Wednesday, August 18, 2010

50th Sonoma Bento Post and Giveaway!

I am so excited! This is my 50th Sonoma Bento blog post. Looking back I can see my style developing and my photography skills improving. :) I really appreciate all of the people who have encouraged me to try new things and explore the world of bento. Bento has helped me pack more nutritious lunches that are smaller in size but bigger in flavor. I've made new friends from all over the world, and found a new way to express my creativity. To celebrate, I have put together an awesome giveaway with goodies I picked up in San Francisco Japantown. Here's what you could win (this contest is open to everyone, even outside of the U.S.!):

Friends In The Sea Bento Box! This bento box has three tiers, including the upper utensils compartment. The top tier is 360ml, the lower tier is 280ml. It comes with pink chopsticks, a pink elastic bento strap, and a removable plastic divider for the top tier.

A frog shaped mini craft punch to make kawaii cutouts from nori and soy papers!

Two egg molds for hard boiled chicken eggs. There is a fish shaped mold and a car shaped mold.

A package of jewel-toned bento picks in an array of animal shapes, including fish, seals, and a few seashells. There are 30 bento picks in this package.

Pokemon Furikake Seasoning! Aaaaag! So kawaii! I found this at Nijiya Market in their vast selection of furikake. This package has four foil packets of Pokemon shaped fuikake. 

There are two packets of Pikachu furikake, and two packets of Piplup furikake. There is also a Pokemon sticker trading card. I think I might die from cuteness.

A handmade Sonoma Bento Box Strap! This cutie 'octodog' strap is made of felt, and attached to a blue felt and elastic band that will fit a three-tiered bento box. It will fit bento boxes up to about 32cm around, including this Friends In The Sea bento box. And it's awesome! Check out more of my cool handmade bento box straps at my Etsy shop!

And finally, since I am all about seasonal and local foods, The Farmer's Market Cookbook by Richard Ruben. It has over 100 recipes organized by season, and has awesome lists of what produce is ready during Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. Many of these recipes can be used to make yummy bento fillings.

I loved this Friends In The Sea bento box so much, that I had to get one for myself and one to give away. Here is how I filled my aquatic bento:

In the upper tier: blue tinted rice, a broccoli leaf, an octodog decorated with cheese and nori, cheese bubbles, a cheese starfish, a cheese seahorse, nori seaweed (ha ha), and grapes. In the lower compartment: steamed broccoli, cherry tomatoes, blue tinted rice, cheese bubbles, and a cheese jellyfish decorated with nori eyes, red pickled ginger mouth, and rice noodle tentacles.

I drew the seahorse on paper and used a toothpick to trace around the pattern and cut out the cheese shape. It worked really well!

The jellyfish was a last minute idea. I originally thought I might try a fish made out of a hardboiled quail egg, but this was easier and turned out super cute. I featured this bento on Shannon's What's For Lunch Wednesdays blog, a great place to find inspiring bento ideas.

This is what the cover of the bento box looks like. And don't worry, if you win the prize you are getting a new one, not the one I used to make this bento. :)

Ok, the important part: HOW CAN YOU WIN?

1. This part is Mandatory. You MUST be a follower of my blog. To follow my blog, simply click the Follow with Google Friend Connect button on the right side of this page, or click the Follow link located at the upper left corner of the blog. Leave a comment telling me that you follow the blog and what your Google ID or Blogger ID is.

2. Mention this giveaway on your own blog or twitter account for a second chance to win. Just post a comment here with a link to where you mentioned my contest.

3. For a final chance to win, leave a comment here telling me about your local farmers market and what you like to buy there.

Please leave separate comments for each of your entries. Entry deadline is Sunday, August 22nd, 2010 at 11:59pm PST. Winner will be selected randomly from entries. Good luck!

70 comments:

  1. congratulations on your 50th post! What a cute idea to put grapes as bubbles! If I win, could you sent the bento box WITH the food in it? hahaha! I think I have just followed you yesterday, along with the 9 bento blogs I have. I better double check! I will mention your giveaway on my blog, and I will put another comment about my farmers market. :)

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  2. Hawaii Farmers Market are big hits! I have visited 3 different Farmers Market locations. One goes on Saturdays at a community college, one goes on Thursdays at Kailua town, the other goes on Tuesdays and Fridays in Downtown Honolulu, where I work. I find it funny though that instead of selling produce, many vendors sell cooked food (lunch combos, desserts, etc). But it is always fun visiting the first two (and when i go i buy food there so I don't have to cook), and the last one is always nice if i need to get something for a home cooked meal after work.

