Sunday, December 30, 2018

Delicious Roasted Winter Squash and Fuyu Persimmon Soup Recipe!

Decadent Roasted Squash & Persimmon Soup

Squash & Persimmon processed 
with 'ripple' half & half
Pic. 4

 Pureed Roasted Squash & Persimmon 
with 1/2 cup 'ripple' half & half
Pic. 3

 'ripple' half & half made with split-peas

 Pureed Roasted Squash & Persimmon
 in 1/2 cup water 
Pic. 2

Sliced Squash & Persimmon with seasoning
Pic. 1 

Winter Squash Varieties 

Fuyu Persimmons

Roasted Winter Squash and Fuyu Persimmon are beautiful, full of flavors, delicious, nutritious and simply divine. Yummy by themselves, on arugula, spinach or mixed greens with a drizzle of olive oil and freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice. You can also enjoy them as spread on baguette or wholegrain bread with pesto and cheese (diary or non-dairy) or make a decadent creamy soup!

Ingredients (serving size 4):
2 small squash (choose any kinds to your liking)
1 medium Fuyu persimmon
1 pinch of sea salt
1/2 tsp. dried tarragon
2 tbps. Olive oil
A few pepper corns


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
       Squash: Use a sharp knife to cut off the top of the butternut squash then hold the base of the squash and carefully cut in half. With a spoon remove the seeds and cut the squash into 1 inch slices.

Persimmon: Use a sharp knife to cut off the top of the persimmon, then cut it into half inch slices.

Roasting: Place the sliced squash and persimmon in a bowl, add sea salt, tarragon, pepper corns and olive oil and toss them with your hands. Next, arrange them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and roast them at 400 for 15-20 minutes until tender, pic. 1.

Soup: You can also make a decadent creamy soup with these delicious roasted squash and persimmon. In a food processor, purée roasted squash and persimmon with 1 tsp. grated ginger, 1/2 cup water, pic. 2. Next add 1/2 cup of non-dairy half & half such as creamy 'ripple half & half,' pic. 3 and process a few more times, pic. 4 and then pour the mixture into a sauce pan, warm up the soup gently without boiling it. Pour the soup in a cup or bowl and garnish with rippple half & half.

Enjoy & Happy Roasting!

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Moroccan Rainbow Carrots, Golden Beets and Parsnips Recipe!

Organic Roasted Rainbow Carrots, Golden Beets and Parsnips (great substitutes for potatoes & kids friendly too) are full of flavors, delicious, nutritious and simply divine

This beautiful and colorful dish infused with zaatar Moroccan spices is very easy to make, wonderful by itself or with lemon-saffron millet pilaf, pasta, polenta, on baguette or wholegrain bread with pesto and cheese and much more (just let your culinary imagination run wild)!   

Ingredients (serving size 6):

1 pound rainbow carrots
1 Pound parsnips
1/2 Pound golden beets 
1 Tsp. Moroccan spice Zaatar (Cost Plus sells it)
1/2 Tsp. sea salt
1/2 Cup olive oil
1 tsp. lemon zest


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. (the high temperature ensures that the veggies will cook quickly, stay crispy outside and tender inside).
2. Peel carrots, beets and parsnips. Wash and pad dry to remove moisture. Cut into 2 inch strips. 
3. In a bowl mix veggies with sea salt, lemon zest, zaatar spice and olive oil until lightly coated.
4. Spread the veggies evenly on a cookie sheet and bake for about 20-25 minutes.
5. Remove from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes before serving.


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 chocolates, culinary & wine pairing classes and special events!

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

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Lavender Design + Cuisine Testimonials

What my happy clients & students are saying......

Feng Shui and Interior Design

Ellie helped me harmonize my bedroom, which greatly improved my sleep, hence my love life and relationships. For years I suffered from sleeping difficulties, but after decluttering my bedroom, I slept through the night, and woke up feeling rested and refreshed. At first, it was difficult to remove electronic devices and art objects from my past relationships, but with Ellie’s guidance, I felt empowered and let go of all of them. Thank you, Ellie for your encouragement and knowledge!' ~ Julia, Palo Alto

‘Ellie helped us to transform our dark bathroom into a beautiful private spa! We started by decluttering our bathroom and painted it a soft lavender color. Then we bought a lavender-blue shower curtains, bathroom rug, a couple of lavender candles and a beautiful purple Orchid flower. These simple changes resulted in an amazing transformation of our bathroom and all for the cost of $138.00. Thank you Ellie!  We love our new private spa!’ ~ Julie and John, Los Gatos

