The start of the kids’ April vacation came with parent-teacher conferences. For some, this is probably a stressful time–what a way to begin what should be a welcome break? Luckily, my kids don’t have to worry about that.
A couple years ago, we had more cause for concern. My daughter encountered an educator on her last year before retirement who has had a reputation from when my siblings went through that same school as being…difficult. My girl is sensitive. She feels everything in a big way. Her feelings are easily hurt. And she withered that year. Formerly a shining star, both bright of mind and spirit, her grades declined…and her personality dulled. It was horrible to observe.
Last year, my girl had the best teacher she could possibly have to recover her love for learning. He was patient, kind, considerate, and worked with her. He knew the talent that was hidden inside, and did what he could to draw it out. He found what excited her and used that as a tool to bring her back around again. And this year, it’s paying off. She’s flourishing, once more.
Both of my kids are, actually. Performing above grade level. Devouring knowledge. My son is a little bit of a whiz with numbers, and he’s always been that way. Both of them love fractions–I think they’re my kids…?–and my boy’s teacher told me that she’s tossed mathematical problems to him that other kids have struggled with just to see what he can do with them. He solves them. Then demonstrates a few other ways he could solve them. Because he’s awesome like that. My daughter was more of a writer and reader (definitely know where she gets that from), but managed to take her Math grade from a B at the beginning of the year to an A+ for the 3rd marking period. WOW! She’s come so far since 3rd grade’s setback!
I really am a lucky mom. Because, to be honest, they’re doing this all on their own. I work full-time out of town, so they usually do their homework at my parents’ house after school. I remind them to read when I get home, and I might do flash cards occasionally with my son, but there’s just so much going on when I get home that there isn’t time for much. There might be an activity to run to, but it’s mostly eat, wash-up, get ready for bed. And, let’s face it, when I am home, I’m often working on blog stuff. But I’m also able to do that because they’re so independent. We make a great team.
So, in honor of them and their achievements, I’m presenting you with a new weeknight meal. Another way to show you care by actually cooking (because I also don’t always feel like doing that when I get home) without having to sacrifice much of that precious time on weeknights. I am not exaggerating when I say that this takes 15 minutes. And sure, you could make burgers… but it’s infinitely easier to just throw that meat in the pan, mash it around a bit, and go for the essence of them instead. More fun, too! My kids call them lettuce tacos, which I guess you can, too. Regardless of what you call them, Cheeseburger Lettuce Wraps give the feeling of a drive-thru burger…with much better ingredients from your own kitchen. I’m so pleased that these turned out exactly the way I envisioned when I thought them over for a couple of days first. I hope you like them, too!
Here’s to our children’s victories!
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound ground beef
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- 5 Tablespoons (1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon) ketchup
- 2 Tablespoons yellow mustard
- 2 Tablespoons hamburger relish
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- ½ cup diced red onion
- 6-8 Bibb lettuce leaves
- 6-8 slices deli American cheese (I prefer Land O'Lakes)
- Place a 3.5 quart saute pan over medium heat and add the olive oil to the pan. Once warm, add the ground beef, break it up, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Cook until browned, stirring frequently.
- Drain the fat and add the ketchup, mustard, and hamburger relish; stir. (Taste and see if it's the right strength for you--if it doesn't remind you of a drive-thru cheeseburger, adjust accordingly.)
- Add the tomato and onion and stir.
- Lay out the Bibb lettuce leaves and lay a slice of cheese on top of each. Spoon the burger mixture over the cheese and serve.