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Perfect Potluck Side Dishes

If you’ve got a summer soiree to attend, chances are you’ll want to bring a side dish. Check out three of our favorites below, perfect for potlucks, a 4th of July barbecue, a Labor Day Weekend cookout, or any other summertime event.

Potluck Summertime Side Dishes

Coleslaw with Apple and Yogurt Dressing

Skip all that mayo in favor of healthful, nonfat Greek yogurt. Green apple adds a sweet, tart note. Pro tip: make the dressing and cabbage mix ahead of time and store in separate bowls, then mix together when you’re ready to serve.

Ingredients

  • 8 cups mixed shredded red and green cabbage
  • 1 12-oz. bag broccoli slaw mix
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions (about 4)
  • 1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated garlic
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1 green apple

Recipe

  • Combine red and green cabbages, broccoli slaw, carrots, and scallions in a large bowl, and toss to mix.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, lemon juice, and garlic until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Last, cut the apple into matchstick-size pieces. Add apple to slaw mixture and toss to evenly incorporate. Add dressing and toss to evenly coat.

Grilled Corn & Cheddar Quinoa

Quinoa is a complete protein that pairs well with just about any meat or seafood you can think of. This version from How Sweet It Is has subtle Tex-Mex flavors, but you could swap for a milder cheese like Mozzarella.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 ears of grilled, sweet corn
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese, freshly grated
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Recipe

  • Preheat the grill on high. Shuck the ears of corn, brush with olive oil, and season with about a half teaspoon of salt and pepper. Wrap each ear in aluminum foil and grill for about 5 minutes each “side,” rotating corn about 5 times throughout the grilling process. Cool, and remove kernels.
  • Meanwhile, add quinoa and chicken stock to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 15-18 minutes. Once done, immediately stir in butter, cheddar and remaining salt and pepper. Add in corn and stir to combine. Top with fresh cilantro and serve.

Antipasto Skewers

There’s a “recipe” for this brilliant idea from A Pretty Life in the Suburbs below, but we think you could add just about anything to the skewer that suits your fancy — prosciutto, black olives, and Buffalo mozzarella would all be great contenders.

Ingredients

  • Olives – I used Kalamata Olives and Feta Stuffed Green Olives
  • Salami
  • Artichoke Hearts
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Cheese (cheddar, feta, or mozzarella)
  • Three Cheese Tortellini
  • Italian Salad Dressing

Recipe

  • Cook tortellini according to package directions, pour on Italian salad dressing and marinate for a few hours (it’s OK to marinate overnight).
  • Skewer the ingredients in what order suits your fancy.
  • Enjoy!


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!

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.

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 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.

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What To Do with Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

So, it’s the day after Thanksgiving and you have a fridge full of leftovers: Don’t throw it out! Luckily, a lot of cooking magazines and lifestyle websites have taken action against pitching Thanksgiving’s tastiest dishes. They’ve come up with a multitude of clever and delicious recipes for your leftovers, so you can finish off your whole feast, pocket some spending money, and save from wasting perfectly good food this year.

Here are some of our favorite ways to reuse your Thanksgiving meal leftovers.

Baked by Rachel’s Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

 Shepherd’s Pie is a delicious, flavorful dish that will make use of your leftover turkey and potatoes. Check out Baked by Rachel’s recipe here.

Bon Appetit’s Turkey and Mushroom Risotto

Do you still have a lot of turkey left? Shred it and use it in Bon Appetit’s Turkey and Mushroom Risotto recipe. The dish’s gravy is filled with the delicious flavors of mushrooms, onions, parmesan cheese, and parsley. It’s a warming winner for a cold weather dinner.

Country Living’s Sweet Potato Spoon Breads

It might even be worth cooking more sweet potatoes than needed if it means making this sweet single-serve dish after the big day is over. Country Living’s Sweet Potato Spoon Bread with Caramel-Pecan Topping is our favorite way to treat yourself after hosting the holiday at your 1st Lake home. You deserve to celebrate a successful Thanksgiving Day with the help of cinnamon, sugar, caramel, and pecans. Trust us.

Delish’s Turkey & Rice Soup

On a simpler note than most of the recipe’s we’ve listed so far, sometimes you just want a quick but exciting meal made from your decadent leftovers. Delish’s Turkey & Rice soup is your answer.

Have Your Thanksgiving Leftovers in Your New 1st Lake Apartment

Contact us today to learn more about our private gated apartment communities!


Taste of Autumn: Simple Fall Drink Recipes to Make at Home

Fall is a perennial favorite for so many reasons. The Saints season starts again (who dat!), the weather cools down just a touch, and fall festivals help everyone get in the spirit. There’s also nothing quite like pulling on a cozy sweater and sipping on a warm drink brimming with the flavors of fall. But you don’t have to hit Starbucks for that famous Pumpkin Spice Latte. Save some cash by taking the DIY route — the results are just as delicious!

