There is nothing like gathering friends and family together to enjoy a barbecue. Summertime begs for you to join in this outdoor cooking delight. Here are some basic things you need to grill like a pro:
Food for the Grill
What do you want to cook? Meat eater and vegetarian can find some great choices this time of year. Corn, cauliflower, eggplant, beef, fish, chicken…it’s all great on the grill. Concentrate on preparing one thing and making it great rather than dealing with an assortment that will need different temperatures and times on the pit. Especially being a beginner, keep your barbecue choices to a few select food items.
You will need fixings and side dishes to make your meal complete. Baked beans, potato salad, and garlic bread are traditional favorites that you can make yourself or purchase at a local deli or grocery store. Many guests love to help. Enlist them to bring a side dish and don’t forget dessert.
Battles rage among family and friends about the best barbecue sauce to use for the perfect flavor. Choices range from sweet to spicy, tangy to fruity, and tomato or veggie free…whatever your palate desires, you can find a sauce to suit its demands. Check out local farmers and craft markets to find delicious homemade sauces. Cannot decide on one for the whole group? That’s okay. Get a variety of sauces and hold an impromptu tasting.
Cooking Surface / Techniques
Are you using an electric grill, charcoal pit, or gas grill? Consider your surface and make certain you have the correct type of tools and surface accessories you will need as you cook. Aluminum foil, a few shallow pans, and cooking spray are three things that just about any outside cook find handy to have available to them.
Make certain that you have water for extinguishing any stray flames and hot pads for handling things right off of the grill. Prior planning will help keep you incident free.
Make sure you have trash bags, grill brushes, and mild cleansing detergent to get your grill back in good shape. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can wait to clean up the mess the next time you grill by burning off any residue left behind. Experts agree it’s best to let the grill surface cool and wipe down before the next use.
Friends and Family
Make sure you’ve invited a variety of people that will make your cookout fun and interesting. Bonding can occur over the grill as you share cooking techniques and preferences on the type of food you prepare. If you are like most people in the South, before you’ve finished the meal being shared that day, you are already planning what you will be barbecuing in weeks to come.
If you are looking for a place to live that has grill ready areas and space that allows for versatile outdoor living, check out The Garden Apartments in Lafayette, LA. One, two, and three-bedroom units are available and move-in summer specials can help you relocate with ease.
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You’ve just made a move and have lots of empty cardboard boxes now. The average move into a two-bedroom apartment requires 50 boxes. What can you do with all those leftover moving boxes?
Here are some suggestions on how you can reuse and/or recycle.
Storage: There might be some things that are seasonal or some things that you won’t be using all that often. Keep a few boxes to stow away things in the closet until you are ready to use them.
Emergency Supplies: In Louisiana, it is a great idea to have a Hurricane Season Emergency Supply box. Take one or two of your boxes and pack them with the things that you may need for any type of emergency. Keep one box in your home and the other in your vehicle.
Craft Projects: Boxes make great bases for frames, decorative containers, and surfaces to work on to protect furniture if you are the crafty type. Look online for ideas of how to transform potential trash into treasures. Craft and hobby shops are great resources for step-by-step instructions on converting boxes into projects.
Planters: Cardboard is decomposable, and most boxes can bring you through an entire growing season. Poke holes for drainage and fill with dirt and plants. You can spiff up a plain brown box by stenciling the name of the herbs or flowers it contains on the outside. Or, wrap a piece of raffia, rope, or ribbon and tie in a jaunty bow. At the end of the growing season, when your box is breaking down, use it as compost.
Kid Projects: Build forts inside or out with empty boxes. Lightweight but durable and hours of fun. Fort not your child’s style? Then, build their dream playhouse. Whether castle yellow submarine or hot air balloon, let their imagination (and yours) be the architect of a play dwelling they will remember. Colored chalk can be utilized to draw on open boxes for inside cardboard sidewalk art when it may be raining outside. Roads can easily be drawn on boxes to make tracks for play vehicles that get numerous smiles to the gallon. Have a staircase inside? Let the kids use boxes to turn those steps into a slide. Make sure you take a turn too.
Costumes: Halloween isn’t that far away. Hold onto boxes to make great costumes that don’t require wearing masks or make-up or much effort to construct. Be a pair of dice, turn yourself into a robot, a Rubik’s cube, or a Lego block. For a truly whimsical costume, be a piece of modern art.
Donate: Bring empty boxes to missions, food banks, and thrift stores where donations are a staple. These organizations can never have too many containers to use to distribute and to store.
Recycling Bins: Put three boxes in your laundry room, pantry, or closet and use them to sort plastics, glass, and newspapers. When full, haul to the nearest recycling center or to the curb if your community offers curbside recycling services pickups.
Moving Companies: National and local moving companies will many times purchase gently used packing containers.
Haven’t made a move but looking to soon? Visit Lafayette Gardens Apartments, our complex is located at 110 E. Martial Avenue, Lafayette, LA offers great one, two, and three-bedroom floor plans with economical move-in specials.
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It’s summertime and living is easy at Lafayette Garden Apartments. It is also the time of year when seasonal vegetables and fruits are in abundance. Plan a weekend trip soon and add some fresh ingredients to your cookout, picnic, or weekly dining menus.
