Janet K. Keeler, Times Food and Travel Editor

Janet K. Keeler

Janet K. Keeler is the food and travel editor of the Tampa Bay Times and the founder of #CookClub, an online cooking community. She is an adjunct instructor in the Journalism and Media Studies Department of the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, from which she holds a master's degree. 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

  1. #CookClub recipe No. 24: Herbed Mushroom Spoon Bread


    In Florida, there's still plenty of heat and humidity in the weather report but even so, when September rolls around I want to start experimenting with fall-centric recipes.

    So that's why I was drawn to Herbed Mushroom Spoon Bread, from the charming new cookbook Brown Sugar Kitchen: New-Style, Down-Home Recipes from Sweet West Oakland by Tanya Holland (Chronicle Books, 2014).

    It's a cross between traditional spoon bread and souffle. What makes it like souffle is that the eggs are separated and whites are whipped to medium stiffness and then folded into the cornmeal mixture. ...

    #CookClub recipe #24 is Herbed Mushroom Spoon Bread made with one pound of sliced mushrooms. [JANET KEELER    |   TIMES]
  2. Easy meals ideas: Chinese Meatball Sliders With Pineapple Salad and more


    Mon | Meatless fun

    Mushroom and Spinach Omelets are this week's meatless meal. There aren't too many people among us who don't like breakfast for dinner. Saute mushrooms with a bit of minced garlic until they are just soft. Add spinach (either fresh or frozen that has been thawed and as dry as possible). Heat through and set aside. This is the filling for your omelets, to which I would add lots of feta cheese and even a sprinkle of paprika. Serve with hash browns and fruit....

  3. 25 easy pasta salad ideas fit for parties


    By Janet K. Keeler Times Food and Travel Editor

    Pasta salad gets a bad rap. And deservedly so.

    The big bowl of cold noodles is often bland and uninspired, underdressed and lacking punch. There has been many a party at which the pasta salad remains largely untouched.

    It's time to change that sad state of affairs for your Labor Day gathering. ...

    Go Greek with the addition of feta cheese and other fresh goodies.
  4. Easy Weeknight Meals: Portuguese Mussels and Shrimp in Chorizo Sauce and more


    Mon | Meatless meal

    Garden-Fresh Ratatouille can be served over penne pasta for a one-dish meal. Saute onions and garlic in olive oil. Add diced eggplant, bell pepper, tomatoes and zucchini. Season with salt and pepper, plus dried Italian seasoning blend (basil, oregano and thyme). Cook for about 15 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is soft. Finish with fresh chopped parsley. A few shaves of Parmesan to garnish. (This quick ratatouille can also be used to top a homemade flatbread or pizza. Jazz it up with crumbled feta or knobs of goat cheese, added before baking.)...

    Portuguese Mussels and Shrimp in Chorizo Sauce is a fast meal, and it’s packed with flavor.
  5. #CookClub bonus: Portuguese Mussels and Shrimp in Chorizo Sauce


    Bacon? Who needs bacon when you've got chorizo?

    "Everything tastes better with chorizo," says Isabel Laessig of Dunedin who blogs at familyfoodie.com and is the founder of the #SundaySupper movement. (Join them at 7 p.m. ET every Sunday for a live Twitter chat.)

    She is certainly right about her recipe for Portuguese Mussels and Shrimp in Chorizo Sauce, which gets a lot of flavor from the cured sausage....

Portuguese Mussels and Shrimp in Chorizo Sauce is from the blog of Isabel Laessig of Dunedin. Make it and share photos on Instagram tagged #CookClub.
  6. #CookClub recipe No. 23: Back-to-School Chicken Casserole (w/ video)


    When the kids go back to school, many of us return to the kitchen. Sure, we've cooked during the summer but when the school bell rings each fall, we seem to get more serious about schedules.

    #CookClub recipe No. 23 is a Back-to-School Chicken Casserole that can be tailored to many tastes. I made it exactly as the accompanying recipe reads but as I was cooking, I thought of many ways to tinker....

    #CookClub recipe No. 23 is Back-to-School Chicken Casserole, which is made with rotisserie chicken.
  7. #CookClub bonus recipe: Vanilla Ice Cream with Chocolate Covered Potato Chips


    Amy Kim — better known as Kimchi MOM on her blog — bought an ice cream maker at a yard sale a few years ago and finally dug it out to try her hand at homemade ice cream. Sound familiar?

    She's had success even if she does stick to simple flavors, mostly vanilla and chocolate. Her recipe for Vanilla Ice Cream with Chocolate Covered Potato Chips, which we are featuring as a #CookClub bonus, is inspired by Ben & Jerry's "Late Night Snack."...

  8. #CookClub recipe No. 22: Grilled Peaches with Honey Cream


    Don't waste any time. Go out and get peaches while they are at their summer peak to make Grilled Peaches with Honey Cream, #CookClub recipe no. 22.

    You may never serve another dessert the entire summer. It's that good.

    Also, don't worry if you don't have a grill pan or outdoor grill. The peaches can be roasted in the oven, which is how I tested this recipe. It'll take a bit longer than the grill, but it's worth every minute....

