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1st Lake Blog

Parks & Rec: Kenner’s Newest Parks! 

Kenner is upping its game with a new dog park and skate park, plus plenty of playgrounds for the kids. Get the scoop below!

Parks in Kenner

City Park Dog Park

Dogs in Kenner had it “ruff” without any designated city dog park. But it’s official — Kenner City Park has started phase one of construction on a brand-new, dedicated dog park. The dog park will be one of only three others in Jefferson Parish (besides ones at our properties like Bella Ridge, of course). Dogs and their pet parents will love this fully fenced park, featuring watering stations, benches, lush landscaping, and fun, decorated fire hydrants scattered throughout its expansive grounds.

“This dog park is a tremendous addition for Kenner’s City Park, and it’s the kind of quality of life feature that families look for when choosing a place to live,” says Kenner District 5 Councilman Dominick Impastato, who added that the dog park is “part of a master plan to transform City Park into a premier destination for Kenner residents and others in the region.”

Once the park is complete, it will feature three areas for different types of dogs, including an area for small dogs, one for large, passive dogs, and another for large, active dogs. Planners say they also hope to include agility equipment, a splash pad, and a memorial brick paw walkway.

The dog park isn’t all that’s coming to Kenner City Park, either. Just-announced plans for a 2,400-square-foot synthetic ice skating rink for the expanded Christmas Village mean that plenty of fun is available for humans, too!

Wentwood Skate Plaza

Skateboarders will (kick) flip over Kenner’s new Wentwood Skate Plaza at 200 W. Loyola Drive. Clocking in at 2,400 square feet, the state-of-the-art skate park is the first of its kind in Jefferson Parish.

The park is open daily from 10 a.m. until dusk with the potential for expanded hours after new lighting is added.

Kenner Mayor Ben Zahn notes that the skate plaza spotlights Kenner’s commitment to outdoor spaces.

“The timely opening for our youth to have another recreational attraction with summer right around the corner is perfect for all Kenner residents to enjoy,” Zahn told NOLA.com.

Kids’ Playgrounds

Families can enjoy Kenner’s wide variety of parks and playgrounds, including Woodlake Playground on Esplanade Avenue. This spacious spot features recreation leagues for soccer, football, baseball, volleyball, cheerleading, track, and more. Plus, clean, well-maintained play equipment like slides and swings are great for the little ones. Other great Kenner playgrounds include those at Kenner City Park and the Lions Playground on Williams Boulevard.

Take a look at all our convenient Kenner properties — plus, they’re dog friendly!


Beat the Heat with These Cool Recipes

We love having warm weather year round… except maybe during summer, when it gets really warm. Whether you choose to chill in one of our pools or maybe just crank up your air conditioner, you might want to add these easy, no-bake summer recipes to your arsenal of cool-down tricks.

panzanella

Panzanella. (Photo via The New York Times)

No-Bake Summer Recipes to Beat the Heat

 

Savory

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail — A spin on the traditional shrimp cocktail, this version calls for creamy, cool avocado and Cholula hot sauce (though we bet you could substitute with Crystal). It also happens to pair perfectly with frozen margaritas!

Ingredients:

  • 10 jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined, and steamed
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup Cholula hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup pico de gallo
  • 1/2 avocado, cut into chunks
  • 2 cilantro sprigs
  • tortilla chips to serve

Recipe: 

  • Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, ketchup, and hot sauce.
  • Add salt, pepper, pico de gallo, avocado, and shrimp. Stir gently to combine.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve with tortilla chips.

Italian Panzanella — This no-cook salad is full of texture and pairs well with a variety of main dishes. You can serve it at room temperature or chilled.

Ingredients: 

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 15-oz cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups cubed country bread
  • 1 pound plum tomatoes cut into small pieces
  • 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces provolone cheese, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn

Recipe: 

  • Whisk together oil and vinegar; season with salt and pepper.
  • Add all ingredients except basil and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (but no more than 8 hours).
  • Stir in fresh basil just before serving.

Cantaloupe, Lime & Chili Soup — Complex flavors and a gorgeous color make this the most elegant dish on your summer menu. Plus, it only takes four ingredients!

Ingredients:

  • 3-pound cantaloupe
  • 3/4 teaspoon sambal oelek (Asian chili paste)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

Recipe: 

  • Cut cantaloupe flesh into large chunks and puree with sambal oelek, lime juice, and salt until smooth.
  • Refrigerate at least one hour until thoroughly chilled. Serve in a chilled bowl with more sambal oelek, to taste.

Sweet

No-Bake Peanut Butter Nutella Cookies — The recipe pretty much says it all. Yum!

