Now the fun begins. Ring the bell, the bidding is open.

In case you haven't heard, I am the proud host of the Canadian contribution to this year's Menu For Hope Campaign. Today's the day that this amazing worldwide event goes live, with monies raised going to benefit the United Nations World Food Programme's new initiative, Purchase for Progress.

Here's how it works. Food bloggers from around the globe have rallied together to offer a spectacular array of items upon which to bid. If you see something that catches your fancy, simply follow the instructions below to donate to the campaign. For each $10 donated, you get one bid towards the item of your choosing. Bidding will be open from today until December 25, 2009. Once bidding has closed, winners will be chosen at random and announced on Chez Pim on January 18, 2010.

The master list for all Menu for Hope 6 bid items is available here, and a direct link to the donation site is here. Regional lists are being hosted by Shauna, Helen, David, Ed and Alder. For the goods on the Canadian listings, please read on.

Note: these are the items hosted by Canadian food bloggers, but that does not necessarily mean that they are only available to Canadians. Most are available for international bidding, those items with shipping restrictions are noted at the end of the specific listing.

But before we get into all of that, one last thing. Thank you to the friends who offered and organized items to be put towards this worthy cause, for devoting their time and effort to making this campaign a success. And thanks to you for reading, for your past support and for considering supporting again this time around.

Thank you. We really mean it.

CA01: The Latest Books from Canadian Celebrity Cooks
Courtesy of: Whitecap Books and seven spoons

This four-book bundle features the latest titles from well-known Canadian cookbook authors and celebrity chefs. Fresh with Anna Olson, by the star of the Food Network Canada show by the same name, offers recipes for vibrant, seasonal meals. Chef Michael Smith has compiled his favourite recipes in his new book The Best of Chef at Home, sharing his passion for the "everyday comfort food his family craves." Erik Akis returns with the latest in his Anyone Can Cook series, this time with a focus on celebrations. To round out the collection, Ken Kostik keeps both budget and quality in mind with his book The $10 Gourmet. (Shipping to North America only.)

CA02: Windows on the World and Wine Book Bundle
Courtesy of: Whitecap Books, Sterling Epicure and seven spoons

This three-book bundle includes titles from some of the most knowledgeable experts in wine. For Windows on the World Complete Wine Course: 25th Anniversary Edition, Kevin Zraly travelled to "eighty wine regions in twenty countries, tasting more than 4,000 wines and meeting 500 winemaking professionals." 500 Best-Value Wines in the LCBO 2010 is a guide to the wines offered by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, with straightforward reviews and suggested food pairings. And finally, Had a Glass 2010: Top 100 Wines For 2010 Under $20, $25, AND $30 lives up to its title, with recommendations for wines at a range of prices to suit just about every taste. (Shipping to North America only.)

CA03: My Favourite Things
Courtesy of: seven spoons

I have filled a gift box with some of my most favourite things; the cookbooks I've been reading lately and the beautifully-designed items that inspire me every day. The winner will receive two of my cookbook picks from 2009, a selection of stationery (including papery goodness from simplesong design and The Beautiful Project, a copy of Uppercase magazine, and maybe a vintage treasure or two. To top it off I'll bake up a batch of cookies, just for you.

CA04: Herriott Grace Handcrafted Mortar and Pestle
Courtesy of: Lance and Nikole of Herriot Grace and forty-sixth at grace

This mortar and pestle set from Herriott Grace, made especially for Menu for Hope, will most surely become a treasured heirloom. Each piece is hand-turned from a single piece of maple wood, without joints or glue. The mortar boasts a beautiful black grain with pretty markings throughout, while the pestle, from the same tree but higher on the branch, is slightly lighter in colour. The pair are joy to hold and a pleasure to use, fitting snugly in hand with a smooth, shiny finish. The mortar measures 4 inches at the rim, and 2 1/2 inches at its base; the pestle length is approximately 3 1/2 inches.

CA05: Grazing
Courtesy of: Julie of Dinner with Julie

This revised and updated edition of Julie Van Rosendaal's best-selling cookbook Grazing provides grazers, party hosts and snackers with ammo against the vending machine, comfort when they need to relax and help when they need to feed a crowd. These delicious dishes are easy to make and low in fat, without ever compromising taste.

CA06: One Smart Cookie
Courtesy of: Julie of Dinner with Julie

For most, the thought of a low fat cookie is impossible. However, in the second edition of One Smart Cookie, Julie Van Rosendaal shows us that cookies and other sweets can still taste great even when they are lower in fat. Julie is certainly an expert in the field of low fat baking through her own successful low fat bakery as well as her diet-free weight loss of 165 pounds. Julie also shows you how to make your own favourite recipes healthier through helpful tips on substituting ingredients. Embrace your Inner Cookie Monster!

CA07, CA08, CA09, CA10: Fresco 24-centimetre Professional Grade Stainless Steel Frying Pan
Courtesy of: Fresco and Jennifer of The Domestic Goddess

A stainless steel 24-centimetre frying pan from Fresco, designed by celebrated Canadian Chef Mark McEwan (North 44, Bymark). With a heavyweight aluminum core that promotes rapid and even heating, this pan will be an everyday essential in your kitchen. Four pans are available; please choose one prize code when bidding. (Shipping within Canada only.)

CA11: Comfort and Restoration with Brownies
Courtesy of: Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict

Coming home to this package, donated by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict, will be a welcome treat when you want to regain your energies after a hectic day. Along with two caffeine-free Roobios teas from Distinctly Teas (Evening Fireside and Chocolate Supreme), you will be sent a lidded Paderno 33x 23-cm/9x13-inch non-stick baking pan and the dry ingredients for one batch of Nick Malgieri's fabulous Supernatural Brownies. All you need to do is add butter, eggs and vanilla ... and of course heat. The full recipe will be included.

CA12: A Taste of British Columbia
Courtesy of: EAT magazine

EAT editors have assembled a prize package bursting with food items from the province of British Columbia, including the Farm Folks/City Folks 2010 calendar, a 20g bag of Untamed Feast’s delicious dried wild mushroom products (Forest Blend), locally grown roasted hazelnuts from Butler Hazelnut Farm, Vista d’Oro Farm’s Turkish Fig with Walnut Wine, a ½ lb. bag of Mile 0 Roasters Niagara Blend, Gathering Place’s Organic Rooibos Tea, and two chocolate bars from organicfair. Web Editor Rebecca Baugniet has also thrown in a signed copy of her latest cookbook.

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 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.

Got it? Good. Now, ready, steady, go!

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