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"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 09, 2015 9:36am

Julia Usher baking in her home kitchen
Noshes and Notions

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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Lavender Luxe :: Susan Jackson

Field of Dreams:
A No-Fuss Farm-to-Table Fête

Alfresco is one of my favorite ways to entertain. And late September into early October, after the summer swelter has passed, is the best time to do it here in Missouri. This farm-to-table dinner party took place at precisely this transition of seasons a few years ago, at Winding Brook Estate, a 16-acre lavender farm tilled into tidy, fragrant rows by my friends Deborah and Steve Nathe. The occasion: a simple respite from the rigors of tending 7,000 lavender plants!

I was honored that Deborah asked me to plan and style her event (one that would be featured in a local magazine, no less). But I also recognized the challenge of adapting my “more-is-more” approach to her minimalist aesthetic. She wanted to keep the party down-to-earth, yet still give guests that ah-ha experience they’d never forget. Hmmmm . . . simple, yet over-the-top? Subtle, but showy? What had I gotten myself into, and was it even possible?

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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
  • Julia just finished filming a 3-D cookie decorating course for Brazil’s largest e-learning site, eduK. Click here to purchase the course in English, or here for Spanish. If you speak Portuguese, stay tuned; that link is coming soon! 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!