Monday, November 30, 2020

Get to Know he Immense Power of Feng Shui!


What is Feng Shui?

Simply put, Feng Shui is the practice of arranging your environment so that energy (chi) flows smoothly throughout your home and workspace. 

When the energy (chi) flow is stagnant (clutter), moves too quickly (dark hallways), or is obstructed (unbalanced scale and placement of furniture, i.e. an oversize lamp on a petite table), it will negatively impact your life.

One of the essential tools in Feng Shui is the Bagua map. It provides a blueprint and a formula to improve and enhance nine significant areas in your life: 1) abundance & prosperity, 2) fame & reputation, 3) love & relationship, 4) health & family, 5) balance & harmony, 6) children & creativity, 7) knowledge & self-cultivation, 8) career & life purpose, and 9) helpful people & travel. 

How Does Feng Shui Work: The Four Key Steps

1.  The 3 E’s - Encourage, Embrace and Enjoy Change in your life. There's no room for adventure, excitement or personal growth when you stay in your comfort zone.

2.  Declutter – Let Go of any items you don’t need, use or even like.

3.  Organize – Promote clarity and decisiveness, hence the power of decision making.

4.  Apply the Principles of Feng Shui – Cultivate Happiness and Success. 

Bring the power of Feng Shui into your life!

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.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

The Art of Cooking & Baking with Culinary Lavender!

Provence Culinary Lavender 

Provence Lavender Field

Lavender Meyer Lemon Sea Salt

Strawberry Lavender Apertif

Lavender Meyer Lemon Madeleines

Chocolate Hazelnut Lavender Tart

Poached Pear Cranberry Lavender Frangipane Tart

Strawberry Lavender Tart

Apricot Blackberry Lavender Galette 

Fig Lavender Tart

Pear Rhubarb Lavender Compote 

Apple Lavender Tartlet

Apple Lavender Tart

Pear Chocolate Lavender Tart

Artisan Chocolate with Lavender 

Chocolate Persimmon Lavender Tart

Rhubarb Lavender Compote

Pear Lavender Pistachio Tart

Caramelized Pear Rhubarb Lavender Tart

Meyer Lemon Lavender Compote

Strawberry Rhubarb Lavender Syrup
Pear Lavender Syrup 

Apricot Chocolate Lavender Tart

Apricot Rhubarb Lavender Pistachio Compote

Greetings Lavender Lovers!

Since, I use organic culinary lavender in my cooking and baking recipes, I'm often asked by my culinary students about the difference between lavender flower buds from lavender plants in the garden, nurseries and culinary lavender. 

So, let's get started on our delicious culinary lavender journey together!

The origin of Lavender is believed to be from the Mediterranean, Middle East and India. Its history goes back some 2500 years. Lavender is a flowering plant of the mint family known for its beauty, its sweet floral fragrance and its multiple uses. 

There are many varieties of lavender herb plant and below are just a few:

Lavandula Angustifolia, AKA English Lavender is an endemic plant of central and western Mediterranean regions (western & northern Italy, southeastern France and eastern Spain).

Lavandula Latifolia, AKA Lavandula X Intermedia and often referred to as Lavandins. While lavandins are beautiful and smell great there is only one variety commonly used in cooking and baking and that variety is Provence.  

French Lavender, a hybrid plant and AKA Lavandula x intermedia. If you want the true Provence lavender experience, the best variety to look for it, unsurprisingly, is Provence. It's widely regarded as the best French lavender for culinary uses.

Cooking with Lavender:  A small amount of lavender goes a long way! Use fresh or dried buds but be cautious: The essence gets stronger and more concentrated as it dries. Use a very small amount or risk infusing the entire dish with bitterness or an oddly soapy flavor. When cooking or baking with dried lavender, use only 1/2 of the amount if the recipe calls for fresh buds. Example: 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh = 1/2 teaspoon dried.

Flavor Pairings with Lavender: Lavender's sweet, fragrant flavor complements a range of foods, both sweet and savory. Ingredients lavender goes well with include strawberries, blueberries, pears, persimmons, apples, lemon, orange, sage, rosemary, oregano, thyme and of course chocolate.

