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!


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!


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.


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.


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!















































What’s Our Specialty?

November 28, 2017 Interview, Outdoor Living

After 20 years as a non-profit executive director for the YMCA, with a lot of facility responsibilities, Rob Douglass was ready for a change.  “My wife Katherine and I both grew up in Houston , then went away for college and career building.  A few years later, when we moved back to Fort Bend County in southwest Houston, there were all these new homes springing up in one of the fastest growing areas in the country.

There was one word they thought all those homeowners needed more of… SHADE!  This is where Texas Custom Patios was born.  For the rest of the story and more on our specialty, read here!


Easiest Ever Christmas Cookie Recipes

November 28, 2017 Outdoor Cooking

The holidays are meant for giving and spending time with your family and friends.  Tis’ the season for sweets, too!  Put the two together and make some memories in the kitchen with these easy holiday cookie recipes we found on Southern Living.  Your neighbors will love you (even more)!

Bourbon-Pecan-Gingerbread Cookies

Crunchy Frostbite Cookies

Spiced Molasses Drops

No-bake Chocolate Mint Snowballs

Chocolate Peppermint Crackle Cookies

Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies

Chocolate Chunk Mocha Cookies

Crispy Praline Cookies

Cranberry-White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cranberry-Orange Shortbread Cookies

Almond Snowballs

Are you hungry yet?

Those are just a few, get the recipe for all 25 here… Get to bakin’! 




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!



Recipe of the Month: Grilled… Dinner, Sides & Desserts

October 27, 2017 Outdoor Cooking

Slow Cooker Beef Stew on the Grill


2­3 lb. chuck roast (cut in bite size chunks)

1 large white onion (chopped)

6 whole carrots (chopped)

6 celery stalks (chopped)

3 cups kernel corn

12 large white mushrooms (chopped)

6 medium baking potatoes (chopped)

4 cloves garlic (minced)

1 package brown gravy mix

1 package au jus mix

2 1/2 cups water

3 tbsp. corn starch

Salt Pepper

Slow Cooked Beef Stew

Serves 10 ­12

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours

Here’s hearty and savory blend of beef and vegetables that’s sure to warm you up on a chilly day. If you haven’t used a Dutch oven in the past you’re in for a treat. Leave uncovered for the first 30 minutes to infuse a mild, smoky flavor to the stew. Serve with fresh warm bread and butter.


Set up the grill for indirect cooking and heat to 300°F (149°C). In the 7 quart Dutch oven, add 2 cups of water, stir in the gravy and au jus mixes. Add all the ingredients (except the corn starch). Salt and pepper to taste. Fold with a large spoon to mix the ingredients. Place the Dutch oven uncovered in the grill and allow to cook for 30 minutes (to add smoky flavor). Cover and allow to simmer for 3­4 hours. Mix the corn starch with 1/2 cup of water and whisk until thoroughly blended. Add to Dutch oven and fold ingredients. Allow stew to simmer for another 30 minutes. Serve immediately with warm bread and butter.

Grilled Rosemary Sweet Potato Fries


2 lbs. medium­ sized yams

3 tbsp. unsalted butter

1/4 cup good­ quality maple syrup

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced



Grilled Rosemary Sweet Potato Fries

Serves 4

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Sweet potatoes have gained popularity as the new french fry. These smoky sweet potato wedges are the perfect complement to any burger or steak dish.


Place the yams in a pot of cold water; add 1 tbsp. of salt. Cook until the potatoes are just tender when pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes. You can also microwave the yams whole, until just tender. Let cool slightly, and then cut each yam into four or six 1/2­in. thick wedges (depending on the size of the yam). Combine the butter, maple syrup, Dijon mustard and rosemary in a small sauce-pot. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then remove from the heat. Heat your Twin Eagles Grill to high heat. Brush the yam wedges with the butter mixture and season with salt and pepper. Grill the wedges until lightly golden brown, turning often, about 5 minutes. Remove to a platter and drizzle with remaining butter mixture.  Serve hot.

