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


Mar 02, 2015 12:55pm

Julia Usher baking in her home kitchen
Noshes and Notions

Not Your Ordinary Entryway Cheer :: Photo by Julia M. Usher

Color Me Christmas:
In Traditional Red and Green

You might be dreaming of a white Christmas, but I prefer the traditional red and green - for decorating, that is! These colors cheer up even the dreariest of winter days; they’re naturally found in nature, which often means cheaper, faster decorations (think: hand-cut evergreens and berries); and, better yet, they coordinate perfectly with the palette of my house!

I swear, not more than a week ago I declared to my Facebook friends that I wasn’t going all-out this year. Too much travel, not enough time, yada yada . . . I’d just slap my quirky 50s-era masonite wreath (next page) on the front door, and that would have to be fine. But once I latched onto this easy red and green idea (with a Santa subtext), I soon found myself on overdrive.

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

Holiday Sweets Video Roundup:
My Seasonal YouTube Selections

As you may or may not know, I’ve been religiously producing one YouTube video per week for about a year now, and as it turns out, I’ve amassed quite a collection of Christmas-themed ones!

With holiday baking at the forefront of many of our to-do lists, I’ve decided to gather all of those videos here, in one place, to give you a jumpstart on your shopping and prep lists. There are lots of cookies represented in this video roundup (would you have expected anything less?!), but I’ve also got some other delicious and easy desserts, including my family’s favorite - an interesting twist on classic hot mulled cider.

I’ll be adding the cider recipe and other projects to this roundup as I release more videos in the months of December and January, so please stay tuned! In the meantime, I wish you a most wonderful holiday baking season!

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Tabletop Twist :: Photo by Julia M. Usher

My Top 10 Holiday Table-Setting Tips

Still recovering from Christmas? Weary of party after same-old party? On the verge of drafting a New Year’s resolution vowing never to entertain again?

Hold on - don’t be rash! I know all too well the consequences of holiday party-planning burnout - and they’re not pretty! Foregoing good times with friends and family out of fear of more dishes, lack of novel decorating ideas, or even shortage of cash usually isn’t the right trade-off. Even now with a few days ‘til New Year’s, it’s not too late to give your holiday table some special design twists that won’t break the bank - or your back. With some thoughtful rearranging and re-purposing of things you already have, it’s possible to create an entirely new, and impressive, party ambience in much less time than you might think.

In this post, I share my top 10 tips for holiday tabletop design - basically those tricks I apply when I need to change things up fast, yet still make a statement.

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Chat with Julia News From Julia's Kitchen
  • In September, Julia won the coveted Medal of Honor at the Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show for her contributions to the sugar art community!
  • Attention all Cookie Cruisers! Download the resource list for my cookie heart box class here! Julia M Usher, 3-D heart cookie box, Cookie Cruise
  • See Julia’s exciting lineup of 2015 cookie events - Denmark, Chile, Barcelona, 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!