Grain-Free Blueberry Scones

Scones

Numerous Breathing Room fans have requested this recipe for Grain-Free Blueberry Scones. Credit for this recipe goes to Laura Fuentes. I made these scones for my hubby last Saturday morning. They were AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS! They didn’t taste overly sweet, heavy or fatty, but light and very satisfying. We each ate 4 of them, without guilt. I will continue making these fabulous scones and encourage you to give ’em a try. They don’t take much time. You will be pleased with the outcome. High in protein and free of refined sugar, these scones make your feel better. Happy munching!

Author: Laura Fuentes, Recipe type: Breakfast & Baking, Serves: 6/7

INGREDIENTS

  • 1¾ cups blanched almond flour, sifted
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour, sifted
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup almond milk (any milk will work), divided
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted (butter will work too)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup blueberries

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F
  2. Sift your almond and coconut flours directly into a stand mixer. Add honey, egg, 3 tablespoons almond milk, butter, lemon zest, baking soda, and salt to the flours. Mix until a loose dough forms. Gently fold in blueberries.
  3. Using your biscuit cutter as a shaper, fill it with ½-3/4 inch of dough. Press it down with your hands to form scone over lined baking sheet and lift cutter as you hold down dough to release. Repeat with remaining dough.
  4. Brush scones with remaining 1 tablespoon almond milk.
  5. Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown. Allow them to cool down slightly prior to eating.

                         

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An Interview with Kendrick Slaughter – Flight Attendant

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Background

I am originally from Louisville, KY. I moved to Atlanta, GA in 1986, prior to the Olympics. I began my career in clothing working as a National Sales Representative for a wholesale formalwear company managing accounts across the Southeast US. I held that position for nearly 15 years before starting my own business, Butlers at Your Service, for a short time prior to the economic downturn in 2008. There after, I began my current career as a Flight Attendant. I celebratated my 6 year anniversary as a Flight Attendant this past July. I am based out of John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, where I now partly reside for work. During my time in the airline industry, I have worked as a Line Holding Flight Attendant and served nearly 4 years as a Special Assignment Flight Attendant teaching Customer Service and assisting Ground Operations.

Interview

1. What does a typical day look like for you?

A typical day begins at five o’clock in the morning to make a 6:30a report time. One enjoyable thing about being a Flight Attendant (FA) is that each day begins in a new city and each day is guaranteed to be different. I generally fly four flights each day. I love telling stories and this job provides me with enough material to go on for hours. Passengers often ask if I fly a standard route and my answer is not any longer. I used to choose specific routes, but after flying for so long, I like to mix it up.

2. What was the last thing that completely transformed you?

Serving as In-flight Supervisor or IFS for a short period provided me with a different perspective. I realized my heart is with the FA Group and my desire to work in an office isn’t that strong. Additionally, having gained experience in the union/office environment, I felt I could better help and serve my fellow Flight Attendants as a union officer.

3. What advice would you give a young person wanting to pursue your profession?

It’s not easy in the beginning, being away from your family and friends for extended periods of time. On call, or reserve, as it’s called, has its moments, but overall the FA career provides a great opportunity to see the world for any individual with a star personality.

4. If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?

For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Still Not Enough. It is a collection of short stories about coming of age, coming out, and arriving at one’s own self. The work is edited by Keith Boykin. I would want the president to know there are a lot of LGBT youth in this country suffering due to lack of support from family and the country as a whole.

5. How do you want to be remembered?

I simply want to be remembered as that guy who always had time to listen. Sometimes people don’t want your opinion or even an answer. They simply just want an unbiased ear.

6. What are three things that most people don’t know about you?

I enjoy cooking, gardening (floral), and when people come to visit me at my home in either NYC or Atlanta, the consisent feedback is that I’m a great tour guide.

7. If you were granted the gift to spend only one hour with a love one who has passed, how would you spend it?

I would spend that hour on a beach picnic with my mother.        

