Kelsey Nixon's got spunk, she's got sass, but most importantly, she's got what you so desperately need in the kitchen: The Essentials. From "Roasting" to "Sauce-Making" to "Quick Breads," Kelsey shows you — the DIY home cook — the essential techniques, equipment and foolproof tips you need to be the boss of your own kitchen. Kelsey is all about using the basics to create dishes that are anything but ordinary.

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Season 4, Episode 10

Tacos

If you love tacos like Kelsey, you will die for the tacos at Rockaway Taco. Andrew Day Field's pristine ingredients and unique approach to building the perfect taco has New Yorkers trekking two hours to this seaside mecca on Rockaway Beach. Kelsey learns how to make an authentic Mexican taco, then heads back to her kitchen to start her own version of taco heaven. She makes three of her favorites: Grilled Shrimp Tacos With Mango Salsa, yummy Breakfast Tacos With Sausage and Egg, and a Chile Braised Lamb Taco.

Monday
Jan 16
7am | 6c
Season 5, Episode 12

A Salt of the Senses

From sweet to savory salt is used as an ingredient in almost everything ... but Kelsey reveals the latest trend in using salt as a cooking tool! Kelsey visits David Burke who is using Himalayan salt blocks to cook almost everything from appetizer to dessert. She then tries her hand at using a Himalayan salt block to make a scallop crudo and a delicious cashew nut brittle. Kelsey then stops by an N.Y. rooftop farm that harvests the unexpected, salt! Back in her kitchen Kelsey makes a mouthwatering salt crusted pork roast.

Monday
Jan 16
8:30am | 7:30c
Season 5, Episode 13

The Big First

The newest trend in entertaining is all about mix and mingle foods and easy to make party bites. Kelsey is celebrating the big first ... her son Ollie's first birthday but these are perfect party foods for any big first occasion. First up, mouthwatering Sopes with shredded beef. Then, it's a Charred Corn Salad with a creamy tomatillo dressing. Then for a sure fire crowd pleaser it's a Dos Leches Strawberry cake ... for a sweet ending to any celebration!

Monday
Jan 16
9am | 8c
Season 4, Episode 5

Lean and Mean

Who knows better about eating healthy all year round than an NFL player? That is why Kelsey is getting Lean and Mean with Jets' superstar center Nick Mangold. Nick prepares one of his favorite comfort meals with a healthy twist and provides tricks and tips that could have you cooking healthy 365 days a year. Back in her kitchen, Kelsey tackles her own slimming recipes versions -- a Bison Chili, Roasted Beet and Orange Salad with Creamy Goat Cheese Dressing and a Mean Green Smoothie.

Saturday
Jan 21
7:30am | 6:30c
Season 5, Episode 7

Amazing Mashups

With food mashups being the latest culinary trend Kelsey heads to Kimchi Taco Truck to visit the mashup master, Phil Lee. Kelsey then makes her own version of a culinary mashup by serving up a Japanese risotto, the perfect fusion of Japanese and Italian flavors. Next on the menu are apple pie and meatball sub egg rolls. Then it's a classic appetizer with a multicultural twist: Thai deviled eggs and beet pickled Hungarian deviled eggs.

Saturday
Apr 1
7am | 6c
Season 5, Episode 5

Snack Attack

Wish you could make your favorite snack at home? Kelsey shows us with a little inspiration and essential ingredients, anything is possible! After visiting S'mores Bakery and seeing how they turned an American favorite snack -- the s'mores -- upside down by adding unexpected flavors like orange-cardamom, espresso and lavender, she heads back to her kitchen to make her version of one of her all time favorite snacks -- a microwave chocolate cake with peanut butter cream. Kelsey then heads to Kings County Jerky to see how they reinvented the traditional jerky by making a grass fed jerky with flavors like Korean BBQ and Mole. Kelsey makes her version of dried leather by serving up homemade fruit leather. And last, Kelsey makes a "snack attack" of fried chickpeas with parmesan, lemon and almonds.

Monday
Apr 10
9:30am | 8:30c
Season 2, Episode 10

Easy Summer Cooking

Kelsey uses one of her favorite essential tools, the slow cooker, to make some surprising, delicious and versatile dishes. Her spicy and savory pork recipe comes out of the slow cooker fork tender and perfect for any number of dishes. To start, she'll wrap the Pork in a Warm Tortilla and add pickled red onions, pineapple and cilantro and serve it with a side of Black Bean Salad With Mango and Lime. Then, for a twist, she'll make a Thai inspired Pork Summer Roll, filled with mint, cilantro and basil and serve it with rich and creamy Peanut Dipping Sauce. And for dessert, she'll show you how to make a creamy and wonderful Tres Leches Bread Pudding.

