Monday, December 11, 2006

A Menu for Hope Starts Today!

It's that time again, when food bloggers and blog readers around the world join together to raise money for a good cause. This year A Menu for Hope III will be raising funds to benefit the United Nations World Food Program. I think it's so fitting that those of us who are prosperous enough to spend our time thinking about what we should eat are launching an effort to help others who worry about whether or not they have anything to eat. I'm honored to serve as one of the host blogs this year. Check out the fabulous prizes here, then head over to Chez Pim to see the entire list of Menu For Hope III Prizes.

After you've had a chance to see all the amazing prizes, please buy as many raffle tickets as you can to support this important cause. You might even win something, like I did last year! Scroll down to the end of this post to see how to buy tickets at First Giving. The campaign will run from December 11 – 22, 2006. Raffle results will be posted on Chez Pim on January 15, 2007. Here are the prizes donated from bloggers in the central U.S.

Prize Code: UC01 - Turkish Delights

Burcu from Almost Turkish Recipes is donating a set of two fabulous gifts straight from Turkey. The first is a large jar of Turkish flaked hot red pepper. You can use this semi moist, delicious smelling, hot, flaked red pepper while cooking or sprinkle it on your foods. The second part of this fabulous gift is a jar of grape leaves personally picked by Burcu at an uncle's vineyard in northwestern Turkey. There are no preservatives added; leaves are folded and squeezed in this jar and Burcu says "You won't believe how fresh they will smell." The jar of grape leaves will come with a recipe for stuffed grape leaves. Read more about this prize at Almost Turkish Recipes.

Prize Code UC02 - Food Play and Two Cake Books

A set of three fantastic books is being offered by Anne-Marie from A Readable Feast. Food Play by Joost Elffers and Saxton Freyman compiles the best photos of playfully carved fruits and vegetables from the award-winning series Play With Your Food. (Hardcover) In Perfect Cakes, Nick Malgieri shares his flawless recipes and professional techniques for creating a perfect cake every time, with more than two hundred recipes for all types of cakes. (Hardcover) The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum is the classic cake cookbook that enables anyone to make delicious, exquisite cakes. This is the definitive work on cakes by the country's top cake baker. (Hardcover.) Read more about this prize at A Readable Feast.

UC03 - Mindless Eating and Three Cookbooks
The generous Anne Marie is also offering another set of books, sponsored by her other blog, This Mama Cooks. In Mindless Eating, food psychologist Brian Wansink shows why you may not realize how much you're eating, what you're eating, or why you're even eating at all. (Hardcover.) Certified nutritionist Leanne Ely is dedicated to enticing busy families back to the dinner table, and in Saving Dinner the Low-Carb Way, she's providing easy-to-follow menus and highlighting per-serving measurements of calories, fat, protein, carbohydrates, cholesterol, and sodium for each dish. (Paperback.) Your Kitchen's Magic Wand consists of 60+ recipes for all kinds of dishes that are made considerably easier withthe use of an immersion blender. (Hardcover.) Small-Batch Baking offers 200 irresistible recipes from across the baking spectrum, with lots of ideas for holiday baking. (Paperback.) Read more about this prize at A Mama Cooks.

Prize Code UC04 - Fruit Butters and a Surprise Gift
The adorable Mimi from French Kitchen in America is donating six delectable 9-ounce jars of fruit butter by American Spoon Foods from Petoskey, Michigan, her native state. The flavors are pumpkin butter, a spicy spread for fall; strawberry butter, a taste of springtime; blueberry butter, a summery spread made from Michigan blueberries; apple butter, spiced with cinnamon; crabapple butter, great paired with cheddar cheese; and cherry butter, made from Montmorency cherries. All are great on homemade breads, muffins, bagels, pancakes or waffles and stirred into yogurt. Mimi is including a surprise product from Wisconsin, her adopted state. (Due to the weight of the items, this prize is restricted for shipping to the continental U.S. and Canada.) Read more about this prize at French Kitchen in America.

Prize Code UC05 - Pasta Machine and Accessories
If you've been dying to make pasta at home, now you'll have no excuse not to. Annie from Bon Appegeek is donating a Pasta Machine set which includes a shiny new Atlas Marcato 150 pasta machine (Annie has the same one and says it's fantastic), an OXO natural bristle pastry brush to clean it, a sexy pair of gleaming pasta serving forks, and a fancy schmancy pastry crimper to jazz up your ravioli. Flour, eggs, and Italian background music not included. (Due to the weight of this item, shipping is limited to continental U.S., APO/FPO-U.S. military, and Canada.) Read more about this prize at Bon Appegeek.

