Saturday, January 14, 2017

Fashion Portfolio: The Power Suit by Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven

Fashion Portfolio:  The Power Suit

In life we may not become famous, infamous, or blockbusters. We do; however, have the power to become something more than those labels.  It is our savvy and confidence that allows us to rise above and experience living life with good taste.  Our travels, life experiences, and dreams are snapshots on the runway of our lives.  There is no better place than the now to make the best strides down that runway.   This is your epic, your life, so choose the label you wear wisely.

Knowing what to wear and how to wear it is a powerful skill.  Some readers are at an advanced level and have a personal style.  Some will go on to experiment with clothes, trends, and brands.  While others may be too intrepid to wear anything besides t-shirts and shorts.  Once you conquer the clothing world and develop a lifelong interest in dressing right, you will feel more inspired to shop and enjoy your home, social, and business life.

Not sure?  No need to be scared of labels, black-ties, white-ties, button-downs, or bespoke clothing.  Here is where expert knowledge and trusted expertise comes in handy.  Many readers rely on Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven as their go-to source.  Let an enjoyable experience with these fashion recipes be your start.  If you are more advanced and comfortable with fashion items, share your ideas, purchases, and suggestions.

What we wear is powerful and attitude matters.  Remind yourself again:  You deserve to live well and be well.  Creating a closet of items right for you, along with excellent fitness, health, and life habits, is all an expression of how you respect yourself.  Knowing what to wear and executing fashion looks can be a challenge.  The guidelines, inspirations, and ideas in this article will spark your interest and get you wearing more than the same three items over-and-over.  As the notable custom tailor Alan Flusser observed, “A necktie’s motif, or pattern, expresses the poetry, the sense of whimsy, the psychology of the individual wearer.” 
Models.  The images we see in ads, movies, and media can influence our goals and perceptions.  Keep in mind the people in those professions spend a lot of time and have a lot of time to look their best.  Or computer graphics best.  Rather than focusing on images in media, focus on what is the right fit, look, and use of clothes for you.  As I learned from fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, fashion is about what is trending in stores and style is more about your own personality.  Take a moment to reflect upon good fashion sense, your life, needs, and goals.  That will be the center of what gets you fashion fit.  Structure your closet and drawers with options for your various activities, career, the climate you live in, and seasons. 

The Wardrobe Essentials.  It is key to make clothing selections with a long-term frame of mind.  Quality construction and timeless pieces are sharp and financially smart choices.  Know your measurements and proportions.  Take a look in the mirror to see what cuts, colors, shapes, and lengths are best for you.  There is a learning curve for going from being dressed by mom to dressing yourself, for your current physique, current life, and adventures.  Calvin Klein, business mogul and designer, once explained to me at a fashion show that what people wear should be modern, clean, and make them look their best.  Personal responsibility is at the heart of dressing well.  Study magazines, people in the streets, in school, models, and actors in your age range.  Also, seek out knowledgeable salespeople in stores and vintage shops.

Fashion Portfolio:  The Power Suit

Suits have a long tradition in male and female wardrobes dating back to the 1700s.  The power suit came of age in the 1980s with sharper lines, blocks of color, and classic styling.  A power suit is one that conveys leadership and authority in the work environment.  Think Pierce Brosnan, Remington Steele.

Create the Look for Yourself

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Credit:  alanflusser. com, pexels .com, Title:  Remington Steele  Caption:  REMINGTON STEELE -- Pictured: Pierce Brosnan as Remington Steele -- Photo by: NBCU Photo Bank  © NBC Universal, Inc.,

Monday, January 2, 2017

We Meet Again: Landmark Restaurant and The Library

We Meet Again:  Landmark Restaurant and The Library

From its 1920s roots, elegant restoration, and celebrity guests, the Warwick is a classic in Dallas, Texas.  The Landmark Restaurant and Library Bar are distinctive venues in the city that offer excellent food and drink for the traveler, romantic couple, or brunch bunch.  Much of the cuisine is Texan, locally sourced, and upscale.  Texas cuisine certainly has a rich and varied tradition within Southern cooking, influenced by Mexico, Indian tribes, and significant populations from Europe, including English, French, German, and Polish.  The restaurant chef and bartenders embody the culinary roots of Texas, while providing modern interpretations.

