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Where To Quench Your King Cake Cravings

Each new Mardi Gras season brings a whole new wave of king cake creations.  That means, you have lots to try and little time!  To make things easier, here’s our breakdown of the delectable desserts you must try before it’s too late! 

King Cake In Its Many Forms

We’re loving everything from Beth Biundo Sweets! Whether you want king cake pound cake or this purple, green, and gold layer cake, she’s got you! Oh and did we mention…king cake ice cream sandwiches. We’ll wipe that drool off for you. 

The Purple Green and Gold Layer Cake (Photo: Beth Biundo Sweets)

Chocolate Addict? Us Too.

That’s why we’re obsessed with Bittersweet Confections’ Chocolate King Cake filled with chocolate cream cheese. We’ll take it!

The Bittersweet Confections Chocolate King Cake (Photo: Bittersweet Confections)

It Just Keeps Getting Sweeter.  

Our next two recs are a New Orleans tradition and a modern-day classic. First up: Manny Randazzo’s King Cakes are a family tradition dating back 55 years! From traditional flavors to pecan praline and many more in between,  you’ll never forget your first Randazzo’s king cake. 

The Cream Cheese King Cake (Photo: Manny Randazzo’s)

Back at Caluda’s King Cakes, you’ll get your hands on special flavors each week like Maple Bacon Praline or Blueberry Cheesecake king cake. But make sure you follow their Instagram because these bakers announce one-day only king cakes too! For example… Cannoli King Cake. Yep.  

Cannoli King Cake (Photo: Caluda’s)

Trying to Be Healthy This Carnival?

How about some portion control to help curb the carbs? District Donuts has you covered (sort of) by offering king cake donuts. Get all the king cake flavors jam packed into a tiny(ish) version of this season’s sweet of choice. But they also just came out with this king cake statement: “We have our New School and our Old School. The New School is a Danish dough with a touch of cream cheese, vanilla, cinnamon, and a pearlized sugar glaze. The Old School is a soft brioche dough with sanding sugar and a cherry 🤗.” You decide.

(Photo: District Donuts)

Now if you’re really trying to cool it with the carbs, try the healthy king cake everyone’s been talking about: Eat Fit Nola’s King Cake. This traditional treat checks all our health boxes: it’s all-natural, gluten-free, Keto friendly, low carb, & absolutely delicious. Yep, that about does it. 

Eat Fit King Cake (Photo: Eat Fit Nola)

Tried All Those and Still Want More?

Our friends at GoNola wrote a very extensive blog on all the king cake finds this city offers. Check it out here!


Holiday Baking Ideas: 3 Great Cookie Recipes

What’s your favorite part of the holiday season?

Spending time with family, gift-giving, and some time off of work probably rank high on your list. But what about the food?

The holidays are a time to indulge in deliciousness, and this post will help you do just that in the coming weeks. Read on for 1st Lake’s list of holiday baking ideas that will keep you, your family, and your friends full of cookies for the entire season!

  

Perfect Sugar Cookies

Delish breaks down the process of baking the perfect batch of classic holiday treats:

Ingredients (Cookie Dough)

  • 3 c. all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 c. (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. 
  • pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. milk

Ingredients (Buttercream Frosting)

  • 1 c. (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 5 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/4 c. heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp. pure almond extract
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • Food coloring 

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
  2. In another large bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy and pale in color. Add egg, milk, and vanilla and beat until combined, then add flour mixture gradually until totally combined.
  3. Shape into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate 1 hour.
  4. When ready to roll, preheat oven to 350º and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Lightly flour a clean work surface and roll out dough until 1/8” thick. Cut out shapes and transfer to prepared baking sheets. Freeze 10 minutes (so your shapes hold while baking!).
  5. Meanwhile, make frosting: In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat butter until smooth, then add powdered sugar and beat until no lumps remain. Add cream, almond extract, and salt and beat until combined.
  6. Bake cookies until edges are lightly golden, 8 to 10 minutes. 
  7. Let cool, then frost and decorate as desired.

Photo by tasteandtellblog.com via Pinterest

Cake Mix Cookies

What if you could eat cake AND cookies at the same time? Well, with Taste and Tell’s cake mix cookie recipe, you can!

