Saturday, July 9, 2011

I have a proposal for you...

Baby Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms

Is what I heard when I checked my phone messages near the end of 2010.  It was Aleta asking me if I would be interested in creating recipes and photographing them for a project at her company.  "Think about it" was what the message said.

Well, It didn't require too much thought at all.  How excited was I to branch out and add to my knowledge base of all things food.  I photograph just about every meal I make, much to the chagrin of my husband Jim.  Sometimes he has to wait so long, his food begins to cool.  That, I continue to work on.

The only struggle I faced with this exciting offer was the deadline.  At that time, I was extremely busy with my catering business and would be required to finalize the project prior to the end of the year.  YES, I said with confidence and nervous energy all at once!  Aleta works for State Garden which is located in the produce center in Chelsea, MA.  They produce an exciting product called Olivia's Organics among many other things.  The good news is that I was already using their product for my clients as I focus on good, quality organic products whenever possible.  You might pay a little more, but their greens are definitely worth it!

As it states on their website, this fabulous product is "proudly grown by American farmers, USDA organic and best of all your purchase supports the Olivia's Organic Children Foundation.  Hey, you can even download a coupon on their website,  My only issue now is that I cannot purchase Olivia's Organics in Naples, FL.  They can be found along the East Coast as far down as South Carolina.

My task was to recreate ten recipes and photograph them for a new product of Cooking Greens.  They come in five varieties that include Baby Saute BlendBaby Swiss ChardBaby CollardsBaby Kale and Baby Spinach.  They are finally on the shelf in limited quantity and will be making their way to your local store in the near future.

While the project began by recreating the recipes provided, I actually ended up using quite a few of my own recipes and photographed all of them for print.  This was definitely an exciting time of frenzy while I shopped for ingredients, created and prepared many dishes and shot hundreds of pictures using different lighting and changing up the platters as needed.  All while I still maintained focus on my holiday clients.

Sauteed Baby Swiss Chard over Polenta

Sauteed Baby Kale with Sea Scallops

Baby Saute Blend with Salmon
It was, as they say in Boston, "wicked cool" to handle this task.  I had fun as I always do in the kitchen, created new and exciting dishes and best of all, Jim got the task of helping me taste and eat the final product.  Of course, it was cold.  Thank God for microwaves...

Thank you Aleta for allowing me to spread my wings just a little wider.  And for all of you, be sure to check out Olivia's Organics at your local grocery store.  You will be glad you did!

Have a great weekend everyone - I know I will!

Fino a quel momento (until that time)


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