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March 30, 2015

Celebrating a Friend with Tapas

Emotions are running high in our lives right now.  Two years ago an amazing young woman came in to our lives when she decided to become an au pair in the United States.  Since arriving from Basque Country, she has become a member of our family and it will be very difficult to say “see you later friend” (never goodbye) to her when she leaves next month.

As we prepare to send her off to become the amazing adult that we know she is destined to be, we are trying to spend as much time and make as many additional memories as we can with her.  For many families, an au pair is someone that they hire to care for their children.  But, fortunately for us, Garazi is more than a caregiver, she is a friend.  She integrated into our lives almost immediately playing soccer on our local indoor soccer team, coaching a youth travel soccer team, running with us in our running club and treating Mini Me like the older sister she wasn’t fortunate enough to have.  She has made so many friends in the States that many of us will be left with a hole in our hearts next month when she leaves.

So, today, at her request, we had a Tapas and Scrapbooking Girls Day.  She and one of my other friends, Debby, made the perfect Tapas – coincidentally inspiring me to share them for this week’s Meatless Monday post.  

tapas8

Bruschetta with Aioli, Balsamic Mushroom, and Goat Cheese with a Balsamic Glaze

Balsamic Glazed Mozzarella Stuffed Tomatoes with Pesto

Balsamic Glazed Mozzarella Stuffed Tomatoes with Pesto

Garazi and Debby arrived with the groceries just after Mini Me and I had finished our Cookie Bakeoff (stay tuned for that in an upcoming blog post!).  They got right to work preparing these amazing little mouthfuls.

Garazi (left) and Debby (right) preparing tapas.

Garazi (left) and Debby (right) preparing tapas.

Debby hollowed out the tomatoes, stuffed them with cubes of fresh mozzarella, topped them with pesto and drizzled them with balsamic glaze.  Garazi was busy making the aioli, toasting the baguette slices, and sauteing the mushrooms.  When she was done assembling the bruschetta, we all dove in and it was evident these ladies had been successful.  There was no talking from the group – just various octaves of “Ummmm”, “Ummmm”, “Umm” coming from each of our mouths as we savored these quintessential flavors.

After noshing on tapas, homemade beer and some girl talk at the kitchen table, we all headed to the dining room to start working on Garazi’s scrapbook of memories.

garazi-scrapbooking

Garazi, I know you are reading this because you always read my posts….

Hubby and I want you to know that our daily lives will not be the same without you.  And while our lives will keep us 3, 738 miles apart separated by an ocean, we are only a FaceTime or Skype away.  We will miss you deeply – but this is not goodbye, it’s see you later friend.  We can’t wait to see and hear all about where your dreams and goals take you.  And we definitely cannot wait to see you again under the magic of the Champs-Élysées, the Eiffel Tower and the DisneyLand Paris Half Marathon.  Until we meet again in 2016, we love you…like a daughter, like a friend, like family.  

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3 Comments on “Celebrating a Friend with Tapas

Annmarie
March 30, 2015 at 8:29 am

What a fantastic way to celebrate all that she has given to your life! Food is such a universal way to express love- especially when it is prepared together. I loved reading this post and learning more about you and your family. Best wishes to her and hugs to you as I am sure it will not be easy to say “see you later”.

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Rachel
March 30, 2015 at 10:58 am

This is the sweetest. You’re lucky to have found such an amazing au pair that turned out to be so much more. Good luck to Garazi in her travels and future endeavors. (And super yum to your recipe!)

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Nancy
June 9, 2015 at 8:29 am

These tapas recipes look fabulous!

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