So I did a thing the other day.

Last Thursday, Boyfriend and his little sister wanted to go to Art Machine Productions tattoo studio a little bit away from us in Philadelphia.  Boyfriend got a larger tattoo on his leg within the last year and was back for a consult on a coverup and his sister wanted to set up an appointment for her first tattoo.  As someone who has wanted several different tattoos and wanted them for several years now, I decided to go with them to see even a bit of the process.  Then throughout the day, I had been thinking about it and ended up getting my first one done as a walk in that day.

At work that day, I was passed over for an opening – worse though, I was the only in house person to apply and I wasn’t even granted an interview.  Since I have been holding the position in the interim (1 month and counting so far), I was devastated and I feel very much taken advantage of – I’m good enough to do it simultaneously with my current position for more than a month but I’m not good enough for a conversation?- these are not employers I want to be with much longer.  Back to job searching and that pretty much closes that chapter of my life at this job.  My employers amid all this though did grant me an extra dollar per hour raise.  Since I know my direct supervisor pushed for an extra $2, this adds insult to injury but hell – I’ll take the dollar and it will mean I’ll have a little excess cash around.

So why mention all this? – it pretty much adds up to my deciding not to keep making excuses and just go ahead and do it.

I was a nervous mess driving to Philadelphia.  Sick to my stomach thinking it was a mistake.   When we got there, it was about 2 hours before Nick – one of the tattoo artists- was ready for me.  That was 2 hours of a whole, whole lot of nerves.  I could hear and see others going through their tattoo process and freaking out.  But I made it this far, I wasn’t leaving without my tattoo.

I knew I wanted to get 3 beach waves along the top of my right foot and I looked up some suggestions on my phone while we were waiting.  Of the tattoo ideas I was considering, I showed a couple to Nick who came back with the drawing of what he’d be doing.  Real real simple – “couple of squiggly lines” as Boyfriend kept saying but exactly what I had in mind.  He headed back again to get everything set up and I went back to just freaking out.

Seconds later it seemed, Nick was ready for me to head back.   He cleaned the area and added the stencil to my foot.  Someone else walked by during this part and said “damn it’s gonna hurt” – like thanks asshole, I hadn’t realized and been freaking out about it.  But I sat up on the table/bench and it was time to start.

Damn near everything you will read about placement of tattoos will say that the tops of the hands and feet are very high up on the most painful places.   By the time he finished the black line of the waves, before even starting the bit of blue I requested, I didn’t doubt that for one second.  At the beginning I didn’t think it was as bad as I was expecting but by the second middle wave, I was extremely grateful to be getting something pretty small.  You know how your feet and hands have the little bones and tendons closer to the skin? Well the curve of the second wave in particular was irritating one of those bones something fierce.

I couldn’t watch just looking at Boyfriend or his sister and asking them to just keep talking to me about random shit.  Boyfriend’s Sister kept thinking of scenarios that hurt and asked about previous times I’ve been in pain and said it probably wasn’t as bad.  I used to have my lip pierced and one time the backing got stuck on a glass; the ball in the front of the piercing ended up pulled into my lip.  Without a doubt the most painful experience I’ve had and still is to this day – the tattoo didn’t come close to as bad.

Not long after we started and Nick was finished.   Maybe 15-30 minutes total.  Boyfriend joked that “see – you lived” and Nick joked “or did we?” completely straight faced.  I appreciated the joke since ten with it as short and easy, I was more than a bit shaken.  We went over the process going forward on how to keep it clean and healing.  I paid ($100 -shop minimum- plus $20 tip) and headed out.

Off to Walmart to grab non-scented soap, healing ointment, and lotion.  Got home, whipped off the plastic wrap and:

Tattoo

It’s great.  Looks really good. Just what I wanted.  Now a week and half later, I think it’s healing nicely – I have no frame for comparison but Boyfriend tells me I’m right on track.  It still can be a bit uncomfortable wearing shoes – my only sneakers don’t have laces but rather elastic on top. That causes pressure and rubs against what is still an itchy patch.

