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Menu for Hope 4 – Winner

Many congratulations to Alastair Bathgate who won the cookbooks that I put forward for the Menu for Hope 4 prize.

Thanks to everyone that took part – it was enormously successful raising 50% more than last year – a whopping total of $91,188.00 for the World Food Programme in Lesotho!

Info on other prizewinners available here.
Thanks to Pim and the UK regional hosts Jeanne & Joanna for organising it.

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Orzo salad with pesto, tomatoes & knockalara cheese

Another day, another gorgeous recipe from the Ballymaloe Cookery Course Cookbook, all in the hope of raising money for the World Food Programme’s efforts in Lesotho. If this is your first time hearing of it, briefly:

Chez Pim has announced Menu for Hope 4 – her annual fundraising event. Inspired by the Tsnuami 5 years ago, in 2006, Menu for Hope raised US$62,925.12 to help the UN World Food Programme feed the hungry. I applaud her for this effort and would like to spread the word by directing you to her blog. This year, she is again supporting the UN World Food Programme.

More on how to buy a raffle ticket and prizes here, for now – back to food.

This cookbook hasn’t failed me yet. This recipe is very simple and quick, perfect for today’s lunch. It’s the litle details that really make it – sprinkling some sugar and balsamic vinegar on the cut tomatoes preserves and enhances their lovely flavour. I love the texture and flavour of orzo, a pasta grain with a delicate bite which absorbs other flavours beautifully. It’s great in salads and soups and makes a nice change when substituted for noodles/pasta in noodle soups or minestrone.

A note on Knockalara cheese – as I’ve mentioned it on the blog before, this is a cheese made local to where I grew up in Cappoquin, Co Waterford. I bought it from their stall in Dungarvan Farmer’s Market (which I promised I’d blog but still haven’t, I will eventually!). There are so many wonderful irish cheeses, I always bring some back with me when I go home, but this for me is particularly good. It’s a sheep’s milk cheese, the one I had was a mature one and had a strong flavour, almost reminiscent of a blue cheese, really very good. If you can’t get Knockalara, substitute another sheep’s cheese like a good feta.

I made a change to the recipe, adding more tomatoes as I had many, so instead of Darina’s 12 I had about 20 – 10 red, 10 yellow. I also cut the cheese smaller as mine was quite strong. I think I will add more pine nuts next time I make it as I like the taste and texture. It would be lovely as a side dish, or as I had it, for lunch with some leaves. Delicious![Read more]

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Menu for Hope – Raffle announcement & prize

In an earlier post, I mentioned Chez Pim’s Menu for Hope, a fundraising drive by food bloggers internationally.

Chez Pim has announced Menu for Hope 4 – her annual fundraising event. Inspired by the Tsnuami 5 years ago, in 2006, Menu for Hope raised US$62,925.12 to help the UN World Food Programme feed the hungry. I applaud her for this effort and would like to spread the word by directing you to her blog. This year, she is again supporting the UN World Food Programme.

The funds raised bby Menu for Hope 4 will be earmarked for the school lunch program in Lesotho, Africa.

I am very pleased to participate and it’s time for me to announce my prize, and to encourage you to participate in this worthwhile cause. I am putting forward two Irish cookbooks that I love: the Ballymaloe Cookery Course, a fantastic book written by Darina Allen, one of the co-founders and teachers at the renowned Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland, 1175 recipes, 370 variations and more than 100 basic skills, from making pastry to the art of carving, from preserving lemons to making delicious home-made pasta, from culturing creamy yogurt to butterflying a leg of lamb: the simple instructions given by one of the world’s great cook-teachers will inspire you to prepare and enjoy the art of fresh produce and fine food & Wild Garlic, Gooseberries and Me: A Chef’s Stories and Recipes from the Land, the latest cookbook from award winning food writer and restaurateur Dennis Cotter. Cotter created a considerable stir with Café Paradiso and the award-winning Paradiso Seasons, both books that brought fresh and innovative elements into food writing. Wild Garlic, Gooseberries… and Me is different from the earlier books; this is a winningly written, often very funny collection of anecdotes and tempting to vegetarian recipes. Cotter takes us on a journey which is both an introduction his favourite foods as well as a way of collecting the best possible ingredients — and as this involves foraging in woods and hedgerows, it’s not for those will have no wish to stray further than their kitchens. Want to know how to find the best mushrooms, sloes or wild greens? You’ll find Wild Garlic, Gooseberries… and Me a highly useful guide.

Ballymaloe was one of my earliest culiary inspirations and Café Paradiso one of my favourite restaurants in Ireland, both books are wonderful and I would take great pleasure in sharing them with you. So, to inspire and encourage you, I plan to cook from both during the Menu for Hope drive. I will ship to the UK & Ireland.

So, be a sport and buy a virtual raffle ticket.

Donation instructions:

1. Go to the donation site at
http://www.firstgiving.com/menuforhope4 and make a donation.

2. Specify the prize code for this prize – UK14 – in the ‘Personal Message’ section in the donation form when confirming your donation. Each $10 you donate will give you one raffle ticket toward a prize of your choice. If you would like to buy a ticket for another prize you can see the complete international list at http://www.chezpim.com/blogs/2007/12/menu-for-hope-4.html. UK prizes are listed at http://www.cooksister.com/2007/12/menu-for-hope-2.html. If you are buying more than one ticket, please indicate how you would like the tickets to be allocated. For example, a donation of $50 can be 2 tickets for EU01 and 3 tickets for EU02. Please write 2xEU01, 3xEU02. UK prizes are at:

3. If your company matches your charity donation, please check the box and fill in the information so we could claim the corporate match.

4. Please check the box to allow us to see your email address so that we could contact you in case you win.
Your email address will not be shared with anyone.

5. The results of the raffle will be annonced on Chez Pim on Wednesday Jaunary 9.