“The Landmark Restaurant, a long time Dallas icon, celebrates Warwick Melrose Dallas' long history by fusing a fresh and modern approach with classic American favorites for breakfast, lunch, dinner and private parties.  Chef McElroy has created a modern, Nouveau-Americana menu for guests to enjoy in both The Landmark Restaurant and The Library.  Guests will experience a variety of new choices on breakfast, lunch and dinner menus that speak to both ladies who lunch and gentlemen in search of an entrée of Texas-style proportions.”

Reserve a table in The Landmark dining room to enjoy the historic environment.  Or make your way to the bar to enjoy classic drinks.  The striking ambiance, storied past, and hospitable staff make this an opportunity to dress up and enjoy a night out or the place to stay a full weekend.

My Recommendations

1.  The Landmark Restaurant is located at 3015 Oak Lawn Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75219.  This is a drivable distance from downtown Dallas, universities, museums, business centers, theaters, and stadiums.  Valet parking is located at the hotel.  Street parking is also available—carefully read the signs.

2.  Peak times occur during week days and nights, especially weekend nights and during special events in the city.  Make reservations to ensure a table. 

3.  Have a pre-dinner cocktail at The Library, a sophisticated bar and hot spot in the hotel next to The Landmark Restaurant.  Enjoy a classic martini, vodka soda, or one of the new items.

4.  The hotel has easy access to the highway, is minutes from the tall Texas skyline, has spacious rooms, and bathrooms.  Rooms located on the fifth floor up have good views.  Corner rooms off Oak Lawn Avenue have a city vibe and views.  However, rooms overlooking the parking lot are more quiet.  There is a charge for overnight parking through the valet.

5.  The Landmark Restaurant serves breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, in room, and on holidays.  Menu items include such dishes as omelets, Texas toast, jalapeño biscuits and gravy, Bloody Mary bar, ginger butternut squash bisque, kale and endive salad, lobster mac and cheese, and ginger apple cobbler.  The following were my favorites.

Melrose Burger:  1/2 Pound Kobe Beef, Brazos Valley Cheddar, Shredded Lettuce, Hothouse Tomato, and Melrose Aioli.  Served with frites or potato chips.

Blackened ChickenSandwich:  Ciabatta pesto, Smoked Gouda, shaved greens, and Grilled onions.  Served with frites or potato chips.

Order online or contact me for catering.

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The Landmark Restaurant - The Warwick Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

The Library Bar - The Warwick Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Credit: warwickhotels .com /dallas/dining/the-landmark-restaurant/, facebook .com /pg/warwickdallas, twitter . com/WarwickMelrose/media, texascultures .housing.utexas. edu/assets/pdfs/texas_cuisine.pdf

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Cookie Display Ideas by Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven

Cookie Display Ideas

A large cookie or dessert display makes an impact for any holiday party.  The time we take to slow down and carefully create something better for ourselves and others is an action that demonstrates we care and honor the occasion.  First, order your cookies from Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven, then take a little time and effort to plan out how you will showcase the goodies for you and your guests.

You have the cookies.  You have the tables and platters.  You have made the time.  Now how do you create the display?  The BUFF System, utilized in schools such as the Culinary Institute of America, makes use of the principles used in art and design.  You may remember the art terms such as movement, balance, contrast, proportion, and pattern.  These same principles apply to how you cook and present baked goods.  The acronym BUFF is an essential memory tool for the home and professional chef.  B for balance.  U for unity.  F for focal point.  F for flow.

Balance:  The use of color, food combinations, garnishes, shapes, textures, portion sizes, and flavors in a thoughtful, effective, and exceptional manner.  

Unity:  The use of contrasts, negative and positive spacing, limited height, and consistent theme in a thoughtful, effective, and exceptional manner. 