A Healthy Fall Salad: The Black Bean, Avacado Corn, Red Pepper and Red Onion Mix

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Fall is my favorite time of the year. I can hardly wait to go apple picking, smell the clean crisp air, put up autumn/fall decorations, make healthy variations of roast chicken, roast vegetables and bake apple, blueberry or peach crisp. Oh … and I also like to shop for new boots, fitted black turtleneck sweaters and pencil skirts.

But for now … I ‘m most eager to share the recipe for my newest season treat … a healthy fall salad. When you crave a nourishing meal but have little time for cooking, this is your meal. It’s hearty and oh so delicious! Enjoy!

Ingredients

2 cans of black beans

1 can of corn

1 small red onion

1 large avocado

2 medium red peppers

a handful of cilantro Lime

Red wine vinegar

Olive oil

Coarse black pepper

Sea salt

Rinse corn and black beans and pour into large bowl. Add chopped avocado, minced red onion, finely chopped red pepper and cilantro. Mix together, then add juice from the lime, 2 tbsp red wine vinegar, 2 tsp virgin olive oil and 2 pinches of coarse black pepper and seas salt. Place in fridge for an hour to allow flavors to meld. Serve w/ good artisan bread and a good dry white whine like Sauvignon Blanc.

Interview with Sujana Chand – Professional Actress and Singer

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Guest background

I am a professional actress and singer with a bachelor’s degree from Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. I have been fortunate enough to travel all over the world singing with shows such as Cirque’s “Saltimbanco” and the Broadway National tour of “Bombay Dreams”. A few of my favorite roles include The Witch in “Into the Woods”, Crystal (one of the Ronnettes) in “Little Shop of Horrors” and Hodel in “Fiddler on the Roof”. I am also a certified English teacher and when I am not performing for a living, I thoroughly enjoy helping foreign adults accomplish their language goals and follow their dreams.  www.sujanamusic.com

Interview

1. What project are you involved with now?

I am the lead singer for Cirque du Soleil’s “O” at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.

2. What are three things most people don’t know about you?

-I was born in Edison, NJ. Yes, New Jersey. Don’t judge.

-I’ve lived in roughly 25-30 different homes and apartments in my adult life.

-I love stamps. I recently started collecting them.

3. What does a typical day look like for you?

A typical day for me is pretty quiet and this is a necessity based on the demands of my job. “O” is one of the few Cirque shows with only one lead singer so the pressure to stay healthy is heavy and sometimes, no matter how carefully I take care of myself, my body has a different plan! Typically, I’ll wake up, do a short workout video followed by some yoga stretches, have my strong cup of coffee and breakfast, run errands if needed, clean a little, do some writing, warm up my voice and take a short rest with a late lunch before heading off to work around 5pm. It’s important for me to strike the right balance between productivity and rest because I need to be at my optimum energy level at 7:30 and 10pm. This is challenging because I am a morning person by nature.

4. What are your thoughts about untrained singers becoming famous from YouTube videos?

The world we live in today allows for instant exposure and people to really put themselves out there based purely on desire and drive and I commend them for it! Journey found their replacement lead singer (Arnel Pineda) on YouTube and he is just phenomenal. However, if they do in fact become famous, it won’t take long before they realize that training is essential to the longevity and maintenance of the voice. The vocal chords are fragile and can only handle so much–understanding breathe control and technique and knowing your limits are all crucial to success.

5. What are some things you do to stay emotionally and physically grounded?

Oh, boy. I’m only human and I’m not going to lie- I struggle with this one! Having said that, I am very aware of my weaknesses and I try many things to stay grounded. I love Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings and there are a few simple meditations that I often use to calm me. I also love to write and keep journals regularly. Writing helps me get out of my head and gain perspective on situations. And of course, my friends. The amount of time I spend alone to maintain my voice can be isolating, so I really look forward to my Mondays which I generally dedicate to surrounding myself with love, friends, conversation and laughter. This is a healing time for me. I am also a spiritual person. I pray every night and I call upon my angels for guidance in times of need. Lastly, eating well and a basic amount of exercise will make anyone feel better on a regular basis. I try to keep these as constants in my life. But don’t get me wrong “eating well” also means splurging at my favorite Italian or Mexican restaurant…a great meal is good for the soul.

