Monday, November 27, 2017

Chocolate Almond Lavender Cookies Recipe!



Greetings Chocolate and Cookie Lovers!

Celebrate the holiday season and warm up your kitchen by baking Chocolate Almond Lavender Cookies. These lovely bitter-sweet cookies are super yummy, easy to make and they make a great holiday gift too!

Ingredients: (Makes 30 cookies)

1.  1 Stick sweet butter melted and cooled at the room temperature (vegan version use Earth Balance butter)
2.  1/2 almond milk room temperature
3.  1/3 Cup sugar
4.  1/2 Cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
5.  1 1/2 Cups spelt pastry flour
6.  1 Cup lightly toasted almond slivers
7.  1 Tsp. organic culinary lavender flowers

Directions:
1.    In a food processor mix almond milk, melted butter and sugar. Let it stand for about 10 minutes for the sugar to dissolve, then pulse a few more times.
2.   In a bowl mix flour, lavender flowers and cocoa powder. Then, gradually add to the mixture in the food processor and pulse a few times, until they form a coarse mixture. Do not over mix because it makes the dough tough and cookies will come out dense.
3.   Add almonds and pulse 4 times.
4.   Empty the mixture on a lightly floured surface (kitchen counter works just fine, not the titled kitchen counter though, it has to be a flat surface).
5.   Gather up the dough and knead 2 or 3 times. Next, flatten the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 
6.   Preheat oven to 375 °F.
7.   Take out the cookie dough  from the fridge and roll it out on a lightly floured flat surface (1/2 inch thick), cut out cookies with a 2 inch round mold and place them on a cookie sheet (cover cookie sheet with parchment paper 1st).  You can also sprinkle a tiny amount of sea salt, this is optional, but I do that because it makes these cookies even more decadent! 
8.   Bake for 12-15 minutes.
9.   Remove cookies to a cooling rack and let it cool for an hour before eating, serving or packaging.

Happy Baking!

Chef Ellie Lavender


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


Monday, November 20, 2017

Vegan-Vegetarian Thanksgiving Celebration in the Magical Santa Cruz Mountains!







































Greetings Foodies & Wine Lovers!

Thank you for making our vegan-vegetarian Thanksgiving celebration so magical with your beautiful presence and all the most amazing foods, desserts and wines you brought to the table. 

You are simply the best!

In 2018, our quarterly vegan-vegetarian potluck will be held at the magnificent Silver Mountain Vineyards. Coordinating the dates and will email once finalized. 

Somehow in downloading the pics., I lost the picture of Doug's gorgeous pepper dish, please feel free to email it to me so that I can post it here.

Look forward to our continued celebration of life and our vegan-vegetarian adventures.

Cheers,

Lavender Design + Cuisine
2018 Culinary & Wine Pairing Classes
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Copyright © 2017 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

What is Feng Shui and why is it important?



What is Feng Shui and why is it important?

Feng Shui is the art of arranging your home and work environments to enhance the flow of positive energy (chi), love, health, happiness and prosperity in your life. When energy flow is stagnant or obstructed (i.e. clutter), it can have a direct negative impact on your life! If you have found that your environment doesn’t make you feel good or bring forth happiness, productivity and prosperity, there’s likely an obstruction of energy flow that needs to be addressed.

One of the essential tools in Feng Shui is the Bagua map. It provides a blueprint and a formula to improve and enhance nine significant areas in your life: 1) abundance-prosperity, 2) fame-reputation, 3) love-relationship, 4) health-family, 5) balance-harmony, 6) children-creativity, 7) knowledge-self cultivation, 8) career-life purpose, and 9) helpful people-travel.

Decluttering is the all important first step in the Feng Shui process! If energy (chi) can't flow freely, nothing else can begin to improve! The next step is the organization, which will bring clarity and empowerment. Lastly, the application of Feng Shui principles will cultivate and enhance balance, harmony, love, happiness and prosperity. If this sounds transformational, it is.

