Monday, April 20, 2020

Savory Artichoke Vegan Pesto Recipe!


Artichoke Pesto, Capers, Heirloom Tomatoes, 
Olives  & French Radishes Crostini

Artichoke Pesto with  Crusty Seeded Baguette

Artichoke Pesto in a Jar as a gift

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Greetings Pesto Lovers!

You’ll love making and enjoying this delicious Savory Artichoke Pesto in pasta, risotto, polenta, soups, as pizza sauce, on tart crust with veggies and grated parmesan cheese, on flatbread with mixed greens, chopped tomatoes, olives and capers, in paninis with a slice of vegan cheese, with gourmet crackers, crusty breads and baguettes crostini and much more!

So, let’s get started with the recipe!

Ingredients:

1 Cup almond slivers  
A bunch of fresh cilantro
3 Garlic cloves peeled & chopped
1 Jar (6.5 oz.) marinated artichoke hearts
1 Meyer lemon juice & rinds
2/3 Cup olive oil
A pinch of sea salt

Instructions:
1. Lightly toast almond slivers in a skillet and set aside to cool.
2. Pour the jar of marinated artichoke hearts into a colander and press down with a spatula to get the liquid out and then, finely mince them, pic. 1.
3. Cut cilantro stems by 2-3 inches, wash and drain in a salad spinner to remove excess water. Next, do a rough chop, pic. 2.
4. Place toasted almond slivers in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped, pic.3
4. Add cilantro and garlic to the almond slivers in the food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse texture, pic.4.
5. Pour the mixture into a flat bowl, add minced artichoke, lemon juice & rinds, sea salt and olive oil, pic.5 and toss with two spoons until well blended, pic. 6.
6. Enjoy your delicious pesto right away or refrigerate it in an airtight jar for up to 1 week. 

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, April 16, 2020

A Step-by-Step Plan to Declutter & Organize Your Garage!

 Clutter-Free & Organized Garage

Cluttered & Disorganized Garage

Did you know almost 60% of people with two-car garages don’t have room to park their cars there or have room for only one car? It’s not easy to get rid of stuff we don't need or use, but it’s more convenient and much easier to put them in the garage and deal with them later, which will contribute to small or massive clutter! 

If you’re ready to take on the task of decluttering, organizing and tidying up your garage, now it's the perfect time to do it, rather than later. So, let’s get started!

Step 1 - Declutter and Let Go

Depending on the size of your garage and the amount of clutter, choose a full day or a full weekend for decluttering and organizing your garage.

1. Make decluttering your garage a family project by including family members (including kids), relatives and even a few close friends. This will help speed up the process. Plus, they are not as attached as you are to the stuff in your garage and they can motivate-help you to get rid of them.

2. Get some boxes and label them as donate and sell. Next, bring your garbage & recycling bins into your garage, go through every single items, keep what's essential and put the rest in your garbage & recycling bins, donate and sell boxes. This will accelerate your decluttering process, instead of piling what you don’t want somewhere in the garage and then sorting them out afterward.

Letting go - A good tip for judging which items to let go of is to ask yourself one and only one question: Have I used this in the past one year? If your answer is no, then it’s time to get rid of it

3. Pack up donated boxes in your car and drop them off at the nearest donation center as soon as possible.

4. Set aside items you plan to sell at an upcoming yard sale, online, or local consignment stores. If you are planning to have a yard sale, schedule it soon.

Step 2 - Organize What’s Left

Once, you are done with decluttering your garage, it’s time to organize it. First, figure out how much space your car(s) will take and then work with what’s left by placing items in spaces based on their types and uses.

Frequently Used: Keep items that you use frequently, such as shopping bags and pet leashes within easy reach – perhaps on hooks by the door.

Items Used Together: Create zones for groups of things such as auto care, gardening, and sports equipment so that like items are stored together.

Bulkier Items: Use the two back corners of the garage to store bulkier items such as a lawn mowers.

Rarely Used: Place rarely used items, such as holiday decorations or snow tires, on higher shelves of sturdy shelving units.

Tools and Bicycles: Tools such as shovels and rakes and bicycles are best stored by hanging on the wall.

