Hope for the new year

Posted by Anita on 12.31.09 11:38 AM

(c)2009 AEC *All Rights Reserved*It’s the last day of 2009, and your last chance to bid in the Menu for Hope raffle. Pim’s added a handy form that tallies up your bid items and fills out the Firstgiving form for you — it’s so easy, you can even do it with a glass of Champagne in one hand!

She’s also flagged “hot” and “cold” items, so you have an inkling of how good your odds are of winning a given bid item. (You still have pretty good chances on our Locavore Starter Kit, by the way.) Oh, and there are a few newly added goodies, like a coffee date with Ruth Reichl, gardening classes at Love Apple Farm, and a 1/2-pound box of top-quality black truffles. Check it out over at Pim’s site.

Happy new year’s eve to everyone, and don’t forget to look up in the sky: Tonight’s going to be a blue moon. May your new year be filled with many rare and beautiful sights!

giving back, holidays & occasions, Menu for Hope
1 Comment »


Menu for Hope VI

Posted by Anita on 12.14.09 8:00 AM

(c)2009 AEC *All Rights Reserved*

For two weeks each December, bloggers from all over the world offer a delectable array of food-related items for the Menu for Hope raffle. Last year, we raised $62,806 to help the UN World Food Programme feed the hungry. This year, we’re supporting a new initiative at the WFP called Purchase for Progress (P4P), which enables smallholder and low-income farmers to supply food to WFP’s global operation.

This year’s campaign runs December 14 to 25, and every $10 you donate earns you one virtual raffle ticket for the item of your choice. (To learn more, head over to Chez Pim and check out her Menu for Hope FAQ, or read the highlights at the bottom of this post.)

This year, we’re offering the following item, also focused on supporting small, local farms:

Bid Item UW02: Locavore Starter Kit
Many readers tell us that they’d love to eat more local foods, but they don’t know where to start. So we’re making it simple with a Locavore Starter Kit: A trial membership to the Soul Food Farm chicken-and-egg CSA (or another CSA of your choice* if you live outside the Bay Area) and a farmer’s market tour with breakfast and local treats.

  1. Soul Food Farm and Married …with Dinner are offering a $100 CSA credit toward the winner’s choice of whole chickens, eggs, olive oil, and other farm-fresh goodies. Pick up your winnings all at once, or spread it over multiple pickups: It’s up to you how to spend your CSA credit (subject to the usual order terms).
  2. Plus, Soul Food Farm farmer Alexis Koefoed offers a personal tour of Soul Food Farm for the winner and up to 3 guests at a mutually agreeable time in 2010.
  3. We’ll also include a personalized tour of the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, complete with breakfast or lunch for two, to help our winner find all the great foods they need to make the leap to la vida locavore.
  4. And if that’s not enough, we’ll also bring along a bag full of local treats and homemade goodies for you to take home after your walk-around. The bag will include some of our own preserves, and an assortment of treats from local folks — including a bag of brown rice and a jar of almond butter from Massa Organics.

* A special note for non-Bay Area bidders: If the winner’s residence is not located within 25 miles of a Soul Food Farm drop point, we’ll pay the first month’s box charges ($50 maximum) for any Community Supported Agriculture program in the winner’s area. And the market tour + breakfast portion is open to any winner, local or visitor, on any Saturday in 2010 (subject to Anita & Cameron’s availability). We can ship the goodie bag, but the winner would be responsible for all postage and packing charges.

To donate and enter the Menu for Hope raffle:m4h6logo

1. Choose bid item(s) from the main Menu for Hope list.

2. Visit the Firstgiving Menu for Hope page; make a donation.

3. Please specify which bid item(s) you’d like in the ‘Personal Message’ section of the donation form. You must write in how many tickets per bid item; please use the bid-item code. Each $10 you donate will give you one raffle ticket. For example, a donation of $50 can be 2 tickets for UW01 and 3 tickets for UW02 (written as 2xUW01, 3xUW02). The code for our Locavore Starter Kit is UW02.

4. If your company matches your charity donation, please check the box and fill in the information so Menu for Hope can claim the corporate match.

5. Please allow us to see your email address so that we can contact you in case you win. (Don’t check the box to keep your address private). Your email address will not be shared with anyone.

Check back here on Monday, January 18,  for the results of the raffle. Good luck to everyone, and thanks for supporting such a worthy cause!

farms & farmers, giving back, locavore, Menu for Hope


Hope on the horizon

Posted by Anita on 11.30.09 5:16 PM

(c)2009 AEC **all rights reserved**We’re in the initial planning stages of Menu for Hope, the annual food bloggers’ charity raffle that benefits the World Food Programme. If you’re a blogger, check out Pim’s page on how to get in on the fun.

