There are a gazillion cookbooks on our shelves – who needs another? I do! When I noted the classic recipes in Fresh Tastes from A Well-Seasoned Kitchen (around $30), sent as a review sample by award winning author Lee Clayton Roper, I knew that this is a book anyone is sure to love. Inside this irresistible compilation of elegant yet uncomplicated recipes (finally!) were gorgeous photos that make the simplest of recipes look stunning, carefully thought-out themed menus that take that guesswork out of your next gathering, and inspirational stories that make many of the recipes more meaningful.


Fresh Tastes by Lee Clayton Roper

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Over 170 sure-to-please recipes feature fresh ingredients whenever relevant, suggestions for modifications, and cooking tips that I appreciate. All of the recipes were assessed by volunteer taste testers (what a terrific job!) then chosen for inclusion in Fresh Tastes based on their palate pleasing flavors and sophisticated presentation. It’s your turn to choose a favorite recipe, open a delicious bottle of wine for pairing (see link after each recipe), and enjoy not only the process of cooking but the delectable taste sensation on your plate!

 The good news? I’m offering a complimentary cookbook sent to one lucky reader (chosen at random) who shares their best-loved food and wine pairing (whatever it is) in the comment section. Comments must be placed no later than January 1. Good luck!

A few of my favorite appetizer recipes in Fresh Tastes include the Pimento Cheese Spread (with a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc) and the Tomato Shortbread with Olive Tapenade (with a lively rosé from Provence). Trust me, you’ll want to serve Pesto Sausage and Parmesan Cheese Strata (with a chilled Champagne) or Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict with Mustard Dill Sauce (with a beautiful Beaujolais) for your guests at brunch. A savory dinner entrée may include Grilled Steak, Roasted Potatoes, and Tomato Salad (with a Virginia Cabernet Franc), Chicken Pot Pie with Curry (with a snappy Riesling), or Scallops with Tomatoes and Pesto (with pure Chablis).

If you’re planning a New Year’s Eve dinner (or any other celebration), Lee Clayton Roper has this covered with a Champagne Cocktail for starters. Your guests will crave each taste of the Prosciutto, Fig and Goat Cheese Tarts, Butternut Squash Soup, Wild Bill’s Bison with Shiitake Bourbon Sauce, Golden Potatoes, Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, and Pear Kuchen.  Other suggested menus include those for a Cocktail Party, Après Ski Party, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Spring dinners, Concert in the Park, and more. It’s just that easy!

 Lee Clayton Roper is an award-winning cookbook author, cooking instructor, public speaker and TV personality. Her first book, A Well-Seasoned Kitchen, co-written with her mother Sally Clayton, received numerous rave reviews, and is often featured in local and national press. In 2010, A Well-Seasoned Kitchen achieved national acclaim, winning the prestigious “Living Now” gold medal. With Fresh Tastes, Lee expands the Well-Seasoned Kitchen collection, serving up fresh, delicious and sophisticated dishes guaranteed to inspire creativity in kitchens everywhere. “Fresh,” “organic,” and “local” aren’t simply buzz words for Lee — they’re indelible principles, seamlessly translated from the culinary experiences of her youth. Today, Lee tours the country (in her Airstream trailer) sharing the secrets to her success as a renowned home cook and hostess, teaching cooking classes, leading cooking demonstrations, and providing expert commentary on television, radio and in print media.

Remember to comment about your favorite food and wine pairing (whatever it is!) before January 1 for a chance to win a complimentary copy of Fresh Tastes by Lee Clayton Roper. Bon Appetit!

Cheers! ~ Cindy



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  1. Reply

    Ok…I know it’s very basic but I love a perfectly cooked, juicy porterhouse with a nice red wine, probably an Old Vine Zinfandel.

  2. Reply

    Cookbook looks wonderful Cindy. Hope your Christmas was marvelous. I love serving up a pan seared filet mignon with a hearty Cabernet Sauvignon.

    • Cindy Rynning


      Christmas was terrific, Wendy – hope yours was, too. Your food and wine pairing is classic! Just like this cookbook:)

  3. Vee Lowe


    This looks like a great cookbook! I especially enjoy a roast chicken with a buttery Chardonnay!

  4. Jill Bartel


    Hi Cindy,
    I’m enjoying this grape experiences of yours. And Lee Clayton Roper is a favorite of mine, probably because I love my dinner parties and always looking for menus. I recently made a tetrazzini with pheasant that Patrick brought home from a hunt club and I chose a French Chardonnay that complimented the dish. We also had a duck appetizer that some of my guests enjoyed with a Pinot Noir, which also worked with my tetrazzini.
    Thanks again for sharing this blog of yours
    Happy New Year!
    I’m going to try your French champagne!

    • Cindy Rynning


      Your pheasant tetrazzini recipe sounds amazing and with a French Chardonnay…epic! You’ll have to share the duck appetizer recipe with me soon. Thanks for reading, Jill. Cheers!!

    • Cindy Rynning


      Congratulations, Jill! You won a copy of Fresh Tastes by Lee Clayton Roper!! Thank you for your wonderful comment – Cheers!

  5. Reply

    One of the highlights of our pairing year was Beaujolais with roasted, herb-packed chicken. Also, crisp Alsatian Reisling with Asian hot pots – fun to prep and eat during cold winter days!

    Thanks for the fun contest!

    • Cindy Rynning


      You know how much I love Beaujolais…and with herb laden roast chicken I’m sure it was even better! I’ve never had an Asian hot pot so I’m going to look for a good recipe for that! Thanks, Jill!! Cheers to a wonderful new year!

  6. Reply

    My comfort food and best pairing to cheer me up is fried chicken and Brut Champagne (Pol Roger comes to mind) and if you add potatoes chips…oolala!! The saltiness and crisp skin goes perfect with the apple flavors. I use this pairing when I am celebrating or when I need a pick me up!! Although I would not kick the Beaujolais and roasted chicken out of my kitchen either!!!

    • Cindy Rynning


      You had me at Champagne and fried chicken!! Great pairings, Nancy! Happy New Year!!

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