Summer Food Trend Alert: Beat the Heat With Chilled Soup Recipes

Summer Food Trend Alert: Beat the Heat With Chilled Soup Recipes

When our most trusted recipe sources start producing mass quantities of chilled soup and cold soup recipes, we take notice.

The last few days have been blazing hot in our area (the NYC/Tri-State region), with the heat index approaching 120 degrees. For food lovers, eating a hot meal in oppressive heat can be uncomfortable. Cold drinks don’t provide enough nourishment, and cold meals don’t offer enough refreshment.

The answer, according to Epicurious and other recipe experts, is cold soups.

Gazpacho cold soup recipe
Find delicious cold soup and chilled soup recipes to beat the summer heat.

We’re not just talking about gazpacho! There are some extraordinary chilled soup recipes available, with inventive minds designing new additions to the cold soup cookbook. It’s no surprise that – once again – some of our favorite selections come courtesy of Epicurious.

Epicurious’ recent list of 34 Cold Soup Recipes to Keep You Cool This Summer features no less than a half-dozen recipes we’re instantly enamored with. From a cool AND filling Chilled Coconut Corn Soup to a guacamole-inspired Chilled Avocado and Yogurt Soup with Tomato Salsa, there are plenty of savory options that will leave even the biggest appetites fulfilled.

If your idea of chilled soup on a hot day involves lighter fare, we love the intriguing Chilled Tomato and Stone Fruit recipe, as well as a Chilled Golden Tomato Bisque that requires zero cooking!

We won’t post the full Epicurious recipes here (we’re not big on plagiarism… ha!), but here are links to six of our favorite Epicurious chilled soup recipes, along with brief descriptions of each.

Try them all, and leave us a comment about the one you love most!

Links to Our Favorite Epicurious Cold Soup Recipes

1. Chilled Coconut Corn Soup

Possibly our favorite cold soup recipe on Epicurious’ list; this fulfilling soup comes stocked with corn, potatoes and onion. Coconut milk, ginger, turmeric and lime zest finish off a bright and satisfying recipe that we will be making again.

2. Cool Jade Soup

Currently holding a 100% “Make Again” rating on Epicurious, this Cool Jade Soup offering is inspired bissara, an Egyptian bean-and-herb purée. The mix of green and lima beans blends well with mint, parsley and other herbs to create a refreshing cold soup.

3. Chilled Tomato and Stone Fruit Soup

We were a bit skeptical about this recipe to start. It looked precisely like a normal gazpacho… until the stone fruit came into play. Peach and cherry ingredients give this gazpacho base a surprising – and very enjoyable – sweetness that kept us dipping our spoons into our bowls.

Cold soup recipe
Try these chilled soup recipes to cool off during a hot summer.

4. Watermelon Gazpacho with Feta Crema

Much like the Stone Fruit recipe above, we start with a gazpacho inspiration and venture off into inspired fruit-based territory. According to original author and recipe creator Susan Spungen, the key is a super-juicy, heavy watermelon.

5. Chilled Golden Tomato Bisque

This no-cook recipe is the height of ease; we found the final result every bit as enjoyable as the short prep period. The notes of sherry and mild honey are small but pop beautifully out of the heavy bisque broth, giving a sweet touch to a savory soup.

6. Lemongrass-Ginger-Carrot Soup

In terms of visual presentation, this soup might have the most beautiful color of any on the list. The mellow gold color of this chilled soup is due to carrots and ginger, and a healthy dose of chicken bone broth adds texture. Feel free to try this one hot as well.

Our Updated Guide to World-Class Grilling | Expert Grill Tips

Our Updated Guide to World-Class Grilling | Expert Grill Tips

When you’re a branch of the most award-winning custom kitchen design firm of the 21st century, the way you cook is very important. And when summer at the shore is your favorite time (and place) of the year, “getting your grill game” up to par is a must!

