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

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  1. Easy weeknight meals: Slow Cooker Brunswick Stew and more

    Cooking

    Mon | Mezze platter

    A Mediterranean appetizer platter is a fine way to start the week. Hummus and pita chips, baba ghanouj and stuffed grape leaves are arranged artfully with an assortment of olives and whole almonds. Make the call for takeout in the late afternoon if you don't feel like cooking it all yourself. For dessert? Some Greek cookies or rice pudding. Maybe both....

  2. Author to talk about Florida seafood at Times Festival of Reading

    Books

    The love affair with Florida food is continuing for three Orlando writers.

    Good Catch: Recipes & Stories Celebrating the Best of Florida's Waters by Pam Brandon, Katie Farmand and Heather McPherson (University Press of Florida, 2014) is a watery followup to their 2012 book, Field to Feast. That book celebrated what grows and grazes on Florida land. This one features the stories and recipes of the men and women who farm the state's inland waters and the seas surrounding the peninsula and Panhandle. ...

    Pam Brandon will be sharing her experiences about writing the Good Catch and signing books afterward.
  3. Easy weeknight meals: Pork Chops With Apples and Garlic Smashed Potatoes and more

    Cooking

    Mon | Meatless meal

    To make the beans for Cajun Red Beans & Brown Rice, saute 1 small chopped onion, ½ diced bell pepper, 2 minced garlic cloves and 2 diced ribs of celery in olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add 2 cans drained and rinsed red beans and 1 can of diced tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and stir in 1 ½ teaspoons Cajun seasoning and ½ teaspoon dried oregano. Cook on low for about 10 minutes, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with cooked brown rice and hot sauce. Oh, and a slab of corn bread. ...

  4. #CookClub Recipe No. 27: Pigs in Pimento Cheese Blankets with Honey-Mustard Dip

    Cooking

    Perre Coleman Magness' new Pimento Cheese: The Cookbook includes so many tempting recipes I just had to try one out for #CookClub. The book includes 50 recipes from snacks to main dishes. A Southern delight, for sure.

    Pigs in a Blanket is a childhood favorite that I haven't had in years, so the idea of wrapping them in a pimento cheese blanket appealed to my inner child. Though Pigs in Pimento Cheese Blankets with Honey-Mustard Dip is really a recipe for an adult cook....

    
#CookClub recipe No. 27 is Pigs in a Pimento Cheese Blanket from "Pimento Cheese: The Cookbook; 50 Recipes from Snacks to Main Dishes Inspired by the Classic Southern Favorite" by Perre Coleman Magness. This is a recipe perfect for entertaining kids and also for football gatherings.
  5. Renovated National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis honors history (w/video)

    Travel

    MEMPHIS

    The shuttle bus driver picks us up at the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel and quickly launches into a story. Like a lot of people in Memphis, and the city itself, she has a connection to the tumultuous era that touched so many Southern cities.

    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had come to Memphis in early April 1968 to support striking African-American sanitation workers. They were making less money than their white counterparts and forced to use inferior equipment. The dangerous situation led to the deaths of two workers. ...

    Patricia Smith at the grand reopening of the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. The museum reopened April 5 after undergoing a $28 million renovation. 
  6. Easy meal ideas: Swiss Steak and more

    Cooking

    Mon | Meatless meal

    Pesto doesn't always have to be made of basil, just fresh herbs, and tonight that means cilantro. Prepare a pound of vermicelli and dress it with Lemon Artichoke Pesto. To make it, place ¼ cup cilantro, 8 medium garlic cloves, ¼ cup lemon juice, ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 cup walnuts, ⅓ cups each canola oil and extra-virgin olive oil, and salt into a food processor. Pulse until smooth, then pour into a large bowl. Gently stir in chopped 8-ounce box of thawed frozen artichokes and ½ cup Parmesan cheese. Toss with hot pasta....

  7. #CookClub bonus recipe: Gluten-Free Lemon Blueberry Belgian Waffles

    Cooking

    Kathy Hester is on a mission to make the world love oats as much as she does.

    The Durham, N.C., food blogger and cookbook author extols its virtues in her new book OATrageous Oats: Delicious & Surprising Plant-Based Dishes from this Humble, Heart-Healthy Grain (Page Street Publishing, 2014).

    She has fond memories of childhood breakfast bowls of apple-cinnamon instant oats. But like her, oats have grown up....

  8. Easy meal ideas: Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken Soup and more

    Cooking

    Mon | Meatless meal

    Bell Pepper Saute Over Lemon Kale Quinoa is a sturdy meal that can be ramped up even more with crumbled feta cheese. Saute a combination of sliced bell peppers (red, yellow and orange) in olive oil with fresh oregano leaves and a couple of minced garlic cloves. Season with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, make quinoa in vegetable stock, and when it's done, add lemon zest and chopped kale. The heat will wilt the greens. Scoop pepper mixture over quinoa and top with feta....

