Wednesday, May 9, 2012

FABBY: Sea Food Table for my Mama.

First of all I want to wish the best of Mother's Day to all the wonderful mothers and grandmothers and even great-grands, throughout blog land. May you have a very special day, filled with love and attention from all your loved ones, just as you deserve it! Hugs and best wishes to your dear daughters and Dils as well. 


 Here is my beautiful and wonderful mother Yolanda, who is the second and only girl, (they broke the mold after she was born, lol) with three brothers, since, she's lost her eldest and youngest brothers. This picture was taken about a year ago. My mother is 82 years old. She's had her ups and downs with her health lately, but thank goodness, nothing mayor, except for osteoporosis on her spine, which gives her a lot of pain, and she has to get medicated with injections for it.
 I thought I show you the beautiful crocheted tablecloth work she did for me several years ago.  Now, because of her osteoporosis in her spine she can't crochet any more, but I'm so blessed I have great treasures from her and for my daughters and also from my Grandmother Stella... her mother.
 She did many accessories for the tablecloth too, like buffet and dinner table runners. The doilies I'm showing here, at right, she made them for my chargers.
 She also crocheted for me this gorgeous, runner that looks like it has bows. The tobacco color next to it and other pretty things I will share.
 The basket mat to cover the bread... and here is a close up of the table and buffet tobacco color runners. I love them for the fall decor.
 The table scape specially for my mother for today, Wednesday.
 The pot, or tureen is for the Escabeche of Fish, (recipe is at the end of the post) that she loves and the sherbets are for the Ceviche of Shrimp, another favorite of the Ecuadorian cuisine she prefers. The beautiful Spondilus shell with pedestal of the same shell, we see up front, is for the chili sauce. There are gorgeous spondilus shells in the Ecuadorian sea and they make the most lovely things for the homes and jewelry too.
 Here is the tureen I designed at our past Ceramic Co. The handle in the lid has a cute fish, sculped by hand and with a design of the bottom of the sea. The fish dish is an antique, English from my Mil and it's Johnson's Brothers..and I serve it with little "empanadas" that go with the Ceviche.
 The blue charger, the square yellow plate and the sherbets were made by us too. Look how pretty the sea horse inside the sherbet is. Everything, or every piece was hand decorated.
 Here is a Ceviche bowl with a fat fish decorated inside.
 The third place set, they all have different color square dinner plates, where the escabeche and rice goes.
 The flower platter was also made at our former Ceramic Co. The serving spoon is made in Ecuador too and it's made of "mother of pearl" and wooden handle. The spatula you see by the fish plate is also from the set.
 I used this tablecloth I love, because it's in sea blue and the design reminds me of the ocean's waves, or the tide.
 Here is a close up of the tureen, or pot, I often use it to hold my Fish Escabeche.
 White roses for my mother in a crystal Czech urn.
 The hand design around the sherbets.
 Look at the cute little turtle, flanked by the fishes. The waves you see on the decorations is to simulate fish scales.
 The Spondilus shell bowl with pedestal is used around here for the hot sauce, or chili sauce.

I love this pretty Indian, cotton tablecloth..I like the design and color of it.
This table is for my dearest mother, who loves Shrimp Ceviche and Fish Escabeche, both delish dishes from the Ecuadorian cuisine. We will go for lunch on Mother's Day to her home, kids, grandkids and  great-grands. She comes every Wednesday and has lunch with Alejandro and me and than we go for afternoon tea to a cafeteria, or we simply go shopping. The dishes and some accessories were designed by me and made at out former Ceramic Co. The motif, or design is for sea food and the pot or tureen is for the Escabeche. I do hope you like this table as mother did.

All my love and best wishes for you lovely ladies in blog land. I can't wait to go and visit your fabulous posts for this special day dedicated to us mothers. Many blessings for and your families.

Thank you gracious hostesses and may God bless you and your families this Mother's Day.

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                                              FISH ESCABECHE

Some of you have asked me for this here goes!

1 lb. of any white fish you prefer, cut in cubes, fried and reserved  (fry in vegetable oil)
1 med. onion, chopped
1 tablespoon, or more of tomato paste
2 ripe tomatoes cut in small squares, or chopped
1 teaspoon of fresh cilatro, chopped
2 sweet platain cut into small squares, fried and reserved  (fry in vegetable oil)
2 big potatoes, cut into squares, fried and reserved   (fry in vegetable oil)
1 red pepper, shredded
1 teaspoon of crushed, or minced garlic
 - salt, pepper and cumin, to taste
2 tablespoons of flour for coating the fish squares, (before frying)
1/4 Cup cream, if you prefer a little more, go ahead!
- vegetable oil for all the frying you have to do
1 1/2 Cups water