‘Ellie helped us to declutter, organize and Feng Shui our whole house, which was neglected for many years! Once, we declutterd, organized and applied Ellie’s creative and inspiring interior design’s solutions, our house was transformed into a beautiful home, a place of joy, comfort and relaxation. The two areas, which needed the most decluttering and organization, were our children’s bedrooms. The immediate positive impact became apparent when we stopped asking our 9 year old daughter and 12 year old son to do their homework, pick up their things, stop arguing, etc. Pleasantly, we noticed our constant nagging had turned into praising them for keeping their bedrooms clean and doing their homework. We are also delighted that every Saturday morning they bring their dirty clothes basket to the laundry room and empty their trash cans, which have helped to keep their bedrooms clean and organized. Our daughter and son are now much happier and calmer. They also sleep better, argue less, and are more focused on their school work. For this amazing transformation and so much more, we can’t thank you enough, Ellie!’ ~ Cathy & Steve , Almaden Valley

Ellie helped me declutter my home, a process that increased the energy flow in my life. Thanks to the Feng Shui work Ellie did, my home is now my sanctuary. I feel at peace and organized within its walls. Life is a journey, but Ellie has helped me pack for a successful trip. Thank you, Ellie for your patience and knowledge!’ ~ Alicia, San Mateo

‘I was a little nervous about having Ellie come into my cluttered home, but those feelings evaporated once she was here. Her warm and positive attitude helped me see the potential of the different spaces in my home, and she provided guidance on where and how to start the process so that it didn't feel overwhelming. She was very supportive and encouraging, and when our visit was done I felt empowered to tackle the clutter. Since that day, I've made significant progress and feel much more relaxed and happy in my home.’ ~ Deana, Los Gatos

‘Ellie empowered me not only to declutter my home, but my relationships with toxic people, who drained my energy and in many ways paralyzed my life! Thank you Ellie, I feel free!‘~Sandy, Palo Alto 

‘Initially we felt insecure about changes in our home & home office, but Ellie inspired us to rise above small worries and approach change with practical solutions and optimism. Thank you, Ellie, for helping us to make our home and home office clutter-free, organized and harmonious! We love it!’ ~ Maggie and Steve, Los Gatos

‘Ellie helped me to declutter and organize my office. It was a total mess. The result has been very rewarding. I am now more focused on my job and actually enjoy working in my home office, instead of wasting time and getting frustrated.’ ~ Steve, Santa Cruz

‘Ellie helped us to declutter our tired living room and turn it into a place of total relaxation. We started by getting rid of all the mismatched furniture, paintings, piles of books and magazines on the floor, cleaned all the windows and removed a table, which had blocked the French doors to our beautiful deck. After that we implemented Ellie’s creative suggestions and rearranged the furniture in our living room creating a cozy place for all of us to enjoy! Our deck, which is now completely accessible, is a delightful place for morning coffee and a glass of wine at night! This budget-friendly transformation has been simply amazing! Thank you Ellie for your creativity.’ ~ Becky and Bob, Santa Cruz 

Declutter Your Life Workshop

‘I came home from the workshop and decluttered my entry way, a work station, and the shelves and counters in my kitchen. My stack of reading material had unread magazines from two years ago, and I realized "I could live without them", and that in fact, I HAVE been living without them - can't wait to cancel the subscription. Just looking around, I actually feel better, more spacious inside, and more in the present moment. Proof to me that not only is there a mind/body connection, but a mind/environment connection that I can't afford to ignore! Thank you, Ellie, for a real take-away!’ ~ Peter, Santa Cruz

‘Ellie's knowledge about mindful design and decluttering one's life is only surpassed by her passion for it. Attending the workshop was enjoyable and most importantly, useful. I came home from the Declutter Your Life workshop and decluttered my kitchen counters before going to my next meeting. I feel so good looking at those counters. It really does impact how you feel! I'm on a roll now. Thanks Ellie! ~ Nancy, Santa Cruz

‘Thank you Ellie for the inspiring workshop. It was beyond my expectations!!! Not only did we learn some great tools for tackling the clutter, but also the core blocks of letting go. I appreciate all the special touches, delicious gourmet treats, sachets, and 1:1 personal connection. Ellie, you’re a true gem. Thank you!’ ~ Kim, Santa Cruz

‘I had the opportunity to attend Ellie's Declutter Your Life workshop and was very impressed with the manner in which she conducted the workshop. What I appreciated the most was her subtle humor and her ability to get the attendees to participate effectively.’ ~ Sandhya, Morgan Hills