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup Nutella
  • 3 cups quick oats

Recipe: 

  • Over medium heat, cook sugar, cocoa, milk and margarine. Boil one minute. Remove from heat.
  • Stir in vanilla, salt, peanut butter, Nutella and oats. Stir until combined. Drop by teaspoon on wax paper and cool. Refrigerate until chilled, and enjoy.

Ice Cream with Honey-Poached Apricots — Fruity and refreshing.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 strips peeled lemon zest
  • 4 apricots, pitted and quartered
  • 1/4 cup toasted coconut

Recipe: 

  • Bring water, honey, and lemon zest to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, add apricots and poach until fork tender, about 2-5 minutes.
  • Drain apricots, reserving the syrup (remove lemon peels)
  • Serve apricots with vanilla ice cream and top with syrup.

No-Bake Strawberry Tart — This elegant dessert is deceptively easy to make.

Ingredients:

  • 32 Oreo cookies
  • 1/2 stick melted butter
  • 7 ounces milk chocolate
  • 3.5 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 7 ounces heavy cream
  • 10 ounces fresh strawberries
  • Chopped nuts (almonds, pistachios, etc), optional, for serving

Recipe: 

  • Place Oreo cookies into the bowl of a food processor and blend until crumbs form. Add melted butter and pour over the crushed cookies. Process until evenly moistened. Press cookie mixture with the back of the spoon or fingers into the bottom and edges of a rectangular 5×14 inch tart pan. Freeze until you prepare the filling, just for few minutes.
  • In a small saucepan, place cream over medium-low heat for a few minutes to get hot. No boiling or simmering needed. Remove from heat, pour over chopped chocolate and let rest for 1-2 minutes. Stir until dissolved.
  • Pour chocolate filling over Oreo crust, and top with fresh strawberries.
  • Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight before serving.


Create Your Own Indoor Herb Garden

If there’s one thing that adds instant depth to homemade recipes, it’s fresh herbs. Basil on top of Caprese salad, rosemary with grilled chicken, dill with pan-seared salmon, minty lemonade — herbs are more than just garnishes. And while you could use the powdered versions, you’ll get so much more flavor with the real deal. Take advantage of a windowsill or countertop and create your own indoor herb garden with these tips.

basil-coffee-mug

Coffee mugs are a creative way to house fresh basil.

DIY Indoor Herb Garden

Pick your vessel — Mason jars, vintage tea cups, mugs, traditional pots… they’re all fair game when planting herbs. Create drainage holes using a jewelry drill, or look for pre-made, attractive pots at places like Home Depot.

Consider sunlight — Make sure your herb garden gets about 5-8 hours of sunlight per day. Choose a south-facing window if possible to help ensure they receive enough light! If this isn’t an option, consider herbs that don’t require as much light — that means you’ll probably want to stay away from cilantro and parsley!

Watch how much you water — Thyme likes dry soil while basil needs a little more water. Once you pick your plants (side note: Trader Joe’s, Target, and Home Depot are great places to look for herbs), read up on how to best care of them.

One-pot wonder — Hearty herbs like sage and rosemary can coexist together happily in one pot. This is a great solution if you’re short on counter space or can’t devote much time to indoor gardening. All they need is a little water and as much sunlight as possible. Check out the tutorial on Apartment Therapy. Other great one-pot combinations are:

  • Parsley and basil
  • Oregano and thyme
  • Chives and nasturtium (bonus points — these produce flowers!)

Kickstart with a kit — If you’re less inclined for a DIY project, you can buy an herb garden kit on Amazon. These kits can get pretty high-tech: some are self-watering, and others include a light that replicates natural sunlight.


What Millennials Want in an Apartment

Millennials know what they want. This is the on-demand generation where everything is available at the touch of a button. Need a ride? There’s an app for that. Need food, quick? There’s an app for that, too. But when it comes to finding the right home, it’s not as simple as downloading an app. Fortunately, we know what millennials want — and you can find it all at Bella Ridge.

The Perfect Apartments at Bella Ridge

The cozy club room at Bella Ridge.

Concierge Services

While we don’t have an app for dry cleaning, we do offer concierge services for a variety of services (like dry cleaning!). Think of us as your personal assistant — we’re here to help keep your home life running smoothly.

Resident Rewards

Beyond perks like granite countertops, large spaces, separate tubs and showers, and more, we also offer a different kind of resident rewards. Our resident rewards program is free to join and gives you discounts on local shopping, dining, and lifestyle services.

Green Property

Sustainability is important for the earth, and we’re pleased with our Green Globe Certification. This national certification demonstrates excellence in water conservation and energy efficiency.

