Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Cooking and Baking with Culinary Lavender!


Greetings Lavender Lovers!

Since, I use organic culinary lavender in my cooking and baking recipes, I'm often asked what's the difference between lavender flower buds from plants in my garden, nurseries and culinary lavender. So, I put together some tips, which I'd like to share.

Lavender plant 
is a member of the mint herb family so is it any wonder that it is used in cooking and baking recipes. Culinary lavender is dried edible lavender flowers buds that has been grown free of chemicals specifically for cooking and baking. Most edible lavender sold today comes from the English lavender (angustifolias) or the Lavandin Provence lavender which is used in Herbes de Provence to flavor savory dishes.

Culinary Lavender Tips: 
For culinary purposes, although the leaves are edible, the best part of lavender plant is the flower buds; they contain the “essential oil” or essence of the lavender. Always purchase organic culinary lavender from health food stores, organic lavender farms or from online merchants who specialize in selling lavender for consumption. Do not use lavender flower buds from nurseries; it may contain toxic pesticides, unhealthy additives or artificial fertilizers that are harmful to humans if ingested.

Cooking and Baking with Culinary lavender: 
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 organic lavender flower buds to one of your favorite dishes for a surprisingly different and delicious flavor.

Happy Cooking and Baking!

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.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Simple and Practical Garden Feng Shui Tips!

Beautiful Garden 

Bird Bath
Greetings Garden Lovers!

Spring is upon us and it’s a perfect time to clean out the yard and start planting a beautiful garden. Below are some simple and practical Feng Shui tips to promote positive energy (chi) in your garden, hence, abundance and prosperity in your life!

1) Flowers, herbs and plants promote an abundance of positive energy, however, they must be kept in thriving conditions! Dead flowers, herbs and plants generate negative energy and have a direct impact on abundance and prosperity in your life. Get rid of them!

2) When planting, always use organic compounds instead of chemical ones. It’s good for the well-being of your garden, plants, flowers, herbs, you, your home and the mother earth.

3) Planting varieties of flowers, herbs and plants in your garden not only creates visual pleasure, it also attracts bees, butterflies and birds, which all promote positive energy!

4) You can also plant chi enhancing flowers in your garden. For instance, if you want more abundance and prosperity to come into your life, then plant purple colored flowers such as lavender in the far left hand corner of your garden. 

5) Adding a bird bath to your garden enhances the abundance of energy, since water in Feng Shui brings in money. You can easily design and build your own unique bird bath and move it around to different areas of your garden for a change of scenery. Visit your local garden shop, antique store, Habitat for Humanity store for unique finds to build your own bird bath.  See the bird bath’s picture above as for inspirations.

6) Outdoor plants and trees should not be planted directly in front of the home's entrance, block window views or scratch against the house exterior walls. Trim them regularly, so that chi energy can flow freely!

Click here to view some of the magical flowers, herbs and plants that promote positive energy! 

Happy Gardening!

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.

Happiness is a habit, cultivate it!


There are so many simple and practical ways to cultivate happiness in our lives! Below are just a few:

Appreciate life | Practice optimism | Express gratitude | Be a problem solver | Love yourself unconditionally | Do what you love and love what you do | Choose friends and business associates & partners wisely | Say No to people making demands | Surround yourself with people who bring out the best in younot the stress in you | Consider your own happiness | Mind your own business | Whatever is holding you back from living a happy life, make peace with it and Let It Go.

Choose to be Happy!

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.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Brava Oven Showroom Demo: Roasted Rainbow Carrots Chocolate Hummus Recipe

 Chocolate Hummus & Lavash Bites Ingredients 

Chocolate Hummus 
Pic. 10

Lavash Bites with Chocolate Hummus & Purple 
Cabbage Citrus Slaw
Pic. 9

Cutting Lavash Bites
Pic. 8

Veggie Wrap Roll Up
Pic. 7

Purple Cabbage Citrus Slaw Ingredients 
Pic. 6

Processed Chocolate Hummus Ingredients 
Pic. 5

 Chocolate Hummus Ingredients in Food Processor
Pic. 4

Perfectly Roasted Rainbow Carrots
Pic. 3


Perfectly Roasted Shishito Peppers
Pic. 2

 Valentine's in a Jar
Pic. 1

Vegan Cooking Demo with Brava oven was lots of fun and delicious!

