Ask the Domestic Life Stylist: Jazz Up Summer Cooking

Ask The Domestic Life Stylistlisa-domestic-life-stylist

Lisa our resident fine living expert answers your questions each Thursday.

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I love summer foods. BBQ, potato salad, frozen drinks, melons…the whole deal! I want to change things up a bit though. What are some ways that I can add a delicious spin to some of the foods we have come to love every summer?

~Melissa, Texas

close up shut of a corncob en brochette on the grill

Summer is a delicious time of year isn’t it? Then again, I would probably say the same thing about fall, spring and winter too. Here are some tasty ways to switch things up in the kitchen and add a little something extra to your summer favorites.


Summertime means firing up the grill. Impart a unique flavor to your favorite meats by using different types of wood chips to flavor the smoke. Wood chips like hickory, apple wood and mesquite can be found at most stores where grill BBQ and grill supplies are sold.

Alternatively, you can add fruit juice to your barbecue sauce to add a tasty twist. If you’ve got the tropics on your mind, add tamarind, guava or pineapple juice to the sauce. To add some zest to your chicken or meat dishes, add lemon, lime or orange juice instead.

But the grill is not just for grilling meats. Fruits like watermelon, peaches and pineapples can be grilled as well.


A mundane fruit salad can be jazzed up by adding herbs like fresh mint and parsley. That simple change can add a interesting and refreshing flavor that will leave your guests wanting more. Also think about trying some exotic fruits in your next fruit plate or salad. I had the pleasure of devouring a delicious exotic fruit plate on a trip to Bali. It was so delicious.

Use fresh summer fruits like cherries, berries and melons to make homemade sorbets, ice pops and ices. I made this Watermelon Lime Ice using watermelon, lime and a few other simple ingredients.


Salads are a summer staple. Add some fresh fruit to your next salad and switch things up a bit. Janice recently made this sweet and savory salad with pears, raspberries, bacon and feta.

If you like corn, this corn and tomato salsa is a real treat. Fresh corn is what makes it so special.  So what do think? Don’t these ideas sound delicious? Avoid food boredom and try these tricks to “jazz up” your summer cooking.


Come back on Thursday for another edition of “Ask The Domestic Life Stylist”.

Submit a question here.

You can also tweet a question to Dlifestylist on Twitter or email me at ask{at}thedomesticlifestylist{dot}com. I will select one question to answer every Thursday.

If you are a blogger, this is a great chance to have us feature and link to your blog.

Lisa is a pharmacist turned fine living/travel writer & founder of The Domestic Life Stylist, following her passion for all things food, family and travel.  Get her massive freebie guide: 15 Healthy Pantry Staples to Make Impressive Meals & Snacks + Bonus Recipes by visiting her blog.


  1. Amy Orvin says

    Great tips for jazzing up. I like the one where you can add herbs like fresh mint and parsley to a fruit salad. I didn’t think of that.

  2. Claudette Lariviere says

    Just found a new cheese called Haloom and its made to put on the bbq on your kabobs wow is it ever good, and its made so that it does not melt it stays in one piece and warms through and its delicious…:)

      • Claudette Lariviere says

        Yes you have to try it… wow it is awesome… meat.. veggies and cheese on a stick!! A kabob has taken on a whole new look with this bbqable if there is such a word…lol…. my husband and I are hook line and sinker fans of this new cheese to put on the barbie !!!! Its absolutely awesome!!!

  3. melanie Borhi says

    I love using almond milk and coconut milk in the puddings and smoothies I make its delicious , I’ve switched over from full fat milk to it and would never go back

  4. says

    Grilled corn is the best (the pic shows that perfect slightly browned tinge)! I also like grilled zucchini. I want to try a grilled pizza this summer too!

  5. Sarah L says

    I love grilled veggies – all kinds. I like to squeeze a fresh lemon on them after they’ve cooked.

  6. Jill Myrick says

    We love grilling kabobs such as beef , green peppers, onions and mushrooms. Or mixing it up and using chicken, pineapple, cherry tomatoes and green peppers. The kids have fun helping to make them and love eating what they have created after we grill them.


  7. Pam H. says

    Adding apples to a salad, even potato salad, really adds a nice flavor and crunch. My mom adds bacon o her potato salad – delicious! I enjoyed fresh grilled fruits, too, especially pineapple.

  8. Anne says

    I love the idea of adding fruit to salads to brighten up the flavor. After all, summer is when fruits are in season as well as veggies. Thanks!

  9. says

    I can’t stop grilling zucchini! I’m seriously addicted. I also love grilling pizzas. Cooking on the grill is great when it’s so hot out, the oven doesn’t heat up your house. :)

  10. DG Middendorf says

    Adding fruit juice to your barbecue sauce to add a tasty twist is a really neat idea. All these ideas were awesome. I can’t wait to try some or all of them.


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