6. What are the most used appliances in your home?

At the moment, the air conditioner (it’s summer in Las Vegas- need I say more?), the humidifier (I’m a singer in the desert- need I say more?) and the coffee maker (that one cup in the morning is essential). Of course, the fridge is always stocked as well- I’m a huge fan of Trader Joes and couldn’t live without their pre-cut, pre-washed bags of kale, spinach and power greens!!

7.  If you could sing a duet on the GMA Show, with whom would it be and what would you sing?

I would sing “Endless Love” with the late, great Luther Vandross. I love Lionel Ritchie himself (this was one of the only cassette tapes that lived in my dad’s car growing up) but Luther’s voice was like butter. His music was and continues to be so completely transporting. I can just get lost in it. I am a fan of simple melodies and touching lyrics. I don’t believe that there have to be frills and trills and money notes for a song to be timeless and beautiful.

Inspiration of the Month – Living Artfully

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Living artfully is about being in love with life, celebrating your unique talents, and creating soulful relationships. I’m a big believer in art and creativity and how it can transform your life.

I haven’t always lived artfully. The deceptive comfort of idleness and taking things for granted, had often held sway. Then I got a wake-up call. It wasn’t a huge alarm, but a subtle whisper from God nudging me to live with purpose and not take things for granted because tomorrow is not promised. The whisper also encouraged me to share my heart and talents to help others live artfully. This is all I needed to ‘hear’ to get back on track.

If you feel like your life is not going in the direction you would like, then stop and reassess your intentions. Dream bigger than the state you live in and you will be surprised by what happens. I hope to inspire you to create the life you imagine and nurture yourself with love.

Whatever it means to you, Live Artfully!

“The more I think, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.”

– Vincent van Gogh

An Interview with Nicole Cooper – TV Host and Private Chef

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Background

Nicole Cooper is the host of the TV web series,  A Taste of Nicole.  Nicole’s love of cooking was inherited from her mother at an early age. In 2001, she expanded her career in culinary arts by apprenticing in  New York City with highly trained chefs, who mentored her in classical cooking techniques.  Through hard work and determination, she became involved with the James Beard Foundation as a chef’s assistant. Nicole’s service with the James Beard Foundation provided unparalleled opportunities to work alongside  celebrity  chefs Michael Chiarello, Marcus Samuelsson and Giada DeLaurentiis, too name a few.

Prior to her career in the culinary arts, Nicole worked professionally as a performing artist in Europe and the United States.  Her performing arts credits include Grease das Musical, Jesus Christ Super Star, Porgy and Bess and Hercules. Nicole holds a BS degree  in Speech Communications and Theatre from Murray State University.

Interview

1.  Where did your passion for cooking come from?

My passion for cooking was ignited early …  when my Grandmother would cook breakfast for me and my sister.  Food nourishes my soul.  It’s my gateway to connectedness with family.

 2.  What advice would you give someone who is terrified by cooking?

One step at a time!  Do it anyway!!

3. What dinner would you prepare for the President of the United States? 

My favorite … Chicken Pot Pie with juicy shredded pulled chicken, sweet peas, pearl onions, and diced carrots with white wine and thyme.  For dessert … Bourbon Bread Pudding with a dollop of homemade whipped cream.

4. What do you hope to accomplish in your career in the next five years?

Developing and launching healthy cooking demonstration workshops in NYC public schools and further development of my pilot TV web series,  A Taste of Nicole,  with the goal of getting the series aired on the Discovery Cooking Channel.

5. What are five things no one knows about you?

Humm… Don’t laugh!  1) I love the WWF (wrestling).  2) I like fried chicken wings.  3) I love whipped cream on almost everything sweet.  4) I start celebrating Halloween at the end of  September.  5) I love the SYFY and Hallmark channels.

6. What’s the most important thing you’ve done but initially wanted to avoid?

 The Landmark Management Team Leadership Program. Very confronting.

