Sunday, December 24, 2017

Vegan Beet Walnut Spread Recipe!

Christmas-Inspired Vegan Beet Walnut Spread Recipe!

This beautiful and colorful appetizer is yummy, healthy and super easy to prepare. Not only you’ll love it, it will dazzle your family and guests too! It can be served with toasted seeded baguette slices, crackers and veggies. Best to serve it with a fruity and spicy red wine. It makes a great Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve appetizer! And even after the holidays are over, you can continue to enjoy it on bread sandwiches, as a pizza sauce and lots more (let you culinary imagination go wild)!

Ingredients (serving size 10):

3 medium red beets
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
1/4 cup toasted pistachios
1/4 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves
A pinch of sea salt
A handful of dill
A tbsp. lemon rind
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice


Wash/brush beets thoroughly and dry them with paper towel. Chop beets into large pieces, drizzle olive oil, a sprinkle of see salt, and roast at 425 for 30 minutes. Remove beets from the oven and let them cool for 30 minutes. Remove the beet's skin, place them in the food processor, add walnuts, a pinch of seal salt, olive oil, and garlic cloves. Process until roughly smooth. Add dill, lemon rind and juice and process a few more times. Place the mixture in a bowl and garnish with crushed pistachios, a few lemon rinds and a drizzle of olive oil.

Enjoy and Happy Holidays! 

Ellie Lavender
Vegan Mediterranean Personal Chef
Culinary Instructor
Lavender Design + Cuisine 

Copyright © 2017 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Persimmon Lavender Tart Recipe!

Pic. 5

Pic. 4

Pic. 3

Pic. 2

Pic 1

Fuyu Persimmons
The glorious Persimmons are in abundance and with a touch of organic culinary lavender flowers, they'll make a heavenly tart! This is a very delicious and delightful tart, absolutely divine by itself, though lovelier with a shot of espresso, a glass of pinot noir or both. Additionally, this beautiful tart makes a great dessert for holidays. For culinary lavender tips, please click here.

Tart Dough Ingredients:  

1 1/2 cup spelt pastry flour (or 1 cup flour & 1/2 cup almond meal, which will make the tart’s dough very light and crispy)
1/2 Tsp. dried organic culinary lavender flower (grind the lavender flowers coarsely using a spice grinder)
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tsp. orange zest
1 stick of cold sweet butter cut into 1/4-inch pieces (vegan or dairy butter)
1/3 cup cold fresh orange juice 
1/5 Tsp. sea salt

Tart Dough Instructions:  Combine spelt pastry flour, orange zest, lavender flowers, sea salt and sugar in a food processor and pulse 3 times. Add in the cold sweet butter and pulse a few more times until it forms a coarse texture. Gradually, add in the cold orange juice and pulse until lightly moistened. Gather up the dough and knead 2 or 3 times. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

Tart Filling Ingredients:

1  Tbsp. lavender or orange blossom honey
1/2 Tsp. organic lavender flowers 
4 medium Fuyu persimmons, thinly sliced (1/4 inch) by mandolin slicer
1 Tbsp. orange rind
2 Tbsp. melted butter

Tart Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
  2. Roll out the Tart dough about 9.5’ x 13.5’ in diameter (my rectangular tart pan size is 8.5’ x 12.5’, so the dough should be 1’ inch bigger than the tart pan).  
  3. Transfer the dough to the tart pan. With your hands mold though around the edges of the tart pan. Pic 1
  4. Arrange sliced  persimmons on the though and brush generously with melted butter. Pic 2
  5. Sprinkle crushed raw pistachios and lavender flowers on the persimmons. Pic 3
  6. Bake until the crust is nicely golden for about 25 minutes.  
  7. Remove the tart from oven and drizzle lavender or orange blossom honey over it. Pic. 4
  8. Let the tart cool for 30 minutes and garnish with orange rind. Pic. 5
  9. You can also sprinkle a few fleur de sel, which will make the tart tangy and sweet.
Happy Baking!
Ellie Lavender
Vegan Mediterranean Personal Chef
Culinary & Wine Pairing Instructor
Lavender Design + Cuisine 

Copyright © 2017 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Art of Culinary Lavender!

Bring Lavender Love Into Your Life!

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

Lavender 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 flower 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 flowers; they contain the “essential oil” or essence of the Lavender. Always purchase organic or culinary Lavender from health food stores, gourmet shops, lavender farms or from online merchants who specialize in selling Lavender for consumption. Never use Lavender from nurseries, flower or garden shops; it may contain toxic pesticides, unhealthy additives or artificial fertilizers that are harmful to humans if ingested.

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.

Happy Baking & Cooking!

Chef Ellie Lavender
Vegan Mediterranean Personal Chef
Culinary Instructor
Lavender Design + Cuisine

Copyright © 2017 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Holiday Dessert Recipe: Apple Cranberry Lavender Tart!

Greetings Dessert Lover!

Apples and cranberries are a delightful combination, and adding organic culinary lavender flowers makes them even more wonderful. This is a vegan and gluten-free tart recipe. I recently discovered substituting butter with olive oil makes my recipes even better.  

Click here for culinary lavender tips!


