Recipe of the Month: Skinny Salty, Sweet and Spirits

April 26, 2017 Outdoor Cooking, Uncategorized

Patio and pool season are about to make a big splash, but have you been on your best bathing suit behavior?  We thought we would keep things light this month in honor of those goals you’re trying to reach.

So let’s kabob and give kudos to cocktails with fewer calories for this month’s recipes!

Recipes of the Month_APRIL-2

Grilled Brussels Sprouts with Sweet Balsamic Glaze

Ingredients

1 lb brussels sprouts, stems trimmed and cut in half

2 tbsp olive oil

4 long wooden skewers

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1 tbsp balsamic glaze

Directions

Place the brussels on skewers, and place skewers on a large enough piece of sturdy foil to cover the top.  Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper

Heat the grill, when hot lower the heat to low and put foil with skewers on the grill, tenting the veggies with the foil.  Cook about 30 minutes, turning every 5 minutes to keep them from burning.  When done, drizzle with balsamic glaze and eat right away!

Italian Chicken Kabobs

Ingredients

1 1/2lb chicken breast

8-inch skewers

Marinade:

1/4C olive oil

3Tb white wine vinegar

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp dried basil

3/4 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp dried onion flakes

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1 clove garlic, minced

Directions

In a mason jar or salad shaker combine marinade ingredients. Shake to combine well. Set aside.

Trim chicken of any fat. Cut into 1-2 inch cubes. Transfer to a large bag or storage container. Pour marinade over chicken. Seel container and chill for at least 1-2 hours, or overnight.

Soak wood skewers in water for at least 30 minutes.

Divide chicken between 8-10 skewers. Discard remaining marinade.

Grill over low heat for 15 minutes, turning skewers after 3-5 minutes. Cook until no longer pink and showing some external color or grill lines.

Serve immediately.

 

Skinny Mint Mojito

Ingredients

Simple Syrup

4-6 packets stevia, depending on how sweet you want it

1 cup water

5-8 fresh mint leaves

Mojito

2 oz simple syrup with stevia

Juice of ½ a lime

1 oz rum

5 fresh mint leaves

Chilled soda water

Ice

Mint and lime slice for garnish (optional)

Instructions

Simple Syrup (serves 4)
  1. In a small pot, bring 1 cup of water to a boil and add 6 individual packets (about 3 grams) of stevia (I used Sweet Leaf)
  2. Stir in stevia to dissolve and remove from heat
  3. Add the mint leaves. Cover and let steep* about 30 minutes (*To steep just means to let the leaves hang-out in the warm water so it soaks up all the flavor of the mint)
  4. Remove mint leaves from liquid and store simple syrup in fridge until ready to use (will be tinted green from mint leaves)
Mint Mojito (Serves 1)
  1. In a 12oz glass, pour in 2oz of the simple syrup, 1 oz rum, a few fresh mint leaves, and juice of half a lime. Muddle the contents using a pestle. You could also use a spoon to simply crush and grind the fresh mint into the liquid.
  2. Top the glass with ice and fill to the top with soda water. Stir.
  3. Garnish with fresh mint and a lime wedge

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!

April Showers Bring …

March 30, 2017 Outdoor Living
flower planting

April showers bring … a laundry list of things to do!  Before you can have those May flowers, let’s get down to business … cleaning, pruning and planting!  Once you’re done, you’ll be in full bloom and ready for the season.

Firstly, survey your yard.  Make note of all the elements that need attention.  Remove tree limbs, especially those that may be brushing your home.  Cut down any of last year’s perennial foliage, and place into a compost pile.  Rake your beds and fluff your mulch.  Check fences, steps and other areas for damage.  Make a list of things that need a fixin’ … service lawn equipment and get ready to mow … prune and plant!

What will blossom beautifully in spring? Here are our top ten choices for our Texas climate.

Pink Discovery Azalea

Hellebore

Bloodroot

Snowdrop Anemone

Lilac

Iris

Grand Maitre Crocus

Daffodil

Oakleaf Hydrangea

Tulip

Once you have decided what you would like for your yard, follow these no-fail perfectly planted flower steps:

  1.  Set plants atop the ground before you plant so you can space them evenly.
  2.  Soak the plants while they’re still in their pots.
  3.  Use your fingers or a pencil to gently pry apart matted roots so they’ll spread into the soil, not remain in a ball.
  4. Add a couple of tablespoons of slow-release flower food to the bottom of each hole, and then stir with your trowel to mix it evenly into the soil before inserting plants.

Happy Spring!

 

Recipes of the Month: Steak Diane and Kitchen Sink Brownies

March 30, 2017 Outdoor Cooking

A little salty and a whole lotta sweet … our recipes of the month were found in Hearth & Home.  TCP tested and approved, so enjoy!