Prize Code UC06 - Photo Studio in a Box
I raved about it when my brother gave me Photo Studio in a Box, and now Rand and Bradley have generously donated one from their website Untangled Life for Kalyn's Kitchen to sponsor as a Menu for Hope prize. The kit comes with adjustable camera stand, soft light box and background, 2 High output table top lights (2800K tungsten lamps 8" height with 8' power cord), nylon diffuser screen, and custom carrier. The light box dimensions are 16" x 16" x 16". When I photograph food for Kalyn's KItchen, I use another light source from above and use my own fabrics for the background. (This is large but not that heavy so it can be shipped anywhere in the world.) Read more about this prize at Untangled Life.

Prize Code UC07 - Apple Ipod Nano
I haven't entered the iPod age yet, but apparently a lot of you have, and the second prize generously donated by Untangled Life for Kalyn's Kitchen to sponsor is this Apple 1GB iPod nano which holds up to 240 songs or 15,000 photos. The 1GB iPod nano’s ultra-portable design is thinner than a #2 pencil and features Apple’s patent pending Click Wheel and the same gorgeous color screen as other iPod nano models. With its stunning, high-resolution color screen, iPod nano allows users to display album art while playing music, view photo slideshows or play games in full color. iPod nano also features the same 30-pin dock connector as the iPod and works effortlessly with a wide range of over 2,000 accessories developed for iPod. (Also included is a leather carrying case which is not pictured.)

Prize Code UC08 - Gourmet Treats and Cookbook
Tami of Running with Tweezers recently visited New York, and she brought back a huge tray of gourmet treats for A Menu for Hope. This prize includes green leather, two-handled serving tray filled with some of Tami's favorite gourmet goodies like Italian Apple Cider Balsamic Vinegar, first cold press organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Argentina, honey and gingerbread Dijon mustard, tomato/apple/raisin topper for soft cheeses, a trio of Bella Cucina Pestos and spreads, Stonewall Kitchen Vidalia Onion and Fig Sauce, a bottle of chamomile-infused Grappa from Smith and Vine in NYC, and a copy of Working the Plate, a great book with recipes and plating techniques. Read more about this prize at Running with Tweezers.

Prize Code UC09 - Autographed Photo Book
Alexander Talbot and Aki Kamozawa from Ideas in Food are donating a signed hardcover copy of their first book, Ideas in Food: the photographs, Book One. The book is all visual, with the focus on the sharing and spreding of ideas. If you enjoy seeing their interesting creations on Ideas in Food, you'll love this book. Read more about this prize at Ideas in Food.

Prize Code UC10 - A Day Stage at Alinea with Dinner
Pim herself has rounded up this fabulous prize of a day at the restaurant Gourmet magazine has named The Best Restaurant in America this year, Alinea, ending with a fantastic dinner. And since Alinea is in Chicago, a lot of you people in the central U.S. might be interested in bidding on this one! The winner will get to spend the entire day observing all the workings of Alinea, ending by a fantastic dinner from the tour menu.

Prize Code UC11 - Trio of Chocolate Preserves
From Welcome to My Pantry comes a trio of homemade Chocolate Preserves, with Chocolate Banana, Chocolate Rasberry, and Pears Belle-Helene or Pear Chocolate. The preserves are from recipes from Mes Confitures by Christine Ferber. (U. S. shipping only.) Read more about this item at Welcome to My Pantry.

Prize Code UC12 - Award-Winning Jeni's Ice Cream

From Restaurant Widow comes the pleasure of Jeni's Ice Creams. Jeni Britton uses the finest possible ingredients to make her artisan ice creams. Winner of a Food and Wine Tastemaker Award, Jeni's Ice Cream has won the hearts of Central Ohians and beyond. This package includes four nine (!) pints of Jeni's Ice Cream, sorbet and/or yogurt, along with a specially designed scoop and four ice cream spoons (one for each pint!). You can choose from four of my favorites, four of Jeni's (current) favorites, or select your own, and there are plenty of great flavors from which to choose . Due to the nature of this item, only U.S. shipping is available.)

Prize Code UC13 - Be a Lamb's Honorary Owner
From Susan of Farmgirl Fare comes a chance to be the "honorary" owner of the first ewe born on Farmgirl's Farm in 2007. No this is not your lamb! Yes, your lamb will be cute. You can carry photos around in your wallet and tell everyone it's your lamb if you want, but you don't get to take the lamb home, or visit it. But it will still be fun to be the honorary owner of a darling lamb. No shipping involved so you can be the lamb's honorary owner from anywhere in the world. Read more about the prize at Farmgirl Fare.

