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.

Kelsey's Essentials Season 2

Pizza and Flatbreads

Kelsey dives into the essentials for pizza, calzones, and flatbreads.

Kitchen Essentials

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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 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 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 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 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 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
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 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 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 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 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

Black Bean Salad with Mango, Cilantro and Lime

Bacon, Cheddar and Chive Biscuits

Tangy Maple Baked Beans with Applewood Smoked Bacon

Pickled Shrimp with Lemon Chive Aioli

Stuffed French Toast with Fresh Strawberry Jam and Blueberries

Grilled Hamachi Collar with Ponzu Dipping Sauce

Sunday Pot Roast

Pork and Poblano Soup

Tangy Coleslaw with Smoked Corn and Lime Dressing

Fresh Pasta Dough

Sugar Cookie Crust Fruit Pizza

Roasted Whole Black Bass

Roasted Peanut Slaw

Three Cheese Caprese Calzone

Shredded Pork and Pineapple Tacos

Grilled Picnic Corn

Braised Collard Greens with Bacon

Pickled Root Vegetable Salad

Simple Pizza Dough

Sopes with Shredded Beef

Lemon-Scented Crispy Chicken Thighs with Potatoes and Baby Carrots

Cream Pie

Tres Leches Bread Pudding

Buttery Garlic Herb Knots

Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Roasted Vegetables

Apple Pie Egg Roll

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