But whether or not you have your own blog, I could use your help: What kind of prize would you like to see offered here on Married …with dinner?

In the past, our prizes have covered a lot of bases, from “Best of the Ferry Building” local food baskets, a set of Drink of the Week cocktail notecards, and even a custom mixology service.

The food baskets have been the most popular, year to year, but they’re a pain to shop for, and a hassle to ship. And relative to the prizes from other blogs, they’ve never done all that well. I’m game to do the goody basket again, if that’s what you all really love, but I can’t help but wonder what other treats might entice you to open your wallet for a good cause. Books? Gift cards? Something creative? Something homemade?

Tell me.

giving back, Menu for Hope, other blogs


Delicious ways to help

Posted by Anita on 10.09.09 8:47 PM

(c)2009 AEC *all rights reserved*
A few weekends ago, we had the pleasure of heading out to Vacaville to help Soul Food Farm rebuild some of the chicken houses that were destroyed in their fire last month. We spent the day in an open-air workshop under the big oaks, working with a dozen or so other volunteers, wielding powertools and hefting coop components to and fro. At lunchtime, we gathered around the farmhouse table and refueled with Soul Food Farm chicken (naturally) and a plethora of side-dishes contributed by friends and neighbors. It felt great to do an honest day’s work out in the fresh air — it felt very poignant to be working so hard in the shadow of the blackened hills you see above.

The farm did have insurance, but a high deductible with a lot of exclusions (no coverage for lost income from the chicks that died, nor for the lost pasture, for example) means that Soul Food Farm still desperately needs our help.

I know it’s hard in this financial atmosphere to send money off to strangers, however touching their story. So here are some ways to help this weekend that give you something delicious in exchange for your money:

Eat Dinner at Il Cane Rosso: Michelin-star chef Daniel Patterson is holding a fundraiser to benefit the farm at his restaurant Il Cane Rosso on Sunday, October 11. The cost of the three-course menu (served family-style), is $50 per person, including wine but exclusive of tax and gratuity. For reservations, call (415) 391-7599.

Come Party at Pizzaiolo: Tickets for the party this Sunday are sold out, but you can still get in the door — with a complimentary ticket — if you win one of the silent auction prizes (see below). And you want to bid on these great items.

Bid at the Online Auction: I know everyone says their charity auction has great prizes, but seriously folks. Check this out:

  1. Five baby chicks from Soul Food Farm — you want eggs, you’ll get ‘em!
  2. Tickets to the sold-out City Arts Lecture with Michael Pollan & Wendell Berry,
    plus signed copies of all of Pollan’s books
  3. A chance to pitch your manuscript to Chronicle Books editorial director
  4. A cheese master-class with Janet Fletcher, author of The Cheese Course
  5. Dinner for two in the kitchen at world-renowned Chez Panisse
  6. Portrait session with Bart Nagel including a retouched headshot
  7. A slot in one of master preservist June Taylor’s preserve-making classes
  8. Your choice of four different personal chef dinners and experiences
  9. A suckling pig for your holiday table from Clark Summit Farm
  10. Beautiful artisan-made jewelery, photographic prints, and other works of art

There are tons of other prizes — these are just my very favorites — and many of the coolest ones have no bids yet! So get on over there and win something cool. But don’t dally: Bidding closes in less than 24 hours (4 pm Pacific time, Saturday, October 10)

Join the Chicken & Egg CSA: Yep, just like a veggie CSA box, only this one’s got protein. Better still, deliveries are just once a month, and you get to pick how many chickens and dozens of eggs you want for each delivery. Drop-off points are available in Emeryville, Bernal Heights/Potrero Hill, Berkeley, and Hayes Valley on alternating weeks. And the prices are a good value, compared with the retail costs of the same items. Oh, and if you donated $25 or more to the Soul Food Farm Fire Fund, they will gladly credit your donation against your CSA fee. How cool is that?!

(c)2009 AEC *All Rights Reserved*></a><a href=(c)2009 AEC *All Rights Reserved*(c)2009 AEC *All Rights Reserved*(c)2009 AEC *All Rights Reserved*  /><img class=(c)2009 AEC *All Rights Reserved*

Soul Food Farm / Alexis and Eric Koefoed
6046 Pleasants Valley Road
Vacaville, CA 95688
(707) 469-0499

farms & farmers, giving back, locavore, other stuff


Heart and soul

Posted by Anita on 09.12.09 10:18 PM

(c)2009 AEC *All Rights Reserved*

Sorry it’s been a little quiet around here. We’ve experienced some technical difficulties, but mostly we’ve just been busy, happily squeezing a lot of fun into a low-budget summer.

