Recipes of the Month: Outrageous Eats

December 22, 2017 Outdoor Celebrations, Outdoor Cooking

December’s bad choices bring January’s New Year’s Resolutions.  So before we all decide to jump on the diet/health/workout wagon, what’s one last binge meal(s)?  Below we have collected some of the most insanely calorically crazed recipes.  Some perfect for to bring to your holiday party, others to get cozy on the couch and devour alone!  Don’t just leave Santa boring cookies and milk this year… enjoy and happy eating!

The Donut Burger

Christmas in a Calzone

Grilled Mango and Rum-SoakedPound Cake 

Grilled Doughnuts with Chocolate Glaze

S’more Stuffed French Toast

Nutella and Bacon Stuffed French Toast 

Brie and Blueberry Waffle Grilled Cheese

Loaded Baked Potato Dip and Homemade Chips

Churros Balls with Warm Chocolate Dipping Sauce 

Frozen Snickerdoodle Crunch Cake

Holiday Hacks

November 30, 2017 Outdoor Celebrations

The hustle and bustle of the season can leave you saying, “No NO NO” instead of HO HO HO!  We found some easy tips and tricks to get you through the season with holiday cheer!  

Rule #1 – Take it easy on yourself, you create perfection in your mind.  Don’t spend endless hours on something someone else will not even notice!  That’s the only rule, easy right?  Now we have some tips, tricks and holiday hacks!

Decor

Decorate with LED battery operated lights.  They will last forever, you don’t have to worry about a plug and they look so cool!  You can group them inside empty wine bottles, canisters, or our favorite idea, drape them around fire wood!  You get the look of the light in a fire without the mess or the hazard!

Turn your patio into a winter wonderland with these easy and cheap little lanterns.  Fill a little mason jar  1/4 way up with Epsom salt or rock salt, and add a little candle or tea light on top.  Light them and glow!

You can do a lot with little clear jars, fill them with rock salt at the bottom, top with cranberries and sprigs from your Christmas tree.  It’s such a cute affordable way to be festive!

Decorate your windows with snowflakes with hot glue!  Take your glue gun directly to the window and with thin lines create your snowflake.  The best part is when it’s ready come down, it peels right off!

Get out your glue gun again…

Take your pool noodle right from the pool to our outdoor fireplace.  Simply shape the pool noodle in the a the shape of a wreath and connect it with duct tape.  Hot glue glass ornaments to the frontside if the noodle, wrap a pretty bow around the top and hang!

Food

Create Christmas cubes by freezing cranberries in an ice tray!  It will look fest and gorgeous in a glass of bubbles!

Glue mini candy canes together upside down. Place name tags of food inside them so everyone knows what dish they are enjoying.

Organized

Place all your wrapping paper in a garment bag for easy storage and clutter free gift wrapping!

Avoid a tangled mess with the endless strings lights by simply wrapping them around a plastic hanger.  They will lay flat to be stored instead of a bulky disaster.

Gifts

Use your leftover paint samples from redoing lil’ Johny’s room, to create DIY gift tags!  Cut into little trees, a snowman, wreathes, you name it!

Patio Party

Have a hot cocoa and dessert bar with your neighbors!  Melt the chocolate for your desserts in a mason jar, set in a slow cooker on low.  This will keep everything warm and gooey for your guests all at once!

Who doesn’t love s’mores… Stay roasty, toasty by the fire without all of the mess.  You can still roast the marshmallows in your fire pit, but instead of using hunks of chocolate, simply spread Nutella on the graham cracker as your chocolate.

Happy holiday hacks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

more!!!!

Festive Fun On The Patio

October 28, 2017 Outdoor Celebrations

Getting in the holiday spirit for any occasion  can be both fun inside and outside!  Get inspiration from this neat video we found by Southern Living.  Click the video below!

And no Halloween party is complete without some spooky snacks! Click the image below for 10 freaky recipes! 

And complete your haunted Halloween with some cool pumpkin carving ideas!

 

 

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!

Texas Custom Patios

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?

Texas Custom Patios

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!

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

Tablescaping for Your Patio Table

April 13, 2017 Outdoor Celebrations

It may be April, but at Texas Custom Patios we’re gearing up for summertime and all the festivities that brings!  Pool parties, graduation get togethers, Memorial Day grill outs are all on the calendar, but first … let’s talk about our Easter celebration. It could be a huge family affair or maybe just you, your spouse and the crazy kids, either way, let’s make it memorable.

Plan Ahead

Host a beautiful brunch without all of the hassle.

  • Bake the tart shells for your chicken salad the day before; store in an airtight container. Warm them in the oven about 3 minutes.
  • Blanch your veggies and make your dips (store in refrigerator)
  • Make carrot soup the day before. Reheat, adding extra broth, if needed.

Decorate

We found so many incredible ideas, some DIY and some easily bought!  Sweet little ideas like tying tulips with a simple pastel bow to your cloth napkins.

Simple Easter Table IdeaWe also discovered other adorable centerpiece ideas using carrots, dipped eggs and more!  Check out our Pinterest page for hundreds of inspirational ideas that you can actually do!  Southern Living has some fantastic videos with a step-by-step guide to creating a gorgeous centerpiece.  Think outside the table and decorate the entire patio with potted beauties … click here for 108 creative container gardening ideas.

 

More Inspiration

If you don’t have a Texas Custom Patio just yet to enjoy on Easter, but are thinking about it … check here to be inspired by different projects of many styles!

Texas Custom Patios

Lastly … Enjoy!

