A Festive Fourth

June 29, 2017 Outdoor Celebrations

We are about to help you throw the best birthday party of all … America’s birthday party!  The 4th of July should be spent with family and friends celebrating our country’s independence!  Be the “it” patio party this holiday … just add a little red, white & blue for an awe and ooh!   We have decor demos, tasty treats, boozy sips and kid-friendly fun on our Pinterest page! It’s stocked with patriotic pins great for ideas on how to perk up your patio.  Check out these clever ways to use mason jars, perfect for centerpieces, decorative candles and more.

Texas Custom Patios

Give them something to remember with this adorable DIY American flag backdrop, perfect for picture taking!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Load up a clear mason jar with the something salty, sweet and super cute like these Patriotic Pretzel Dippers!

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Something fun for the kids … homemade edible firecracker popcorn, made with POP ROCKS!  Watch out for the tasty lil’ explosion in your mouth!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salute to this super salad that will leave you refreshed on a hot 4th of July!

Salad recipe 4th of July

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How ’bout some 50 Star Chicken and other festive foods for the main course?

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End things with a real bang with these boozy bombs!

Red, White and Booze

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since the kiddos can’t have the cherries, how about this kid-friendly patriotic punch…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And top it off with some Star Spangled Sweetness!

Recipe of the Month: Secret Recipe Pulled Pork and Fire Cracker Cookies

June 26, 2017 Outdoor Celebrations, Outdoor Cooking

Independence Day is about celebrating our country, gathering around the delicious food with our family and friends and of course, fireworks!  We have a recipe that will have your party booming with flavor.  Plus, check out our Pinterest page below for some patriotic party plans!   But first, the main course …

Pulled Pork Barbecue Sandwiches

by Tyler Florence

Ingredients

Dry Rub:
Cider-Vinegar Barbecue Sauce:

Directions

Cider-Vinegar Barbecue Sauce:

Mix the paprika, garlic power, brown sugar, dry mustard, and salt together in a small bowl. Rub the spice blend all over the pork. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to overnight.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Put the pork in a roasting pan and roast it for about 6 hours. An instant-read thermometer stuck into the thickest part of the pork should register 170 degrees F, but basically, what you want to do is to roast it until it’s falling apart.

While the pork is roasting, make the barbecue sauce. Combine the vinegar, mustard, ketchup, brown sugar, garlic, salt, cayenne, and black pepper in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer gently, stirring, for 10 minutes until the sugar dissolves. Take it off the heat and let it sit until you’re ready for it.

When the pork is done, take it out of the oven and put it on a large platter. Allow the meat to rest for about 10 minutes. While it’s resting, deglaze the pan over medium heat with 3/4 cup water, scraping with a wooden spoon to pick up all of the browned bits. Reduce by about half. Pour that into the saucepan with the sauce and cook 5 minutes.

While the pork is still warm, you want to “pull” the meat: Grab 2 forks. Using 1 to steady the meat, use the other to “pull” shreds of meat off the roast. Put the shredded pork in a bowl and pour half of the sauce over. Stir it all up well so that the pork is coated with the sauce.

To serve, spoon the pulled pork mixture onto the bottom half of each hamburger bun, and top with some slaw. Serve with pickle spears and the remaining sauce on the side.

Cole Slaw:

1 head green cabbage, shredded

2 carrots, grated

1 red onion, thinly sliced

2 green onions (white and green parts), chopped

1 fresh red chile, sliced

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 lemon, juiced

Pinch sugar

1/2 teaspoon celery seed

Several dashes hot sauce

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the cabbage, carrots, red onion, green onions, and chile in a large bowl. In another bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, and sugar. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss gently to mix. Season the cole slaw with the celery seed, hot sauce, salt, and black pepper. Chill for 2 hours in the refrigerator before serving.

You can’t have a Fourth of July party without a little red, white, and blue!  These cookies from HEB (if you’re in the Houston area) are called Red, White & Boom Twisters … they have popping candy in the cream, so it’s literally a party in your mouth.  Oreo also makes a version that is pretty tasty, the kids will go wild over them!   Check out our Pinterest page for inspiration on patriotic sweets and decor ideas.

Happy Birthday, America!

The Secret To Success

May 26, 2017 Outdoor Living

We would like to thank VoyageHouston for taking the time to get to know Texas Custom Patios!  Below is a fantastic article getting to know the people that are making outdoor oasis dreams come true all over Texas.  And to think it all started with a simple deck …

 

 

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rob and Katherine Douglass.

Thirteen years ago, Rob Douglass had a vision to open a company that would create outdoor living spaces that would be as functional and as attractive as the inside of the home. Something that looked original to the home and not an add on. Initially, Texas Custom Patios built simple decks and pergolas, but the market was changing and the timing was perfect. Along with his wife, Katherine Douglass, and business partner, Steven Schell, Texas Custom Patios began building luxury outdoor living spaces complete with fully equipped kitchens, outdoor living rooms, outdoor fire features, entertainment centers, and specialized dining areas. The first full year in business, 2005, there were 44 projects completed … now, an average of 200 projects are completed each year. This includes the newly opened branch in the Dallas Fort Worth area. In order to grow to this level, Texas Custom Patios needed to develop crews from all the trades that are required to build the projects. They have sub-contractors that have worked with them for many years – framers, electricians, painters, masons, plumbers and more. Texas Custom Patios has 7 project developers in the Houston area and 4 in the Dallas Fort Worth area that work closely with each homeowner throughout the process of designing and building the dream outdoor living space.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The road has been relatively smooth, although with any business there are always some struggles. When Hurricane Ike hit the area, there was a definite slump in business. Everyone was focused on repairing damaged homes – not just theirs but others that were less fortunate.

Homeowners took the time to help out in the community and put their own backyard dreams to the side for a while. The recent oil slump has had an effect as well – homeowners have taken precautions with their spending. We have noticed an increase in sales since the beginning of 2017, which falls in line with the economy getting stronger again.

Texas Custom Patios – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Texas Custom Patios has several unique assets that stand out from all the other patio competitors. Their key to success is designing and building a structure that does not look like an add-on, it looks original to the home’s design. No matter how old the house is, roofing, bricking, siding is all selected to blend with the structure of the home. It can be a challenge sometimes to figure out how to tie in substantial additions while maintaining the style of the original home, but we achieve success time after time. We focus only on outdoor living – we are not interior remodelers. There are many types of projects we build – patio covers, pergolas, screened porches, pool houses, room additions, outdoor kitchens, outdoor fire features, decorative patios, and more. When we work with a customer on their backyard design, we gather information and create a project within their budget. We offer suggestions on design and finishes to make the project a custom space for the homeowner to enjoy. The project developer works with the homeowner from start of design to completion of the project… the project is not handed off to anyone else. Texas Custom Patios also has a strong written warranty.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success is defined when we have happy homeowners. Knowing we are building and creating their dream outdoor space is something we take seriously. When at the end of the project, we are told it was exactly what they imagined or it turned out better than what they thought, that is success. We are always looking to have satisfied homeowners – ones that will and do refer us to their friends and neighbors.

For more from VoyageHouston, click here!

Recipe of the Month: Grilled Mahi-Mahi Tacos with Mandarin Habanero Salsa

May 25, 2017 Outdoor Cooking

Now that’s a mouthful … but a delicious mouthful.  For this month’s recipe star we got a taste of inspiration from Hearth & Home.  The great thing about this recipe is if you’re fishy about fish, you can substitute the protein for grilled chicken or even steak.

Ingredients

Mahi­-Mahi Tacos 4 (5­6 oz.) Mahi­Mahi fillets

2 tbsp. olive oil 2 tbsp.

Pit Boss Mandarin Habanero spice

2 cups shredded red cabbage

1 cup sour cream

12 small corn tortillas

Mandarin Habanero Mango Salsa

2 mangos, peeled and diced

1/3 cup red onion, diced

2 tbsp. lime juice

1 tsp. Pit Boss Mandarin Habanero seasoning

¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

 

Directions

Rinse the Mahi­-Mahi fillets under cold water and blot dry with paper towel. Rub fillets with olive oil, then sprinkle Pit Boss Mandarin Habanero seasoning over both sides of the fillets, rubbing the seasoning in. Set aside.

