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 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 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
Jan 16
8am | 7c
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 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.

Monday
Jan 16
9:30am | 8:30c
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 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
Apr 1
8:30am | 7:30c
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.

Saturday
Apr 1
9:30am | 8:30c
Season 5, Episode 1

After Hour Eats

When the city falls asleep some restaurants are just waking up to serve decadent dishes to those looking for a little something indulgent after midnight. Kelsey homage to late night dining is reinventing a favorite comfort food, a mac and cheese like you've never seen before! First up is a Baked Tomato Stuffed with a Creamy Bacon Mac and Cheese. Then it's a Parmesan-Crusted Grilled Cheese stuffed with what else ... mac and cheese. And nothing says decadence like crispy Shoestring Fries With Truffle Aioli. Get ready for the most surprising after hours eats!

Monday
Apr 10
7:30am | 6:30c
Season 5, Episode 2

My Trip to San Fran

Kelsey remembers her trip to San Francisco, its Spanish cuisine and the latest twist on a classic Spanish dish -- paella, made with noodles instead of rice. The new tread inspires Kelsey's version of Fideos with shrimp and chorizo with a smoky paprika aioli. And you can't talk about San Francisco without making a classic buttery and fluffy Pilaf. She finishes her San Fran feast with a Green Goddess Crab Tapas. It's Spanish flair west coast style!

Monday
Apr 10
8am | 7c
Season 5, Episode 3

Straight Out of Tokyo

Kelsey discovers the latest trend in Japanese cuisine with a visit to Yuji Haraguchi, and his unique approach to ramen. Yuji bucks all trends and uses "mazemaen" a dry ramen, and no broth. His blend of dry ramen combined with American favorites like egg, bacon or lox and cheese has Yuji Americanizing a Japanese favorite dish. Kelsey also visits Mimi and Coco who have reinvented a Japanese savory favorite by making Americanized teriyaki balls. She then heads back to her kitchen inspired and makes a roasted shrimp, corn and bacon ramen. And then it's a mouthwatering grilled hamachi collar with a ponzu dipping sauce.

Monday
Apr 10
8:30am | 7:30c
Season 5, Episode 4

Happiest Hour

With mocktails being the latest craze Kelsey learns firsthand how bartenders are reinventing cocktail favorites and turning them into innovative mocktails. Kelsey visits Geoff Bartakovics at the Tasting Table to get secrets on making trendsetting mocktails. She meets the ladies at Ovenly who make innovative bar snacks: spicy bacon popcorn and peanuts roasted in bacon fat. Kelsey heads back to her kitchen to make her own happy hour favorites: a blackberry, cucumber and ginger spritzer, homemade pork rind cheese puffs, chorizo-stuffed fried olives and spiced bar nuts with orange bitters. Kelsey's girlfriends stop by for a happy hour filled with delicious bar bites and an unexpected mocktail!

Monday
Apr 10
9am | 8c
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

Show Extras

Cooking Fundamentals

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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 14 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

Cobb Salad with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

Spicy Avocado Dill Dip

Horchata

Pie-in-a-Jar

Crispy Prosciutto Cups with Sausage and Apple Stuffing

Roasted Beet Salad

Sauteed Mustard Greens with Pancetta

5-Spice Pork Stir Fry with Mandarin Oranges

Quickbread

Kelsey's Signature Salsa

Roasted Stone Fruit

Rustic Fall Vegetable Soup

Haricots Verts Almondine

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

Asian Chicken Burger with Spicy Lemongrass Mayo and Pickled Asian Slaw

Rocky Mountain Pastrami Burger

Creamy Stovetop Bacon Mac and Cheese

Roasted Whole Black Bass

Watermelon, Ginger and Lime Granita

Slow Cooker Shredded Pork

Potato Latkes with Smoked Turkey Leg and Kumquat Chutney

Pickle-Brined Pork Chops with Mushroom Escabeche and Smashed Potatoes

Peach Salad with Tomatoes, Feta and Basil Vinaigrette

Bouillabaisse

Mango Salsa

Cream Pie

Berry Pie Pops (Pie on a Stick)

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