Herbes de Provence: Lavender is used in the renowned French savory herb blend, herbes de Provence. Recipes vary but often include marjoram, oregano, basil, savory, rosemary and thyme in addition to lavender.

Delicious Ways to Enjoy Lavender: Baked goods, chocolate, fruit syrups (perfect for sparkling wine & champagne aperitifs), salad dressings, beurre blanc, ice cream, gelato, tarts, galettes, compote, marmalade, sorbet, Provencal-style soups, cassoulets, stews and much more!

Additionally, Lavender Stems are very flavorful and can be used as a drink's stir stick or a skewer for veggies & fruits kabobs.

Tips for using Culinary Lavender: 

Sweets: Lavender's floral notes play well off berries and citrus in baked goods. Instead of adding small amounts of the actual dried flowers to recipes, try using lavender-infusedsugar for enhancing sweet dishes with just the slightest hint of floral goodness. Tone it down by infusing the dried flowers into cream for ganache, whipped cream, crème brûlée and crème anglaise or into simple syrup for iced tea or a variety of desserts and cocktails.

Savories: Lightly toast dried lavender in a dry skillet set over medium heat, constantly stirring, to deepen its complexity and remove the perfumed notes. Taking away the one quality that makes lavender so distinctive doesn't dull its unique flavor at all but rather gives palate the experience of wondering just what that wonderful flavor is instead of biting into a mouthful of floral perfume.

Lavender is renowned as a culinary herb for its clean, distinctive perfume and matching floral, ever-so-slightly-minty flavor. Make sure to buy culinary lavender buds specially marked for cooking and baking. Lavender plants at the local nursery may look appealing, but they can be laden with pesticides and other undesirable chemicals. Always use organic culinary lavender! 

Culinary Lavender is hand harvested in and is free of any kind of pesticide which makes it perfectly suited for cooking and baking. This beautiful and aromatic edible flower will give your favorite dish a distinctive and unforgettable taste. In summary, culinary lavender is an incredibly versatile herb for cooking and baking.

I use organic culinary lavender pretty much in everything and above pictures are some of my sweet and savory culinary creations with lavender! Their recipes are in my first cookbook: The Art Vegan Mediterranean Cooking, which will be published in 2021.  

I learned the art of cooking and baking with culinary lavender at a very young age by experimenting with varieties of fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and loving the results. Click here to read my complete story: A Chef's Delicious Journey!

Happy Cooking & Baking with Lavender!

Chef Ellie Lavender 
Vegan Mediterranean Personal Chef
Culinary & Wine Pairing Instructor
LavenderDesign + 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.


Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Declutter Your Life in 3 Practical Ways!

A Clutter-Free Lifestyle promotes inner-peace, balance, physical & emotional well-being, heightens energy, and enhances health, happiness, abundance, success and prosperity.

Clutter is not just the stuff in our home and work space (environmental clutter) that we don’t need or use, but also stuff in our heads (emotional clutter) from unhappy and toxic relationships, jobs that we do not enjoy and basically anything and anyone that impacts our health, happiness and prosperity in any forms or shapes.

As 2020 is coming to an end, thoughtfully consider giving yourself the gift of self-love: Free Yourself from Physical and Emotional Clutter by applying these 3 practical steps to promote health, happiness, abundance, success and prosperity in your life:

1.   Declutter Your Home & Work Environments: Remove, recycle, donate, trash, sell, do whatever is needed to remove items you don't need, use or even like. Clutter generates negative energy and has a direct impact on your physical and emotional well-being. Start decluttering now!

2.   Declutter Your Mind: Don't allow negative and self-defeating thoughts (the quality of our thoughts impacts not only how we behave and interact with the world, but how we see ourselves) to take over your life, instead, override them with positive thoughts. Definitely not an easy task, but with practice, you can do it!

3.   Declutter Your Relationships & Social Network: Self-love is the best love! Spend some time on identifying negative and toxic people in your life and then come up with a plan to letting them go. No explanation or justification necessary, just release and let go!

Happy Decluttering!

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.