Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sweet Little Caramel Chocolate Fudgy Bears and a BentoUSA Giveaway


Are you familiar with Bento, the incredibly creative meals common in Japanese cuisine? I wasn't until I began blogging about edible crafts and spending much of my time gawking at artistic foods on-line. The art of making lunch boxes filled with elaborately decorated rice bears, cartoon character sandwiches, heart shaped hard boiled eggs, and carved vegetables is awe inspiring. 

I work and eat at home most days and aside from an occasional picnic, I don't pack lunch or dinner for anyone, so bento making has just been something I have been admiring from afar. I've spent afternoons looking at the works of imaginative bento makers and perusing the products they use to make their food come to life. Last week I discovered BentoUSA and I  couldn't pull myself away from their site. I have a wish list a mile long of fun products that I can't wait to try out.

BentoUSA graciously sent me some of their products, which I used to create my cute little fudgy bears, and one of you will be lucky enough to win $25 of their products.

For this project I used a plastic teddy bear shaped mold that is usually used with rice. It worked perfectly with my caramel modeling chocolate recipe that is made with Dulce de Leche (caramelized sweetened condensed milk) and milk chocolate that I've also used to make Chocolate Caramel Pumpkins and  Inside Out Chocolate Caramel Apples. I also used a punch that is typically used to cut sheets of nori. I cut frosting sheets instead. BentoUSA has all sorts of molds in various shapes and sizes, so even if you don't want to make bears, you can make dolphins, flowers, pigs, fish and more. The set I used even includes a bunny rabbit which I'm excited to use for an Easter project.

Using the molds, I spent less than 15 minutes to shape all of my bears. These are a super simple and quick Valentine's Day edible craft.


Caramel Chocolate Fudgy Bears (makes 9-10 bears)

Ingredients:

14 ounces milk chocolate
1 (13.4 ounce) can Dulce de Leche (caramel)

Teddy Bear Face:


dark brown or black frosting/sugar sheet*

*You can also just color some of the caramel modeling chocolate with black food coloring or some cocoa powder then roll it out thin and use the cutter that comes with the teddy bear rice mold to cut the face.

Supplies Needed:













teddy bear bento rice mold

teddy bear face nori punch*
                                               (you wont need this is you don't use the frosting sheet)

Instructions:


Finely chop the milk chocolate.


Melt the milk chocolate and allow it to cool to about 91 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir in the Dulce de Leche. (For a detailed explanation of melting chocolate and why using melted chocolate that is too hot will result in oily modeling chocolate, read this tutorial. ) 


The mixture will thicken very quickly, but you need to make sure all of the caramel is mixed into the chocolate, so use your hands if needed. Once well mixed, wrap it in plastic wrap and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. When you unwrap it, knead it in your hands until smooth, about 30 seconds. 


Divide the caramel modeling chocolate into 9 pieces (about a heaping 1/4 cup.) Press one piece into the front of the teddy bear mold mounding it up on the backside.


Press the back side of the bento bear mold over the caramel modeling chocolate.

You can, if you want, put the front side of the mold in the white holder to keep everything straight then you can press in the back part of the mold. I found I really didn't need it, though.


Squeeze the two sides of the mold together until the edges touch. Remove any caramel modeling chocolate that has oozed out.


Remove the back side of the teddy bear mold. Your chocolate bear should have little dots all over it. It it doesn't, you didn't use quite enough of the caramel modeling chocolate. You can just re-roll it and mold it again.


Gently tug on the chocolate bear, peeling it away from the front of the bento bear mold.


Pull the chocolate bear completely out of the mold.


Smooth out any rough edges.


Use a nori punch with a bear face to punch out a dark brown or black frosting sheet. Press the eyes and mouth onto each of the bears. If you look at the picture at the very top of the blog post, you'll notice one bear has a different face. I used a different punch. At the bottom of the post, I've shared links for three sets of punches, each has three different faces that can all be combined to make many different faces.

If you have chosen to color some of the modeling chocolate with food coloring or cocoa powder, dust your work surface with some cocoa powder, roll it out thin, and use the cutter that comes with the teddy bear rice mold to cut the face. You can press the pieces on the bear. If needed use some corn syrup to make them stick. 



BentoUSA carries lots of different rice molds that could work with this project and you could be the lucky one chosen to win a $25 gift card to their site.



Mandatory Entry: 
Leave a comment below. That's it. It's that simple. 
You can tell me if you have ever made a bento.

Bonus Entries (leave one comment for each thing you do)

Like Hungry Happenings on Facebook (see link in the side bar)
Follow Hungry Happenings on Twitter (go here to follow)
Follow Hungry Happenings on Pinterest (go here to follow)
Like BentoUSA/AllThingsForSale/All  or CuteZCute on Facebook
If you follow already, that counts too!

