A Menu for Hope II

by Cate on December 13, 2005

Tune in tomorrow for info on what was cooking in Sweetnicks’ kitchen tonight, and Nicholas and The Girlfriend’s latest adventures. I’m saving my regular post for tomorrow, because I want tonight’s post, about Menu for Hope II, to stand alone. Until tomorrow… and you’ll want to make sure to come back and find out what divinely delicious dessert we had… yum!

Last year, fellow food bloggers united to share their generosity with those less fortunate, by joining in for Menu for Hope, the brainchild of Chez Pim. All donations raised go directly to Unicef, and the money raised last year benefitted victims of the Tsunami in Southeast Asia. I wasn’t a food blogger then, but now that I am, I hope I can count on you for a small favor. This year, the participating food bloggers (and I’m in GREAT company) are using the funds raised to support the victims of the earthquake in the Kashmir region of India and Pakistan.

But like last year, there’s a twist that makes this giving more exciting for you. By giving, you get an opportunity to get something back … besides, of course, that warm feeling you get by just doing something good.

The food blogging community has joined together and amassed a huge list of cool, fun, and personal gifts to entice you to donate. Each of those gifts is offered as a raffle prize, and your $5 donation makes you eligible for the raffle drawing for a gift of your choice. Prizes you can win include everything from an afternoon tea with quite possibly the most famous food blogger around, the one and only Clotilde of Chocolate and Zucchini, to a personalized Napa Valley itinerary created by über-wine blogger Alder of Vinography, and many, many more. Hey, even yours truly offered up Martha Stewart’s newest cookbook as one of the raffle prizes. The more virtual tickets you buy, the more chances at winning you get. And with this collection of prizes, your chances aren’t too bad … and all for a great cause.

The site FirstGiving is being used to collect the donation. FirstGiving does all the collection and forwards the funds directly to Unicef. The funds are earmarked to support the victims of the Kashmir earthquake, and as I’m writing this post, nearly $2,000 has already been raised.

How to participate:
1. Find the gift you would like on the menu below.
2. Go to A Menu for Hope II donation page and donate $5, or whatever sum you could spare.
3. In the comment section of your donation form, indicate which gift(s) you would like have. Each $5 donation will give you one chance at winning the prize of your choice. (Yes, if you donate more than $5, you are allowed to specify more than one prize.)

The campaign ends on December 23rd, and the winners will be announced and the prizes sent to corresponding winners after January 1st 2006.

Good luck … and remember, even just a few bucks (like the cost of your Starbucks Latte) can help this wonderful cause, and who knows, you just might find yourself a lucky winner! With the amount of prizes donated, odds are pretty good. Thanks for helping.

Here’s the list of the fabulous gifts that food bloggers have generously donated for the raffle.

Clotilde of Chocolate and Zucchini is offering up Haute Patisserie, a chance to share an afternoon tea with her at Cafe de la Mairie in Paris, with patisserie of your choice from Pierre Herme around the corner.

Meanwhile, that Amateur Gourmet Adam is offering a chance at fame, to participate in an Amateur Gourmet video with The Amateur Gourmet and his Amateur Gourmette Lisa.

Our uber-wine blogger Alder of Vinography will create a customized Napa or Sonoma Wine Country Tour Itinerary just for you.

Louisa of Movable Feast, the itinerant chef extraodinaire, offers a personalized Fixer’s guide to Paris. Yes, do what Anthony Bourdain did when he was in Paris, have our Louisa create your own personalized guide of Paris for you.

The adorable Heidi, yes, that Heidi, will give you a one-hour food photography lesson (if the winner is local) and a signed copy of her cookbook Cook 1.0. Have you seen her photos?

Sam of Becks and Posh solicited donations from the best Bay Area artisanal food purveyors and created three very fancy baskets filled to the brim with a sample of the best that the Bay Area has to offer.

Fatemeh of Gastronomie offers two gifts, a “ready to cook” Persian dinner “kit,” where she will measure and prepackage all the ingredients and provide a step-by-step recipe card. If the winner wanted to pay for overnight shipping on ice, she’ll even cook it as well. The second gift is her “Persian Pantry” filled with Persian foodstuffs valued at around $50-75. Considering that Persian foods might not be so easy to find in your neck of the woods, this sounds like a mighty tempting gift, no?