    Grilled Peaches with Honey Cream is #CookClub recipe No. 22. The peaches can be grilled indoors or outdoors, or roasted in the oven.
  9. We want your Christmas cookie recipes


    In some circles, the number 13 is bad luck.

    But for the Keeler elves and the many folks who enjoy cookies, we expect the Tampa Bay Times' 13th annual Christmas cookie issue to be the best one yet. After all, 13 is a baker's dozen, and that means there should be some extra treats this year.

    Now for your part, because it's you, dear readers, who power this thing.

    It's time to send in your favorite holiday cookie recipes for the baking-obsessed elves to test. Send as many recipes as you'd like — for bars, drops or cutouts; with nuts or without; iced, plain or sprinkled; gingerbread, peppermint or chocolate. The more we've got to choose from, the better the final selections. ...

    24. Coconut krispies drops
  10. Explore South Florida's global love affair with mangoes



    Noris Ledesma is amused.

    The curator of tropical fruit at Fair­child Tropical Botanic Garden is explaining the difference between how people in her native Colombia eat mangoes and the meticulous way they are peeled and consumed in the United States.

    You get your knives and your napkins, she told a packed house at a presentation at the 22nd annual International Mango Festival in July at Fairchild, and you carefully cut the fruit off center to miss the thin elliptical pit, score the halves, then flip them inside out and scrape out the cubes of fruit....

    Among the mangoes for sale at the International Mango Festival at Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden in Coral Gables were Champagne, Lippens, Edward, Mallika, and Ruby. These mangoes originated in other parts of the world, but were all grown at Fairchild’s groves.
  11. #CookClub bonus: Triple Berry Upside Down Cake


    When summer rolls around, Jackie Garvin, founder of the Syrup & Biscuits blog ( syrupandbiscuits.com), gets to thinking about berries. But here is the cool thing about her Triple Berry Upside Down Cake — you can use frozen berries so you're able to make it any time of the year.

    Garvin, who lives in Valrico, Fla., is a Southern cook so her upside down cake is made in a cast-iron skillet. If you don't have one (you should get one!), you can use a deep 9-inch cake pan. The results won't be exactly the same, but I am sure your guests will eat it up. One thing you need to be wary of is that the cast-iron skillet will hold the heat for quite a long time after it comes out of the oven. Drap a hot pad over the handle to remind yourself. ...

    [Photo courtesy of Jackie Garvin]
  12. Chef Wolfgang Puck brings home the bacon at HSN


    Wolfgang Puck loves rice pudding. It's what was for breakfast back home at Grandma's house in Austria, he says into the camera. • The rock star chef is double-dipping into the turquoise 3-cup portable rice cooker that he's hawking Friday morning on HSN. Coincidentally, that's the first color of six to sell out. Actually, it's not really a coincidence. Lots of people behind the scenes know how the rice cookers are doing, thanks to screens mounted in various places that display a running ticker of units sold. When something is hot, the host and guest stick with it. • Watching Puck eat from the turquoise unit? Money in the bank. • Puck was on air at HSN for a total of eight hours over 24 — four two-hour shows — starting Thursday at midnight, and the cash register was cha-chinging all day. ...

    Wolfgang Puck talks with Greg Getz, a chef on his team, on the HSN set Friday. Puck pitched his pressurized oven, at $249.95 a pop, in four two-hour segments. He has been selling his wares on HSN for 16 years.
  13. Easy Weeknight Meals: Cubano Dogs and more


    This classic Stir Crazy column first ran on June 12, 2012. New columns resume next week.

    Mon | A cup of soup

    Pair Black Bean Soup (use a favorite canned one or make one from a kit that comes with all the spices) with a bright citrus salad and hunky bread for a light meal. Use tender red lettuce leaves and mix with tangerine slices and small pinches of goat cheese. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and dress with a citrus vinaigrette. ...

  14. A gracious cook gives lessons in making pies



    Jackie Garvin is moving the pie dough around like a pro. She rolls it calmly, quickly, assertively. When it sticks, she lets it know who's boss and peels back a corner to shuffle a bit more flour underneath. And then she continues, her grandmother's spirit embodied in her old rolling pin, which Garvin uses faithfully.

    Before long — well before the specks of butter can melt — she's got the dough fitted into a 9-inch pie pan. A bowl of sweetened peach filling is at the ready, and so is another ball of dough that will form the top crust. It all comes together and goes back into the fridge to chill before baking....

    Garvin rolls out her pastry dough on a Silpat baking mat, which she likes to use as a size guide. Here, she rolls out the dough for the top of her Double-Crust Peach Pie.
  15. Easy weeknight meals: Turkey Kebabs with Tzatziki Couscous Salad and more


    Mon | Meatless meal

    Roasted Veggie Wraps with brown rice and feta get a flavorful boost from fresh mint or basil, whatever you've got on hand. Cut zucchini, onions, green and/or red peppers and mushrooms in similar sizes, toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in a 400-degree oven for about 15 minutes. While veggies are roasting, make rice. Roll roasted veggies with brown rice and feta cheese in wrap of your choice. Top with fresh mint or basil leave. Feel like you need a sauce? Mix Greek yogurt with minced garlic and drizzle on top of mixture before you wrap....