Why did this burger recipe appeal to me? I got to produce my own “ground” chicken and got to include some apple in the mix. These were the “Juicy Chicken Burgers,” from the August 2008 issue of Cuisine at Home, with a garnish of “Spicy Special Sauce” (recipe below). The result? We enjoyed wonderfully juicy burgers with a fantastic sweet and tangy sauce.

Spicy Special Sauce

2 Tbsp. 2% cottage cheese
2 Tbsp. reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. yellow mustard
2 Tbsp. sweet pickle relish
1 Tbsp. shallots, chopped
2 tsp. ketchup
1 tsp. chile garlic sauce
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Purée all ingredients except parsley and seasonings in a mini food processor until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl. Stir in parsley, salt and pepper.

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I processed less than one half of a Ginger Gold apple (rather than the suggested Braeburn apple) along with the 1/4 cup of onion, then added my cubes of chicken breast to the food processor in order to obtain the “chopped-meat quality” that I needed. I grilled these burgers in a pan on my stove top for 8:30 total. I liked the funky recipe for the sauce, as well. Cottage cheese? Pickle relish? This was fun to put together. Instead of using chile garlic sauce, I added extra ketchup, in the interests of my child’s palate. I did not add any salt or pepper to this sauce, because the mustard gave it all the flavor it needed. I served the burgers on buns with a slice of tomato. I definitely need to enjoy these burgers again, some time soon.

And speaking of “funky” … I was drawn into making the “Cucumber and Watermelon Salad,” from Allrecipes.com, customized for five servings, when I imagined the combination of watermelon and balsamic vinegar. And what was it? A sweet and vinegary combination that was very easy to prepare and that my child liked. Was there too much vinegar here? Perhaps. But it’s a good salad to throw together and it’s one that I -- sadly -- need to bid farewell to summertime with.

RECIPES: enjoy juicy, delicious burgers and make many for many friends, while you throw them this curve ball of a salad that’s a fun kick
you can have a complete meal ready in 30 minutes
a meal abundant in sweet, juicy, tanginess

Next time, I want to make a meal we can snuggle up with. I’ll cook “Caribbean-Style Flounder,” from 1,001 Delicious Recipes for People with Diabetes, by Sue Spitler, Linda R. Yoakam, and Linda Eugene, along with “Toasted Orzo with Peas and Parmesan,” from Cooksillustrated.com. Return to my site on Tuesday, November 4, to see what happens.