Focal Point:  The use of a larger size food with smaller shaped foods, may add height and/or a spot of color in a thoughtful, effective, and exceptional manner. 

Flow:  The use of aesthetic and design principles to enhance the visual presentation, interest, and style of a dish; may utilize knife techniques, curved items, fanned items, and layering in a thoughtful, effective, and exceptional manner.

Given a party favor, such as Christmas cookies, and having guests put together their own boxes or bags makes for an excellent gift.  Assemble a buffet style of cookies with labels, tags, boxes, bags, string or twist ties, and pens.  Complement the table with Christmas decorations or other theme items.  Commemorate the occasion with photos of your cookie display to make handsome cards or images to share on social media.

Utilize a a mix of cookie types for a more casual appearance or create a more uniform and formal display using one type of cookie.  Cookies may be formed into a large tablescape display, placed on platters, jars, or tiered plates.  Keep in mind the BUFF acronym.  Balance the colors and shapes.  Make use of the positive and negative space on the table and platters.  Have a focal point that attracts the eye.  Ultimately, design your cookie display to have a visual flow and physical flow for guests to move around, see, and enjoy.

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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Wild Mushroom Huarache Recipe by Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven

Wild Mushroom Huarache Recipe

Huarache [wah-rah-che] is a Mexican dish traditionally made with flatbread or tortilla and topped with flavorful ingredients, such as chorizo, black beans, potato, and cheese.  This version of the sandal-shaped open-face tacos is made with radicchio, a peppery chicory, rather than bread.  A delicious method to decrease carbohydrates and fats, while increasing the savoriness and crunch.  A version of huarache your family, friends, and guests will enjoy time again.


2 Heads of Organic Radicchio
2 Tablespoons Butter (Smart Balance)
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
24 ounces Assorted Organic Mushrooms
(Purchase mushrooms from a reputable grocery store.  Do not pick mushrooms yourself.)
1 Cup Organic Black Beans (Pre-cooked from a can or bag.  Or homemade.)
3 Garlic Cloves (Wedges from a head or bulb of garlic.)
1 teaspoon Sherry Vinegar
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Black Truffle Oil
Organic Lemon
Organic Watercress
Organic Cilantro


Cut off the hard stems from the heads of radicchio. 
Carefully peel away the leaves from each head of radicchio.

Wash and dry the leaves of radicchio, mushrooms, avocado, lemon, watercress, and cilantro.

Cut the mushrooms into 1/2” slices.

Peel the three cloves of garlic.  
Cut off the ends of the garlic cloves.  
Chop the garlic.  

Peel the yellow onion. 
Cut off the ends of the onion. 
Slice the onion in half.
Dice half of the onion.

Rinse and drain the black beans from a can or bag.  (Or use homemade black beans.)

Place the 2 Tablespoons butter and 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.

Wait for the melted butter and oil to shimmer.

Put the onion dices in the pan.
Sauté the onion dices for 5 minutes.

Add in the sliced mushrooms, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, and chopped garlic.
Sauté for 5 minutes.

Stir in the 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar.

Sprinkle in the 1 teaspoon salt.

Stir in the 1 teaspoon black truffle oil.

Add in 1 cup black beans.

Sauté for 3 minutes.


Juice the lemon into a bowl.

Slice the avocado:  Slice vertically through the peel, twist, and separate the two halves of the avocado.  Remove the pit.  Slice the flesh of each avocado half vertically and horizontally, creating a grid.  Then scoop out the diced avocado with a large spoon.

Place the diced avocado in the bowl of lemon juice.

Lay out the radicchio leaves on a large platter or plates.

Spoon the mushroom mixture into each leaf of radicchio.

Add a dollop of salsa on top of each radicchio cup.

Top each cup with the diced avocado.

Put a snip of watercress in each radicchio cup.  Plus more for garnish.

Also, give each radicchio cup a snip of cilantro and more for garnish.  

Grate the cotija cheese over each radicchio cup.