Grilled Corn on the Cob with Chipotle Maple Glaze


2 chipotle chilies, from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce

2/3 cup maple syrup

1/2 stick (2 oz.) unsalted butter

1 clove garlic



8 ears of corn, husks pulled back and cleaned

Grilled Corn on The Cob With Maple Chipotle Glaze

Serves 8

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

The smoky heat of chipotles and the sweetness of maple syrup are absolutely delicious when combined with the flavor of grilled corn.


Finely chop the chilies, using a food processor or by hand. Place the minced chilies in a small saucepan along with the maple syrup, butter and garlic. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Place the pan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Remove the glaze from the heat and let rest at room temperature. Preheat your Twin Eagles Grill to medium heat. Rinse the cleaned ears of corn with water and place them directly on the grill. Grill, turning often, until tender and slightly charred in spots, about 10 minutes. Brush the corn with the glaze and continue to grill for about 5 minutes more, turning often.


Fire Roasted Cherry Cheesecake


Crust 1/2 cup butter, cubed

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1½ cups gluten free allpurpose flour mix

1/2 cup cocoa powder

pinch of salt

Fire Roasted Cherry Topping

1 lb. fresh black or red cherries, (or 1 bag of frozen cherries)

1 tbsp. melted coconut oil

pinch of sugar

1/4 cup water

2 tbsp. brown sugar or maple syrup

pinch of cinnamon


2 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese

(250 g packages or 1 cup each)

Fire Roasted Cherry Cheesecake

Serves 10

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Fire Roasted Cherry Cheesecake is another cheesecake to add to our growing collection of cheesecake recipes.  This cheesecake is completely gluten free, and totally awesome! Try it yourself.


Preheat your grill to 375°F, preparing for indirect grilling. Line a sheet pan with foil and spread the cherries on it, drizzle with coconut oil and sprinkle with sugar. Grill over indirect heat while the grill is preheating, (and while you make the crust and cheesecake,) between 15 and 25 minutes. Once they’re split, juicing and bubbly, remove the cherries from grill and transfer them to a saucepan. Set aside. Bring the cream cheese to room temperature while you make the crust. Using a stand mixer, or by hand, cream together the butter and sugar for the crust. Add the flour and cocoa powder, using a pastry cutter or two butter knives to cut the sugar mixture in to the flour and cocoa powder until you have a crumbly mixture that will stay together when pressed. Cut the cream cheese into squares. Blend them with the sugar, flour, and vanilla, using a hand or stand mixer. Add the eggs and yogurt, beating on low, until smooth. Warm the cream until steaming. Pour the cream over the chocolate chunks, stirring until melted. If the chocolate doesn’t all melt, use the microwave in short 15­ second bursts until everything is melted.

2/2 1 cup Greek yogurt, plain, vanilla or cherry 1 cup sugar 2 tbsp. gluten free all purpose flour 1 tsp. vanilla 2 eggs 1 cup solid dark chocolate, broken into small chunks 1/4 cup of cream Pour the filling into the crust lined pan. Swirl in about half of the dark chocolate. Bake at 350°F for approximately 45 minutes. You can test the doneness of your cheesecake by carefully jiggling it. If the center‐inch still moves like jello, you’re ready to pull it out. Cool in the pan for about 15 minutes, then remove the sides of the pan and cool another 15 minutes. You can serve still warm, or chill for at least an hour. Do not put it in the freezer. While waiting for the cheesecake to cool, add the water, sugar, and cinnamon to the cherries. Bring them to a simmer. Allow to cool, or keep warm. When you’re ready to serve, top the whole cheesecake with the fire roasted cherry mix

Texas Custom Patios Is Growing

October 28, 2017 Patio Contractor

We are so excited to extend our patio living space to make room for some new Texas Custom family members.   We are like a family here, so when we welcome new people aboard, we want you to meet them!  Here’s the new crew from our new Dallas/Ft. Worth office.