I moderate all the comments before they appear on the site,
 so it can take several hours for your entries to appear.
If you duplicate your entry, the duplicates will be deleted.

Rules: Giveaway begins 1/29/2013 and runs through 2/5/13. If you have trouble leaving a comment, you can send your entry to beth@hungryhappenings.com and I will add your comment. Winner to be drawn at random from all valid entries. Entrants must reside in the United States and be over 18 years of age. (I'm so sorry to all of my world wide readers. Hosting an international contest has become too difficult due to all of the laws around the world.) Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. Odds of winning are based on the total number of valid entries (maximum of five entries per person.) Winner will be notified and have 72 hours to respond. If the winner doesn't respond in that time frame, another winner will be chosen. This contest is in no way sponsored by Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest, but it is sponsored by BentoUSA. I did receive free products for writing this post, but all opinions expressed here are mine. 


Thanks for sharing this on Pinterest, Facebook, 
your blog, etc. by using the buttons below. 

Please post one picture, mention
 and link back to Hungry Happenings.

Be sure to send pictures of your
 recipe recreations
to share in the Readers' Gallery

For a complete list of linky parties I attend, go here

Thank you for visiting Hungry Happenings 

- Beth


Items used to create this project that can be found on Amazon.com (commission earned for sales)

264 comments:

  1. Those bears are one of the cutest things I've ever seen. No, I've never made a Bento. I've started hearing about it since I've been reading more blogs.

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  2. I do make bentos for my son's school lunches. Thanks for hosting this giveaway! :)

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  3. Those are so cute! No cooking really so I just love it!!

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  4. Cute bears! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  5. These are so adorable. I would like to try making a bento lunch for my granddaughter

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  6. I like Hungry Happenings on Facebook

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  7. I follow Hungry Happenings on Pinterest

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  8. I like BentoUSA and CuteZCute on Facebook

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  9. I have never made a Bento, but these are soooo cute. My daughter would love these! Thanks!

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  10. I have never used a Bento, but these are sooooo cute! My daughter would love these. Thanks!

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  11. never heard of this
    this is one reason i like your blog
    u use different things to make food interesting
    donna
    retail_13775@yahoo.com

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  12. The rice panda bears would be so great!

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  13. These are great! Perfect for our Valentine countdown craft bags!

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  14. These are so cute! What a great idea for an easy, take along treat!

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  15. These are so cute! What a great idea for an easy, take along treat!

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  16. What a great idea for an easy, take along treat!

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  17. I would love to make these for a birthday party favor!

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  18. As adorable as the bears are, I'm looking forward to trying the Caramel Molding Chocolate! Looks delish!

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  19. I like Hungry Happenings on Facebook! These are veery cute!

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  20. I like Hungry Happenings on Facebook.

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  21. I follow Hungry Happenings on Twitter.

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  22. I follow Hungry Happenings on Pinterest.

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  23. I like BentoUSA on Facebook!

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  24. I like CuteZCute on Facebook!

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  25. So perfect for sushi night! Thanks for the great giveaway!

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  26. I follow you on Pinterest also.

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  27. I have never made a bento, but I would love to start if I had the proper supplies :-)

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  28. I like Hungry Happenings on Facebook :-)

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  29. I follow Hungry Happenings on Pinterest

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  30. Allison - I have never made a bento, but there are many places to get them in HI. What a cute idea!

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  31. You do the neatest work. I love the way you are so clever!!!

    Deanna orsega651@verizon.net

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  32. I have never made Bento, but this looks so fun!

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  33. I have never used anything Bento yet, but I would love too!

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  34. I like BentoUSA and CutezCute on Facebook.. I love cute food!

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  35. Cute and easy! I have not made a bento.

    garynonnemacher @comcast .net

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  36. I follow you on Facebook.
    garynonnemacher @comcast. net

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  37. I follow you on Pinterest.
    garynonnemacher @comcast .net

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  38. These are ADORABLE!!! I would love to win so I could try these out! I also liked you post on the valentine colored toast. INGENIOUS!

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  39. Following you on twitter (dorsewc)

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  40. following you on pinterest as well.

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  41. That teddy is so stinkin' cute ... almost to cute to eat ;)

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  42. Following them on facebook. (Doreen Winter-casal)

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  43. Following you on facebook. (Doreen Winter-casal)

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  44. Heather says: I have not made one of these yet but i sure would like to they are soooooo cute

    hg temp addy at hot mail dot com

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  45. I've never made a bento but the prize would be perfect for my friend's birthday

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  46. I like HH on FB (As Keya Millionie)

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  47. I follow HH on Twitter (As @MissMorphine)

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  48. I would love to start making bentos for lunches. It would make my usual lunch fare so much less boring!

