Thursday, January 11, 2018

Declutter Your Home: Trash, Recycle, Donate & Sell


As you first set out on your journey to declutter your home, use this very simple and practical technique to empower yourself with the art of letting go. Find 4 boxes and label them as trash, recycle, donate and sell. Put each item from every room in your house in one of the four boxes. No item should be passed over. Start with the easiest room in your house and work your way through decluttering your whole house!

The wonderful feeling of freedom from physical and emotional clutter is simply unimaginable until you experience it for yourself! Not only you feel empowered by letting go of the items that took space in your home, heart, body and soul, you will open space for lots of wonderful things pour into your life.

Get inspired! Declutter an area of your home today. Use these simplified and practical technique. Put one item in trash box, 1 in recycle box, 1 in donate box and 1 in sell box. That’s 4 items x by one week = 28 items. Once you get into the habit of practicing this simple and practical technique, soon your home will be clutter free, so will be your life.

Happy Decluttering!


Ellie Lavender




Copyright © 2018 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Meet Chef Ellie Lavender!


Greetings!

My name is Ellie Lavender. I’m a Vegan Mediterranean Personal Chef, Culinary Instructor and Artisan Chocolatier.

My journey as a self-taught vegan Mediterranean chef started at age 7 with my decision to become a vegetarian. Having asked my mom to prepare vegetarian foods, her reply was: “It’s time for you to learn how to cook so that you can make any kind of food you want”. I started cooking and found absolute joy in experimenting with the bounty of fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs (lavender always being my favorite) from our organic garden. 

This early encounter with the joy of cooking led me to create Lavender Cuisine in 2011. That was the time I decided to leave high tech sales after a 20-year career and pursue my lifelong dream, because cooking truly is my greatest passion! I'm immeasurably grateful to do what I love thanks to my wonderful clients and students. They are the center of my work and the main source of my inspiration.

I offer the following Culinary Services throughout Santa Cruz County and the South Bay:
  • Personal Chef Services featuring organic, seasonal, local and sustainable Vegetarian/Vegan Mediterranean gourmet cuisine prepared in your kitchen and tailored to your personal taste.
  • Vegetarian/Vegan Mediterranean Catering for all occasions (up to 100 people).
  • Private, Group & Corporate Culinary Classes including artisan chocolate making, Vegetarian/Vegan Mediterranean Cooking & Wine pairing (minimum 5 people, maximum 10)
Online Registration is now open for my Vegan, Vegetarian Mediterranean Cooking & Wine Pairing Classes at the Silver Mountain Vineyards’ gorgeous French Country kitchen. The winery is located at 269 Silver Mountain Drive, Los Gatos, CA 95033 and beautifully nested in the magical Santa Cruz Mountains.

All classes are on Saturdays, 12-4 pm and limited to 10 students to ensure the most spectacular experience for all. Class fee is $150.00 and includes a complimentary bottle of wine ($44.00) of your choice from the Silver Mountain Vineyards’ award-winning wines: the 2010 Miller Hill Pinot Noirthe 2010 Tondré Pinot Noir and the 2010 Muns Pinot Noir, which all beautifully complement Chocolate and the Mediterranean Cuisine. You'll enjoy samples of these lovely wines with the amazing chocolate arts and incredible dishes that you'll make.

My Upcoming Classes:


What To Expect: 
Great cooking isn't just about recipes, it's also about passion. In my classes you'll work together with other students in a fun, hands-on environment.

Your experience will include:
• Learning fundamental skills for a lifetime of great cooking
• Working side-by-side with other students to prepare each dish
• Interacting with classmates and the instructor for a rich learning experience

Since space is limited for these very popular classes, early registration is highly encouraged. Please click here to register now. 

Now if you would like to host a Chocolate, Vegetarian/Vegan Mediterranean Cooking and Wine Pairing Class in your home (minimum 5 people, maximum 10), you’ll be rewarded in two ways. One, your attendance will be free, and two, I'll throw in a lovely bottle of wine from Silver Mountain Vineyards!  

Additionally, I offer a 2-hour Chocolate Making Event for birthday parties for children 10 years and up (minimum 5 children, maximum 10).  In this very hands-on event at your venue, children will make chocolate arts, which are organic, vegan and sugar free.  They’ll get to try their chocolate arts and even gift wrap some of their lovely handmade creations in exquisite packaging provided by me. Parties start at just $150.00 for 5 children (each additional child is $30), which includes everything necessary to have a super fun time that is ideal for photo and video memories.

I look forward to seeing you in my Culinary and Wine Pairing Classes! Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Chef Ellie Lavender


Copyright © 2018 Lavender Design + Cuisine.  All rights reserved. 

Monday, January 1, 2018

Magical Plants, Flowers and Herbs that Promote Positive Energy in your Home!


The use of plants, flowers and herbs beautify and enrich our home and work environments and lives. They also promote and enhance positive energy, which has a direct impact on our health, physical and emotional wellbeing.

