Extending the life of brown sugar

September 13, 2010

Brown sugar is so rich and delicious, and it adds a delicious molasses note to dishes. When you buy brown sugar, it is soft and fluffy. Store it too long or improperly, it turns into a rock-hard, solid brick. Here I offer tips for storing brown sugar for a longer shelf life. First, you should… Read more »

Preparing bison for the grill

August 9, 2010

Once you’ve tried bison, you’ll be hooked on its wonderful taste and versatility. When you’re ready to prepare this tender and delicious meat in other ways, you should give grilling a try. Before you prep bison for the grill, I have a couple of tips to maximize flavor. First, it’s wise to remember that bison… Read more »

Choosing, washing, and storing summer berries

June 4, 2010

We’re coming into the time of year when warm, sun-ripened fruits are at their peak. Berries are a favorite for their sweet, delicious flavor that works in everything from cobblers to waffle toppings to sauces for grilled meats. However, berries are more perishable than many other fruits, so take extra care when handling them. To… Read more »

Garlic: To press or not to press?

When it comes time to add minced garlic to a dish, do you reach for a press or a knife? Ever wonder which results in a better flavor? For those who own a garlic press, the process is simple. Pull a garlic clove, pop it in the press and squeeze. Voila! Fresh garlic ready for… Read more »

Making a basic white sauce

May 5, 2010

A basic white sauce is one of the most versatile recipes in cooking. A white sauce can be transformed in a number of ways with various cheeses, wines and spices to enhance a dish. However, the end result is highly dependent on getting the basic recipe right. Here’s a basic recipe with tips for getting… Read more »

Ingredient Substitutions

It happens to even the most prepared cooks: in the midst of making a recipe you find you’re missing a key ingredient. No worries! Our list of easy substitutions can help in a pinch. Ingredient Amount Substitution Allspice 1 teaspoon ground 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves Apple Pie Spice 1 teaspoon… Read more »


Make a lattice top pie crust

April 16, 2010

Making a lattice top for a pie is easy – and fun! Here’s how to do it . . . Prepare pastry for a 2-crust pie (double our Easy Flaky Pie Crust). Make sure it has been refrigerated for at least 30 minutaes. Roll out bottom crust and fit into a 8 or 9-inch pie… Read more »

How to choose the perfect avocado

So, how does one go about picking the perfect avocado? It may seem counterintuitive, but the best way to get a perfectly ripe avocado is to buy a hard, unripe one. Avocados are different than most fruits. They begin to ripen only after they’re picked. If you choose an avocado that seems soft and ripe,… Read more »

Cooking with okra

Cooking with the traditional Southern vegetable okra can be tricky. Use frozen okra to keep your dish from getting a slimy texture. If you are using fresh – simply freeze it before slicing and then add it to your gumbo. And, never cook okra in cast iron – it darkens it.

Use a quality zester for perfect lemon flavor

  When a recipe calls for citrus zest or a quick shave of a hard cheese, I turn to my Microplane Zester/Grater. It’s so easy to use and one of the tools I don’t cook without. This Zester/Grater is perfect for zesting lemons and limes – it grates the zest without picking up the bitter… Read more »

Lee Clayton Roper


I’m Lee Clayton Roper, and I’m passionate about making cooking and entertaining easy, elegant and fun. Here you’ll find scrumptious recipes, helpful tips and seasonal menus that will spark inspiration in your kitchen!
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