Recipes of the Month

Steak Diane

Ingredients

2 beef tenderloin steaks

Freshly ground black pepper

Coarse sea salt 2 tbsp.

Butter

1/4 large onion

Diced 1 clove garlic pressed

3 tbsp. whisky

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp. dijon mustard

3/4 cup beef stock

1/4 cup whipping cream

Seasonal vegetables for serving

Mashed, boiled, or baked potatoes for serving

Directions

Oil your grids and preheat your grill to low, about 300 to 325°F. Crust your steaks in salt and pepper, nice and thick for a crispy outside. Grill your steaks over indirect heat for about 20 minutes, until an internal temperature of about 140°F. Using the Napoleon Wireless Thermometer for this is helpful, it will allow you to make the sauce while you’re waiting. To make the Diane Sauce, melt the butter in a frying pan and add the onion. Cook the onion for a minute or two, until it’s beginning to get translucent. Add the garlic and continue to cook for another minute. Add the whisky to the garlic and onion, letting it sizzle. Simmer for about a minute or two, to allow the alcohol to evaporate a little before adding the Worcestershire and dijon. Add the beef stock and bring the whole thing to a boil, letting the liquid reduce by nearly half before adding the cream and bringing the sauce back down to simmer and thicken to perfect gravy consistency. When the steaks have reached temperature, remove them to a plate for a minute to rest while you crank your lit burner to high and heat the grill up for searing, about 500°F.

Sear the steaks for about 1 minute per side, or until a crust forms and remove steaks to the plate again to rest. Before serving, add the resting juices to the Diane sauce, then cloak the steaks in the sauce. Serve with your favorite potatoes, such as Crispy Heirloom Potatoes and roasted broccoli.

Brownies

Kitchen Sink Brownies

Ingredients

1 box premium dark chocolate brownie mix 2 eggs, beaten

1/3 cup canola oil

1/3 cup water

1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

1/2 cup peanut butter chips

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1 ½ cups halved walnuts

Fresh mint garnish, optional

Directions

In large bowl, blend all ingredients except for halved walnuts. Pour batter into greased large cast iron skillet. Top with walnut halves. Bake for 30 minutes at 325°F in an outdoor oven, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

New Financing Programs for Any Budget

March 30, 2017 Outdoor Living
build this year pay next year

 

We understand that in today’s economy, it may be more difficult for some people to afford their backyard patio dream.  So we decided we can build, you can finance, and then we all have it made in the shade.  We now provide many excellent choices for homeowners who wish to finance their backyard buildout.  A range of financing options such as 12 month no payments/interest plans, 0% interest plans, low fixed rate plans from 24 to 60 months, and no prepayment penalty plans are available.  That’s just covering a few of our options- we have a plan to fit just about any budget.  And if you really want that extra feature and it just isn’t in your budget right now, we can finance that part of the project.

Upon arrival for your estimate, we can do a speedy credit check and the decision for a payment plan can be mapped out that very day.  It’s simple, easy and quick … so that you can start building your outdoor living area without the stress of having to pay for your project all at once.    Life is short, we want you to enjoy every moment … so don’t delay, call us today.

 

 

Building a Patio Near You

February 27, 2017 Outdoor Living

At Texas Custom Patios, we are a custom builder specializing in custom built patio covers, outdoor kitchens, fireplaces, screened porches, room additions and other outdoor living structures in the Greater Houston Area.

Houston

Our service area extends northwest to include the following communities: The Woodlands, Spring, Cypress, Tomball, Klein, and Jersey Village. Over the past 12 years, we have built outdoor living spaces in almost every neighborhood, including: Creekside, Carlton Woods, Augusta Pines, Coles Crossing, Champions, Fairfield, Copperfield, Towne Lake, Bridgeland, Black Horse Ranch, Gleannloch Farms, Stonegate, Canyon Lakes, Lakes on Eldridge, Wimbledon, Bridgestone, and more.

Our service area extends west to the communities of Spring Branch, The Villages of Hunter Creek/Piney Point/Hedwig, Memorial, Katy and Fulshear. Specific neighborhoods where we’ve done a great deal of adding outdoor patio covers and living spaces are Tanglewood, Briargrove, Memorial, Spring Valley, Royal Oaks, Windsor Lake Estates, Green Trails, Kelliwood, Deerfield, Grand Lakes, Cinco Ranch, Seven Meadows, Cross Creek Ranch, Falcon Point, Weston Lakes, and Firethorne.

On the southwest side, Texas Custom Patios designs and builds outdoor patio projects in Richmond, Rosenberg, Sugar Land, Missouri City, Stafford and Meadows Place. Because the business started in Fort Bend County in 2004, we have completed jobs in many neighborhoods, including First Colony, Sienna Plantation, Riverstone, Pecan Grove, Greatwood, New Territory, Telfair, Aliana, Waterside Estates, Longmeadow Farms, Lakes of Bella Terra, Westheimer Lakes, Sugar Creek, Sweetwater, Commonwealth and Quail Valley.