Prize Code UC14 - Another Photo Studio in a Box
Yes, you're seeing double here. Kalyn's Kitchen is sponsoring another Photo Studio in a Box. Use prize code UC14 to bid on the second Photo Studio in a Box. When I realized how popular this item was as a prize, I decided to use the money I'd budgeted for bidding on prizes myself and give people two chances to bid for this prize. (This prize added December 16; the one with prize code UC06 already has quite a few bids, so you decide what's your best strategy for winning one!) If you're a food blogger, here's why I'm sure you'll love this prize.

Prize Code UW25 - Blogher Conference Admission
One lucky man or woman will be going to Blogher 07 Conference in Chicago this summer to learn more about everything related to blogging! This prize covers free admission for all sessions and parties at the Blogher 07 Conference. Thank you to the beautiful trio of Lisa, Jory, and Elisa at Blogher who generously agreed to donate a pass to Blogher 07 as a prize for A Menu for Hope. (The amazing Sam and I are both listing this prize, since Blogher is in San Jose and the Conference is in Chicago, and we're both Blogher Food Editors. When registration for Blogher 07 opens, Kristy Sammis will create a code that will allow the winner to register for free. I will make sure the winner gets that code. Most meals are included with conference registration. Winner is responsible for airfare and hotel costs.)

Isn't that a great round-up of prizes from Central U.S. Bloggers? I know many other regions have a lot more blogs, hence more prizes, but I think the prizes from this region are all first-rate. Now, here's how you can donate for a chance to win one of these great prizes.

1. Go to the donation page at First Giving.

2. Make a donation. Each $10 will give you one raffle ticket towards a prize.
Please specify which prize or prizes you'd like in the *Personal Message* section when confirming your donation.

3. If your company matches charity donations, please remember to check the box and fill in the information so A Menu for Hope can claim the corporate match.

4. Please also check the box to allow us to see your e-mail address so we can contact you in case you win.Your e-mail address will not be shared.

5. Check back at
Chez Pim on January 15 to see who the winners are.

Good luck everyone, and thanks again to the generous donors and everyone else who donates by buying raffle tickets.


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  1. Those prizes are amazing! Thanks to all the contributors for their generosity. Now I just have to decide which ones to by tickets for!

  2. I's going to be a bear making a decision! I'm drooling over the prize list.

    Kalyn, thanks for being the organizer for this region -- I know it's a lot of work, and we all appreciate it!

    The Inadvertent Gardener

  3. Wow, Kalyn, there's so many generous gifts! I especially like the light box... ;)

  4. Thanks to all -- terrific prizes! Let's raise lots of money this year!

  5. How lucky you are, Kalyn, to have a brother who is loving *and* generous? Love those prizes, and thanks for organizing this!

  6. Kalyn, thank you for hosting. I totally blew it on this. I was planning to put up a prize and missed the deadline. BUT, I will be making a nice bid on some items. Next year, maybe I can get my act together. :)

  7. I'm so glad that people like the prizes. I think we've had some incredible things donated from the central U.S. bloggers! I've been having fun all day checking to see how the bidding is going, and it's off to a fantastic start, nearly $4,000 donated last time I checked!

  8. Checking the totals is very heartening! But what happens if no one bids on an item?

  9. Mimi, I don't know if that's ever happened, but I doubt it. I think the longer the bidding goes on, people keep coming back and bidding on other prizes they hadn't noticed the first time. At least that's what I did last year, LOL.

  10. Great prizes! So nice to see such a variety of terrific ideas. Nice work...and best of luck to all the bidders!

  11. Thank you Kalyn and the other organizers for Menu of Hope! What a great way to use blogging to the max!

  12. I just wanted to let everyone know that I just got an e-mail from Jeni's and they have bumped up their donation to 9 pints of ice cream!! Someone will be very, very happy!!

  13. Hi everyone,
    I'm excited that people are being so amazingly generous, not only the prize donors but all the people buying tickets. Last time I checked we had passed $18,000.

    Lisa, I'll change the post to say 9 pints. Thanks for letting us know.

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  22. Apparently every spammer in the world has decided to leave their links in the comments on this post, but I will continue to delete them as quickly as they are left, so I wish they would just quit.

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  28. I am the winner! Unless it's some other Carmen, but I'm pretty sure it's me.


    since I think it only accepts my blogger addy, which is invalid.

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