Saturday, December 21, 2019

Change of Season Inspirations!


The season Winter has arrived today and with each new season, it's a time to reflect on the past and make plans for the future. The seasons of the year can be compared to various cycles of life. We can use the change of seasons as a way to purge the old and start fresh

Use this 4 step process at the end of each season and transform yourself and your life in new and exciting ways:

1)  Practice the 3 E’s: Encourage, Embrace and Enjoy change in your life!
2)  Clear out the old: Declutter, release and let go. 
3)  Organize your life: Simplify, simplify and simplify even more to feel empowered.
4)  Set specific goals: Cultivate health, happiness and prosperity by decluttering your life.

There's no room for adventure, excitement or personal growth when you stay in your comfort zone!

Get Inspired! 
  • Do something today.  
  • Start small, even if it's only with a single drawer or cupboard.
  • Make decluttering a quick 15-minute weekly routine.
  • Get in the habit of putting things away, rather than "doing it later."
  • Do not store rarely used or unused items, instead sell, donate, release and let go.
  • Have friends help, they aren't as attached to your things as you are.
  • Address the emotional reasons why you collect clutter.
  • Let go of negative, judgmental, demanding and toxic people. Instead surround yourself with positive people, the dreamers, doers, makers, shakers, movers and seek their support. These are the people who will empower you to achieve your goals and dreams, not the negative ones, they are too busy criticizing you and the world! 
Happy Winter Solstice!

Ellie Lavender
Certified Feng Shui Practitioner
Interior Designer

        Join my network on Facebook & Instagram to receive Feng Shui & Interior Design tips and information on upcoming workshops & special events!=\

Copyright © 2019 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Holiday Artisan Chocolate & Wine Pairing Class Beautiful Pictures!

Beautifully packaged box of 
chocolates by students!

Chocolate Class Materials

Chocolate Class Materials

Beautiful Flowers by LocaLife Flowers
 in Bonny Doon

Persimmon Chocolate Lavender Tart

Class Materials

Magical Venue in Santa Cruz Mountains

Wine: Truvee Red Blend Central Coast 2013

 Organic dried fruits & herbs

  Organic dried fruits & nuts

Jean is having fun zesting orange!

 Orange zest makes chocolate even
 more delicious!

Melting chocolate & infusing it with 
 culinary lavender & orange zest is an art, 
which my fabulous students perfectly did!

John & Jean having fun creating chocolate arts!

 John & Jean having fun creating chocolate arts!

 Jason loves chocolate, can you tell?

 Lisa is creating chocolate arts!

Chocolate arts collaboration!

Chocolate arts made by students!

 Demonstrating how to make a colorful, 
beautiful & decadent chocolate barks

Chocolate barks completed pic

Chocolate arts collaboration

Chocolate arts collaboration

 Chocolate arts collaboration

Chocolate arts collaboration

Chocolate arts collaboration

 Herbed vegan beetroot & butter beans paté with 
French & watermelon radishes, 
rainbow carrots, apples, pears 

 Herbed vegan beetroot & butter beans paté with 
French & watermelon radishes, 
rainbow carrots, apples, pears and 
Za'atar Moroccan spiced crackers. 

Students enjoying coffee & tart before the class

 Students enjoying coffee & tart before the class

Students & their beautifully packaged
chocolate arts, so proud of them!

Toque Blanche Discount on these items and 
everything in their store and web site.

My students are awesome!

They rocked my Holiday Artisan Chocolate and Wine Pairing Class on Saturday, December 7th at the beautiful FlipJack Ranch nestled in the magical Santa Cruz Mountains. 

Upon their arrival, in the beautiful, cozy, warm and festive settings of the FlipJack ranch, they enjoyed a delicious French roast coffee infused with Provence culinary lavender, a delightful red rooibos tea and a decadent vegan persimmon chocolate lavender tart.

Then, they each took a set of class materials displayed on a perfect long table and beautifully complemented with gorgeous flowers by Localife Flowers, which is the local flowers source (Bonny Doon) for my culinary classes and catering events, thank you Cristina!

Next, they joyfully put on their eclectic aprons and beautifully collaborated with each other to make exquisite chocolate arts with Valrhona Manjari 64% Dark Chocolate (infused with orange zest & Provence culinary lavender) and incredible selections of organic ingredients such as herbs, flowerschocolate covered cocoa nibs, freeze dried raspberries, candied orange, dried fruits, nuts & fleur de sel.

