Thursday, January 16, 2020

Decadent Moroccan Preserved Meyer Lemons Recipe!


Pic. 3
Decadent Moroccan Preserved Meyer Lemons

Pic. 4

Spices & Sea Salt

Pic. 2
Meyer Lemons packed with Sea Salt

Pic. 1

Meyer Lemons

Different Shape 16 oz. Jar

Different Shape 16 oz. Jar

Different Shape 8 oz. Jar

Different Shape 8 oz. Jar

Making Moroccan preserved lemons at home is very easy and inexpensive too! 

I love Meyer lemons over other varieties, since, they are delicate, tangy, sweet and add an exquisite flavor to grilled, roasted or sautéed veggies, couscous, tagines, pasta, salads (mixed greens or arugula with caramelized pears, chopped dried apricots, crushed toasted pistachios and a few cumin seeds (lightly toasted on skillet) and for salad dressing, just a drizzle of fruity extra virgin olive oil), tarts and galettes (sweet & savory with fruits such as blueberries and veggies such as zucchini and yellow squash), hummus, tapenades, pate and some finely-chopped little pieces to vanilla gelato! The flavor is simply amazing!

Heavenly Cocktail - I also put a couple of slices (pulps removed & gently rinsed) to a glass with gin or vodka, a couple of ice cubes, sparkling water and garnish it with a couple of lightly crushed fresh mint leaves! Heavenly beyond description!  

In addition, to its delicious and culinary flavor enhancements, just having a gorgeous jar of Moroccan preserved Meyer lemons on your kitchen counter not only will inspire cooking, but also makes your kitchen delightful. Not to mention, it makes a beautiful and unique gift too!  

Organic Ingredients:

6-8 Small Meyer lemons (16 oz. jar)
6 Tbsp. fine sea salt
1 Bay leaf
1 Cinnamon stick
1 Small dried chill pepper
A few coriander seeds
A few multi-color pepper corns

Instructions:

1. Gently scrub the lemons with a vegetable brush and pad dry them.
2. Cut off the little rounded part at the stem end. Then, make a large cut by slicing lengthwise downward, stopping about 1-inch from the bottom, then making another downward slice, so you’ve incised the lemon with a plus (+) shape, Pic. 1
3. Pack sea salt into the lemon where you made the incisions: use about 1 tablespoon per lemon, Pic. 2
4. Put the salt-filled lemons in a clean, 16 oz. glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Add a few coriander seeds, a few multi-color pepper corns, a bay leaf, a dried chili pepper and a cinnamon stick, Pic. 3
5. Press the lemons very firmly in the jar to get the juices flowing. Close the lid and let stand overnight, Pic. 4
6. The next day do the same, pressing the lemons down, encouraging them to release more juice as they start to soften. Repeat for a 2-3 days until the lemons are completely covered with liquid. If your lemons aren’t too juicy, add more freshly-squeezed lemon juice until they are sunken.
7. After one month, when the preserved lemons are soft, they’re ready to use. Store the lemons in the refrigerator, where they’ll keep for at least 6 months. 

To use: Remove lemons from the liquid and rinse. Split in half and scrape out the pulp. Slice the lemon peels into thin strips or cut into small dices. You can also press the pulp through a sieve to extract the tasty juice, which can be used for flavoring.

Moroccan preserved Meyer lemons are delicious, versatile and add a distinctive flavor to sweet and savory culinary creations, just let your culinary imagination go wild!

Enjoy!

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 © 2020 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.



Clear Negative Energy to Promote Happiness in Your Life!


While decluttering our home and work environments promotes and contributes to positive energy, hence happiness, proactively clearing negative energy is equally important.  

Energy flows and its impacted by everything and everyone in our lives, including ourselves! As we all know it, positive energy is contagious, but so is the negative energy. Energy also has a multiplier effect. If we are in a positive state of mind, we’re much more likely to remain in this state and the same applies to negative energy. This is why it’s so important to proactively guard ourselves from being sucked into a “vortex” of negativity. In reality, a cycle of negativity happens to nearly everyone!  The great thing is that we all the power to get rid of it. 

Below are some examples of how to recognize and clear negative energy, hence promote positive energy and happiness:

1. Do you find yourself constantly complaining when in a certain situation?
Certain situations can invoke more negative energy than others. The workplace is probably the most common environment where this happens. It can also be in a relationship or while in the company of certain people.  