We made a delicious chocolate hummus with perfectly roasted rainbow carrots in Brava oven in just 15 minutes and used the chocolate hummus to make yummy lavash bites with purple cabbage citrus slaw. We also roasted some Shishoto peppers to spice up our demo (please see recipes below).

Chocolate hummus makes a great appetizer and dessert for parties and kids will definitely love it too. You can also put it in a jar as a unique Valentine’s Day present, 'Valentine's in a Jar,' pic. 1.

Roasted Rainbow Carrots Chocolate Hummus Recipe (serving size 8):

Chocolate Hummus Ingredients:

1 Bunch rainbow carrots
1 Can (15 oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 Tbsp. cocoa powder (unsweetened baking cocoa)
1 Tsp. garam masala spice
2 Tbsp. olive oil  
1/3 Tsp. sea salt
1 Tbsp. orange zest
2/3 Cup fresh orange juice
2 Tbsp. honey  

Instructions:

Carrots: Peel the carrots with a vegetable peeler, wash, pad dry them with paper towel and cut them diagonally into 1-inch thick wedges (1 inch for the thick end of the carrot, 2 inch for the thin end). Place the carrots in a bowl, add the olive oil, sea salt and toss them well with your hands until the carrots are evenly coated. 

Roasting: Arrange the sliced carrots on Brava oven’s glass tray in all 3 zones, place the tray on the top section of the oven and roast them for 15 minutes. On the Brava oven cooking panel choose  Vegetables>>Carrots>>Baby Carrots. Please note: the cooking panel instructions for roasting baby carrots is set for 12 minutes, but since these are sliced carrots, 15 minutes makes them perfectly roasted, so just add additional 3 minutes of roasting in the cooking panel once the 12 minutes is done, pic. 3. Remove carrots from Brava oven and let them cool for 30 minutes.

Hummus: In a food processor, combine the roasted rainbow carrots, chickpeas, cocoa powder, garam masala spice, honey, orange zest and juice, pic. 4. Process the ingredients until creamy, pic. 5.

Serving: Put the chocolate hummus in a bowel and garnish with a sprinkle of cocoa powder and a few rose petals. Enjoy it with colorful rainbow carrot sticks, breadsticks, sliced apples and anything else your heart desires, pic. 10.

Purple Cabbage Citrus Slaw Recipe (serving size 8):

Ingredients:

1 Small purple cabbage to make 3 cups shredded cabbage
1/4 Cup finely chopped shallots
1/2 Cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 Cup fresh orange juice and 1 tsp. orange zest
1/4 Cup fresh Meyer lemon juice and 1 tsp. Meyer lemon zest
1/4 Cup olive oil
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. ground cumin 

Instructions:

Cabbage: Peel away and discard any tough outer layers of the cabbage. Cut the cabbage into 4 quarters and remove the core from each quarter. Thinly slice the quartered cabbage with a sharp knife or a mandoline slicer. Next, chop the thinly sliced cabbage into small pieces. 

Slaw: Place the cabbage, cilantro, shallots, Meyer lemon juice, orange juice, their zests, cumin, sea salt and olive oil in a bowl and toss them with a spatula, Pic. 6.

Veggies Wraps and Lavash Bites: Square Lavash is available in most grocery stores. For a delicious veggie wrap, spread a thin layer of chocolate hummus on lavash square, sprinkle 2-3 Tsp. purple cabbage citrus slaw, roll it up tightly (pic. 7) and cut it in half diagonally. For lavash bites, slice your veggie wrap into 2 inches bite sized pieces, see pic. 8. Place your veggie bites on a plate, sprinkle a dash of cocoa powder and a few rose petals, pic. 9.

Shishito Peppers Recipe (serving size 8):

Shishito Peppers: Toss them in a bowl with 1 tbsp. olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. 

