Monday, December 14, 2009

Menu for Hope 6 - Need a Kenwood Chef Mixer?

Update: THE WINNER OF THE MIXER IS ELIN DAVIES. Elin would you please send me an email using the link in the upper left hand corner of the blog so I can coordinate sending this mixer to you? I saw your comment at the bottom of the post but there is no link back to you nor an email address.

If you're a food blogger or an avid reader of food blogs, you might already know what Menu for Hope is and how it works. If you're not, please read on and go to the link above as well to find out all about Menu for Hope from its founder, Pim of Chez Pim.

As a result of the catastrophic tsunami in Southeast Asia six years ago, Pim conceived and organized the Menu for Hope raffle; Each December, food bloggers gather resources to offer food-related items up for a charitable auction benefiting the UN World Food Programme.
For every US$10 (approximately GBP6,20 or EU6,85) donated, you earn one virtual raffle ticket to bid on an item of your choice and the choice is astounding, with bid items coming from all over the world. You may purchase as many raffle tickets as you want, giving you that many opportunities to win. At the end of the two-week campaign, the raffle tickets are drawn and the results announced on Chez Pim.

This year's campaign starts today the 14th of December and ends on the 25th, Christmas Day.
The winners will be announced on January 18th, 2010 on Pim's blog.

And now to the meat of the matter, so here we go, I am offering the following item for auction:

A Kenwood food mixer with automatic electronic speed control with pulse, so it maintains speed and power regardless of the load. The Kenwood mixer has a 4.6L(4.8Qt) capacity, and is supplied with K-beater, whisk, and dough hook attachments for all your kneading, mixing and whisking needs. This item has a retail value of US$350.
 I will ship this item anywhere in the world (customs and other regulations permitting, so please check that I can ship this item to your country before bidding) but please note the power cord will be a British three-pin plug (220V) and you will be responsible for finding your own adapter and/or transformer.
Having said that, if you do not live in a country that uses 220V outlets (for instance, the US) and want to bid on the mixer, please read this post David Lebovitz wrote about using kitchen mixers in countries with differing voltages first, including the comments section which contains many readers' solutions to issues with their kitchen mixers.
To be more specific, Europe uses 220V outlets, the US and I believe Canada do not and are on 110V outlets. If you live in a European country with 220V outlets, you will only need an adapter to make the appliance's plug fit into your country's standard plugs. If you live in the US or Canada, you would need a transformer to convert the voltage to 110V, but you shouldn't just assume that using a transformer will make the mixer work perfectly without any issues, so please go read the post linked above and come back with any further questions you might have; I will do my best to answer questions using my father (the electrical engineer) for reference.

Remember that all it takes for an opportunity to win this mixer is at least one donation of US$10.


For the list of other European bid items available please visit Pastry Chef David Lebovitz's post and website, as he is the European region organizer this year, and is being assisted by last year's European organizer, Sara Rosso of Ms. Adventures in Italy.
For details as to how the money is collected and the specific use it will be put to within the UNWFP, as well as for the links to the other regional organizers worldwide and the list of items they are offering for auction, go to Pim's post. You can also go to the online fundraising company's page used by the Menu for Hope program here.

Happy bidding and good luck!
To Donate and Enter the Menu for Hope Raffle:
Here's what you need to do:
1. Choose a bid item or bid items of your choice from our Menu for Hope main bid item list.
2. Go to Pim's page and fill out this Menu for Hope 6 Donation Form or go to the donation site at Firstgiving and make a donation.
3. Please specify which bid item you'd like in the 'Personal Message' section in the donation form when confirming your donation. You must write-in how many tickets per bid item, and please use the bid item code.

Each $10 you donate will give you one raffle ticket toward a bid item of your choice. For example, a donation of $50 can be 2 tickets for EU01 and 3 tickets for EU02 - 2xEU01, 3xEU02.

4. If your company matches your charity donation, please check the box and fill in the information so we could claim the corporate match.
5. Please check the box to allow us to see your email address so that we can contact you in case you win. Your email address will not be shared with anyone.

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Friday, December 11, 2009

When my Stollen was Stolen

Christmas Stollen
When someone suggested that I try making a German Christmas Stollen bread, it occurred to me that while I knew I'd had Stollen when I was little, I couldn't for the life of me remember what it tasted like (other than that it was obviously sweet) or what the consistency of it should be. Was it a cakey bread? a bready bread? The suggestion was accompanied by a translated recipe for Stollen from Dr. Oetker (specifically from an old Dr. Oetker recipe book) and, while yeast and I are not friends, the lack of yeast and the proportions of some ingredients in this particular recipe seemed a bit odd to me, so I decided to look up Dr. Oetker and see if there was an official "interwebs" version of the Dr. Oetker Stollen; indeed there was. The two recipes were comparable except for a few of the measurements including those relating to baking soda and baking powder.

As I am skeptical of my bread-making abilities at the best of times and under the most auspicious circumstances, I decided to go with the official web version rather than the translated version. I made a few very minor changes here and there: I added cranberries instead of currants and no candied peels as A. is not fond of them and, while I like them in some instances (e.g. coated in chocolate), in baked breads they make me think of English fruit cake which, frankly, I loathe. I also didn't put the butter and icing sugar on at the end, as I traditionally should have done, mostly because as I didn't know how sweet it was going to be, I didn't want to oversweeten it to my and A.'s taste buds by adding the icing sugar coat on the exterior. For us this turned out to be a wise move.

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

FBC09 - When the Food Bloggers Connected

We will resume our regularly scheduled programming of food and other posts in a couple of days, but before that...

There isn't much I can say that hasn't already been said about Food Blogger Connect this past weekend, but here's what my checklist looks like:

  • Have fun! -check
  • Finally meet a lot of great people face to face -check
  • Try to take a lot of pictures -well not so check but I also knew everyone else would be clicking away (there are many posts and many other pictures to see besides my very few)
  • Have fun! -check
  • Make lifelong friendships established online concrete -check
  • Eat a lot of good food -check
  • And HAVE FUN! -check
I don't think I could have imagined in my wildest dreams that all those tweets and emails and chats would turn into this little group that is my blog family. Some photos courtesy of Deeba of some us meeting for dinner on Friday night:

The Twins! Deeba & Jamie
 The Twins: Deeba and Jamie

Mowie & Alessio
The Boys: Mowie and Alessio

Jamie, Hilda, Pam, Beth
More of the gals: Jamie, me, Pam and Beth

Slightly over two years ago, I read a post on What's for Lunch Honey? where Meeta talked about how difficult it was to find pecans at affordable prices and in reasonable rather than micro quantities in Germany. Having just brought back a couple of pounds of pecans from the U.S., I emailed her and offered to send her a big bag of them just for the pleasure of seeing what she would make with them. She replied back insisting that she would have to send me something in exchange, and thus a blog friendship was born over email. Occasionally we'd write each other and do Daring Bakers' Challenges together, and then with the Twitterization of the universe, we started talking to each other one way or another almost every day.
Awesome Presenting Triplets
The awesome Presenting Triplets: Jeanne, Jamie and Meeta

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