Have you ever heard of a Mechanic's Lien? Well, neither had I until yesterday when we served with papers. (They should come up with another verb for delivering legal papers because being served has none of the positive connotations that I associate with being served lovely things, like being served a hot fudge sundae perhaps) Nothing makes a pit in the stomach faster than finding out that you are being sued. A Mechanic's Lien, in case you are wondering, is a subcontractor's dispute involving work done on your property for which he has not been paid. The homeowner has paid the contractor (we paid a year ago, before the work had even begun), the work has been completed, but somewhere down the line, someone, in this case, the poor guy who supplied the materials for the concrete in our backyard, never got his due. So now we are being served and you know all of the lovely, pleasant things that come along with that, like countless hours on the telephone, trips to the notary and certified letters, and the gathering of aged documents. It's such fun, it makes me wish I pursued a career in the law. (Actually, I almost did. It might have come in handy now.) But life goes on, even if you have a Mechanic's Lien giving you an ulcer or not, and time marches forward even if you turn off the lights and lock the door, which by the way doesn't work and besides it could be the UPS man and I'm always happy to see what he brought. As far as I know, no one has even been served papers via UPS. And this weekend, smooshed right up too close to Cinco De Mayo, is Mother's Day. All I ever want for Mother's Day is a few hours to read. (I've got the Friday Night Knitting Club waiting for me.) And world peace, of course, but maybe that is asking too much. Oh, and if I'm allowed three requests, I'd also like to settle this little lawsuit in my favor.
Here's what I'm having for dinner on this day in which we spoil the women in our lives: Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad. This version is easy enough for the men and little ones in your lives to pull off, plus it'll keep them busy while you hole up and read. Best of all, it's insanely delicious, sooo much better than the limp and flavorless salads that you so often end up with at a restaurant. And once in a while, it's fun to get out of the kitchen and let others serve you. As long as it isn't papers that they are serving. Happy Mother's Day!
Money Saving Tips:
Please don't use your bottled Caesar dressing! Homemade dressing is fast, easy, cheap and soooo much better than store bought. Skip the bagged greens and buy fresh romaine. Wash it well and put it in a pillow case. Send the kids outside to swing the pillow case through the air (in the style of a salad spinner) and you'll have nice crisp greens. Get your chicken on sale and youre bread for croutons on the day old rack.
Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad
Estimated Cost: $8.00 for four servings
Notes: I've included options for fresh garlic or garlic powder to make it easier.
For the Chicken:
1 lb. chicken breasts
1 teaspoon each garlic powder (or two cloves minced), salt, and pepper
juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 loaf French bread, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1 teaspoon garlic powder, or 2 cloves minced
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
pinch of cayenne, if desired
Romaine lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces
red onion, thinly sliced
Place chicken in ziptop baggie. Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Pour lemon juice and olive oil into bag, turn chicken to coat and marinate for 1-12 hours. Grill or broil chicken, about 6 minutes per side.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. ON a foil lined cookie sheet, toss bread with garlic and olive oil. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper. Bake bread until toasted, turning once, about 15 minutes.
For Dressing: Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a blender and process until smooth.
Place romaine and red onion on plates. Top with croutons and chicken breast. Drizzle with dressing and black pepper. Get a nice cloth napkin and go serve Mom. Give her a hug while you're at it.
Still haven't forgotten those jelly donuts.....