Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Good News! I've moved! Well not really, but kind of. These food blogging efforts are now being redirected to this lovely new site It's been a work in progress for sometime and will continue to be developed, but I don't want you to miss any of the great recipes that are being posted. This week my mission is your Thanksgiving table and I'm sharing some of my favorite recipes for the upcoming holiday. Thanks for reading! (and hopefully cooking)

Monday, September 20, 2010

churros y chocolate

The Spanish have figured breakfast (and possibly dessert) out. Who doesn’t love deep fried sugared dough dunked in rich, dark cocoa? Robby and I just returned from Spain and enjoyed an excuse for a morning sugar high with this classic combo. We sat in a run-of-the mill Spanish diner sometime around 10:30 am and thanks to Robby’s spanish he rattled off that we would like an order of churros y chocolate as if we were locals ordering this every Saturday morning.
The churros came bare and piping hot. It didn’t take long for me to tear open the sugar packets and sprinkle the sugar over the fried pastry as if it were snowing. Plenty of sugar soaked right into the golden brown pastry with the perfect amount of sugar dusting left on the tops of the churros and the bottom of the plate.The chocolate was SO rich (in a very good way). This may even have made the list for my Top 10 indulgent food memories. Each piping hot stick of fried dough dunked in the decadent chocolate felt like a sin. It was as if the churros were just acting merely as a vehicle to transport the thick hot chocolate. By the end, I was questioning whether or not I should have stopped two churros ago.We should probably feel guilty for finishing the entire plate, but it was a “cultural” experience, right? I’m glad I can check this authentic food experience off of my foodie bucket list. Anyone ever attempted churros at home? Last time I made them was in culinary school and they were divine. Next time I have a craving my plan is to try Bar Jamon‘s version which I’ve heard does a pretty good job of duplicating the traditionally thick hot chocolate and churros dusted with cinnamon and sugar.

Seventeen Magazine

I had a great time contributing to the September issue of Seventeen Magazine. I did my best to come up with inventive lunch ideas for teenage girls so that they could avoid cafeteria food. My bite size photo even made the page! If you squint, you will also notice that my sister Kylie, who took the photo, also got a credit and nod to her website. My picture may be the size of my pinky nail, but you’ve got to start somewhere!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Kelsey's Essentials

Kelsey’s Essentials
Premieres: Saturday, November 6 at 2:30pm ET
With a fresh look at cooking basics, Kelsey Nixon inspires the next generation of food lovers with her essential kitchen techniques. Voted “fan favorite” during The Next Food Network Star’s fourth season, Kelsey gives her tips on must-have pantry items, useful gadgets and basic cooking techniques. From roasting to baking, Kelsey delivers the basics – and encourages viewers to then make it their own.

The fall programming schedule for Cooking Channel was announced yesterday and included Kelsey's Essentials. I'm thrilled that I can start talking about the show now! It's a crazy feeling to be included in a lineup with names like Rachael Ray, Bobby Flay, and Mark Bittman. It's incredibly surreal and wouldn't have happened without the support of so many. The show concept is something I believe in 100% and I can't wait to start sharing my ideas with an audience on the Cooking Channel. It's a few months out, but mark your calendars for the big launch on November 6th!

crab cakes

To switch things up at the dinner table around here, I thought I would make crab cakes before summer turns to fall. Costco has a great crab meat option that is both affordable and accessible- perfect for this recipe. I first developed this recipe last summer when Spike and I squared off at the Preakness Stakes and took on crab. He made soft shell crab sandwiches and I took a whack at it with my crab cakes and they were a hit. They are chock full of crab meat with celery, onion, peppers (southern trinity), and for just a bit of heat I toss diced jalapeno into the mix. An egg, seasoned mayo, and breadcrumbs act as the binding ingredients to make these crab cakes come together. Because we're a family of two, I made a full batch and froze the remaining cakes for us to have as an impromptu meal within the next week or two. We had a few last minute guests that joined us for dinner on Sunday and lucky for me, I had crab cakes stored away that could be prepared in no time. Plus, I felt very fancy feeding guests crab cakes on a whim. For me, it's a great summer meal that was easy to prepare yet unexpected enough to be special.Classic Crab Cakes with Chile Garlic Mayonnaise
Yield: 8 cakes

1 cup mayonnaise
3 teaspoons chili-garlic sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 tablespoons chopped seeded jalapeño chili
1 pound fresh crabmeat, coarsely chopped
1 large egg, beaten to blend
5 cups fresh breadcrumbs

Mix mayonnaise, chili-garlic sauce, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice in small bowl. Cover and refrigerate chili mayonnaise.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper, celery, onion, and jalapeño; sauté 3 minutes. Transfer to large bowl. Mix in crab, egg, 1/2 cup chili mayonnaise, and remaining 2 teaspoons lemon juice, then 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs. Form crab mixture into eight 1/2-inch-thick cakes, using 1/2 cup for each. Dredge cakes in remaining 3 1/2 cups breadcrumbs, turning to coat. Place on baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, add crab cakes and cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to plates. Serve, passing remaining chili mayonnaise separately.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Cheer Up

The first song I played today was "Rainy Days & Mondays" by the Carpenters, and for good reason. It's been raining on and off all day and I have yet to step outside the bounds of my apartment. I'm also an embarrassingly huge Carpenters fan. There is no better pick me up on a blustery day than a batch of freshly baked cookies. (especially when it's Grandma's recipe!) I spotted this charming cookie jar at Fish's Eddy last week for only $10 and I was sold. Wouldn't this be a perfect gift for a friend going through a rough patch?! Freshly baked cookies can fix just about anything. Without a doubt these are my favorite cookies on the planet. My Grandma has been making her Banana Chocolate Chip cookies for as long as I can remember. They remind me of Christmas morning, because that is usually the first thing I eat paired with a diet soda. (shame on me) They are a cake-y cookie with the perfect flavor combo of bananas and chocolate. This time around I used a 2 oz. cookie scoop so that I wouldn't feel bad about eating multiple cookies each day for the next several days. (maybe even for breakfast)It's also back-to-school week for many of you and my mom used to always make a fresh batch of cookies on the first day of school. Even though Robby & I aren't hitting the books this year, I found it a fitting week to bake a batch of cookies just for kicks.
Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 2 dozen

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup shortening
1 egg
1 cup mashed overripe bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1-2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, cream sugar with shortening. Mix in egg, bananas, and vanilla.
In a separate mixing bowl, combine rolled oats, flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix until thoroughly combined.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop by spoonfuls on prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or just until golden brown.

*store in cheerful cookie jar for good measure

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

recipe book

There's a certain charm that comes with writing down something that is special to you. Whether your composing a thoughtful thank you note or journaling about your most recent vacation, you cannot replace a handwritten note. Because cooking has become such a huge part of my life, I want to make an effort to write down more of my original recipes that I make over and over again and have been at the center of some of my favorite memories.This recipe book was perfect for this purpose. The design paired with the thick pieces of paper and slotted corners on each page for slipping old favorites from the family make this a great gift as well. I'm planning to purchase a few extras as wedding gifts. I'll include just a few of my favorites and hopefully prompt the receiver to write down theirs. For another wedding idea, why not purchase the book and have friends and family record their favorite recipes either at your bridal shower or wedding reception.