Browse Cookery Articles

Browse Culture Articles

Browse Community Articles

Pietra Italia Cookware: Hand-crafted for the Kitchen

Pietra Italia Cookware

"Part of the old-world charm of Pietra Italia® is that each piece is a unique work of art, lovingly hand-crafted in Italy.  Pietra Italia® ceramics are individually handmade, hand painted and signed by the artist.  The nature of artisan crafted works like Pietra Italia® means that no two pieces will ever be identical.  

Unlike factory produced stoneware; shape, color, size and brush strokes will vary slightly from piece to piece, making your set truly one of a kind.  Pietra Italia® comes with a limited one year warranty.  This warranty applies to all new Pietra Italia® products that were purchased for personal or household use."

Pietra Italia partnered with Doris Roberts for a line of cookware.  You probably recognize Doris Roberts from Remington Steele, Everybody Loves Raymond, Angie, Christmas Vacation, and countless other shows and productions.  If you don't know her work, she has a great comic sense of timing, enjoys cooking, and now has a line of cookware on QVC.  Doris Roberts enjoyed my article and her QVC partner, David Venable, was kind enough to give me a shout out.  

Autographed photo for me

Join the Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven circle:


If I Were the Devil: Paul Harvey's Warning for a Nation

If I Were the Devil: Paul Harvey's Warning for a Nation

This warning is making the rounds a long time after Paul Harvey first spoke it on his radio program, April 3, 1965.  Harvey was on the radio for about 75 years.  His famous tag line was "And now you know...The Rest of the Story". 

Harvey's broadcast may not be everyone's cup of tea and you may not agree with him; however, it is vital that we do not speak past one another in the realm of politics and culture.  As one country it is vital that we appreciate that each of us brings something different to the table and desires something different.  So then what?  How do you herd a bunch of cats?  How do we accomplish tasks as a nation?

The trick is to understand that each of us has something sacred, from how much we care for others, how much we value individual liberty, how we seek fairness, what loyalties we have, how we react to authority, and what we sanctify.  "'Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, yet do not notice the log in your own eye? . . . You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.' (Jesus, Matthew 7:3–5)  Enlightenment (or wisdom, if you prefer) requires us all to take the logs out of our own eyes and then escape from our fighting." (Jonathan Haidt)

Join the Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven circle:

Photo credit:

In the Words of Great Cooks

In the Words of Great Cooks

The words we use and choose not to use reveal a great deal. Our
vocabulary demonstrates our beliefs, process of thinking, and is a
powerful tool. "Can't". "Cannot". "But". These are words
deleted from my vocabulary. These word clouds were created
using Many Eyes out of curiosity. While these visualizations do
not include every written or spoken word by these culinary artists,
they do give us a good amount of insight.

Danny Boome:  Former professional hockey player in Great Britain, chef, and face of the anti-drug campaign in the United Kingdom.  

Julia Child:  Master of French cuisine, star of several television programs on the Public Broadcasting Service, and cookbook author.

Gordon Ramsay:  The gruff star of various television series, such as Hell's Kitchen, The F Word, Kitchen Nightmares, and MasterChef.  Gordon began in football (soccer) and faced several injuries.  He went on at age 19 into cooking and restauranteering, earning several accolades including Michelin stars.


Antonin Careme: One of the first famous chefs in history.
Careme developed his skills and innovated the culinary
world of the 1800s. His achievements include baking for
Napoleon's wedding and cooking for King George IV
of England.

Join the Pointe Viven circle
sign-up for email updates.

Mastering the art of French Cooking 50th Anniversary
Gordon Ramsay Makes It Easy

TSA “Glass Box Mother” Stacey Armato for Breast Milk: Blood boiling

TSA “Glass Box Mother” Stacey Armato for Breast Milk:  Blood boiling
The story featured in this airport vide is important to watch to understand the practices by some TSA agents.  Many travelers have good and bad experiences with airport security, including myself.  A recent news report stated that agents have been retrained since this incident.

Check out Stacey Armato's YouTube channel for the the complete series of videos showing her experience with Transportation Security Administration agents.

For more information about the TSA for travelers you can visit their official site.