5 steps to becoming a better grill cook this summer! (Photo: Gyfjonas via Wiki Commons)
5 steps to becoming a better grill cook this summer! (Photo: Gyfjonas via Wiki Commons)

Making the leap from “throwing a few things on the barbecue” to becoming a grill master seems daunting. But like any journey worth taking, you shouldn’t look at it as a “leap” at all. Every skill is learned and mastered over the course of thousands of baby steps. It’s the same lifelong process that led Peter Salerno (CMKBD) to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a master craftsman and artisan. From his father’s cabinetry business in Sicily to Peter’s award-winning custom design firm in America, Peter’s journey to becoming a master wouldn’t have happened if his father hadn’t taken the first step so many years ago.

Using the Salerno backstory as inspiration, let’s break the journey to becoming a grill expert into smaller steps and look at what YOU can do to become a better grill cook this summer!

Expert Grilling Step 1: The Proper Grill

Peter Salerno is an avid grill enthusiast, with stellar grill equipment at his home, beach house, and award-winning showroom in Wyckoff, New Jersey. From Weber grills to Miele grill tops to La Cornue rotisseries, Peter understands that world-class grilling begins with world-class grill appliances.

Regardless of your budget, there is generally a ‘best option’ at most price points for grill hardware. Whether you choose gas, charcoal or pellet is entirely up to you and your personal taste; there are reputable reviews and ratings of every style readily available online. But whether you inevitably choose Weber, NexGrill, Kenmore or another brand, the type of grill is every bit as important as the brand.

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Happy Birthday Peter! #champagne

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You’re going to get a much different taste experience off a pellet grill, for example, than you would off charcoal. That doesn’t make one better than the other; it’s simply about your preference. Do you like the woodsier taste a pellet grill may provide, or the traditional smoke of a charcoal grill? Do you prefer the clean efficiency of a gas grill? There is no right answer to those questions – the only “correct” answer is what suits you best.

Each type of grill brings its own perks and its own unique cleaning and maintenance regimen; make sure you read up on these as well!

Expert Grilling Step 2: The Proper Ingredients

All else being equal, a great steak is going to taste better than a mediocre one. (Obviously, you can foul up a great steak as easily as a poor one, but let’s focus on the upside here!)

There really isn’t a ton to say here. It’s worth buying better quality raw ingredients. Spring for the fresher, in-season vegetables. Spend a few more dollars on the right cut of meat, or the higher-quality seasoning.

Expert Grilling Step 3: The Proper Technique

Learning how to grill properly is the most intimidating step in this process; don’t be scared! The Internet has made the journey from novice to expert grill cook so much simpler.

Start with the Epicurious Guide to GrillingWe love it. It’s a soup-to-nuts (or in this case, burger-to-chop) guide to grilling techniques and ingredients, from some of the best amateur and professional grillmasters today.

Get yourself a great Bluetooth or WiFi thermometer. Seriously. There are some amazing Bluetooth applications out there that gauge the temperature of your grill AND the internal temperate of what you’re grilling. Whether you’re cooking with the grill top open or closed, you can monitor the process of your meal no matter where you are. Gone are the days when you had to hover over your grill like a vulture, out of fear you’ve over-cooked!

We love the Weber iGrill 2 Bluetooth Thermometer; unless you’re on a smaller budget, it’s currently our favorite product on the market. If you’re looking for a WiFi-based alternative rather than connecting to Bluetooth, we suggest the ThermoPro TP20 Wireless Meat Thermometer

Expert Grilling Step 4: The Proper Accompaniments + Sides

Don’t just slather a ton of sauce on your beautifully grilled meat, vegetables or vegan substitutes! The right sides, dressings, dips and garnishes can make or break your summer grill meals.

We found an awesome treasure trove of Grilling Dips & Sauces courtesy of Patricia C. Wilson. We strongly encourage you to jump over to Patricia’s site and take a look at her grilling dips and sauces; there are some really unique, simple preparations that are going to ‘wow’ your dinner guests!

There’s also a wonderful piece on the Williams-Sonoma blog courtesy of their Test Kitchen chef, Belle English. Belle encourages us to “just buy the sauce or rub” – sometimes, there’s no reason to over-think the process! Belle does go on to provide some highly valuable advice on what sauces and rubs to pair with different types of meats, and how to incorporate them into your meal’s preparation.

