Mormon 'Food Network' star's new cookbook teaches kitchen essentials

Published: Monday, Feb. 24 2014 8:00 a.m. MST

Updated: Monday, Feb. 24 2014 12:03 p.m. MST

Kelsey Nixon, a BYU graduate, has recently released a new cookbook titled "Kitchen Confidence: Essential Recipes and Tips That Will Help You Cook Anything."

The Cooking Channel

MURRAY — Kelsey Nixon, star of "Kelsey's Essentials" on Food Network and Cooking Channel, lives in New York City with her husband and understands that it can be difficult to juggle married life in the big city with a job and a desire to cook.

She summed it up in a word: “Perspective.”

“I think that my best tip (for busy parents) would be to step back and take a look at the big picture every now and then," said Nixon, who was at Orson Gygi recently. "I tend to, just like any other busy parent, really beat myself up easily for a bad day every now and then and, thankfully, I’ve got a husband who’s very good at examining that big picture and reminding me that, in five years, this probably won’t matter.”

The 29-year-old Brigham Young University include tips for home cooks that she's picked up during her cooking journey in her recently released a cookbook "Kitchen Confidence: Essential Recipes and Tips That Will Help You Cook Anything" (Clarkson Potter, $19.99), which was released Feb. 11.

The cookbook and serves as a companion to Nixon’s cooking show, breaks recipes down into simple steps that can be easily followed by cooks at any level of expertise.

“If you’re just starting in the kitchen, these recipes are easy enough for you,” the Nixon told the Deseret News. “But if you’ve been in the kitchen, they’re also interesting and you haven’t seen them before.

“My lasagna (page 136) has butternut squash and parsnips in it,” she continued. “You have probably never had lasagna with those ingredients in it before, but it’s still familiar to you, so it doesn’t feel like you’re stepping too far outside of the box. The idea is that it satisfies both cooks — someone who is just starting and someone who has been cooking for years.”

In addition to unique recipes, Nixon also gives tips, tools and techniques that she believes every home cook needs.

“Whether you’re stepping into the kitchen for the first time or you’ve been in the kitchen for years, the goal is that there’s something in this book for everyone,” Nixon said.

The cookbook includes a hundred recipes, ranging from breakfast foods to main courses and, of course, a few desserts, as well.

“The idea is that it’s filled with recipes that I think every home cook should have in their back pocket — things like roast chicken and chocolate chip cookies and mashed potatoes,” Nixon said. “But I’ve taken all of those essential or basic recipes and kind of elevated them to the ‘2.0 level,’ if you will. By changing just a few ingredients, you can totally create a new dish.”

A few of Nixon’s favorite recipes include lemon-scented chicken thighs (page 120); a bacon, cheddar and chives biscuit (page 32); and her Essential Yellow Birthday Cake (the final recipe in the book), which she referred to as the grand finale.

Nixon developed a love for cooking early in her life.

“As a teenager," she said. "I really started helping my mom out in the kitchen. But it was when I went to college and stopped having my mom’s home-cooked meals that I really started to develop a passion for cooking and I was forced to cook on my own and realized how much I loved it.”

Nixon attributes her success as a cook to her time as an intern for “Martha Stewart Living” and a cooking show that she hosted while attending Brigham Young University.

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