Sunday, October 15, 2017

Heavenly Lemon-Saffron Millet Pilaf Recipe.



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Heavenly Lemon-Saffron Millet Pilaf Recipe.

Millet is an ancient grain that is alkaline, heart healthy, protein-rich and is low glycemic. This heavenly millet pilaf (gluten-free) is colorful, delicious, nutritious and packed with flavorful ingredients.  

Ingredients (serving size 4):

1 cup millet (bulk organic millet available at Whole Foods and other natural grocery stores)  | 1/2 Tsp. sea salt  | 1/2 cup unsalted butter | 1/2 cup shallots finely chopped | 1 large minced garlic clove | 1/2 cup fresh basil, dill or cilantro roughly chopped | 1/2 cup dried cranberries | 1/2  cup toasted almond slivers | 1/2 fresh lemon juice | 1/2 Tsp. lemon rind | 1/2 Tsp. saffron | 1/2 cup olive oil | 1/4 pomegranate seeds

Directions:

1. In a pot bring 3 cups of water to boil. Add millet and sea salt. Let it cook, occasionally stir to see if millets are half open. Remove the pot from stove, scoop out the millet from the pot with a wire fine mesh, tap a few times to get the water out and then place in a bowl, Pics. 1 and 2.

2. In a large sauté pan add olive oil, shallot, garlic, almond, cranberries, a pinch of sea salt and your choice of fresh herb. On a medium heat stir continually for 5-7 minutes until the ingredients are cooked lightly.  Add the millet to the pan, mix them all together, place the mixture on a plate and garnish with pomegranate seeds. 

This delicious millet pilaf can be enjoyed by itself, with a green salad or roasted seasonal vegetable.

Happy Cooking. 


Copyright © 2011-2017 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.


Monday, October 2, 2017

Feng Shui Tips: Promote Abundance and Prosperity in Your Life.


The front door and the surroundings of the home create a first impression for you, for your guests, visitors, and for unlimited opportunities to come your way. It sets the intention for the rest of your home. When you drive up to your home it should emanate an aura of beauty, vitality and abundance. Your home must welcome you, your visitors, guests, and all of your opportunities with loving, open arms.

In Feng Shui, the front door of a house is considered "the mouth of Chi." When a house has plenty of good Chi coming in and the flow of energy is positive and harmonious, the people living in the house will experience heightened levels of abundance and prosperity. 

These 3 simple and practical Feng Shui Enhancements will promote the positive flow of energy in your home, hence, abundance and prosperity in your life:

1.       Assess Your Front Door and the Surroundings of your Home. Do you see cobwebs around your front door, or dried leaves, dead plants, broken branches and piles of wood scattered around your home (decks, patio and garden included)? These all represent stagnant energy. Get rid of them. 
2.       Paint your front door a bright, cheerful color. Purple is the Feng Shui color for abundance and Red is for prosperity. Green is the color of money.  Color is one of the easiest ways to promote and enhance the positive flow of energy in your home, hence abundance and prosperity in your life.
3.       The front door is the doorway to abundance and prosperity – make it look that way. Create good lighting, use an inviting welcome mat, hang a soft wind chime and seasonal wreaths, and place colorful pots of plants and flowers in this area.  
Your Home is Your Sanctuary. It represents you and your inner-self. When you mindfully design and maintain a beautiful, vibrant and inspiring home environment based on the principles of Feng Shui, you’ll invite, promote and enhance the positive flow of energy into your home, and in turn abundance and prosperity in your life

Copyright © 2011-2017 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

Pumpkin Spice Hazelnut Cookies Recipe!


Happy October Foodies!

Celebrate the change of season and warm up your kitchen with my autumn-inspired recipe! Make Pumpkin Spice Hazelnut cookies. These cookies are super yummy, easy to make and a super fun recipe for the kids too!

Ingredients: (Makes 30 cookies)

1.  1/2 (4 oz.) Cup sweet melted butter (vegan version use Earth Balance butter)
2.  1/2 Hazelnut milk
3.  1/2 Cup sugar
4.  1 Tsp. Pumpkin Spice
5.  1 1/2 Cups spelt pastry flour
6.  1 1/2 Cups hazelnut

Directions:
1.   Lightly toast 1/2 of the hazelnuts at 275 °F. Let it cool for 10 minutes. Remove skin as much as possible.
2.   In a food processor pulse cooled hazelnuts 10-15 times, coarsely chopped (see pic. below)

3.   Mix hazelnut milk, melted butter (room temperature) and sugar. Let it stand for about 10 minutes for the sugar to dissolve
4.   Add flour, pumpkin spice and the processed hazelnut to the mixture and lightly mix. 
5.   Gather up the dough and knead 2 or 3 times. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at an hour. 
6.   Preheat oven to 375 °F.
7.   Roll out the cookie dough (1/2 inch thick), cut out cookies with a 2 inch round mold and place them on a cookie sheet.
8.   Place one hazelnut in the center of each cookie.
9.   Bake for 10-12 minutes.
10. Remove cookies to a cooling rack and let it cool for an hour before eating, serving or packaging.


