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Hash Over: Libertine Sets Toy Drive And New 'Inspirational' Cooking Show Seeks Dallas Contestants

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Thought you were done with your holiday shopping? Well, there's one more present you ought to pick up: something for a less-fortunate child.

Yes, going to a toy store or mall sounds unbearable, but trust us: it will be worth it.

Not because of that warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you do something thoughtful, though there is that. No, it's worth it because bringing an unwrapped toy to the Libertine Bar starting at 6 p.m. tomorrow will get you free admission into the 10th Annual Chad D's Toy Drive--featuring music by local favorites The O's, Danny Balis, Brent Best, Jen Nabb and more.

In addition to gathering toys, an auction of items including Nokia Live tickets, beer schwag and various gift certificates will raise funds for the Dallas Life Foundation and the North Texas Food Bank.

Finally, as if two charities weren't enough, Tom Bridwell will record the music sets and sell recordings as a benefit for the Carter Albrecht Music Foundation.

Other goings on this week...

In the mood for more music? Ricki Derek entertains at Veritas on December 23 at 8 p.m....although we didn't know the long, narrow Henderson Ave. wine bar had a stage.

This may be a first, given TABC's--shall we say--reticence to allow new products into Texas. Coole Swan, an Irish cream liqueur, is hitting four U.S. markets just before the holidays--this state being one of them.

In other feel-good (well, maybe) news, Gordon Ramsay and the producers of The Biggest Loser are launching MasterChef, a new reality show billed as "inspirational," and is seeking Dallas contestants. The idea behind the show is to take untrained amateur cooks and give them the opportunity to become a, well, master chef. The Dallas casting call is noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, January 10, at Sur La Table. Contestants are to bring a covered dish. More info is available here.

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Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.