Cooks Exchange

Cruise with these favorites: Bacon cheeseburger and an open-faced turkey sandwich

A juicy, bacon cheeseburger is worth every bite and can be enjoyed for special occasions.
A juicy, bacon cheeseburger is worth every bite and can be enjoyed for special occasions. Getty Images/iStockphoto

“Come with me, let’s stroll across the floor …” or perhaps memory lane.

Remember when high schools allowed students to go off campus for lunch? Of course, these had to be done during the lunch period.

Friends and I would pack in a car and rush to a little diner called Berniece’s. It had the best cheeseburgers in town. The owners knew us and the time we rushed in for lunch, so they had burgers already on the flat-top griddle.

Sometimes the diner was so busy, we had to eat our lunch on the way back to school. Good times.

I would wager that some Cruisin’ The Coast visitors probably remember a special hangout or burger joint during their high school or college years. Here’s to the memories of fun times and burger joints and diners.

These recipes certainly can be done as Cruisin’ fans tailgate while watching all the cars go by.

One famous ‘60s and ‘70s burger place in Gulfport was Biff Burger at Hardy Court Shopping Center. Burgers were 15 cents.

Doris Mahalak, one of the Biff Burger owners, shared this recipe with me in 2004. All that is needed is a grill and a large pot for the sauce, so it is perfect for tailgating any time.

The all-American bacon cheeseburger is one you probably don’t want to make a regular in your diet, but for a juicy, cheesy burger on a special occasion, bite in.

More on butternut squash

Debra Melton and Eileen Whittemore both had comments and suggestions for the butternut squash, apple and cranberry casserole that appeared in the Sept. 23 column.

“Just had to let you know that my husband and I made the baked butternut squash with apples and cranberries for lunch,” said Melton. “It is a keeper.”

Whittemore makes a similar recipe. She bakes the apples and cranberries inside the halves of the cleaned squash.

“It’s easier, not so many dishes to wash,” she said.

Antiquing and Cruisin’

Sylvia Young, owner of Antique Maison & Ulman Tea Room, is hosting an Art & Antique Show from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 1-8 that will have select exhibits for classic car enthusiasts at Antique Maison in Bay St. Louis. She does offer a spot of tea and goodies for a quiet break, too, at Ulman Tea Room.


3 large cans ketchup (No. 10 can, contains 115 ounces per can)

2 cups prepared mustard (start with 2 cups and maybe increase to 3)

3 cups sweet pickle relish (start with 3, then maybe 4)

1/2 cup salt

1/8 cup ground ginger

6 teaspoons Liquid Smoke

Mix all ingredients together. Mahalak remembered workers at the restaurant mixing it in a 5-gallon container.

I have made this sauce recipe, and we love it. I cut the recipe down to:

1 large can ketchup (No. 10 can)

2/3 to 1 cup prepared mustard

1 cup sweet pickle relish

1/6 cup or 1 1/3 ounces salt

Pinch of ground ginger

2 teaspoons Liquid Smoke

Mix ingredients and store in airtight container in the refrigerator.

- Doris Mahalak


2 tablespoons finely chopped onion

2 tablespoons ketchup

1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon steak sauce

1/4 teaspoon cider vinegar

1 pound ground beef

4 slices sharp cheddar cheese

4 hamburger buns, split and toasted

8 cooked bacon strips

Optional toppings: lettuce leaves and tomato, onion and pickle slices

In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into four patties.

Grill burgers, covered, over medium heat or broil 3 inches from the heat for 4-7 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 160 degrees and juices run clear. Top with cheese. Grill 1 minute longer or until cheese is melted. Serve on buns with bacon and toppings of your choice.

Nutrition facts: 1 serving: 472 calories, 25 grams fat (10 grams saturated fat), 98 milligrams cholesterol, 947 milligrams sodium, 27 grams carbohydrate (7 grams sugars, 1 gram fiber), 33 grams protein.

– From Simple & Delicious, June/July 2010


1/3 cup butter, cubed

1 small onion, chopped

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon dried thyme

3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 1/4 pounds sliced deli turkey

12 slices white bread

In a large saucepan, heat butter over medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir 4-5 minutes or until tender. Stir in flour, parsley and seasonings until blended; gradually whisk in broth. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Add turkey, one slice at a time; heat through. Serve over bread.

Nutrition facts: 2 open-faced sandwiches: 361 calories, 14 grams fat (7 grams saturated fat), 60 milligrams cholesterol, 1462 milligrams sodium, 33 grams carbohydrate (4 grams sugars, 2 grams fiber), 25 grams protein.

– From Taste of Home, July 2015

Note: This can be done on the grill, too, for Cruisin’ tailgaters.

Andrea Yeager can be reached at and Cooks Exchange, 205 DeBuys Road, Gulfport, MS 39507