Roasting: Arrange Shishito Peppers on Brava oven using the metal tray and spread across all 3 zones, place the tray on the top section of the oven and roast them for 8:40 minutes. On the Brava oven cooking panel choose Vegetables>> Shishito peppers. Remove peppers from Brava oven and let them cool for a few minutes before serving, pic. 2.

Enjoy & Happy Valentine’s Day!

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

Recipes developed for the Brava Oven Showroom Demo on February 10, 2019.

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

Friday, February 1, 2019

Simply Divine Vegan Chocolate Hummus Recipe!


Chocolate Hummus 
Pic. 5

 Lavash Bites 
Pic. 4

'Valentine's in a Jar' 

Processed  Creamy Ingredients 
Pic. 3

Chocolate Hummus Ingredients in Food Processor
Pic. 2

Roasted Rainbow Carrots
Pic. 1

Rainbow Carrots

 Lavash Bread

Greetings Chocolate & Hummus Lovers!

Delicious roasted rainbow carrots, garam masala spice and cocoa make this hummus simply divine. So many ways to enjoy this yummy hummus, with cookies, crackers, fruits and veggies, as spread on veggies wraps, in lavash bites with purple cabbage citrus slaw and even as a creamy pasta sauce (just let your culinary imagination run wild and have fun in your kitchen).

Chocolate hummus makes a great appetizer/dessert for parties and kids will definitely love it too. Put this yummy chocolate hummus in a jar and you’ll have a unique Valentine’s Day present, 'Valentine's in a Jar.'

Roasted Rainbow Carrots Chocolate Hummus Recipe:

Chocolate Hummus Ingredients (serving size 4):
1 Bunch rainbow carrots
1 Can (15 oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder (unsweetened baking cocoa)
1 Tsp. garam masala spice
2 Tbsp. olive oil  
1 Tbsp. orange zest
1/3 Tsp. sea salt
2/3 Cup fresh orange juice
2 Tbsp. honey  

Instructions:

Carrots: Peel the carrots with a vegetable peeler, wash, pad dry them with paper towel and cut them diagonally into 1-inch thick wedges (1 inch for the thick end of the carrot, 2 inch for the thin end). Place the carrots in a bowl, add the olive oil, sea salt and toss them well with your hands until the carrots are evenly coated. 

Roasting: Arrange the carrots on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and roast them at 400 for 20-25 minutes until tender. Remove carrots from the oven and let them cool for 30 minutes, pic. 1.

Hummus: In a food processor, combine the roasted rainbow carrots, chickpeas, cocoa powder, garam masala spice, honey, orange zest and orange juice, pic. 2. Process the ingredients until the mixture is creamy, pic. 3.

Serving: Put the chocolate hummus in a bowel and garnish with a slice of blood orange and enjoy it with sliced carrots, apples, pears, breadsticks, and much more, pic. 5.

Purple Cabbage Citrus Slaw (serving size 4)

Ingredients:
1 Small purple cabbage to make 3 cups shredded cabbage
1/4 Cup finely chopped shallots
1/2 Cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 Cup fresh orange juice and 1 tsp. orange zest
1/4 Cup fresh Meyer lemon juice and 1 tsp. Meyer lemon zest
1/4 Cup olive oil
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. ground cumin 

Instructions:

Cabbage: Peel away and discard any tough outer layers of the cabbage. Cut the cabbage into 4 quarters and remove the core from each quarter. Thinly slice the quartered cabbage with a sharp knife or a mandoline slicer. Next, chop the thinly sliced cabbage into small pieces. 

Slaw: Place the cabbage, cilantro, shallots, Meyer lemon juice, orange juice, their zests, cumin, sea salt and olive oil in a bowl and toss them with a spatula.

Veggies Wraps and Lavash Bites: Square Lavash is available in most grocery stores. For a delicious veggie wrap, spread a thin layer of chocolate hummus on lavash square, sprinkle 2-3 Tsp. purple cabbage citrus slaw, roll it up tightly and cut it in half diagonally. For lavash bites, slice your veggie wrap into 2 inches bite sized pieces. Place your veggie bites on a plate, sprinkle a dash of cocoa powder and a few rose petals, pic. 4.

Enjoy and Happy Valentine's Day!

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.