Your home is your sanctuary. It represents you and your inner-self. When you mindfully design inspiring living and working environments based on the principles of Feng Shui, you'll cultivate and enhance love, health, happiness and prosperity in your life!

Ellie Lavender
Certified Feng Shui Practitioner
Interior Designer

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

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Heavenly Lemon-Dill Hummus Recipe!


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Heavenly Lemon-Dill Hummus Recipe! 

The beauty of making hummus at home is that you can play around with the Ingredients of your liking. I use a varieties of beans and fresh herbs when making hummus!  This is my white kidney beans, lemon-dill hummus, which can be enjoyed with pita bread, wholegrain crackers and even as spread on sandwich breads.

Ingredients (serving size 4-6 people), pic 7:
• 2 Cans white kidney beans (AKA Fagioli Cannellini bean), liquid drained.
• 1/4 Tsp. sea salt
• 2 Garlic cloves pealed and roughly chopped
• 1/3 Olive oil
• 1/4 Cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 1/4 Cup lemon rind
• 1/2 Cup roughly chopped fresh dill
• 1/3 Cup small capers
• 1/2 Tsp. ground Cumin
• A few dill sprigs for garnish

Directions: 
1. Juice and rind the lemon peel, pic. 6
2. Place all ingredients (including lemon juice & rind) into a food processor, pic. 5
3. Process until the hummus is coarsely pureed, pic. 4
4. Place hummus in a bowl, drizzle some olive oil, and garnish with lemon rind, capers and dill, pic. 3
5. Toast pita bread lightly, place a spoon full of hummus on it and garnish lemon rind, capers and dill, pic. 2 & 1
6. Enjoy with a few slices of persimmons or any other fruits of your liking.  

Chef Ellie Lavender


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

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Pear Lavender Tartlet Recipe!

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

The heavenly pears are always in abundance and with a hint of organic culinary lavender flowers they make a delightful tartlet! This is a very lovely recipe, absolutely divine by itself, though lovelier with a shot of espresso, a glass of pinot noir or scoop of vanilla gelato. 

Additionally, a perfect alternative in place of pumpkin pie for the Thanksgiving holiday festivities, which your family and friends might greatly enjoy!

Tartlet Pastry Dough Ingredients (6 tartlets, Pic. 5, tartlet pan size 5x5'):  
      1.  1 1/2 cup spelt pastry flour (or 1 cup flour & 1/2 cup almond meal)
      2.  1/2 Tsp. dried organic culinary lavender flower
      3.  2 Tbsp. sugar
      4.  1 Tsp. Meyer lemon or lemon rind
      5.  1 stick of cold sweet butter cut into 1/2-inch pieces (vegan or dairy butter)
      6.  1/4 cup cold water 
      7.  1/3 Tsp. sea salt

Tartlet Pastry Dough Instructions:  Place spelt pastry flour, lemon rind, lavender flowers, sugar and  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 lightly moistened. Transfer the dough on a lightly floured board, flatten and then roll out until the dough is about 1/4 inch thick. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes, Then take it out of the fridge, place the tartlet pan on the dough and with sharp knife cut around it. Place the dough in the tartlet pan, press down with your finger until the dough forms the shape of the tartlet pan, pic. 3. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Tartlet Filling Ingredients:
     1.  Two Tbsp. sugar
     2.  One Tsp. dried organic lavender flowers 
     3.  Three large firm pears (Bartlett pears preferred) , sliced into 1/4-inch wedges or use mandolin
      4.  Pour half of lemon juice over the pear to prevent the pear from coloring brown

Tartlet Making Instructions:
     1.   Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
     2.  Arrange pears on the dough (pic 4).
     5.  Sprinkle with sugar, a few lavender flowers (pic 4).
     7.  Bake until the crust is nicely golden for about 30-35 minutes (pics. 1 & 2).
     8.  Let the tartlets cool, garnish with the lavender petals and enjoy.

      Happy Baking! 

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