7. What’s the most exciting thing happening for you right now?

I’m challenging myself with a personal development game called “Having it All.”  The aim is  to push beyond what I know and more often override fears that impede personal growth.

Turkey Chili and Spicy Cilantro Cornbread

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I recently made this hearty fall chili for my husband and myself.  I usually make turkey chili without spaghetti, but decided to try my mother’s version, which includes spaghetti. It was super delicious!  From now on, I’ll put a little spaghetti in my chili…it’s a total bump up!

Tip: Make the chili and cornbread at the same time. Start on the chili first, cooking the meat.

Turkey Chili

Ingredients:

1 pack ground turkey meat

2 cans of Amy’s medium chili bean

2 cans organic crushed tomatoes

3 tbsp dried cilantro

2 tbsp black pepper

Salt to taste

½ box spaghetti (I use quinoa spaghetti noodles, it’s easier on your waist)

4 cloves of garlic

1 small red onion

2/3 tbsp virgin olive oil

Directions:

1. Heat olive oil with garlic and onion in large pan (Dutch oven if available)

2. Boil water for pasta, and then cook pasta

3. Cook ground turkey meat

4. Once meat is cooked, add Amy’s medium chili bean and crushed tomatoes

5. Add cilantro, salt and pepper

6. Add spaghetti

7. Stir all ingredients together and let simmer on low

8. Remove from heat; let the chili sit for 3 minutes and enjoy

Spicy Cilantro Cornbread

Ingredients:

1 cup cornmeal

1 cup flour (any flour ok, I use almond flour)

1 cup milk

1 tbsp baking powder

4 tsp salt

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 large egg

2 tbsp dried cilantro

2 tbsp red pepper flakes

Optional: sugar 1/2 cup, which I omitted. If you like your cornbread sweet, add the sugar

Directions:

1. Mix all the dry ingredients first

2. Beat egg and add

3. Add milk and oil

3, Mix everything together

4. Pour into a 10 or 12 inch greased pan

5. Bake 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes

6. Let sit for 3 minutes, add butter on top

I hope you enjoy this wonderful hearty fall dish as much as we did.  If you decided to make it, please share tips and photos.

HAPPY FALL EATING!

An Interview with Emily Lester Cahnmann – Founder and President, EM (Events Management)

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Background

EM (Event Management) is a New York City-based event planning and coordination company with 23 years of experience behind it.  Emily has been in the event management business officially since 2002, unofficially since 1990.  Emily has managed  a wide  variety private and corporate events … different sizes, different cultures and styles, modest to upscale, indoors or outside.  EM’s clients range from the small 2 person wedding couple who wanted to get away to a destination wedding in NYC to a 500 person Indian wedding in the heart of NYC. Regardless of budget, the goal is the same – to create a successful, relaxing, fun and memorable event.  For more information, http://www.EMnyc.com  

Interview

Please explain what you do for a living?

After 20 years making a living as a singer/actress/teacher I changed careers just before my son was born.  For the past 10 years I have had my own business as a wedding coordinator (ok, planner) but I also use the term wedding “stage manager” because I have a theatre background.  That term really does speak to the nature of what I end up doing.  I help my clients in any stage of their event plan – from the beginning, helping out along the way or just putting it all together for the day of.  I also do parties (milestone birthday parties, surprise parties, showers etc…).  I find myself organizing people and their visions, being a bit of a therapist, dealing with difficult people or unforeseen situations, dealing with amazing people, being with people on one of the single most important times of their lives and dealing with nerves and families.  My work can be creative, tedious, exhausting and joyous all at the same time.

What’s the greatest compliment you’ve received?

That is such a hard question; people have been so beautiful to me and have been so generous and kind over all these years.  Compliments or rather encouragements are so special to you for many different reasons.  Getting chosen by a client for their wedding day or getting chosen for a part in a show is always such a compliment because I feel trusted and honored.  I just don’t know…  How’s that for a dodge? I guess though one of the funniest and sweet comments that I got was about 5 hours after the wedding reception was over from the groom who said I was a “rock star and savior” for their wedding (500 guest Indian wedding).  That made me smile!!

