Raspberry-Mint Martini by Jesse Bluma

Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven. All rights reserved.

Enjoy this cocktail I created for my birthday celebration.  Party tip:  Hire a mixologist to make the cocktails, so you may better enjoy your celebration.  The mixologist for my party served guests and demonstrated some mixology techniques.  It was a great experience.    

The elixir below is best made with fresh raspberries and quality vodka.  Pair with a platter of blueberries, peeled and segmented grapefruit, slices of avocado rubbed with lemon juice, black cherries, and almonds.  Enjoy.


ice cubes
lemon infused simple syrup; prepared ahead (oleo-saccharum) (4 organic lemons, plus 1 cup or 8 ounces extra fine white sugar)
organic mint (8 leaves per cocktail)
raspberry vodka (Absolut Raspberri)
raspberry liqueur (Mathilde Framboise)

Directions for the simple syrup (oleo-saccharum).  Prepare ahead of time.

Wash and dry the lemons.
Use an apple or potato peeler to remove the peel of each lemon; not the white pith.
Place the lemon peels and extra fine white sugar in a bowl.
Muddle the lemon peel into the sugar for approximately three to five minutes, until the lemon oil is expressed.
Allow the muddled lemon peel and sugar mixture to rest for 1 hour.
Then remove the lemon peels from the sugar.
Place 1 cup or 8 ounces water in a saucepan.
Bring the water to a boil on medium heat.
Add in the lemon infused sugar.
Constantly stir the water and sugar until dissolved; no more than 5 minutes.  
Allow to completely cool before use.  (Store simple syrup in a glass preserving jar.)

Directions for the Raspberry-Mint Martini

Muddle 8 leaves of mint in a cocktail shaker.
Fill cocktail shaker half way with ice cubes, not crushed ice.
Add 1.5 ounces or 43 milliliters raspberry vodka.
Then add 0.5 ounces or 15 milliliters raspberry liqueur.
Additionally, add in 0.5 ounces or 15 milliliters lemon infused simple syrup (oleo-saccharum).

Place the cap on the shaker.
Then vigorously and firmly shake the container for approximately 15 to 30 seconds.  If the shaker is frosty on the outside and cold, then the martini is mixed well inside.  
Remove the cap.

Fit a Hawthorne, julep, or spring stainer over the shaker.  (If you have a cobbler shaker, then a strainer is built-in to the top of the shaker.)
Hold the strainer firmly against the opening of the stainer with your fingers.

Pour into an empty glass.  
Garnish with raspberries.

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Sources:  FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Triscuit with Pea and Feta Spread Topped with Whole Grain Mustard by Jesse Bluma

Triscuit with Pea and Feta Spread Topped with Whole Grain Mustard

Peas and Triscuit Recipe

Triscuits topped with a layer of toasted walnuts, pea and feta spread, whole grain dijon mustard, and dill to garnish.  These crunchy and slightly tangy treats are sure to please at your next party, event, or beach picnic.

This recipe makes enough for two boxes of crackers.

Ingredients for walnut layer

2 cups light brown sugar
4 cups chopped walnuts
10 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large pan on low heat toast the walnuts.
Place the sugar and butter in the pan, then stir until the butter is melted.
Add in the vanilla.

Ingredients for the pea layer

2 cups frozen peas, and an additional pea to garnish each cracker
8 ounces reduced fat feta cheese
zest of two organic lemons (washed)
6 Tablespoons lemon juice
6 Tablespoons dill
8 Tablespoons olive oil

Defrost the peas.
Blend the ingredients for the spread in a food processor or mixer.

2 boxes Triscuits (whole wheat wafer crackers)


Apply a thin layer of walnuts on each cracker.
Top with a layer of the pea spread.
Dot the layer of pea spread with whole grain dijon mustard.
Garnish each with dill and a pea.

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Disclaimer:  No payment was accepted for editorial coverage.

The Spotlight Campaign: Great Leadership by Jesse Bluma

The Spotlight Campaign:  Great Leadership
Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven. All rights reserved.


