Saturday, November 27, 2021

Vegan Provencal Bread Recipe


Healthy Afternoon Snack

Provencal Bread Beautiful Texture 

Provencal Bread Perfect Crust

 
Provencal Bread

Perfectly Baked Provencal Bread

 
Culinary Gift 
with Personalized Packaging & Label 

Whether you’ve never made bread or are an experienced baker, you can and should make this delicious, savory, gluten-yeast-free Vegan Provencal Bread. It will take about 1 hour of your time, will taste amazing and you can eat it while it’s warm or enjoy it with a hearty soup and salad for lunch or dinner!

You can also enjoy this delicious bread with a creamy herbed vegan cheese, olives and radishes (healthy afternoon snack), with Savory Artichoke Pesto or Pistou de Roquette (arugula pesto), avocado and tomato (quick lunch), Romesco Spread, Red Pepper & Green Ollive Tapenade and much more.

This wonderful bread with your own personalized packaging, label (such as mine) and a jar of any of the above spreads will make delicious culinary gifts too!

So, let’s get started with the recipe!

Prep time 15 minutes
Bake time 45 minutes

Ingredients:
1 Cup cornmeal flour
1 Cup oat, chickpea or millet flour (the combination of cornmeal flour and any of these flours will turn the bread into a wonderful texture)
1 Tbsp. baking powder 
1/2 Tsp. sea salt 
1 Tbsp. dried herbes de Provence
1 Tsp. flax seeds
2 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds
1/4 Cup and 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 
1/2 Cup grated vegan parmesan cheese   
1 cup unsweetened almond milk or room temperature water
A few additional pumpkin and black sesame seeds for garnish
 
Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 F (this will take about 10 minutes and enough time to get the bread mixture together).
2. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl until well combined.
3. Add in almond milk or water, extra virgin olive oil; mix them with a fork until the dough mixture forms a very thick pour batter.
4. Grease a 9 x 5 inch baking pan with 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, pour the dough mixture, evenly spread out and make sure it´s in a flat layer.
5. Sprinkle 1 tbsp. parmesan cheese, a few pumpkin and black sesame seeds on the dough mixture.
6. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes until the top is golden and bread is perfectly baked.
7. Remove the bread from oven, transfer to a wire rack and set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
8. Run a thin knife around the edge of the bread to loosen it, turn the pan upside down to remove the bread.
9. Place the bread on a cutting board, slice and enjoy.

Happy Baking!

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 © 2021 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

 

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Benefits of Staging a Home for Sale: Three Steps to Success

 


Greetings Home Owners/Sellers!

A lot of thought goes into preparing a home for sale. It seems that most decisions are based on how much investment you are willing to make before the house goes on the market and what the return on that investment likely to be.

So, it may come as a surprise that little changes can make a big difference in attracting the right buyers. The interior and exterior of a house tell a story of how well the house has been kept, loved and appreciated. This story, when told right makes buyers feel good about buying your home. Together, we can make your house look and feel like a home that is really attractive to buyers.

Benefits of Staging a Home for Sale:

- Staged homes sell 50% faster than non-staged homes. - Trulia 

- A staged home sells for 17% more on average than a non-staged home. - Trulia 

- Home inspectors view staged homes as well cared for.

- Staged homes often get better appraisal values.

- Staged homes look much more attractive online and in marketing materials. 

- Even better, a house that is staged draws buyers in and enables them to visualize your home as their new home. It’s a powerful effect.

- Nearly 90% of home buyers start their search on the internet. Therefore, staging is a good way to make sure online photos pop. 

- Staging a home ultimately benefits the seller in so many ways.

Excited to stage your home? Here’ s How We Work: Three Steps to Success

Step 1 - One Hour Consultation:  I’ll come to your home to take a good look around, then discuss a simple and practical top-to-bottom decluttering, organizing and interior design plans. My one hour consultation fee is $250.00 and if you choose to hire me to successfully stage your home, that will go toward the cost of staging your home.

Step 2 - Recommendations: Decluttering, Organizing and Cleaning. I’ll provide specific  recommendations on decluttering and organizing your home and provide guidelines on how to do it. I always urge my clients to do three things: declutter, organize and clean.  

- Why declutter? Clutter in homes is distracting and emanates stagnant energy. I’ll provide tips on how to tackle this task quickly and effectively.

- Why organize? An organized home is attractive and welcoming. It’s that simple! 

- Why clean? Cleaning a space is the first step toward transforming it. I can recommend several area cleaning services in case you need help.

Step 3 - Interior Design:  with a focus on Feng Shui principles (the art of promoting positive energy, hence harmony in your home). This is the final step in transforming your home environment and promoting good energy throughout the house. I’ll apply practical interior design enhancements for each room using your existing furniture pieces, arts, fresh flowers and plants in a way that complements that environment. After we’re done, you’ll feel the positive energy throughout the home. And it will attract buyers who just feel good while walking in and around your home. My expert understanding of Feng Shui principles is something that sets my services apart and will bring you tremendous value.

Staging Home for Sale Fees:

Up to 1,000 SF$1200.00
Up to 2,000 SF: $2200.00
Up to 3,000 SF: $3200.00

Each of the above fees includes detailed interior and exterior plans for decluttering, organizing, applied Feng Shui expertise, and interior design enhancements. I’ll partner with you throughout the transformation process to ensure your goals are met and the house is ready for a successful sale!

Additional Service: Re-Staging Your Home - I will assess your staged home as to what may be preventing it from selling and provide you with specific ways to shift the energy to enhance the sale of your house.  Sometimes, buyers can't visualize your house as their home due to the stagnant energy caused by lack of complementary staging and interior design. When a house exudes good energy, it will make the buyers feel good to be in the house and wanting to buy your house. 