I’m so happy with how it came out and am really proud of myself for just going for it and not continuing to find the excuses why I shouldn’t…and for not freaking out even worse.

Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken

Rounding out a little over a week of new slow cooker meals, here’s one for you:

 

Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken

Found right over here.

 

Ingredients

2 – 2 1/2 lbs chicken breast, fat trimmed

2 14oz cans of diced tomatoes, undrained

2 10oz cans of corn, drained

1 15oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed

1 pkg of taco seasoning

 

Directions

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker.  Cook for 4-5 hours on high or 8 hours on low.  Shred chicken with fork and stir to combine.  Serve over rice or as taco/tortilla filling.  Top with cheese or sour cream if desired.

 

Notes

I cooked it for about 7 1/2 hours on low, put it on “keep warm” for 30-45 minutes when we ran out on an errand, and then low for another 15 minutes or so while I got the rice together.  That was pretty much perfect.  Meat thermometer read the temp as just right and the chicken shred extremely easily for me.

I decided to halve the recipe.  2 or 2 1/2 lbs of chicken and etc sounded like a whole lot of food for 2 people.  I couldn’t find the black beans in a smaller size and wasn’t going to halve the taco seasoning packet but I think it worked out just fine.

I made Knorr’s Fiesta Sides Mexican Rice and served the Fiesta chicken over.  Boyfriend liked and said it was worth doing again.  I thought it was alright but I wasn’t blown away although……….

I’m an idiot.  I definitely bought both cheese (Mexican blend) and sour cream to top the meal with and definitely forgot about the sour cream until I was done eating and about the cheese until I went to type this post.  I said to Boyfriend “incase you were wondering what would have made this meal better, it was the sour cream and cheese we bought and I forgot about”.  Drats.  We’ll use it with the leftovers I guess and I’ll almost certainly try this one again with cheese and sour cream.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Gravy

After not using my Christmas slow cooker for more than a month after getting it, here’s a second slow cooker recipe I tried within the last week:

 

Slow Cooker Chicken and Gravy

The idea for this came from right over here. This blog has a load of recipes on it – a bunch of which I’ve repinned on Pinterest and intend on trying eventually so I suggest heading over there.

 

Ingredients:

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast

1 jar chicken gravy

1 can cream of chicken soup

salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

Spray slow cooker with a non-stick spray.  Put chicken into cooker. Mix gravy and soup and pour over chicken.  Cook on low for 8 hours.  Serve over potatoes or pasta if desired.

 

Notes:

So after my last slow cooker adventure where I learned my cooker might over cook stuff some, I decided to check out how my chicken was doing after 7 1/2 hours instead of the full 8.  I checked with a meat thermometer and the temperature was a-ok.  But the color was still pinkish and that had me nervous so I checked with the thermometer about 100 times.  After I guess it was the 100th time, I turned to the inter webs and learned a valuable lesson – pink chicken is not necessarily undercooked chicken.  A meat thermometer was about $5 at my local food store and I got it especially for when I got the slow cooker.  With some recipes I’ve seen saying to cook for between 6-8 hours, I wanted the assurance that whatever I make wasn’t going to get me sick and in this case – I’m really glad I had it.

I served with some Betty Crocker instant creamy butter mashed potatoes and ShopRite brand frozen green beans.  I’m not usually a big meat with gravy, potatoes and veggie cooker – opting usually for something more pasta related.  But this was nice.

Boyfriend said he liked it and that it was worth doing again.  It’ll probably get added into our rotation every so often.  Particularly times like now – with loads of cold and snow in the Northeast when coming home to have a nice warm meal in your stomach is just what is needed.

Slow Cooker Steak Teriyaki

For Christmas, Boyfriend’s mother so generously gave me my first slow cooker.  Last week, I tried my very first slow cooker recipe.

 

Slow Cooker Steak Teriyaki

 

Ingredients

1.5 lb of steak – My food store had precut strips labeled specifically for teriyaki so I grabbed that.