But as lovely as our summer was, the last few weeks have been rough for some of our nearest friends. Too many have said goodbyes to family members and beloved pets, and we’re feeling all the more thankful for the many blessings in our own lives.

A little further afield, last week brought a nightmare to one of our favorite local food suppliers. Soul Food Farm — home to our favorite pastured chickens and one of our regular sources of pastured eggs — was hit by a devastating fire in the middle of the night. Despite heroic efforts by farmers Alexis and Eric Koefoed (and their family and neighbors), they lost so much:

Two chicken houses caught on fire, and we lost 1,000 baby chicks. Trapped. Our old 1880s barn burned and it was almost too much at that moment. Thirty acres of pasture for the meat birds is gone and several old beautiful oaks, all the old plum trees that were our connection to the original homesteaders.

I know times are tight for so many, so I hesitate to ask you for help. But I also know — from the fabulous response we’ve had to Menu for Hope each year — there are many generous folks out there. If your finances allow, consider one of the following:

  1. Donate directly to the Soul Food Farm recovery effort via Pay Pal.
  2. Buy tickets for the raffle that Bi-Rite Market is holding.
  3. Reserve a seat at one of the upcoming benefit dinners.

If you can’t afford the extra expense of donation, there are other ways to help:

  1. Join the Soul Food Farm chicken-and-egg CSA, which is starting soon.
    Your membership fees will help give the farm much-needed cash flow.
  2. Volunteer for one of the upcoming farm work-days to help rebuild.
    If you’re not particularly handy, there will be some non-construction chores.
  3. Consider shifting your chicken and egg purchases to Soul Food’s products.
    Prather Ranch sells both items; check the SFF site for more outlets.

(Updated 9/15: Added a link above to Eater SF’s roundup post on the benefit dinners)

farms & farmers, giving back, other stuff


Happy from jolly

Posted by Anita on 12.25.08 1:20 AM

(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**Happy Christmas, that is, from jolly old England! We’re having a blast on our vacation so far, eating lots of tasty food (fish & chips twice so far, both excellent), drinking pints of bitter in some gorgeous pubs, shopping at Borough Market, visiting with friends, and generally feeling very lucky to be in London at Christmas.

Speaking of luck: Don’t forget that today is the last day to bid on Menu For Hope raffle prizes. (Edited to add: The deadline’s been extended to 12/31!) If you have your heart set on winning our Ferry Plaza gourmet gift basket, the odds are still very promising. Be sure to check out Pim’s page for updates and new prizes that have been added along the way. There’s some good stuff in there that I’m sure someone on your last-minute present list would love to have a chance to win.

May your days be merry and bright!

holidays & occasions, London, Menu for Hope


Menu for Hope V

Posted by Anita on 12.15.08 7:00 AM

(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**For two weeks every December, bloggers from all over the world offer a delectable array of food-related prizes for the Menu for Hope raffle. Last year, we raised $85,493 to help the UN World Food Programme feed the hungry. This year’s campaign runs December 15 to 25, and every $10 you donate earns you one virtual raffle ticket for the prize of your choice.

(To learn more, head over to Chez Pim and check out her Menu for Hope V FAQ, or read the highlights at the bottom of this post.)

This year, we’ve decided to reprise our most-popular offering from last year’s raffle:

Married …with Dinner’s signature “Best of the Ferry Building” gift basket

Prize code UW-07, a hand-picked assortment of our favorite treats — worth more than $125 — from San Francisco’s legendary Ferry Building Marketplace:

Menu for Hope V- Truffled artichoke tapenade from Lulu Petite
- Santa Rosa plum preserves from June Taylor
- Youk’s Sauce from Prather Ranch
- Holiday Breakfast Blend tea from Peet’s
- A pair of artisan “dark milk chocolate” bars from Recchiuti
- Ojo de Tigre beans from Rancho Gordo
- Rio Fuego “Very Hot Sauce” from Rancho Gordo
- Extra-virgin olive oil from Bariani
- Rosemary salt from Eatwell Farm
- Bittersweet chocolate ganache from Scharffen Berger
- Beef jerky from Fatted Calf Charcuterie
- A copy of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market Cookbook

To give you something to remember us by when all the goodies are gone, this prize also includes the winner’s choice of an 8×10 print from our collection of market photos.

