Olivia: A recipe for success

Since cupcakes are Olivia’s favorite food, why not bake some for a party?  I recently had the opportunity to bake some cupcakes to celebrate my niece’s birthday.  She is a huge fan of Olivia the Pig.  I went looking for good recipes that I might find, especially cupcakes with an Olivia the Pig theme.

I did find one, which I would love to share!  Here is a recipe for Olivia the pig cupcakes, courtesy of Nick Jr.’s website:

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. Dutch cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 bottle (1 oz.) red food coloring
1 tsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 cups pink candy melts (like Wilton® Candy Melts® available at party supplies stores)
1 can (16 oz.) vanilla frosting
Red food coloring
1 tube chocolate or brown decorating frosting

Muffin pans (for 24 cupcakes)
24 cupcake liners
Olivia Cupcake Templates
Wax paper

Directions:

Step 1
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

Step 2
Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat the butter and the sugar in another bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition until well blended.

Step 3
Combine the buttermilk and the food coloring in a measuring cup. Add the flour mixture to the butter and egg mixture, alternating with the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Combine the vinegar and the baking soda in a small bowl and immediately stir into the batter until well blended.

Step 4
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 12 to 17 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

Step 5
Meanwhile, melt the pink candy melts in a medium bowl until smooth, about 45 seconds. Spoon into a resealable bag. Place the ears and nose template on a sheet pan topped with a piece of wax paper. Snip a very small corner from the bag with the melted chocolate. Pipe outlines of the ears and nose and fill in with more chocolate. Repeat to make 24 sets of ears and 24 noses. Reheat the chocolate if it becomes too thick. Place the chocolate pieces into the refrigerator until set, about 5 minutes.

Step 6
Tint the vanilla frosting a light pink with the red food coloring. Remove 1/3 cup of the frosting and tint it a darker pink with the red food coloring. Spoon the darker pink frosting into a resealable bag. Spread the light pink frosting on top of the cupcakes and make smooth.

Step 7
Peel the chocolate pieces from the wax paper and insert the ears into the sides of the cupcakes. Add the nose in the center. Snip a very small corner from the bag with the darker pink frosting and pipe outlines on the ears and the nose and pipe the mouth on top of the cupcakes. Pipe the chocolate frosting for the nostrils and the eyes.

I have to say that every last cupcake was eaten at the party. The kids loved them as did the parents.  I had also bought this book for my niece, which she loved!  I can’t wait until the next party.  Keep reading my posts in the future for more options on how to plan a party.  For more options on what to choose for a themed party, check out our kids party supplies. For more birthday gift ideas, check out Olivia toys.

 

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax

The Lorax had a grand opening which exceeded anyone’s expectations for the new film.  It opened with a grand total of $70,720,485!  It was showcased on a multitude of regular and IMAX screens, with the IMAX screens accounting for 8% of the total weekend revenue.  Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas opened with $55.1 million.  In 2003, The Cat in the Hat opened with $38.3 million.  In 2008, Horton Hears a Who! opened with $45 million. This film opened on the birthday of Dr. Seuss, who would have turned 108 this year.

The book starts out with a boy encountering a greedy “Once-ler” to find out why the world is in such bad shape. The book is told from the Once-ler’s point of view.  The Once-ler told the boy how he had cut down all of the Truffula trees in order to make inventions out of them and sell them for a profit.  The orange colored, ecologically conscious Lorax tried to convince the Once-ler not to cut down so many trees. The Once-ler ignores him, and continues to cut the trees down because they are so profitable. Soon, there are no Truffula trees left. The forest is devastated, the Once-ler’s business goes bankrupt, and all of the animals of the forest are forced to leave.

All that’s left is one small Truffula seed, which the Once-ler gives to the boy, so he can go plant it and start a new Truffula forest.

The movie, however, is slightly different from the book. All of the characters are mostly the same, however, the boy, named Ted in the movie, has a love interest.  The desire that his love interest wants to see a real tree serves as his main drive in acquiring knowledge about trees, as the city has none left. His grandmother encourages Ted to visit the Once-ler, who lives outside the city walls, to find out more information about trees.  The town mayor, Mr. O’Hare, closely watches any move that the boy makes, and discourages him from going outside of the city walls. The Once-ler eventually gives Ted the last Truffula seed to plant within the city walls in remembrance of Nature. The mayor finds out about this and tries to stop Ted from planting the seed.  However, Ted takes an earthmover to ram down a section of the city wall, revealing the horrific landscape beyond.  The townspeople defy the mayor and agree to let Ted plant the seed.

Has your family seen The Lorax or read the book? Which do you like better, and why?

 

Dolls help to stimulate social and emotional development

Caillou is one of those characters from which your children will never stop learning.  There is a new and important lesson in every episode.  The episodes are geared specifically towards preschoolers in their developmental stages as they grow up.

This brings me to spotlight a few of our Caillou products that actually help to stimulate social and emotional development in young children.  We have our Laugh and Learn books that teach children many important things about growing up. A few of the book topics include potty training, a day at the farm, and going to the doctor’s office. These books help to explain many important events in a child’s life, and can help ease the transition into growing up.

We also have a plush 13” Caillou doll that you can dress. This is a must-have for any avid Caillou fan! It comes with removable clothing and two tools.  Your child will be able to recreate any scene from a Caillou episode, and feel like Caillou is right there on the journey with them.  They will also remember the important lesson that is associated with it.

My favorite is the adorable 14” Caillou farmer doll. This doll comes with a blue rake and shovel accessories.  The head, feet, and hands are made out of vinyl, which is super easy to clean. This doll is made with extreme attention to detail. There is even a Caillou Ecology Club logo on the overalls for all of you biologists-in-training!

All of these products will help stimulate your child’s learning process. Why not purchase one today? If you have a question about any of the products, feel free to leave a comment below or contact us directly.