Expert Grilling Step 5: The Proper Company

Well-prepared food is like any beautiful creation; it’s best when shared with others and consumed by people who will appreciate it! Expert grilling is meant to be shared with family, friends and loved ones.

So now that you’ve taken the first steps to improving your “grill skills”, it’s time to gather the people you care for around a big table, spread out some big family-style dishware, and have a summer grill celebration to remember!

Delicious Ginger Honey Sweet Tea Recipe [MyRecipes]

Iced Tea Recipe For Ginger and Honey Sweet Tea

If you’re like us at Design Your Lifestyle, the perfect glass of iced tea is the final touch to a late summer afternoon. Unsweetened iced tea (or “sun tea”) is refreshing, but sometimes you just feel like a touch of sweet goodness to end your day.

But how do you avoid all the sugar that goes into traditional Southern sweet tea? What if you are serving your sweet tea to a mixed crowd, all of whom can’t take in sugar (due to diabetes and other health concerns)? Or what if you simply want an alternative, delicious way to prepare your sweet tea?

During the summer of 2018, our favorite sweet tea recipe comes courtesy of MyRecipes.com. It combines naturally delicious ingredients that blend together to create a fresh take on sweet tea with all the “zing” of an ocean breeze.

Check out this amazing recipe for Ginger and Honey Sweet Tea (courtesy of MyRecipes.com and Southern Living):

 

A delicious Ginger and Honey Sweet Tea recipe. (courtesy MyRecipes.com)
A delicious Ginger and Honey Sweet Tea recipe. (courtesy MyRecipes.com)

Ginger And Honey Sweet Tea Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 cups water
  • 2 family-size tea bags
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 7 cups cold water
  • Garnish: lemon slices

Preparation

  1. Bring 3 cups water to a boil in a saucepan; add tea bags. Boil 1 minute; remove from heat. Cover and steep 10 minutes.
  2. Discard tea bags. Stir in honey and ginger. Pour into a 1-gal. container, and add 7 cups cold water. Serve over ice. Garnish, if desired.

(Recipe from MyRecipes.com, first published in Southern Living.)

5 Summer 2018 Home Design Trends To Watch

5 Summer 2018 Home Design Trends To Watch

If you live in many parts of America (especially the northeast), then you know what we’re thinking – what in the world happened to Spring 2018? The season seems to have vanished, and many of us feel like we “jumped straight from winter to summer”, as one of our colleagues put it.

With such a late jump on spring (and a mini heat wave to start May 2018), all of our “Spring Cleaning” projects feel so far behind schedule. Before you know it, Summer 2018 will be right around the corner – and how will we know that our home designs are on trend?

After looking through countless design articles, blogs, websites, magazines and consulting expert sources (like our parent company, the design wizards at Peter Salerno Inc.), we’ve cultivated a scaled-down list of our five favorite Summer 2018 home design trends you should be watching.

Why these 5 Summer 2018 home design trends? Simple – they’re all attainable. You don’t have to change all the decor in your house, or start a massive renovation, or counter your own specific tastes (that’s why we’re giving you multiple flooring trends to explore) – all you need to do is put down a new rug, some new stain, paint a wall or buy some unique plants and fruit/floral arrangements!

It’s rare that we want to do a full-blown home design overhaul – and when we do, that’s when it’s time to consult with a world-renowned, award-winning home design firm. But if you want to take on a one-day design project in your home to update things for Summer 2018, then this is a great list to peruse.

What do you like? What design trends do you question? We want to hear from you in the comments!

Five Summer 2018 Home Design Trends

1. Dark Wood Grains and Dark Wood Flooring

Dark wood grains in surfaces (counters, bars, etc.) and flooring are ‘on trend’ for homes in Summer 2018. This gorgeous bar design from Peter Salerno Inc. benefits from lush, dark-colored curtains to augment the rich grain of the flooring.

Dark wood grain flooring makes this Peter Salerno Inc. bar design 'pop - Summer 2018 design trends
Dark wood grain flooring makes this Peter Salerno Inc. bar design ‘pop – Summer 2018 design trends

2. Pastel Accent Walls That Pop

Pastels were everywhere in the Pantone Spring 2018 color collection – and pastel accent walls are a great way to lighten up the mood and create a lively room design. Try one of the ‘major players’ in the Pantone Spring 2018 pastel collection – Spring Crocus, Pink Lavender or Blooming Dahlia!

