Lemon-laced cake with seasonal goodies stirred in makes for the perfect summer dessert. Karen Schneider / For The Forecaster

I really enjoy a good burger, especially done up on the grill. Sometimes I want to have something a little fancier than the usual. Basting a turkey burger with sweet bourbon glaze and serving them up on a flaky bun with creamy Gruyere and a bit of greens (for health reasons) makes a cookout more special.

Karen Schneider cooks and writes in the village of Cundys Harbor. You can reach her at [email protected]

Of course, you can make this glaze to keep on hand for all your burger cravings throughout the summer. You may even want to slather it over a meatloaf come fall when you’re thinking about an oven meal on a chilly day.

Another flexible, delicious recipe that also includes a tasty glaze is this cake laced with lemon. (You know how I like that!) This is what I would call a “snacking” cake. It can be served for brunch, morning coffee break, afternoon tea or dessert. The zucchini makes this cake incredibly fluffy and moist. As I mixed it together, I thought even the batter was pretty with its flecks of green zucchini, yellow lemon zest and blueberries.

I also thought this batter would work baked up as muffins, in bread pans or as a Bundt cake. Just adjust your baking time accordingly. The lemon glaze is really good, but you could also choose to serve this with blueberry sauce instead or add a crunchy streusel topping to your creation.

Another idea would be to use raspberries instead of blueberries since those are in season right now!

Bourbon-Glazed Turkey Burgers

1 1/2 pounds 85% lean ground turkey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon bourbon glaze (below)
1 tablespoon butter, optional
1 cup Gruyere cheese, shredded
4 Brioche-style buns
2/3 cup micro greens

Combine ground turkey with glaze, salt and pepper. Form mixture into four patties.

Preheat grill pan or grill to high. (If using a pan, use the butter. If not, omit.) If using charcoal, push it to one side so you have both direct and indirect heat. Place the burgers on the indirect heat side or place the grill pan over medium-high heat and cook burgers until golden brown. Flip the burgers and brush with glaze. Continue to cook until done, basting with more glaze a few times. Remove from heat and pile cheese on top. Cover with foil to allow the cheese to melt and the burgers to rest.

Toast buns and brush glaze on the inside of each. Place a burger on each bun and top with micro greens. Yield: 4 servings

Bourbon Glaze

2/3 cup bourbon whiskey
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 1 lemon

In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients except lemon juice. Cook over medium heat while stirring frequently until mixture starts to thicken. Add lemon juice and continue to cook the glaze for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. The mixture should be reduced by half of the original volume to a thick syrup when finished.

Blueberry Zucchini Squares

2 cups shredded zucchini (do not pack)
1/2 cup buttermilk (or 1/2 cup milk mixed with 1 teaspoon lemon juice)
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup butter, softened
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour, divided
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh or frozen (do not thaw) blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 15-by-10-by-1-inch baking pan. In a small bowl, combine zucchini, buttermilk, lemon zest and lemon juice; toss to combine.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy for 5-7 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time. In another bowl, whisk together 3 1/4 cups flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture alternately with zucchini mixture, mixing well after each addition. Toss blueberries with remaining flour and fold into batter.

Transfer batter to prepared pan, spreading evenly. Bake 30-35 minutes or until light golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Yield: 24 squares

Lemon Glaze

2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt

In a small bowl, mix all ingredients until smooth; drizzle or spread over top of cake. Let stand until set.

Comments are not available on this story.