Ask the Domestic Life Stylist: Jazz Up Summer Cooking

by Lisa

Ask The Domestic Life Stylistlisa-domestic-life-stylist

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

Submit a question here.

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


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.

Email Author    |    Website About Lisa

Lisa is the founder of The Domestic Life Stylist. A lifestyle blog that focuses on embracing "Living Life at Home with Finesse & Style". Lisa focuses on bringing flair to home, family and food amidst occasional domestic chaos but always great fun and fabulous food. Get her free guide: "15 Healthy Pantry Staples to Get Impressive Meals & Snacks on the Table + 3 Bonus Recipes by visiting her blog.

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Marya June 12, 2014 at 7:03 pm

I love grilling veggies like peppers, zucchini and mushrooms!


2 Leigh Anne Borders June 13, 2014 at 12:41 am

Great ideas! We just got our very first grill and have been trying out lots of new things!


3 Lisa-The Domestic Life Stylist June 13, 2014 at 10:08 pm

Congrats! That’s going to make your summer so much more delicious.


4 vickie couturier June 13, 2014 at 6:12 am

we love to grill new food combintions on the grill


5 Karen Ev. June 13, 2014 at 10:57 am

Fresh fruit smoothies with a little coconut/almond milk are always a refreshing meal.


6 Lisa-The Domestic Life Stylist June 13, 2014 at 10:10 pm

I love using almond milk and coconut milk in smoothies. Just created a Tropical Papaya Mixed fruit smoothie recently using coconut milk. It was so good. You can find the recipe on my blog.


7 Vicky June 13, 2014 at 1:24 pm

I love to change up grilling. I am so tired of the standard meals which get me so full.


8 Lisa-The Domestic Life Stylist June 13, 2014 at 10:06 pm

Oh yeah! Such a great combo Marya.


9 Amy Orvin June 14, 2014 at 11:34 am

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.


10 Lisa-The Domestic Life Stylist June 19, 2014 at 12:07 am

Yes! I hope you enjoy. Especially in the fruit salad, the added mint just permeates through and through.


11 Cynthia C June 15, 2014 at 7:22 am

I want to expand into grilling fruits and pizzas this summer.


12 Lisa-The Domestic Life Stylist June 19, 2014 at 12:06 am

Yum! Getting hungry just thinking about it.


13 David Fultner June 15, 2014 at 1:56 pm

Those corn kabob’s look great.


14 Claudette Lariviere June 15, 2014 at 4:23 pm

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…:)


15 Lisa-The Domestic Life Stylist June 19, 2014 at 12:04 am

I’m intrigued Claudette. I have to try that cheese at the next cook out.


16 Claudette Lariviere June 19, 2014 at 8:37 pm

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!!!


17 melanie Borhi June 15, 2014 at 4:40 pm

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


18 Sue June 16, 2014 at 10:18 am

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!


19 Meagan bs June 16, 2014 at 11:16 am

those corn kabobs look delicious! definitely going to get some corn on the cob soon. yum!


20 Lisa-The Domestic Life Stylist June 19, 2014 at 12:02 am

Grilled corn is the best isn’t it Meagan?!?


21 Emilia June 18, 2014 at 1:45 pm

Looks like the perfect recipe for a BBQ while watching the world cup games with the family! :)


22 Cheryl Free June 20, 2014 at 8:06 pm

We love to grill as often as the weather allows. It’s a healthy way to cook.


23 Sarah L June 24, 2014 at 2:48 am

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


24 Jill Myrick June 24, 2014 at 10:50 am

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.



25 Helga June 24, 2014 at 10:51 pm

I love grilled corn on the cob! Also fruit salads and any salads in the summer.


26 Pam H. June 25, 2014 at 6:39 am

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.


27 Heather R June 25, 2014 at 11:47 am

yum – I’ve never tried fruit on the grill but now you’ve got me getting good ideas.


28 Helen June 25, 2014 at 1:47 pm

We love putting our corn on the cob on the grill with a little BBQ sauce on it


29 Anne June 25, 2014 at 7:08 pm

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!


30 Mandy Haynes June 26, 2014 at 8:57 am

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. :)


31 heather June 26, 2014 at 7:44 pm

I have got to try that corn tomato salsa thanks for sharing.


32 DG Middendorf June 26, 2014 at 10:19 pm

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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