Friday, January 17, 2020

Lavender Meyer Lemon Madeleines Recipe (vegan)

Lavender Meyer Lemon Madeleines
Organic Culinary Lavender

A Valentine’s Day gift made
 with Lavender Love!

It’s almost Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re spending it with your sweetie, celebrating with your friends, or planning the perfect 'Me Day' – nothing says Love like making a lavender-infused treat/ gift with your own creative hands.

Madeleines, the Classic French Tea Cakes are baked in special molds that give them a delicate shell shape. The name 'Madeleine' was given to these delightful tea cakes by Louis XV to honor his father in law's cook Madeleine Paulmier. 

Madeleines infused with organic culinary lavender and Meyer lemon zest are truly divine, very easy to make and a beautiful Valentine’s Day gift too

Madeleines are best eaten the day they're baked. Though 2-3 days old Madeleines are wonderful too, when dunked into coffee, espresso and even wine. However, you enjoy them, gift yourself with making some.  

Culinary Lavender Tip: 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 culinary lavender from health food stores, lavender farms or from online merchants who specialize in selling organic lavender for consumption.

Ingredients: Makes 12 Madeleines 

1/2 Cup spelt white flour
2 Tbsp. almond flour 
1/3 Cup vegan sweet butter 
1 Tsp. fresh Meyer lemon juice
1 Tsp. Meyer lemon zest
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tsp. organic culinary lavender (finely chopped)
1/3 cup almond milk 


1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Butter and flour 12 (3 inch) madeleine molds; set aside.
3. Melt butter and let cool to room temperature.
4. Using electric mixer or a mixing bowl, at high speed beat spelt white flour, almond flour, sugar, almond milk, lemon juice and melted butter until the mixture is creamy and smooth. 
5. Add lemon zest and lavender flowers and beat for additional 2-3 minutes until they are well blended.
6. Spoon 1 Tbsp. batter into each mold.
7. Bake for 15-17  minutes , or until cakes are golden and the tops spring back when gently pressed with your fingertip.
8. Use the tip of the knife to loosen madeleines from pan if necessary; invert onto rack.  
9. Let it cool for 5-10 minutes if you want to eat them right away. For packaging as gifts, let them cool for at least 2-3 hour.

Enjoy & Happy Valentine’s Day!

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 chocolate, culinary & wine pairing classes, and special events! 

Copyright © 2020 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

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, however, we all the power to replace it with positive energy. 

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. Work and home are probably the most common environments 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 and consider what's best for you. 

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 actions.

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 negative and toxic environments. Constantly feeling anxious or depressed is a force of negative energy that needs to be addressed.

Solution: 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: 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 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: how would you handle this situation or what do you think is the best solution?

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 thought of or considered. 

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.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Meet Ellie Lavender!


I’m an interior designer, vegan Mediterranean personal chef, caterer, culinary & wine pairing instructor and artisan chocolatier. 

Everyone 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:

1) Interior Design with a focus on Feng Shui Principles

2) Staging a Home for Sale

3) Declutter Your Life Hands-on Workshops 

4) Personal Chef Services featuring the preparation of organic, seasonal, local and sustainable Vegan Mediterranean gourmet cuisine. I create healthy and delicious meals tailored to your personal taste right in your kitchen. 

5) Private In-Home Vegan Mediterranean Cooking and Wine Pairing Class for individuals, Couples and Groups (minimum 5 people, maximum 10), conducted in your very own kitchen consists of a 4-course meal: appetizer, entrĂ©e, salad and dessert, plus wine to pair with beautiful and exquiaite 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!

6) Chocolate Making Event for birthday parties for children 10 years and up (minimum 5 children, maximum 10). In this very hands-on event at your venue, children will make chocolate arts, which are organic, vegan and sugar free. They’ll get to try their chocolate arts and even gift wrap some of their lovely handmade creations in exquisite packaging provided by me. Parties start at just $200.00 for 5 children (each additional child is $35.00), which includes everything necessary to have a super fun time that is ideal for photo and video memories.

7) Culinary Team Building-Corporate Cooking Classes: Hands-on interactive culinary team building classes are a fun and effective way to create employee bonding experiences. The classes encourage teamwork, enhance communication, and foster camaraderie all in a delightful and delicious environment. I will custom design a menu to accommodate your goals and budget. 

8) Chocolate and Wine Pairing Events at local wineries open to the public in addition to exclusive cooking and wine pairing classes for wine club members eager for new experiences. These are fabulous occasions for chocolate enthusiasts, foodies and wine lovers to experience a delightful afternoon or evening sipping great wine while enjoying delicious gourmet cuisine.

9) Vegan Mediterranean Catering for all occasions (up to 25 people).

Please contact me to learn more about any of these featured services and to take the first step. 

Ellie Lavender 
Certified Feng Shui Practitioner
Interior Designer
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, live demos and special events!

Copyright © 2020 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

Decadent Rainbow Carrots Lyonnaise Recipe!

A Delicious, Beautiful and Healthy Plant-based Recipe to Start the New Year!

Delicious Rainbow Carrots Lyonnaise, a beautifully roasted colorful carrots with olive oil, sea salt, herbes de Provence, and sprinkled with skillet-toasted chopped almonds and pistachios, crushed dried freeze raspberries and a touch of fleur de Sel. This is my revised version of the French Carrots Lyonnaise recipe, originated from Lyon, France in 1846.

Perfect by itself as a healthy and delicious snack, as an appetizer or side dish, on a bed of arugula or mixed greens, with herbed-millet pilaf, on toasted bread/baguette with pesto and a slice of vegan cheese and with a glass of fruity pinot noir, even better. 

Ingredients (serving size 4):

1 Bunch rainbow carrots

1/4 Cup olive oil
1/5 Tsp. sea salt
1/2  Tsp. herbes de Provence
1/5 Cup slivered almonds
1/5 Cup pistachios
1/2 Tsp. freeze dried raspberries

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 
2. Peel carrots, wash and damp dry to remove moisture. 
3. Cut into 2 inch strips. 
4. In a bowl mix carrots, a pinch of sea salt, hebes de Provence and olive oil and toss them well with your hands or a spatula.
5. Spread the carrots  evenly on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and roast for about 15-20 minutes.
6. Remove from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes before sprinkling the crushed almond, pistachios and freeze dried raspberries.

A simple carrot dish can be absolutely extraordinary when you let your culinary imagination go wild! 

Enjoy & Happy New Year!

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 chocolate, culinary & wine pairing classes and special events!
Copyright © 2020 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.