Things to Do in Covington LA

Things to Do in Covington LA

Photos courtesy of Infrogmation and St. Tammany Parish on Flickr

Though Greater New Orleans gets much of the glory, the Northshore is a destination all its own. Just across Lake Pontchartrain, you’ll find Covington, LA, a robust community full of cultural treasures, historic homes, and delicious dining. You’ll also find one of our favorite 1st Lake Properties: Brewster Commons at River Chase:

brewster commons

Our Brewster Commons community is close to several things to do in Covington.

This peaceful community in Covington, LA, is located on the Northshore close to dining, entertainment, and retail. With cozy amenities like energy-saving appliances, self-cleaning ovens, granite counter tops and wood-finish flooring, you may not want to leave your apartment… but if you decide to venture out, here are a few of our favorite things to do in Covington.

Drink Tea at the English Tearoom

This charming spot transports guests to England via a piping hot cup of Earl Grey, organic Ceylon or jasmine tea (their full menu includes many more options). Whether you attend breakfast, lunch, or High Tea, save time for shopping afterward: their “Queen’s Parlor” shop is full of gift items, teas, and treats.

Check Out Covington Trailhead and Tammany Trace

Covington Trailhead is a picturesque spot with a railroad and outdoor space that hosts free community concerts in spring and fall, including the Rockin’ the Rails concert series. Covington Trailhead is also the start of Tammany Trace, a 31-mile paved trail for hikers and bicyclists connecting several North Shore communities like Mandeville and Abita Springs.

Get Dinner at Lola

Offering a contemporary rendition of Louisiana comfort foods, Lola is the perfect union of fine dining cuisine and family-style presentation. Mascarpone cheese grits, thyme pan gravy, and oven-roasted chicken with Abita Amber pan jus are just a few examples of how Lola’s chefs put an accessible gourmet spin on Southern classics.

Shop Local at the Covington Farmers Market

Vendors at the weekly Covington Farmers Market offer up plenty of homegrown goodness, including delicious local produce and carefully prepared food. You can shop their wares every Wednesday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at The Covington Trailhead or each Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon at the side yard of Covington Police Station (609 N. Columbia St.); they’re open rain or shine.

Go Wild With Wildlife

Get up close and personal with local wildlife at the Insta-Gator Ranch in Covington, as experienced tour guides walk you through the gator life cycle. The most adventurous animal lovers will even get the chance to pet a baby gator! Nearby, check out the Global Wildlife Center in Folsom, LA and take a safari tour where you’ll have the chance to meet giraffes, zebras, kangaroos and other animals up close and personal.

Get Cultured and Discover Local Artists

Each fall, Covington plays host to the Three Rivers Art Festival, which draws more than 50,000 visitors to the area. Regarded as one of the best art shows in the region, the festival showcases 200 talented artists and craftsmen. If you haven’t gotten your fill of local art just yet, stick around for a few weeks, because another long-running craft show takes place the first weekend each December at the Covington Fairgrounds. The annual Christmas Extravaganza Expo in Covington brings more than 500 artists from across the Gulf South to town.

Relax In Affordable Luxury at Brewster Commons

Tired from all that exploring? Relax back at Brewster Commons at the on-site pool featuring a hot tub and tanning deck. Or, if you’re burning off your meal from Lola, head to the fitness center stocked with the latest Precor equipment and a separate yoga room.

Reserve your new Brewster Commons apartment home today – a place to work and play in the heart of Covington.

Go Coconuts for Zulu with These Easy Coconut Recipes

King cake is popular this time of year, but it’s not the only way to celebrate Mardi Gras. Check out some recipes inspired by one of our favorite parades, Zulu.

The krewe rolls on Mardi Gras Day, Feb. 17, in Uptown at 8:00 a.m. Perhaps you’ll get one of their prized coconuts, but if not, no problem! Whether you prefer savory or sweet, we’ve got your coconut fix right here with these easy coconut recipes.

coconut macaroons with chocolate

Who needs king cake when you have coconut macaroons? Honor Zulu with these cookies and other coconut recipes. (Photo courtesy Dennis Wilkinson on Flickr)

Toasted Coconut Brussels Sprouts

The exotic flavors of coconut create an intriguing flavor combination alongside Brussels sprouts while toasted coconut flakes add a satisfying crunch. Hearty enough for a vegetarian main, this dish is also the perfect side for a steakhouse dinner at home.

