Check List for Purchasing a Range by Jesse Bluma

Check List for Purchasing a Range

Many readers rely on Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven as a source for how-to and where-to regarding cookery, culture, and community.  Thank you to all those that have been loyal supporters and fans.  Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven liberates taste in cookery, culture, and community, inspired by California, Central, and South America, and engages customers and readers with lifestyle content, reviews, and expertise.  

Electrolux was founded in 1919 in Sweden.  Their first product was a vacuum and have since become one of the largest manufacturers of appliances in the world.  An Electrolux range can be an excellent investment.  The convection option for baking, double oven feature, and large capacity are valuable feature.  If you are in the market for a range or will be, there are a few more items to consider as well.

Pictured above:  Electrolux Range double oven, wave-touch® controls, convection conversion.

Range Checklist

2.  Gas, electric, or combination.  You will need to verify your connections or speak with a contractor to install the hookup.  

3.  Size.  Again you will need to verify the measurements for the width, height, and depth.  If you are seeking a larger model then you will need to speak with your kitchen designer and contractor.

4.  Test.  Ask friends, neighbors, and relatives for their opinions.  Ask to see if any will allow you a quick test drive with his or her model.

5.  Ratings.  Search for customer ratings on store websites and through Consumer Reports.

6.  Look for the *.  You need to know the total cost including delivery, installation, power cord, and haul-away of your old range.  Believe it or not the cord is usually not included.

7.  Cookware.  If you choose a ceramic top/flat top stove some of your cookware may not work with the surface.  Flat bottomed cookware, pots, pans, griddles, et cetera are required.

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Photo Credit:  Best Buy

Leek and Fennel Flatbread Recipe

Leek and Fennel Flatbread

I recently had the pleasure of meeting executive Chef Tony Corke of Chaparosa Grill.  I learned how to make the leek and fennel recipe below as well as a few others from him.  Chef Tony is originally from England and his extensive stay in the Caribbean serves as inspiration for his menu.

Leek and Fennel Flatbread

by Chef Tony Corke, Chaparosa Grill
*Revised steps by Jesse Bluma


4 7” pita folds (flat bread, no pockets)
8 ounces parmesan cheese
1 leek, chopped to be sauteed
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced to be sauteed
1  tablespoon olive oil
1  teaspoon diced garlic
1  tablespoon sambuca (Italian licorice flavor liqueur)
Salt and pepper to taste


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius).

2.  Chop and saute the leek and fennel together, place in a saute pan on the stove.
 * Tip:  Dice the fennel bulb like an onion, save the leaves.
 To saute the chopped leek and sliced fennel use 1 tablespoon olive oil, sprinkle of sea salt, 1/2 lemon squeezed, olive oil, salt, lemon over medium-high heat, the leek and fennel will caramelize in about 10 minutes time.

3.  Flambe with sambuca. 
 * Tip: Warm alcohol ignites better than cold.  The sambuca can be heated in a microwave bowl for 30 seconds before using.  Do not pour alcohol into the pan from the bottle, this causes explosions.  Ensure there is nothing to catch fire or melt above the pan.  Pour the warmed sambuca into the pan.  Ignite the liqueur with a long match.  The flame will die out.

4.  Spread pita folds/flatbread with whole grain dijon mustard.

5.  Divide the leek and fennel mixture evenly over the pita folds/flatbread.

6.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

7.  Place on baking sheet in oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius) for 5-8 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the bread is warm with crisp edges.

8.  Remove from oven and on to cutting surface.  Slice the bread into 4 equal slices.

9.  Sprinkle with chopped fennel leaves.

10.  Divide between 4 serving plates.

Check out the Chaparosa Grill at

*Update:  Unfortunately, Chaparosa Grill has closed.

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Credits:  Fancycrave, Pixabay, lukeluke68

Mystical Meyer Lemon Cupcakes by Jesse Bluma

Mystical Meyer Lemon Cupcakes 

Deliciously fragrant cake, freckled with zest. These delicious cupcakes are perfectly infused with mystical Meyer lemon syrup. Transform your next party, event, or date with these cupcakes that are not too sweet. 

Customer Feedback

Delicious!!!  The lemon flavor was very present and the cupcakes themselves were not too sweet.  They were a hit at the picnic, but had to keep people away from the candied lemon wedges which they kept eating/stealing!

-Jennifer W.

