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 11

Unexpected Desserts

There's nothing like a surprising and unexpected dessert to bring out the kid in you. Kelsey visits Tonnie of Tonnie's Minis in Harlem, to unearth the secret to his cupcake surprise -- a custom cupcake bar; where any combination of cake and frosting goes. Nothing is off limits! Inspired, Kelsey heads back home to get started on a couple of unexpected desserts of her own: A fabulous Ice Cream Birthday Cake, a dry ice Root Beer Float, and Carrot Cookies With Orange Buttercream Frosting.

Monday
Jan 16
7:30am | 6:30c
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 2, Episode 3

Veggie Bliss

For anyone who wants to add fresh and delicious ingredients to their dishes, finding the freshest vegetables is essential. To start, Kelsey makes a classic French dish, Ratatouille, filled with caramelized onions, elegant eggplant and homemade tomato jam. Next, an Italian bread salad, Panzanella, is a tangy mixture of smokey mozzarella and bread, with a mixture of peppers, cherry heirloom tomatoes and sugar snap peas -- all fresh from the market. And last, but certainly not least, a pan-seared Pacific Cod will be paired with a silky, smooth Creamed Corn and topped with a homemade Cilantro Vinaigrette. The variety of what you can do with the right produce is endless when it comes to flavor and freshness.

Saturday
Jan 21
7am | 6c
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 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.

Saturday
Apr 1
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.

Saturday
Apr 1
8am | 7c
Season 5, Episode 11

Dinner and a Movie

The latest trend in movie theatres are their gourmet concession stands! Kelsey heads to Nitehawk Cinema where they are taking a gourmet approach to dinner and a movie by serving up shrimp sofrito and chocolate cigars. Kelsey then visits Jen and Jeff at Pipcorn who are reinventing popcorn by making their popular herb spiced popcorn. Inspired Kelsey heads back to her kitchen to make her version of gourmet bites. On the menu: duck and dogs on a blanket, s'mores granola bites and a cherry lime vanilla glacier.

Saturday
Apr 1
9am | 8c
Season 5, Episode 6

Jamaican

No need to hop on a plane to visit Jamaica to discover the amazing flavors of the Caribbean! Kelsey visits Melvin at Melvin's Juice Box who is adding the mouth watering tropical flavors of Jamaica to his juices. Kelsey heads back to her kitchen inspired to make fried fish with carrot escovitch using some of the same Jamaican flavors as Melvin. Kelsey then meets the queen of jerk cooking, Suzanne at Miss Lily's to try her hand at the staple technique of Jamaican cuisine. Back in her kitchen Kelsey makes grilled lobster tails with jerk sauce and coconut rice.

Monday
Apr 10
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 4, Episode 6

On the Go Grilling

Whether you're going to a game, a camping trip, or, in Kelsey's case, the roof of a building ... you need a handful of essential techniques and tips to make your On the Go Grilling flawless. Kelsey enlists the help of New York master chef Floyd Cardoz on all things grilling. Great ready to take notes on the "on the go" grilling grab bag and suggestions for the best meat, vegetables and fruit for grilling. Back in her kitchen, Kelsey preps for her own "on the go" rooftop feast. On her menu: Marinated veggie kebabs with halloumi cheese, sweet and sour picnic drumsticks, and a grilled strawberry shortcake with lemon cream.

Saturday
Jul 1
8am | 7c
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 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.

Monday
Aug 7
8:30am | 7:30c
Season 5, Episode 11

Dinner and a Movie

The latest trend in movie theatres are their gourmet concession stands! Kelsey heads to Nitehawk Cinema where they are taking a gourmet approach to dinner and a movie by serving up shrimp sofrito and chocolate cigars. Kelsey then visits Jen and Jeff at Pipcorn who are reinventing popcorn by making their popular herb spiced popcorn. Inspired Kelsey heads back to her kitchen to make her version of gourmet bites. On the menu: duck and dogs on a blanket, s'mores granola bites and a cherry lime vanilla glacier.

Monday
Aug 7
9am | 8c
Season 2, Episode 9

Rise and Shine

A sizzling and scrumptious breakfast is the perfect start to any day. Ripe fruit, savory sausage and farm fresh eggs are just a few of the essential ingredients Kelsey will be using in her favorite morning morsels. She'll be using her cast iron skillet to make Pork Maple Sausage from scratch and then use it in her tasty Egg, Cheese and Sausage Sandwich. The sausage will also get stuffed inside crispy Potato Skins, mixed with a robust Skillet Hash and topped With Fried Eggs. Finally, she'll indulge her sweet side with a Blueberry and Cream Stuffed French Toast With Fresh Strawberry Jam. Nothing says the perfect start to a day like a menu full of flavor and fun!

Saturday
Oct 14
7am | 6c
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 1, Episode 9

Fall Pantry

There's a chill in the air! Time to stock up on fall pantry essentials. Kelsey prepares a Roasted Rosemary Turkey Breast with a Pomegranate Quinoa Pilaf, and a rustic Vegetable Soup incorporating the essential garlic, onion, canned tomatoes and broth. A bubbly Apple Crisp is a fall favorite dessert not to be missed. With the essentials at hand, you can bring life to your dishes now and freeze them for cozy winter meals ahead.

Saturday
Oct 14
8am | 7c
Season 1, Episode 3

Easy As Pie

Kelsey guides us through the essentials for an American slice of heaven -- pie! Starting with the perfect flaky Crust, adding a Banana Caramel Cream Filling and mixing it up with a variation on the classics with a rustic fresh Peach and Cream Pie in a moist, flaky buttery crust. Hot from the oven to your plate. Mmmmm ... pass the ice cream, please.

Saturday
Oct 14
8:30am | 7:30c
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

Show Extras

Cooking Fundamentals

Free Culinary School

Master your chopping, baking and everyday dinner-making skills with simple kitchen tips.
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Videos: Kitchen Basics

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

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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

Banana Caramel Cream Pie

Haricots Verts Almondine

Cumin Scented Oven-Baked Ribs with Sweet and Tangy BBQ Sauce

Papaya Slaw with Spicy Honey Vinaigrette

Asian Chicken Burger with Spicy Lemongrass Mayo and Pickled Asian Slaw

Pickle-Brined Pork Chops with Mushroom Escabeche and Smashed Potatoes

Rocky Mountain Pastrami Burger

Cobb Salad with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

Spicy Avocado Dill Dip

Berry Crisp with Plums

Horchata

Pie-in-a-Jar

Crispy Prosciutto Cups with Sausage and Apple Stuffing

Apple Tarte Tatin

Skillet Corn Cakes

Frisee Salad with Bacon and Poached Eggs

Curried Butternut Squash Ice Cream

Cherry Lime Vanilla Glacier

Skillet Bacon Mac and Cheese

Cranberry Salad

Sesame Ginger Chicken

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Shredded Pork Summer Rolls

Roasted Pork Loin

Chopped Caesar Salad Pizza

Orzotto

Roasted Stone Fruit

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