Monday, September 30, 2019

Vegan Cooking & Wine Pairing Class: A Taste of Spain on Your Plate

 Magnificent Entree: 
Vegan Paella

Decadent Dessert:
Pear Rhubarb Chocolate Lavender Torta w/ 
Lavender Honey, Crushed Pistachios & Orange Rinds

Delectable Appetizer
Smoked Paprika Garbanzo Beans, Preserved 
Meyer Lemon & Fried Basil Chiffonade  

Delightful Salad: 
 Fennel, Orange, Radishes & Black Cured Olives 
w/ Citrus-Basil-Olive Oil Dressing

Veggies Paella w/o Rice

Organic Ingredients 

Organic Ingredients 




Class Menu & Wine 













My students are awesome!

They rocked my Vegan Cooking & Wine Pairing Class: A Taste of Spain on Your Plate!  

They enthusiastically put on their aprons and beautifully collaborated with each other to make 
4 exquisite dishes with organic ingredients from the Santa Cruz Farmer's Market and local organic grocery stores. 

We had an amazing farm-to-table vegan cooking and wine pairing class with 
zero waste. I love that!

Below are the 
exquisite dishes my awesome students made:

1) A Delectable Appetizer – 
Smoked Paprika Garbanzo Beans, Preserved Meyer Lemon & Fried Basil Chiffonade

2) A Delightful Salad – 
Fennel, Orange, Radishes & Black Cured Olives w/ Citrus-Basil-Olive Oil Dressing

3) 
A Magnificent Entree – Paella with organic zucchini, yellow squash, Orange Carrots, Red & Yellow Peppers, Caper Berries, Spanish Green Olives & Lemon-Saffron Santo Tomas Bomba Rice with Shallots, Garlic, Meyer Lemon Juice and Rind

4) A Decadent Dessert – 
Pear Rhubarb Chocolate Lavender Torta w/ Lavender Honey, Crushed Pistachios & Orange Rinds

They enjoyed their 
exquisite culinary creations with a delicious Spanish red wine, the Puerta Plata Reserva 2013, which beautifully complements the Spanish cuisine.

Thank you, my awesome students. 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.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Autumn-Inspired Recipe:Pumpkin Spice Hazelnut Vegan Cookies



Happy Autumn Cookie Lovers!

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

Ingredients: (Makes 30 cookies)

1.  1/2 (4 oz.) Cup sweet melted vegan butter (Earth Balance butter stick)
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

Instructions: 

1.   Preheat oven to 350 F. 
2.  Spread the hazelnuts evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes until the skins are crackled. Let them cool for 5 minutes. Move the hazelnuts onto paper towel and rub gently to remove the skins. Let them cool for another 15 minutes.
3.  Mix hazelnut milk, melted butter (room temperature) and sugar in a bowl. Let them stand for 15 minutes for the sugar to dissolve.
3.  In a food processor pulse 1/3 cup of toasted hazelnuts until coarsely chopped.
4.  Add flour, pumpkin spice and the mixture (n0. 3) and pulse a few more times.  
5.  Remove the dough from the food processor, flatten it 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. Let them cool for an hour before enjoying or packaging them as presents.

Happy 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.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Change of Season Inspirations!



The season autumn  will arrive on Monday September 23rd 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 all use the changing 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."
  • Store away seldom used items, and dispose or donate unused ones.
  • Have friends help, they aren't as attached to your things as you are.
  • Teach your kids to be responsible for their mess.
  • Address the emotional reasons why you collect clutter.
Happy Autumn!

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.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Elevator pitch: 5 tips for creating a strong sales message!


How to Craft a Highly Successful Elevator Pitch That Will Land You Big Business! 

What is an Elevator Pitch? 

This is the 30-60 second business description of what you do and why someone should work with you. It’s called an “Elevator Pitch” because it describes the challenge: “How would you explain your business and make a sale if fate placed you in an elevator with your dream prospect and you only had the time it takes to get from the top of the building to the bottom?”

Why Is Having an Elevator Pitch So Important?

You only have 30-60 seconds to make a powerful first impression. The attention span of the average person is just 30 seconds before their mind starts wandering. The other reason is people have less time today. You need to grab them quickly or lose them forever.

Elevator pitch - 5 tips for creating a strong sales message:

1. Figure out what is unique about what you do
The whole idea behind a great elevator pitch is to intrigue someone. It's an ice-breaker and a marketing pitch — all rolled into one. Your elevator pitch must have a hook. 'I own a café in downtown' doesn't hold a candle to, but 'I own a café in downtown and offer gourmet vegan Mediterranean foods beautifully paired with regional wines' does!

2. Make it exciting
A superior elevator pitch increases your heart rate. It speaks to who you really are and what excites you about your business. It has integrity. What is it about your business that really motivates you? Incorporate that!

3. Keep it simple
A good elevator pitch doesn't try and be all things to all people. Rather, it conveys a clear idea in a short amount of time. It might be a few sentences, but no more than a paragraph or so. Keep it under 30 seconds.

4. Write it down
Use the guidelines above and take a stab at it. Write down your pitch, say it out loud, re-write it, and then re-write it again.

5. Practice, and the practice some more
The first few times you try out your elevator pitch may be a bit uncomfortable, but it gets easier. After a while, it will become second nature to you, and when it does, you will be glad you practiced. You never know what will come from having a great, natural, elevator pitch, but you can bet that you've just increased your chances that it will be good.

-          Elevator pitch opens the door to business
-          Elevator pitch is an intro – meant to open up a dialog
-          Elevator pitch is a work of art in progress
-          Elevator pitch is about why you do what you do
-          Every opportunity is a networking opportunity
-          What is the hook, why you do what you do, how you do it
-          Be yourself, everyone else is taken
-          Who you are and how you present yourself = your ultimate business card
-          Smile, smile, smile and smile some more

Happy Sales Pitching!

Ellie Lavender
Certified Feng Shui Practitioner
Interior Designer
Lavender Design + Cuisine


        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.