Important to keep in mind: If you’re using cardboard boxes as storage containers, you might want to seriously consider investing in some plastic bins that will keep insects and rodents from taking up residence in your house.

Step 3 - Keep it Tidy

Once you’re done with all of that, you’ll have a clutter-free garage that is organized nicely. The next step is to make efforts year round to keep it that way.

Keep floor space as free as possible.
Spray for pests from time to time to keep insects at bay.
Sweep and hose down the floors regularly to get out dirt.
And the most important step of all: Repeat at least once a year to purge what’s no longer wanted or needed.

Happy Decluttering & Organizing!

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.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Savory Roasted Red Pepper & Green Olive Vegan Tapenade Recipe


Vegan Tapenade Culinary Gift

Vegan Tapenade Hors D’oeuvres Platter

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Greetings Tapenade Lovers!

You'll love making and enjoying this Savory Roasted Red Pepper & Green Olive Vegan Tapenade, a Proven├žal (southeastern France) delicious condiment. This flavorful condiment (traditionally, made with anchovies, but in my vegan recipe substituted with roasted hazelnutsis very easy to make with ingredients you most probably already have in your pantry and fridge. 

You can enjoy this delicious Savory Tapenade (vegan and for nut-free version, skip the hazelnuts) with crusty breads, baguettes, gourmet crackers, slather it into a panini with a slice of vegan cheese, on sandwich breads with mixed greens or arugula, in pasta salads, on polenta, roasted fingerling potatoes, grilled cauliflower steak, asparagus, eggplant, stuff Portobello mushrooms and much more. You can also make a beautiful Vegan Hors D’oeuvres Platter with a bowl of this delicious tapenade.

So, let’s get started with this simple and delicious recipe!


Ingredient (serving size 8):
1 jar (12 oz.) roasted red bell pepper, drained and chopped. Or you can roast two large peppers, see instructions below
1 Cup roasted skin removed hazelnuts. Or you can roast a cup, see instructions below
1 jar (6.5 oz.) marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/2 Cup pitted Picholine olives (small green olives, originated in Gard, Southern France)
2 garlic clove, peeled & smashed
1/4 Cup capers (drained)
1 Tbsp. fresh marjoram leaves
1 Tbsp. fresh oregano leaves
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
1/2 Tsp. pepper corns
1/4 Cup olive oil
1/4 Cup fresh lemon juice & 1 tsp. lemon rinds


Instructions: 
1. Preheat oven to 500° F. Cut peppers in half, remove stalk, seeds and white membrane. Place peppers face down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, brush with olive oil and roast for 30-40 minutes, until skins are completely wrinkled and peppers are charred. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool for 30 minutes, and then remove the charred skin.
2. Preheat oven to 350° F. In a baking sheet roast hazelnuts in one layer in middle of oven 10-12 minutes until skins are blistered. Remove hazelnuts from oven, cover with paper towel, let steam 2-3 minute, rub in the paper towel to remove skins and set aside to cool for 30 minutes.
3. Place roasted hazelnuts in a food processor, pic 1 and pulse until coarsely chopped, pic. 2.
4. Add the rest of ingredients except for lemon juice & rinds to the chopped hazelnuts in the food processor, pic. 3 and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse texture, pic. 4.
5. Add lemon juice & rinds, pic. 5, and pulse 3 more times, pic.6.
6. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving to blend the flavors.  

Savory Roasted Red Pepper & Green Olive Tapenade in a Jar as a Gift - This flavorful condiment  makes a delicious culinary gift for family and friends too.

Happy Delicious Eating!

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.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Bring Magical Herbs and Flowers into Your Life!

Garden of Herbs & Flowers

The Language of Herbs

Multi-tiered Herbs Planter for the Patio

Herbs in a large Plant Pot for the Porch 

Herbs in Pots for the Kitchen Counter

Wall Garden: Herbs in Mason Jars

Bring Magical Herbs and Flowers into Your Life!

