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Flank Steaks and Creamed Kale with Sunchokes Two Ways

Flank Steaks and Creamed Kale
with Sunchokes Two Ways

Flank steak has an excellent flavor and texture to serve as the main component of a meal, turned into fajitas, or sandwiches.  Sunchokes are also a favorite of mine, providing earthy and crisp flavor to salads when fresh or great depth of flavor when roasted.  


Flank steaks
Olive oil

Creamed Kale
Heavy cream
Parmesan cheese

Roasted sunchokes
Sunchoke matchsticks
Sunflower seeds, toasted

This delicious meal recipe comes from Blue Apron.
"Blue Apron is a fresh ingredient and recipe delivery service that helps chefs of all levels cook incredible meals at home."

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Thai Chicken Meatballs with Red Coconut Curry, Bok Choy, and Rice Noodles

Thai Chicken Meatballs
with Red Coconut Curry, Bok Choy, and Rice Noodles

This recipe can be prepared to your spice level preference.  A little or a lot of red curry paste adds heat and interest to the flavor profile of this dish.  I recommend using a cookie scoop to make each meatball uniform in size.  Wide rice noodles may be substituted with shirataki noodles, shredded cabbage, or whole grain wide noodles.


Ground chicken
Olive oil, scallions, lemon grass, cilantro stems, garlic, and fresh ginger cooked.

Coconut Curry
Curry paste
Coconut milk
Bok choy
Lime, juiced

Wide Rice Noodles
Cilantro and scallions to garnish

This recipe comes from Blue Apron.
"Blue Apron is a fresh ingredient and recipe delivery service that helps chefs of all levels cook incredible meals at home."

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Crispy Salmon and Barley-Fennel "Risotto" with Fresh Herb and Walnut Salad

Crispy Salmon & Barley-Fennel "Risotto"
with Fresh Herb and Walnut Salad

This recipe is aromatic and composed with bright flavors and crunchy textures.  Barley risotto is an excellent dish to learn to make, as it can be made in a variety of ways for many cuisines.  


Fennel fronds
Fennel pollen
Walnuts, toasted
Lemon, juiced
Olive oil

Pearled barley
Fennel stems and bulb cooked with red onion

Salmon fillets
Salt and pepper

This recipe comes from Blue Apron.  "Blue Apron delivers original, step-by-step recipes and fresh ingredients to customers nationwide."  I discovered the company through as friend and thought I would give it a week long trial.  The deliveries are enjoyable, although not something everyone may be able to keep up with on a daily or weekly basis.  There is the option to choose the frequency of deliveries, making the service more manageable to fit your own lifestyle.

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What to do in Community Unrest

What to do in Community Unrest

Great leadership is proactive, not destructive.   Violence, theft, looting, is not appropriate in response to the outcomes of trials, elections, or sporting events within free and open societies.  The rule of law is essential to keeping our communities strong and healthy.  We may have social disagreements, yet we must uphold the rights, freedoms, and safety of all.

 "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." (Evelyn Beatrice Hall)

For example, the criminal activity following the decision of a grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri to not indict a police officer after the fatal shooting of an 18 year old male does not help the case of those that disagree with the outcome, nor honor the lives of the officer and the 18 year old.   All involved must now face the consequences of injuries, lost property, lost businesses, and diminished property values, while the direct families involved must grieve.

We take away a few lessons from this case.  1.  Immediately report and call for police security if you live in a town or work in a city where tensions are instigated to the point of violence.  2.  Before joining in such criminal activity think about your purpose, what are you protesting?  Why are you thinking about committing criminal acts?  3.  Are you being manipulated or used in a political and/or social manner by community organizers that do not value your life?  Rather, they seek to instigate unrest for their own political goals and gains.  4.  Most importantly, seek personal health and wellness in your own mind, body, and soul.  Create the best family for yourself and be a model citizen for your children and others.

"Chaos in Ferguson: Looting, arson, gunshots"

"Surveillance video shows looters targeting ferguson market"

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Credits:  HLN,

Mo-chica Restaurant Review by Jesse Bluma

Mo-chica Restaurant Review

It is always excellent to stumble upon a new restaurant, especially when the menu offers items that are thoughtfully constructed with good flavor and creativity.  I came across Mo-chica with a friend while looking for a place to eat before an event.  The name, Mo-chica, refers to the pre-Incan time of Peru, which roots the menu in a rich culture.   