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  3. Hi! I've been following you for a few weeks now through my mac mail program. :) I love that you use so many fresh and local ingredients. I'll let you know when I post about your giveaway (on OhayoBento). Have fun!

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  4. Today I found your blog, on Estelle's blog.
    I realy like your bento and it's very cool that you comment in french on her blog.
    Congrat' for your 50th bento. :)

    Mademoiselle Poulpe from http://poulpobento.over-blog.com/

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  5. Congratulations on the great number of posts! he he I followed you long time ago! I'm a big fan of your bentoblog! ^_^b

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  6. 50 Bento post.. woohoo! Thanks for the comment on my blog. I'm glad you did so I could come on over and see this fantastic giveaway. I follow you now! ;)

    Patrizziag(at)comcast(dot)net

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  7. I tweeted about this! :)

    Patrizziag(at)comcast(dot)net

    P.s. what I wouldn't give to be able to hop into a store that sells bento supplies. ;)

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  8. I love the sea life bento and the jelly fish is too cute!! I am already a follower of your blog! Congrats on your 50th post!

    That's a nice giveaway!

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  9. My local farmer's market was actually featured on The Perfect Pantry blog last Saturday.
    http://www.theperfectpantry.com/2010/08/market-to-pantry-3-farmers-market-sarasota-florida.html

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  10. My google id is jennsuko - following via google

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  11. I love the cantaloupe at our farmers market - so sweet and yummy!

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  12. Just tweeted about your giveaway! @lyndzz

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  13. Yay! How cute! I follow your blog - my googleID is hana.shizuka and my food blog (with some bentos) is here: http://newlywedfoodadventures.blogspot.com/
    Thanks for the cute idea and giveaway opportunity!

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  14. Wow, congrats on your 50th bento post SB--they are always fun, spirited and full of lovely seasonal produce!

    The jellyfish from today's bento is the cutest thing I've seen for a while--squeeee!
    OK, now to your awesome giveaway...I am an (early!) follower :D

    My farmer's market in Reston, VA is an endless source of bento inspiration and good eats! Right now, peppers and eggplant are in their glory...and I can't wait for autumn to arrive with its golden bounty...

    Linking to your giveaway from Bentobird in a sec!

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  15. Wow..such a wonderful sea bento. I love it. The seahorse & the jelly fish are awesome. You are great!!!
    Congratulations on your 50th bento post. Keep up the good work. :)

    Ok, come to the giveaway.. ;) I am your follower now.

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  16. Hi, I just mention your giveaway in my post:

    http://emilynpf.wordpress.com/2010/08/19/owl-chicken-burger/

    Thanks for the giveaway. :)

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  17. Love the ocean blue rice bento..

    I am your follower now.

    www.makingbentoisablessing.blogspot.com

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  18. Hi there! I already follow your blog and I love it! I'm trying to get into bento and yours are little works of art! My blogger id is slushygirl.

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  19. I mentioned you and your giveaway on twitter, username VintageRagz. http://twitter.com/VintageRagz

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  20. I attend two local farmers markets: Elkin Farmers Market and Jonesville Farmers Market. The Elkin market is my favorite! There is more to choose from and the produce and wares are of a higher quality. My favorite things to buy are the blueberries, cherry tomatoes and cheese bread! Oh...forgot the mountain lopes! Delish!

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  21. ooh a bento giveaway! My favorite kind! Thanks! I follow you already on google. Crouching mother...

    kelly.polizzi@gmail.com

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  22. Hello Sonoma, I didn't know your blog until now but through a blog post of Bentobird I was made aware of it, and I really like what I see :). So now you have a new follower! (Though I'll read it through RSS on my Dreamwidth account.)

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  23. wow...congratulations!
    and lots of giveaways too...
    i've mentioned your link in my blog

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  24. Our fresh market is year-round too.
    It is fun to get some fresh vegetables and fruits in season.

