First, I was moving. Second, I was flying to Seattle to spend time with my family. Third, would Nestle's readers know that the photos were done by me? Luckily, all of the issues were resolved favorably, and I flew to Seattle with printed out recipes and a 9 inch spring form pan packed in my suitcase. I was ready to bake Pumpkin Pecan Muffins and Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust.
Let me start by saying that I'm not a huge fan of pumpkin or fall-baked-goods spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, etc. But that's the beauty of doing these freelance projects: I don't have to always like the food. I get $$ for groceries and the time it takes me to bake, photograph and edit the photos, and end up with something new to try.
Because Seattle was rather gray and my parents' renovated kitchen has a lot of dark tones in it, I had to take all the photos outside. In the cold. While trying to chase my parents' cat, Gypsy, out of the way so that her tail would not end up in one of the shots.
I also had to compromise when it came to listening to music. When I cook/bake in my kitchen, I always have salsa/merengue/bachata music blaring. This time around, however, my dad was home and he's not a fan of Latin music to say the least! Trying to be a good daughter, I decided to listen to my old favorite Russian pop music: it was rather hilarious and brought back many good memories.
But back to baking. The recipes were simple enough to prepare, but I really wish someone would have cleaned up after me. Isn't that the worst part of cooking?
I had one of the muffins and shared the rest with my grandparents. Everyone liked it just fine. I must confess, however, to using real sugar instead of Splenda. After all, I wasn't testing the recipes: I was simply making them to take photos. The recipes were already tested by Robyn and a few other people.
The cheesecake was interesting. Because it used cottage cheese, it did not have as smooth of a consistency as regular cheesecakes, but it definitely was a lot healthier than the ones made with just cream cheese. I did like the gingersnap crust and the color of the cheese cake was really pretty.