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10-Second Recipes: It's No Mystery That Secret Sauce Is an Easy, Economical Way to Jazz Up Your Summer Burgers
 (10 seconds each to read and are almost that quick to prepare)

By Lisa Messinger
Food and Cooking at Creators Syndicate

It's no secret that barbecuing is a big part of the summer. What often is more of a mystery, though, is the simple strategy that can give you signature grilled dishes in minutes: secret sauce.

A dollop here and a dollop there equal delight with virtually no work. Hamburger chains have long trumpeted their mystery recipes and with good reason. They usually feature distinctive flavor from just a few key ingredients. When you add a sauce onto cooked burgers, other meat, poultry, fish burgers and bean or other vegetarian patties just before serving – as opposed to, or in addition to, a separate marinade, baste or glaze – you get flavor that really pops rather than being subtle.

Fun fare like this also proves food preparation can be easy, nutritious, economical, fun – and fast. They take just 10 seconds each to read and are almost that quick to prepare. The creative combinations are delicious proof that everyone has time for tasty home cooking and, more importantly, the healthy family togetherness that goes along with it! The kidlets will not only enjoy eating it, but being front-and-center with you as you all prepare it together.

--- For an easy start, think of a basic grill item you always prepare and the condiment you usually serve with it. Do an epicurean expansion from there - not much could be easier than hot dogs with mustard or hamburgers with ketchup. Cooking Light Complete Cookbook based on the popular magazine, shows how to easily improve it from there:

--- For 8 servings, combine 1 / 2 cup prepared mustard, 1 /4 cup honey and 1 / 2 teaspoon grated, peeled fresh ginger.

--- For 4 servings, combine 1 / 4 cup ketchup, 1 / 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 / 4 teaspoon chili powder and 1 / 4 teaspoon hot sauce.

--- Other condiments also provide fantastic foundations. Homemade or store-bought salad dressings are great bases. Popular restaurant chain Chili's, for instance, has served mini beef burgers boosted by a jalapeno ranch dressing and mini chicken sandwiches with an ancho chili version. You can do the same using bottled versions of similar condiments as foundations.

--- With this being barbecue season, barbecue sauce also has an edge. Zip it up with add-ins, such as Cooking Light's suggestion of fresh blueberries, balsamic vinegar, sugar, ketchup, garlic powder and salt all to taste. Or, as the Cattlemen's Beef Board does, use the simple addition of fruit preserves to make a splash.

QUICK TIP OF THE WEEK:  Dark raisins are an everyday snack with which many kids are familiar. Golden raisins from white grapes, though, sweeter and often used in baking, are not as well known. If you keep a box in the refrigerator, which makes the dried fruit chewier, and dole out small handfuls as treats, chances are your kids will consider them akin to bites of candy.

Lisa Messinger 
is a first-place winner in food and nutrition writing from the Association of Food Journalists and the National Council Against Health Fraud and author of seven food books, including the best-selling The Tofu Book: The New American Cuisine with 150 Recipes (Avery/Penguin Putnam) and Turn Your Supermarket into a Health Food Store: The Brand-Name Guide to Shopping for a Better Diet (Pharos/Scripps Howard). She writes two nationally syndicated food and nutrition columns for Creators Syndicate and had been a longtime newspaper food and health section managing editor, as well as managing editor of Gayot/Gault Millau dining review company. Lisa traveled the globe writing about top chefs for Pulitzer Prize-winning Copley News Service and has written about health and nutrition for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, Reader's Digest, Woman's World and Prevention Magazine Health Books. Permission granted for use on
Tags: 10 Second Recipes, Budget, Cooking Light Complete Cookbook, Economical, Gourmet, Health, Potholders, Recipes, Stay-at-Home Mom
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