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Baseball Diamond Pizza Recipe by Jesse Bluma

Diamond Mini-Pizzas


1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1 package dry yeast or 2 1/2 teaspoons
1/8 teaspoon sugar
2 1/2 cups organic all-purpose flour with a small amount extra for the kneading process
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, with a small amount more more for brushing the dough
1 teaspoon coarse salt

Makes about 6 servings.

Dough Directions

In a small saucepan over low heat bring the water and milk to a lukewarm temperature (about 45 seconds). 
In a bowl pour in the water and milk mixture. 
Then sprinkle the yeast and the sugar into the bowl and stir. 
Let the ingredients in the bowl sit until the yeast has dissolved (about 5 minutes).

Next mix in the olive oil, flour, and the coarse salt. 
Combine the ingredients, then knead the mixture on a lightly floured board until the dough is smooth, this process with take 10 to 15 minutes.
*Note:  If this is your first time making pizza dough be confident, the dough will not bite.  The more times you make dough the easier it will get for you.  Remember that the dough will be sticky for about the first five minutes of kneading, it will then form into a ball as you continue kneading.
*Note:  For the more advanced baker and cook stretch your creative muscles and add your favorite herbs to the dough.

After kneading the dough brush a large bowl with olive oil. 
Gently place the dough in the bowl and lightly brush the dough with olive oil. 
Cover with a clean dish towel and let stand in a warm place until is has doubled in size (about 3 hours). 
 After 3 hours punch the dough down and then divide it into individual portions of about 1/2 cup in size.   
The portions are to be covered until you are ready to roll it out.  
Roll the dough out and then cut into diamond shapes or use a diamond cutter or pattern.


29 ounces tomato puree (no salt added)
4 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon cumin seed
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Sauce Directions

Add the sauce ingredients into a sauce pan.
Cover and heat on warm to low heat on the stove for about ten minutes.
Remove from heat and let sit for about 30 minutes, until flavors have developed.


3 garlic cloves, finely diced
1/2 cup white onion, finely diced
1 tomatillo, thinly sliced
1 yellow pepper, cut into strips
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal

Baking Diamond Mini-Pizzas

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

Coat a 12-inch pizza pan or 13x9-inch baking sheet with cooking spray.

Measure, cut, and place the parchment paper on the pan.

Place the diamond shaped dough portions on the pan, leaving a couple inches in between each.

Bake the diamonds for 5 minutes.

Use oven mitts to remove from the oven, be careful and remember the pan will remain hot.

Lightly brush each diamond with olive oil.

Lightly spread sauce on to the tops of the diamonds.

Evenly distribute the toppings.

Use oven mitts to return the pan to the oven, bake for about 9 minutes (ovens vary, so it may take more or less time).

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Bird's Nest Cookies by Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven

Bird’s Nest Cookies

Chocolaty, rich, with lightly toasted coconut.  
These treats make the perfect nest for artisan candies. 
Dynamic for Easter baskets and gifts.  

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Creamy Latin Stew by Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven

Creamy Latin Stew


32 ounces or 2 pounds of seitan or 2 pounds ground pork (extra lean, organic)
[seitan can be found online, at health food stores, and at Whole Foods]
29 ounces tomato puree (no salt added)
1 can (10 ounces) Rotel (mild)
1 can sweet corn (cream style)
3 garlic cloves, minced small
1/2 yellow onion, peeled, diced fine
2 cans kidney beans (drained, rinsed)
1 large organic tomato, diced 
1 yellow pepper diced fine without ribs and seeds
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin seed
2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup cold water
2 tablespoons olive oil
Greek yogurt (plain)
cilantro leaves (washed, cut with scissors)


Brown the seitan or ground pork with olive oil in a fry pan on medium heat (about 8 minutes).  

In a large pot add the seitan or pork, tomato puree, Rotel, corn, garlic, onion, kidney beans, diced tomato, yellow pepper, ground pepper, chile powder, paprika, cumin, salt, and water.

Cover and heat on medium until thoroughly heated through, 30 minutes to 1 hour as the flavors develop.  Taste to your liking.


Ladle stew into bowls.
Top with a dollop of yogurt.
Sprinkle with cilantro leaves.

This is my version of a friend's, Scott's, stew that he taught me to make.
You may have your own version or twist on the recipe.

Serve this stew with your favorite cookies by Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven at your next party, event, or brunch.

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