Solution: Get out of the situation as soon as possible. Consider what's best for you, love yourself first, always!

2. Do you find yourself in a  consistent feeling of being angry or on-edge?
When anger becomes a persistent emotion, it’s detrimental to our physical and emotional health. The stress caused by feeling angry or on-edge surpasses that of any other emotion. Therefore, it’s important to either eliminate or minimize anger by taking some kind of action.

Solution: Become emotionally aware. Acknowledge your emotions, whatever, they might be and take actions, instead of ignoring them.

3. Do you find yourself in a persistent feeling of anxiety and depression?
These are among the most two commonly symptoms of living or working in a negative-toxic environment. Constantly feeling anxious or depressed is a force of negative energy that needs to be addressed.

Solution: Practice mindfulness. Put aside some time to reflect on your emotions. Write down what’s bothering you and what needs to be done to address the cause of your anxiety and depression. There are steps that we all can take to bring reliefs, don’t hesitate to take them.

4. Do you find interaction with people becoming difficult or exhausting?
When we’re in a negative environment, normal interactions with other people can become physically and emotionally exhausting, because we’re too wrapped up with our own inner thoughts/emotions and by default can't be present.

Solution: Practice active listening. No matter how difficult the situation we are in, there is always a solution, which takes times and efforts to identify. In the meantime, by being present and actively listening to others, not only it will serve as a great distraction, but also we might learn something new to help our situation.

5. Do you find yourself increasingly becoming more critical of self and others?
Negativity has a strong effect on how we view ourselves and others. The simple explanation is that negative energy requires a release and since we’re often among others, people become easy targets. When we’re alone, this negative energy can often cause us to critique ourselves down to every last perceived flaw.

Solution: Recognize and then stop. By acknowledging our thoughts and feelings, we'll feel more empowered to seek solutions. And, don’t be hard on yourself or others, not worth it.

6. Do you find yourself increasingly seeking isolation more frequently?
When caught up in a negative energy cycle, some people have the tendency to isolate themselves from others and specially their loved ones. While some alone time is healthy, it’s not healthy to experience a sudden desire for seclusion, especially if this was not the case before.

Solution: Know that people care. Don’t be afraid or hesitant to ask for help, instead of trying to fix everything yourself! Take this simple approach: briefly describe the situation to people that you trust and ask 'do you think you can help me with this situation? Can you think of a solution or do you know of people who can help?

We are all capable and intelligent people and it's perfectly okay to ask for help, simply because other people may know of solutions that we had not considered. This approach not only will lead to identify helpful people, but also those who have no positive impact on our lives whatsoever, and rather contribute to our anxiety and depression.   

It’s a proven fact that we are the happiest when in the company of people who inspire us, love us unconditionally, bring joy and happiness into our lives. As such we must proactively seek those people and let go of negative-toxic relationships of any kinds, business associates, partners and people in our social media/networks too. The more we practice, the easier it becomes to say no to negative and judgmental people, freely limit or end our interactions/relationships with them or simply walk away without any notifications, justifications or explanations!

Happy Clearing Out Negative Energy!

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 © 2020 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Vegan Mediterranean Cooking & Wine Pairing Classes!


Greetings Foodies and Wine Lovers!

In order to complete the witting of my cookbook: The Art of Vegan Mediterranean Cooking, for the 2020 calendar year, I will not be offering public culinary and wine classes, however, I will continue to offer the following classes (March-October) in Santa Cruz County and the South Bay:

Private In-Home Vegan Mediterranean Cooking and Wine Pairing Classes (
A Taste of Spain on Your Plate, A Taste of Provence on Your Plate, A Taste of Tuscany on Your Plate and A Taste of Morocco on Your Plate) for individuals, Couples and Groups (minimum 5 people, maximum 10), conducted in your very own kitchen consists of a 4-course meal: appetizer, entrée, salad and dessert, plus wine to pair with beautiful and exquisite foods you made. I'll come to your home to guide you and your group, through a delightful afternoon or evening of cooking right in your very own kitchen. The 4-hour class fee is $175.00 p/p and includes all local organic ingredients. However, if you assemble a group of 5 or more, your cost as the host will be waived. And, you also get a lovely bottle of wine!

Please contact me to learn more about these wonderful culinary & wine pairing classes and to take the first step. 

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 © 2020 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.