Happy Mardi Gras! It’s an early one, y’all! If you’re headed to the parades, take a peek below to see what’s rolling – and happening – in Jefferson Parish this Carnival season!
The Corps de Napoleon parade. (Photo via Corps de Napoleon)
Jefferson Parish Mardi Gras Parade Schedule
Sunday, Jan. 28
Krewe of Little Rascals, 12:00 p.m. — America’s longest-running Children’s Mardi Gras Krewe will start at the corner of Eldorado Street and Woodlawn Avenue in Metairie.
Friday & Saturday, Feb. 2-3
Family Gras – This free Mardi Gras festival takes place on the neutral ground of Veterans Boulevard near the Lakeside Shopping Center. This year, attendees can see performances by Deacon John, John Oates of Hall & Oates, Michael McDonald, and Cyndi Lauper. Get more info here.
Friday, Feb. 2
Krewe of Excalibur, 7 p.m. – Excalibur will begin at the intersection of Woodlawn Avenue and Eldorado Street.
The best seat on the route!
Saturday, Feb. 3
Krewe of Adonis, 11:45 a.m. – This Westbank Krewe starts rolling from Kabel and Gen de Gaulle.
Krewe of Caesar, 6 p.m. – Founded in 1979, the 800-member Krewe of Caesar is best known for its signature float, Hydra.
Friday, Feb. 9
Krewe of Centurions, 7 p.m. – Named after a group of Roman warriors, Centurions’ members are businessmen from across the Jefferson Parish Area.
Saturday, Feb. 10
Krewe of Isis, 6 p.m. – This all-female Krewe is comprised of 250 members and 21 floats. Catch it on Veterans Boulevard that night!
High school marching bands from across the parish will be competing for the top prize of $3,000. The music will be amazing this year!
Sunday, Feb. 11
Corps de Napoleon, 4:30 p.m. — Honor our French heritage at this fun-filled afternoon parade.
Krewe of Athena, 5:30 p.m. — Athena is one of Jefferson Parish’s newest all-female crews, formally established in 2014.
Krewe of Pandora, 6:30 p.m. — In just its third year, Pandora’s night-time parade is sure to excite!
Tuesday, Feb. 13 (Mardi Gras)
Krewe of Argus, 10 a.m. — This morning Mardi Gras parade has a Krewe of 540 men, women, and child riders.
Krewe of Elks Trucks, follows — The Krewe of Elks is sponsored by the Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks, a worldwide fraternal society dedicated to charitable deeds.
Krewe of Jefferson Trucks, follows — Celebrate the end of Carnival at the last truck parade of the season!
What better way to refresh your 1st Lake space than with some new and stylish interior design changes! Fresh color palettes, new furniture, and stylish wall art are just a few ways to transition your space into a vibrant, welcoming, and comforting environment for you, your family, and your friends in 2018.
Not only will you be on trend in 2018, updating your living space is a great way to create an inspiring sanctuary that encourages positivity in the new year. Get rid of that hand-me-down furniture, those dated decorative items, and that framed poster you’ve had since college. Use this guide to find the new looks you like, and transform your apartment home into a haven you just might not want to leave!
According to NOLA.com, plant accessories are growing wild in 2018. “Expect to see more houseplants, indoor herb garden and even shower plants — that’s right, plants that live in your shower — this year.”
Grow it yourself and use it in your recipes!
Plants are a great way to bring nature inside, and their air purifying capabilities create a healthy living environment without the need for unsightly equipment. Herb gardens are also great to incorporate into your home-cooked meals. Check out our recipe blogs for ways to incorporate your herb garden’s bounty this year.
Sofa So Good!
There’s no stronger way to make a statement than with a brightly colored sofa. Bold, rich hues are in for 2018, and many of these loud sofas come in velvet and satin finishes, which gives them and extra level of shine.
“A daring sofa color tackles two common design challenges: adding color and creating a focal point,” says Mitchell Parker of Houzz.com.
Woven Creations for Wall Art & Functionality
The artisan aesthetic has been in style for some time, but none are more prominent now than the woven accessory. Woven accessories can give your space an international feel and add a welcoming warmth to your rooms.
There are tons of area art markets and flea markets you can visit to find your woven match.
Visit a local art market or international market and pick out some pieces for functionality and style. Use a deep woven basket to store your living room’s throw blankets or assemble a medley of flat, uniquely-shaped weavings on the wall for an eye-catching global gallery.
