six spoonfuls

a cold but crisp stroll in battersea park

battersea park, london, london parks, walks in london, golden leaves, peanut buttered.com, peanbuttered

the chanel window display at harrodschanel window display at harrods, christmas displays at harrods london, london window displays, chanel, peanutbuttered, peanutbutted.coma punnet of blueberries ready for my morning porridge
fresh blueberries, blueberries for porridge, peanutbuttered, peanutbuttered.combeautiful gold china tea for twogold teapot, vintage teapot, vintage teacup, peanut buttered blog

christmas jumper time! adore my new one from meemeemeemeedotcom, meemee.com, christmas jumper, nice christmas jumper, reindeer christmas jumper, peanut buttered blog

dressing the windows for christmaschristmas window dressing, red berries and candles, peanut buttered blog

disney dreams at harrods

the only christmas lights i got to see last year were at the grove in los angeles.

sure the big tree was decorated to perfection but it just wasn’t the same walking around it in the sunshine, frozen yoghurt in hand.

while i’m no good with the dipping temperatures, soaked feet or wrestling with an inside-out umbrella thanks to gale force winds, all common occurrences during a winter spent in the uk, i do love the way i only ever feel festive at home. and festive i have been feeling.

Harrods Disney window displays, harrods windows, Christmas displays, harrods christmas, lights, peanutbuttered, peanubuttered.com

twinkling lights have been popping up all over london in the past week, and knightsbridge boast the best fancy-pants displays by far. exploding orbs of white and blue can be seen lining sloane street and covering the square. it’s pretty darn gorgeous. no expense has been spared with these festive ornaments and they make the displays on regents street and oxford street look like budget d-i-y jobs.

while out shopping yesterday, i wandered past harrods and couldn’t help but take some snaps of the absolutely dreamy designer disney window displays. they are beyond be-au-ti-ful and make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. knightsbridge christmas lights

i could have spent hours staring at the showstopping creations depicting ariel decked out in marchesa, belle dressed in valentino or cinderella wearing versace. no detail has been spared.

all my old favourites were there as well as characters that were clearly way after my time.  tiana who? i thought before conceding that this mystery disney young gun did look awfully lovely in her ralph & russo ball gown.louboutin shoes at harrods, Harrods Disney window displays, harrods windows, Christmas displays, harrods christmas, lights, peanutbuttered, peanubuttered.com

fairy in the display window at harrods, Harrods Disney window displays, harrods windows, Christmas displays, harrods christmas, lights, peanutbuttered, peanubuttered.combreaking up the displays are a group of elves fluttering around a glass case holding a glittering louboutin heel.

one passer by exclaimed: ‘those are to die for’ before gazing at them mesmerised for a good five minutes. i dare you to walk past and not stare. it’s impossible. if you haven’t seen them, grab a girlfriend…this definitely isn’t one for the boys… and make your way down to stand and gawp. disney characters and gorgeous designer clothes? that’s my kind of dream.

sleeping beauty by elie saabsleeping beauty in elie saab, elie saab, Harrods Disney window displays, harrods windows, Christmas displays, harrods christmas, lights, peanutbuttered, peanubuttered.com

mulan by missoni mulan in missoni, Harrods Disney window displays, harrods windows, Christmas displays, harrods christmas, lights, peanutbuttered, peanubuttered.com

belle by valentino Harrods Disney window displays, harrods windows, Christmas displays, harrods christmas, lights, peanutbuttered, peanubuttered.com, belle in valentino, beauty and the beast

ariel by marchesaariel, by marcesa, the little mermaid, Harrods Disney window displays, harrods windows, Christmas displays, harrods christmas, lights, peanutbuttered, peanubuttered.com

cinderella by versace cinderella by versace, Harrods Disney window displays, harrods windows, Christmas displays, harrods christmas, lights, peanutbuttered, peanubuttered.com

rapunzel by jenny packhamHarrods Disney window displays, harrods windows, rapunzel in jenny packham, Christmas displays, harrods christmas, lights, peanutbuttered, peanubuttered.com

pocahontas by roberto cavalli  pocahontas in roberto cavalli, Harrods Disney window displays, harrods windows, Christmas displays, harrods christmas, lights, peanutbuttered, peanubuttered.comtiana by ralp & russo  tiana by ralph & russo, Harrods Disney window displays, harrods windows, Christmas displays, harrods christmas, lights, peanutbuttered, peanubuttered.com

after telling ang about the harrods windows she showed me this…. (so adorable)

fancy a chat? we love a good gossip. why not tweet us at @peanut_buttered or @sarahfitzm or you can follow us on facebook here

snowflake cupcakes

this coming saturday is december 1st. the traditional kick-off date for christmas parties, drinks, get-togethers and soirées. i’ve been in prep mode for weeks, pinning seasonal ideas and festive inspiration like a mad woman. i spotted these ahhhh-dorable cupcakes during one recent pinterest session.