For our prize, international bids are welcome, but winners outside the Continental US will be asked to pay for any import duties and/or shipping fees over US$25.


Here’s how to donate and get a chance to win:

  1. Check out the cool items available on Matt*Bites and Chez Pim. (We know you want to win OUR prize, but you might want to bid on others, too …you generous foodie, you.)
  2. Go to the donation page for Menu for Hope V. Just like last year, funds raised will go to support the United Nations World Food Programme.
  3. Make a donation! Each $10 you donate will give you one virtual raffle ticket toward a prize of your choice. Please specify which prize or prizes you’d like in the “Personal Message” section in the donation form when confirming your donation
  4. Don’t forget to mention how many tickets you want to allot per prize, and please use the prize code — for example, a donation of $50 can buy 1 ticket for UW-07, 1 for UW-08, and 3 for UW-09.
  5. If your company matches your charity donations, please remember to check the appropriate box on your submission and fill in the information so Menu for Hope can claim the corporate match.
  6. Please also check the box that allows the contest administrators to see your email address so that they can contact you in case you win. Your email address will not be shared with anyone else.
  7. Check back on Chez Pim on January 12, when Pim will announce the result of the entire raffle. (We’ll also announce the winner of our prize here.)

Good luck to everyone, and thanks for supporting such a worthy cause!

Menu for Hope


Benefit for Brooke

Posted by Anita on 01.11.08 9:27 PM

(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**Our fave spot Range has been closed for a post-New Year holiday break so we had no idea anything was amiss. But, tonight we read on 7×7′s Buzzed blog that head bartender Brooke Arthur has been hospitalized since New Year’s Eve due to severe smoke inhalation and burns, the result of a fire in her apartment.

Although she probably wouldn’t know us from Adam, Brooke’s amazing cocktail program is one of the many reasons we spend an inordinate amount of our dining budget at Range every month; we even featured one of her creations on Drink of the Week last summer.

In addition to some mind-bending hospital bills — she’s in an intensive burn unit, and unable to breathe on her own at this point, according to the page her family’s updating — Brooke also lost most everything in her apartment to the fire. Duggan and the boys at Cantina are hosting a benefit for Brooke’s expenses this coming Monday night. If you’re a fan of Range’s bar program, or even if you need a worthy excuse for an early-in-the-week cocktail, please join us there.

If you’re unable to come, or simply prefer to donate to Brooke’s family directly, please visit Brooke’s site.


UPDATE 1/15: Last night’s benefit at Cantina was a jam-packed success. Even better news from Marcia at Tablehopper: A star-studded cast of Range alums — including Dominic and Camber — are picking up Brooke’s shifts while she’s convalescing. On Tuesdays and Thursdays (yay, our regular nights!) the restaurant will match all bar tips, donating them to a fund for Brooke’s medical bills and lost income.

bar culture, giving back, other stuff
1 Comment »


Win-win-win scenario

Posted by Anita on 01.11.08 4:30 PM

Menu for HopeOh, boy! The winners of the Menu for Hope raffle have been announced. Check out Pim’s giant list of all the winners to see what you won.

I’m tickled pink that local food-and-spirits maven Jane Tunks won our custom mixology service prize — we’ll be bringing Drink of the Week to Jane’s house sometime soon, mixing up a pair of signature cocktails for a dozen of her swellest pals.

And our blog-buddy Lara, one of the blogosphere’s all-time most-fabulous food photographers, won the Drink of the Week notecards on the same month she picked beverages as her Still Life With… challenge theme. Spooky, eh?

Lest you think we fixed all of the results, I’m relieved to announce that a total stranger — Lauren Kawakami – won our “Best of the Ferry Building” basket. (Ms. K, if you’re out there, please drop a note to chef -at- marriedwithdinner -dot- com, with your mailing address, and we’ll get your prize in the post ASAP.)

Can you believe we raised $91,188 for the UN World Food Programme? That’s an astounding success! Thank you, again, to everyone who participated in the raffle. I can’t wait to see what next year’s Menu for Hope has in store.

Menu for Hope
Comments Off


Merry, merry

Posted by Anita on 12.24.07 8:54 PM

(c)2007 AEC *all rights reserved*We hope your holiday — whichever one you celebrate — is brimming with cheer, and your new year will be filled wonderful things to eat and drink.

Thank you for stopping by, subscribing, and supporting us.

And thank you, too, for supporting Menu for Hope. With your generosity, we’ve raised more than $90,000 for the UN World Food Programme — more than half as much as last year.

We couldn’t have done it without you.

holidays & occasions, Menu for Hope