Simple, Clutter-Free Bedrooms
There’s no need for busy and bulky bedroom furniture in 2018. Houzz suggests you eliminate the loud patterns and oversized items from your sleeping den and replace them with simple, utilitarian-style looks.
Awaking to soft, natural textures provides a more peaceful morning experience.
“Instead, a pared down, verging-on-minimalist look that incorporates soothing neutrals, soft fabrics and simple, functional pieces is the direction homeowners are heading.” If you really want to be on trend in 2018, incorporate soft, washed out lavender bedding into your look.
How will you style 2018?
Did we miss a trend you’ve embraced for the new year? Have you already decorated with some of these trends and tips? Share your tips and interior looks with us on Facebook or tag your style updates on our Instagram so we can see how you’ve transitioned in 2018!
If you start every day with that phrase, then you’re in the right place. Coffee is the world’s favorite drink to wake up with, and it’s become the center point of a modern culinary revolution. Today’s coffee shops have transformed a common cup of Joe into a meticulously measured art form. Lattes and cappuccinos are topped with beautiful foam creations, iced coffee is brewed for 24 hours before it’s ready, and hot brews are poured at specific temperatures for the “perfect flavor profile.”
In addition to being a bit intimidating, the coffee shop can also be a bit overpriced, but with a few basic lessons and a couple pieces of brewing equipment, you’ll be well on your way to transforming your 1st Lake kitchen into the best java joint in the neighborhood!
Coffee Beans & Roast Types
Coffee beans come in a variety of sizes, colors, and flavors. The variations of flavors depend on the region and conditions in which they were grown. According to The Spruce, “Most regional varietals will fall into two main categories, Robusta or Arabica.”
Robusta coffee beans tend to be used in large-scale commercial brews, and they’re considered to have a more acidic taste and higher caffeine levels. Arabica beans tend to have more diverse flavor notes, but they’re difficult to grow, which increases the demand and price of this superior bean. If you buy your beans from a local coffee shop, you’re most likely buying Arabica beans.
Darker beans mean a stronger “roasted” flavor profile.
The beans you buy come in a range of caramel to chocolatey brown colors, but they don’t start off that way. The original green colored beans are roasted with a dry heat, but their roasting times play an important role in the coffee’s brewed flavor. The three main categories are light, medium, and dark.
Light roasts retain a larger amount of the bean’s original flavor. They tend to be a little more acidic and feature brighter, sharper tastes and little to no “roasted” notes. Medium roasts have a darker color, an oily appearance, and tend to have a balance between the roasting effects and the bean’s original flavor. Medium beans tend to be the most popular of the three categories. Dark roasts focus heavily on the flavors derived from the roasting process. The bean’s original flavors are almost completely overcome by the roast, so your coffee will have a powerful smoky taste. Dark roasts are typically used in espresso drinks, like lattes and macchiatos.
Gone are the days of basic automatic coffee makers. With this new knowledge, you’ll be able to find the roast you’re the most interested in and brew coffee at home like a pro. If you plan on buying your coffee pre-ground, it’s best to use it as fast as possible. The Perfect Daily Grind says, “Coffee has a shelf life. This will vary, but a good rule of thumb is to only buy the coffee you’ll drink that week. Store your coffee in an airtight container at room temperature and out of direct sunlight.”
If you’re buying roasted beans, you can either grind the beans at home with a hand grinder or electric grinder, or you can bring your bag to a grocery store for grinding. A lot of coffee shops will grind the beans they sell to you before you leave the store. If you’re grinding your beans at home, it’s best to grind only what you will need to brew for that day and store the rest away.
So, you’re probably asking, “What do I do with my coffee now?!”
There are two techniques that have grown in popularity over the past few years: pour over brewing and immersion brewing. You can achieve both of these at home, but you will need some equipment to properly brew using these techniques.
The pour over technique retains a lot of the grind’s original flavors.
Pour over coffee can be achieved using a coffee-specific glass pitcher, a porcelain dripper, a coffee filter, a kettle of hot water, and a kitchen scale. The porcelain dripper can be placed on top of either the glass pitcher or the coffee mug you intend to drink from. We like Blue Bottle Coffee’s easy-to-follow guide to the perfect pour over coffee.
Immersion coffee is most commonly associated with the French press or AeroPress. You can find French press and AeroPress coffee makers in home goods stores across the Greater New Orleans area. French press style is one of the easiest brewing styles, and unlike the single-serve pour over technique, it allows you to make larger amounts at one time. Follow The Kitchn’s guide to French press brewing here.