“Mo-chica is a vibrant, urban restaurant serving Chef Ricardo Zarate’s modern interpretations on traditional Peruvian comfort food.  Zarate’s cooking philosophy blends his upbringing with experience from his professional résumé. As one of 13 siblings, he first found his calling at the stove in his family’s kitchen in Lima, Peru, next to his mother and grandmother, from whom he learned many of his cooking techniques. He went on to attend his hometown’s top culinary school, Instituto de las Américas, after which he headed to London to practice his craft. Zarate worked in the city for 12 years with various positions at top restaurants and hotels, including One Aldwych, Gordon Ramsey Pengelly’s, and noted Japanese restaurant Zuma. It was at the latter that Zarate perfected his style of integrating French and Japanese techniques and products with the flavors from his native country.”  

Solterito: salad

Alfajores: cookies

My Recommendations

1.  The restaurant is located at 514 West 7th Street, Los Angeles, California.  Public parking is located within a few minute walk of the restaurant at Pershing Square Garage (530 S Olive Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013).  Valet is also available.  On busy nights consider taking a taxi or car service.  

2.  Peak times occur during weekdays and nights, especially weekend nights.  You may wish to visit for lunch as soon as they open on a weekend.  Make sure to make reservations.

3.  The menu consists of moderately expensive small plates.  The small plates make it possible to taste various items and share with others.  Four plates could be shared between two people.  

4.  I enjoyed the following dishes.  

GRILLED ARTICHOKE:  Braised artichoke, huacatay (herb) butter, rocoto (red pepper) aioli

CEVICHE CARRETILLERO:  Seabass, rocoto, red onion, leche de tigre, choclo, cancha.  Terms to know:  Rocoto is a species of red pepper found in Central America and South America.  Leche de tigre is a lime juice sauce.  Choclo is Peruvian corn.  Cancha is an Andean version of corn nuts.    

ARROZ CON POLLO:  Chicken, cilantro rice, salsa criolla (an onion relish)

QUINOTTO:  Quinoa risotto, wild mushrooms, parmesan, parsley infused oil

5.  Afterwards you may wish to visit some of the other establishments, stores, sites, and activities in the area.  

Note:  a 20% gratuity is added to parties of six or more.


Update:  Mo-Chica has closed.
Visit for more information on Chef Zarate.

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The Spotlight Campaign: Taste by Jesse Bluma

The Spotlight Campaign:  Taste


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 October we celebrated honor.  Those that exhibit fine character, intuition for the truth, and great reputations.  Individuals making great strides in liberating their lives and the lives of others through powerful and kind acts.

November:  This month we are spotlighting great taste.  We are looking for those that demonstrate mindful choices and actions from business to community, relationships to cooking, self-treatment to art, fashion to humor.  We look to spotlight those void of snobbery, rather look to those doing excellent things, making their life and the life of others more enjoyable, more beautiful, and of higher quality.  

Taste is something that can be cultivated through good habits and learned through observation, asking questions, practicing, effort, and exploration.  A sense of taste in good wine, friends, clothing, presentations, and more requires “discerning and appreciating what is excellent”.  It is an active approach to living life.  Some relativists may argue taste varies person-to-person.  Taste instead is normative, it’s whatever is pleasurable, makes someone feel good, or what they think looks good or is right for them.  Taste though is more than preference.  Debating taste often is a disguise and deflection from poor judgement or insecure feelings.  Especially when talking about taste in the realms of politics, society, music, relationships, or clothing.  Taste, as with goodness, rightness, equality, as matters of living, do not rely on popular opinion.  Nor whose voice is louder.  Taste is rather a means of healthy well-being.  

Ownership is key to good taste.  If you mess up a recipe for double chocolate cake and ignore the sour expressions of those eating it, then good taste requires acknowledging you messed up.  Before producing a movie, it is best to think through the message, the theme, and the quality of the work before creating a cinematic injustice.  Acceptance of the truth is another key to good taste, rather than disguising your flaws and errors behind the philosophy of relativism.  Learning, observing, and avoiding bad decisions to begin with is essential to living life with good taste.

As we look for individuals that are hallmarks of good taste we look to those that role model good reasoning and positive features.  Rather than stereotypes by social class or status.  Individuals with good taste are mindful in their living, asking good questions all the time:  “Why am I buying this item?”, “Why am I creating this presentation?”, “Why am I dating this person?”  This inquisitive nature and sensibility is rooted in quality.  No cheap thrills, nothing simply for a quick, fleeting moment of gratification. 

