Beef and Chili Bean Lettuce Cups

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by Amy on June 7, 2012 · 14 comments

After Monday, I felt it best to stop wearing mascara. For the remainder of the week, anyway. Because it’s just ended up running down my face from all the crying. 

I’m not really a sentimental person, in the sense that I don’t collect movie stubs or concert tickets from a great date. And I don’t particularly get nostalgic when reminded of my childhood or college years. And honestly, I don’t even save all of Haley and Trevor’s school art projects (gasp! bad mom!) But O.M.G. my kids’ accomplishments destroy me like a Sarah McLachlan ASPCA commercial.

Today is Haley’s last day of Kindergarten. I would never have thought I’d be so emotional about it, but it’s been a long year, filled with highs and lows. Kindergarten isn’t what it used to be!

I cried when I gave her teacher this. And I cried when she gave me my gift, which included a handwritten card from all of her students, who I have become extremely attached to after volunteering every single Friday for 9 months.

Then came their promotion ceremony, where 120 kids sang songs that didn’t leave a dry eye in the house. The climax, for me, was when Haley (and only 13 other kids) were honored with an actual award for not missing one single day of school. The teachers said that for a Kindergartener to have perfect attendance is exceptional. We’re so proud. I don’t think I’ll make it through her high school graduation.

So all the thank you’s, good-bye’s, hugs, and constant activity this week have drained me. These lettuce cups came in and saved the day yesterday. Easy, yummy finger food for one tired and hormonal mama!

Beef and Chili Bean Lettuce Cups
Serves 6
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

• 1 pound lean ground beef
• 8 strips of sliced bacon, roughly chopped to small pieces
• 1/2 a sweet onion, finely diced
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1 (15 ounce) can chili beans in sauce
• 1/4 cup chopped parsley or chopped scallion greens
• Iceberg lettuce leaves
• shredded extra sharp Cheddar cheese
• avocado, cut into cubes with lime juice squeezed over them
• salsa

In a large non-stick skillet, over medium-high heat, fry the bacon until crispy. Use a slotted spoon to transfer bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Pour off any remaining bacon fat from the pan and return to medium-high heat.

Add the beef, onion, and garlic to the hot pan. Cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until no pink remains, about 3 minutes. Drain off fat and return pan to heat. Add the can of beans with their sauce, stir well and bring up to a simmer. (You can simmer it for a few minutes to thicken the sauce, if necessary.)

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the parsley.

To serve, stack 2 lettuce leaves, scoop desired amount of filling, and top with cheese, avocado cubes, and a dollop of salsa.

(thanks to Rebecca at Foodie With Family)

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

sippitysup June 11, 2012 at 8:31 am

Well after I got over the coincidence of the lettuce cups I went back and actually read the post, and feel I need to pipe (back) in. Because the paint can was so creative, but every Friday of volunteering is a mom accomplishment of the highest order. Kids art projects will be many. The waning days of kindergarten are moments to grasp forever. Now I am crying… GREG


sippitysup June 11, 2012 at 8:26 am

Lettuce cups! That is funny. It has to be a coincidence right? GREG


Melissa June 8, 2012 at 5:05 am

I think sentimental and emotional are two separate things, really. I am *highly* emotional and will choke up at the drop of a hat, but not sentimental in the least. I would have bawled watching Haley graduate and so I’d be shocked if you hadn’t. :) Please. So proud of her!


This Chick Cooks Real Foods June 7, 2012 at 6:21 pm

Those lettuce cups sound delicious. I love the addition of bacon and avocado. Yum!


Cher June 7, 2012 at 1:03 pm

*hugs* my friend! We will look back at 8th grade grad and smile at us now. But…enjoying it now. Even the crying.


Amy June 7, 2012 at 2:23 pm

I know. I hope I get tougher as the years go by! We have so many highs and lows ahead of us…glad we’ll go through it together. Thanks for getting me through Kindergarten! <3


Joanne June 7, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Is it weird that I’ve never even met Haley and I’m practically crying out of pride?? Man, they grow up way too fast.


Amy June 7, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Thanks, Joanne. I talk about her so damn much, that you feel like you know her. Think of how you’ll feel when she graduates from college!


Sandi June 7, 2012 at 7:45 am

I know the river of tears, all so very well!!! Cried them for my kids (34 & 31) and now, the river overflows yet again, with the grand babies. Joseph “graduated” to Kindergarten. Kyleah our “over achiever” bridged from Brownies to Girl Scouts yesterday, got an award for selling the most girl scout cookies (628 boxes :-)) Aced her 50 state test and her teacher asked to keep her state banner, so that she can show an exceptionable example to her students next year. Then came the music program, where she was on only 3rd grader ever to get all her “belts” on her recorder. (She played a solo) Your mom tears Amy are only beginning…..cherish ever wet Kleenex!!! OH and the recipe looks awesome!!!!


Amy June 7, 2012 at 2:18 pm

“…so that she can show an exceptionable example to her students next year.” Isn’t that just the best? LOVE IT!


Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary June 7, 2012 at 6:34 am

OMG what a baby you are. Cry, cry, cry. I can’t believe you……KIDDING! I am such a crybaby it’s not even funny. I cry at commercials, I cry every time I see someone getting married, even if I don’t know them, births….forgitaboutit! I’m a mush bag. I almost cried this morning cause my baby turned 17 today!

I’m making these this w/e. Thanks Rebecca!


Amy June 7, 2012 at 2:12 pm

I was just saying to Milisa over at Miss in the Kitchen (who’s son also turned 17 today!) how I think having my kids later in life has made me more emotional…all those hormones have been backed up! I’m pleading with my friends to stop sending me videos and pictures of soldiers coming home to their kids and pets. I can’t take it!


Rachel @ Baked by Rachel June 7, 2012 at 5:28 am

As much as I truly hope I can manage to keep it together when my oldest is in kindergarten next year – I think I may cry too. I’m super emotional. I might have to indulge in these seemingly mini taco salads (that’s what they look like to me mmm mmm) to cheer me up. ;)


Amy June 7, 2012 at 2:13 pm

You’ll be a mess. I’d put money on it!


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