Im-press your friends with a handmade pot of divine French press coffee.
You Brew It!
Not only will making coffee at home save you money, it will help keep our environment clean of plastic cups and harmful plastic straws. If you’re interested in learning more about the complex range of coffee flavors and roasting styles, you can visit a local coffee shop for one of their free “cupping” lessons. This is a great way to find the flavor profile that suits your tastes and puts you on the fast track to home-brewing glory.
But first, coffee.
Our brand-new luxury living community in Elmwood, Clearwater Creek Premier, is loaded with state-of-the-art features and apartment amenities you won’t find anywhere else in the Greater New Orleans Area. One of our goals for this new development was to provide energy efficient options in every single one of Clearwater Creek Premier’s living spaces.
Cooking Up Savings
At the center of this effort are the electric convection range and double-ovens located in the kitchen of each residence. The range uses radiant heating elements on its stovetop, which is significantly more energy efficient than its generic electric coil counterparts. Radiant coils are similar to traditional coil burners, but instead of protruding from the top of the range, they sit under a smooth and flat ceramic surface. Heat is conserved better under the ceramic top, which allows for faster heating times and higher heat outputs. Plus, it’s easier to clean!
Four heating elements, a warming element, and two ovens? Now we’re cookin’!
Just under the range’s sleek stove are two, that’s right, two ovens! The ovens on this range utilize a dual element baking technique, which combines the efforts of the baking coil and the broiling coil for comprehensive cooking. The smaller top oven is ideal for warming or short cooking times, while the larger, convection-style oven offers delay bake and audible preheating capabilities.
If you’re ready to enjoy all of the perks of your Clearwater Creek Premier stovetop and range, put on your chef’s hat and try your hand at a few of our favorite seasonal recipes below!
Corn & Crab Soup for the Winter Soul
Warm up when there’s a chill in the air with this rich and creamy Corn and Crab Soup recipe from Bon Appetit:
Elmwood has its cold days. Stay toasty with this savory soup! (Photo via Bon Appetit)
1 16- ounce bag frozen petite white corn (do not thaw), divided
1 cup low-fat (1%) milk
1 8- ounce bottle clam juice
4 tablespoons sliced green onions, divided
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger, divided
4 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, divided
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
4 ounces cooked crabmeat, flaked
Reserve 1/4 cup corn. Bring remaining corn and milk to boil in medium saucepan. Cover; remove from heat. Let stand 10 minutes. Puree mixture in blender. Add clam juice, 3 tablespoons green onions, and 1 teaspoon ginger; puree again until almost smooth. Return puree to saucepan; bring to simmer. Mix in 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
Melt butter in small skillet over medium heat. Add reserved 1/4 cup corn; sauté 1 minute. Add crab, 1 tablespoon green onions, 1 teaspoon ginger, and 3 teaspoons lemon juice; stir just until warm. Season with salt and pepper. Divide soup among bowls; mound crab mixture in center.
Chili-Roasted Black-eyed Peas for a Lucky New Year
Good luck starts by pre-heating your state-of-the-art oven. Munch on this recipe from My Recipes:
Crunch your way to good luck this year. (Photo via MyRecipes.com)
- 2 (15.8-oz.) cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 425°. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Transfer mixture to a lightly greased 17- x 12-inch jelly-roll pan. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until crispy and dry, stirring every 10 minutes. Let cool 20 minutes.
Become a King Cake Connoisseur before Carnival
Mardi Gras will be here before you know it! Parade your new oven’s capabilities with this popular Mardi Gras King Cake recipe from Epicurious:
We can’t think of a better place to cook up some king cakes!
- For the cake:
- 1 cup lukewarm milk, about 110°F
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons dry yeast
- 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup melted butter
- 5 egg yolks, beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon zest
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- Several gratings of fresh nutmeg
- For the icing:
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Purple, green, and gold decorative sugars
- 1 fève (fava bean) or plastic baby to hide in the cake after baking
- For the cake, pour the warm milk into a large bowl. Whisk in the granulated sugar, yeast, and a heaping tablespoon of the flour, mixing until both the sugar and the yeast have dissolved.
- Once bubbles have developed on the surface of the milk and it begins to foam, whisk in the butter, eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest. Add the remaining flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg and fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with a large rubber spatula.
- After the dough comes together, pulling away from the sides of the bowl, shape it into a large ball. Knead the dough on a floured surface until it is smooth and elastic, about 15 minutes.