Ingredients

  • 1 cake mix* (dry ingredients only)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup mix-ins

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with a silpat liner or parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the cake mix, vegetable oil and eggs until combined. Stir in the mix ins.
  3. Scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheet, at least 2 inches apart. Bake just until the cookies are set in the middle, 10-12 minutes.
  4. Cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet then transfer to a cooling rack or a sheet of waxed paper.

 

Gingerbread Cutout Cookies photo by Taste of Home

Gingerbread Cookies

Sally’s Baking Addiction describes these delectables as “perfectly spiced, molasses and brown sugar-sweetened holiday goodness.” Quite a review! 

Complete your holiday baking vision with these iconic holiday cookies from Taste of Home.

Ingredients

 

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Vanilla frosting of your choice
  • Red and green paste food coloring

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and molasses. Combine the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until easy to handle, about 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with floured 2-1/2-in. cookie cutters. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  3. Bake until edges are firm, 8-10 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool. Tint some of the frosting red and some green; leave remaining frosting plain. Decorate cookies.

Bake Your Holiday Treats in Your New 1st Lake Apartment!

Now that you’ve got the recipes that it takes to fill the holiday season with delicious snacks, let us help you find a beautiful apartment to bake them in! Contact us today for information on our private residential communities.

Did you know we have an Instagram? Follow us here

 


Fall Date Ideas: This Weekend and Beyond

Whether with your friend or with your love, these are some of the best fall date ideas!

New Orleans

The Music Under the Oaks Fall Concert Series is not only free, but it’s a majestic evening of melodies provided by The New Orleans Concert Band. Head to Audubon Park from 5-6:30 p.m. this Sunday to enjoy! Any donations you choose to make will fund the continual preservation and improvement of the park. 

Photo Courtesy of Audubon Nature Institute

The Paradigm Gardens will host their annual fall concert series from October 2 – November 13. Each of the four concerts will feature an evening of music, along with a menu from local chefs and restaurants, as well as beer and cocktails from local breweries and bars.

These concert series are a wonderful way to spend a low-key but romantic evening with your special someone or your best friend. 

Nola Mac N’ Cheese Fest is everything you’re hoping for and more. From the Big Cheezy to Frey Smoked Meats, your taste buds will thank you for gobbling up crawfish mac, vegan mac, and pulled pork mac (cue the salivating). Head to Armstrong park Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. to enjoy this fest, plus admission is free!

Mac N Cheese Grilled Cheese by Big Cheezy Nola

The Second Saturday Community Market at the Audubon Louisiana Nature Center is this Saturday! Head over to enjoy this family-friendly event full of local produce, handmade items, community services, nature hikes, live music, Planetarium shows and more! 

Audubon Nature Institute Photo

Northshore

St. Tammany Parish, also known as the Northshore, is a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of New Orleans for a leisurely autumn date.

The Covington Farmers Market is full of in-season veggies, fruit, dairy, pastries, dog treats, potted plants and more! Rise and shine early on Saturday so you can get the cream of the crop! This event happens every Saturday, so you can always mark this one for next weekend.  

Covington Farmers Market

Covington Three Rivers Arts Festival

The Three Rivers Arts Festival takes place November 9 – 10 in the historic downtown district of Covington, LA. This weekend-long event is a showcase of over 200 artists from around the US. The festival takes over several city blocks, featuring ceramics, paintings, photography, fiber art, woodworking, metalwork, sculptures, jewelry and more.

There’s no admission charge, and parking is free. Take a leisurely stroll, enjoy live music in the crisp November air, and maybe purchase a handmade keepsake for your significant other. 

Mandeville Trailhead Farmer’s Market

Sometimes, a morning date can be a great way to shake up your dating routine. The Mandeville Trailhead Farmer’s Market takes place every Saturday from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. It features over 50 vendors offering “food of all types, wood-crafted items, artwork, pottery, children’s toys and clothing, soaps & lotions, and more.” Fall is the perfect time of year to grab a cup of coffee and enjoy the local flavor. 

Once you’ve seen the marketplace, take a 5-minute walk to the shores of Lake Pontchartrain and soak in the incredible view.

Baton Rouge

Coffee, Pastries, and Nostalgia

It’s no secret that Baton Rouge is exploding with incredible coffee shops and cafes! With so many options, you can get just about any ambience you’re searching for. If it’s the warm, cottage feel you want, head to Magpie or Highland Coffees. For the bustling downtown feel, pop in at French Truck  or Magpie Downtown. Right now it seems like everyone is talking about  Light House Coffee, the number 1 rated coffee shop on Yelp. 