‘Ellie workshop was very inspiring but most of all it motivated me to get out of my "overwhelm" mode to continue this unpleasant project that needs to be finished.  I came home and started with a fresh approach and am working on it a little each day." ~ Joanna, Los Gatos

'I truly enjoyed your workshop.' I loved your preparation and your attention to detail. I found it soothing to be present. You are on to something in your work and I thank you for helping me continue to move forward.’ ~ Jan, Santa Cruz

Personal Chef 

‘We hired Chef Ellie as our personal chef 7 years ago and can't imagine our lives without her gourmet, nourishing, amazingly beautiful and delicious foods. She is a joy to work with and is always willing to cater our events even on short notice. We absolutely love her and highly recommend her.’ ~ Joe & Kathy, Saratoga

‘We were meat eaters and skeptical to hire a vegan personal chef, but once we tasted Chef Ellie’s wonderful vegan Moroccan couscous that she had catered at a friend's house, we hired her immediately!  We no longer eat meat. We are much healthier and feel great! Thank you Chef Ellie for preparing delicious healthy and amazing meals for us, we love eating at home and enjoy perfectly paired wine with our foods.’ ~ Suzanne & Steve, Los Gatos

‘We hired Chef Ellie as our personal chef six years ago and love all the beautiful, healthy, organic and delicious foods she makes for us! Our two children adore her, because they get to cook with her after school, which is been instrumental in getting them to eat healthy foods! We love her flexibility, positive and can do attitude too, she makes everything possible. Highly recommend her. ~ Rose & Michael, Los Gatos


‘We hired Chef Ellie to cater our very small, private wedding and it was perfect! Ellie was a pleasure to work with right from the beginning. She was energetic and joyful and we immediately connected with her. She was attentive to the needs of our picky-eater children and was willing to adapt some of her recipes to accommodate them. The entire experience with Ellie was wonderful. We were in good hands and it was so nice to sit down to a fantastic intimate meal after our long day. Ellie gave us the royal treatment. The food was AMAZING! I loved having leftovers for a week...I didn't get tired of eating the delicious Moroccan couscous. The kids loved Ellie as well. They appreciated her joyful energy and generosity. Ellie went above and beyond, from beautiful flowers and specially prepared napkins and table settings, to a gift bag for each of us to remember our special day, to a basket of homemade dark chocolate that was exquisite, and the special treats didn't stop there. I will definitely think of Ellie for a special event again, and would recommend her to everyone.’ ~ Kamala & Jason, Santa Cruz

I highly recommend Chef Ellie’s outstanding cooking and baking! Finally, a chef who truly knows how to cook vegan and vegetarian dishes and make them savory. Her sense of using just the right seasonings is a gift. She is creative and always right on. Her baking skills are top notch. Her creations are always astonishing as they are not only a treat to eat but they are beautiful to look at. She's a top baker. She uses the best ingredients and doesn't produce anything that is not of the highest caliber. Creative is her middle name. No one would go wrong putting her in charge of any catering event. Just enjoy the talent, you will see. “~ Judy, Santa Cruz 

Culinary & Wine Pairing Classes

‘Chef Ellie’s chocolate making class with lavender is simply amazing! Once I experienced the exotic taste and wonderful aroma of lavender in chocolate, it became my daily treat! Thank you, Ellie, for introducing me to culinary lavender and for the delicious and fun class!’ ~ Lisa, Saratoga

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

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

'Chef 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!' ~ Vikki, Aptos 

'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.' ~ Amy, Ben Lomond 

'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.' Linda, Santa Cruz 

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.' ~ Lisa & John, San Jose 

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

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

‘Chef Ellie’s vegan cooking and wine pairing classA Taste of Spain on Your Plate was lots of fun and delicious. I always thought vegan foods were boring until I took this class! Not only did I enjoy the class thoroughly, I also learned how to cook delicious vegan foods and pair them with the right wine, too!’ ~ Jennifer, Santa Clara

‘I loved the chocolate and wine pairing class! Chef Ellie’s positive and exuberant spirit guides you along as you make beautiful chocolate arts together in a small and fun group. The beautiful included packaging inspires you to create lovely homemade gifts you can take to share with friends and family. That is if you can keep from eating the yummy chocolates yourself!’ ~ Chris, Los Gatos

‘We loved Chef Ellie’s vegan artisan chocolate and wine pairing class! It was a beautiful Valentine’s Day present for myself and my husband. We highly recommend it!’ ~ Rebecca & John, Palo Alto

