Friday, April 5, 2013

FABBY: Two Pretty Ladies for Tea

Hello sweet friends!

   I made this coffee cake for my brother and sister in laws two days ago. Alejandro is the fourth child of seven children that my dear Mother and Father in law had. Now we're following a tradition to get together and celebrate some of the birthdays that come close, between February and March, therefore, I baked this coffee cake out of request from my Sil for blowing the candles after dinner. My inspiration for this tea time post is my antique Chinese tea set, with see-through bone china, that is also called, "onion skin", or egg-shell as you can see through the tea cups when raised to the light. The teaset is from after WWI, a tea "Kutani egg-shell porcelain Tea-set". Along with two lovely ladies that joined me for tea. Hope you like it.

Here is my tea scape with the antique, bone china Oriental tea set from WWI. My guests are these two pretty ladies hubby bought for me, a few years ago on a trip to the capital to visit our daughter; cause I just fell in love with them, as they both have a sweet bird posing in their hands. They're also so dainty, with very thin fingers and dangling bracelets in their wrists..I love them!

The little plates are simply adorable!

"The Perfect Coffee Cake" recipe came from an old Good Housekeeping magazine. At the end of the post is the recipe if you's yummy!

The sitting down young lady in pants.

The other pretty lady standing up. I love how they both have a small bird standing in their wrists.

Here you can appreciate the family pattern in the plate, with the father a bigger figure in center stage, at left mother, at right child..both smaller than the family "patriarch".
The recipe if anyone would like, is at the end of the post.
The tea cups and saucers are so like "onion skin, or eggshell.." bone china, which is very transparent if you pick it up to the light.

I think I'd like to make believe these lovely ladies are my dearest, Oriental-Philippine blog friends..Chie and Christine! The set came with one big tea pot at your left, a smaller tea pot, both with handle sand spouts in a dragon shape..and a sugar bowl, plus the eight cups and saucers. Here I'm showing four plates and four tea cups and four saucers.

Here you have it..a tea party with two lovely ladies as guests.

Thank you very much wonderful friends for your sweet and kind comments, they always make my day!

Thanking the gracious hostesses for having me each week at their great and exciting parties.


"The Perfect Coffee Cake"

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
3 Cups, plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 Cup chopped pecans
1/3 Cup packed brown sugar
1 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 Cup granulated sugar
3/4 Cup butter or margarine, (1 1/2 sticks) softened
2 1/2 tsps. vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 container (16 ounces) sour cream
1 Cup confectioners sugar
4 to 6 tsps. milk

Pre-heat oven to 350F. Grease and flour 12 cup fluted baking pan
2) On waxed paper, combine baking powder, baking soda, salt and 3 cups flour. In small bowl, combine pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon and remaining flour.
3) In large bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat granulated sugar, butter and 2 tsps. vanilla until creamy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Alternately beat flour mixture and sour cream, beginning and ending with flour. Beat just until just blended, occasionally scraping bowl. 4) Evenly spread 2 cups batter in prepared pan; sprinkle with half pecan mixture. Top with 2 cups batter. Sprinkle with remaining nut mixture, then spread with remaining batter.
5) Bake cake for 55 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center come out clean. Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Loosen the cake on the sides and invert onto rack to cool completely. 6) For Glaze:  In small bowl, stir confectioners' sugar, milk, (I use lemon juice for that sour-sweet taste) and 1/2 tsp. vanilla until smooth. Drizzle over cake with a Tbs. spoon and stick on top some slivered almonds, (optional). "Look at my pictures for the decoration of the cake". Enjoy, it's really wonderful!

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Monday, April 1, 2013

FABBY: My lamps for Alyson's "Favorites on the First"

Hello Alyson and sweet friends!

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter, along with your dear families. I did, as in a predominantly Catholic country we have a long weekend, starting from Good Friday.
I'm so happy to be here, partying with all of you, along with dear Alyson, from the Polohouse, who always hostesses her interesting and exciting meme, "Favorites on the First"..just like it says.."every first of the month." This First of April the party theme is, our favorite lamps, so, for my contribution I have posted some of my favorites.. I hope you like them too! May you all have a wonderful month of April and may it brings you pleasant surprises, only!      

                                                      Let's par-tay!!

This is a quite modern floor lamp I liked immediately at the store, some few years ago and I decided to place her next to the Belgium antique buffet; that we purchased a year ago in March 2012..and flanked also by my fav table lamp, the Italian Kartell you will see in the following pic.

Here is my Kartell Bourghie, Italian Design; which is my favorite table lamp around the house...but it doesn't mean I don't love my other ones too.. had I not, I would have replaced them long ago!

