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Janet K. Keeler, Times Staff Writer

Janet K. Keeler

Janet K. Keeler is a food columnist at the Tampa Bay Times and the founder of #CookClub, an online cooking community. She is the paper's former food and travel editor. Janet is a also a visiting professor in the Journalism and Media Studies Department of the University of South Florida St. Petersburg and the coordinator of its Culinary Communications programs. Keeler is also the author of Cookielicious: 150 Fabulous Recipes to Bake and Share. She joined the Times in 1992.

Phone: (727) 893-8586

Email: jkeeler@tampabay.com

Twitter: @RoadEats

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  1. #CookClub bonus: Strawberry Shortcake

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    When the strawberries come into season in Florida, the rest of the country is usually shivering cold.

    From February until early April, Floridians enjoy the red, juicy berry in all sorts of ways. My preference, though, is strawberry shortcake. I love how the sweetness of the berries mingle with not-so-sweet biscuits. A whipped cream topping adds creamy luxuriousness.

    I have made the dessert with both biscuits and pound cake, but I am not a fan of the spongecake base. I don't think the juice seeps into the cake as well as the other varieties, and when it does, it gets too soggy. ...

    An easy recipe for Strawberry Shortcake from the Food Network is perfect for Florida's winter strawberry season.
  2. Easy weeknight meals: Peanut Noodles With Pork recipe and more ideas

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    Mon | Bread and salad

    Day-old French bread gets a new life in White Bean Panzanella Salad. Cube the bread and set aside. In a large bowl, mix diced tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, cubed fresh mozzarella, chopped basil, a can of rinsed and drained white beans, and a sliced fennel bulb. Add in the bread cubes. Dress with a red wine vinaigrette and sprinkle with capers. The liquid from the tomatoes and dressing revives the bread....

  3. #CookClub recipe No. 36: Baked Coconut Shrimp with Curry Mango Sauce (w/ video)

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    I've made coconut shrimp in the deep-fryer with satisfying results. But then I have to clean the fryer and figure out what to do with all that oil. Not so fun.

    And now I've prepared them in the oven, definitely not as fussy. For flavor and ease of preparation, I am recommending Baked Coconut Shrimp with Curry Mango Sauce as #CookClub recipe No. 36.

    These shrimp are slightly less crunchy, and not as sweet, as the versions I've eaten in restaurants. The biggest challenge with this recipe is finding unsweetened coconut. I scoured my neighborhood grocery store with no luck and then made a quick trip to a natural food store, where I found it easily. If you shop in a large market, look for it in the organic food aisles rather than with the baking supplies....

    #Cookclub recipe #36 is Baked Coconut Shrimp with Curry Mango Sauce.
  4. Easy weeknight meals: Chopped Vegetable Salad With Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette and more

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    Mon | Meatless meal

    Chopped Vegetable Salad With Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette (recipe below) is what I call a "jumping off recipe." The recipe is pretty straightforward, and a vegetarian can ramp it up by adding other types of cheeses (I'd go with fluffy, pungent knobs of goat) and seeds or nuts (toasted pepitas or sunflower seeds).

    Tues | Wrap it up

    Baking fish in parchment paper helps seal in juices and can prevent fillets from drying out. To make Capered Snapper in Packets, mix 1 large minced shallot and 2 tablespoons each capers, dry white wine, freshly chopped parsley and olive oil with ¼ cup lemon juice and 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard. You'll need 4 (6-inch) square sheets of parchment paper or foil and 4 (6-ounce) snapper fillets. Put 1 fillet in the middle of each square and top it with one-fourth of the caper mixture. Seal tightly. Place packets on a rimmed baking sheet (in case they leak) and bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve with rice studded with chopped kale. Toss the kale into the pot about 5 minutes before rice is done. ...

  5. #CookClub bonus recipe: Turkey Tetrazzini

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    The history of well-known recipes is always interesting to me.

    Take Turkey Tetrazzini, a creamy melange of leftover Thanksgiving turkey, vegetables and creamy sauce served over noodles.

    First off, you don't have to eat it solely when you've got day-after holiday turkey on hand. You could easily substitute rotisserie chicken, or roast half of a turkey breast, which I did for this recipe. The unintended byproduct was that it made the entire house smell wonderful and reminded me how it easy it is to fix turkey parts. That half breast easily serves two people as the main attraction....

    #CookClub bonus recipe is Turkey Tetrazzini from "The Sunset Essential Western Cookbook." Rotisserie chicken can be substituted for roasted turkey.
  6. #CookClub recipe No. 35: Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Dirty Rice

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    Looking for a relatively quick weeknight dinner recipe that will please lots of tastes? I promise you that Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Dirty Rice will be that dish for you.

    I chose this as #CookClub recipe No. 35 partially because I liked that it's made in a skillet on the stove. There is less cleanup because it's prepared in one pan, plus I can bring it to the table in the cooking vessel. Another reason was that it's been tested exhaustively by the folks at Cook's Illustrated. Those recipes work and that's a real time saver....

     Cookclub recipe #35 is Pan-Seared Pork Chops with dirty rice.
  7. Easy weeknight meals: Lentil and Bacon Soup recipe and more ideas

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    Mon | Meatless meal

    Zucchini-Artichoke Stuffed Potatoes from Vegetarian Times is a cool twist on a stuffed potato. While your russet potatoes are baking, make the filling. Halve and slice a couple zucchini and saute in 1 tablespoon of brine from a jar of marinated artichoke hearts, along with 1 small thinly sliced red onion and the drained artichokes. (Save the rest of the brine.) When potatoes are done, split and fluff flesh. Sprinkle with some shredded Swiss cheese, stuff with filling and top with more cheese. Broil until cheese is melted and bubbly....