Each season, and every month of that season, has colors and flavors associated with it and early summer seems to be the season of abundance. Warmer temperatures and longer days add to the fun of trying out new flavors.
Visit any market and you will see so many shades of green your head will spin. Much variety can be found right now for the base of your salad. Can’t pick just one variety of lettuce, try them all for some great variations on a summer staple.
Around every corner there seems to be something new to add to your diet. This is the time to indulge in shrimp, peppers, and tomatoes. Grill the shrimp and toss with the vegetables. Add a light dressing that you can make with fresh herbs, oil, and vinegar and you have an easy, healthy meal in minutes.
Speaking of herbs, look for basil, parsley, thyme, mint, rosemary, chives, and lemon balm right now. Boil some pasta and toss with olive oil and a couple of the herbs you like and let it infuse for an hour or two. Fresh and yummy without spending hours in the kitchen. You can also infuse water with cucumber slices and your favorite herb for a refreshing treat.
Vegetables that are in abundance in early summer are zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, onions, carrots, celery, and green beans. You will also find potatoes, sweet corn, peppers, asparagus, and cucumbers virtually anywhere you go. Instead of a crawfish boil, think about hosting a vegetable boil and take advantage of delightful flavors that can come about from a pot of boiling water.
For an easy dessert, fill a bowl with all types of seasonal fruit. Easy to find and indulge in this time of year are blueberries, cantaloupe, cherries, figs, oranges, peaches, and lemons. Want to get a little decadent and go beyond fresh fruit in a bowl? It’s as easy as adding chopped nuts and a little whipped cream to the top of your mixed fruit offering.
Homemade ice cream is a wonderful treat this time of year. Make with fresh fruit or top good old-fashioned vanilla ice cream with a puree of two or three of the juicy seasonal offerings you’ll find at the market this time of year.
Where to go to find these fresh seasonal treats? Check out one of these Acadiana farmers’ markets:
Lafayette Hub City Farmers Market at 427 Heyman Street, Lafayette
Open year-round on Saturdays from 8-Noon
Lafayette Farmers and Artisan Market at 2913 Johnston, Lafayette
Open year-round on Saturdays from 8-Noon
Le Petit Magasin de Scott at 916 Cayret Street, Scott
March through October on Saturdays
If you prefer a more traditional, indoor market experience, these Lafayette grocers and markets offer plenty of seasonal, fresh produce too: The Fresh Market, Fresh Pickin’s, Whole Foods Market, Rouses Market, and Tammy’s Grocery.
If you are looking for a new apartment with wonderful opportunities for preparing your seasonal finds, head to Lafayette Garden Apartments for a tour. Pools, barbecue areas, parks, and even corporate living spaces with fully equipped kitchens are a few of the special things you’ll find in this gated community.
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Apartment shopping can be a brutal task during the dog days of summer if you don’t know where and what to look for in a pet and people-pleasing community.
The dog days of summer is that time when the temperatures soar. The Romans labeled this hot summer period after Sirius, the Dog Star, that is the brightest of stars in the Canis Major (Large Dog) constellation. Since Sirius was bright and located near the sun, it was believed to be responsible for causing hot weather.
In the 1800’s, temperatures could be so brutal in the summer that it was considered a time when dogs grew mad, other animals became weak, and humans would suffer from fevers and hysterics. The dog days of summer can still cause hysterics of sorts when looking for a new home for you and your pet.
A few things to consider when looking for a new pet-friendly apartment.
Lafayette Gardens Apartments offers many amenities when it comes to apartment living: a clubhouse, coffee bar, beachfront entry swimming pool, outdoor barbecue and relaxation areas, and a basketball court. If that isn’t enough there are numerous parks including separate parks for children and pets, car care center, a business center, garages, and storage units for your extra belongings or seasonal decor.
The ability to walk your dog in one of the pet parks or around the gated community is a stand out feature of this Lafayette property. A central location near shopping centers, theatres, and veterinarian and groomers office as well as community parks and recreation.
Lafayette Gardens Apartments was designed with your comfort in mind and include spacious floor plans whether you choose a one, two, or three-bedroom unit. Each apartment has walk-in closets, impressive 8” decorative crown molding, and bonus storage space. Equipped with air conditioning, intrusion alarms, ceiling fans, a dishwasher, disposal, microwave, and washer and dryer, these apartments were designed to impress.
The pet policy of Lafayette Gardens Apartments allows a maximum of two pets per apartment. Dogs, cats, birds, and fish are all acceptable pets in the community. Certain breeds of dogs are not allowed unless they are registered service pets or used in police work. Property Management is happy to answer your questions about which breeds are welcome and will even arrange to meet your pet for an interview.
Lafayette Gardens Apartments pet policy requires all feline companions be neutered or spayed. Your veterinary clinic can provide a letter or statement as proof that your feline friend is compliant with this pet policy.
All pets are photographed, and pictures are kept on file for easy identification. This and the other policies are written and administered to ensure the safety and security of your pet and others in our community.
Beat the heat and the dog days of summer by touring our Apartments in Lafayette, La. where you can have it all in the middle of it all.
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