An inauspicious start…

I had such great plans this weekend for launching the “Dining with the Rat Pack” blog-within-a-blog here on Invited great friends over for dinner, dialed up my “Just the Pack” playlist and let a Saturday evening of Dining with the Rat Pack unfold. Turned out a really nice tomato/feta crostini appetizer followed by one of my favorite “simplicity = elegance” main courses — bone-in pork chops Milanese with lemon/thyme roasted potatoes and arugula salad*.

The food, company and music was great … but somehow I missed each and every food photo op! Jeez … I’m used to cooking for people but I clearly need to get a better handle on weaving the photo capture piece into the process or this mini-food blog isn’t going to be much fun.

Oh well, next time for sure!

A Blog Within a Blog… is all about standards music and  the great vocal performers of the past 50 or so years. But as often as not I find myself listening to Frank, Sammy, Dean and the gang while cooking dinner for my wife and friends — I have a hard time separating the listening experience from the eating, drinking and entertaining. I can’t cook without a glass of wine in my hand and Martini in The Morning (or the like) flowing out of every speaker in the house.

So this mini food blog is a place I can share that nexus of food, drink and music that I ply my wife and friends with on the weekend.

This weekend…

…started off great on Friday with my wife giving me the night off in the kitchen. She pulled one of her pizza dough balls out of the freezer and tooled up a great pizza with pepperoni, mushroom, artichokes, peperoncini, green olives… I grabbed a glass of wine and continued my internet radio research for an iRadio review post coming next week.

She did make me throw together a pizza sauce, but the wine fortified me and I was able to make it over that hump while listening to an hour each of 3 different internet standards radio stations. This is pretty par for the course for a Friday — typically let one of the better standards internet radio stations wash over us will enjoying a simple meal … steaks and stuffed potatoes, pizza, simple pasta.

Saturdays are normally reserved for a more adventurous attempt. Last night I dialed it back to the aforementioned pork chop Milanese meal so I could capture all the goodness for this post … and then I proceeded to studiously NOT document the effort (I suck …sigh).

Sundays are all about comfort food for us. My dad was a great cook and every Sunday he had a pot of something amazing bubbling away for most of the afternoon. After smelling the aroma all day, by the time dinner was served we were nearly panting with anticipation.

Osso bucco is on the menu this evening. Hmmm, maybe I’ll update this sad starter post with a few shots of the veal simmering away in the oven. We’ll see if I can pull that off!

* I will be putting up most of the recipes on an Evernote share site you can find here or on the Links and Resources section of the site.

UPDATE — (8:20PM)

The Osso Bucco turned out pretty good — and the ‘Pack was awesome as always. I stuck with my “Just The Pack” playlist (~250 songs from the sweet spot of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis’s catalogs with a smattering of Eee-O Eleven live act stuff from various shows) … I don’t know what it says about me but I never tire of this music.

The veal was really good but the recipe (from Anne Burrell) did not work in my oven as advertised … the last 30 minutes with the lid off reduced the sauce a bit too much. Great flavor but just too tight … very easy to fix the next time around. Over all a nice recipe.