Please contact me to learn more about my services and to set up a time to talk about your plans and feel free to invite your real estate agent, so that together we will bring your dream of a successful sale of your home into reality!

Happy Selling!

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!

 

Copyright © 2021 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

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?

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 © 2021 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.


Savory Herbes de Provence Focaccia Recipe (yeast-gluten-free)


Savory Herbes de Provence Focaccia

Focaccia Perfect Crust

  Pic. 2

Pic. 1

This delicious yeast-gluten-free Savory Herbes de Provence Focaccia with Artichoke Pesto or Pistou de Roquette (arugula pesto) spread, olives, capers and rainbow cherry tomatoes is very easy to make with ingredients you most probably already have in your pantry and garden! 

So let’s get started with the recipe!

Focaccia Dough

Ingredients (serving size 6):

1 Cup oat, millet or chickpea flour  
1 Cup cornmeal flour
1/2 Tsp. sea salt
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. dried herbes de Provence
1/4 Cup extra olive oil
2/3 Cup water

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
2. Add flours, sea salt, baking powder and herbes de Provence in the mixing bowl of the stand mixer and mix on the lowest setting with the dough hook attachment 2-3 times.
3. Add olive oil and water to dry ingredients in the mixing bowl. Knead the mixture on the lowest setting with the dough hook attachment until it forms a round shape dough, 3-5 minutes, pic. 1 (if you do not have a stand mixer, follow steps 2 & 3, mix the ingredients with a hand mixer until it forms a round shape dough).
4. Transfer the dough on a floured surface, roll out the dough and shape by hands into a large rectangle until the dough is about 1/2-inch thick.
5. Transfer the dough on a flat baking pan lined with parchment paper and bake it in the middle rack oven for 35-40 minutes until the crust is golden.
6. Remove the dough from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack.

Toppings

Ingredients:
1 Cup rainbow cherry tomatoes
1 Tsp. capers
1/3 Cup green olives 
1/4 Tsp. dried herbes de Provence
1 Tsp. extra olive oil
A pinch of sea salt

Instructions:

1. Cut cherry tomatoes in half and put them in a small bowl.
2. Add olive oil, herbes de Provence, sea salt to halved cherry tomatoes and gently toss them
3. Spread a generous layer of Artichoke Pesto or Pistou de Roquette on the Focaccia and then arrange the halved cherry tomatoes, olives and capers, pic. 2.

You can enjoy this delicious Focaccia by itself, with a cup of soup or salad for lunch or dinner and even for breakfast with a cup of espresso and much more! 

Happy Baking!

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 © 2021 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

 

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Decadent Cranberry Orange Cardamom Chutney Recipe


Cranberry Orange Cardamom Chutney

Christmas in a Jar

This decadent fresh cranberry chutney is the perfect concoction of sweet and tart cranberry sauce with aromatic floral hints of cardamom spice and orange.

You can enjoy it over roasted root vegetables medley, with cheese and gourmet crackers, on yogurt with granola for breakfast, on vanilla gelato with a splash of grand mariner for dessert and much more!

Makes a beautiful and delicious culinary present too - Christmas in a Jar! 

So let’s get started with the recipe!

Ingredients (makes a small-medium size bowl or two 8 oz. jars)


3 Cups fresh organic cranberries
2/3 Cup fresh orange juice
1/3 Cup diced candied orange 
1 Tsp. ground cardamom  
2 Tbsp. sugar
A few orange rinds and a dash of ground cardamom for garnish

Instructions:

1.  In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients, bring it to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer over low heat until the cranberries start to pop, 5-7 minutes. 

2.  Let the mixture to simmer for additional 5-10 minutes over low heat until it thickens. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool for 30 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and garnish with a sprinkle of ground cardamom and a few orange rinds.

3. Cover and refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to blend before serving. 

Enjoy & Happy Holidays.

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 workshops, chocolates, culinary & wine pairing classes, and special events!

Copyright © 2021 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

The Magic of Mediterranean Herbs & Spices!


Mediterranean Herbs 

Mediterranean Spices

Herbs & Spices Rack

Seasonings such as herbs and spices have been used since ancient times. However, they are playing a new and important role in modern food preparation. They not only add unique flavors to foods, but contribute color and variety as well.

Technically, herbs are the leaves of the plant, while spices come from the roots, bark, and seeds. When it comes to seasoning food, herbs and spices often go hand-in-hand.

Common herbs and spices used in the Mediterranean cuisine include basil, bay leaf, black pepper, cloves, coriander, cumin, dill, fennel, garlic, lavender, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, paprika, rosemary, saffron, sage, savory, sumac, tarragon, thyme and turmeric.

Certain herbs and spices used alone, or in blends (herbes de Provence) can replace or reduce salt and sugar in foods.

For example, I use organic savory herbs (dried & fresh) such as marjoram, rosemary, thyme and oregano in place of salt to flavor foods; and organic culinary lavender and cardamom in place of sugar to sweeten tart, galette, compote, marmalade and syrup.

Preservation Tips:

1.  Herbs and spices are best kept in glass jars tightly covered and stored in a cool, dry place and not above the stove. 

2.  Whole spices stay fresh for up to 6-month while ground spices have a 3-month shelf life.

3.  Store red spices, such as paprika and red pepper, in the refrigerator. They will hold their color and keep their flavor longer.

4.  Best to purchase small quantity of organic herbs and spices from the bulk section of grocery stores, use them up and then get some fresh ones. 

Mediterranean herbs and spices add deep flavors and marry together different ingredients to create balanced and flavorsome food, enjoy them often!

Happy Cooking & Baking! 

Chef Ellie Lavender 
Vegan Mediterranean Personal Chef
Culinary & Wine Pairing Instructor
Artisan Chocolatier
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 © 2021 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.