Sunday, March 29, 2020

Decadent Chocolate Almond Lavender Vegan Cookies Recipe


Decadent Chocolate Almond Lavender Cookies

Gift for Family & Friends

Greetings Chocolate, Lavender and Cookie Lovers!

Warm up your kitchen by baking 
Chocolate Almond Lavender Cookies. These decadent bitter-sweet cookies are very easy to make (kids would love baking them, plus it’s a great way to introduce their palate to culinary lavender) and they'll make a delicious gift for family and friends too! 

You can enjoy them by themselves, with tea, coffee or a shot of espresso (even better). 

So, let’s get started with the recipe and spread joy and cookie love!

Ingredients: (Makes 30 cookies)

1 Stick sweet butter (Earth Balance vegan butter or any other vegan butter to your liking) melted and cooled at the room temperature 
1/2 Almond milk or freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 Cup sugar
1/3 Cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 Cups spelt flour or all purpose flour (starchy flours such as rice or potato will make cookies dense, since there is no baking powder in this recipe)
1 Cup lightly toasted almond slices
1 Tsp. Organic culinary lavender flowers (finely chopped to release their essential oil, hence their lovely fragrance)
1 Tsp. Orange zest (enhances the chocolate flavor in the cookies)
Coarse sea salt to sprinkle on cookies

Instructions:
1. In a food processor mix almond milk or orange juice, orange zest, melted butter, sugar and chopped lavender flowers. Let it stand for 15 minutes for the sugar to dissolve.
2. In a bowl mix flour, cocoa powder and then run them through a sifter to make them well incorporated. Then, gradually add to the mixture in the food processor and pulse a few times, until they form a coarse mixture.
3. Add almonds and pulse 4 times.
4. Empty the mixture on a lightly floured flat surface, gather up the dough and knead 2 or 3 times max. Next, flatten the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 
5. Preheat oven to 375 °F.
6. 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 lined with parchment paper. Next sprinkle a few sea salt, to make these cookies even more decadent. 
7. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
8. Remove cookies to a cooling rack and let them cool for an hour before enjoying or packaging them as gifts.

Chocolate Covered Ice Cream Sandwich Cookies – once the cookies are completely cool,  place a small scoop of ice cream (vanilla or chocolate) on one cookie, then top with the second cookie, press gently to spread the ice cream evenly between the cookies. Next dip cookies in melted dark chocolate (room temperature), place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, sprinkle a few sea salt and lavender flowers, then put them in the fridge for one hour before enjoying them. 

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 © 2020 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

3 Simple & Practical Kitchen Feng Shui Tips!


Vibrant Kitchen 

Beautiful Bowl of Lemons

Potted Herbs for the Kitchen

As the place that nourishes body and spirit, your kitchen is the heart of your home! 

Keep it clean, clutter-free, organized and vibrant by applying these 3 simple and practical Feng Shui tips:

Tip 1 - Make cleaning a habit to improve health and prosperity. One of the most important things you can do for your kitchen is to keep it clean, clutter-free and organized – and the 3 areas that need it most are the pantry, freezer and the refrigerator. Why? This is where food, a symbol of health and wealth, is stored. Get rid of everything that is completely out of date.

Tip 2 - Clear off countertops to energize your health, hence your life. It sounds counterintuitive, but when you have countertops that are covered with items such as small appliances, dishes, loaves of bread, bags of chips, or stacks of bills, it doesn’t inspire you to cook. On the other hand, when you have a kitchen with clear counters graced with a beautiful bowl of lemons and/or aromatic potted herbsit just makes you feel like cooking.

Tip 3 - Discard damaged items to promote good energy in your foods. Start by decluttering your kitchen cabinets and drawers (one at the time, no need to tackle them all at once, pace yourself, so that you’ll have something to do daily). Hanging onto dented pots, pans and utensils, cracked or chipped dishes, glasses, cups; stained napkins and tablecloths and damaged kitchen appliances such as toaster, mixer, etc., ‘because they’re still good,’ gifts or for sentimental reasons, cause clutter, negative energy, not good for your health and wellbeing. Discard them all. 

