1st Lake Blog

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

 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

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!

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.


  • 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


  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.


  • 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


  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!


  • 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


  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!



Don’t Miss These Great Fall Festivals & Events – 1st Lake Properties

    Fall is finally here. If you live in Louisiana, that means it’s safe to leave the comfort of your air-conditioned living room and head outside for some beautiful weather.

    The schedule is jam-packed with lovely fall events. You shouldn’t miss any opportunity to spend some time in the crisp autumn air having fun with friends and loved ones.

    We’ve put together a list of events to look out for this fall, so read on to start planning your 2018 autumn itinerary!

    New Orleans

    Boudin, Bourbon & Beer Festival

    On November 9, the Emeril Lagasse Foundation will hold another Boudin, Bourbon & Beer Fest in Champions Square. The festival has quickly become one of New Orleans’ most popular outdoor food and music festivals.

    The event features a special menu comprised of 70 chefs, both local and national. This year’s festival includes co-chairs Donald Link, Stephen Stryjewski and Guy Fieri. If you’re a foodie, this one-night event is the place for you. 

    The all-inclusive ticket price is $135, and the festival runs from 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

    Oak Street Po-Boy Festival

    The Oak Street Po-Boy Festival is Sunday, November 11 in the Carrollton neighborhood of Uptown New Orleans. Oak Street transforms into a walkway full of great local music, drinks, and over 60 variations of the famous local sandwich.

    This year’s festival will also feature the “Where Y’arts Market,” which will offer local arts and crafts. Check out the full schedule here.

    Treme Creole Gumbo Festival

    This festival, held in Congo Square and Louis Armstrong Park on November 17 -18, is a local favorite. Even better, admission is free!

    The festival features a wonderful variety of gumbos to choose from. You’ll find Creole gumbo, seafood gumbo, chicken & sausage gumbo, and much more. There’s also a great music lineup centered primarily around jazz.

    If you think eating a delicious bowl of gumbo while listening to New Orleans jazz in the park sounds like a good time, you should definitely attend the Treme Creole Gumbo Festival.

    Baton Rouge

    Cajun Country Corn Maze

    Every weekend from September 29 – November 25, you can go to the Cajun Country Corn Maze, and it’s the perfect place to enjoy the fall. The maze is constructed from a 7.5 acre corn field, and takes 1 – 1.5 hours on average to walk through.

    It’s located in the countryside just outside of Baton Rouge. Check out the maze’s official website for detailed directions.

    White Light Night

    On Friday, November 16 from 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m., the Mid City Art & Design Cultural District of Baton Rouge celebrates local art and music with White Light Night.

    Head down to bustling Mid City, Baton Rouge’s cultural hub, and enjoy the local businesses along the oak-lined streets. The festival is free, and functions as a way to stimulate the Baton Rouge economy and showcase the city’s most exciting artists and small businesses. 

    Have A Fantastic Fall With 1st Lake This Year!

    We hope you take advantage of the beautiful weather and jam-packed events schedule this autumn in Louisiana. Contact us today to learn more about our private gated apartment communities!

    The Best Biking In New Orleans, Baton Rouge & The Northshore

    Autumn in Louisiana is the perfect time of year for biking. But no matter what time of year it is, there are fantastic spots to bike near all of 1st Lake’s gated residential communities.

    Read on for the best places to bike in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and the Northshore, and get ready to enjoy the beautiful natural environment of South Louisiana!

    New Orleans

    New Orleans is, for the most part, completely flat, making it ideal for cycling. There are lots of great places to go for a bike ride in the Crescent City.

    Lafitte Greenway

    The Lafitte Greenway is a 2.6-mile bicycle and pedestrian trail and green corridor connecting neighborhoods from Armstrong Park to City Park, extending from the intersection of N. Alexander and St. Louis streets in Mid-City to Basin Street and St. Louis Street in Tremé, blocks from the French Quarter.

    According to the official website, “The Greenway includes a 12-foot asphalt path for cyclists and pedestrians, new recreation fields, basketball courts, outdoor fitness parks, green space, and landscaping improvements including approximately 500 shade trees, native plant meadows, and stormwater retention features. The path is fully lit with LED energy-efficient trail lighting and includes curb extensions, signalized high visibility crosswalks, a crushed stone walking path, and a bicycle and pedestrian roundabout.”