Saturday
Jul 1
7:30am | 6:30c
Season 2, Episode 11

Backyard Feast with Friends

There's nothing more fun than a backyard feast with friends, except when you're the one stuck in the kitchen. Kelsey's essential dishes use quick techniques that will keep the cook out of kitchen, so they can enjoy the fun and sun with their friends. Quick pickling is an easy way to turn cucumbers into fiery and herby Pickles, that get deep fried into a delicious snack. Her Turkey Sloppy Jane Sliders are a light version of everyone's favorite sandwich, while her S'more Pies reinvents the campfire classic.

Saturday
Jul 1
9am | 8c
Season 5, Episode 8

Mobile Global Cuisine

With global street food taking over Kelsey visits Danny of Cemitas who is turning out cemitas packed with layers of flavor. Then Kelsey visits some epic sandwich makers who are bringing the amazing flavors of Bombay to the masses. Back in her kitchen Kelsey continues to go "global" when she makes an Italian porchetta sandwich and then a classic favorite from Trinidad, curried chickpea doubles.

Monday
Aug 7
7:30am | 6:30c
Season 5, Episode 9

Fiery Foods

With the "hottest" food trend right now being hot sauce Kelsey heads to the first annual Hot Sauce Expo where hot sauce is being added to all savory and sweet foods, including the unexpected. Next up Kelsey visits JoJo Collins who truly turns up the heat on her homemade Sriracha. Kelsey then gets started on her own hot sauce menu when she makes: a Fresno pepper hot sauce, a spicy kale Caesar salad and a spicy roasted chicken with a hot sauce compound butter.

Monday
Aug 7
8am | 7c
Season 4, Episode 8

Game Day Gourmet

Why make the same game day food year in and year out, when you can create something new? Kelsey visits Marc Matyas of the New York City's Nolita House for a little game day gourmet inspiration. Marc has been experimenting with game day classics. Try spinach artichoke dip wrapped in a spring roll then deep fried -- or bite size balls of mac n' cheese. Fueled by Marc's unique ideas and techniques, Kelsey creates her own game day dishes the gourmet way with Spicy Crab Cake Poppers, Buffalo Chicken Lollies with blue cheese dip, and broiled Sweet Pepper Poppers with goat cheese.

Saturday
Oct 14
7:30am | 6:30c
Season 3, Episode 10

Chocolate

Kelsey's essential tips for working with chocolate! Yes, you can have chocolate in your savory dishes, like in Kelsey's Pan Seared Scallops With a Tomato and White Chocolate Beurre Blanc. For a decadent dessert, she makes Chocolate Pasta With Chocolate Hazelnut Cream Sauce, White Chocolate Shavings and Fresh Berries.

Saturday
Oct 14
9am | 8c
Season 3, Episode 2

Sweet Treats

Kelsey's sweet tooth gets a mind of its own! Kelsey makes her own Homemade Candy Bar with layers of milk chocolate, sweet caramel, and homemade nougat. Who knew you could make lollipops at home? These Pomegranate and Lime Lollipops will make you feel like a kid again. Finally, it's a one of kind recipe when Kelsey takes a piece of frozen pie, blends it with vanilla ice cream to create a Pie Shake. It's a sweet treat you won't forget!

Saturday
Oct 14
9:30am | 8:30c
Season 3, Episode 6

Seafood

Kelsey shares her essential tips for cooking seafood. Recipes: Roasted Whole Black Sea Bass With Herbed Israeli Couscous, Crispy Skin Arctic Char With Butter Braised Cabbage and Oyster Chowder.

Tuesday
Dec 5
7am | 6c
Season 3, Episode 13

Sunday Dinner

Kelsey shares her essential tips for making the best and most memorable Sunday dinner. Recipes: Sunday Pot Roast, Arancini Cakes, Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies, and a Grape Juice-Ginger Ale Sparkler.

Tuesday
Dec 5
7:30am | 6:30c
Season 1, Episode 13

Food Gifts

Kelsey's ultimate gift is one from the heart -- and the kitchen. Kelsey crafts some food gifts you can share with your friends and family, all guaranteed to look and taste delicious: Cherry Pie in a Jar, Vanilla Almonds, Vanilla Sugar and homemade Salted Caramel Sauce complete with a recipe for Caramelitas. Spread some good cheer with delights from your kitchen.

Tuesday
Dec 5
8am | 7c
Season 2, Episode 12

Hooray for the Holidays

Entertaining friends and family during the holidays doesn't always mean baking a whole turkey, ham, or cake: bite size savory and sweet treats are quick ways to get the taste of the holidays to your guests in no time. Kelsey gets all of her favorite flavors of a turkey meal into one bite with Potato Latkes topped with Smoked Turkey Leg and Sweet Kumquat Chutney. Her favorite stuffing recipe packs big flavor into little Crispy Prosciutto cups. For dessert, a twist on a classic: Gingerbread Cake Truffles mixed with lemon ginger icing and topped with melted white chocolate and toasted pistachios. Kelsey is making entertaining for the holidays that much easier with some amazing bite size morsels.