3 Medium apples: washed, peeled & cut into 1/2 inch cubes. I used Pacific Rose Organic Apples, because they are sweet-tangy and make the tart even more delightful. 
1/2 Cup fresh cranberries
1/2 Tsp. Meyer lemon zest
1/3 Cup honey
1 /2 Tsp. lavender flowers
1 Cup toasted slivered almonds
1 1/2 Cup instant oats 
1/2 Cup olive oil


1. Preheat oven to 400F degrees
2. Sauté apples with olive oil (2 Tbsp.) on medium heat for 5 minutes, add cranberries, honey and Meyer lemon zest. Stir gently and put the mixture aside.
3. Process half of the almond in a food processor until coarsely chopped, add the oats, and process for another couple of minutes, transfer to a bowl, add olive oil and mix with hands.
4. Place the mixture in a tart shell and press it down to semi-firm
5. Spread the apples and cranberry mixture over the tart, sprinkle the rest of the almonds and lavender flowers.
6. Bake 20-25 minutes. Remove to cooling rack and let it cool for 30 minutes before serving.

Enjoy it with a glass of wine, a cup of tea, coffee, a scoop of vanilla gelato or just by itself.

Happy Baking & Happy Holidays!

Ellie Lavender
Vegan Mediterranean Personal Chef
Culinary Instructor
Lavender Design + Cuisine

Copyright © 2017 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Cranberry, Rose petal, Cardamom and Orange Chutney Recipe!

Delicious holiday-inspired recipe: Cranberry Rose Petal Cardamom Chutney! 

Homemade holiday gifts are priceless! This sweet and tangy chutney is easy to make, very delicious and makes a great holiday gift too (Christmas in a Jar!). Enjoy it with roasted root vegetables medley, on brie with baguette, on yogurt and chocolate gelato too (just let your culinary imaginations run wild). 


2 Cups organic fresh cranberries
1 Cup fresh orange juice
1/2 Cup chopped candied orange peel
1 Tsp. Rose Petals
1 Tsp. Crushed cardamom pods
1/2 Sugar


Combine all ingredients in a pot and let is simmer for 30-45 minutes over low heat. Stair a few times very gently so that cranberries will remain uncrushed! Remove from the stove and chill overnight before serving!  

Happy Holidays.

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

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

DIY Holiday Gift: Culinary Lavender Sugar!

Greetings, Lavender and DIY Enthusiasts: 

Unique and beautifully packaged homemade gifts are priceless! 

And 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 culinary lavender sugar, a perfect holiday gift for Lavender lovers and very easy to make. 

Organic culinary lavender is available in most health foods grocery stores, local lavender farms and herbs stores.   

Directions: Place two teaspoons of organic dried lavender flowers, or three short lavender sprigs, in the bottom of a clean glass jar. Pour over enough sugar to fill the jar and cap tightly. Leave for a few days and the sugar will have taken up the fragrance of the lavender. 

You can also create your own colorful artistic label too. See mine above as an example!

Lavender sugar can be enjoyed in tea, coffee and baking recipes, and will add a tantalizing flavor to sweet creations.

Enjoy & Happy Holidays!

Chef Ellie Lavender
Vegan Mediterranean Personal Chef
Culinary Instructor
Lavender Design + Cuisine

Copyright © 2017 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Chocolate Almond Lavender Cookies Recipe!

Greetings Chocolate and Cookie Lovers!

Celebrate the holiday season and warm up your kitchen by baking Chocolate Almond Lavender Cookies. These lovely bitter-sweet cookies are super yummy, easy to make and they make a great holiday gift too!

Ingredients: (Makes 30 cookies)

1.  1 Stick sweet butter melted and cooled at the room temperature (vegan version use Earth Balance butter)
2.  1/2 almond milk room temperature
3.  1/3 Cup sugar
4.  1/2 Cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
5.  1 1/2 Cups spelt pastry flour
6.  1 Cup lightly toasted almond slivers
7.  1 Tsp. organic culinary lavender flowers

1.    In a food processor mix almond milk, melted butter and sugar. Let it stand for about 10 minutes for the sugar to dissolve, then pulse a few more times.
2.   In a bowl mix flour, lavender flowers and cocoa powder. Then, gradually add to the mixture in the food processor and pulse a few times, until they form a coarse mixture. Do not over mix because it makes the dough tough and cookies will come out dense.
3.   Add almonds and pulse 4 times.
4.   Empty the mixture on a lightly floured surface (kitchen counter works just fine, not the titled kitchen counter though, it has to be a flat surface).
5.   Gather up the dough and knead 2 or 3 times. Next, flatten the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 
6.   Preheat oven to 375 °F.
7.   Take out the cookie dough  from the fridge and roll it out on a lightly floured flat surface (1/2 inch thick), cut out cookies with a 2 inch round mold and place them on a cookie sheet (cover cookie sheet with parchment paper 1st).  You can also sprinkle a tiny amount of sea salt, this is optional, but I do that because it makes these cookies even more decadent! 
8.   Bake for 12-15 minutes.
9.   Remove cookies to a cooling rack and let it cool for an hour before eating, serving or packaging.

Happy Baking!

Chef Ellie Lavender
Vegan Mediterranean Personal Chef
Culinary Instructor
Lavender Design + Cuisine

Copyright © 2017 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved. 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Vegan-Vegetarian Thanksgiving Celebration in the Magical Santa Cruz Mountains!

Greetings Foodies & Wine Lovers!

Thank you for making our vegan/vegetarian Thanksgiving celebration magical with your beautiful presence and your delicious foods, desserts and wines.


Chef Ellie Lavender
Vegan Mediterranean Personal Chef
Culinary Instructor
Lavender Design + Cuisine

Copyright © 2017 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.