Prepare the Mandarin Habanero Mango Salsa by combining all ingredients in a medium­-sized bowl, tossing lightly to mix. Set aside.

Light the ceramic charcoal barbecue to 400°F. Place Mahi­-Mahi fillets directly on the grill and cook 5–7 minutes on each side. Remove the Mahi­Mahi from grill and let rest 5 minutes before pulling apart into small pieces. Carefully remove cooking grate from barbecue using oven mitts or grill grippers. Replace grill grate with heat deflector and place tortillas on heat deflector, heating for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until warm, but not hot.

Stack the tortillas in twos. Distribute the fish evenly between each set of tortillas.

Top with red cabbage, sour cream, and mango salsa. Serve immediately!

Sit back and listen to the “mmmms!”

 

 

A Memorable Memorial Day

May 25, 2017 Outdoor Celebrations

 

 

In between the sales and backyard bbqs, we don’t want you to forget what Memorial Day is truly about.  What was once declared Decoration Day where veterans took time to decorate the graves of the fallen with flowers, is now a day for family and friends to come together.  Whether that be to visit tombstones or just be with loved ones to enjoy their company.

We hope it is spent in your backyard, enjoying the day and remembering that the freedom we have is spent in the memory of someone else’s brave fight.

Our tips below will give your get-together a patriotic push and a day to remember!

  1.  Use foods that are statesmanlike in color … strawberries, blueberries, marshmallows, watermelon … it will make for a patriotic pow WOW!
  2.  Decorate with red, white and blue bandanas
  3.  Paint mason jars for a quick centerpiece (“pin”spiration here)
  4.  Roses are red, violets are blue … pick some fresh flowers on a table for two
  5.  Pick up some sparklers to enjoy at dusk
  6.  Cheers with some red, white and blue sangria (recipe here)
  7.  Light the night with candles
  8.  Play a friendly game of American history trivia
  9.   Enjoy our recipe of the month and top it off with some red velvet cupcakes (recipe here)
  10.   And last but not least … wave your flags

Customized Outdoor Living by Texas Builder Magazine

April 28, 2017 Outdoor Living

We are thrilled to announce that we made the cover of  May’s issue of Texas Builder Magazine and also highlighted in the featured project section!  Check out this article for great ideas that fit your outdoor lifestyle, plus grab a behind-the-scenes look at how Texas Custom Patios got its start.  To download the magazine in its entirety, visit here.

 

It’s a Breeze …

April 28, 2017 Patio Design

On many occasions, some home owners see their breezeway as something that complicates a potential project.  Others just may not understand what can be done with a breezeway at all.  Some even decide to not pursue a potential patio addition because of this confusion, which is a big mistake!

To start, let’s describe what a breezeway is …

Typically the breezeway connects the house to the garage to protect you from the elements while walking between the two.  Sometimes the breezeway will have your electrical wires running through it, as the breaker box is in the garage.  This is very common and not anything to be concerned about.  The breezeway is typically built to hold only the weight of the breezeway with absolutely zero additional weight.

When Texas Custom Patios comes out for a site visit, we will look at your breezeway and discuss the options available to you.  On average, it’s best to remove the breezeway and run the electrical in the attic space of the new patio cover.

Sometimes we will cut off the existing breezeway and re-attach the remaining breezeway to the new porch, or we build a totally new breezeway if that makes most sense.  Many times homeowners convince themselves this cannot be done, but it’s really not a big deal.  On rare occasions the electrical wires can create a challenge, but your project developer will discuss options to work around this. Our expertise allows us to create a clean, well-thought-out look that even the builder of your home would have done had they built the cover themselves. We have found removing the breezeway, when possible, is a best practice in our industry.

Don’t let your breezeway keep you from exploring a project … trust us, it’s a breeze!  To explore a variety of options to consider when building your patio, click here!

 

Have a project in mind? We work throughout the Houston and Dallas - Fort Worth areas.

Our Customers Love Us

Top notch company. This firm stands behind its work. We had a small issue with some cracks in our slab related to settling, and Ryan had someone out the day after my phone call. Upon inspection, we were presented with several options and the work was completed in a week. I cannot say enough good things about Texas Custom Patios and the quality of their work.

© 2017 Texas Custom Patios