A close up of the modern, minimalist type floor lamp, with glass slits forming the circle shade.

Here you have them, flanking the antique buffet piece from the 1940's, as I love to mix old with new; a little eclecticism is always very interesting and fun.
This coconut tree lamp is another one I like a lot, with it's woven shade.

The light coming through the woven shade it's very pretty, soft and warm.
In my living room, in each end table, I have oriental lamps, which I'm very partial to. I love the scenery in this particular one.

This oriental antique lamp with the Samurais was from my Mil. Originally it was a flower vase, but Alejandro made it into a lamp, back when he had the ceramic company, as he also made ceramic lamps. Look Alyson!.. the vintage French jockey boy, bronze figurine.. which always reminds me of your Polohouse!
Another pretty vintage oriental, flower vase from my Mil, which Alejandro turned it into a table lamp, as well.. and it has a dragon..I love this one too and I have it at the end table, next to our yellow couches in our family room.

This is a floor lamp that's in our den and I like it cause it has a marble top to it and it matches another small, half moon end table in the living room.
Here is our beautiful hand painted stained glass, skylight we had done to order for our kitchen ceiling, when we totally remodeled it, three years ago. In the evening, the light reflecting through it, it's simply lovely; with all those bright colors.. and turned off, it's just as pretty, as it't in the photo day shot, here.

I saw part of the design in a House Beautiful magazine, but I decided to add my touch to it and thus the hummingbirds and the frame. The artist in the shop really interpreted our wishes very well and made us very happy with the end result.
The most gorgeous lady in our house, is our antique from the 20's, Marie Therese Italian,  chandy, that hubby purchased at the antique European shop last year. She is so regal, as every crystal facet is hand cut as they were back than, since no one piece is similar to the next. I understand the modern ones are machine made standardized size and shape. This was a real surprise to me from Alejandro, because I never thought we'll be replacing our previous, also Italian brass chandy any time soon..or ever!!

Ok, here you have some of my favorite lamps around our house. Thank you so much Alyson for the great party! Hope to see you there, my friends on the "Favorites on the First"!

 Thank you for you sweet and kind comments, as you always make my day!

Thank you so much, lovely and gracious hostesses for having me at your great parties.


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 I will be participating in Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style.

Between Naps On the Porch I will be participating in Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

FABBY: Table for Three

Hello sweet friends!

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend, celebrating that our Lord Jesus Christ has Risen and the Spring season, as well. We had a long nice weekend, as Ecuador, been a predominantly Catholic country, the weekend starts at Good Friday. I made a nice lunch for the three of us, mother, Alejandro and myself. The entrance was "chumales", made of corn and steamed in it's own corn leaves. I love "chumales" they're so delicate and yummy. Than there's a hardy soup called "Fanesca", made out of fresh grains, pumpkins, squash, made out of fish broth and many garnishing, such as: "fish escabeche", small empanadas, fried platein and slices of hard boil eggs; all these are served separately, so each guest will add it to their soup bowl. The idea of the fresh grains and squashes, is the harvest of the earth at this time of year. This meal it's usually eaten in all homes around Holy week, any day you wish and many families make it proudly to invite family and friends. Here is a small table I fixed for the three of us with photos of the food, as well.

My table all set for the three of us..mother, Alejandro and myself. Here is the "fanesca, a very hardy, fresh harvest of the earth, grain soup". I learned to like it slowly, through out the years, as the soup is delicious, but I'm not crazy about grains in mom suffered when I was a kid, cause she wanted me to eat them, as grains are good protein for your health. Finally I learned, while living here.

Here is the delicious "chumal", presented in it's own corn leaf. You can also discard the leaf to serve, but I wanted you to see it as it looks steamed cooked.

The garnishing that go on top of the soup: the fried rounds of plantain, the hard boiled egg slices and in the foreground, the little empanadas. I forgot to bring the "fish escabeche" for the pic, lol..

For dessert I made this delicious, Lemon Yogurt Cake from:   http://therealhousewivesofriverton  Be sure to visit them, I recomend this great cake! Thank you ladies, it was fabulous!!

Since liquor drinking is not proper around Holy Week, we just had water..therefore, no goblets.
I used my orange chargers, that I got on an after C'mas sale, along with orange dinner plates, and with the pretty vintage Oriental dishes, with many flowers and butterflies, to make a happy spring setting, as well.

We had herbs tea with my mother and a piece of the cake for dessert. Alejandro and my mother, also loved this Yogurt Lemon Cake.

The recipe makes two loaves, like this one.
The tea set in the foreground, the cake and the dessert plate.

Wishing you all, my sweet and lovely friends.. and your families a very happy and blessed Easter, Sunday of Resurrection.