We eat the foods we think we deserve.  This same concept is true in our relationships, finances, and friendships.  Eating poorly made foods, fast foods, foods with little nutrients, foods that don’t have great flavor is not liberating, is not an expression of freedom, it is not living.  The metaphor carries over into other life choices we make as well, drugs, certain relationships, overspending, etc.  Each of these has several opportunity costs.  That brings us to the big question.  Why do we do it?  Why do we do the things that we know don’t elevate our lives and the lives of others.  When we think we are not worthy, when we don’t respect ourselves, when we are fearful it opens doors to bad eating, bad relationships, bad spending, and much more.  

Avoiding traps, avoiding the metaphorical alligators, snakes, and bears in life is key.  Bad taste or bad decisions can be avoided.  Don’t paint your whole bedroom bright red or neon orange.  Especially if you want to sleep.  Don’t fool yourself into thinking you have created avant-garde art, when you actually created something of poor craftsmanship, offensive to someone’s sacred beliefs, or use profanity as a means to get attention.  Don’t fool yourself into thinking shorts and a t-shirt is appropriate attire for any occasion.  As patrons of the arts, music, food, and more we must beware falling into “The Emperor’s New Clothes” syndrome, jumping on the bandwagon, and letting others such as celebrities fill our minds with what to do or think.  Bias and dishonesty are not hallmarks of good taste.  

This month is for those individuals that masterfully personify taste and those that encourage us to do well and be well through great taste as well.  Tell us the person you wish to spotlight for good taste and why.

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Chocolate Chip and Ginger Oatmeal Cookies by Jesse Bluma

Chocolate Chip and Ginger Oatmeal Cookies

These cookies are a sweet indulgence with the warm flavors of ginger and cinnamon.  A flavorful combination of chocolate chips, organic crystallized ginger, and spices.   Order several dozen of these elegant treats to make a sophisticated tablescape for your next party or event. 

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Chewy Chocolate Chip, Pistachio, and Apricot Cookies by Jesse Bluma

Chewy Chocolate Chip, Pistachio, and Apricot Cookies

Meet the gourmet soft cookie made with quality ingredients -- chocolate chips, pistachios, dried apricot, and oatmeal.  Sometimes you have to relax and have a cookie by yourself.  Or better yet, share some with family and friends.  These are the cookies for that occasion.

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Chocolate Chip, Toasted Pecan, Pistachio, and Chopped Date Cookies by Jesse Bluma

Chocolate Chip, Toasted Pecan, Pistachio, and Chopped Date Cookies

These cookies harness the wonderful flavors and textures of chocolate, toasted pecans,  pistachios, and chewy chopped dates.  A treat that surely honors the heritage of its roots with quality ingredients.  Sandwich two cookies with a scoop of homemade vanilla bean ice cream for a fantastic dessert.

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Chewy Chocolate Chip and Date Cookies: Uros by Jesse Bluma

Chewy Chocolate Chip and Date Cookies:  Uros

A soft cookie made with quality ingredients, including chocolate chips, chopped dates, and oatmeal.  Gift these chewy cookies to yourself or your best friend.  

A rich culture exists between Peru and Bolivia dating back before the Inca.  The islands, rivers, and climate provide a bounty of foods, including dates, oranges, cherries, plantains, and cacao.  These cookies celebrate the culture and traditions of the Uro.

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Pistachio Chocolate Chip Cookies by Jesse Bluma

Pistachio Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies embrace the spirit of coastal living from Laguna to Lima, Madrid to Santiago, San José to Bogotá.  Made with high quality chocolate and slightly salty pistachios, these cookies attract all kinds of attention with their sweet, buttery flavor.  Order several dozen of these elegant treats to make a sophisticated tablescape for your next party or event. 

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Triscuit with Pea and Cotija Spread topped with Andouille

Triscuit with Pea and Cotija Spread topped with Andouille

This recipe will satisfy your appetite for a salty, sweet, and savory snack.  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 cotija 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)

For the andouille

2 organic andouille sausages, diced, and prepared in a skillet on medium heat.


Apply a thin layer of walnuts on each cracker.
Top with a layer of the pea spread.
Then garnish with andouille.

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