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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

Photo by bakedbyrachel.com

 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

Photo via Bon Appetit

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

Photo via Country Living

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

Photo by Judy Kim via Delish

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

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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!

A homemade pumpkin spice latte. (Photo via Pexels)

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!

Photo by Danielle Occhiogrosso via Pinterest

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.

Photo by Ethan Calabrese via Pinterest

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! 

 


4 Simple Recipes for Your Memorial Day Gathering

Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of summertime for many of us. We honor the lives of those who have fought for our freedom and spend time with friends and loved ones. It’s a time of picnics, pool parties and cookouts, all of which have something in common: great food!

To help you prepare, we’ve put together a list of simple recipes that will be easy winners for any Memorial Day gathering, whether you’re a host or just a participant. Read on for some delicious ideas that will help you spend less time in the kitchen and more time hanging out this Memorial Day weekend.

Taco Lime Grilled Chicken

Grilled chicken is sure to satisfy, and this recipe by Closet Cooking is an easy-to-make, delicious centerpiece for your Memorial Day gathering.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (~2 limes)
  • 1 pound boneless and skinless chicken breasts

Directions

  1. Mix the taco seasoning and lime juice, cover the chicken in the mixture and optionally marinate for 30 minutes to over night.
  2. Grill over medium-high heat until cooked through, about 3-5 minutes per side, let sit for 5 minutes and slice before enjoying!

 

Photo by Blissful Basil

Grilled Corn on the Cob

There are few side-dishes that say summertime more than corn on the cob. Try this delicious recipe by Blissful Basil for a tasty twist on a classic recipe.

Ingredients

  • 4 ears of corn
  • 2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
  • smoked paprika, to taste
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Heat grill over high until hot.
  2. If you want a bit of a char on the corn, pull back a few of the husks on each ear of corn. Place the corn directly on the grill, cover, and grill for 15 to 20 minutes or until the husks are charred on all sides, rotating occasionally. Remove and let cool until they can safely be handled.
  3. Remove the husks and silk from each ear of corn. You can either discard the husks completely or fold them back to use as handles.
  4. Use a pastry brush or your hands to spread the coconut oil over each ear of corn. Place the corn on a serving platter, sprinkle with the smoked paprika, spritz with the fresh lime juice, sprinkle with cilantro, and season with sea salt and black pepper. Serve.

Photo by DianaEatingRichly via Pinterest

Stove-Top Macaroni & Cheese

It’s not a real cookout if there’s no mac n’ cheese! This recipe for easy macaroni & cheese by Genius Kitchen requires only 30 minutes and serves 6.

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 1cup butter
  • 1cup flour
  • 1teaspoon salt
  • dash black pepper
  • cups milk
  • cups shredded cheddar cheese or 8 ounces cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions.
  2. In medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; stir in flour, and cook for 3-5 minutes stirring constantly to form a roux; add salt and pepper; slowly add milk, stirring well after each addition.
  3. Cook and stir until bubbly.
  4. Stir in cheese a small amount at a time until fully melted.
  5. Drain macaroni; add to cheese sauce; stir to coat.

Photo by Family Fresh Meals

Flag Fruit Dessert

This ingenious dessert by Family Fresh Meals takes just a few minutes to prepare. It’s also a relatively healthy option for a dessert dish.

Ingredients

  • 5-6 cups of red fresh fruit (i.e. strawberries, cherries, raspberries)
  • 2 cups of blueberries
  • 3 cups of yogurt or white chocolate covered pretzels

Directions

  1. Wash fresh fruit and dry.
  2. Lay out fruit and pretzels to represent the flag stripes.
  3. Place a small bowl of blueberries on the top left.

Now, Enjoy!

We wish you a great Memorial Day weekend, and hope these recipes make your gathering delicious!

 


Cook Up These Tasty Snacks for the Big Game on Sunday

This Sunday, February 4, is the big game, and although we wish the Saints were suiting up to play, we know the matchup between New England and Philadelphia will be an exciting one! If you’re hosting a game day viewing party in your 1st Lake home and feel overwhelmed with what to cook for your guests, start here! We’ve rounded up our favorite appetizer and snack recipes from New Orleans’ most celebrated chefs so you can add a little Louisiana to your football watching party this weekend.

