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.

Kitchen Essentials

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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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
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 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
Aug 7
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.

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 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 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
Aug 7
9:30am | 8:30c

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

Herby Potato Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

Butter Lettuce Salad with Pickled Sugar Snap Peas and Homemade Thousand Island Dressing

Puff Pastry Tart

Antipasto Summer Lettuce Wraps

Fried Chickpeas with Parmesan, Lemon and Almonds

Charred Corn Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

Fried Quick Pickles with Buttermilk Ranch Dippin' Sauce

Healthy Bison Chili

Turkey Roast Dip with Melted Gruyere

Salted Caramel Sauce

Fruit Leathers

Buttermilk Biscuit

Honey Corn

Cumin-Seared Scallop Tacos

Green Goddess Crab Tapas

Roasted Chicken with Lemon, Garlic, and Thyme

Pomegranate Quinoa Pilaf

Cherry Pie-in-a-Jar

Deviled Eggs with Candied Bacon

Spiced Bar Nuts with Orange Bitters

Sweet Orange Rolls

Roasted Pork Loin with Peach BBQ Sauce

Cherry Pie-in-a-Jar

Pickled Root Vegetable Salad

Fruit Curd

Fresh Herb Salad with Burrata

Banana Split Funnel Cake

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