While waiting for their beautiful chocolates to set, they enjoyed a delicious herbed vegan beetroot & butter beans paté with French & watermelon radishes, rainbow carrots, apples, pears and Za'atar Moroccan spiced crackers. 

They also enjoyed sampling their beautiful chocolates with a delicious wine, the Truvee Red Blend Central Coast 2013 by McBride Sisters. They took home a bottle of this delicious wine, a box of their beautifully packaged chocolate arts and a small bag of Provence culinary lavender!

Plus, they'll enjoy one-time 10% discount offer on all items available in the Toque Blanche kitchen store in downtown Santa Cruz and on their website.

Thank you, my fabulous students for your presence in my class and your beautiful testimonials. You are the center of my culinary world and a great inspiration!

At last, but not the least, a special thanks to Robin & David, the owners of the FlipJack Ranch for the most beautiful venue for my class, everyone loved it. 

Chef Ellie Lavender 
Vegan Mediterranean Personal Chef
Culinary & Wine Pairing Instructor
Lavender Design + Cuisine


Join my network on Facebook & Instagram to receive recipes and information
on upcoming chocolate, culinary & wine pairing classes and special events!

Copyright © 2019 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

Holiday Artisan Chocolate & Wine Pairing Class Beautiful Testimonials!


Delicious and fun time with awesome students in my Holiday Artisan Chocolate & Wine Pairing Class on Saturday December 7th at the beautiful FlipJack Ranch, in the Santa Cruz mountains and would love to share their beautiful testimonials:

Ernie, Walnut Creek – 'Love the energy Chef Ellie brings to her class! This is my third and most favorite. Thank you Chef Ellie.'

Jason, Watsonville– ‘Anyone who likes chocolate, will love this class. Chef Ellie makes chocolate making fun and enjoyable as eating it!'

Teri, Brookdale – 'Today's class was so fun, educational & so full of love for food. Thank you Chef Ellie for your positive goodness & heartfelt joy in teaching!'

Vikki, Aptos – 'Ellie's classes are the best! What better way to spend the Saturday than learning to cook nutritious, Mediterranean vegan food. She is such a pleasure to spend the day with. Thank you!'

Amy, Ben Lomond - 'Ellie is the hostess with the mostest.  She creates the most artistic, flavorful, healthy food I've ever experienced. Her classes are uniquely orchestrated and everyone participates. So fun, great people/foodies.'

Linda, Santa Cruz – 'I learned so much today. It was the first time for me to make confections. I enjoyed the people and wonderful food. Thanks for a lovely day.'

Lisa & John, San Jose – ‘Chef Ellie's class was so wonderful. So creative and fun. She was warm and welcoming, the venue was rustic and perfect, and the lesson was engaging. Look forward to taking another class. Thank you.'

Jean, Santa Cruz– 'So fun! Chef Ellie is warm & sweet and includes everyone so we all learn, make & taste lovely chocolates, artisanal style. Thank you.'

To view the Holiday Artisan Chocolate & Wine Pairing Class Beautiful, please click here.

Thank you so much my awesome students for your beautiful testimonials! You are the center of my culinary world and a great inspiration!

Chef Ellie Lavender
Vegan Mediterranean Personal Chef
Culinary & Wine Pairing Instructor

Join my network on Facebook
 & Instagram to receive recipes and information
on upcoming chocolate, culinary & wine pairing classes and special events!

Copyright © 2019 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.


Saturday, December 7, 2019

Notes of Gratitude!


2019 marks Lavender Design + Cuisine’s 8th year anniversary! My wonderful and rewarding journey began in 2011 with my decision to leave a highly successful career in high tech sales spanning 20 years. It was time to pursue my lifelong dream. Since then, it has been an amazing and rewarding experience. I'm immeasurably grateful to do what I love thanks to my wonderful clients and amazing students. They are the center of my work and a great inspiration.

Like previous years, 2019 has been a delicious year in addition to new beginnings, inspirations, joy, growth and triumphs for you and Lavender Design + Cuisine!

I want to express my deepest gratitude to my wonderful Interior Design & Feng Shui Clients, enthusiastic Declutter Your Life workshop attendees, amazing Personal Chef and Catering Clients, fabulous Students of my Chocolates, Culinary and Wine Pairing Classes and all the loving and inspiring people in my life. You make my work, hence my life so much fun, exciting and rewarding!

Your focus and determination towards the positive transformation of your home and workspace, and ultimately the cultivation of Happiness and Prosperity in your life, are simply Amazing! In addition, your unmatched desire for Vegan Mediterranean Cooking & Wine Pairing and your gourmet taste for experimenting with Culinary Lavender in sweet and savory dishes is such a gift to me!

