Don’t ever underestimate the deliciousness that is a basic, classic meal.

Oh, we’re all tempted to be attracted to the trendy and tiny micro-portions from time to time. We love junk food. As you know, I am a huge fan of salt & vinegar potato chips: 8 chips, from the bag, on the way home from the grocery.

There’s the thrill of a great stuffed sub sandwich, the decadent nacho platter, and a freshly fantastic goat cheese salad. But, in all this, our go-to 1950’s food still holds a place when you need satisfying sustenance.

It has the benefit of looking great on a plate, too.

My son, Sam, recently called for details on cooking bone-free chicken. I’m guessing there are some new cooks, out there, who also need this info. Add some garlic-mashed red potatoes and a simple green salad. And kiss the hip cuisine and fast food goodbye.

Baking Boneless Chicken
1-2 lbs boneless chicken breasts
1 bottle (12-16 oz) decent barbeque sauce
salt & pepper
Place your rinsed and (patted) dry chicken breasts in a 9×13 inch baking pan, brush with barbeque sauce, sprinkle w/ salt & pepper, and bake 20-25 mins in a 350° oven. Or, bring the grill up to moderate heat and (after coating w/ sauce, s&p) bake, covered, 15-20 minutes (check inside for doneness).

Smashing Red Potatoes
2-3 pounds small red skinned potatoes*
butter (1/2 stick on hand)
chives or green scallions
salt & pepper
Wash potatoes. Place in a pan with enough water to cover all potatoes. Add 1-2 T salt to water. Boil potatoes until tender (when you poke w/ a fork, skin will break and fork will sink in neatly – if you can’t tell by this, take one out, cut it, and try it). Remove from heat, pour off excess water, and mash (in pan – saves bowls). Add 2-3 T butter at a time, continuing to mash to a course texture. Add a little milk, if you like them creamier (or even, gasp, real cream), but it’s not necessary. S&P to taste.
*We leave the skins on ours – they’re prettier this way – but if you you want to peel them, go crazy.

Simple Green Salad
This is so easy these days, it’s almost criminal. Buy pre-washed spinach or microgreens, some heirloom or regular grape tomatoes, peel, seed, and slice a cucumber (many people have digestive problems with the seeds, and they make the salad watery).  Toss a few croutons on top – we used a lovely bleu cheese dressing, grinding black pepper on top.

Can I say something about today’s culture and the concept of underestimation?

It’s all too common. We’ve become “wowed” by the unusual, the bizarre, the alternative, the strange. We’ve almost become so bored, so filled with ennui, that as a group, we almost can’t recognize what’s plain, solid, and true.

Don’t let yourself be swayed, friend.