  9. #CookClub recipe No. 26: Raspberry Cornmeal Cake

    Cooking

    The delightful new cookbook Huckleberry: Stories, Secrets and Recipes from Our Kitchen by Zoe Nathan (Chronicle Books, 2014) is getting quite a bit of buzz. It is a lovely book full of inspirational recipes and photographs that will make you eager to get into the kitchen this fall.

    Nathan, along with husband Josh Loeb, owns the Huckleberry Bakery & Cafe in Santa Monica, Calif. As you can imagine, they specialize in baked goods, especially for breakfast....

    #CookClub recipe No. 26 is Raspberry Cornmeal Cake from the cookbook "Huckleberry" by Zoe Nathan. The fresh raspberries can be substituted with blueberries or cranberries.
  10. HSN launches UNICEF cookbook to raise money for children in crisis

    Business

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tonight, HSN is throwing its considerable money-making power behind a project intended to make the world a better place for children, especially those in the world's most troubled regions.

    From 10 p.m until midnight, the online shopping channel will feature UniChef, a cookbook collaboration with 40 of the most well-known rock star chefs in the world. Among the chefs who contributed recipes are Emeril Lagasse, Anthony Bourdain, Alice Waters, Padma Lakshmi and Wolfgang Puck. ...

    Janet K. Keeler  |  Times  Former Florida Chief Financial Officer and gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink, left, and HSN CEO Mindy Grossman at the launch of the cookbook "Unichef" at HSN studios in St. Petersburg on Friday, Sept. 26. The book will raise money for UNICEF projects.
  11. Easy meal ideas: Mexican Egg Tacos with Potatoes and more

    Cooking

    Mon | Meatless meal

    Mexican Egg Tacos With Potatoes (recipe below) is a flavorful way to end the day. The potatoes are powered by poblano peppers and a homemade salsa adds more punch. Make this for a Meatless Monday but consider it for a Sunday brunch, too.

    Tues | Face it

    Sandwiches don't often grace the dinner table, but why not? Tonight's Open-Face California BLT might change everyone's mind. Toast slices of sourdough bread, spread with mayonnaise, line with a cold lettuce leaf then top with slices of bacon, tomatoes and avocado. A few grinds of black pepper, too. Want to make it really special? Top with fried egg. Waffle-cut chips add crunch on the side....

  12. #CookClub bonus recipe: Basil and Sundried Tomato Hummus

    Cooking

    Clearwater blogger Katie Compton is a fan of football and the versatility of hummus. Her recipe for Basil and Sundried Tomato Hummus puts a slightly different spin on the traditional chickpea dip, and it's a great fit for a football party.

    For tailgating or even home game parties, it's good to have some offerings that don't need refrigeration. Hummus can be one of those. That doesn't mean it doesn't need the help of the fridge. Compton recommends making it a day ahead so the flavors all have time to develop together. That'll save you time on game day, anyway....

    Photo courtesy of Katie Compton, rufflesandtruffles.com

  13. #CookClub celebrates first anniversary

    Cooking

    Wow, has it been a year?

    #CookClub, our online community cooking project, celebrates its first birthday this month, and I have to say this toddler is quite advanced. Walking? Running is more like it. This year, #CookClub won awards for digital innovation from the Association of Food Journalists and the Florida Society of News Editors.

    But I really gauge its success by the growing number of participants, some from as far away as Canada, Australia and England. Yes, #CookClub is global but it's uber local, too. Readers of the Tampa Bay Times and tampabay.com have joined the group, participating in a number of ways. If you haven't taken the plunge, consider this your formal invitation to join our exceedingly informal and fun group of home cooks. (See more instructions accompanying this story.)...

    @ruthscherer
  14. Easy meal ideas: Spaghetti With Carrots and more

    Cooking

    Mon | Meatless meal

    We hardly blink an eye at carrot in cake, but carrots as the primary flavor fuel of a pasta dish? Sure, why not? Their sweetness pairs deliciously with cream, nutmeg and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese in Spaghetti With Carrots (recipe below), from Sarasota cookbook author and teacher Giuliano Hazan, son of the late, great Marcella Hazan. A green salad studded with white beans adds more protein....

  15. #CookClub recipe No. 25: Pineapple Fried Rice (w/ video)

    Cooking

    It's good to have an interesting, go-to side dish recipe at the ready. For me side dishes tend to be an afterthought so we end up with a lot of steamed broccoli. Healthy, but a bit boring.

    Pineapple Fried Rice, #CookClub recipe No. 25 from the food blog Natashaskitchen.com, is going into my favorite's file and I urge you to try it. With the fresh ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil it obviously has an Asian accent and goes well with many things. It's perfect alongside chicken and beef, but I especially like it with salmon, shrimp or scallops. It could be a one-dish vegan meal with the addition of tofu and/or edamame, or simply vegetarian with an egg or two whisked in while the rice mixture is cooking....

    #CookClub recipe No. 25 is Pineapple Fried Rice, a great accompaniment to chicken or seafood. Make is a vegetarian main dish by adding edamame and egg.  [Photo by JANET KEELER   |    TIMES]