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The Tastiest Bid You'll Ever Place: Menu for Hope

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There's no denying that this season has devolved into receiving much more than giving. Even if you are the one doing the shopping and giving, someone on the other end is receiving. A sweater. An iPod. A DVD. Yay. We're not saying there's anything wrong with that, but we are saying that if you feeling ever so give-y, then you can shop and do good at the same time.

Head on over to the Menu for Hope. For the third year in a row, food bloggers around the world have put together a virtual auction, and this year, Menu for Hope will benefit the UN World Food Programme. Generous companies, people and food bloggers are donating products, services or even themselves, and we're not just talking about a box of chocolates (thought that ain't bad). Every $10 donation "buys" a raffle ticket that can be dropped into the lottery for a specific item. Just think of all the Holiday shopping you could do here, AND make a dent in world hunger.

This list is just a sampling of the generosity of the donors. (You can click on each of the indivdual items to read the details.) If you have a trip to SF or NY planned any time in 2007, you might want to bid on item #UW02, a coffee date with Thomas Keller (yes, THE Thomas Keller) at either of his restaurants. However, no, and we mean NO ONE better bid on #AP34, all four of Anthony Bourdain's books, signed by the author. Those babies are ours and we will outbid you even if it means we have to eat instant ramen every day for a year.

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And to bring it back home LAist style, a couple of the items are sponsored locally. Want to get the cookbook Arabesque and a $25 gift certificate to Penzey's Spices? And for just $10? Make a bid on item #UW15, sponsored by local LA food blogger, Erin's Kitchen. We even heard that a very delicious diva who loves LA had a magnificently maniucred hand in putting together the Chocolate Orange Cocktail Party, but we won't say whom.

Anyone can play. Simply visit the food blog that is organizing it, Chez Pim, to find out how.