Cookie Swap - It's Pretty Sweet Cookie Book Cover Buy it! Cookie Book Cover Buy it!

"This really is the ULTIMATE cookie book. Whimsical, elegant, colorful, and creative!! What more could you ask for? You will not be disappointed.”

Colette Peters

Celebrity Cake Decorator; Owner, Colette's Cakes


Oct 22, 2016 2:02am

Julia Usher baking in her home kitchen
Noshes and Notions

Fan-tastic Fourth of July Party Invitations :: Photo by Steve Adams

Potluck Picnic

I originally posted this party recap at the end of summer a few years ago, but with the 4th just around the corner, it seems even more relevant right now! The party, a potluck Independence Day bash, was staged and styled by me for St. Louis AT HOME, a local lifestyle magazine that I adore. Recipes were supplied by the guests, and photos are the work of my book photographer Steve Adams. There’s still time to draw on some of these ideas before next week, so without further ado, here’s my Potluck Picnic, back by popular demand . . .

Whether you’re still lounging around the pool sipping piña coladas or beginning to corral the kids for the start of the school year, one thing is certain: no one wants to spend the last days of summer toiling over an elaborate event. Why knock yourself out or break the bank by hiring caterers or party designers, when you can prolong summer’s carefree attitude with a few ingenious planning tips?

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Suggestion of Summer :: Julia M. Usher

Hello, Summer!
An Easy Party For An Unexpected Arrival

Normally I’m not one to relish the unexpected house guest, but when summer descended on my little island home-away-from-home of Stonington, Maine fully three weeks ahead of schedule, I embraced the convergence of seasons with a giant bear hug - and a celebratory party, of course. (Did you expect anything less?)

After all, how often does one get to enjoy baby rhubarb stalks and the full blush of beach roses at the same time? Or inhale sweet lilacs along with salty gusts from passing bait trucks? Yes, it seemed that even the lobstermen, the best prognosticators of the changing tides, had been caught off guard. Thrust into a sudden race to drop their traps, they buzzed by our house on Memorial Day at a pace typically reserved for prime fishing time.

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3-D Cookie Cake :: Cookies and Photo by Julia M Usher

New 3-D Cookie Course:

As many of you know, 3-D cookies are kind of my thing, so - perhaps needless to say - I was super excited when I was invited by eduK, Brazil’s largest e-learning site, to teach a three-day course all about them. I received the invitation late last year, and have been designing and decorating the projects for this course for the better part of the last two months! I’m pleased to announce that they are nearly done, and I am just four days away from boarding a plane to Brazil where I will videotape the course.

The course will be live-streamed from 2 pm to 5 pm (São Paulo, Brazil time), July 27 - 29, for FREE; it will be re-run once again, for free, one hour after the first live-streaming is over. After both free viewing periods have concluded, the course will only be available for purchase. (Though if you sign-up for the paid course before the live-streaming is over, you can get it at a steep discount.)

The course will be taught in English and translated simultaneously into both Portuguese and Spanish, which means that almost anyone anywhere should be able to enjoy it.

During these three days, I will demonstrate six new 3-D cookie projects (see my preview video below), all tied together with the common thread of a wedding theme. I’ll also cover close to 20 decorating and assembly techniques!

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Chat with Julia News From Julia's Kitchen
  • Check out Julia’s 3-D cookie decorating course on eduK, Brazil’s largest e-learning site. Click here to purchase the course in English, or here for Spanish. Portuguese link is coming soon! Julia M Usher, Recipes for a Sweet Life, EduK class, 3-D cookies
  • See Julia’s exciting lineup of 2016 cookie events - China (three times), Argentina, Indonesia, and more!
  • Woo hoo! Listen to Julia’s recent NPR interview, and read about her Best Cookier of 2013 Award. Julia M Usher, Best Cookie Decorator, Best Cookie Decorator of 2013, Award, Cake Masters Awards
  • Explore the world of cookie decorating! Join Cookie Connection, Julia’s free cookie community. Then grab a badge! Julia M Usher, Cookie Connection, online cookie decorating community
  • Hone your decorating skills with Julia’s app!