Our ideas, our creations, our spirit, and our great actions have always been key.  I know what it’s like to create something, the hard work it takes to accomplish goals, and to stand with others.  I know with my readers we share an elevated approach to food, information, and inspiration.  Liberating food and taste is the mission.  It is a holistic approach to living well and freeing our taste in food and much more.  Pointe Viven reflects my spirit and its clients.  It is a dynamic community of liberating food and taste.

 Over the years it has been terrific to meet, spotlight, and feature creators, doers, and inspirational figures.  I know no matter where I am, where I visit, and with whom I meet I will learn something and be re-energized by their endeavors.  Each month join me in spotlighting the famous, the not so famous, the local celebrities, and those you believe have earned a thank you, a congratulations, and the recognition.

Each month a new theme will be chosen, so be thinking of those people you know exhibit the traits.  Often the trait is something not so measurable, rather it is shown through the mundane, certain instances, and moments that surprise you.  This is your opportunity to join me and take part in the campaign.

In June we celebrated wisdom.  Those that exhibit bold thinking, desire, and powerful decision making.  Individuals making great strides in liberating their lives and the lives of others through wisdom.  

July:  This month we are spotlighting great leadership.  We are looking for those that exhibit a good sense of vision, those that inspire others, stand out of the way when needed, and have good values.  The power of a great leader, of great leadership in business, schools, foundations, homes, sports, et cetera, is diverse.  Leadership is demonstrated economically, through organization, communication, attitude, and more.  

Personal leadership requires us to shape our own lives, to have good emotional health, good thinking skills, and to master certain skills in all fields of life--personally, in relationships, career, spiritual, and more.  We may all be able to point to examples of these skills in our own lives and the lives of those we know or have read about.  Skill is essential to leadership.  Often life requires us to pause, reflect, and then to act.  To respond in a thoughtful way.  Not merely to react.  This habit requires mindfulness, good values, practice, and the ability to imagine the possibilities.  A good leader imagines the infinite possibilities, wants, desires, legacy, safety, and health of others.  These decision points require consideration of what is at stake in events and options.    

Great leaders are those that learn, encourage learning and growth, and use their brains.  This means using their skills, talents, and gifts to create a better life and lifestyle for themselves and others.  Patience and joy are also good attributes of leaders.  The patience and enjoyment that comes in watching themselves and others develop and grow.  The mindfulness to make wise, healthy choices, and the desire to be proactive.  

As James I, King of Scots in the early 1400s noted, “I do acknowledge, that the special and greatest point of difference that is between a rightful king and an usurping tyrant is in this:  That whereas the proud and ambitious tyrant does think his kingdom and people are only ordained for satisfaction of his desires and unreasonable appetites; The righteous and just king does by the contrary acknowledge himself to be ordained for the procuring of the wealth and prosperity of his people, and that his greatest and principal worldly felicity must consist in their prosperity.”

John Winthrop, one of the founders of New England in the early 1600s explained, “we must be knit together, in this work, as one man.  We must entertain each other in brotherly affection.  We must be willing to abridge ourselves of our superfluities, for the supply of others' necessities.  We must uphold a familiar commerce together in all meekness, gentleness, patience and liberality.  We must delight in each other; make others' conditions our own; rejoice together, mourn together, labor and suffer together, always having before our eyes our commission and community in the work, as members of the same body.”

Our recognition of great leaders takes a key attribute into consideration.  Great leaders are those with relationships based on good values.  Popularity, fame, or infamy is out of bounds.  President Reagan explained in his inaugural address of 1981 that “[i]t is time for us to realize that we're too great a nation to limit ourselves to small dreams.  We have every right to dream heroic dreams.  Those who say that we're in the right place at the right time when there are no heroes, they just don't know where to look.  You can see heroes every day going in and out of factory gates.  Others, a handful in number, produce enough food to feed all of us and then the world beyond.”  