Salt to taste.


Cooking and preparing food is a powerful skill.  Some readers are at an advanced level and will prepare this dish with ease.  Some will go on to experiment with other ingredients.  While others looking at this recipe may be too intrepid to cook.  As with any skill there can be barriers and self-doubt involving fear, sensitivity, motivation, and emotions.  

If you are stuck at the point of merely looking at recipes, thinking about changes you want to make to your diet, and are unsure of your way around the kitchen, then make this recipe your one goal.  Start with this recipe, read the directions a few times, make notes, and plan out the preparation needed.  Once you conquer this recipe you will feel more inspired to make other recipes and create ones of your own.

After you discover the foods, recipes, and techniques you like, the barriers will melt away.  Not sure?  No need to be scared in the kitchen.  Here is where my expert knowledge of cooking, restaurants, and trusted expertise comes in handy.  Many readers rely on Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven as a source for how-to and where-to regarding cookery, culture, and community.  Let an enjoyable experience with this recipe be your start.  If you are a more advanced cook, then come back and share what you made and other ideas.

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Friday, December 30, 2016

Take Your Cues from the Martha Stewart Café

Take Your Cues from the Martha Stewart Café

Not all coffee and tea is the same.  After you discover the flavors you prefer and which brands are better than others you will want to bypass many coffeehouses and bistros.  Confused?  Not to worry.  Here is where my expert knowledge of cooking, restaurants, and trusted expertise comes in handy.  Many readers rely on Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven as a source for how-to and where-to regarding cookery, culture, and community.  Let an enjoyable experience with Martha Stewart Coffee become one of your new favorites.  

The Martha Stewart Café provides a wonderful assortment of coffee, tea, and baked goods.  Martha’s Blend ground coffee is a medium-roast sourced from beans across the globe, including Kenya, Guatemala, and Indonesia.  The warm, chocolate aroma and flavor of this bold and well composed coffee is an elevated flavor in contrast to many others.  Kobrick Coffee, Jersey City, New Jersey, curate the coffee beans and provide sustainable products.  

“Welcome to the Martha Stewart Café, a dream of mine that has finally become a reality!  Inspired by the wonderful coffee shops I’ve visited all around the world, it’s a place where I can share my favorite handcrafted coffees, teas, and bakery treats with customers who will enjoy them as I do. I hope you’ll make the Martha Stewart Café a part of your daily routine…”.

Pastries and goodies such as croissants, pain au chocolate, granola, candied nuts, muffins, and cookies are also served at the café by Bisous Bisous, Rush Patisserie, and Empire Baking Company.  The chocolate chip twist croissant is a nod to European cookery, light, and a perfect pairing with a hot cup of coffee or cappuccino (an Italian coffee created with hot milk and steamed milk foam).  

The barista and cashier were friendly and knowledgable about menu items.  We had a sociable time discussing ingredients, blends, and pastry recommendations.  The flagship is in New York City at the Starrett-Lehigh building within the Chelsea neighborhood.  A historic building that was a collaboration between the Starrett real estate company and Lehigh Valley railroad.  The second location is located in downtown Sacramento, California.  Dallas is the location of the third café.

My Recommendations

1.  The café is located at 13350 Dallas Parkway, Dallas, Texas 75240.  This store is housed within the Macy’s department store at the Galleria Dallas.  The shopping mall is a drivable distance from downtown Dallas, Dallas Love Field Airport, and suburbs such as Waxahachie, Parker, Highland Park, et cetera.  There are several covered parking garages, valet parking, and access from the rail and bus system.

2.  Dining space is available within the café with square tables and chairs.  Enjoy your coffee, tea, pastry, or other items at one of the tables or take items to go.  Peak times occur on weekends and during holidays.  Check store hours.

3.  The Martha Stewart Café has a respectable number of desirable menu items.  The following were my favorites. 

Chocolate Chip Twist Croissant

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Martha Stewart Café Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Disclaimer:  Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven is editorially independent.  No payment is accepted for editorial coverage.