South and southeast of Houston, we have a large presence of building patio covers in Pearland, Manvel, Friendswood, Clear Lake, and League City. Neighborhoods where we have built outdoor living spaces include: Shadow Creek Ranch, Southwyk, Southfork, Silver Lake, Silver Creek, Sedona Lakes, The Forest of Friendswood, West Ranch, Lakes of Highland Glen, Bay Oaks, Pine Brook, and Nassau Bay.

Northeast of Houston, we build backyard patio covers in Humble, Atascocita, Kingwood and Porter, including the neighborhoods of Fall Creek and Summerwood.

Finally, we provide our services to all communities and neighborhoods near and inside the 610 Loop, like West U, Bellaire, Meyerland, Montrose, Upper Kirby, River Oaks, Midtown, Southside Place and The Heights.

Now let’s hop on 45 North … we also proudly build in the Dallas – Ft. Worth metroplex. Our service area extends to the Hurst, Euless, Bedford area in Tarrant County. Lewisville, Flower Mound and Highland Village north of DFW are also areas we build outdoor living spaces. McKinney, Frisco and Little Elm are in our Collin County service area. Allen, Plano and Richardson are on the eastern border of our service area, and we build patio covers in Grand Prairie, Arlington and Mansfield as a southern border.

DFW

We’ve designed and built patio covers in the neighborhoods of Timarron in Southlake, Woodland Hills in Colleyville, Hackberry Creek in Irving, The Tribute in the Colony, Bent Tree in Dallas, the Arbors of Creekwood in Mansfield, along with many other patio covers, outdoor kitchens, and fireplaces in Lewisville, Coppell, Frisco, Little Elm, and McKinney.

We can build everything from traditional to contemporary  … super modern or farm house chic covered patios … if you can dream, we can build it!  We know that the Super Bowl just ended, but if you would like to enjoy this year’s football season at your own patio party, give us a call now!  Use the guide below to help you with your timeframe in getting started.

 

CALENDAR DATES

Outdoor Trends

February 27, 2017 Outdoor Living

We recently graced the cover of the Houston Remodeling Guide, where they are talking all about outdoor trends.  Often times, you may find yourself wondering if you have enough space to build something enjoyable.  Or maybe you have a lot of space and don’t know how to make it cozy …

Check out this great article on how to get a functional and fun outdoor living space!

Houston Remodeling Guide

Recipe of the Month: Grilled Pretzel Roll Ham Sliders

February 27, 2017 Outdoor Cooking

 

Who doesn’t love a good slider?  Our highlighted recipe for this month is versatile, feel free to change it up to your liking, but we have a hunch you may keep it just the way it is!  Meet this month’s mouth-watering, gotta-have grilling grub …

So what’s our secret?  See below …

Recipe of the Month

 

Ingredients

1 red onion

Extra virgin olive oil

Butter (salted) (secret #1)

Fine sea salt

4 pretzel rolls, about 3­in. in diameter (secret #2)

1 pound thick-cut ham

4 oz. Brie cheese, Cut into chunks

4 cocktail skewers

 

Directions

Prepare the grill for direct grilling over medium-high heat, about 500°F grill grate temperature. Slice the red onion into 3/4­in. thick slices. Oil both sides and season liberally with salt.

Grill the onion slices until translucent and soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from the grill, brake the slices down into rings and set to the side.

Slice the pretzel rolls. Spread salted butter on each side (don’t be conservative, didn’t you hear? Butter is good for you now, so go ahead and take advantage before they change their mind on us again)!   Grilling the buns (especially these buns) will make all of the difference, trust us!

Brush each slice of ham on both sides with olive oil and season with salt. The olive oil will help form a crust on the outside of the meat. Grill ham, turning once, 1 to 2 minutes per side. After flipping the meat, add a large ring of onion to the top of each slice, so it sits neatly in a circle.

Add the cheese on top of the onion. The cheese will melt, almost into a creamy sauce, and the onions will help hold the cheese on top of the ham. While the cheese is melting, lightly grill the rolls.

Gently remove the meat when the cheese has melted and transfer directly onto the pretzel rolls.  Skewer each slider to hold it together.

Open wide and enjoy!

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

Our Customers Love Us

Texas Custom Patios did an amazing job on our covered patio, outdoor kitchen, and outdoor living area. Steven listened to the things we were looking for, and was able to come up with original design ideas that included moving our outdoor garage-addition staircase and blending in an unusual roofline with a new gable style roof. The results were exactly what we were looking for. The construction process was professional, on-time, and on-budget. All of the crews were professional and the work they did exceeded our expectations. We are very happy with the results and would definitely recommend them to anyone looking to add an outdoor living area to their home.

© 2017 Texas Custom Patios