1 package of Teriyaki veggies – My food store brand has a package of frozen vegetables containing carrots, onions, the kind of vegetables you’d find in a teriyaki meal so I went with that rather than grabbing each fresh.

1 cup of teriyaki sauce – I used a Kikkoman less sodium teriyaki marinade and sauce

 

Directions

With steak and veggies defrosted, place the ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.  Serve over white rice if you want (I bought just minute rice and cooked up 2 servings worth based on their directions)

 

Notes

Coming home to an apartment with food ready to eat is pretty fabulous.  Boyfriend turned on the slow cooker around 9:30 am and I lowered it from “low” to “keep warm” when I got in from work around 5 while I prepared the rice.

I don’t have the original recipe anymore, it was so simple that I didn’t bother keeping it. But despite the original suggestion saying 8 hours on low and my only having done it for 7 1/2 hours – my meat was overcooked.  I don’t know if my slow cooker runs hot or I’ve messed something up somewhere.  In the future, I’m going to have to see what I can see to see and test around a bit more.

The overcooked meat was obviously disappointing but other than that – the frozen vegetables was a nice mix, the teriyaki sauce was really very good, and the rice was easy but 2 servings was far too much for 2 people, even with leftovers.

I guess I’ll have to try again at another point while cooking for less.

One Pan Enchilada Pasta

I’ve been slacking a bit.  I made this meal, gosh, 2 weeks ago now and have been neglecting to write it up.  But here we go now.

 

One Pan Enchilada Pasta

The original post is found here.  The original poster used some additional ingredients that I nixed and simplified a bit.

 

Ingredients

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

1.25 lbs of ground turkey meat

1 packet taco seasoning

2 cups low sodium chicken broth

1 19-oz can of red enchilada sauce

8 oz of dried rotini pasta

2 cups of shredded cheese (the original suggested Colby Jack cheese, I used Mexican mix cheese)

 

Directions

In a large skillet, cook the ground turkey meat, adding 1 packet of taco seasoning, breaking meat up until browned.

Once cooked through, add pasta, chicken broth, and enchilada sauce to pan.  Bring to boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover.

Cook for about 15 minutes then uncover and let simmer for additional 5 minutes until pasta is tender.

Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup of the cheese and top with the remaining cheese.  Place the lid back on the pan and let the heat of the cooked pasta/meat to melt the cheese or put in the broiler for a few minutes.

 

Notes

Yum.  The end.

The original poster included garlic, onions, and olives.  Maybe next time I’ll feel more adventurous adding the veggies but as was – I thought it was really tasty.

Definitely repeating.

Tomato/Artichoke Italian Chicken

 

 

 

 

Every time we go food shopping, I try and get at least 1 meal that is a new recipe.  I’ve tried a load of things lately and Boyfriend and I have enjoyed most of them.  We were due for a meal that didn’t wow us.

 

Tomato/Artichoke Italian Chicken

The original post can be found here.

 

Ingredients

4-5 roma tomatoes

2 cloves of garlic

Small jar of artichoke hearts

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1 lb chicken

1 cup mozzarella

 

Directions

Core and chop the tomatoes. Thinly slice the 2 cloves of garlic and drain the can of artichoke hearts.  Place all in a bowl with the olive oil, sugar, flour, and some salt and pepper.

Put the chicken in a casserole dish and pour the tomato mixture on top.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or so until the chicken is almost done.  Add the mozzarella on top and bake for another 5 or so minutes to let the cheese melt.

 

Notes

First things first, I’ve never cooked with artichoke hearts before but figured I enjoy like spinach/artichoke dip so should give it a chance.  I’ve learned neither Boyfriend nor I like artichoke hearts.  Without that, this meal is pretty bland.

The meal was pretty easy to make.  By the time it was done, the apartment smelt amazing.   I’m sure this is a recipe others would enjoy.  But if you’re not a fan of artichokes – not worth repeating.