smallish adventure- orchid show at Chicago Botanic Garden

February is almost over, and man, it's been another doozy of a winter month. The weather folks are reporting that this could be the coldest February on record. And winter isn't over yet... I don't know about you, but around this time of year, I get the itch to see green + growing things.  The Chicago Botanic Garden is having it's second Orchid Show which is the perfect shot of spring/green that I needed!

orchid show
Ochid from the Chicago Botanic Garden
Orchid
orchid
orchid

These are just a few of my favorite shots. I hope to finish editing the rest of them soon (and maybe add a slideshow/gallery?) If you are in the Chicagoland area and have a chance to go, please, do! It'll be just the right amount of green + growing things to help combat the winter blues!

 

smallish adventure cooking- Sriracha Chicken + Broccoli Lo-Mein

First of all- let me apologize for not having the high caliber photos that you've come to expect, or rather, that I've come to expect... I started dinner at 8:00p.m. last nite, and while I think my kitchen is bright, my iPhone camera didn't think so. Secondly, I apologize for taking photos with an iPhone... I decided at the very last minute to take photos of this cooking adventure.  Lastly, I want to apologize for the lack of photos of my ingredients all neatly lined up and posed-- I am seriously one hot mess in the kitchen. For real. Ingredients and dishes everywhere. My kitchen super power is my uncanny ability to dirty every dish, pot, pan, and spoon while cooking!

Now that the apologies are out of the way, there is one thing I won't apologize for- This dish! It was amazing! AND EASY!

Sriracha Chicken and Broccoli lo-mein noodle dish

I got the basic recipe from Baker by Nature (gosh, her photos are soooo pretty! This, my friends, is the benefit of pre-planning and cooking during the day!) Her recipe was good, but I made some tweaks (namely frozen broccoli and no eggs!) Here's my version of Sriracha Chicken + Broccoli Lo-Mein:

Ingredients:

For the Chicken + Broccoli

  • frozen broccoli (I used one bag) You can also use fresh broccoli.

  • 1 cup of shredded carrots (you can also add pea pods too)

  • 1- 1.5 pounds of chicken breast cut into small cubes

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 1 tablespoon sriracha hot sauce*

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

For the Lo-Mein Noodles

  • 1  package lo-mein noodles

  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar

  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Sriracha hot sauce*

  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger

  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

  • 2 green onions, sliced thinly

Directions:

1. If you use frozen broccoli, defrost it in your microwave. (My microwave has a fancy "frozen veggie" setting that defrosts them without cooking them to death)  If you're using fresh broccoli, bring a pot of water to boil and add the broccoli. Cook for  four or five minutes (you don't want to over cook it, you want it crisp!) Drain it and set it aside.

2. Grab a small bowl and whisk together the following: sesame oil, soy sauce, sriracha, water, sugar, and cornstarch.  Set aside.

3. In a large skillet or pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chicken and let it brown. Once the chicken in browned add the broccoli and carrots. Cook and stir for a few minutes, then add the bowl of sauce. Give everything a good stir to coat the ingredients. Cook for 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and set aside.

4. Time to make the Lo-Mein!  Bring a large pot of water to boil (if you're able to handle multiple pots at one time, maybe start boiling the water at the same time or just after the broccoli)  Once it's boiling, add the lo-mein noodles and cook according to the directions on the package (my particular package said to cook for 4 minutes)

5. While you're waiting for the water to boil, make the sauce for the lo-mein noodles. Combine and whisk together soy sauce, sriracha, sesame oil, grated ginger, and brown sugar. Set aside.

6. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a skillet on medium heat. Drain the noodles and add them to the skillet. Add the sauce and stir for a few minutes to make sure the noodles are completely coated.

7. Add the chicken + broccoli to the noodles and then add sliced green onions.  (I gave everything a good mix) Voila!

Sriracha Chicken and Broccoli Lo Mein

 

SOME NOTES:

*Feel free to adjust the amount of sriracha you use. We found this dish had quite the kick! If you want it a little less "mouth on fire" you might want to add less sriracha. On the flip side, if you like the sensation of your lips melting, add more!

*If you can't find lo-mein noodles in your grocery store, spaghetti noodles or angel hair noodles are an acceptable alternative!

 

This dish turned out really really well.  So much so that G said I have to make this again. I consider that a win!

 

Did you try this recipe? How did it turn out for you? Leave me a message in the comment section below-- I'd love to hear what you thought of it!

 

 

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