had. to. make. immediately.snowflake cupcakes, christmas recipes, hershey's cupcakes, chocolate cupcake recipe, cream cheese frosting, christmas party food ideas, peanut buttered blog

these snowflake cupcakes are so freakin’ cute, i almost don’t want to eat them, or share them with anyone else for that matter. i just want to stare in wonder at their whimsical beauty.

then i remember the molten chocolate, fudgey cakes. and the delectable cream cheese frosting. and i start to salivate. so i eat one.

and then another.snowflake cupcakes, christmas recipes, hershey's cupcakes, chocolate cupcake recipe, cream cheese frosting, christmas party food ideas, peanut buttered blog

to impress the pants off guests at your christmas party, you’ll need:

cupcakes (hershey’s recipe)

  • 1 and 3/4 cups plain flour
  • 3/4 cups good quality cocoa
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup just-boiled water
  • 2 tsp good quality vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs

cream cheese frosting

  • 4oz (110g) butter – room temperature
  • 8oz (220g) cream cheese – refrigerated
  • 2 tsp good quality vanilla extract
  • 4 cups (500g) icing sugar
  • sky blue food colouring

snowflake cupcakes, christmas recipes, hershey's cupcakes, chocolate cupcake recipe, cream cheese frosting, christmas party food ideas, peanut buttered blog

these cupcakes, which use the classic hershey’s recipe, are embarrassingly easy to make, and come out so dark, sticky and fudgey, you’ll turn your nose up at any dry, crumbly cupcake from now on.

line the cupcake tray and pre-heat the oven to 175c/350f. in the bowl of a freestanding mixer (though you could easily do this by hand), combine all the dry ingredients. now add the oil, eggs, milk and vanilla extract. beat for about a minute until everything is combined.snowflake cupcakes, christmas recipes, hershey's cupcakes, chocolate cupcake recipe, cream cheese frosting, christmas party food ideas, peanut buttered blogsnowflake cupcakes, christmas recipes, hershey's cupcakes, chocolate cupcake recipe, cream cheese frosting, christmas party food ideas, peanut buttered blog

now carefully add the just-boiled water and beat again. your batter will be really runny, like a really good quality thick hot chocolate would be. pour (easier than scooping) the batter into the cupcake liners and bake for 18-20 mins, until a tester comes out clean.

leave your cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack. in the meantime, get your frosting on. snowflake cupcakes, christmas recipes, hershey's cupcakes, chocolate cupcake recipe, cream cheese frosting, christmas party food ideas, peanut buttered blog

for creamy smooth frosting, beat the room temp butter for a few seconds in a mixer with the paddle attachment to get it nice and soft, and then add the cream cheese. beat until nice and silky. next add the vanilla and the icing sugar. i attach the plastic cover on my mixer and cover it with a tea towel, and then pulse the mixer a few times initially, to prevent being covered in a cloud of icing sugar. add the food colouring and beat at medium speed for a minute until the frosting is nice and fluffy.snowflake cupcakes, christmas recipes, hershey's cupcakes, chocolate cupcake recipe, cream cheese frosting, christmas party food ideas, peanut buttered blog

once your chocolate cupcakes are completely cooled, you can pipe a swirl of frosting on top. to get a dreamy thick swirl, i use a freezer bag and snip off one corner.

pipe on a big cloud of frosting, and decorate with sugar snowflakes (i get mine online) and silver sugar balls.snowflake cupcakes, christmas recipes, hershey's cupcakes, chocolate cupcake recipe, cream cheese frosting, christmas party food ideas, peanut buttered blog

a tray of these little beauties at any christmas party will have sweet-toothed men worshipping at your feet, and fellow ladies green with envy over your domestic goddess skills.

are you planning a holiday bash? what are your festive favourites? let us know how you plan to celebrate the season in style on twitter @peanut_buttered and @andreamagrathfacebook or in the comments below.

snowflake cupcakes, christmas recipes, hershey's cupcakes, chocolate cupcake recipe, cream cheese frosting, christmas party food ideas, peanut buttered blog