Creole Quesadillas from Chef John Folse

Now that crawfish are back in season, we can’t think of a better way to incorporate them into your game day offerings than in a melty, cheesy, and oh so spicy quesadilla. This recipe from Chef John Folse will certainly score you some big flavor points.

Melt their hearts with crawfish-stuffed quesadillas.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound fresh crawfish tails
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup sliced green onions
  • 2 tbsps minced garlic
  • ½ pound wild oyster mushrooms
  • ½ pound sliced button mushrooms
  • ½ pound Chanterelle mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tbsps chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup diced Creole tomatoes
  • ½ cup diced yellow bell pepper
  • ½ cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 tbsp Creole seasoning
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • hot sauce to taste
  • 8 large tortilla shells
  • 1 pound grated Monterey Jack cheese

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. You may wish to substitute shrimp, crab or even chicken if crawfish is unavailable in your area. In a large cast iron skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add green onions, garlic, and mushrooms. Sauté 3-5 minutes or until mushrooms are wilted. Add crawfish, thyme, cilantro, tomatoes and bell peppers. Continue to sauté until juices are rendered and liquids have almost completely evaporated approximately 10 minutes. Season to taste using Creole seasoning, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Place the tortilla shells on a large cookie sheet and sprinkle with a small amount of Monterey Jack cheese. Top with a portion of the crawfish stuffing and more of the Monterey Jack cheese. Fold each tortilla in half and bake 7-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and tortillas are slightly crisp but not over-browned.

 

Dooky Chase’s Shrimp Gumbo by Chef Leah Chase

The Queen of Creole Cooking, Leah Chase, shared her world famous gumbo recipe with The Food Network so you can make your guests feel like they’re dining at Dooky Chase in your 1st Lake living room! The weather will be a little chilly this Sunday, and a big pot of gumbo is a great way to warm up the football crowd.

Leah Chase’s gumbo is loaded with delicious fresh seafood! (Photo via The Food Network)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup peanut oil
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 pound small white shrimp (30/40), peeled and deveined
  • 8 ounces Creole hot sausage, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 8 ounces smoked sausage, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 8 ounces beef stew meat, cubed
  • 8 ounces smoked ham, cubed
  • 6 chicken wings, cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon file powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 dozen oysters, with their liquid
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground thyme

Instructions:

Heat the oil in a skillet over low heat and add the flour to make a roux, browning until golden about 3 minutes. Add the onions and cook over low heat until the onions wilt about 4 minutes.

Put the shrimp, sausages, stew meat and ham in a 5-quart pot over medium heat. Pour the onion mixture over the ingredients and add 3 quarts water, the chicken wings, file powder, paprika, and salt. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 minutes or until broth reaches desired thickness.

Add the oysters, parsley, garlic, and thyme. Lower the heat and cook until the shrimp is pink, about 10 minutes more, before serving.

 

Bacon Wrapped Dates by Chef Emeril Lagasse

Bacon is always a crowd pleaser in our book! Chef Emeril Lagasse’s Bacon Wrapped Dates are a tasty and perfectly-portioned appetizer to serve before the game begins. These individually served treats are the perfect blend of salty and sweet, and they’ll complement those commercial breaks nicely.

These you might want to cook for yourself. (Photo via Emerils.com)

Ingredients:

  • 24 Medjool dates
  • 24 Marcona or whole roasted almonds
  • 4 ounces honey goat cheese
  • 12 slices very thin bacon

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Slice the dates lengthwise, on one side only, and remove the pit. Place an almond inside each date. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of goat cheese into the other side of the date and press both sides together to close.

Cut each slice of bacon in half. Wrap each date with a slice of bacon and secure it with a toothpick.

Transfer the dates to the parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, take out the toothpick and turn the dates over. Bake for another 10 minutes or until the bacon is crisp on both sides.

Remove from the oven and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and let cool for 3 to 5 minutes before serving.