- Put the dough back into the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside in a draft-free place to let it proof, or rise, for 1 1/2 hours or until the dough has doubled in volume.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Once the dough has risen, punch it down and divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough between your palms into a long strip, making 3 ropes of equal length. Braid the 3 ropes around one another and then form the braided loaf into a circle, pinching ends together to seal. Gently lay the braided dough on a nonstick cookie sheet and let it rise until it doubles in size, about 30 minutes.
- Once it’s doubled in size, place the cookie sheet in the oven and bake until the braid is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven, place on a wire rack, and allow to cool for 30 minutes.
- For the icing, while the cake is cooling, whisk together the powdered sugar, condensed milk, and lemon juice in a bowl until the icing is smooth and very spreadable. If the icing is too thick, add a bit more condensed milk; if it’s a touch too loose, add a little more powdered sugar.
- Once the cake has cooled, spread the icing over the top of the cake and sprinkle with purple, green, and gold decorative sugars while the icing is still wet. Tuck the fève or plastic baby into the underside of the cake and, using a spatula, slide the cake onto a platter.
Tour Clearwater Creek Premier Today!
If you’re looking to make moves in 2018, consider visiting Clearwater Creek Premier today! Not only will you enjoy the cost-saving benefits of our kitchen appliances, but you’ll gain access to a multitude of other living amenities that will make you feel like you’re living in a luxury resort.
Whether you’re hosting your loved ones in your 1st Lake residence or traveling to celebrate the holiday, there’s no better way to show them how much you care than with a thoughtfully crafted homemade gift. Homemade gifts can mean more to your loved ones, too. You put a lot of effort into creating the perfect gift exclusively for them! Nothing is more loving than that.
Even with a short amount of time left, there are still plenty of quick and affordable homemade gift options you can create without worrying. Some of our favorite homemaking websites offer a plethora of choices and instructions for these gifts, but we’re going to highlight a few of our favorites to get you started on your crafts.
For the Coffee Connoisseur
Dip into some sweet DIY ideas for your favorite coffee drinker. (Photo via Good Housekeeping)
Good Housekeeping caught our DIY-eye with this easy, thoughtful, and tasty gift idea for the coffee drinker on your list. “Coffee Mug Mixers” are created from vintage silver spoons and baking goods. Head to an area thrift or antique store, or hunt down a garage sale, and find some intricately designed antique spoons for cheap. Then, head down to the grocery store to pick up an assortment of baking sweets, like chocolate, crushed nuts, and candy. Melt your mixed sweets onto the spoons, let them dry, and wrap them in clear packages. Your coffee-loving visitor might just dip one into his or her mug immediately after opening this delightful and thoughtful treat!
For the Farmhouse Design Fan
Transform plain wood home items into fun, wood-burned gifts. (Photo via Country Living)
If they are big fans of rustic-themed home makeover shows and decorate with reclaimed wood and metal accent items, shower them with a homemade wood gift. Both The Nest and Country Living Magazine have a great collection of homemade wood gift ideas to show them how much you notice their personal interests. We love the idea of wood-burned labels on cutting boards and cooking utensils. You can add your personal signature to these items with a wood burner from your local craft store. That way every time they use these items, they’ll be reminded of you.
For the First-Time Family
This homemade gift option might require a little more effort, but for the loved ones on your list with a newborn, it will mean the world. Your local craft store will have everything you need to create this precious hot air balloon-themed mobile for their baby’s bedroom. Craftiness is Not Optional provides a great step-by-step visual guide to building this homemade gift with ease. If this seems too difficult, Craftiness is Not Optional has other easier new parent gifts.
For the Home Spa Fan
Three perfect ways to make your spa-lover’s day! (Photo via PopSugar)
We all know someone who spends their free time soaking in hot bubble baths and pampering themselves with sugar scrubs, pedicures, and moisture-rich lotions. Show them you care with your own self-care creations! There are do-it-yourself soap recipes, easy sweet or floral-scented sugar scrub formulas, and nurturing lotion how-to’s across the Internet! One of our favorites comes from PopSugar. Their DIY Spa Kit Trio features a scrub, a body butter, and a foot soak. We are not going to lie, this one you might want to keep for yourself!
From the Heart
These are just a few of the countless ways to make the holidays mean more this year. Do you have go-to homemade gifts you’ve perfected for the big day? Share your tips with our social communities and help your fellow 1st Lake residents make the ideal gift to go under the tree.