission is 5euros, the park opens in May and closes in October.
How long will it take to walk is dependent on how fast you walk, going quickly about 4 1/2 hours and taking your time 6 hours or more.
The Gates, 4M (13ft) apart and 300M (1,000ft) High.

Leaving on the boat

You will want to know what time the last boat leaves from Agia Roumeli, I have heard of people who have missed the boat and had to stay in the small fishing village.  There are of course a few places to stay there and if you want to hike with your traveling gear then it is a great quite place to relax.  Otherwise you will want to take the boat to Hora (village) Sfakion and catch a bus back to your original location.
More information from Wikipedia.
Some great cautionary and details of supplies needed from GoGreece. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Greek Hexagon

Did you know that the word Hexagon is from the Greek language.  A Hexagon is a polygon with 6 sides, Latin hexagnum, from Greek hexagnos, having six angles.  But the crazy thing is that in Greek there is no H it is -

εξάγωνο derived from the word εξι (six)

I was lucky enough to be invited by Shirley at Simple Sew into a Hexagon Bee created by Stacey over at the Tilted Quilt.  I can't wait to get my hex on! and have made a Pinterest board with a lot of Hexagon info on it.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

My Word Day- KokaRoka

We have a lovely house just below the rocks of Meteora/Kalampaka Greece and I wanted to celebrate and write a few words about how happy it makes me to live here and in general what I love to do.  TRAVEL and HOME.

Some nice pillows for the home
In the beginning of December last year I did a little English Paper Piecing project for the Travelling PicStitch Bloghop and I wanted to do something with the block that I made and I really thought it would make a great pillow.  It is the first one, with the word Travel on top, it depicts the rock behind our house and it is a part of the name of the Taverna that we own.
The second pillow is how I feel our home is, full of color and life, plus I have just fallen in love with EPP hexies, they are so fun to make.
I changed the picture and took this, this morning with the rocks behind

Sorry Madame Samm for not doing a very good job with my photos, I have learned how to make great photographs from you, but these were taken very late at night.  The little appliqued heart is resting on a grey rock with the words KOKAROKA around it, this is the name of our business.  For both the TRAVEL and HOME words I used Linda's "secret" technique of glue and glued them on and then stitched them in place (p.s. I will never use a contrasting thread again, it shows the mistakes to easily).
this shows the colors a little bit better.
outside hanging from the laundry line and not on a pillow form

The Greece postage stamp I printed off of my printer using Ookie La La's technique, super easy, and I really want to thank Roxanne because she sent me some linen fabric which is exactly what I needed for my postage stamp, go visit her at Scrapbook-chickadoodle, by the way linen fabric is 60euros a yard here in Greece that's like $80 bucks, thanks again Roxanne for being my Pay It Forward buddy.
This is so cool! Even my husband was impressed.
Don't forget to visit the rest of the wonderful creators for the day.
Friday, January 11
Jane's Fabrics (Jane R.)
Jane's Quilting (Jane C.)
Nuts 4 Redwork (Heide W.)
Bits and Pieces (Martha R.)
Life in Every Breath (Jennifer B.)
Quilting Lines (Patricia L.)
Travel Thru Greece (Mara)-this is me!
Meadowbrook  (Kristen K.)
Count It All Joy!  (Denise P.)
Sophie Junction (Sophie W.)
And a big Thank you to Madame Samm and Linda for creating and hosting another very fun hop.
On the post below I am having a giveaway- 2 1/2 yards of Salt Water fabric created by Tula Pink, so make sure you check that out also.  I just got my fabric in the mail today and it is ohh so pretty, the coral color is beautiful.  I am doing a traveling QAL to Tula Pinks Anchors Aweigh Quilt, the button is on the side and the info is on a seperate page that you can find on the top of my blog.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Salt Water Giveaway

This giveaway is now closed, thank you 
for looking.

I am giving away all of the Salt Water fabric needed for you to make the Anchors Aweigh Quilt!

1/3 yard Submarines and Seaweed in Aqua PWTP036
1/3 yard Bubble Shells in Aqua PWTP030
1/3 yard Sea Stripes in Aqua PWTP034
1/3 yard Ocean Peonies in Aqua PWTP031
1/4 yard Tortoiseshell in Aqua PWTP032
1/4 yard Floaties and Sinkies in Aqua PWTP035
1/4 yard Sea Debris in Aqua PWTP033
1/4 yard Submarines and Seaweed in Seaweed PWTP036
1/8 yard Octo Garden in Aqua PWTP029

Almost 2 1/2 yards!

All ready for you to make this quilt.
What can you do to win this bundle of goodness:

First become a follower and then in your comment below tell me where in Greece you would like to Anchor?  Please be sure to leave a comment on this post, so Mr. Random Number dude can do his job.

I am doing a Anchors Aweigh Quilt Along and would love it if you joined you can get all of the details here.
Giveaway ends January 23rd.  Goodluck.

I just got my Salt Water fabric in today from I don't do dishes... I sew instead  I was the lucky winner during the sew mama sew giveaway, when Caitlin at I don't do dishes gave away 3 Salt Water bundles.  Thank you Caitlin I love my beautiful fabric and can't wait to start making this oh so pretty quilt.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Vikos Gorge

The deepest Gorge in the World!
Right here in Greece, just a little northwest of Ioannina, a little less than 2 hours away from Kalampaka and 7 hour drive from Athens.
Vikos Gorge, Greece
 At one point the gorge measures 900 m (2,953 ft) deep and 1,100 m (3,609 ft) wide from rim to rim.
Someday I'm going to hike down to the bottom to find some dinosaur bones, the lower layers are from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.  We went when the kids were smaller, I wouldn't suggest that, the majority of the time my heart was in my throat fearing that my son would fall over the edge somewhere.
Right on the edge of the lookout point.
You can stay in one of the many Zagorian villages with there gorgeous stone houses or make it a day trip from Ioannina (with the beautiful lake) or Kalampaka (and Meteora).  On the drive up you will need good directions because the signage is not very good (hopefully they have corrected this), this is one sign we found on the road in Monodendri, a very nice stone village.
That's right just before you get to the gorge/canyon you drive through a stone forest, my pictures don't do it justice it is really a must see for yourself type of place and I would suggest in the springtime with all of the flowers.
fascinating stones stacked up, the stone forest.
sitting in the flowers surrounded by the standing stones.
The map showing the villages and gorge.
This is a must visit again place maybe when the kids get older or with out them because it is a very very deep gorge.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

In Your Words Blog Hop Starting on Monday

Hello All,

A new blog hop is starting next Monday and it will be great fun because we were given free reign on what to make, so lots and lots of variety.  Here is the list of everyone participating so please check out a few, mine is on Friday 11th, I am also having a giveaway, yippee!

Monday, January 7
Kwilty Pleasures  (Kathy G.)
Sew Darn Quilt  (Carolyn R.)
Traveling Quilter  (Debbie A.)
Just Let Me Quilt (Carol S.)
Vroomans Quilts (Sharon V.)
Cate's Linens (Catherine R.)
Nini and the Sea  (Denise)

Tuesday, January 8
Piece Peace (Patricia G.) 
A Stitch in Time (Patty D.)
krislovesfabric (Kris T.)
The Slow Quilter (Felicia F.)

Wednesday, January 9
Kathy's Quilts (Kathy W.)
Sunshine Quilting (Martina S.)
Grammie Q's (Charlotte M.)
Dancing Moon (Carla B.)
(Betty V.)  at “that other blog”

Thursday, January 10
Just Sew Sue (Sue B.)
Scrappy 'n Happy (Jess R.)
Sowing Stitches (Beulah aka. Carol)
Just Quilt It  (Kathy G.)

Friday, January 11
Jane's Fabrics (Jane R.)
Jane's Quilting (Jane C.)
Nuts 4 Redwork (Heide W.)
Bits and Pieces (Martha R.)
Life in Every Breath (Jennifer B.)
Quilting Lines (Patricia L.)
Meadowbrook  (Kristen K.)
Count It All Joy!  (Denise P.)
Sophie Junction (Sophie W.)

Monday, January 14
Clothes and Crafts (Maria K.)
Simple Sew (Shirley T.)
Woolie Mammoth (Anna B.)
RocknQuilts (Mary Ann)
Quiltsmiles (Jane E.)

Tuesday, January 15
BQuiltin Studio  (Beverly K.)
Hill Valley Quilter (Britt-Inger)
Bumbleberry Stitches  (Theresa K.)
Buzzing and Bumbling  (Linda W.)
In Stitches and Seams  (Annette S.)
Englating  (Marica from Sweden)
Stitchin by the Lake  (Marlene B.)
Selina Quilts  (Selina)

Wednesday, January 16
Quiltin' Jenny  (Jenny)
(Rosemary B.) at “that other blog”
Dachsies With Moxie  (Agnes B.)
Sew Many Yarns (Lyndsey M.)
The German Mom  (Tina S.)
Christa Quilts (Christa W.)
Sew We Quilt  (Mdm. Samm)