Happy Decluttering & Organizing!

Ellie Lavender
Certified Feng Shui Practitioner
Interior Designer

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

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Delightful Black Lentils Salad Recipe!


  Black Lentils Salad
Pic. 3

  Pic. 2

Diced Veggies & Sliced Scallion
Pic. 1

 Ingredients

 Black Lentils 

Black lentils have a delicate flavor and slightly firmer texture than green lentils, which make them perfect for salads. This delightful Black Lentils Salad is delicious, highly nutritious and very easy to make. You can always substitute rainbow carrots with fennel and cucumber or any other veggies to your liking. 

So, let's get started with the recipe!

Ingredients, pic 1 (serving size 4)
1 Cup black lentil beans
1 Bunch rainbow carrots
4 Scallions 
1 Meyer lemon
1 Tsp. dried Herbes de Provence
2 Tbsp. Meyer lemon juice
1 Tsp. Meyer lemon rinds
1/4 Cup olive oil
1/5 Tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup chopped cilantro 

Instructions: 
1. Soak lentils in a medium saucepan for 30 minutes, drain the water and give lentils a rinse.
2. Pour 2 cups water over the rinsed lentils and cook for 30 minutes over low-medium heat until the water is evaporated.
3. Set aside lentils to cool for an hour.
4. Peel and dice rainbow carrots and thinly slice scallions, pic. 1.
5. In a bowl toss diced rainbow carrots and sliced scallions, pic. 2.
6. In a different bowl mix cooled lentils, herbes de Provence, chopped cilantro and sea salt.
7. Transfer the lentils on a serving plate and sprinkle the diced rainbow carrots and scallions, pic. 3.
8. Drizzle olive oil and Meyer lemon juice and garnish with Meyer lemon rinds, pic 3.
9. You can also add some vegan crumbled feta cheese to make this salad even more delicious.

I love the above salad assembly process, instead of mixing all ingredients together, because it preserves the ingredients colors, textures and makes the salad even more beautiful. This delicious salad is perfect by itself, but even better with a glass of beautifully aged and fruity Pinot Noir.

Enjoy!


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.

 


5 Easy Steps to Kick off Spring Cleaning of Your Home!


Spring will arrive on Thursday Match 19th and it’s the season of renewal, manifestation and celebration. It’s the time to take bold steps and manifest your dreams. A good spring cleaning of your home can do wonders for your personal energy; it will nourish and strengthen you. The keywords are spring cleaning & decluttering and the goal is get rid of everything that does not serve you anymore.

Step No. 1 - If you are looking to improve your health, get rid of all the items that are cluttering and blocking the energy flow in your kitchen (especially your cupboards, fridge and the freezer). The state of your kitchen is the state of your health, so do yourself a favor and thoroughly clean and declutter your kitchen!

Step No. 2 - Bring three new pots with vibrant green plants to refresh the energy in your home. If you plan to place them in the kitchen, go for lush and aromatic herbs, such as basil, rosemary and mint. Focus on your front entrance, as well as your kitchen, as both are strongly connected to your health.

Step No. 3 - Thoroughly clean and declutter your bedroom and bathroom, get rid of anything that you haven't used in the past 6 months. Clear the space under the bed (do not store stuff under your bed), clean all the windows, refresh and redecorate your bedroom and bathroom.

Step No. 4 - If you would like to welcome a new love relationship into your life, make space, and I mean actual, physical space, for this new person to be in your home. Clear out your closets for a better flow and more space. You literally have to create an open flow of energy in your home to be able to attract and manifest more of what you are looking for. Spring cleaning time gives you great opportunity to do just that!

Step No. 5 - Now that your home is clean and clutter-free, ensure it stays that way. Use the one-in, one-out rule. For example, every time you buy a new item, give an old one away.

Happy Spring Cleaning & Decluttering!

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 © 2020 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.