CREA is a Mexico City nonprofit that supports women entrepreneurs in low-income communities, specifically with the idea to empower them and help them grow their businesses. I found out about CREA through my friend Liz, who is associate director. Right now CREA works with women in Zacatecas, offering a business course where women can learn accounting practices and other skills, and later pairing up these women with mentors and role models. Many of CREA's clients make food products: jams, stuffed olives, mole, pipián, peaches in syrup, homemade chocolate. Other women make ceramics, rebozos and jewelry. A few months ago, Liz mentioned that she'd love to find someone to take pictures of the food products for their website and catalog. Of course I volunteered -- I'm a budding food stylist and photographer, and this was for a good cause. We had a great time. Here are a few items from the shoot: Chicken in pipián sauce I took this powdered pipián sauce, made by Delicia Jerezana, to my in-laws in August. All you do is add chicken broth, heat and stir; it's easy and fast. I ended up making empipianadas for my in-laws, which were a big hit. You can also just heat the sauce and pour it over poached chicken, as pictured below. Chocolate cake, using homemade chocolate Doesn't this cake look decadent? The main ingredient is homemade chocolate, which CREA sells in blocks of about 1 lb. Apple marmalade Made from apples grown without pesticides, by producer Comenopal. It's really good stuff -- I ate both of these pieces of bread afterward. Pinole The most difficult thing to shoot was the pinole, a drink made from ground corn. The drink is fantastic, but I couldn't figure out how to get that feeling across in the image. If you have any suggestions for me, I'm open to them. Finding CREA's products near you If you live in Mexico, you can buy any of CREA's food products right now via their online Christmas catalog, which has the products arranged into gift baskets. Unfortunately they're not available in the U.S., although Liz says CREA staff are working to place them in Peet's Coffee & Tea, Mi Pueblo supermarkets and REI. Fany Gerson also has plans to sell the homemade chocolate in New York. I'm happy to share some recipe ideas, if you end up buying any of the products.