Tuesday
Dec 5
8:30am | 7:30c
Season 4, Episode 3

New NY Favorite

Nothing says "New York City" like a warm bagel slathered with a thick layer of cream cheese. But one Brooklyn Bagel Maker, Scot Rossilo of the Bagel Store, isn't satisfied with the average bagel. He's taking them to the next level by creating bagels and cream cheese with any flavor your heart desires. Back in her kitchen, Kelsey puts a spin on this New York favorite with a berry bagel puff. Next, she serves up a caramelized onion and cheese bagel-swirl topped with a cream cheese and chive drizzle.

Saturday
Dec 16
7am | 6c
Season 1, Episode 13

Food Gifts

Kelsey's ultimate gift is one from the heart -- and the kitchen. Kelsey crafts some food gifts you can share with your friends and family, all guaranteed to look and taste delicious: Cherry Pie in a Jar, Vanilla Almonds, Vanilla Sugar and homemade Salted Caramel Sauce complete with a recipe for Caramelitas. Spread some good cheer with delights from your kitchen.

Saturday
Dec 16
7:30am | 6:30c
Season 5, Episode 10

Hot and Cool Desserts

When it comes to dessert the most popular trend right now are "hot" cool desserts. Kelsey visits Max and Mina's whose ice cream is anything but vanilla when she helps them create a new ice cream flavor: salt and vinegar potato chip ice cream. Then she heads over to Just Sweet Cafe who is turning shaved ices upside down with their Asian inspired flavors. Back in her kitchen Kelsey creates her own innovative desserts by making a curried butternut squash ice cream and then a dessert sushi topped with fresh fruit.

Saturday
Dec 16
8am | 7c
Season 2, Episode 12

Hooray for the Holidays

Entertaining friends and family during the holidays doesn't always mean baking a whole turkey, ham, or cake: bite size savory and sweet treats are quick ways to get the taste of the holidays to your guests in no time. Kelsey gets all of her favorite flavors of a turkey meal into one bite with Potato Latkes topped with Smoked Turkey Leg and Sweet Kumquat Chutney. Her favorite stuffing recipe packs big flavor into little Crispy Prosciutto cups. For dessert, a twist on a classic: Gingerbread Cake Truffles mixed with lemon ginger icing and topped with melted white chocolate and toasted pistachios. Kelsey is making entertaining for the holidays that much easier with some amazing bite size morsels.

Saturday
Dec 16
8:30am | 7:30c

Show Extras

Cooking Fundamentals

Free Culinary School

Master your chopping, baking and everyday dinner-making skills with simple kitchen tips.
Cook Like a Pro

More Cooking Essentials

Videos: Kitchen Basics

Save money on culinary school with our easy tips on everything from chopping veggies to frosting a cake.

Become a Cooking Pro

Video: Essential Knives 15 Videos

Kelsey shows you why a good core set of kitchen knives are a chef's most essential tools.

See the Four Knives You Need

Video: Perfect Pie Crusts

Watch Kelsey blind you with the science of flaky, buttery crusts.
Become a Pie Pro

More Kitchen Tips

Our original web series Good to Know has more fun how-to's and DIY tips to simplify and inspire your cooking.
Watch Good to Know.

Most Popular Recipes

All Kelsey's Essentials Recipes

Cranberry Salad

Cream Pie

Banana Caramel Cream Pie

Rapid Rolls

Deviled Eggs with Candied Bacon

Thai Deviled Eggs

Tres Leches Bread Pudding

Cranberry Apple Roasted Turkey Breast

Buttery Garlic Herb Knots

Honey Hoisin Glazed Wings

Roast Turkey Breast

Fried Quick Pickles with Buttermilk Ranch Dippin' Sauce

Carmelitas

Quickbread

Kelsey's Signature Salsa

Roasted Beet Salad with Oranges and Creamy Goat Cheese Dressing

San Francisco Pilaf

Shoestring Fries with Truffle Aioli

Shrimp Bisque Poutine

Crab Cake Croquettes

Rocky Mountain Pastrami Burger

Creamy Stovetop Bacon Mac and Cheese

Garlicky Smoked Shrimp

S'mores Pudding Pie

Classic Filet with Porcini-Marsala Pan Sauce

Haricots Verts Almondine

Papaya Slaw with Spicy Honey Vinaigrette

About the Host

Kelsey Nixon

Kelsey Nixon began teaching others to cook in college when she created her own cooking show, Kelsey's Kitchen, emphasizing fast, fun and affordable meals.

More from Kelsey Nixon