From left to right: Josh Miller, David Elliot, Crystal Morgan, Collin Jarrell, Lilia Alvarez, Joshua Murray (Not pictured: Gavin Minnis)

Josh Miller – Project Developer
Josh is a West Texas boy that loves the outdoors and helping others enjoy it also.
I have a background in customer service and sales, most recently in the oil and gas industry.  I love the quality that TCP brings to the table. It’s not your average patio covering, it’s a custom built extension of the original home for the homeowner to enjoy an amazing outdoor lifestyle.  Fun fact… I love going to national parks and took a 2 month camping road trip hitting 6 major national parks in the western US with lots of smaller ones in between.
David Mitchell Elliot – Project Developer
David originally from Minnesota is an avid golfer who moved to Texas 3 years ago with his wife, Betty.
I’m a former pastor, philosophy teacher and concrete company owner.  I love the personality of the Texas Custom Patios and the organization itself.  The product we produce is awesome!  Fun fact… I played pro basketball in Europe in the early eighties.
Crystal Morgan – Office Manager
Crystal was born and raised in the DFW area!
My entire career has been in office management ranging from advertising to country clubs. I  love working with TCP because I am able to see complete, beautiful outdoor living transformations! It’s absolutely amazing to see all kinds of projects from start to finish.  Fun fact… I’m a huge animal lover!
Lilia Alvarez – Office Assistant 
Lilia was born and raised in Dallas,Texas!
I enjoy all of the wonderful customers I get to speak with and seeing the finished projects the designers work so hard on.  Fun fact… I enjoy working on DIY/ fixer upper projects on the weekends!
Joshua Murray – Project Developer
He was born in Nuremberg Germany where his parents were stationed oversees.  He then grew up and served 9 years in the military.
I love creating awesome backyard experiences for homeowners and working with a good team!
Collin Jarrell – Lead Project Developer  
 Gavin Minnis – Project Developer (not pictured) 

Recipe of the Month: Burgers with a Twist

September 28, 2017 Outdoor Cooking

This month we are taking the tried-and-true “burger” and giving it some kick!  This will be your new go-to recipe for your football watching weekends!



1½ pounds ground beef

1/2 tbsp. Kosher salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper (or more/less to taste)

Hot Pepper Jelly




Greens (lettuce, spinach, etc.)



In a bowl, toss meat with seasoning. Form into patties and place on a large plate or baking sheet (about 7­-8 patties). Cover and chill 2 hours or overnight. Allow burgers to come to almost room temperature before grilling. Season all sides of the burgers with additional salt and pepper.  Clean, oil and heat grill. Once hot, place burgers onto the grill and cook until done to your liking. Once you flip the burger, baste the cooked side with some of the hot pepper jelly, when you remove the burgers, baste the other side. Assemble burgers with guacamole and bacon. Add an additional dollop of jelly on top of the burger and top with the other half of the bun. Smush it down a bit and dig in!


For more great recipes like: wild mushroom and blue cheese stuffed burgers, grilled lobster tail with Baja butter, apricot glazed pork kabobs, grilled sausage stuffing, blueberry dumplings or grilled pineapple with coconut caramel glaze … taste here!  



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

Our Customers Love Us

Rob came by our house and looked at what we wanted. We wanted our patio to cover a width of 50 feet between our bedroom and garage. Our garage was not parallel to our house and posed a building problem, but Rob solved that problem and blended our patio with our house and the garage. The crews were very professional and did a fantastic job. They cleaned up after themselves every day, and the backyard was immaculate when they finished. Rob did a fantastic job designing our patio the way we wanted it to be. Texas Custom Patios was the only company that also properly designed the patio for us. We love the results and would only recommend them to anyone else looking to add an outdoor living area to their home. They are a first rate company.

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