16 November, 2010

Programming Break

Life is far too busy to blog these days. I am eye deep in work, directing a play and my family at the moment. I will come up for air the same old No Basement December 1st after my play opens. Thanks for reading, me hearties.

08 November, 2010

Mixtape Monday: November 08

Last week I just couldn't do it. Nope. Wasn't even going to try. No Basement is one tired, TIRED lady. Directing Theatre of the Absurd will do that to you. Futility, ironically enough, takes energy and purpose.

This week's playlist is about road trips. I love this time of year because I get to spend time with family and get away from the house. Below are a list of songs my family and I like to hear when taking a long haul down to the in-laws or my parents. Hope you enjoy. If you have any road trip songs you love, pass them along!

MIX: No Basement Family Road Trip

"Over the Hills and Far Away" by Led Zeppelin

"Man in a Box" by Alice in Chains

"Fearless" by Pink Floyd (Heck, the whole Meddle album is road-tripping perfection.)

"Africa" by Toto (You should hear the hubby and I belt this song. Meanwhile, our daughter is rolling her eyes in the backseat.)

"Nicotine & Gravy" by Beck (You gotta be careful with this song. People in other cars will stare at you as shake your bad self.)

"The Highwaymen" by The Highwaymen (Side Note: Screw Showdown bar in San Marcos, Texas for replacing their AMAZING jukebox with those electronic download-from-the-Internet bullyshot boxes. LAME!!!)

"Oceans" by Pearl Jam

"Jackson" by Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash

"Sovay" by Andrew Bird

"Olsen Olsen" by Sigur Ros

"Take On Me" by A-Ha

"The Tourist" by Radiohead

06 November, 2010

Dark Iris

Iris expanded her Little Bird Jewelry Company to cover super-hero costumes and eeevvvviiiilllll disguises. I present to you Iris's alter ego--DARK IRIS!

Try to control yourselves--this is the face of pure evil.

Dressed in Tinkerbell pajamas.

With a ponytail holder weapon.

Below is a clip of Dark Iris reigning terror upon all Texans!

05 November, 2010

Soup Kitchen

Fall has arrived! I am downright giddy. When the weather cools, I always have more energy, sleep like the dead and get to wear my favorite clothes--cardigans! Please don't ask me how many cardigans I have. It is slightly embarrassing. 

Whenever the temperature dips below the 50s F, I also get a hankering for homemade soup. I could live off soup. It is one of my absolute favorite foods. Nothing beats a piping hot bowl of hearty soup on a cold day with a thick slice of homemade bread or cornbread muffins. Below are some of my favorite soup recipes. They are all very simple, super healthy and taste even better after the second day. I have also found soup is great for a get-together with friends. Make about six different soups, some meaty and some vegetarian, bake a variety of breads and have your friends bring side dishes, salads and desserts. Perfect night.

My Go-To Soups/Stews/Etc.

1) Deborah Madison's Hearty Lentil Soup, from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.

This is one of the greatest lentil soup recipes I've ever eaten. Delicious complexity of flavor and nutrition. SIDE NOTE: Buy. This. Cookbook. Everything is simple and delicious. It is the perfect cookbook to incorporate more veggies into your weekly suppers. My meat-loving husband and picky-eating daughter like everything we've made from this book. 

2) Julie's Simple Chili
This photo makes me look like Chef Boyardee. Sweet.
Here is my chili recipe. You can add or subtract any ingredients or veggies you want.

1 lb of ground beef, or ground turkey, vegetarian crumbles or ground venison
2 cans of chili beans, or any canned beans you like (black beans and kidney beans are good).
1 can of Rotel (if Rotel is not in your region of the country, use a 15 oz can of diced tomatoes).
1 small can of tomato paste, another if you like your chili thick
1 medium onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced (I prefer a colorful red, orange or yellow). 
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups or so of water
Ground Cumin
Ground Coriander
Chili Powder
Cayenne Pepper

Directions: In a large pot or dutch oven, salt and pepper and brown your meat with the diced onion and bell pepper until the meat is no longer pink and the veggies are soft. Drain off a bit of the fat from the meat, saving about a tablespoon or so in the pot. Add the garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the beans, Rotel and tomato paste. Add some water depending on your desired thickness of the chili and stir until tomato paste has diluted into the water. Bring chili to a boil, reduce heat to low, throw in the spices to your taste, cover, and let simmer for 25 minutes. Remove lid, taste the chili and adjust water, seasoning levels to your taste. Serve immediately with cornbread, shredded cheese, sour cream and scallions. Tastes even better the next day.

3) Heidi Swanson's Miso Soup Recipe, from her food blog www.101cookbooks.com.

Photo by Heidi Swanson from www.101cookbooks.com
I love miso soup, and although we've never met, I love Heidi Swanson. I eat off her website at least once a week. Her recipes are simple, fresh and full of nutritional punch. Every recipe on her website could easily be a stand-alone meal (yes, even the black bean brownies!). 

She also has a beautifully laid-out cookbook, Super Natural Cooking. Check out her granola bar recipe. Have mercy!

01 November, 2010


Happy Halloween, ya'll! We had a great time last night at our local Halloween carnival. We met up with our buddies and their adorable child and had a rip-roaring time eating candy and trick-or-treating.

Little Lady went as Dorothy Gale from The Wizard of Oz. The costume was a hand-me-down from a high school friend and the ruby slippers were a gift for doing her chores for six weeks straight. I have to admit, my husband and I made one stinking cute, chicken-legged child. And my opinion is validated. She won 3rd place at the Halloween Carnival for "Cutest" costume. I think the pull doggie was a nice touch.

The Little Lady suggested I go as the Wicked Witch of the West to compliment her Dorothy Gale. What does this say about how she views our relationship? If this continues, I might have to use her college savings for therapy. ;)

 Where is the husband you might ask? No matter how much we begged, pleaded, threw temper tantrums or rolled on the ground crying, "WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA," he wouldn't be our Tin Man or Scarecrow or Cowardly Lion. The ONE TIME I got my husband to dress up, he put on his black suit and skinny black tie and claimed he was a Reservoir Dog. *Sigh*

Hope you all had as much fun as us. Fall is officially here!