Brett of In Praise of Sardines is honoring the culinary tradition of the area we are trying to help by putting together a gourmet basket with ingredients needed to make a traditional Kashmiri meal: a selection of spices (including saffron and difficult to find Kashmiri red chilli) and home-made spice mixtures, a traditional spice box (masala dabba), Basmati rice, Indian tea (for masala chai), some North Indian recipes from his wife’s family, and Kashmiri recipes gathered from his own collection of 30 South Asian cookbooks.

Meg and Brett from Too Many Chefs put together a goodie basket of French products to include foie gras, sea salt, snails and more, and also a copy of the chocolate book by our friend David Lebovitz.

Shauna James of Gluten Free Girl offers a Seattle food basket: smoked salmon; organic coffee; Fran’s gray salt caramels; and a copy of Tom Douglass’ cookbook.

Rachael of Fresh Approach Cooking will give a Jin Patisserie 12 Piece Box. The chocolates include: The de Concubine, Passion fruit, The du Hammum, Mango Kalamansi, Caramel Clove, Cinnamon, Pandan, Chrysanthemum, Lavender, Ginger, Cafe Rhum and Black Roasted Sesame.

Michele of Oswego Tea, who just recently moved to Paris, will share her favorite recent find, Mariage Freres Tea.

Keiko of Nordljus is giving a green tea, Matcha, from Japan plus a recipe for one of her own matcha desserts.

Alice Yamada of Epicurean Debauchery is offering a Make-Your-Own Sushi Starter Kit with roller mats, a shamoji (a rice scooper), recipes, and some seaweed and wasabi.

Eve, the Chocolate Lady offers up a bottle of vodka infused with Buddha Hand Citron.

Megan of I Heart Bacon gives a Casina Rossa Truffle.

Elise of Simply Recipes gives a jar of her delicious (speaking from experience) jar of homemade apple butter.

Vanessa, she who craves, gives a homemade jar of marmalade.

And, in the twist of flavor as only a farm blogger could pull off, our farmgirl Susan is giving a chance to be the honorary owner of the firstborn ewe lamb at her farm next spring.

David Lebovitz will send you a signed copy of his Chocolate Book.

Wena of Mum Mum gives a book on the wonderful Nonya cooking, Foods of my childhood: Penang Nyonya Cooking, by Cecilia Tan

Derrick of Obsession with Food, who occasionally contributes to The Art of Eating is offering a one year subscription to The Art of Eating magazine.

Melissa of the gorgeous Traveler’s Lunchbox offers Culinary Artistry by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page

Amy of Cooking with Amy with give the Very Maple Syrup cookbook and her very special homemade Maple Nut Granola.

Owen Linderholm, the publisher of Digital Dish: Five Seasons of the freshest recipes and writing from food blogs around the world, is providing three copies of the book for this menu.

Stephanie of the Happy Sorceress will give a copy of Giada de Laurentis’s new book.

Sweetnicks gives the Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook.

Faith Kramer of Blog Appetit offers a brand new copy of the Bouchon cookbook.

Luisa, The Wednesday Chef, offers Anne Willan’s Cooked to Perfection.

Clement of the beautiful A La Cuisine! offers The Cook’s Book by Jill Norman and three jars of Anton Kozlik’s Canadian mustard.

Anne of Anne’s Food gives a wonderful book from her homeland of Sweden, Swedish Cakes and Cookies.

Christina, the Medieval mistress of the Thorngrove Table will give Barbara Santich’s The Original Mediterranean Cuisine: Medieval Recipes for Today.

Laura, the redheaded chef of Cucina Testa Rossa, offers an autographed Jacques Pepin, Fast Food My Way book.

Kate of the wonderfully Accidental Hedonist provides us with two books, Marcella Hazan’s “Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking” and “Marcella Says… : Italian Cooking Wisdom”.

Andrew of Spittoon provides a copy of Cook Until Desired Tenderness, a small book by Cleo Papanikolas.

Also, throwing in a bit of suspense for good measure, we have one blogger, Jen of Life Begins at 30, pledging a mysterious gift.

And last, but not least, the originator of Menu of Hope II, Chez Pim is offering up a $200 gift certificate for a meal at Manresa.

So how about it? These great gifts are enticing enough for you to give a few dollars for our good cause? What are you waiting for? Donate!

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