TSA customer service

Call 1-866-289-9673

Join the Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven circle:


Support Students and Employees: Research Based Educational Tools by Laura Zank

Research Based Educational Tools by Laura Zank

Good thinking skills and comprehension are key.  That's why Laura Zank designs materials to engage children in the learning process.  Her materials are not exclusive to the classroom.  Tutors, parents, and employers can utilize the tools too to support learning at home and employee training.  
Laura explained, 
"Sometimes I find myself looking at the teacher's manual and seeing a lot of basic recall questions and not questions that get my students to think about the story.  That is when I can easily pop out my compact Question Cards and know that I am really teaching my students to think about the story.  The cards, games and file folder games all give back to prep time, which as elementary teachers we are receiving less and less."

Join the Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven circle:


The Viceroy: Whist Restaurant, Cameo Bar, and Chris Crary Review

The Viceroy:  Whist Restaurant, Cameo Bar, and Chris Crary

*Update:  Whist closed and is now Cast.

Tired of the same old places? Check out the fun at Viceroy in Santa Monica, California. I recently went and 
found excellent drinks, great food, and a good crowd. Cameo Bar is located off the lobby and wraps around to the pool 
area and to Whist.  Whist's Chef de Cuisine is Chris Crary.

My Recommendations

Flatbread with pesto, roasted mushroom, and goat cheese--a good crispy twist on a popular 

Artisan cheese selection with a selection of five fruit and nut bread housemade condiments.

Both of these food items are good to share with a group as you gather around the center 
table for drinks in the bar, they are also served in the restaurant.  

Moonshine Mule: This cocktail builds off the now popular Moscow Mule. The Moscow Mule 
was something I ordered for a long time at places, yet no one knew how to make it. Now it is enjoying a 
renaissance. This version is made with original moonshine, ginger beer, fresh squeezed lime juice, and agave.
A good drink to sip.

Hemingway Special: A drink befitting the setting made with grapefruit juice, rum, lime 
juice, and Luxardo maraschino liqueur.

Special Notes

Valet and street parking is available.
If you arrive by 8:00 P.M. you can probably find parking on the street.
The restrooms are located near the front entrance, next to the hotel check-in desks.  
Make reservations for Whist in advance.  
Arrive to Cameo before 9:00 P.M. for better seating and avoid the velvet rope.  
The drinks are on the pricey side, although sometimes paying a bit more is worth it.

Join the Pointe Viven circle:  sign-up for email updates.

Whist Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Cameo Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Jesse Bluma Los Angeles restaurants

Image Credit:

Coconut Thumbprint Cookies with Salted Caramel by Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven

Coconut Thumbprint Cookies with Salted Caramel

Soft and chewy meets salty 
and buttery.  A magic twist on 
flavor with classic Americana 
ingredients.  These cookies 
will battle for your attention.
Made with organic ingredients. 

Order online or contact me for catering.

Join the Pointe Viven circle
sign-up for email updates.

Join AIM for a CURE at Melanoma

AIM for a CURE Melanoma
Please join me in supporting friends who are heading to Dallas, TX May 5th to participate in a fundraiser walk.  

"Melanoma is the fastest growing cancer in the United States and worldwide. One person dies every 60 minutes from melanoma. And, there is no effective medical therapy for metastatic melanoma.

We are taking on this challenge to do something big that will increase awareness and support research for the CURE.  We'd appreciate your support and know Mom would too!
Much love,
Shelley, Cheryl & Kristen"

Thank you.


Join the Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven circle:


Edible Seascape by Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven

Edible Seascape 

This dish is one for kids and the kids at heart.  A few variations:  keep the cottage cheese white for a crisp sea foam look or use blue food coloring to create an ocean.  If you are serving cocktails or having a beer tasting, guests can garnish with their choice of items from the platter.  The edible seascape is a child friendly way of creating a teachable moment with ocean and scientific terms and concepts.  


1 organic banana
1 large organic honeydew tangerine (plus its zest)
1 large organic green apple
1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese (look for a brand that does not contain a lot of sugar, corn syrup, sodium, etc.)
blue food coloring (optional)
1 organic pineapple
1 organic lemon (plus its zest)


1.  Look for fruits from the grocery store or other sources such as your own trees that are ripe and without bruises.  Smell the pineapple to ensure it has a good aroma, if it does not have a pineapple smell then it is probably not ripe.  