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  25. Congrats! 50 already? Wow! Always love to check on your bento ... Great giveaway to celebrate :)

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  26. what a great bento Sonoma!!! They are such cute sea creatures! Love the way you did the jelly fish... those tentacles sure make it look so real!
    Ah... the blue rice... so app!

    Those goodies you are giving away are just so tempting!!!!

    I am a follower of your blog and I do subscribe to your blog too!

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  27. I have also blogged about your giveaway here...
    http://bentofun.info/2010/08/bento-fun-187-happy-mini-burgers/

    Congrats again on your 50th post!!!!

    Looking forward to your 100th! :D

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  28. I blogged about your giveaway!

    http://www.ohayobento.com/files/486ccb41f8bc60cd388093c56e096e70-53.html

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  29. Wow, 50 posts is amazing. Keep up the good work!
    I am now following.

    thepricklypinecone(at)hotmail.com

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  30. Sadly we don't have a farmers market in my town but the next town over has one every Tuesday. This week we bought a yummy canteloupe cake with a pecan honey glaze!

    thepricklypinecone(at)hotmail.com

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  31. Cute Bento Giveaway, I followed you on gfc as Grace Wong! Congrats on 50 posts! ^_^

    shou.milk@gmail.com
    gracyee-xoxo.blogspot.com/
    <33

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  32. I tweeted!
    http://twitter.com/gracewong1/status/21594424280
    shou.milk@gmail.com

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  33. I love buying fresh fruits and vegetables at my local NYC Greenmarket!

    shou.milk@gmail.com
    gracyee-xoxo.blogspot.com/

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  34. As for the farmer's market, ours sadly is very small - but then, I'm living in a small town.
    It generally is my source for fresh strawberries and other berries :). So much better than the stuff you get in the supermarket!

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  35. I'm a new follower of your blog, KRIS on google.

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  36. Looks like I picked a good day to discover your blog, via your post at The Savory Spice Shop.

    Love the Bentos. I just sent my son off to The Bird Rescue Center with his weekly Bento, but mine aren't nearly as fancy as yours.

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  37. I'm a GFC follower! Super cute giveaway!

    luckysluna(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  38. Grrr...my husband did something to the account, so I'm your follower under the name "Rob". I'm actually Naomi

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  39. I tweeted giveaway as luckysluna
    http://twitter.com/luckysluna/status/21603959892

    luckysluna(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  41. Congrats on your 50th Sonoma Bento! I became a follower of your blog. I hopped over here from Bento Fun! www.bar7ranch.blogspot.com bar7aggie at yahoo dot com

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  42. Oh, yeah, a comment about the Wednesday Night Market. I love the giant Willie Bird Turkey legs! I like to save half of it for breakfast the next morning.

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  43. Congratulations on your big 50th!! I love love love this aquatic bento, one of the cutest I've ever seen! :D

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  44. Ooppss...forgot to mentioned that I'm a follower of your blog :)

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  45. Beautiful! I have a soft spot for aquatic themed bentos (Ben has had obsessions with fish, sharks, octopus, etc).

    Following you too, count us in, just in case, I do love new bentos!

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  46. Hey,new blog follower here!! I love everything in your giveaway!!!I am number 49 of your followers!!!Happy 50th post to you!!! Thats really fabulous
    Rachel Carter Crisman aka meeyeehere
    jacksoncrisman@yahoo.com

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  47. http://twitter.com/meeyeehere/status/21667734797
    I tweeted @meeyeehere

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  48. We have a farmers market but it is so small and all they have is okra and tomatoes!
    jacksoncrisman@yahoo.com

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  49. I tweeted about it! <3
    https://twitter.com/bentolunchblog/status/21759785935

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  50. we have a very small farmers market too, it's because we actually live in a small town with lots of space for own gardening. I like to buy fresh german bread (black bread) the most <3 When freshly made it's very crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside, still warm and very aromatic <3

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  51. Let's see, farmer's markets ... I need to still go today! We buy whatever looks interesting and we feel like eating. Lately, it's been more veggies because my little garden overheated and did not grow. We need zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes & peppers for sure, maybe some fresh fruits other than watermelon (that is the only thing that grew here)!