    St. Charles Avenue

    Historic St. Charles Avenue is a major attraction in the city due to the majestic oaks and beautiful homes that line the street. Tulane and Loyola University campuses are also located along St. Charles, as well as the famous Columns Hotel. 

    Biking down St. Charles is a great way to spend an afternoon. Plus, there are plenty of great restaurants and parks along the way, for those that would rather take their time and relax.

    Lakeshore Drive

    Lakeshore Drive is a popular place for biking because it provides a path with a view of beautiful Lake Pontchartrain. There are also plenty of places to eat or relax along the way.

    Baton Rouge

    If you live at one of our Baton Rouge properties, you’ll also have a chance to bike along the Mississippi River, as well as many other beautiful landscapes in the city.

    Mississippi River Levee

    Along the Mississippi River levee is a 4-mile bike path that extends from just north of the I-10 Mississippi River Bridge down past Skip Bertman Drive at LSU to Farr Park. The path accommodates walkers, joggers and bikers. Water fountains and benches can be found along the way.

    Downtown Greenway

    Baton Rouge’s Downtown Greenway is a bicycling corridor that stretches through the inner city. It’s the perfect place to bike. Make sure you take advantage of the many parks, businesses and cultural attractions along the way.


    The Northshore is a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of New Orleans and slow things down. There is more open and unused space on the Northshore compared to New Orleans, and this lends itself to biking perfectly.

    Mandeville Trailhead Along The Tammany Trace 

    The Tammany Trace is a hiking and biking trail that makes its way through every city on the Northshore, spanning from Covington, through Abita Springs, Mandeville and Lacombe, and ending in Slidell. Incredibly, this biking trail is over 30 miles long.

    The Mandeville Trailhead is a public waypoint along the trace, where you will find restrooms, pavilions, an amphitheater, and other well-maintained public facilities to use before you begin your journey. The Mandeville Trailhead also hosts a farmers market on Saturday mornings.

    There is a trailhead located in every city that the trace runs through, and each of them holds unique events and activities. To learn more about the trace and its trailheads, check out the official Tammany Trace website.

    Find A Home At 1st Lake and Start Exploring Your City!

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

    Great Places to Bring a Date this Fall in Louisiana

    The long Louisiana summer has finally come to an end, and the wonderful weather of autumn has arrived.

    You probably spent the summertime having fun with friends by the pool or relaxing in your fantastically air-conditioned abode. While that might have been wonderful, the lower temperatures of autumn bring new options for ways to spend your free time. 

    For those of you in relationships, this is great news. Fall is full of potential activities perfectly suited for dating. 

    Read on for some of our suggestions for places to go on dates this fall!

    New Orleans

    There is a seemingly endless list of places to bring a date this autumn in New Orleans. Events range from casual to formal. For those who are into more spontaneous activities, there are places in the city to hang out that don’t require official events to enjoy.

    Paradigm Gardens Concert Series

    From October 2 – November 13, the Paradigm Gardens (1131 S Rampart St) will host their annual fall concert series. 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.

    This concert series is a wonderful way to spend a low-key but romantic evening with your special someone. 

    Audubon Nature Institute (Zoo, Aquarium)

    The Audubon Nature Institute operates ten museums and parks dedicated to nature and the Audubon Zoo and Aquarium of the Americas are its two most popular locations.

    Located in beautiful Uptown New Orleans, the Audubon Zoo features animals from all over the world surrounded by lush gardens. It’s also close to Audubon Park, a beautiful city park full of majestic oak trees and nature trails.

    The aquarium is located on the Mississippi River, featuring a number of gorgeous marine habits and a large variety of sea creatures.

    Audubon Zoo. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.


    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.

    Covington Three Rivers Arts Festival

    The Three Rivers Arts Festival takes place November 10 – 11 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.

    Corn maze. Photo courtesy of Tsikavyi via Wikimedia Commons.

    Baton Rouge

    Cajun Country Corn Maze

    Every weekend from September 29 – November 25, the Cajun Country Corn Maze will be open, and it’s the perfect place to enjoy a date in the fall. The maze is constructed from a 7.5 acre corn field, and takes 1 – 1.5 hours on average to walk through.

    It’s located in the countryside just outside of Baton Rouge. Check out the maze’s official website for detailed directions.

    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!