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


Jul 05, 2015 10:46pm

Julia Usher baking in her home kitchen
Noshes and Notions

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

Playing Cookie Catchup:
My Latest YouTube Selections

Tsk, tsk! I’ve been so captivated with making cookie projects over the last few months that I’ve been remiss in posting them to my very own website! Time for some much-needed cookie catchup!

My latest fixation has been 3-D cookies (of course) but with some new twists. First, I’ve been trying to create beautiful cookies that use as little icing as possible. (Call me lazy if you wish, but if there’s anything I dislike about decorating, it’s color mixing and cleanup!) Second, I developed a new technique that uses edible papers to stencil on curvy cookie shapes - something that, to this point, has been virtually impossible to do with traditional acetate stencils. And, last, I’ve been dressing up many projects with embossed (meaning molded) cookies. They’re gorgeous in their own right, but they also fulfill objective number one in that they need no icing! A double bene!

You’ll see all of these techniques expressed in my latest projects, which include . . .

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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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Jumble of Julia's Jewelry :: Photo by Julia M. Usher

Celebrating the Everyday:
A Study in Repurposing, and Taking Time to Breathe

OK, so this feature isn’t my usual special party, but it is a celebration in its own right - of the smaller things in life that we (or at least, I) too often take for granted. After a whirlwind winter of event-hopping to promote my latest book, I finally returned home earlier this month. My first obsessive-compulsive impulse upon “landing” was to tend to the many home projects that have been calling out for attention for months - like taming the dust bunnies bouncing in every corner and the honeysuckle that’s choking my backyard. Alas, I couldn’t muster the strength. My next impulse was to start my equally large number of neglected work projects - instructional videos, assorted TV pitches, a new book proposal . . . the list goes on. Yet again, no taste for this stuff. I waffled for a while with no sense of purpose. Then I did what I rarely do . . .

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Chat with Julia News From Julia's Kitchen
  • Julia’s coming to the world’s largest e-learning site, EduK, in July. Sign up now for free live-streaming, here. Julia M Usher, Recipes for a Sweet Life, EduK class, 3-D cookies
  • See Julia’s exciting lineup of 2015 cookie events - Israel, Brazil, Greece, 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!