2.  Measure out 1/2 cup cottage cheese.  

3.  Place the cottage cheese into a stainer.  

(Optional ocean effect:  Stir in 2 drops blue food coloring after you have strained the cottage cheese of water.)

4.  Rinse the honeydew tangerine, green apple, pineapple, and lemon, then pat the fruit dry.

5.  Dice one cup of pineapple into 1/4" cubes.  Slice pieces the same size to keep them uniform.  

6.  Place the cubed pineapple in a colander or stainer, we want to reduce the water content from affecting the edible seascape.  (Not the same colander or stainer as the cottage cheese.) 

7.  Zest the honeydew tangerine and set the zest aside on a dish.

8.  Slice the honeydew tangerine, trimming and cutting into neat segments.  Discard any seeds. 

9.  Place the honeydew tangerine segments into the colander with the pineapple.   

10.  Wait 15-20 minutes for pineapple and honeydew tangerine to strain.

11.  Zest the lemon and set aside with the honeydew tangerine zest.  

12.  Slice the green apple, trimming and cutting into thin half moon shapes.  

13.  Squeeze juice from the lemon on the apple slices, this will help to keep them from quickly browning and will add flavor. 

14.  Wait until the last minute for the banana.  Peel the banana, brush with juice from the lemon, then cut into about 7 crosswise sections.  

15.  Arrange the banana slices vertically on the platter to act as the trunk of the palm tree. 

16.  Arrange the green apple slices at the top end of the banana to act as the palm fronds.  

17.  Arrange the pineapple horizontally at the bottom on the platter to act as the beach sand.

18.  Sprinkle a small amount of the honeydew tangerine zest and lemon zest on the pineapple cubes.  

19.  Arrange the honeydew tangerine segments horizontally above the pineapple cubes to act at the shoreline.  

20.  Spoon a the cottage cheese horizontally above the honeydew tangerines to act as the sea foam or water.  

Join the Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven circle:

Ten Things You Didn't Know About Amazon by Jesse Bluma

Ten Things You Didn't Know About Amazon

Thank you for visiting Jesse Bluma at Point Viven, the place for excellence in cookery, culture, and community.  Please use the widget below to make your Amazon purchases.  You can support my site by using the Amazon widget for all your future purchases too.  Not to worry, Amazon does not share your information with me.

1.  Amazon:  late 14c., from Gk. Amazon (mostly in plural Amazones) "one of a race of female warriors in Scythia," probably from an unknown non-I.E. word, possibly from an Iranian compound *ha-maz-an- "(one) fighting together" [Watkins], but in folk etymology long derived from a- "without" + mazos "breasts," hence the story that the Amazons cut or burned off one breast so they could draw bowstrings more efficiently. The river in South America (originally called by the Sp. Rio Santa Maria de la Mar Dulce) rechristened by Francisco de Orellana, 1541, after an encounter with female warriors of the Tapuyas (or, as some say, beardless, long-haired male tribesmen; still others hold that the name is a corruption of a native word in Tupi or Guarani meaning "wave").

2.  Founded by Jeff Bezos, the website started in 1995 as a place to buy books because of the unique customer experience the Web could offer book lovers.  Bezos names his company "Amazon" because it was a place that was "exotic and different" and it was the river he considered the biggest in the world, as he hoped his company would be.  During the first 30 days of business, fulfilled orders for customers in 50 states and 45 countries - all shipped from his Seattle-area garage.   

3.  Amazon Wish Lists can expand a nonprofit's potential donor pool to Amazon’s millions of customers and offer a great way to ensure that they receive the right number of the exact items needed. 

4.  Amazon customers have contributed more than $35 million to global relief programs.

5., Inc. is located in Washington, USA.  

6.  The Amazon logo represents the very same message that they sell everything from A to Z and the arrow below the logo represents the smile that customers would experience by shopping on the website.

7.  Amazon makes money not only through sales on its website--they also earn profit by selling advertising space on their site. 

8.  Amazon is in the production of original entertainment via Amazon Studios. 

9.  Amazon banned the sale of whale, dolphin, and shark meat on their site.  

10.  Amazon has been criticized for its refusal to collect sales taxes from customers in states in which it does not have a physical presence.  

Thank you to my clients, costumers, and the Pointe Viven community.  
Please click the link below to make your Amazon purchases.

Join the Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven circle:
sign-up for email updates.



Shop Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven