As successful as Owen and I were in our week of bachelor living, it’s sure nice to have Sonya – and our own routine – back. I’m cooking again, and I’m working out again, both of which I apparently miss when they’re not around. The big hit this week was cream of broccoli and mushroom soup. Owen is a big broccoli fan – in fact, he likes the taste of most vegetables, but is not always sure about the texture, so pureed vegetable soups are some of his favorites. “Brocky?” he’ll say. On the other hand, he is a big fan of egg rolls, both taste and texture, so who knows. I also made a fantastic (and completely improvised) potato soup for Friday but neither Sonya nor Owen ate much of it because they were too busy playing Legos. Ah well.

My other big cooking project was submitting an entry for the annual Pie Day bakeoff at my work. This is fairly serious business, as we have some accomplished cooks in the building, and some very competitive cooks as well. I quickly decided that the only way I could overcome my complete lack of technique was stark pandering – that is, find something that people would find so viscerally delicious that they wouldn’t care that it wasn’t technically a well made pie. The answer, of course, was Nutella – I made a Nutella cheesecake filling, put it in a graham cracker crust and sprinkled mini chocolate chips on top.

Nutella cheesecake pie

Delicious though the filling was, it actually couldn’t quite overcome my lack of technique. I was baking (or, more accurately, assembling – it was a no-bake recipe) late on a weekday night and just didn’t think through the graham cracker crust. So parts of it were perfect, but a lot of it didn’t have much butter to keep the graham cracker crumbs together, and it was a big mess of chocolate graham cracker goo in places. But a delicious mess of chocolate graham cracker goo, at least. I didn’t win, but I did have several people ask me for the recipe, so that’s something. And I’ve got a year to work on my technique.