 Fall is the Perfect Time to Find a New Home at 1st Lake Properties!

We hope you take advantage of the fantastic weather and jam-packed events schedule this autumn in Louisiana.

1st Lake has properties located near all of our suggested date spots. Contact us today to learn more about our private gated apartment communities!


Accent Walls Without the Hassle

Want to create an inspiring accent wall without the hassle of a hammer?  Check out these easy accent wall alternatives. 

 1. Rest an oversized, eclectic mirror against any wall you want. Not only will this be a great talking piece, but mirrors instantly create the illusion of a larger space because they reflect the natural and artificial lighting in your apartment. 

Wayfair Kael Full Length Mirror

2.  Install a plant stand. This simple addition to your space can go anywhere in your home, and the plants you use can add aesthetically pleasing health benefits like air purification to your apartment!

Bamboo Plant Stand with Hanging Bar from Gardener’s Supply Company

3. Set up an accent table with your favorite pieces. Rather than hanging your favorite art or plants on the wall, skip the nails and hammer and just place your pieces on a cute bench or table in your apartment.  

Tecoria Wood Storage Bench from Wayfair

There are plenty of ways to revamp your space! Share your accent walls with us and tag @apartmentsat1stlake on Instagram.

Fall in love with your next apartment by visiting 1stlake.com!


6 Tips to Help You Downsize

Did you know most people only wear 20% of the clothes they own 80% of the time? Keep this factoid in mind as we talk about tips for downsizing from a house to an apartment. No matter why you’re downsizing, the transition can seem daunting without these quick tips.

1. Determine What You Already Have

Once you’ve figured out exactly how much square footage you have in your new apartment, you can tackle the task of sorting through what you already have and then choosing what items are moving with you and what items are not.

2. Organize Your Belongings

It’s important to prioritize in the early phases of downsizing. Identify the most important items you have which will most likely be key furniture such as your bed, sofas, dining table, bedside tables, and chairs. Start planning out where you will put these items first as they are the most important. Then you can begin to plan around with decor or smaller items.

3. Consider Lifestyle Changes

Getting into the mindset of your new life will be extremely helpful to your downsize project. Consider how your everyday activities will change in your new surroundings. For example, according to a long distance moving company in Dallas, if you are moving to a city without good public transportation, you need to restructure your budget to allow more spending on gas.

Think about your lifestyle changes as you go through your possessions and determine which ones make the cut, and which ones are better left behind. Consider things that may be useful to you now but won’t be useful in an apartment and a different environment.

4. Choose Your Supplies Wisely

As you start packing, it may be helpful to designate boxes: items you’re taking with you, items you’re giving away, items you’re putting in storage, items you’re throwing away. Remember, long-term storage can be expensive, so if there are items you don’t want to get rid of but don’t have space for (like a piano, for instance) ask a friend or family member to store those for you.

5. Deciding What to Give Away vs. Keep

Many people find it hard to discard their belongings even if they haven’t used them in a long time. While there is no getting around the sentimental value an item might have you should ask yourself two important questions when sifting through your things. One: how useful is it? And two: does it have aesthetic value?

Remember the stat we threw at you in the beginning of this post? Your downsize project may seem intimidating but the fact is most of the items we accumulate in our homes are not particularly useful. While you won’t want to bring a rarely used kitchen mixer, you may want to bring a rarely read book. Why? Because books are great accent pieces that can add aesthetic appeal without breaking the budget.

6. Declutter Your Life

Making the most use of your available space will be very important when downsizing. For many, this means minimizing clutter. No matter how organized you are, we all have clutter and moving is the perfect time to declutter your life.

One helpful hint for minimizing clutter is using wirelessly connected devices like printers and laptops so you don’t have a bunch of wires creating an eyesore in your new place. Plus, if you’re relocating to a new office, you may consider bringing some home items to your new space (i.e. small plants, notepads, etc.) Also, utilize the space under your bed and behind your doors (door-mounted shoe racks and underbed storage are great sources of organization).

A Great Opportunity

In reality, downsizing is a great opportunity to simplify, de-stress and reprioritize your life. It’s a chance to reinvent yourself and your living space. So we hope this post has given you a positive perspective of the whole ordeal. Ready, Set, Go!

Guest blog by North Dallas Moving and Storage