  8. Easy Weeknight Meals: Shrimp Country Captain recipe and more

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    Mon | Meatless meal

    To make Ginger Dumpling Soup, saute 2 minced garlic cloves in vegetable oil with 1 bunch sliced scallions and a 2-inch piece of peeled ginger, shredded. Add 3 cups vegetable broth and 3 cups water, 1 tablespoon each soy sauce and sherry, and a pinch of sugar. Bring to a boil and add frozen dumplings, julienned carrots and snow peas. Serve with baked vegetable egg rolls....

  9. #CookClub recipe No. 34: Lemon-Yogurt Cupcakes with Blueberry Preserves (w/ video)

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    It's fun to pick on Martha Stewart. The spun sugar concoctions. The multi-step recipes. The endless search for perfection.

    But darn it, if she can't produce a fantastic recipe.

    Such was my experience with #CookClub recipe No. 34, Lemon-Yogurt Cupcakes with Blueberry Preserves. (She makes them with seedless raspberry jam but in the fine tradition of #CookClub, I tinkered.)

    This recipe come from Stewart's 2009 Cupcakes, which is filled with intricately and whimsically decorated confections. Almost all of them are beyond my skill level. However, a section on unfrosted, unfussy cupcakes drew my eye. They are filled and layered, which makes for a lovely presentation....

    #CookClub recipe No. 34 is Lemon-Yogurt Cupcakes with Blueberry Preserves. This dish would be a lovely offering for a bridal or baby shower, or a potluck dessert for a dinner party. [JANET KEELER   |   TIMES]
  10. Easy Weeknight Meals: Original Columbia '1905' Salad recipe and more

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    Mon | Meatless meal

    Linguine With White Bean Sauce is a fast vegetarian meal for a weeknight. Prepare 8 to 10 ounces of whole wheat linguine according to package instructions. In a large skillet, saute 1 diced onion and red pepper in olive oil. When soft, add 2 cloves minced garlic. Add 1 can drained, rinsed white beans and heat through. Add 1 cup vegetable stock, a few tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, red pepper flakes and coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. Smash about half of the beans to thicken sauce. Mix sauce with drained, cooked pasta and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and more parsley. Green salad with grape tomatoes on the side. ...

    The “1905” Salad can serve as a main dish thanks to the meat and cheese.
  11. Easy Weeknight Meals: Hot Italian Sausage-Gnocchi Soup recipe and more

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    Mon | Meatless meal

    Make a quick-and-easy Greek Frittata for dinner tonight. Start by sauteing chopped fresh spinach in olive oil in an oven-safe skillet. Add roughly chopped kalamata olives and chopped fresh basil to 8 beaten eggs. (You could also use 1 or 2 teaspoons of dried Greek herbs.) Pour over spinach and, using a heatproof rubber spatula, gently pull cooked eggs back from edge of skillet and tilt pan, allowing any uncooked egg to run to cleared edge of skillet. Repeat this process, working your way around the skillet, until the egg on top is mostly set but still moist, 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle with feta cheese crumbles and place in a 350-degree oven to finish. Serve with green salad....

  12. #CookClub recipe No. 33: Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Panko Crust (with video)

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    It's a new year and we start a new slate of recipes for #CookClub.

    While everyone is working off the holiday sweets and pounds, I still think a dose of comfort food is good for the more chilly days of January. For me, that includes hot cheese.

    So I give you #CookClub recipe No. 33, Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Panko Crust. Because it fills a 9- by 13-inch baking dish it feeds a crowd and if you have less than a crowd, it reheats nicely....

    #Cookclub recipe #33 is Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Panko crust.
  13. Easy weeknight meals: Crispy Cajun Chicken With Bell Pepper Slaw

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    Mon | Meatless meal

    If you've got any leftover dried cranberries, break them out for Wild Rice Salad With Cranberries and Pecans. This is a light vegetarian meal and quite appropriate for this time of the year. To 1 ½ cups of cooked wild rice add ½ cup dried cranberries, ¾ cup toasted pecan halves and a couple of diced scallions or 1 leek. Dress with a vinaigrette made of 3 tablespoons each olive oil and apple cider vinegar, plus 2 teaspoons each orange zest and honey....

  14. New books help us ring in new year with better eating

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    There are three things of which we can be certain: death, taxes and the publication of healthy-eating cookbooks at the dawn of a new year.

    New guides to juicing and interesting whole grains, among other 2015 trends, coincide with our new-year resolve to take better care of ourselves. For the most part, we've indulged in culinary pleasures since Halloween. That's two solid months of candy, pies, cookies and creamed just-about-anything. ...

    Carrot Mole With Toasted Pumpkin Seed Vinaigrette from Healthy Latin Eating: Our Favorite Family Recipes Remixed by Angie Martinez and Angelo Sosa.
  15. Easy weeknight meals: Kale and Cauliflower Alfredo and more

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    Monday

    Meatless meal

    There's some talk that cauliflower will be the It Vegetable of 2015, so it's fitting that cruciferous florets mingle with yesteryear's hot veggie in Kale and Cauliflower Alfredo (recipe, right). Pureed cooked cauliflower is what gives the sauce its creaminess.

    Tuesday

    Flavor boost

    To make Goat Cheese and Shrimp Quesadillas, saute 1 onion and 1 minced garlic clove in 2 tablespoons olive oil for about 3 minutes. Add peeled, uncooked medium shrimp, and cook until pink. (You'll need about ⅓ pound for each serving.) Remove from skillet. Layer cooked shrimp on a medium-sized flour tortilla with knobs of goat cheese and some shredded Jack cheese. Top with another tortilla and place in skillet; cook about 2 minutes on each side over medium heat, until cheese melts. Top with slices of ripe avocado. ...