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  49. I've never made bento before, but I want to now.

    sapphiregyrl@hotmail.com

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  50. I follow HH on FB.

    sapphiregyrl@hotmail.com

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  51. I have not made a bento before but, they look like something new to try!

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  52. I follow HH on Twitter as WHATVRLULUWANTS

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  53. I follow HH on FB as LUPITA MENDOZA

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  54. Not sure if it went through, I would love a BENTO

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  55. I like all things for sale on fb

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  56. I have never done a bento but think they are adorable

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  57. I follow you on Twitter (@something_else)

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  58. THATS AWESOME GREAT JOB HAVE TO TRY THIS

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  59. also like cutezcute on face book

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  60. I really really want to win! Adorable snacks as usual!

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  61. I am so intrigued with Bento boxes, I would love one! I follow HH on Facebook.

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  62. Oh, and of course I follow you on facebook and if I was on twitter, I'd follower you there too! :)

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  63. Love these bears! I've never done a bento but now I might give it a whirl.

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  64. like bentousa and cutezcute on facebook

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  65. I've never made a bento before.

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  66. what a nice idea, I have never done a bento.

    Mily

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  67. i liked you on FB

    milycano@hotmail.com

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  68. I follow you on pinterest

    milycano@hotmail.com

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  69. So adorable. Great Giveaway.
    I like you Facebook

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  70. I think both my boys (8 & 11) would really enjoy having a Bento lunch! I Follow you on facebook

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  71. I also follow on twitter as DLSarmywife/Deborah Steinmetz

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  72. I have never done a bento but I am sure my grandchildren would love them
    bjn1957{at}gmail{dot}com

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  73. And of course on Pinterest too! (Deborah Steinmetz)

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  74. And I just liked CutezCute and BentoUsa/Allthingsfor sale on Facebook! Thank you for showcasing these neat products and to Bento Usa for Sponsoring the giveaway!

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  75. oh my, the bears are adorable. haven't tried anything bento yet!

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  76. I already "like" you on facebook. :0)

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  77. What a fun giveaway, thanks for the opportunity!

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  78. I like Like BentoUSA/AllThingsForSale and CuteZCute on Facebook

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  79. I also follow you on Pinterest!

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  80. Please enter me
    they look so cute
    barbara (see e-mail)

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  81. It all looks so cute!! I can't wait to try making your bears!
    Nikki

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  82. These are so cute I want them in my lunch. lol
    sar tann on pinterest
    sahara_0000 on twitter

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  83. I already Follow hungry Happenings on Twitter

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  84. I already follow hungry happenings on Pinterest.

    sar tann on pinterest
    sahara_0000 on twitter

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  85. I already follow Cutzcute and Beneto USA on fb
    sar tann on Facebook
    sar tann on pinterest
    sahara_0000 on twitter

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  86. I follow hungry happenings on twitter

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  87. I follow hungry happenings by email

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  88. I follow hungry happenings on Pinterest

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  89. I have never done bento but would LOVE to learn!

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  90. I like hungry happenings on Facebook

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  91. ugh... too cute. This is the first I have heard about it where have I been? Okay gotta run I have shopping to do! :))

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  92. Those bears are adorable...what a clever idea!

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  93. Those bears are very cute!! That was really clever to use the sugar sheets to punch out the facial features!!! I need to try bento out!!! I would love to win some molds and punches to play with!!

    Thanks for sharing!!

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  94. I would love to try using the molds for rice crispy treats. I wonder if the punches could be used with thin sheets of polymer clay. Too many crafts lol

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  95. I love making bentos for my kids lunches! My husband is the one who make the onigiri (rice balls) and would love to get some molds for them.
    Thanks!!

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  96. I just liked BentoUSA on Facebook!

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  97. I do Bento for my lunch pack.. but it's still at the basic level (^_^)

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  98. I Like Hungry Happenings on Facebook

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  99. Follow Hungry Happenings on Twitter

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  100. Like BentoUSA/AllThingsForSale/All or CuteZCute on Facebook

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  101. Very cute idea to use them as chocolate molds!

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  102. Those are just crazy cute! I have girls who would love BentoUSA!

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  103. my niece would go nuts over these! SO cute

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  104. I haven't made a bento. Yet. Those are so cute that I now really want to give it a try!

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  105. I follow you on fb as Tabitha Swain Klucking. Thanks!

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  106. I follow you on twitter as kluckingbear.

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  107. I follow you on pinterest as Tabitha Swain Klucking

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  108. I follow Bento USA on fb as Tabitha Swain Klucking.