There are so many magical herbs and flowers with amazing flavors and healing properties that you can grow in your garden or in pots on your kitchen counter and even in mason jars as a wall garden. Below are just a few:

Lavender has amazing healing properties in addition to being a culinary delight. Lavender aromatherapy promotes relation and relieves headache, insomnia, anxiety and depression. Additionally, organic culinary lavender, whether crushed, sprinkled, ground or infused, this flavor-intense herb will indulge your senses, tantalize your taste buds and please your palette.  

Rosemary, Sage, Basil, Thyme, Oregano & Lemon Verbena are beautiful and wonderful enhance flavoring herbs for cooking and baking, which you can grow in pots on your kitchen counter or in your garden. These delicious and fragrant herbs are packed with vitamins and minerals, great for indigestion, in addition to their amazing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, their lovely fragrance will nourish your senses and induce happiness.  

Rose, this beautiful and fragrant flower holds a tremendous energetic disposition to bring love into your heart. Keep them thriving in your garden and get rid of dead ones quickly! Plus, organic dried rose buds and leaves make a delicious, aromatic and soothing herbal tea, which has sleep-inducing, stress-reducing effects and its anti-inflammatory too.

Lily is nourishing and balancing. It is used in aromatherapy to treat depression as it tends to help in creating a feeling of exuberance and a sense of security. Placed in the bedroom, lilies promote serenity, tranquility and restful sleep.

Begin to create your own garden of joy, happiness and healing today! You can create it in your existing garden or simply by planting a container filled with colorful flowers and herbs such as lavender, sage, basil or thyme. In addition to visual pleasure and heavenly fragrance, herbs promote and enhance positive energyjoy and happiness. They also provide great distractions, reduce stress and enhance emotional well-being.

Happy Planting & Gardening!

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.






Saturday, April 4, 2020

Simple & Delicious Vegan Romesco Spread Recipe

Beautiful Vegan Antipasto Romesco Platter
  
Romesco Spread in a Jar as a Gift

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Greetings Foodies!

You'll love making and enjoying this Simple and Delicious Romesco Spread! This savory and flavorful Spanish condiment (traditionally, made with Nyora peppers, but in this recipe substituted with roasted red bell peppers) is very easy to make with ingredients you most probably already have in your pantry and fridge.  

You can enjoy this delicious Romesco Spread (vegan and for nut-free version, skip the almonds) with crusty breads, baguettes & crackers, stir it into soups, toss it in pasta, risotto, slather it into a panini with a slice of vegan cheese, spread it on pizza with veggies & fresh herbs, on flatbread with greens or arugula, with polenta, roasted potatoes, grilled cauliflower steak, eggplant and much more! You can also make a beautiful and colorful vegan antipasto platter with it.

So, let’s get started with this very simple and delicious recipe!

Ingredient (serving size 8):

1 jar (12 oz.) roasted red bell pepper, drained and chopped. Or you can roast two large peppers, see instructions below. 
2 garlic clove, peeled & smashed
2 medium tomatoes (any types of red tomatoes) & 1/2 tsp. dried tarragon  
1/2 Cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 Cup red wine vinegar
1/3 Tbsp. pepper corns
1/2 Cup olive oil
1/4 Tsp. sea salt 
1 Tsp. smoked paprika
1 cup toasted slivered almonds 
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice & 1 Tsp. lemon rinds

Instructions: 

1. Preheat oven to 500° F. Cut peppers in half, remove stalk, seeds and white membrane. Place peppers face down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, brush with olive oil and roast for 30-40 minutes, until skins are completely wrinkled and peppers are charred. Remove from the oven set aside to cool for 30 minutes and then remove the charred skin.
2. Lightly toast slivered almond in a skillet and set aside to cool. 
3. Preheat oven to 450° F. Chop tomatoes, toss in olive oil, sea salt and dried tarragon and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
4. Place toasted slivered almonds in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped, pic. 1.
5. Add first 9 ingredients (including roasted tomatoes) to the chopped almonds in the food processor, pic. 2, pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse texture, but well blended, add lemon juice & rinds and pulse 3 more times, pic. 3.
7. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving to blend the flavors.  

Romesco Spread in a Jar - This flavorful condiment makes a delicious culinary gift for family and friends too.

Happy Delicious Eating!

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.