Avocado pepper jack burger

I'm not gonna pretend. Parenting in the summer, as it turns out, is not any easier than parenting during the school year. Sure, having both kids around all day creates more opportunity for fun, but it also means extra feuds, friction, finger pointing and general opportunities to mutter other f-words under my breath. I thought for sure the end of kindergarten would mean the beginning of a relaxed summer with the kids at home. No more rushing out the door to get to school before the morning bell. No rushing back later (or rather pseudo rushing with a toddler) to collect big brother and his backpack full of popsicle stick/tape/paper/glue crafts that get left all over the house. No, in actual fact, summer has brought with it its own kind of crazy, which means that a nice dinner that nourishes the soul and calms frayed nerves is as important as ever.

These juicy burgers with monterey jack cheese are made with extra lean ground beef and topped with chopped avocado, tomato and jalapeno in lime juice. From the first bite, it feels like a reward for just making it until dinner time. Because let's be honest, getting dinner on the table is a small miracle some days. But somehow it happens and suddenly every little bite of that cool avocado and zingy jalapeno brings comfort and simplicity and feelings of maybe, just maybe, I can do this summer parenting thing all over again tomorrow.

Hamburger grilling basket pictured provided by Williams-Sonoma.

Here's how I made it:
makes 5-6 burgers

1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped
1/3 cup chopped tomato
half a jalapeno pepper, sliced into thin rounds
juice of half a lime
1/4 tsp salt

1 egg
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 lbs ground beef
5-6 slices of monterey jack cheese (sandwich size slices)
5-6 burger buns

In a medium mixing bowl, I combined the chopped avocado, tomato, jalapeno, lime juice and salt and set it aside.

While my grill heated to medium-high, or about 500 (F) degrees, I added the egg, chili powder and salt to a large mixing bowl and beat lightly with a fork. The ground beef was added and mixed well with my hands to evenly distribute the egg and spice. I formed 5 large patties (or you could do 6 medium) with my hands and got them on the grill, cooking 6-7 minutes a side until cooked through and no longer pink inside. To serve, I added the cheese to the hot burgers to melt, set them on a bun each and topped with the avocado salsa.

Are you muttering under your breath already too? How are you keeping the kids busy and content? What summer dinners/small miracles are you putting on the table?

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