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Jesse's Lemon Infused Vodka Recipe

When thinking of gifts for friends, relatives, and neighbors I am always looking for something unusual.  This Christmas and New Year's season I made lemon infused vodka.  This project was fun to make and definitely liberates food and taste.  Include some cookies with these gifts and you are sure to please!


- Organic Eureka lemons, washed and sliced lengthwise into eighths

- Organic Meyer lemons, washed and sliced lengthwise into eighths 

- Quality vodka (Ketel One)


Pack lemons into a large clean glass jar. 
Pour vodka over the top to cover. 
Seal with the lid. 
Place in a cool dark spot for 3-4 weeks. 
Strain the vodka into a mason jar, a metal coffee filter works well.  
Screw on the mason jar lid, add a bow and gift tag.  

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Cindy Abbott's Courage: Deserves a cookie!

Cindy L. Abbott, a proud Titan, sports a Cal State Fullerton banner at Peak Lenin in Kyrgyzstan. Photo by Scott Woolums

She must climb Mt. Everest while she’s still able. Abbott, a part-time health science lecturer, is losing her vision and her body is deteriorating.  She suffers from a fatal disease — Wegener’s Granulomatosis — that causes inflammation of blood vessels, restricting blood flow and damaging kidneys, lungs and other organs.

“I have this super rare disease,” Abbott said. “It started with loss of vision in my left eye. I was going blind and, for 10 years, no one could tell me why. I had a bunch of mini strokes and vertigo. It was a relief to finally be diagnosed in 2007.”  Wegener’s Granulomatosis has no cure.

“That’s why I want to climb Mt. Everest now,” Abbott said. “My immune system is down from the immunosuppressant medication I’m taking to control the disease and I don’t know how much longer I have. I want to live life to its fullest.”

The 50-year-old mountain climber-scuba diver-ballroom dancer also wants to raise awareness about her disease and other rare conditions in her quest to climb the highest mountain on Earth.

She also is raising money for the Vasculitis Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports and empowers patients through education, awareness and research.  Abbott, who for decades has been traveling the world diving the deepest oceans and hiking the highest mountains, recently launched a website where she is blogging about her life, her disease, her Mt. Everest quest and her fundraising activities.  “Too many people take life for granted and need to live life, not wait for life to come to them,” she said. “You need to reach for your dreams, no matter the obstacles.”

By Mimi Ko Cruz

Cindy L. Abbott is in a big hurry.

Cindy L. Abbott ascending Peak Lenin. Photo by Scott Woolums

Cindy L. Abbott diving in 37-degree water in Iceland.

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Merry Christmas! from Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven

Merry Christmas!

These are a few snapshots from the holiday season. The Pointe is a quaint, seaside community and really shows the holiday spirit.  These photos give you an idea of how panoramic, and truly alluring it is to live here.  Please enjoy and get inspiration. 

Holiday Trivia for the Dinner Table:  

Did you know that Christmas commemorates the birth of Jesus?  It is celebrated on December 25; however, the exact date of Jesus' actual birthday is unknown. 

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Martha Stewart and Mark Steyn Bring Holiday Laughs

Martha Stewart and Mark Steyn Bring Holiday Laughs

   Here's something you might relate to in your day...

The Christmas season does not have to be so stressful.  Managing stress and some laughter breaks up the shopping rush, baking blunders, and daily strains.  I came across an article by author Mark Stein.  
"I'm one of those guys who tend to leave the old Yuletide preparations until around 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve only to discover that half the stores closed early at 1 P.M. and those still open have got nothing left except for massive storewide clearances on Hanukkah wrapping paper.  Yet for a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-Santa-suit-pants kind of guy I seem to have acquired over the years an enormous number of books on how to have the perfect Christmas.   I don't want to give the wrong impression.  A lot of the stuff in these tomes is very intriguing. 

Each year, for example, I dig out my old pal Martha Stewart's entry in the field - Martha Stewart's Christmas - and find myself strangely drawn to the phrase 'coxcomb topiary.'  It's huge. It starts out as a misshapen lump like a hobbit that's fallen into a trash compactor, that's before Martha's got to work 'studding' it with - to pluck at random - 'tiny pomegranates dusted with clear glitter.'  Who would have thought the English language would ever have need for those words assembled in that order?  Every third week of December, I read them and marvel.  And then I drive to Wal-Mart."