3. Decor Plants and Unique Planters

When it comes to floral arrangements and indoor plants for Summer 2018, get unique (and when in doubt, go big!). If you’ve never seen “that particular plant” before at your local greenhouse, that’s the one to pick! Planters, succulent arrangements and plant decor in general are going to be used as statement design pieces for kitchen design and living space design this summer, so be bold and ‘go green’.

Unique plant and fruit displays smartly placed throughout a kitchen give it appeal.
Unique plant and fruit displays smartly placed throughout a kitchen give it appeal.

 

4. Geometric Patterns for Floor and Wall Tiles

Geometric flooring is a major design trend for Summer 2018 homes.
Geometric flooring is a major design trend for Summer 2018 homes.

5. Large Oriental and Statement Rugs

Still love rugs? Oriental and large statement rugs are back in for Summer 2018!
Still love rugs? Oriental and large statement rugs are back in for Summer 2018!

A Closer Look at Our Featured 2017 Summer Kitchen Design

A Closer Look at Our Featured 2017 Summer Kitchen Design

At Design Your Lifestyle, we’re proud to feature an outstanding kitchen or bath design for each season. Our Summer 2017 featured design (in the header of our page) is a gorgeous transitional kitchen design by Peter Salerno Inc. – the most award-winning North American custom kitchen and bath design of the 21st century.

Transitional kitchen design, Peter Salerno Inc. 2017 (Photo: Peter Rymwid)
Transitional kitchen design, Peter Salerno Inc. 2017 (Photo: Peter Rymwid)

“Farm Meets City Sleek” is a lustrous transitional kitchen that manages to combine rustic charm with uptown chic. One’s first glance at this transitional kitchen design is bathed in white and ambient light, a nod to the recent kitchen design trend where whites and neutrals are used as the primary focus of the overall color design scheme. From the custom Maestro Rosolino cabinetry (a trademark of Peter Salerno Inc. design) to the kitchen island base, this kitchen is adorned with white.

Notes of gray and neutral complement the design, through the custom range hood and counter to the island countertop and wood flooring. One of our favorite aspects of this kitchen design is the the 2×8 mixed metal and glass mosaic backsplash over the range, created by the team at Stratta, the Tile Boutique.

Transitional kitchen design, Peter Salerno Inc. 2017 (Photo: Peter Rymwid)
Transitional kitchen design, Peter Salerno Inc. 2017 (Photo: Peter Rymwid)

Here are some specific details about this gorgeous transitional kitchen design.

Cabinetry: Maple wood painted Tennis White

Perimeter Countertop: Caesar Stone Piatra Grey #5003 1 1/4″ by Stone Surfaces in East Rutherford, NJ

Island Countertop: 1 1/2″ Stainless Steel by EMI Industries in Boonton, NJ

Flooring: Original hardwood flooring from home, no information was given by homeowner

Backsplash over range: 2×8 mixed metal & glass mosaic by Stratta Tile Boutique in Wyckoff, NJ

Sink: Franke MHX710-30 30x21x9

Island Light Fixtures: Exter 16-Jar Pendant by Potterybarn

Appliance Information:
Refrigerator/ Freezer: 48″ Sub-Zero 648 Prog
Gas Range: Wolf #GR606F
Steam Oven: Wolf #CSO24
Wall Oven: Wolf #SO30PE/S/PH
Hood: 60″ Stainless Steel
Dishwasher: Miele Futura Dimensions #G5675SCVI
Microwave: GE #PEM31SFSS with Trim Kit #JX827SFSS
Warming Drawer: 30″ Wolf WWD30
Ice Maker: Sub-Zero UC-15IP

Transitional kitchen design, Peter Salerno Inc. 2017 (Photo: Peter Rymwid)
Transitional kitchen design, Peter Salerno Inc. 2017 (Photo: Peter Rymwid)
Transitional kitchen design, Peter Salerno Inc. 2017 (Photo: Peter Rymwid)
Transitional kitchen design, Peter Salerno Inc. 2017 (Photo: Peter Rymwid)

NOTE: All photography featured in this article is courtesy of Peter Rymwid, on behalf of the team at Peter Salerno Inc.