You Inspire Me. Thank You!
Wishing you a Magical Holiday Season and a Fantastic New Year!


Ellie Lavender
Certified Feng Shui Practitioner
Interior Designer
Vegan Mediterranean Personal Chef
Culinary and Wine Pairing Instructor

        Join my network on Facebook & Instagram to receive Feng Shui & Interior Design tips and information on upcoming workshops & special events!


Copyright © 2019 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.



Tuesday, November 12, 2019

DIY Holiday Gift: Lavender-Infused Sugar


Lavender-Infused Sugar Gift (pic. 1)

Lavender-Infused Sugar (pic 2.)

Unique and beautifully packaged homemade gifts are priceless!

Now that the holiday shopping season is underway and gift-giving is on our minds, I thought it would be a great time to tell you about lavender-infused sugar

It’s a perfect holiday gift for lavender lovers and very easy to make. Organic culinary lavender is available in most organic grocery stores, local lavender farms and herb stores. 

Lavender-Infused Sugar Instructions: 

1. In a small bowl mix 1 tsp. dried organic culinary lavender and a cup of sugar. Toss them well, put the mixture in an 8oz. jar, cap tightly and add fabric wrapping and ribbon (see pic. 1 above). 

2. You can also put a few fresh short lavender sprigs (make sure it’s pesticide free) in a glass jar and pour over enough sugar to fill the jar and cap tightly (see pic. 2 above). Leave for a few days and the sugar will have taken up the fragrance of the heavenly lavender. Use it in baking recipes and you will have a tantalizing new flavor to add to your culinary repertoire, plus a beautiful and unique holiday gift.

Culinary Lavender Tip - One of the most delightful way to bake with culinary lavender is to use lavender-infused sugar. Here is how: in a clean coffee mill, place 1/4 tsp. lavender buds with 1/2 cup of sugar. Grind these together until a fine sugar is created. This breaks apart the lavender  buds and releases their essential oils into the sugar. Keep it in jar and use it often, even in your tea and coffee, you’ll love it!

Enjoy & Happy Holidays!

Chef Ellie Lavender 
Vegan Mediterranean Personal Chef
Culinary & Wine Pairing Instructor

Join my network on Facebook & Instagram to receive recipes and information on upcoming chocolate, culinary & wine pairing classes and special events!

Copyright © 2019 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Savory Beetroot Walnut Vegan Spread Recipe!


Savory Beetroot Walnut Spread 

Flatbread with Beetroot Spread, Spinach & Olives

Christmas in a Jar!

Greetings Beetroot Lovers!

This beautiful and colorful vegan spread is delicious, highly nutritious and very easy to make. It's wonderful with artisan crackers, pita chips, carrot sticks, sliced apples and pears too.  

You can also enjoy it on pre-baked flatbread with fresh spinach (or arugula), Moroccan oil-cured black olives (or any other kinds of olives to your liking, I love this kind, because its tangy, sweet & aromatic), drizzle of olive oil, crushed toasted pistachios or put it in a jar as a unique Christmas gift (Christmas in a Jar).

Additionally, it makes a great appetizer with a glass of beautifully aged and fruity Pinot Noir.  

Ingredients (serving size 8):
3 medium red beetroots
1/2 cup walnuts 
1/4 cup pistachios
1/3 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1/5 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. cumin seeds 
1 tbsp. Meyer lemon rind
1/4 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 450. 
2. Peel beetroots, wash & pad dry with paper towel and chop into medium size pieces. 
3. Place chopped beetroots in a bowl, drizzle a couple of tbsp. of olive oil, a sprinkle of sea salt, toss them well with spatula, spread them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and roast for 30 minutes. 
4. Remove beetroots from the oven and let them cool for 30 minutes. 
5. In a food processor, combine roasted beetroots, walnuts, the rest of the olive oil, cumin seeds and garlic cloves (peeled and smashed). Process until roughly smooth. 
6. Add Meyer lemon rind and juice and pulse 3-4 more times. 
7. Place the mixture in a bowl and garnish with crushed pistachios, a few Meyer lemon rinds and a drizzle of olive oil.

Enjoy & Happy Holidays!

Chef Ellie Lavender 
Vegan Mediterranean Personal Chef
Culinary & Wine Pairing Instructor

Join my network on Facebook & Instagram to receive recipes and information on upcoming chocolate, culinary & wine pairing classes and special events!


Copyright © 2019 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.