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Summer 2011

In This Issue
Feature: Herbal Essence
Favorites: Ultimate Cookies-Inspired Cookie Kits
Fanfare: News & Next Book Teaser

You might say I've been experiencing an early Thanksgiving of sorts! It's still summer (albeit barely -- sorry for the delay of this newsletter), and I already have many people to thank for helping me mobilize for my Ultimate Cookies book tour. (See below for tour details.) 

My site has a new online store, soon to feature various cutters and kits from the book's projects, thanks to my tour sponsor fancyflours.com. I've got a new promo video, courtesy of the wildly creative team led by Rian Fiske at visualquill.com. And I'm about to start a week of video production for a series of online cookie crafting classes, none of which would have been possible without a tip from videographer and friend Joe Baran and the supremely talented crew at craftsy.comMy book tour, which is loaded with many cookie decorating classes and an especially exciting opening event at Macy's flagship location in NYC, wouldn't have shaped up so speedily (or perhaps at all) without my newly hired publicist Ron Longe from Media Masters Publicity. I consider myself pretty Type-A, but he's got me beat as far as attention to detail! 

Last but not least, I've refreshed the look of my Facebook page with a new avatar and pumped up other promotional materials with the help of the ber-imaginative Marcella Hawley, who designed posters, note cards, and other book-ish collateral. A sample of her fine work is here:

 facebook avatar

All of this thankfulness has got my mind wandering to turkey and sweet potatoes, so before I completely digress, let me just say once more how eternally grateful I am not only for these folks, but for each and every reader out there who allows me to follow my passion. If we don't talk before my next newsletter (November-ish), I sincerely hope you enjoy an early Thanksgiving, too!  

Live life sweetly,


Feature: Herbal Essence  


White Chocolate-Lavender Panna Cotta


This classic Italian dessert takes on a new form with a subtle infusion of lavender and orange. Chilled and creamy, it was a comforting, yet refreshing cap to my featured alfresco dinner party, deets above. 


 lavender panna cotta

  Photo by Susan Jackson


Favorites: Fancy Flour's Ultimate Cookies-Inspired Cookie Kits 

In addition to cookie kits for my Turkey in the Straw project (right), Fancy Flours will be packaging and selling kits for cookie jack o' lantern votives (below), peacocks, tiaras, multi-cookie Christmas wreaths, and more. Several of my projects require unusual shapes, so the team at Fancy Flours has also produced special cookie cutters to make these projects easier and faster for you. Kits and cutters should release in a matter of a week or less, so check my online store (which directs to fancyflours.com) for updates. 


 halloween hero

 lavender party table    
 Field of Dreams:
 An End-of-Summer Dinner Party
 Photo by Susan Jackson


 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?



Ultimate Cookies & Other News


Oh my! A ton has happened since my last newsletter. Here you'll find only the very first events of my fall book tour, so be sure to check out the full lineup on my site. Between November 17 and December 25, I'll hit New York City, nearby CT locales, Chicago, Saint Louis, Atlanta, and Kansas City, with Tampa, Boston, and more markets following in the new year! I kick off with a series of very informal online cookie decorating chats; times and login info will soon be located on my site as well.
October 8: Online Cookie Decorating Chat
October 22: Online Cookie Decorating Chat 
November 6: Online Cookie Decorating Chat 
November 17: Macy's Herald Square, NYC
November 17: Chef Central, Paramus, NJ
Next Book Teaser 
Thanksgiving will be here before you know it, and, fortunately, Ultimate Cookies has suitably sweet cookie dcor, designed just for this occasion! I call these birds Turkey in the Straw. Kits, complete with all the cutters and colors for making them, will soon by available via my tour sponsor, fancyflours.com (left). Book teasers galore can also be found in my new promo video (coming soon) courtesy of Rian Fiske at visualquill.comI love his work!
 turkey cookies  
Photo by Steve Adams  


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Buzz Me

Touring is my absolute favorite part of book "writing," because it's when I really get to connect with my readers! I learn and grow from shared cookie talk and every interaction with you. If you'd like to connect too, but don't see me coming to your neck of the woods, please check out my online cookie chats, noted above. Or email me or my publicist Ron Longe. If there's enough demand in any part of the country, I'd love to extend my journey.

Sugar Buzz, the newsletter of
Recipes for A Sweet Life
c/o Julia M.Usher




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