Happy Baking!
Copyright © 2011-2017 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Moroccan Roasted Rainbow Carrots, Golden Beets and Parsnips Recipe


Organic Roasted Rainbow Carrots, Golden Beets and Parsnips (great substitutes for potatoes) are full of flavors, delicious, nutritious and simply divine. This is a very delightful recipe for lunch or dinner, lovely by itself, and even lovelier over a bed of saffron-lemon millet pilaf or mixed greens. Pour a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice and olive oil dressing (prepare the dressing a few minutes before serving the meal so that it will stay fresh) over the veggies with the pilaf or the mixed green right before serving it. Additionally, a glass of Pinot Noir will complement this dish beautifully.

Ingredients (serving size 4-6):

1 pound rainbow carrots
1 Pound parsnips
1/2 Pound golden beets 
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tsp. Moroccan spice Zaatar (Cost Plus sells it)
1/2 Tsp. sea salt
1/2 Cup olive oil

Instruction: 

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. (the high temperature ensures that the veggies will cook quickly, stay crispy outside and tender inside).
2. Peel carrots, beets and parsnips. Wash and damp dry to remove moisture. Cut into 2 inch strips. 
3. In a bowl mix veggies with sea salt, lemon juice, Zaatar spice and olive oil until lightly coated.
4. Spread the veggies evenly on a cookie sheet and bake for about 20-25 minutes.
5. Remove from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes before serving. 

Happy Roasting.


Copyright © 2011-2017 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

Declutter Your Mind!


The same way we choose to give away the physical clutter in our home and work environments in exchange for serenity, for simplicity, and for a richer life, we can choose a clutter-free mind for a happier life.

Get Inspired! Apply these simple and practical steps to free your mind from clutter that impacts your clarity, your vision and your power of decision making:
1. Identify the things that bother you.
2. Write next to each thing what needs to happen.
3. Prepare to address things.
4. Address things.
5. Keep Clear and address things as they arise.

Lastly, Keep in mind that decluttering your mind is a process, an adjustment and it takes time but It definitely works, but you must continually make conscious efforts to create room for positivity, for joy, for serenity, for optimism and for happiness.

“Not Everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” ~ Albert Einstein Happy Decluttering!

Copyright © 2011-2017 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Practical Feng Shui Tips For A Child’s Bedroom


Enhance Education, Success and Happy Relationships!

It’s almost mid-summer and a great time to encourage and empower your children to declutter and organize their bedrooms so that they can enter the new school year feeling refreshed and energized.

Applying Feng Shui to a child’s bedroom creates an inspiring environment that fosters enhanced education, success, and happy relationships with parents, siblings, and others. 

However, before you apply the below Feng Shui enhancements to the bedrooms of your children, it’s important that you bring them into the process. Start by discussing the benefits of a clutter-free, organized and inspiring bedroom environment; and then get their permission and full participation. After that, work together to design short and long term plans for creating and maintaining an inspiring bedroom environment that will empower them to thrive in all aspects of life.

Here’s your action plan for this project:

1.       Remove clutter. Partner with your children to support their efforts to clear jammed closets and drawers. Encourage them to remove toys, games, books and clothes no longer suitable for their age. To make this process simple and most effective, provide them with three boxes, 1) items for donation, 2) recycling and 3) trash. Creating space and visual openness helps your child sleep better and feel much more rested, which will lead them to be happier and more productive.

2.      Teach organization skills and maintenance methods. Provide storage systems, a laundry basket and trash can so that children can easily organize and store items, without having to leave them on their beds, desk’s and floors. These simple and practical measures will inspire and motivate your children to keep their bedrooms clean, clutter-free and organized resulting in fewer chores for you!

3.      Create an inspiring bedroom environment. Make sure there is adequate lighting in the bedroom. Also, bedrooms that are painted dark colors create too much oppressive energy. Bright colors, such as yellows, light greens, soft lavender and pinks are good energy and inspiring color choices.  Add inspiring and motivational posters and art to the child’s bedroom!

4.     Bed choice and placement in the bedroom. Make sure your child can see the door from his or her bed easily, but is not in direct line of the door. Bunk beds are not optimal. Children must have room to grow and the bed overhead exerts pressure on the child below. Because there is empty space below them, children on the top bunk may feel less secure. If possible, try to have a separate bedroom for each child. If this isn’t possible, there are many decorative ways to create division and privacy within a room for each child.