I know you’re a parent. Is your parenting style at all like your mom’s?

It is somewhat in the fact that my mother wanted us to be independent or so I thought.  I’m a girl (obviously) and I’m raising a son so I think how I was as a child is different than how my son is – does that make sense?  I feel that I’ve set a more structured life for my son in terms of classes and schooling but then again, that could be a “NYC Thing”.  I structured myself as a child – I remember clearly slating activities for myself (and making my poor mother take me if I couldn’t walk) for every single day of the week.  I was very “aware” that I needed to be “well rounded” – maybe I got this from my Mom?  She is a very well rounded person as an English, Music and Home Ec Major in college – I thought that was awesome to have 3 majors!! I am raising my son a little differently because we want him to not only be raised as a Christian but also knowing fully and experiencing his Jewish heritage and culture, the basis of Christianity.

What were your favorite books as a child?

I was a little driven as a child and only wanted to read things that helped make me better so I tended to like “how to” books or autobiographies or biographies so that I was at least learning something “real”.  I also liked the Laura Ingalls Wilder series “Little House on the Prairie”, “Little House in the Big Wood” etc….

How do you integrate healthy living into your schedule and find the balance between work and home?

One may say I haven’t found the balance but I’m still here and haven’t gone completely insane. I do try to always cook most meals at home and eat naturally – just eat real food.  We don’t usually have bread in our house much and I’ve learned that to use real food is the best way to go.  I cook with olive oil and love garlic, ginger and cinnamon as well as other tasty spices. No matter how late (and many times it’s too late) we always eat dinner together as a family.  My husband and I feel that this is really important. I have been a speed walker for 25 years and really miss it when I don’t take that time for myself physically, mentally and spiritually.  I need to be a bit more selfish with that time for myself.   Working late night helps me catch up when I have family obligations that have taken my day working hours.

What are three things most people don’t know about you?

I have 6 – you can pick the best 3.  I could probably live just fine without ever having cheese or chocolate, don’t like to see movies twice (only the really good ones do I dare watch again), prefer quiet to music sometimes. Was in the top 10 of the 1980 Miss Georgia pageant (I was 18 – ok, just do the math), have a pointed ear, had 2 imaginary friends named Deeda and Gigi (who was obviously the more sophisticated of the two – BTW, they both looked like me…………)

What person in your life makes you laugh like no other?

Such a hard question, I have a gaggle of lady friends who make me laugh a lot: my old roommate Susan, my friend Beverly and this whole group I sang with called “Intermission” from Nashville, theatre friends and friends I worked with at Disney, other long term friends and other moms at my son’s school (those fundraising activities can really get you going)of course my husband, my son and my crazy friend in Alaska named Tiffany.  I laugh a lot with a lot of people – hard question………….  I find a lot of humor in the “every day” of life.

Inspiration of the Month – Passion

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I must share a recent deeply inspiring experience … adjudicating amazing and talented dancers at the Grand National Dance Competition in Wisconsin Dells. It was like the Olympics of dance. In all my years of adjudicating dance competitions, I’ve never seen more gifted dancers and performers. In addtion to a fabulous time, I developed new relationships I’ll treasure for a long time. I left Wisconsin with a full heart and enriched creative inspiration. I thank God for bestowing the passion of dance and art inside me. I am truly grateful for what it offers … the power to heal, bless and move the soul.

Namaste

An Interview with Kelly Kinsella – Writer, Actor and Comedian

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Background

Writer, actor, and comedian Kelly Kinsella has finally found a home as an artist, where she will present her body of work, at The Cell Theatre in Chelsea – a stone’s throw away from her home as a human near Penn Station, where she often fantasizes about packing up her murphy bed and running away to the woods where she can read books and plays by her inspirations: Edward Albee, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams and Martin McDonough. She kissed Martin on TONY night when his play, The Pillowman was nominated. She worked as a dresser on that show on Broadway and is a proud member of the theatrical stage union. Currently she is a dresser with Jersey Boys.

