Tag Archives: tree

For a Thanksgiving They Will Never Forget


If you’re scratching your head trying to come up with new ways to impress your guests this Thanksgiving (especially those adorable mother-in-laws), we’ve got you covered! Here are some savvy ideas, from décor to dinner, that will give everyone something to be thankful for – YOU!

  1. If you have a stockpile of old candleholders, like many of us do, grab them out of storage and use them for a fall display of miniature pumpkins and gourds. Try to find ones of varying heights and then fill in the scene with fall-colored candles and a few autumn leaves.
  2. If you happen to have extra mini pumpkins lying around (don’t we all?!), pop a variety of different-colored ones into a cloche or bell jar and turn them over onto a favorite plate. It makes for a nice centerpiece on the dinner table. The best part is you’re not left with outdated decorations that will simply gather dust in the closet all year.
  3. For a stunning dinner setting, find a bunch of mismatched vintage china (borrow from friends or go garage sale shopping). Using a large dinner plate as the base, stack smaller plates intermixed with teacups to create a 3-tiered masterpiece accented by vibrant orange roses or other floral favorite.
  4. Here’s an idea the will not only look festive, but gets everyone involved in Thanksgivingy cheer. Plus, it will keep the kids busy. Cut paper leaves out of colorful construction paper. As your friends and family arrive, have them write what they’re thankful for on a paper leaf then pin it onto a “tree” of branches anchored in a ceramic pitcher or linen-covered foam core in an antique frame. You might even come up with your own display idea.
  5. To find some unique recipes for this year’s turkey dinner, head to Half Price Books to find some old cookbooks with some tried and true family recipes or chef-inspired dishes that will wow your guests. One of our can’t-live-without Southern sides is a chorizo and cornbread stuffing. See the recipe below. 

Chorizo & Cornbread Stuffing


1 pound fresh Mexican chorizo
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 cups coarsely crumbled cornbread
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish (optional)
1/2 cup chicken stock (low-sodium store-bought is fine)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Grated cotija cheese, for garnish (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and cook the chorizo, breaking it up with a spoon and stirring occasionally as it cooks, until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic to the chorizo and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have browned, about 10 minutes. Add the crumbled cornbread and cilantro and gradually pour in enough of the stock so the stuffing is not too dry but at the same time not too wet. Stir gently and well.
Butter a small casserole dish. Spread the stuffing in an even layer. Bake until it’s heated through and lightly browned on top, about 20 minutes. Serve right away, garnished with the cilantro and cotija, if desired.

We wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving! After all the festivities have died down, we’re here to discuss the beautiful home you’re planning on living in next year. Call us at 210-494-5400 to set up a consultation. If you wish to be added to our private email list for our monthly newsletter, please sign up here.



Trees of Texas & Why You Should Plant Them


If the weather stays temperate, as it is likely to do here in South Texas, then now is a good time to enhance your yard with some beautiful trees. Especially if you’re having a brand new custom home built and you’re starting with a raw piece of land, you have the opportunity to pick and choose which trees you would like to see grow and flourish right alongside your family.

Trees provide so many benefits. Besides the essential oxygen they give us, they also build soil and soak up storm water, which can ultimately help prevent flooding. Shade trees are great energy-savers – they reduce ozone levels and create a habitat for all the small creatures. Interestingly, a mature shade tree on the south or west side of the house can save up to a whopping 25% on your energy bill.

One of the best reasons to plant trees is for the amazing bounty they provide. In Texas, there are several kinds of trees, like pecan trees, that offer delicious fruit and nuts that you can enjoy throughout the year. Here’s a short list of some of the best trees for your South Texas estate.

Fruit Trees

There are numerous kinds of fruit trees that do well in this area, and truly there is something thrilling about walking out your back door and picking a piece of fruit off your own tree. For peaches, go with Springold, Bicentennial, Loring, Ranger, Belle of Georgia, Dixiland, Denman, Milam or Harvester. For apricots try Bryan, Hungarian or Moorpark. For plums there’s Ayers, Garber, Maxine, Orient, Moonglow, LeConte or Kieffer. For apples, consider Gala, Mollie’s Delicious, Ozark Gold, Jerseymac, Starkspur G. D. or Starkrimson R. D.

Additionally, Black Mission Fig and Celeste Fig trees are very popular in this area. Satsuma Orange trees are said to do well too, and as we’re here in the hub of Tex-Mex cuisine, it’s also worth considering putting a lime tree in, although be aware they do not do at all well in the cold and must be insulated when it freezes.

Crape Myrtle

Crape Myrtles do great here and can be found in just about any size you’re looking for, from one foot tall to 50 feet tall, and they come in an assortment of beautiful colors. Beware that deer love to eat the foliage of the young trees so they will need to be fenced in until they’re large enough to not be a problem.

Desert Willow

For sheer beauty, a desert willow is the way to go. In the summertime the tree blooms with stunning little purple flowers. They are small, delicate, deciduous trees that are native to Texas so they are drought-resistant. You can plant multiple along a driveway or in the backyard to attract birds and bees.

For more information, our very own CPS Energy actually provides an entire online guide to local tree selection.

Texas A&M also offers a great Texas trees resource:

When you’re ready to build a home to showcase all those great trees, give us a call at 210-494-5400. To be added to our private email list to receive the newsletter, please sign up here.