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  109. I already like Bento USA and CuteZCute on Facebook :-)

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  110. I liked hungry happenings on Facebook too :-)

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  111. I follow Hungry Happenings on Pinterest

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  112. i love all things bento box related. this is such a great idea i never would have thought of it.great giveaway

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  113. I haven't tried Bento but I would like to, thanks for the chance to win

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  114. I used to make Bentos for my husband...yes, really. Everyone in the office was jealous. Then he got a new job and I really miss it!!

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  115. Bento is fairly new to me and boy that teddy bear is cute! Thanks for the chance to win!

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  116. I haven't, but I think these would be super fun for the kids...and me :-)

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  117. I've never made Bentos, but those chocolate bears are adorable and just might inspire me to try.

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  118. Never made one -and when I lived in Japan there were not all these great gadgets out yet (about 20 years ago) - wish there had been!!!

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  119. These bears are so cute. I have 16 grandchildren and my 10th greatgrandchild is being born as I write. The bear mold would be great for my own children as they all had a favorite when they were young and I could make them for them. Trish Butler

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  120. I'm new to this blog and to Bentos. I saw this post on craftgossip and had to check it out. I have never been much of a candy maker, not for lack of trying, just didn't seem to be my talent. But lately I have discovered easier, more fullproof recipes and my goodies actually are tasty! These bears are cute! My grand-daughter, a chocolate freak, would love them!

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  121. Started following you on pinterest!

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  122. I make bento lunches for myself, and I've made them for my family when we go to COSI. I've used rice molds to make onigiri (rice balls), so I was intrigued to see a recipe that used rice molds in a different way. This is rather cool, so thanks for posting this.

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  123. Marta
    I love bento, but in Sapain is not usually. My friends think I'm crazy!!!
    martabustia-face@yahoo.es

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  124. Love it! To bad we didn't have Bento when we were kids. Probably would have drove Mom nuts. Really cute bears.

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  125. I haven't but I think they are so cute!

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  126. I love packing cute foods for my girls' lunches! I'll be so sad when the day comes they tell me they're too old for it!

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  127. These are so darling!!! My special ed students are just going to go crazy when they see these. Thanks for the great idea!

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  128. will definitely be making this recipe win or lose

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  129. i "like" all things for sale on FB

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  130. i "like" cute z cute on FB too (sorry, not sure if that was one entry for each or one for both)

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  131. These are so cute. I could use them for several things! And I think I will have to make you caramel chocolate this weekend, yummy!!!

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  132. I lived in Japan and loved to see how they prepared and presented food. I would love to do more bento style creations for my son.

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  133. I like Hungry Happenings on Facebook.

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  134. I follow you on Pinterest

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  135. I like All Things for Sale on Facebook.

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  136. I like CuteZCute on Facebook, too.

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  137. My daughter's panda bear bento box was lost. This reminds me to check out Bento USA for a new one. Great idea to use the rice molds for other things. Thanks!

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  138. I have never made a bento, dont have the supplies :(

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  139. I have made bentos for years - not realizing that they were anything more than my attempt to brighten up my children's lunches.

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  140. Never made a bento, but how cute are these!

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  141. Bento is so cute! Would love to win this!!


    Chloeee4u@yahoo.com

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  142. Bento is so cute! Would love to win this!!

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  143. oh my goodness how adorable! I LOVE Bento and have tried to make a few things for my grandkids. The problem is that locally there is no source for cute supplies. If I don't win this, I'll just go over to this store and buy a few things myself!

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  144. ooops! I forgot! I already follow you on FB! Thanks for the great give away...forgot to say that too! (ditzy grandma, here!)

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  145. You are too much! What inspiration

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  146. Oooh Wow So cute! Heading over to the store now, thanks for posting this and thank you for the opportunity to win!

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  147. Your bears are so cute! I also have a huge wishlist for BentoUSA.

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  148. I liked you on Facebook. I forgot to mention in my mandatory comment that I make children's book themed bento style lunches every school day for my 1st grader.

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  149. I have already like CuteZcute on FB. I have been using the CuteZcute for several months.

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  150. Would love to win this , these items are so cute!

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  151. Like BentoUSA/AllThingsForSale/All or CuteZCute on Facebook , also hungry happenings on my facebook page . I liked all three thanks .

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  152. I would love to make Bentos to make my family's day happy.

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  153. I have tried simple bentos, but never anything this cute. So adorable!

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  154. I like Hungry Happenings on Facebook

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  155. I like AllThingsForSale on Facebook

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  156. I like Hungry Happenings on Pinterest

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  157. Very cute...pack my lunch,hubby's lunch and my autistic son'sblunch every day! W
    This would make a great surprise!

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