Examples abound of this kind of leadership.  In the 400s B.C. the Roman military was under assault and a farmer, named Cincinnatus, stepped up to ensure the Roman Republic did not fall to the Aequi--a tribe in northern Italy.  This devotion and life risking move was similar to that of the first president of the United States, George Washington.  His custodianship of the infant county, his military efforts and treaties with European forces made him the father of a country.  

The past, present, and future are made by people who have made a difference.  Many have explored and discovered new lands, new ideas, new commodities, and new people.  The people of the past have certainly influenced our lives and shaped our identities, from religion to government, to art and technology, to business and philosophy.  What will our world in the future look like?   The present and future is an extension of the past, history teaches us that these matters are typical, common, and vital to our existence and security.  The answers to these questions depend a lot upon the people of the present.  The leadership required is possible through the desire and pursuit of knowledge. 

As we look for those with great leadership we are looking for those that recognize their own strengths, weaknesses, and personality, as well as those of others.  Those with purpose, important, valuable, and exciting tasks to do.  We are looking for those whose learning, discoveries, and adventures are guided by some basic principles.  Leadership requires assertiveness, firmness, not aggressiveness, not passivity.  It is about individuals that know when they and others act, think, and work they begin to believe they can achieve, which builds confidence.  Those that challenge their minds and the minds of others to see that they Can!

Great leaders are good friends, mentors, family members, colleagues, and neighbors.  One reason these individuals are successful is because of excellent communication skills.  Often great leaders can tell awesome stories, express themselves, and listen more to you than they talk about themselves.  In other words, great leaders are helpers, serve, and demonstrate a willingness to give.  That does not mean in unhealthy, unethical, or immoral ways.  Fighting off temptations, applying their skills, and serving their purpose is the key.  Great leadership is not something that is a title or a job description.  Whether at home, school, in the community, or workplace, great leadership is about relationships.  Earning trust, which develops synergy and respect.  

Ultimately, great leadership originates from a value of oneself and of others.  There is authenticity, integrity, and the taking of appropriate actions.  Excellent leadership requires us to see our own roles, what we were hired to do, or what we think we are to do, and contrast that to what others see and need our roles to be.  We may see ourselves as needing to fulfill our job orders as having to organize endless meetings, while others may need us to simply serve, support, focus, and fuse the work and initiatives in the environment.  In a family, workplace, on a committee, or on a team, good leadership is a challenge.  That is why we are looking to celebrate and honor this trait.

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Credits:  FreeDigitalPhotos.net, www.royal.gov.uk, www.reagan.utexas.edu, www.pbs.org

Triscuit Berry Cornucopia ‪‎by Jesse Bluma

Triscuit Berry Cornucopia
Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven. All rights reserved.

Mixed Berries and Triscuit Recipe 

 Triscuits topped with a layer of homemade raspberry jam with balsamic vinegar, macerated blueberries, diced red Anjou pear, green apple, grapefruit, and sage to garnish.  So good you have to have more.


1 box Triscuits (whole wheat wafer crackers)
2 cups organic raspberries
8 ounces organic blueberries
1 Tablespoon raspberry balsamic vinegar
2 organic lemons
2 organic red Anjou pears
2 organic Granny Smith apples
2 organic lemons
1 organic grapefruit
Fresh, organic sage
1 cup, plus 2 Tablespoons extra fine white sugar


Wash an dry the fruit and berries, set aside.

Combine the raspberries and 1 cup extra fine white sugar in a saucepan.
Let stand for 30 minutes to macerate.
Then on high heat bring the saucepan with the macerated raspberries to a boil.
Use a spoon to skim off any foam from boiling mixture.
When the boiling raspberries have small bubbles spoon out small samples onto a plate and to test for the desired thick consistency.
Then turn turn off the heat.
Zest in 1 Tablespoon of lemon into the raspberry jam.
Next, add 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice to the jam.
Then stir in 1 Tablespoon raspberry balsamic vinegar.

Place the blueberries into a colander over a bowl.
Sprinkle the blueberries with 2 Tablespoon fine white sugar, then stir.
Let stand for 30 minutes to macerate.

Juice the remaining lemons into a large bowl.