In a deep pot put a little bit of oil, chop the onion, cilantro, minced fresh garlic, tomato paste, cilantro, the red pepper and chopped tomatoes. Cook for like 4 minutes. 
Fry the fish squares add a little salt and pass them by flour, than. deep fry them. Cut in squares as well, the sweet fresh plantains, (like bananas, they have them in Latin-Hispanic stores) and deep fry them directly in a pot.  Fry the potatoe squares the same way, if you wish you can use the same oil for both. Set aside and reserve all the 3 items you fried.
Now, in your pot where you cooked the onions, add the water, like 1 1/2 cups and boil it, than inmediatelly add the fried fish, the fried platain, and the fried potatoes...and mix softly so not to brake the fish pieces. At the end add the cream, mix slowly and don't let it boil. Cover until you serve. This is a really yummy recipe and serve it with white rice, or even the wild kind. To make it more elegant I also have added cooked big shrimp and have served at dinner parties and my guests totally loved it!!

Since it was a family recipe from my Mil, the quantities of the ingredients are not perfect, but you try it to your taste.  Hope you make it, believe me, you won't be sorry!


Sunday, May 6, 2012

FABBY: Our Den's New Look!

Hi sweet darlings..hope you've been having a great weekend, with warm weather too! In my neck o'da woods it's raining a lot, not lots of water, but raining anyway...almost everyday, as in spring.
 BEFORE: Our white couches had more years than I like to admit. Although the upholstery you see here was hand woven in wool, and back then, they were great, but after my kids and grands, they really had seen it's days! They're not bad in the pics, but really, in real life they were awful!!
 AFTER: This beautiful soft, buttery yellow, Italian damask was really instant, love at first sight, as it didn't take me too long to decide on it, as soon as I saw it, I knew this was it! It's also a very THICK and STRONG fabric, which I also love, since it is our family room, where we watch movies and read on the weekends...sometimes hubby even falls asleep in the couches too, lol! We also have family evenings with my daughters, Sil and grands when they come to visit.
 You can see that the couches now have wooden feet, which were upholstered before..NOT pretty! Now the couches look so modern, with the straight, very stylish lines, since they wero so OLD they already had before, just like some sofas in the market now, like a retro style, actually. My grandgirls, Victoria 7 and Cayetana 5, said to us:.. "hope you grands are going to reupholster your couches with a material we can be allowed to sit here and PAINT and watch TV",  their remarks were so funny and cute...cause their parents don't let them play, or sit, or worst to draw, or paint.. they don' let them even stay in the two silk living rooms they have, they can only be in their upstairs strict!!
 Ok, we did say they could and will be ALLOWED! I have slip covers for the couches, so when they come I'll just cover them and that's it, I want my little ones happy in our home!
 You can see a little of the counter bar hubby loves to entertain his friends and family.
 BEFORE: Here are our cute arm chairs, we have them for 32 years; with  pretty covers that were also in wool, hand woven HERE.. and it was the second time I had reupholstered them, around ten years ago. They are three and they were very scratched in the arms and legs, the upholstery was so stained from drinks and who knows... so they have a new look too.
 AFTER: Don't they look brand new? I'm loving how they look, after we had them lacquered; so our den is really a pretty and comfortable place to be and have friends over now... as I was not happy with it before.. at all!
In the back of the chairs is the counter bar, which holds a lot of glasses and stems for all the right drinks; it also holds wine bottles, in a rack so they can be in a slanted position. Alejandro likes to be the bartender and loves to prepare drinks and cocktails for our friends and family.
 The coffee table was lacquered  too, as it was also very scratched and with water stains all around it! In the back of the front couch, you can peek a little of our living room. Our apartment has a big open, social space which I love when I have parties...this way everyone is close by and can mingle easily.
 You can see at your right the third chair, the other two are at left by the counter bar.
 I love this vintage, French bisque porcelain girl, sitting on the flower vase.
So, all our furniture here has gotten a "brand new look", which has made us very happy, nothing like giving your OLD furniture a real METAMORPHOSIS... I like it even better than buying the new! Hope you like my choice for upholstery and all I did to our family room.
About a month ago we had our long over due couches, re-upholstered, as they had seen it's days, after my grands really spilled drinks and food, water colors, painted on it, playing with make up, etc. I had them cleaned professionally in the past, but they just didn't look good anymore. Our den has two very comfortable couches and three arm chairs by the counter bar, which also got the new look. Like our breakfast table is next to the formal dining room, in order to have more dinner guests..well, the same applies to our den; it's also next to our living room, so to sit more guests that can be close to each other and flow and mingle easily. Therefore, it needed to look as good as it's neighbor and it WASN'T!! Now it can be "proud" to be next to the pretty and elegant living room.  Hope you liked the AFTERS.

Thanking you in advance my darling and sweet ladies for your wonderful and forever generous comments, I appreciate them so much and make me so happy, as your opinions are so valuable to me and of course, you're wonderful and inspirational posts.

I just love to link up to so many fabulous parties that such terrific ladies host them every week, with the only purpose for us to flaunt our things, tables, homes and even food!  Thank you very much ladies.

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