5.      Establish a space for study and accomplishments. Having a dedicated space, including a desk and lamp where your child can study demonstrates to your child the importance you place on education, your child’s success and achievement. Display awards, trophies, and tests with good scores in the child’s bedroom.

6.     Praise your children often. Throughout the transformation process and afterward, praise your children often. The practice of this amplifying self-esteem gesture will make them feel good, loved and appreciated, and will also encourage and motivate them to maintain a clean, clutter-free, organized and inspiring bedroom environment for years to come.

Lead by example for your children. Children are like mirrors, reflecting everything that happens in their environment. The examples you set have a significant impact on their present and future development and aspirations. Keep your home environment, clean, clutter-free, organized and inspirational.  

Happy Decluttering.
Ellie Lavender
Certified Feng Shui Practitioner
Interior Designer

Inspired Transformation Story: “Ellie helped us to declutter, organize and Feng Shui our whole house, which was neglected for many years! Once, we declutterd, organized and applied Ellie’s creative and inspiring interior design’s solutions, our house was transformed into a beautiful home, a place of joy, comfort and relaxation. The two areas, which needed the most decluttering and organization, were our children’s bedrooms. The immediate positive impact became apparent when we stopped asking our 9 year old daughter and 12 year old son to do their homework, pick up their things, stop arguing, etc. Pleasantly, we noticed our constant nagging had turned into praising them for keeping their bedrooms clean and doing their homework. We are also delighted that every Saturday morning they bring their dirty clothes basket to the laundry room and empty their trash cans, which have helped to keep their bedrooms clean and organized. Our daughter and son are now much happier and calmer. They also sleep better, argue less, and are more focused on their school work. For this amazing transformation and so much more, we can’t thank you enough, Ellie!“ Cathy & Steve , Almaden Valley


Copyright © 2011-2017 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Plum Lavender Galette Recipe

Take a trip to Provence! Make a Plum Lavender Galette!

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Plums and lavender are in abundance and together they make a heavenly galette! This is a very lovely Summer recipe, absolutely divine by itself, though lovelier with a shot of espresso, a glass of pinot noir or both.
Galette Dough Ingredients:  
      1.  1 1/2 cup spelt pastry flour (or 1 cup flour & 1/2 cup almond meal)
      2.  1/2 Tsp. organic culinary lavender flower dried or fresh
      3.  2 Tbsp. sugar
      4.  1 Tsp. Meyer lemon or lemon rind
      5.  5 Tbsps. cold sweet butter cut into 1/2-inch pieces (vegan or dairy butter)
      6.  1/4 cup cold water 

Galette Dough Instructions:  Place spelt pastry flour, lemon rind, lavender flowers and sugar in a food processor and pulse 3 times.  Add in the cold sweet butter and pulse a few more times until it forms a coarse texture.  Gradually, add in the cold water and pulse lightly until moistened. Place dough on a flat board and knead 2 or 3 times. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Pic 1.
Galette Ingredients:
     1.  2 Tbsp. sugar
     2.  1 Tsp. fresh or dried organic lavender flowers 
     3.  7 large firm plums (I used pluot plums) , sliced into 1/4-inch wedges or use mandolin
     4.  1 Tbsp. Meyer lemon rind
Galette Instructions:
     1.   Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
     2.  Take out the dough from fridge and transfer it onto a baking sheet.
     4.  Arrange plums on the dough (pic 2).
     5.  Fold the 1.5-inch border of the dough over the plums and pleating together (pic 3).
     6.  Sprinkle the galette with sugar, lavender flowers, lemon rind and a few pieces of                  butter (pic 3).
     7.  Bake until the crust is nicely golden for about 35-40 minutes (pic 4).
     8.  Let the galette cool, garnish with the lavender petals and enjoy.

      Happy Baking! 
      Chef Ellie Lavender

Copyright © 2011-2017 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Pear Fig Lavender Tart Recipe


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Take a trip to Provence, the land of heavenly lavender, make a Pear Fig Lavender Tart!