Just try to remember the day of any celebration that you have done all that you can do, so sit back and enjoy!

Best Seat in the House for Super Sunday

January 27, 2017 Outdoor Celebrations, Outdoor Cooking

Houston is all the buzz with Super Bowl bringing its huddle into Texas on Sunday, February 5th (like we had to tell you the date)!  In 2004, over 200,000 people visited Houston to take part in the football festivities … this year one million people are predicted to jam their way into H-town. If you’re not one of the 72,000 that paid a minimum of $3,499 for one ticket, then you need a place to party and watch the big game!beer on patio

No better place to party for this football frenzy than your own patio!   After all, you’ll have the best seat in the house, comfortable seating, great food at your fingertips and you’ll always be close to a bathroom.  Many people have outdoor patios built just so they can either watch football outside or so they can entertain at a moment’s notice!  In fact, some of our customers called us back in August of 2016 and said, “Hey, Texas Custom Patios, we would like to have this ready by Super Bowl Sunday, is that possible.?” So we got to building and guess what, the covered patios, outdoor kitchens and living rooms were built and those watching parties are sure to be a touchdown now!  So go ahead, invite over your football-loving friends, fire up the grill and get ready to party.

Sports Illustrated came up with 13 things you MUST have for your Super Bowl LI Party … Here’s a hint … Insta-Chill Beer Glasses!  Instant score!

Grab all 13 if you can, but at the end of the day … there are three categories of “Super Sunday Party-Goers” and we have something for each one.

“The Super Sunday Snack Specialist”

The anticipation of sweet and savory delights to enjoy during the big game brings this fan to the table… literally, and probably more than once! For the Snack Specialist, we offer this list of Super Sunday party dishes that can be prepared outside.

Grilled Buttermilk Hot Wings
Grilled Pizza
Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Enchiladas – make ahead
Pig Candy
Cookies & Cream Football Dip 

sweet dip

“The Super Sunday Ad Aficionado”

This fan may talk through every single play, then shush everyone when the commercials begin. We get it. After all, advertisers pay huge dollars for these coveted spots and strive to put their most creative efforts out there. For the Ad Aficionado, we offer this list, which gives you a sneak preview of what companies are buying up ads this year and some hints at their plans.

The Big Game Ad Chart

“The Super Sunday Game Devotee”

When your team makes the Big Game, the intensity dials up even more! Be sure to use your outside voice on your patio when cheering on your team to victory. For the Game Devotee, here’s a great resource to keep up with the latest game news!

Playoff Picture

Enjoying the Big Game outdoors is better for everyone …

What’s your favorite part of the game? Is it the food, the ads or the football?  Comment on our Facebook page, we want to know!

 

Recipe of the Month: Healthy Through the Holidays

December 21, 2016 Outdoor Celebrations, Outdoor Cooking

‘Tis the season for eggnog, Aunt Betty’s famous mashed potatoes, sugar cookies, and fruit cake (for the 3 people on earth that actually like fruit cake) … it’s also the season for gaining weight.  The average person gains 7-10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.  So how can we have our cake and eat it too?  Well we could get in a quick workout each day, but the calories going out rarely exceed the calories going in.  For instance, you can jog on a treadmill for 30 minutes and only have 3 oz of a cocktail or spin on a bike for 30 minutes and you can only enjoy 3/4 cup of egg nog or go on a walk for an hour and that will score you 2 buttered rolls on your plate.  So we thought we would come up with some recipes that are still festive, but won’t pack on the pounds.

 

December Recipe of the Month

 

Deviled Eggs

12 – hard-boiled eggs

24 Tablespoons – Green Chili hummus

Peel eggs, slice in half, dump out yolk, scoop 1 Tablespoon into each half, keep chilled and serve!

These eggs will knock your stockings off, they are so good!  Here are some more delicious recipes worth trying …

Low-Fat Eggnog 

Avocado-Feta Dip

Green Bean Casserole – Slimmed 

Winter Fruit Salad 

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Pomegranate and Hazelnuts 

Secret Ingredient Dark Chocolate Brownies

Peppermint Meringues 

 

Cheers, enjoy!!!

 

 

Recipe of the Month: The MVP Guide to Grilling

August 17, 2016 Outdoor Celebrations, Outdoor Cooking

It’s that time of year where everyone gets together for a football and food frenzy.  If you can’t be at the game, aim for the next best thing:  watch the game with friends in the comfort of your own outdoor living room.    So ditch the truck tailgate and fire up the grill in your backyard for a “pigskin” pregame party.

When establishing your outdoor kitchen, don’t limit yourself to a little charcoal griller out on the driveway.  Your outdoor cook space can be fully stocked with every appliance and convenience you need for cooking a backyard football feast. Just think about cooking outside without having to make trips back and forth into the house!
Consider all the elements of a high-function cooking area:
  • Built-in gas grill
  • Sideburner
  • Pizza oven
  • Drawers and cabinets
  • Raised bar top and counter space
  • Sinks
  • Refrigerator
  • Ice maker
  • Wine cooler

… just something to think about!

Ribs backyard fare

Now to the game day grub!

How ’bout something to wash it all down?

Party on the Patio Cocktail

cocktail by Texas Custom Patios

 

Ingredients

2/3 cup pineapple juice, chilled

1/3 cup vanilla flavored vodka

1 dash grenadine syrup

2 pineapple wedges

2 maraschino cherries

Directions

Pour the pineapple juice, vodka and grenadine into a shaker full of ice.  Shake, then strain into two glasses.  Garnish with a piece of pineapple and a cherry on a skewer!

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