Credit:  marthastewartcafe. com, twitter .com /ms_living/status/781999622189355008

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Fitness and Living Jigsaw Series by Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven

Fitness and Living Jigsaw Series

Fitness is powerful.  This year long fitness series encompasses some of the best key characteristics to improve strength, wellness, and living.  The year long fitness series began with a desire to share some routines and activities that inspire movement, health, and wellness.  Over time, day-by-day, progress is made and fitness can be maintained through these and other physical activities.

Attitude matters.  Remind yourself again:  You deserve to live well and be well.  Making fitness and good nutrition a routine, a habit, and expression of how you respect yourself is essential to developing a desire to get moving and stay moving.  

It is imperative to understand the power of health and wellness.  One of the most critical factors in the process of physical, mental, and emotional wellness is you.  Your creativity, choices, workout equipment, awareness of your own abilities, evaluation of health goals, and execution of good habits is essential.  Execution and implementation can be a challenge, although without implementing the proper healthy habits all the reading of exercise articles will not make you physically stronger.  Rather than a specific plan, this article supplies guidelines, inspiration, and ideas to spark your interest.

Often I am asked about my routine for healthy living and how I maintain good fitness, especially when I am regularly baking, cooking, and always on the hunt for excellent restaurants.  No big secrets here.  I eat well, get a good amount of sleep, rest, and give my body and mind a good workout.  If anyone knows a thing or two about fitness and nutrition, it’s me.  And if I can do it, you can too.  A background of teaching health and physical education, as well as a lifelong interest in nutrition, has been essential to maintain an excellent level of fitness, energy, and strength for me.  

Models, actors, athletes.  The images we see in ads, movies, and media can influence our goals and perceptions.  Keep in mind the people in those professions spend a lot of time and have a lot of time to look their best.  Or computer graphics best.  Rather than focusing on images in media, focus on health and wellness for the mind, body, and soul.  We all approach fitness at various levels, perspectives, and habits based upon previous experiences and family environment.  Take a moment to reflect upon good values, the ideas you hold close, that will be the center of what gets you physically fit.  Structure your day, fight for the time to eat well and get physically fit.  Work toward betterment, not perfection.  Be prepared to respond in life.  That means being ready to plan out options and alternatives to preserve your health and wellness.  We all know life is a continual journey, full of difficulties and blessings.  Put on some good music, turn up the volume, and get liberated from those unhealthy habits. 

Working out is not enough for our bodies.  Diet, what you eat, what you buy at the store and bring home to your kitchen, is highly significant to strong abs and obliques.  Purchase and prepare foods that satiate your appetite.  Eat seasonally and enjoy the monthly flavors.  Your fitness routine also needs variety.  Mix up your activities.  Sleep is also key.  The body, mind, and soul need rest and revitalizing.  Sometimes preparing yourself is the key.  Remind yourself in verbal or written form to workout the next day or after work.  Repeat that reminder each night before you go to bed.  This mantra may be the key to applying the health and wellness information you know to do. 

Eat.  Enjoy.  Satiate.  Satisfy.  Get nutrients.  Deal with emotions.  Make something beautiful to make your belly happy.  Breathe.  Those daily habits make a difference.  In my book, candy, cakes, cookies, and desserts are not the devil.  Too many sweets and too often is not good.  Not to worry though.  Take a breath.  If you get off the path of healthy living, I’m confident you can do better next time.  As David S. Ludwig, MD, PhD stated, “Overeating doesn't make us fat.  The process of becoming fat makes us overeat.  In other words, hunger and overeating are the consequences of an underlying problem.  Follow a simple lifestyle prescription focused on enjoyable physical activities, sleep, and stress relief to improve metabolism and support permanent behavior change.”

Join with your family and friends today.  Find a locale to work out that gets you inspired.  Then return here and share your progress, tips, and what you learned.  Please remember all information is of a general nature and is furnished only for education.  See a doctor or medical professional for your own personal fitness advice.

See the Fitness and Living Jigsaw activities for each month:

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