Pears and figs are in season and with a touch of culinary lavender flowers they’ll make a heavenly tart! This is a very lovely recipe, absolutely divine by itself, though much lovelier with a shot of espresso, a cup of tea, or a glass of pinot noir. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1.    2 large Barnette pears
2.    3 medium-large fresh figs
3.    1 Tbsp. orange rind 
5.    1 cup fresh orange juice 
6.    1 1/4 cup spelt pastry flour (alternatively, you can use 1 cup of spelt pastry flour and 1/4 of almond meal)
7.    1 1/4 stick sweet butter (melted and at room temperature ). Vegan version, use Earthbalance butter.
8.    1/4  cup sugar
9.    1 Tsp. culinary lavender flowers (finely chopped)
10.  1/2 Tsp. culinary lavender flowers
11.  Tart pan (11 inch diameter) with removable bottom

Directions:

1.   Preheat oven to 375F 
2.   Place the tart pan on parchment paper and cut into a circle with additional 1 inch over the size of the tart pan in order to cover the tart pan’s wall.
3.   Brush the parchment paper with the sweet melted butter, speckle a few orange rind, a few lavender flower and 1 Tsp. sugar.  
4.   Wash figs and slice them gently. 
5.   Wash pears. cut in half, remove core and thinly slice them using a Mandoline. 
6.   Arrange figs in the middle of the tart pan and the pears around the figs. like a sunflower. 
7.   Sprinkle a few orange rind and lavender flowers on the figs and pears. Pic. 1
6.   In a bowl combine spelt pastry flour,1 Tbsp. sugar,1 Tsp. lavender flowers (finely chopped). Add in the orange juice and melted sweet butter.  
7.   Mix lightly to incorporate all ingredients. Do not over mix. It’ll make the tart dense.  
8.   Pour the mixture over the figs and pears and with a spatula flatten it to cover them. Pic 2
9.   Bake the tart for about 30-35 minutes until golden. Pic 3
10. Let the tart cool for 15 minutes.
11. Flip the tart over on a plate Pic. 4, remove the parchment paper Pic. 5 and let it cool for 30 minutes before serving. Pic 6

Happy Baking!



Copyright 2017, Lavender Design + Cuisine




Thursday, June 15, 2017

Cultivate Happiness and Prosperity in Your Life!


The path to living a more Happy and Prosperous Life starts with a Clutter-Free Home.
Are you unsure whether Clutter is affecting your life?

Take this Clutter Assessment Quiz to find out whether Clutter is holding you back from living a more Happy and Prosperous Life:

1. Do you often find yourself in a state of avoidance, procrastination or indecision?
2. Do you feel at ease and welcomed when you walk in to your home?
3. Do you often think about clearing your home but somehow can't ever bring yourself to do it?
4. Do you have trouble figuring out what to wear even though your closet is full of clothes?
5. Do you have piles of books, magazines or newspapers you have never read and probably never will?
6. Do you save broken items just in case someday you may fix them?
7. Do you keep things that you don’t need or use just because they were a gift?
8. Do you have a spare room or garage that you can’t use because it’s full of stuff from you, your grown children, and others?
9. Do you have a house and garage littered with unfinished projects?
10. Do you own a storage unit on your property or rent one elsewhere?

If you answered “yes” to 50% or more of these questions, your home is experiencing a moderate to severe degree of Clutter!

Declutter your home to free yourself from physical and emotional clutter.

Let Go!

Happy Decluttering.

Copyright © 2011-2017 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Peach Lavender Galette Recipe


Take a trip to Provence, the land of heavenly lavender!

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Peach and lavender are simply divine and together they make a heavenly galette! This is a very lovely summer recipe, absolutely wonderful by itself, though lovelier with a shot of espresso, a glass of pinot noir or both.
Galette Dough Ingredients:  
      1.  1 cup spelt pastry flour
      2.  1 cup almond meal
      3.  1/2 Tsp. organic culinary lavender flower dried or fresh
      4.  2 Tbsp. sugar
      5.  1 Tsp. Meyer lemon or lemon rind
      6.  5 Tbsps. cold sweet butter cut into 1/2-inch pieces
      7.  1/3 cup ice water. 

Galette Dough Instructions: Place spelt pastry flour, almond meal, lemon rind, lavender flowers and sugar in a food processor and pulse 3 times.  Add in the cold sweet butter and pulse a few more times until it forms a coarse texture.  Gradually, add in the cold water and pulse lightly until moistened. Place dough on a flat board and knead 2 or 3 times. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Pic 1.
Galette Ingredients:
     1.  2 Tbsp. sugar
     2.  1 Tsp. fresh or dried organic lavender flowers 
     3.  6 Semi-ripe medium peaches, sliced into 1/4-inch wedges
     4.  2 Tsp. Meyer lemon rind
Galette Instructions:
     1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
     2.  Roll out the galette dough about 14 inches in diameter & transfer to a baking sheet.
     4.  Arrange peaches and sprinkle Meyer lemon rinds (pic 2).
     5.  Fold the 2-inch border of the dough over the peaches and pleating together (pic 3).
     6.  Sprinkle the galette with sugar and lavender flowers (pic 3).
     7.  Bake until the crust is nicely golden for about 35-40 minutes (pic 4).
     8. Let the galette cool, garnish with the lavender sprigs and enjoy.