Our air conditioner is broken.

And while with last week's unseasonably cool temperatures, this would not have been a problem, today was 80 degrees.  The fix-it man isn't coming until later, which means all the doors and windows are thrown open in hopes of getting a breeze and stirring around our lived-in air {pre-breathed.  it's like pre-owned, but more CO2)

And why do you care?  Well, because today is a foreshadowing of summer, with it's gorgeously high temperatures, working AC, and abundance of fresh produce.  All together, in summer I crave light, fresh, zesty salads.  I must admit, the sight of iceburg lettuce {or the "garden mix" in a  bag} covered in ranch dressing makes me shudder.  Salad is so much more than that!  It is homemade dressing, good cheese and nuts, and exciting, dark leaf lettuce.

Mmmm, much better.  And today's salad is one of my all-time favorites.  It's called sensation salad {I was not on the naming committee, but if I was, that name still probably would have passed}, and it's a South Louisiana tradition.  With all the heavy cream, crawfish, butter, shrimp, heavy cream, butter, and spice served in a Louisiana dish, you need a bit of fresh and light.  This salad totally delivers.  Lemon stars in the dressing and it's pleasingly tart.  A perfect compliment to a buttery or spicy dish {put this next to shrimp and grits.  yes please!}

Before I cooked {what up, high school}, I would drive to a restaurant in town and get this salad with chicken as take out.  Knowing how easy it is now, I'm a little mad at high school me, and I want my $12 {times a million salads} back.

Sensation Salad
Serves 4 as an entree

For the salad:
1 large head of romaine lettuce, washed and torn
2 pounds of chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into small strips
3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 cup sliced almonds

For the dressing:
1/2 cup olive oil
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 clove of garlic, minced
salt and pepper

Mix the dressing ingredients together and set aside.  {Note: taste and adjust lemon juice amount to your preferences.  I usually put a bit more, but I love the tartness}.  Season chicken with a few shakes of garlic powder, S&P, and any other spices you like.  Cook chicken strips in a cast iron pan, then remove and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Toss lettuce with parmesan, almonds, and most of the dressing.  Taste and add more dressing as needed.  Top with chicken and serve with crusty bread!

And if someone wanted to come over and fan me, that'd be ok.

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