‘We absolutely loved Chef Ellie’s vegan cooking and wine pairing class, A Taste of Morocco on Your Plate! She made the class so much fun by engaging students in all aspects of cooking, attending to each person, and encouraging them to be adventurous when cooking!  Now, my husband and I take turns cooking vegan foods for each other on our date nights. We love experimenting with recipes and making them vegan.’ ~ Cathy & Joe, Sunnyvale

Chef Ellie Instantly makes you feel at ease, as if you are with your family cooking. She radiates joy and infuses everyone with her creativity. And food is delicious.’ ~ Kendra, Seaside 

‘What I love the most about taking Chef Ellie’s class is that I take time to enjoy cooking something new & taking time to enjoy the experience. Also, to meet new people & connect with other foodies. Thanks Chef Ellie! ~ Ernie, Walnut Creek 

‘Coming to this class was such a wonderful escape from the non-stop hustle and bustle of downtown Santa Cruz. The tarts were phenomenal and the techniques that I learned are applicable to many different dishes, even if you’re not vegan. The collaborative environment between everyone allowed us to form a group mentality tasked with making a fabulous meal that included a small bit of everyone’s personality. I would happily take another one of these classes as it is not just a cooking class but a gathering of people who will from now on be connected to this particular experience.’ ~ Amanda, Santa Cruz 

Awesome day meeting + cooking w/ new friends in the redwoods! ~ Kerrie, Watsonville 

'Surprised and amazed at finding a vegan baking class. It was wonderful, fun and everyone worked together as a team. All the foods we made were beautiful, colorful and delicious!' ~ Tawny, Watsonville 

‘What a great experience with amazing people, cooking and then enjoying yummy meal together. True communities! ~ Kristy, San Jose

'I loved how simple the food was to make. It was nice that people from all levels of cooking could enjoy the class. I'm not vegan, but the food was delicious! Thank you Chef Ellie.' ~ Heidi, Santa Cruz 

'The recipes and preparation techniques were great! Other people in the class were very pleasant. The appetizer and drink were great. The class was very well organized and nice. Thank you.' ~ Boris, Aptos 

'Great experience, foods & people. Enjoyed being involved in cooking experience, meeting new people. Learned some great tips. It was lovely to have food & drink as we communicated with each other. Thank you.' ~ Carol, Aptos 

‘Today, was a very joyful experience for me, cooking with everyone & loved the healthy vibe. I love FlipJack Ranch! It is a perfect place for learning, growing and loving all things food. ~ Teri, Brookdale 

Corporate Team-Building Activity: Chocolate & Wine Pairing

'Chef Ellie  brightened up our day with her chocolate-making offsite as she shared her love of food and life with my engineering team. She created a light-hearted and enjoyable environment where we all relaxed and had fun creating unique chocolates, flavored with organic culinary lavender, homemade candied orange, and other crave-worthy toppings.  We had fun as a team working together to make chocolate mini-cups, medallions, and taste-testing along the way!  I really appreciated that Ellie made it so easy logistically.  We didn't have access to a stove-top, so she used the microwave to temper the chocolate, and had all the ingredients ready to go.  I can't thank her enough for keeping dietary restrictions in mind (allergies to gluten, dairy, nuts, carrots!).  Another nice touch was Ellie brought a fantastic wine for us to enjoy as we got creative, plus sent us all home with a carefully selected bottle to pair with our chocolates, which we wrapped up into nice boxes.  I highly recommend Ellie's chocolate class as an offsite for any team in any organization!  I promise you'll have a fantastic and memorable time.~ Kat, San Francisco 

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

Thank you!

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

Join my network on Facebook & Instagram to receive Feng Shui & Interior Design tips, information on upcoming workshops, chocolates, culinary & wine pairing classes, and special events!

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

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Lavender Design + Cuisine

Welcome to Lavender Design + Cuisine, your source of inspiration for Living Joyously and Deliciously! 

Every company has a story and mine is rather inspirational and worth telling. My wonderful journey to the creation of Lavender Design + Cuisine began in 2011 when I decided 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 students. They are the center of my work and a great inspiration. Click here to view their beautiful testimonials! 

I offer the following services throughout Santa Cruz County and the South Bay:

 (Personal Chef, Catering, Private In-Home 
Culinary & Wine Pairing Classes)

I love empowering you to enhance the quality of your life by creating inspiring and harmonious living and working environments, and by offering Vegan and Vegetarian Mediterranean gourmet cuisine. 

Please feel free to contact me to learn more about my services and to take the first step.

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

Join my network on Facebook & Instagram to receive Feng Shui & interior Design tips, recipes and information on upcoming workshops, chocolates, culinary & wine pairing classes, and special events!

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