Fall Drink Recipes

Pumpkin Spice Latte

This is a classic, of course. But instead of waiting in line at Starbucks, you can make your own at home with this recipe from the Food Network.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup hot espresso or strong brewed coffee
  • Sweetened whipped cream, for serving

Directions

  1. Combine the milk, pumpkin puree, sugar, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla in a medium microwave-safe bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and vent with a small hole. Microwave until the milk is hot, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk vigorously until the milk mixture is foamy, about 30 seconds.
  2. Pour the espresso or coffee into a large mug and add the foamed milk. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.

Spiced Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate is a go-to drink for cold weather, but you can also add a taste of autumn during the fall months. Try this recipe for Spiced Hot Chocolate and enjoy while you watch the leaves change color.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla sugar (use store-bought or see recipe below)
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ancho chile powder
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • ½ fresh vanilla bean
  • 2 cups granulated sugar

Directions

  1. Sift all ingredients together into a large bowl. Whisk the mixture together to be sure the spices are evenly distributed.
  2. To serve, stir 3 tablespoons of the mix into 1½ cups (12 ounces) of hot milk. Serve in large mugs. Store the remaining mix in a tightly-sealed jar.
  3. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with the back of a knife. Combine the sugar, vanilla pod and seeds together and store in an airtight container for at least 1 week before using.

Pumpkin Smoothie

This Whole Foods recipe is perfect for when you’re craving autumn flavors but the weather is still warm!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1 large ripe banana
  • 1 cup unsweetened soymilk or coconut milk beverage
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 5 ice cubes

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into 2 glasses and serve.

Make These Recipes and More in Your New Home at 1st Lake!

Get more great recipe ideas by checking out all of our Cooking Tips on our blog, and contact us today for more information about our residential communities!

 

 


4 Recipes for a Relaxing Stay-At-Home Brunch – 1st Lake Properties

Brunch isn’t an everyday occasion, which might make it the best meal you can have. It usually signifies that you have some time to relax, or that it’s the weekend. 

If you have time off and want to spend it at home, you don’t have to miss out on brunch. There are plenty of easy recipes you can make in your pajamas, or with friends during the weekend. 

Read on for 4 easy stay-at-home brunch recipes!

Bacon Gruyere Breakfast Pie

This recipe from Good Housekeeping is a great idea for weekend brunch. It looks very much like a pizza, except it has all of your favorite breakfast ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 1 sheet (half of 17.3 oz. package) frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1/3 c. sour cream
  • 3/4 c. shredded Gruyère cheese
  • 4 slices cooked bacon
  • 3 large eggs
  • Fresh thyme leaves, for garnish

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

  2. On large sheet parchment, roll pastry to 12″ by 10″ rectangle. Fold 1/2 inch of edices to form rim; using a fork, seal rim and poke holes all over pastry. Place pastry on cookie sheet; bake 20 minutes or until golden brown.

  3. In small bowl, combine sour cream and Gruyére. Spread onto tart, creating 3 wells for eggs. Arrange bacon strips over topping. Crack eggs into wells; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  4. Bake until egg whites are set but yolks are still runny, about 12 minutes. Garnish with thyme.

Caprese Stuffed Avocados

This Delish recipe is like a “portable garden,” and super simple as well.

Ingredients

  • 2 avocados, pitted
  • 1/2 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 c. chopped fresh mozzarella
  • Italian seasoning
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Basil, for garnish

Directions

  1. Scoop out avocados, leaving a small border. Dice avocado and set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, toss diced avocado with tomatoes, mozzarella, Italian seasoning, balsamic, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

  3. Divide salad among 4 avocado halves and garnish with basil.

Easy Eggs Benedict with Hollandaise Sauce

Now it’s time for a classic. Use this recipe from Dine & Dish to make your stay-at-home brunch complete.

Ingredients

  • 1 poached egg  
  • 1/2 English Muffin toasted (try making homemade)
  • 1 slice thinly sliced deli ham
  • 3 Tablespoons Hollandaise Sauce
  • For the Hollandaise Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Directions for Hollandaise Sauce

  1. In a small saucepan, heat butter, salt and lemon juice until bubbly (do not boil)

  2. Remove from heat.

  3. Place egg yolks in a medium bowl and slowly pour in butter mixture, stirring continuously. Whisk together until smooth and creamy. Stir in heavy whipping cream.

Directions for Eggs Benedict

  1. For each serving, top 1/2 toasted English Muffin with a folded slice of deli ham, 1 poached egg and 3-4 Tablespoons of Hollandaise Sauce. Serve warm.

Classic Mimosa

It’s hard to call it brunch if there aren’t mimosas available. That’s why we’re including this classic mimosa recipe from Inspired Taste.

Ingredients

  • 1 (750 ml) bottle chilled dry sparkling wine
  • 3 cups (750 ml) chilled orange juice (freshly squeezed is best)
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) Grand Marnier or triple sec, optional

Directions

  1. Fill 8 champagne flutes 1/2 full with chilled sparkling wine.

  2. Top with orange juice.

  3. If you are using, top mimosa with 1 tablespoon of Grand Marnier or triple sec.

Let Us Help You Find the Perfect Apartment for Your Stay-At-Home Brunch!

Check out our website to find a 1st Lake residential community near you!