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

Essential Roasted Chicken

No roasting rack? See what Kelsey uses instead -- with fabulous results.
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.

Wednesday
Dec 21
9am | 8c
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.

Wednesday
Dec 21
9:30am | 8:30c
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 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

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 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

Slow Cooker Shredded Pork

Shredded Pork and Pineapple Tacos

Fresh Pasta Dough

Sesame Ginger Chicken

Black Bean Salad with Mango, Cilantro and Lime

Salted Caramel Sauce

Simple Pizza Dough

Shrimp Lo Mein

Italian Sausage, Spinach, and Ricotta Cannelloni

Carmelitas

Sesame-Ginger Salmon en Papillote

Sugar Cookie Crust Fruit Pizza

Homemade French Baguettes

Pork Dumplings

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Stuffed French Toast with Fresh Strawberry Jam and Blueberries

Lemon-Basil Orzotto

Turkey Roast Dip with Melted Gruyere

Pan-Seared Pork Tenderloin with Rosemary Balsamic and Orange Sauce

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

Cassoulet

Rapid Rolls

Tres Leches Bread Pudding

Dessert Sushi

Pickled Shrimp with Lemon Chive Aioli

Healthy Bison Chili

Cranberry Salad

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