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.

 

Dora Discovers a New App

Dora is that classic Latina cartoon that has been around since 1999.  Dora is a very adventurous little girl with a heart of gold. She loves to go out and explore real places with the help of a map and her buddy, Boots the monkey.  In every episode you learn Spanish words and phrases. Also, she does not hold grudges, even when the mischievous fox, Swiper, tries to steal things from her.

I am so impressed with Dora that I recently stumbled upon an awesome website that I’m sure you will want to share with your kids.  On Nick Jr.’s website, they teach you everything from how to make a Dora cake, to playing games with Dora, to printing out coloring pages for kids.  There is even a new Dora app for your smartphone, which is the third learning adventure in the Nickelodeon Literacy Suite.  This app will teach your children early reading and phonics skills.  They will be ready to leap into phonics!

Dora is never afraid to explore, nor should you be.  Check out our awesome website for an impressive selection of Dora toys. From rompers to bubbles and more, I dare you to try to find something that we don’t have!

 

Finding Dinos with Dino Dan

It’s time to chase after the dinosaurs like Dino Dan!  Dan is an observant 10 year old paleontologist-in-training who sees dinosaurs when normally nobody else does.  Sometimes his dog can see them. Sometimes his younger brother can see them. But mostly, only Dan can see them.

If you want to learn more about dinosaurs, this is definitely the show to watch!  Dan uses the power of scientific method to determine characteristics about dinosaurs.  That is, he forms a hypothesis, gathers evidence, conducts experiments, and draws a conclusion. This teaches children the power of deduction. It doesn’t get much easier than that! Children will be able to learn from this show and conduct their own experiments at home.

Speaking of which, we have the perfect Dino Dan merchandise. From awesome clothing which you can personalize, to wall art, the water bottles, we have it all!  Unfortunately, the dinosaurs are not included.

For even more fun and interactive games, play the Dino Game at Nick Jr.’s website.