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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


Twitter: @RoadEats

  1. Easy weeknight meals: Asparagus Fettuccine with Lemon and Pepper and more


    Mon | Meatless meal

    Asparagus Fettuccine With Lemon and Pepper (recipe below) is a fitting recipe to celebrate spring. The recipe doesn't call for it, but I'd be tempted to add some big shaves of Asiago or crumbles of goat cheese.

    Tues | Refreshing

    As the weather turns warmer, we tend to lighten up our menus. Curried Shrimp Salad from the April issue of Food & Wine is a perfect dish for spring and summer. Make the dressing first by whisking ¼ cup each lime juice and canola oil with 2 tablespoons green curry paste. Add 1 pound cooked shrimp, 8 ounces mixed lettuces (about 8 cups), ½ cup each cilantro leaves and chopped mint, 1 cup sliced carrot and ½ cup sliced red onion. Season with salt and toss. Top with chopped peanuts....

  2. #CookClub bonus: Scalloped Potatoes and Ham


    Sometimes simple recipes are the best. And this Scalloped Potatoes and Ham recipe fits that description.

    It's not what anyone would call "gourmet," but when the family gathers for Easter brunch it'll probably be the first offering gobbled up. Potatoes, ham and cheese? What's not to like about this #CookClub bonus recipe?

    I was inspired to noodle a bit with the original recipe in Sherry Gore's Simply Delicious Amish Cooking (Zondervan, 2013) to make it a bit more solid by reducing some of the liquid. On a plate with a lot of tastes, which is typical of a brunch, I don't want my foods running into each other. ...

    Scalloped Ham and Potatoes is a good offering for a spring or Easter brunch.
  3. #CookClub recipe No. 38: Classic French Madeleines


    While home cooks and food bloggers across the nation were making pie on Pi Day, March 14, I was baking madeleines. Classic French Madeleines to be precise.

    I have been obsessed with madeleines in the last few years as I have begun teaching more food writing classes, and that's thanks to the French writer Marcel Proust (1871-1922). Proust wrote a massive tome called Remembrance of Things Past, and in it he recounted how just one nibble of the buttery madeleine ignited the long-lost memories of his youth. His experience has come to be known as the Madeleine Moment....

    Classic French Madeleines are simple to make if you have the molds that make the shell-shaped cookies.
  4. Easy weeknight meals: Spinach and Artichoke Quiche recipe and more


    Mon | Meatless meal

    With Easter brunches on the horizon — it's April 5 this year — Spinach and Artichoke Quiche (recipe below) is a good recipe to perfect. You could make a crust from scratch, but a frozen version will give you a head start.

    Tues | Being resourceful

    Scour the contents of the fridge for Quick Weeknight Stromboli. Divide 1 pound of store-bought pizza dough into 4 pieces and roll to a rectangle shape. You can come up with your own combination, but we're using thawed and squeezed frozen spinach, minced garlic, chopped fresh basil, diced mozzarella and slices of pepperoni. Spread it evenly on the dough and roll to close. Bake for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Serve with green salad....

  5. #CookClub bonus recipe: Roasted Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad with Tahini


    It's convenient that grocery stores are selling butternut squash already peeled and cubed. However, resist reaching for the easy way out for Roasted Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad with Tahini because it's likely the cubes will be too small.

    One-inch cubes of butternut squash are tossed in crushed garlic, allspice, olive oil, salt and pepper before being layered on a baking sheet and sliding into a 425-degree oven. Preparing and roasting the squash is the most difficult task of this vegan recipe. Neither is particularly taxing but crucial to the success of this delicious salad....

    #CookClub bonus for is Roasted Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad with Tahini. This salad, adapted from, can be served at room temperature.
  6. Easy weeknight meals: Super Fast Huevos Rancheros recipe and more


    Mon | Meatless meal

    The notion of breakfast for dinner is welcome in many homes, especially mine. Super Fast Huevos Rancheros (recipe below) is a solid weeknight meal recipe that calls for baking the tortillas rather than frying. That's calorie, time and cleanup savings, for sure. The rest of the dish comes together quickly. Serve with slices of melon splashed with lime juice....

  7. Easy weeknight meals: Barbecue Pork Tenderloin With Cabbage Slaw and more


    Mon | Meatless meal

    Serve earthy Garlicky Mushrooms and Quinoa with a bright tangle of fresh fruit. To make the main dish, cook 1 cup quinoa according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet and add 1 pound of mushrooms. (I like a combination of wild and button.) Let cook for a few minutes and then add 3 large gloves minced garlic and 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary. Cook for another 5 minutes and then stir in cooked quinoa. Season with salt and pepper and top with grated Romano cheese....

  8. #CookClub recipe No. 37: Chicken with Fennel & Orange


    Seattle cooking instructor and food blogger Molly Gilbert has come up with a clever twist on the one-pot meal dinner. She trades the pot for a sheet pan.

    Her book, Sheet Pan Suppers (Workman Publishing, 2014), is a wealth of inspiration and the source for #CookClub recipe No. 37: Chicken with Fennel & Orange. Check out more of Gilbert's recipes at

    I like this recipe a lot but it begs for some accompaniment with it, such as rice or even roasted asparagus. The asparagus can be roasted in another pan with the main attraction....

    #CookClub Recipe No. 37 is Chicken with Fennel & Orange from "Sheet Pan Suppers" by Molly Gilbert. This is for the Taste section and
  9. Easy weeknight meals: Shrimp Spoon Bread recipe and more ideas


    Mon | Meatless meal

    Make Roasted Butternut Squash and Onion Pizza a two-night project for simplicity. When you're cooking Sunday night supper, roast diced squash and sliced onions drizzled in olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper for 20 minutes in a 400-degree oven. Set aside to cool, cover and refrigerate overnight. To make the pizza, roll out prepared pizza dough and scatter with squash-onion mixture plus fresh thyme leaves and dollops of ricotta cheese. Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. ...

  10. #CookClub bonus: Strawberry Shortcake


    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.
  11. Easy weeknight meals: Peanut Noodles With Pork recipe and more ideas


    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....

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


    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.
  13. Easy weeknight meals: Chopped Vegetable Salad With Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette and more


    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. ...

  14. #CookClub bonus recipe: Turkey Tetrazzini


    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.
  15. #CookClub recipe No. 35: Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Dirty Rice


    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.