Free Bike Rentals

Sustainability doesn’t stop at building codes. We offer free bike rentals at Bella Ridge — it’s a great way to burn some calories and help the environment simultaneously.

Dog Park

Four-legged friends are welcome at Bella Ridge. We even have our own designated dog park! Just remember to review our dog park etiquette.

Free Poolside Covered Cabanas

Our stunning pool is the perfect place to get away from it all without ever leaving home. In addition to free covered cabanas, our pool also features tanning ledges and a grilling area so you can make a day of it.

Free Resident Events

Meet other Bella residents and enjoy perks like wine nights and holiday parties at our resident events.

24-Hour Fitness Center

Are you one of those people who likes to exercise late at night? We totally aren’t. But we feel you! That’s why our fitness center is open 24 hours.

DVD Rentals

Millennials love a good #tb. Enter DVD rentals. You might be tempted to queue up your Netflix account, but check our selection first! It’s old-school fun for an awesome night in.

 


Easy Chicken Breast Recipes

The boneless, skinless chicken breast: a weeknight staple for lean protein that cooks up in a jiffy. But it can get a little boring, can’t it? Keep reading for four new ways to prepare this quick-cooking cut of poultry: they’re big on global flavors but still easy, we promise!

sriracha-chicken

Baked Sriracha chicken. (Photo via Alida’s Kitchen)

Chicken Breast Recipes

Hummus-Crusted Chicken

Simple Mediterranean flavors transform in the oven, creating a crisp outer crust. We’ll bet you have most of these ingredients in your fridge already! Try serving it with sauteed squash or boxed couscous.

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup hummus (try using garlic or red pepper hummus for extra flavor!)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 2 lemons
  • Salt and pepper

Recipe

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grease one large baking dish with cooking spray.
Rinse and pat chicken breasts dry, then season generously with salt and pepper. Lay the chicken breasts into the greased dish, then spread each piece with the hummus so that the entire breast is covered. Squeeze the juice of one lemon over the chicken, then distribute the paprika on top. Thinly slice the remaining lemon and place throughout the pan. Bake for about 25-30 minutes. Serves four.

Slow-Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken

Pulled chicken in salsa verde is the basis for an awesome Taco Tuesday. Try using the leftovers for burrito bowls or add barbecue sauce and garlic toast for a barbecue chicken sandwich.

Ingredients

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups salsa verde
  • 1 bottle beer (can substitute with 1 and 1/3 cups chicken broth)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • Salt and pepper

Recipe

Add chicken to the slow cooker, and top with salsa verde and beer or broth. Sprinkle with cumin and add several pinches of salt and one pinch of pepper. Using tongs, turn the chicken so that all sides are coated in the salsa mixture. Cover and cook for 3-4 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low.
Once cooked, shred the chicken in the slow cooker using a fork and toss with the juices. Serves 6-8.

Roasted Chicken with Tomatoes and Chickpeas

Canned chickpeas are an easy ingredient that packs on the protein. This one-sheet meal makes cleanup a cinch. Try serving it with a creamy, cool dollop of Greek yogurt sauce (recipe included below) for even more protein.

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts (skin recommended)
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro sprigs (can substitute with Italian parsley)

Recipe

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Whisk oil, garlic, paprika, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and crushed red pepper in a bowl. Transfer 1 tablespoon of the oil mixture to another bowl, and add the yogurt. Set aside.
Place chicken on a rimmed baking sheet (skin side up if using skin-on breasts). Rub two tablespoons of the oil mixture generously on the chicken. In a separate bowl, add tomatoes, chickpeas and half of the cilantro, then add the remaining oil and mix to coat. Pour onto the baking sheet around the chicken. Turn to coat the chicken with any extra oil. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt.
Roast for about 20 to 30 minutes. Transfer chicken to serving plates and spoon the bean and tomato mixture over top. Garnish with remaining cilantro, and serve with the yogurt sauce. Serves 4.
 

Baked Sriracha Chicken

Want to spice things up? This baked recipe brings the heat. Pair it with simple, steamed Jasmine rice for upgraded take-out at home.

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced where green and minced where white
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced or grated ginger
  • 2-3 minced garlic cloves
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce (can adjust to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chinese five spice seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (for serving)

Recipe

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a large baking dish and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk the minced white onions, hoisin, garlic, ginger, salt, lime juice, Sriracha sauce, and Chinese five spice. Piece by piece, place the chicken breast in the bowl and coat completely with the sauce. Place coated breasts in the baking dish and pour any remaining sauce over top. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 35-40 minutes. Place chicken on serving dishes and top with onion greens and sesame seeds. Serves 4.