Kelly is taking the slow, cheap path to success- no MFA, no debt, and so far, no big breaks. A Facebook friend recently applauded Kelly for still “chipping away” at her career which she decided to take as a compliment.

Kinsella’s style is unique, personal yet universal and in the vein of storytellers Lily Tomlin, David Sedaris, and John Leguiziamo. She continues to receive positive reviews for her work, including this one from Backstage which she thought for a long time was awesome- “She thrums with the aggressive, ruthless humor of many male comics, but underneath is the touching neurotic charm of a still unmarried woman.”-until her PR pointed out that “thrums” has an annoying connotation.

Kelly kind of wishes she could just do yoga for the rest of her life but she doesnt have a rich husband. She does however find solace and contentment in cooking for her boyfriend, friends and family. Once in awhile, she performs stand up in New York and Los Angeles.

Interview

 1. What are three things most people don’t know about you?

I make myself laugh every day. I taught English in the Czech Republic for a year when I was 23. I’m a bad dish washer.

2. What’s the most exciting thing happening for you right now?

I was invited to create a new one woman show for the tenth annual soloNOVA Festival in NYC at the end of this month. I had a very short deadline and I think I’m going to make it!! Phew! Its the most reputable theatre festival for solo performance artists in the city; my  one woman show, When Thoughts Attack was one of eight shows selected for the ninth annual festival. The artistic director liked it so much she asked me back to do something totally brand new. The show is about that experience. How to create something out of nothing and the pressures and freedom an artist may find in doing that!

3. How do you integrate healthy living into your schedule and find the balance between work and home?

Well, I don’t have a family so the pressure should be less. “Should.” That being said I am very much a do-er and so I sometimes struggle with keeping the house clean, the fridge stocked and my boyfriend happy! I pretty much have two full time jobs but I seem to have more energy now than I did at 20. I am very health conscious. I belong to a CSA and will be getting my first pick up in a few weeks, which is both exciting and overwhelming. I’m constantly cooking to keep up! I like to juice but it takes half an hour with the clean-up and all-ain’t nobody got time for dat! And I tend to be on to some other activity like cycling or yoga by the time I’ve finished the last sip. I cycle to get around the city so that keeps me fit without even trying. Yoga has become a passion; I’ve practiced now for over 20 years. Its the only place I’m able to shut up and keep still.

4. What advice would you give to someone who has the heart for acting and writing but no talent?

I don’t know about that. No talent. That’s a tough one. I don’t know anymore if that is necessarily true. I think its more about passion and less about talent. Are you passionate about something? Enough to sacrifice everything else? Are you blessed with a voice that needs to speak? Through your art? If you are blocked, if you block yourself, then maybe that appears to the outside eye as having no talent. Blocking is different than being conflicted. Being internally conflicted often is the case for many great artists. But those types often just get in the way of their own success. These are two different issues I think.

5. What makes writing alive for you?

Its alive when I simply SIT DOWN AND DO IT! I love to write but I avoid it like the plague! I still struggle with the discipline of it. I talk about sacrifice earlier and that’s hard for me too! I love nature and taking walks- especially in the spring. I’m a painter too and I want to be doing that- especially now when all the flowers are blooming. These things all feed each other and since my writing stems from the experiences I have in my day to day life, I try not to be so hard on myself. A friend gave me great advice and said to put on music that inspires you while you write. It sets the tone for your writing that day- it makes you happy to be there.

6. If you could meet any writer, dead or alive, who would it be? What would you want to know?

I’m obsessed with Tennessee Williams. His plays are poetry in motion on a stage. Wow! What a life he had- what a life he portrayed -in each and every one of his characters. The drama! The humour! The humanity! He had a wild imagination but he had an even wilder truth. I would want to know what made him happy day to day. I would want to know his rituals- with his diet, his writing practice, his socializing, etc…I would want to find a nugget in there of something that would inspire me, and I would steal it and make it my own. And I would feel better about myself as an artist, and hope that maybe- just maybe-I could deliver something so rich and honest as he was able.

 7. How do you want to be remembered?

I want to be remembered as a reliable person who made people laugh hard and think harder and who also made a great tiramisu.