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  52. And my tweet!
    http://twitter.com/shannoncarino/status/21762247121

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  53. Hi! I am new here and just found your beautiful blog via the lovely bento maker Sheri from Happy Little Bento blog ^_^
    So glad to find new blogs! =)

    Talking about the farmers market here.. I am so jealous about your year round farmer markets! Wow, wish I could have them here too.. The closest I go is downtown Helsinki. It is a great place to buy fresh produce and seasonal vegetables. The problem is that in winter it is very difficult to get good veggies.. :(
    *sigh*

    Btw, I twitted about your blog and this wonderful giveaway:
    http://twitter.com/karaimame/status/21761430321

    Thanks for the opportunity and congratulations on your 50th Bento Post! May many others come in the future!

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  54. Hi, I just found this blog and I love it so far! I am following you through blogspot now, my ID is Jennifer Bonna though my Google ID is alcinoe@gmail.com

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  55. Here I go for my farmers market. I currently get local and organic produce from a service (which is awesome by the way), but I do visit farm stands and markets sometimes to supplement and find something different. I find that these ways of purchasing fruits and vegetables is not only sustainable, but we waste less since the produce lasts so much longer. I do have to go out of my way to go to farmer's markets because the one in town isn't there this summer. :(
    I love the tomatoes which just don't taste right from a grocery store and the fresh herbs. I am pretty traditional, enjoying basil, parsley but am always on the lookout for anything more exotic. I also LOVE pickling cucumbers. I find they have the best flavor. If I had the money I would by a ton and pickle them to last all winter.

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  56. Hi^^
    Happy 50's Post Day to you XD
    I'm following you now, my ID is Tydarkpromise@aol.com
    I also wrote a short post about your giveaway in my blog.
    http://ty-thesweetlife.blogspot.com/2010/08/bentoblog-sonoma-bento.html

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  57. Oh, and I have to admit that in the small town in Germany, where I live, there IS no farmer's market!!
    But if we had one, I think I would very oftenly buy fresh raspberries and frech spinach leaves^^

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  58. Oh I Love your blog! I am getting such great ideas. We live in Kensington (by Berkeley) we have many farmers markets! Our Kensington farmers market is pretty small but I love to get organic ice cream and jams from a local jam maker. My girls love to get fresh fruit and try all the samples! Love the items in yourgive away and am lookin' forward to a shopping adventure in Japan town very soon!

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  59. Congratulations on your 50th post!
    Found your Blog over a friends Announcement, and after reading a bit through it, now I'm a follower as well.
    My google-ID is mysli@hellokitty.com

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  60. Oh, and I mentioned your GiveAway-thingy in my Blog as well, http://myslivieh.blogspot.com/2010/08/free-giveaway-aktionen.html

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  61. I have to admit that I'm not buying at the local farmers market at the moment. In the village I'm living in there is one once a week, but when I'm back from work it's almost over. Back when I was in school I used to go to the market there in my free time between the lessons sometimes. Most times I was only looking and enjoying the atmosphere. Sometimes I had to buy something for my mother, and sometimes I bought somethin for myself like cherries or strawberries or an apple, depending on what was fresh and tasty. Ihope when I'm at university I'll have more chances to go there.

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  62. Thanks for visiting my blog. I am loving your blog. I have been reading some of your back posts. I am not very familiar with bento boxes but this looks so fun and healthy too.

    I lived in SF for several years and Santa Rosa was one of of favorite weekend drives (just to get out of the city).

    I am a new follower with my google reader

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  63. My favorite thing to buy at the farmer's market is fresh corn. I have two gardens but not enough room to bother planting corn. I love it fresh.

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  64. I am happy to be a follower of your site. I always marvel at the beautiful stuff you can find at the Farmers Market. I wish we had such wonderful produce in local markets. I would love to win your contest. I promise I would take good care of the supplies.

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  65. Wow, du sprichst gut Deutsch O.O
    Bei uns heisst es meistens "Wochenmarkt". Egal wie oft der ist...

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  66. I follow you, now officially with Google! I love your site.

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  67. Our local farmers market is small with a poor selection. They have one booth with organic veggies, about 5 others with fruit/veggies, and about 15 non-food or ready-to-eat booths. We did stop for sweet corn last weekend! But we now are part of door-to-door organics, so I know where my food comes from and it is delivered fresh each week!

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  68. Hey, can you email me? I'm doing a story about bento. heather@heatherirwin.com (Press Democrat)

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  69. I've been watching your blog for a bit - and am now following it. The pikachu furikake is very cute.

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