Commonwealth Lounge and Grill Review by Jesse Bluma

Commonwealth Lounge and Grill

Update:  The Commonwealth Lounge and Grill has closed.

I recently ventured over to downtown Fullerton to the Commonwealth Lounge.  The restaurant partook in restaurant week with a special menu.  The Don Ho Beef Skewers were sweet and spicy, Tuscan Chicken Kabobs were served with a lemon butter sauce, and the Open Faced Cherry Pie was more than a dessert.  I could eat two!

"Located in the heart of historic downtown Fullerton, the Commonwealth Lounge is a sophisticated supper club with an eclectic menu and hip, soulful music.  The decor is glamorous and edgy - oversized booths, dramatic chandeliers, brick walls, pressed-tin ceilings, comfy couches, low lounge seating and glowing back bar. Designed in the classic lounge style with antique decor, you might expect to see Sinatra, Dean Martin, or Sammy Davis Jr. sitting at the bar sipping a drink.

 The many dining choices will not disappoint.  Classic staples like a Monte Cristo, Wellington, Prime Rib, and Chilean Sea Bass.  Of course there are many lighter choices to pick from on the extensive menu.  For dessert, try a Cherry Bomb or an order of Campfire Smores with your own mini hibachi on your table!  The extensive beer and wine list offers choices for every budget and palate.  To enhance the dinning experience, the lounge offers live music and special events on selected days."

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Commonwealth Lounge & Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 


Homemade Pizza Dough Recipe by Jesse Bluma

Cookies and pizza...are all perfect foods round?  Homemade pizza dough can go a long way in elevating a dinner for two or a party for 200.  Complete your pizza meal with delicious cookies.


This recipe creates enough for 12 individual size pizzas - about 5 inches in diameter.
You can vary the size and shape of your pizza, so be creative.  The use of organic, local, or garden ingredients makes this pizza a step above.

2 cups warm water 110 degrees Fahrenheit (or 43.3 degree Celsius).
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 envelopes of active dry yeast
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon for the bowl
3 cups all-purpose flour plus 3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon salt


1.  Stir together water, yeast, and sugar until yeast is dissolved.  It needs to be foamy, takes about 5 minutes.

2.  Brush bowl with olive oil.

3.  Stir together flours and salt in another bowl.  Add in yeast mixture, mix well.  

4.  Cover a surface with wax paper, place dough on wax paper.  Kneed for 2-3 minutes.  This process could also be performed in a mixer using a paddle attachment.

5.  Put the dough in the bowl that was oiled, cover with plastic wrap, let rise for 40-60 minutes.

6.  Take off the plastic and punch down the dough.  Form dough back into a ball.  Cover with plastic wrap, let rise for 30-40 minutes.

7.  Remove the plastic wrap and punch the dough down again.  Form back into a ball.

8.  Place the dough on wax paper and cut into 12 equal size balls (or other equal sizes).

9.  Flatten one dough ball at a time, place on wax paper, cover with wax paper, and roll out evenly into this ovals or circles.

10.  Place the dough on lined baking sheets with parchment paper that has been lightly sprayed with cooking oil.

11.  Brush dough with olive oil, add favorite toppings, grill for about 4 minutes.

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Credits:, Fancycrave,, marianna.ok,

Amish Friendship Bread Recipe

Amish Friendship Bread Starter
Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven. All rights reserved.

This delicious bread is named in honor of an Amish tradition.  The Amish pass bread on to friends and those in need.  I got my starter from my friend Pam, keeping the chain alive.  You can keep the tradition alive by making the friendship bread for someone you know and include some gourmet treats by Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven.

Special Notice:  Do not use metal cooking utensils, spoons, mixers, etc.  No refrigeration. You may use only glass, wood, or ceramic.

1 cup live yeast starter
Day 1:
Leave alone, do not touch the starter bag. 
Days 2-5:
Use a wooden spoon to mix.
Day 6:
Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk. Stir with a wooden spoon.
Days 7-9: 
          Use a wooden spoon to mix.
Day 10:
Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Stir. Take out 3 cups and place 1 cup each into three separate plastic containers. Give one cup and a copy of this recipe to three friends. To the balance (a little over one cup) of the batter, add the following ingredients and mix well.
1 cup oil
1/2 cup milk
3 eggs, cracked
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a separate bowl combine the following dry ingredients and mix well:
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 - (5.1 oz) box instant vanilla pudding
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup walnuts

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix and pour into two well greased and sugared bread pans.

Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit (or 163 degrees Celsius) for 1 hour.

The recipe comes to us from Mrs. Norma Condon of Los Angeles, California.

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Seasonal Foods for March by Jesse Bluma

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

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(photo: wiki)

Grace Groner - A hidden millionaire's college gift: Deserves a Cookie

A hidden millionaire's college gift
Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven. All rights reserved.

Grace Groner leaves $7 million to her Illinois alma mater.  Few friends knew of her wealth.

Grace Groner's one-bedroom Lake Forest house was also left to the school.  It will house students who receive scholarships from her foundation. (Chris Walker / Chicago Tribune)

Grace Groner
By John Keilman

Reporting from Chicago - Like many people who lived through the Depression, Grace Groner was exceptionally restrained with her money.  

She got her clothes from rummage sales, walked rather than buy a car. And her one-bedroom house in Lake Forest, Ill., held little more than a few plain pieces of furniture, some mismatched dishes and an old television.  Her one splurge was a small scholarship program she had created for Lake Forest College, her alma mater. She planned to contribute more upon her death, and when she died in January at 100, her attorney informed the college president that the gift had added up.

"Oh, my God," the president said.  Groner's estate, which stemmed from a $180 stock purchase she made in 1935, was worth $7 million.  The money is going into a foundation that will allow many of Lake Forest's 1,300 students to pursue internships and study-abroad programs.

Groner never married or had children, she had a gregarious personality and plenty of friends. She remained connected to the college, attending football games and donating $180,000 to create the scholarship program.

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Credit:  Copyright © 2010, The Los Angeles Times,0,2910138.story
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