Menu for Hope VI

Hi, all.

I’m interrupting our regularly scheduled programming today to tell you about a yearly charity raffle called Menu for Hope. The project was founded six years ago by the lovely and talented Pim, and has since grown into a worldwide annual event aimed at ending hunger. All proceeds go to the UN World Food Programme, the world’s largest food aid agency. Last year, Menu for Hope raised over $62,000. This year, with your help, we hope to raise even more.

Here’s how it works: Food bloggers the world over have donated a range of food-related items to an online raffle. Your job is to take a look at the list of offerings, and bid on the items of your choice. It’s just $10 per virtual ticket. Pretty neat, isn’t it? Your ten little dollars will help put a meal on someone’s table, and may even get you something sweet for your own.

For my part, I’m offering a trio of homemade sweet, almondy treats, packaged in a Florentine gift box from my favorite local paper shop. It’s Sweet Amandine three ways: almond butter tartlets, almond biscotti, and salted chocolate almond toffee.

If you’ve been reading Sweet Amandine since the very beginning, you may recognize these tarts from a post that I wrote waaaay back in January. They have caused even the most stoic dinner guests to go all wide-eyed, swoony, and slack-jawed (after they swallow, of course). At our Chanukah party on Sunday, I actually hung around by the tart plate for a while just for the sake of watching unsuspecting first-time tart tasters enjoy their initial bites. To the future winner of this item, be forewarned: This tart has a habit of eliciting some very intense reactions including, but not limited to, moaning, growling, stumbling backwards, table slapping, forehead smacking, eyelid fluttering, and impassioned arm grabbing, coupled with the hungry question, “WHAT IS THIS?” I named my blog after these tarts, people. You know they must be good.

biscotti baggie

These almond biscotti, which I’ve also featured on this site, offer a subtler, crunchier hit of almond. They’re perfect alongside a morning mug of coffee or, if you’re me, Earl Grey tea.

To round out the trio comes this salted chocolate almond toffee. It’s a brand new addition to my repertoire, but after three batches in so many weeks, it’s already a staple in my kitchen. I can’t wait to share them with the winner.

I hope you’ll consider bidding on this almondy threesome. When I’m reading your comments, I often have the urge to reach through the screen, grab you by the scruff of the neck, pull you back through to my side of things, and plop you down at my table, so that we can continue our conversations in person. Until technology allows for such a feat [Eli, can you and your computer-programming buddies get on this one, please?], sending a physical box of goodies out into the world and into your hands feels like the next best thing.

I will ship this package via overnight mail to anywhere within the continental United States. I would hate to be the cause of your first belly ache of 2010, so I’ve designed the selection so that you can pace yourself. The tarts are best eaten within a day or two, but the biscotti will keep for up to two weeks, and the toffee, even longer. This package would make a delightful gift, and I’ll be happy to send it off with the appropriate greetings at any point during the year to the recipient of your choice.

Okay, now write this down: UE19. That’s the code to enter if you would like to bid on my item. Now, just follow the steps below to put a dent in world hunger. The important thing, of course, is not which item you select, but that you donate. Please join us in this important campaign, which runs until December 25th, this year.

How to donate:

UPDATE 12/22: Pim has added a spiffy new donation page to her site that makes giving easier than ever. No need to worry about writing down codes and typing them into your form. Simply click here, select your desired items and number of raffle tickets, and the information will appear by internet magic in the white box at the bottom of the page. Then, click "checkout," and you will be taken to the Firstgiving site. Your items will automatically transfer to the form, and all you'll have to do is provide your contact and billing information.

Or, if you prefer, do it the old-fashioned way:

1. Choose the bid-item(s) of your choice from our Menu for Hope main bid-item list.
2. Go to the donation site at Firstgiving and make a donation.
3. When confirming your donation, please specify which bid item you'd like in the “Personal Message” section. You must write-in how many tickets per bid item, and include the bid item code. (Again, my code is UE19.) Each $10 you donate earns you one raffle ticket toward any bid-item. For example, a donation of $50 might be 2 tickets for EU01 and 3 tickets for EU02. You would enter this information as "2xEU01, 3xEU02."
4. If your company matches your charity donation, please check the box and fill in the information so that we can claim the corporate match.
5. Please check the box that allows us to see your email address so that we can contact you if you win. Your email address will not be shared with anyone.
Winners will be announced here on Monday, January 18.

If you’re interested in learning more about the details of the project, head over to Pim’s post about this year’s campaign.

Happy donating, friends, and thank you.

[p.s. – Chanukah party wrap-up post is coming soon!]


bluejeangourmet said...

since I *wasn't* here at the beginning (sad face!), I just discovered the tart and NOW I KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH THE GIANT BAG OF SLIVERED ALMONDS IN MY FREEZER!

Jess, you complete me. but where is my almond toffee recipe? on second thought, my thighs are glad that you have not posted it here :)

such a worthy cause, I'm so glad you're a contributor, and with such a beautiful offering!

Jess said...

bluejeangourmet - Ohhh, Nishta. Just wait until you taste this tart. I wish I could be there to see your face. That toffee recipe will find its way up here soon enough, my friend. Hopefully, your thighs will forgive me.

Shayne said...

Sweet Amandine - bah - bah - bah - goodtimes never felt so good (so good! so good!)

Sorry for the lame Neil Diamond reference. Amazing food for a good cause... you're awesome!

Jess said...

Thanks, Shayne, for the lovely serenade! (I had a spin teacher a couple of years ago who played that song at every session. Whenever I hear it, my legs automatically start cycling.) Also, you're awesome.

kiss my spatula said...

i'm waiting for the toffee too! :)

Jess said...

It's coming soon, kiss my spatula! I promise.

marla (Family Fresh Cooking) said...

Menu for Hope is such a great cause and your yummy treats sound like a great addition to the raffle items. Gosh those almond butter tartlets sound divine!!

Peggy said...

sounds like an amazing cause and it looks like there's great stuff out there!

Jess said...

Hi, Marla and Peggy. Thanks for your notes. There really are some terrific items out there. (Including this box o' almond heaven, if I do say so myself.) It's an honor to be a part of this project. As of this moment, we've raised $72,570!! And there's still one more day before the raffle closes. Amazing.