Peter Salerno’s Family Recipe for Homemade Sangria

The Perfect Homemade Family Summer Sangria Recipe

Peter Salerno isn’t just a master kitchen designer, he loves spending time in his own kitchen entertaining family, friends and guests. This love of cooking and creating recipes filters up and down the Salerno family for generations, and has produced some time-tested, delicious recipes.

July 4th Red, White and Blue Sangria recipes (recipes & photo courtesy Epicurious)
Our family Sangria recipe) photo courtesy Epicurious)

When Peter Salerno married his wife Tracy, she brought with her a wealth of delicious recipes, cocktails and other “secret family recipes”. Tracy’s father, Mike Cavallo, was a master of many of these – but one of the family’s favorite creations from Mr. Cavallo was his famous sangria.

What makes the “Cavallo family sangria” recipe so delicious? It might be the perfect mix of ingredients, or the use of brandy and triple sec at the base. Or it may just be the special amount of love with which Mike made it.

In any event, it’s a sangria recipe that’s sure to please, and we’re sharing it with you. It’s the perfect summer sangria recipe for entertaining guests!

Mike Cavallo’s Perfect Summer Sangria Recipe

Ingredients

  • 7 Up/Sprite
  • Triple Sec
  • inexpensive brandy (something like Christian Bros., no need to go over the top!)
  • a bottle of red wine, preferably Merlot or Shiraz
  • ice
  • oranges (you can add apples and pears as well)

Preparation

  • Fill a *large* pitcher with whole slices of orange (leave the peels on), use a wooden spoon to press on the oranges to get a little bit of juice at the bottom.
  • Fill a 1/3 of the pitcher with ice
  • Pour even parts 7 Up/Sprite and wine (pouring both at the same time is the easiest way) until 2/3 of the way filled
  • Pour equal parts brandy and triple sec to taste (usually about 1/2 -2/3 a cup)
  • Fill remaining with the rest of the wine
  • Stir and let sit for 10 minutes in the refrigerator
  • Enjoy!
If it comes out too strong for you, it can be diluted by adding more soda.
DON’T add sugar, citrus fruits (lime, lemon, pineapple), or bitters!

Epicurious Scores Again With Thai Green Bean Summer Salad Recipe

Epicurious Scores Again With Thai Green Bean Summer Salad Recipe

Epicurious, you have to stop this. We’re starting to develop real feelings for you.

Okay, maybe we’re exaggerating a little bit. But Epicurious has long been our favorite recipe blog here at Design Your Lifestyle, and no matter what our trending tastes happen to be, their staff seems to have the right recipe for us.

This time, it’s a summer take on a classic Thai salad that left us scrambling for seconds – and thirds… and fourths…

Give your green beans a kick in this awesome Epicurious recipe for Thai Green Bean Salad!
Give your green beans a kick in this awesome Epicurious recipe for Thai Green Bean Salad!

After a long 4th of July weekend of delicious burgers, ribs, hot dogs and more, we were feeling a bit overstuffed on meat dishes. But no matter how hard we tried, it was difficult to find a vegetable or salad dish that left us feeling completely satisfied.

Enter Epicurious’ Thai Green Bean Salad for Summer. This grilled green bean salad isn’t your usual “light fare” that leaves your stomach growling. Add in marinated tofu, in-season avocados and a zesty homemade papaya-salad dressing with lime and jalapenos, and you have a real winner and crowd pleaser.

We love the texture contracts between the grilled green beans and the tangy citrus of the dressing, and the tofu is surprisingly more than filling – especially when paired with the avocados!

If you’re a fan of Thai dishes and love taking adventures with your home meals, then this is a great recipe for you. All credit to Katherine Sacks at Epicurious for this tremendously inventive take on summer salad and Thai food.

For the full recipe for Epicurious’ Grilled Thai Green Bean Salad for Summer by Katherine Sacks, please click the article.