Dice the red Anjou pears, Granny Smith apples, and grapefruit into the same size pieces.
Making sure to leave out the seeds and pith.
Place the diced pears, apples, and grapefruit into the bowl of lemon juice to prevent browning.


Spread a thin layer of raspberry jam on to each Triscuit.
Top each cracker with a macerated blueberry.
Strain the pear, apple, grapefruit mixture to remove the excess lemon juice.
Spoon a small amount of the pear, apple, grapefruit mixture on to each Triscuit.
Garnish each cracker with a snip of sage.

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Disclaimer:  No payment was accepted for editorial coverage.

Bridge of Life: Education Outreach

Bridge of Life: Education Outreach
Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven. All rights reserved.

Join us in providing educational materials and mentorship to children in Kenya, Africa.

The Bridge of Life Foundation is a non-profit organization providing support, services, and activities to youth in Nairobi that lack homes, healthy environments, and schooling.  The staff, volunteers, and mentors work with the street youth and the community at large to advocate for their education, safety, and health.  Almost 95% of the street youth we are reaching have no housing.  They are either sleeping on the streets or in the market.  Your donation will allow us to purchase school supplies, books, and other materials. 

Please join our movement online. 

Thank you, 

Jesse Bluma
Bridge of Life Foundation, president

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Hearts of Palm Ceviche by Jesse Bluma

Hearts of Palm Ceviche
Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven. All rights reserved.

Enjoy this light, tart infused ceviche during the summer holiday.  Ceviche is popular, usually prepared with seafood, along the coast of Central and South America.  A citrus marinade, leche de tigre or tiger's milk, flavors the dish and adds brightness to the ingredients.  This recipe does not call for seafood, making it more friendly to vegetarians and those concerned about uncooked fish.  Serve on its own, with homemade tortilla chips, in salad wraps, or your own variation.  This recipe may also be scaled up to serve more people.


10 ounces hearts of palm
1 teaspoon lime zest (organic)
2 lemons (organic)
2 yellow chili peppers (Hungarian peppers)
1 small shallot
2 yellow mangoes (Ata├║lfo--baby mangoes) (organic)
1/2 cup cilantro


Wash the lemons and lime.

Juice the lemons into a large bowl.

Zest the lime into the bowl with lemon juice.

Peel and wash the Mexican onion.
Thinly slice the green top of the onion. 
Dice the white bulb.  
Place the sliced and diced onion into the bowl.

Wash yellow chili peppers.
Thinly dice the yellow chili peppers, then remove the seeds and ribs of the peppers.
Place the diced peppers into the bowl.

Peel and thinly dice the shallot.
Place the diced shallot into the bowl.

Wash and cut the mangoes into thin wedges--holding the mango upright cut off each side or cheek, parallel to the seed.
Squeeze lemon juice over the mango wedges and reserve the wedges to the side.

Slice the avocado in half, lengthwise.
Remove the avocado pit.
Place the avocado halves on a cutting board, use a smaller knife to cut the flesh into diced segments with a cross-hatch pattern, keeping the avocado on the cutting board, spoon out the flesh into the bowl.
Gently mix with the lemon juice in the bowl.

Wash the orange bell pepper.  
Remove the stem from the bell pepper, then thinly slice.
Remove the seed and ribs of the bell pepper.
Set the sliced bell pepper to the side.

Chop the hearts of palm into 1/2 inch pieces.
Set the chopped hearts of palm to the side.

Plate the ingredients--spoon the bowl ingredients on to a platter, then top with the mango, bell pepper, and hearts of palm.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Gently wash and snip the cilantro with scissors, then use to garnish the ceviche. 

Serves 4

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Black and White Sandwich Cookies with Lemon Filling by Jesse Bluma

Black and White Sandwich Cookies with Lemon Filling
Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven. All rights reserved.

These cookies are deliciously perfect for formal affairs.  Each is created with two crisp cookies on the outside, a creamy lemon filling on the inside, and then dipped in quality chocolate.  Order several dozen of these elegant treats to make a sophisticated tablescape for your next party or event. 

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