These magical plants, flowers and herbs are promoters of positive energy in your home:

1.      Lavender flowers have many magical properties, including relaxation. This plant activates the energy of stability within one’s life. It not only removes toxins from the home, but helps with headaches, insomnia and depression. A few pieces of leaves and flowers in a bath help stimulate mental clarity. This beautiful purple-flowering plant is one of the most popular in folklore. Its energy also brings healing and protection.  Additionally, Culinary lavender flowers whether crushed, sprinkled, ground or infused, this flavor-intense herb will indulge your senses, tantalize your taste buds and please your palette. The next time you are looking to expand your culinary horizons, try adding Lavender to one of your favorite dishes for a surprisingly different and delicious flavor.
2.     Jasmine is a sacred flower of Persia and has been greatly significant throughout history. This fragrant plant stimulates energy and enhances self-esteem. It is also known to strengthen relationships and create romance. This plant helps with the ability to manifest prophetic dreams, while stimulating the heart chakra.
3.     Rosemary is one of the best plants for purification in the home. This plant helps lift depression while battling anxiety. It originates from the Mediterranean region and was once symbolic for remembrance. Rosemary not only instills inner peace but also repels negative energies and spirits. A rosemary bush by your front door is a wonderful way to keep negativity outside.
4.     Lily is believed to be a multi-functional plant. It helps clear out any spiritual, emotional and physical issues. It grows well in shaded or dark places. Placed in the bedroom, lilies promote serenity and tranquility for restful sleep.
5.     Sage is a powerful, magical plant that opens you up to higher states of consciousness and spiritual communication. Burning sage has incredible cleansing qualities, and has been used since Native American times. It promotes a sense of positivity in your home and purifies it of bacteria.
6.     Basil attracts positive vibrations to the environment. It is a rare plant in that it emits oxygen for 20 hours a day while removing toxins. Basil means “royal” and it truly does embody royal powers. It is one of the most amazing plants to keep in your home, not just for cooking, but for its ability to heal irritations, cleansing toxins, and enforce spiritual strength.
7.     Oregano is a wonderful herb to have in your home. Its fragrance induces happiness, peace, love, and spiritual cleansing. As a tea, it helps relieve many ailments. Oregano is perfect for clearing out negativity and welcoming good energy into your space. The best place for it is in sunlight in a kitchen. It is a plant that brings family energy together.
8.     Rose is the symbol for love around the world. Its energy is that of healing and love. In mythology, Aphrodite presented a rose to her son Eros. The rose is sacred and it holds one of the highest vibrational frequencies in plants. It dispels toxins and negativity while bringing passion to your home and life. This beautiful flower holds a tremendous energetic disposition to bring love into your heart.
9.    Money Plant has many names. It is referred to as silver vine, golden pathos and hunter’s robe to name a few. According to Feng Shui its energy produces a flow that attracts wealth and good luck. The reason it is called the money plant is because of its leaves resembling coins. This plant increases the oxygen level of the home. It can be used to climb or to hang. The money plant is best to have near electronics such as computers, televisions, or WiFi routers. It helps relieve stress and anxiety in the home.

Start the new year by promoting and enhancing positive energy in your home and work environments, hence your life!

Happy New Year!

Ellie Lavender


Copyright © 2018 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.



Tangy Veggie Wrap with Lemon-Dill Hummus Spread Recipe!

Veggie Wrap

 Lemon-Dill Hummus Spread

Start the New Year with a healthy and yummy meal.

A meal made with love. There’s nothing quite like eating a homemade meal, prepared with organic healthy ingredients and tons of love. This lovely tangy veggie wrap with lemon-dill hummus spread is easy to make and will soon  be a favorite selection for lunch, dinner or a snack. I teach this recipe in my cooking classes for kids and they love it too! 

Tangy Veggie Wrap Recipe:

Ingredients (Serves 4 to 6)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium shallots cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 medium zucchini cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 medium yellow squash cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 medium fennel cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 medium tomato cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 medium garlic cloves, minced
A pinch of sea salt
4-6 organic lavash bread sheets (10 x 12 inches, plain or flavored).

Directions: Sauté all the ingredients  in olive oil over medium heat for 10-15 minutes until lightly cooked, so that they remain crunchy. Remove from the stove and let it stand at the room temperature while you are making the lemon-dill hummus spread.

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 crisps, wholegrain crackers and as spread on veggie wraps or any sandwiches. Click here for the recipe!

Veggie Wrap Assembly: Place a lavash bread sheet (10 x 12 inches) on a plate, spread a layer of lemon-dill hummus, then sprinkle 3 tablespoons of the veggie mixture. Start rolling the wrap. Cut the veggie wrap diagonally and enjoy. 

Wishing you a delicious 2018!

Chef Ellie Lavender


Copyright © 2018 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.