Cranberry Coconut Trifle

With Mardi Gras falling close to Valentine’s Day, we think this recipe is a delectable way to celebrate both. Surprise your sweetie with a cranberry coconut trifle – pops of red cranberry tie in Valentine’s colors while coconut, of course, says nothing but Zulu. You can follow the instructions for the homemade sponge cake, but we won’t tell if you use store-bought ladyfingers instead.

Baked Coconut Shrimp

This classic dish is healthier when baked. The dipping sauce continues the theme of exotic flavors – curry, rice vinegar, and orange zest are spicy and bright. Serve as an appetizer or pair with a simple salad for an elegant weeknight dinner.

Slow-Cooker Coconut Ginger Chicken & Vegetables

You had us at “slow-cooker.” This one-pot meal is a wonderful and warming dish to come home to – simply put assemble all the ingredients and let the slow cooker do the work while you’re at the office. Chicken thighs are a budget-friendly choice, but you can swap boneless, skinless chicken breasts for a more health-conscious meal.

Coconut Macaroons

Five ingredients and you’re on your way to moist and chewy cookies. They’re also gluten-free! Drizzle them with chocolate for extra richness and depth of flavor.

 

Did You Know? More Millenials Rent than Buy

Several recent articles have shown a growing trend in real estate: many millennials are opting to rent rather than buy. We think this is a great option that falls in line with important lifestyle perks of renting. Take a look at some of the reasons why renting is a viable, long-term option for millennials.

moving boxes

Moving on up! Millenials prefer to rent because of unbeatable amenities like pools and gyms. (Photo courtesy Robert Donovan on Flickr)

Affordability

Buying a home not only requires money up front for a down payment but also a monthly mortgage in addition to property tax, insurance, and possible homeowner’s association fees. Homeowners are also responsible for their own maintenance and repairs plus the usual utilities, water, and trash. Conversely, apartments keep it simple: rent and utilities.

Unbeatable Amenities

Even if a millennial chooses to buy his or her own home, it’s unlikely to compete with the types of amenities available at most apartment complexes. For example, our new Bella Ridge property features an attached parking garage and covered walking path, a resort-style swimming pool with a tanning ledge, outdoor cabanas, and a state-of-the-art fitness facility with brand-new Precor equipment (it’s also open 24 hours). What’s more, our Bella Ridge property doesn’t limit amenities to just humans. Bella Bark, an on-site dog park, caters to furry friends by providing them with a dedicated space for outdoor play. Looking beyond Bella Ridge? Our Lakes of Chateau Estates South property feature a private lake.

Free Time and Convenience

Residents who rent from apartment complexes like those we manage don’t need to worry about maintenance and repairs or yard work. For example, all of our properties features meticulously landscaped grounds that you can simply enjoy. If something breaks in your apartment, simply contact the office – we’ll take care of repairs quickly and thoroughly. With qualified staff taking care of tasks like landscaping and repairs, you won’t have to devote your weekends to mowing the lawn or repairing the sink. Renters can get outside and enjoy the day!

Proximity

Purchasing a home in a city like New Orleans can be expensive, especially with more young professionals coming to the area, but renters get the advantage of incredible proximity without the high monthly mortgage and insurance. Many of our properties are just a quick drive to sought-after areas like the CBD and the French Quarter – without the price tag.

NOLA Takes Top Honors for Best Oyster Houses in the South

Southern Living’s blog, The Daily South, just posted their definitive list of the 10 best oyster houses in the south. Locals won’t be surprised one bit to learn that Acme Oyster House, Drago’s Seafood Restaurant, and Felix’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar all made the list! We love how these places let the flavors of fresh oysters shine through, and we especially love how close they are to several of our Greater New Orleans apartments. Drago’s, for example, is just 2 miles from Boardwalk Apartments, and our new Bella Ridge property (part of our January specials) is a 15-minute drive from Acme Oyster House’s Metairie location.