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Seasonal Foods for December by Jesse Bluma

Seasonal Foods for December
Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven. All rights reserved.

Inspiration for your everyday table or holiday 
gathering. Print, shop, cook what's in season.

"Fruits and vegetables with color contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals that have different disease-fighting elements. These compounds may be important in reducing the risk of many conditions, including cardiovascular disease.  The American Heart Association recommends…fruits and vegetables…as part of a healthy lifestyle that can lower your risk for these diseases."

blood oranges
brussels sprouts
sweet potatoes
swiss chard

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Teaming with the 3/50 Project

Teaming with the 3/50 Project

I am part of the 3/50 Project, pease join too.  
Follow the link below to view my listing and to get a list of other member stores.  

"Why not build a campaign tying this three-door concept to th$50 Retail Challenge? Call it The 3/50 Project, supporting local business in small, easily consumable bites.  The goal is simple: Ask consumers to frequent three local brick and mortar businesses they don’t want to see disappear, and to spend a very affordable $50 per month doing it.  Could be those three.  Another three.  Doesn’t matter. It’s about funneling revenue back into local business.  You know-—the folks that pour money back into the community via commercial property taxes, payroll taxes, sales tax, and salaries (not to mention all that good will by way of volunteer time, silent auctions, sponsored softball teams, workshops, book signings, etc.)."  - Cinda Baxter

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Chicken Recipe with Lemons from the Tree by Jesse Bluma

Chicken Recipe with Lemons from the Tree
Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven. All rights reserved.

My friend, Carol, graciously gave me a bag of lemons from her tree.  Lemon seems to be the flavor of the month.  These fit into my plan for a chicken dish, some cookies, and are a good idea for Christmas presents.  I stored the left over lemons in a glass container in my kitchen.

Lemon Chicken Recipe


Organic whole chicken (Buying whole and cutting it yourself is a good money saver.)
4 organic lemons, cut into wedges
1 red pepper, washed, diced, deseeded
2 organic Roman tomatoes, washed, diced

*Wash and dry your hands, utensils, cutting board, and other surfaces before and after preparing the chicken recipe.


If using a whole chicken, neatly and carefully butcher the parts.
Wash and cut the lemons into wedges.
Wash, dice, and deseed the red pepper.
Wash and dice the tomatoes.

Place chicken, lemons, pepper, and tomatoes into a large glass bowl.
Lightly drizzle the ingredients in the bowl with olive oil.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Fill the bowl almost to the top with chicken or vegetable broth or stock.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
Place a large plate or tray in the refrigerator.
Place the bowl on the plate or tray in the refrigerator.
Leave in the refrigerator for one hour.

Pre-heat oven to 425 °Fahrenheit (218.3 °Celsius).

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Remove the bowl from the refrigerator.

Place the chicken pieces on the parchment lined baking sheet.

Place the baking sheet in the oven.

Bake for approximately 45 minutes for the white meat and 47 minutes for the dark meat (165 °Fahrenheit or 73.9 °Celsius internal temperature).

Use oven mitts to remove the baking sheet from the oven.

Allow the chicken to cool for five minutes before eating.

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Image courtesy of [Serge Bertasius Photography] at, Jaymantri, Pexels

de Portola Boutique: Thanks for your support

de Portola Boutique:  Thanks for your support
Pointe Viven - Jesse Bluma. All rights reserved.

A special thank you to all our customers at the boutique.  We raised thousands for education.  All funds will support field trips, academic events, and programs.

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made with excellent ingredients and 
quality control.

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You are invited! Join Saturday's Shopping Event

You are invited!:  Join Saturday's Shopping Event
Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven. All rights reserved.

What?:  A destination shopping event, where you’ll find gourmet cookies for teachers, friends, family, and yourself!

When?:  Saturday, December 5th, 2009 9 A.M. - 4 P.M.

Where?:  27031 Preciados, Mission ViejoCalifornia.  We will be in the back area, under the tent.

Why?:  Schools are in great need.  100% of the fundraising for this event goes directly for educational purposes.  ONE HUNDRED PERCENT goes to the kids!

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de Portola Boutique Reminder: Pointe Viven

de Portola Boutique Reminder
Pointe Viven - Jesse Bluma. All rights reserved.

Get your cookies at our boutique.

If you are not able to make it to the boutique, get your holiday cookies online.

Shop Pointe Viven for baked goods 
made with excellent ingredients and 
quality control.

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