Is it snowing where you live? Here there is so much snow, so early, that kids had snow days already!
No matter if you have snow now or not, watch this Panda at the Toronto Zoo enjoying the winter weather:
Here is a fun way to decorate cupcakes to look like panda bears, courtesy of Bakerella.
Ingredients to make mini cupcakes:
1. cupcake mix – for as many cupcakes as you want or need.
chocolate flavor creates a complete look, but you can do any flavor.
2. chocolate chips – to make the ears, nose, and eye base. Ghiradelli brand has better diameter for this purpose, or another of comparable size.
3. white frosting – enough for all your cupcakes.
4. white sanding sugar – to give the texture of fur.
5. Jimmies – chocolate or black to make mouth lines.
6. white pastel confetti sprinkles – for the white of the eye.
7. black edible ink pen – to draw pupils on the white sprinkles.
Note: If you wanted to make larger panda cupcakes just tweak the ingredients to use chocolate drops or large chocolate chips (which you might have to cut in half for the nose), larger or more sprinkles for the mouths, and use premade candy eyes or get creative with a circle of icing or fondant with a black sphere sprinkle or black edible ink circle for pupils. The process of putting them together would be the same.
1. Make your cupcakes according to your favorite recipe or the box in a mini cupcake pan (hey sometimes we all need to save a little time). Allow to cool.
2. Frost the cupcakes with the white frosting. A decorator bag with Ateco tip #807 will help to pipe a small mound of frosting on top of the cupcake. You do not need to cover the whole top because you will be pressing them in to the sanding sugar which will force the mound out to cover the whole top.
3. Press the frosted cupcakes into the sanding sugar to spread the frosting and create a fur like texture.
4. Press chocolate chips into the frosting to create the face. One should go sideways, point facing downward, towards the bottom of the face to create the nose. Two should go point down into the frosting above that to make the base for the eyes. And two should go into the sides of the frosting, point down, to create ears.
5. Press the Jimmies into the frosting to create any type of mouth you want.
6. Finish the eyes by drawing circles on the confetti sprinkles and then attach them to the chocolate chip base with a bit of frosting. Or use frosting to make the eyes, or attach premade candy eyes.
7. Make sure each face is how you would like them. Having the sanding sugar over the frosting also allows you to reshape the frosting to get your desired look.
8. Serve and enjoy!
This design is really cute and allows you to do your own take on just how a panda should look. Great for kids parties or just because!
You can see more pictures and get Bakerella’s cupcake and frosting recipes here.
The National Zoo’s recent panda cub born in August has been confirmed female by a DNA test.
Mei Xiang is a good panda mother who still spends a lot of time in her den. As the cub gets a bit older she will start to leave more. So zoo staff are still mostly observing the cub, and will do more when they can.
Here are some great moments from the panda cam all put together:
You can see more screen captures of the cub from the panda cam on flicker.
The National Zoo’s new panda cub is doing well so far! At the cub’s first health exam the staff got a picture:
(Source: National Zoo)
The cub is not much to see at the moment because Panda cubs are the one of the smallest births to occur among mammals. Babies are only about 1/900th the size of their mothers, only marsupials give birth to smaller young. Panda cubs are unable to move on their own and are completely dependent on their mom for warmth, food, and protection.
Mei Xiang has been more protective of the cub in the past few days and has not allowed the vet staff to take the cub from her for an exam. Keepers say the baby sounds healthy and they are continually observing the pair on the panda cams.
The Smithsonian National Zoo announced earlier today that their female panda Mei Xiang gave birth to a cub at 5:32 pm!
You can watch the Panda cam on the national zoo’s website here.
Behavior watchers were observing her 24 hours a day via their panda cams since August 7 as she began to exhibit more and more signs that she would be giving birth. The cub will receive a preliminary exam in the next 48 hours, and continue to receive regular health checks. This is the panda’s third cub, her first cub survived and now lives in china while her second cub died of liver failure.
You can read more about all that goes into testing for panda pregnancy, how she got that way, and the video of her giving birth at the panda blog.
The panda couple at the Washington National Zoo, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, who are on loan from the Chinese government have been allowed to stay in the US for another 5 years. This is very good news for the US and for panda kind. Hopefully we will see new baby pandas soon!
The original agreement for the pair was for ten years at a cost of $10 million dollars – which went to panda conservation in China. The new agreement rests on the condition that the pair will breed again, and if not one or both of the pandas can be exchanged for another in the hopes of baby pandas. Their first baby, Tai Shan, born in 2005 was a hit at the zoo but all babies of this loaned panda pair must be returned to China and so Tai Shan went back in February of 2010.
Read more at Reuters.
2010 is almost here, I hope that everyone has a wonderful time celebrating! May the new year brings many wonderful opportunities and cute animal stories!
As my last post of 2009, may I present sleepy panda:
This is Tai Shan, who managed to do a somersault after he feel asleep. So cute!
Here he begins to fall asleep
Now he begins to tip forward
And he wakes up a bit surprised
But so adorable!
To read more about his story, see “Head over heels! The Giant Panda who did a roly-poly in his sleep.”
Google’s CADIE is amazing! Have not seen it? Check out: CADIE
More so than just a crazy panda loving webpage, look at what the front page of Google Image Search:
Sorry it has been so long since I last posted! School became test, after paper, after test…but now I have one wonderful week off for Fall Break.
…ok, so Vista has foiled me again. I cannot get the picture that I wanted to post. I do not know how to do it. What I did with XP does not seem to be useful in Vista….Hmm…
Anyways, here is the backup cuteness of the week: