Happy Friday everyone! Just wanted to pop in and let you all know that to celebrate book launch, I’m giving away a 6 3/4 Le Creuset French Oven in the color of your choice! This is the most-used tool in my kitchen, so I thought it would be fitting to share one of my most-loved tools! I’m also including a signed copy of Kitchen Confidence. Here’s how to enter:


Visit my Facebook page and share the image.


Follow me on Instagram. Repost the giveaway image or post an image of who you like to cook for most. Be sure to hashtag all entries with #KitchenConfidence so that I see them!


The giveaway closes on 3/4. Good luck to you all!

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Pick up a copy of this week’s People Magazine for a perfect recipe to make for the Oscars this weekend!  Honeycorn is one of my favorite treats to take to an event and share with friends. One of the best treat recipes in Kitchen Confidence in my opinion!

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Feb 20, 2014

Today’s episode of Kelsey’s Essentials is all about food gifts. I make a Cherry Pie in a Jar, Vanilla Almonds, and Salted Caramel Sauce. I also make these delicious Carmelitas… and I have to say I am very proud of this recipe! These bars are a real crowd pleaser. I had a good confidence boost when I went through and read the reviews on Cooking Channel’s website. I got a kick out of this particular review:


“This recipe will strengthen my marriage. Thanx sweetie.”  Ha!


Anyways, I thought I would share this with you quickly today while I’m on the road for my book tour. I hope you’re able to catch the episode!




2 cups flour
1 3/4 cups quick-cooking oats
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups Salted Caramel Sauce, recipe follows
2 1/2 tablespoons flour

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon gray sea salt, crushed or kosher salt


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 by 13-inch pan.


Combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, and softened butter in the bowl of a mixer. Mix on low until crumbly. Divide the mixture into 2 equal portions.


Press half the crumb mixture in the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove and cool slightly.


Sprinkle the chocolate chips, and chopped pecans over the cooled crust. Mix the salted caramel sauce, and flour together, and drizzle over the chocolate chips, and nuts. Top with the remaining crumb mixture.


Return to the oven and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until the crust starts to brown. Allow the pan to cool, and refrigerate it until the caramel filling is set.


Cut into bars and serve.


Salted Caramel Sauce:
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and bring to a boil, without stirring. If necessary, use a wet pastry brush to wash down any crystals on the side of the pan. Boil until the syrup is a deep amber color, about 5 to 6 minutes.


Remove the sugar from the heat and carefully whisk in the heavy cream. The mixture will bubble. Stir in the unsalted butter, and salt. Transfer the caramel to a dish and cool.


*Cook’s Note: This recipe will last in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks. Reheat before serving.



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A day to celebrate

Feb 11, 2014


Happy book release day! I’ve been thinking about this day for nearly 2 years since I started writing Kitchen Confidence. It’s been one of the hardest projects I’ve ever worked on, but I’m so proud of the content that it makes it all worth it. I put everything I had into each and every recipe and hope that you’ll find the same satisfaction and joy. To celebrate, I’m sharing one of my favorite recipes from the book – my Essential Yellow Birthday Cake Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. I probably spent more time testing this recipe than any other in the book. It was so important to me to include a good, solid cake recipe that would work without fail for anyone celebrating just about anything. It’s just dense enough to remind me of an old fashioned cake that would come out of your grandma’s kitchen and the vanilla flavor is spot on. It’s the perfect finale for the book and perfectly situated as the last recipe. Grab the recipe at the bottom of this post.


I’ll be eating this cake for breakfast on this landmark day! If you love the sprinkles as much as I do, check out my DIY tutorial over at Oh Happy Day today where I share my secrets for how to coat a cake entirely with sprinkles. It’s such an easy way to decorate a cake that has huge impact!


Finally, I can’t thank my family, friends, work colleagues and fans enough who have supported me throughout this process. My job exists because of your support and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t remind myself of that. I’m a lucky girl and intend to never forget that. Thank you!!!


If you’d like to purchase the book, here are 3 options to do so. Thank you again for your support!




Essential Yellow Birthday Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Make 1 (9-inch) layer cake
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes


3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract


Vanilla buttercream
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
6 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ cup milk

1/2 cup sprinkles



For the cake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans, line with parchment paper circles, and butter parchment as well.


In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.


Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until pale yellow and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add the buttermilk and vanilla, and mix until just combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.


Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cake pans and tap the pans on counter several times to get rid of any air bubbles.


Bake until golden and a cake tester inserted in the center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.


Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Run the blade of a butter knife around the edges of the pans to release the cake. Invert the cakes onto a wire rack and discard parchment. Let cool completely, about 1 hour. Wrap both layers in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight.


For the buttercream, using an electric mixer combine butter, powdered sugar, and salt. Beat on low speed until combined, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, increase the mixer speed to medium-high, and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and milk and beat for 3 to 5 more minutes on medium-high speed until the frosting is light and fluffy.


Remove the frozen cake layers from the freezer and unwrap. Put one layer on a cake stand and spread about 1/3 of the frosting onto the top of the cake. Put the second layer on top of the first and top with another 1/3 of the frosting. Spread the last 1/3 of the frosting on the sides. Decorate with sprinkles and serve.

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Did you catch my episode yesterday about small plates? I had a fun time reminiscing about this episode and it got me thinking to compile a quick list of my favorite go-to starters. While we’re in the midst of the Super Bowl, awards season, and the Olympics, I’m finding that lots of people are having small get togethers with friends and plenty of finger foods or starters. If you happen to be planning a party for friends or family, take a look at these options with a twist. They’ve all got just a bit of personality and are equally as delicious! I’m planning to make the Deviled Eggs with Candied Bacon at some point this weekend to celebrate the Winter Olympics.


Stone Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips


Vanilla Bean Lemonade


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Pickled Shrimp with Lemon Chive Aioli



Antipasto Lettuce Wraps

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Deviled Eggs with Candied Bacon

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