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!

 

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.

 

 

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

Our Customers Love Us

We love our new patio cover and would definitely recommend Texas Custom Patios. Our contractor, Mark, and everyone that worked on our project was professional. The patio cover looks like it was built when the house was built. They used top quality materials, the roofline is seamless, and everything matches very well. Great job completed in a timely manner and we are totally satisfied with the whole experience.

© 2017 Texas Custom Patios