Drago's Oysters

Drago’s is one of several local restaurants named among the best oyster bars in the South. (Photo: Drago’s Seafood Restaurant on Facebook)

If you’re not a raw oyster fan, don’t worry. Acme, Drago’s, and Felix’s have plenty of other options to satisfy your palate. Take a look at some popular menu items with nary an oyster in sight:

Acme Oyster House

Boo Fries are the start to an unforgettable meal. Smothered in roast beef gravy and cheese, the fries are similar to poutine – with a Creole kick, of course. The grilled shrimp po-boy is another worthy pick.

Drago’s Seafood Restaurant

Lobster mac ‘n’ cheese, spinach dip, and blackened duck linguine are just a few of the decadent options at Drago’s. Those with food allergies will enjoy ordering from the restaurant’s extensive gluten-free menu.

Felix’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar

We won’t tell if you start off with dessert: Felix’s Creole Pecan Pie is a must-try. Classic New Orleans dishes like turtle soup, crawfish etouffee, jambalaya, and red beans and rice are all on the menu, too.

Prefer an Asian twist when it comes to seafood? Try out Kyoto 2 in Elmwood – it’s practically next door to Bella Ridge.

Keep Your Diet on Track with This Healthy, Vegan King Cake

Not long after the decadence of Christmas, Carnival season gets underway, treating us to a calorie-laden stretch of parades and celebrations (it’s not called Fat Tuesday for nothing). Although you won’t see us restricting ourselves completely, we plan to at least put in the effort of baking our own vegan king cake this year.

This version from Dairy Free Cooking relies on rich – yet vegan – ingredients like maple syrup, coconut milk, and pecans to create king cake luxuriousness without the extra fat and calories of dairy products. It yields 10-12 servings, and you can make the icing and filling in advance if you’re short on time. Check out some other healthy, vegetarian recipes here!

vegan king cake

Vegan king cake. (Photo courtesy House Vegan)

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 1 package dry active yeast
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoon organic white granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons soy margarine, cut into pieces
  • 3 tablespoons Egg Replacer Powder mixed with ¼ tablespoon hot water
  • ¼ cup coconut milk (not “lite” variety), plus more for brushing

For the filling:

  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup dairy-free soy margarine, softened
  • ½ cup finely chopped pecans
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

For the sprinkles:

  • Unrefined cane sugar (about 1 ½ cups)
  • Yellow, green, and purple Food Coloring

For the icing:

  • 1 ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons warm water

Recipe

  1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the yeast, warm water and maple syrup, mixing gently until the yeast dissolves and bubbles begin to appear on the surface. Set aside until frothy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine flour, salt, nutmeg and sugar into a food processor. Add the soy margarine and process until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add this mixture to the yeast, along with the Egg Replacer and coconut milk. Knead, adding flour as necessary, until a soft dough forms. Place in an oiled bowl, covered, for 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in bulk.
  3. Meanwhile, make the filling. In a small mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, soy margarine, chopped pecans and cinnamon until combined.
  4. Make the Sprinkles. In three small bowls, mix about ½ cup of sugar in each with just a few drops of desired food coloring. Mix well until desired color is achieved. Set aside.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly oil a large baking sheet or round pizza pan.
  6. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a large rectangle about 1/8” thick. Using a floured sharp knife, cut the dough in half lengthwise. Cut each of the strips into triangles, each about 3 inches at their base. (Think of a zipper or zigzag pattern when you cut, alternating the tops of triangles with the bases.) With the tips of the triangles pointed inward, place the triangles in a circle on the prepared sheet, overlapping one over the other and pressing the edges to seal. Place an even amount of the filling on the centers of the triangles, and place the baby or dried bean somewhere on the filling. Fold the outsides of the triangles over the filling, so that the reach just over the filling. Fold the tips over, pressing slightly to adhere the tips to the outside of the ring. Cover the ring lightly with a paper towel or clean dish towel, and let rise for 20 minutes more.
  7. Brush the cake lightly with coconut milk or soy milk. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow cake to cool completely on a wire cooling rack, and then transfer the cake to a serving platter large enough to catch excess icing.
  8. Prepare the icing. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and salt. Add the warm water and, stirring vigorously, stir until the mixture is a very thick glaze. Ladle the mixture over the cake in several additions, letting the icing run down the sides. While the icing is still slightly warm, sprinkle the prepared sprinkles over the cake, alternating sections of purple, green, and yellow. Allow the icing to harden completely before serving.

 

 

 

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