Reading recipes by Ree Drummond, aka the Pioneer Woman, always feels more like getting advice from a friend rather than a stuffy cookbook or blog. Her homespun sense of Southern hospitality is always on display. Unsurprisingly, her most important cooking tip is just as simple and reassuring.
Drummond shared the advice while discussing her own favorite celebrity chefs on TODAY, and actually picked up her top tip up from a fellow Food Network star. “I’ve always been a big fan of Ina Garten,” she explained. “As an early home cook, I learned a lot from her, too.” One lesson of the Barefoot Contessa’s lessons that really stuck with her, is that “store-bought is fine.” Sure, making everything as fresh as possible would be nice, but there’s no reason to stress yourself out over every meal.
“I really think my number one piece of advice for a beginning home cook is to not expect [too much of] yourself, [don’t] put the pressure on yourself to make every single component of every meal from scratch,” Drummond elaborated. “Making things from scratch is amazing and I love to do it, but when you can find really high quality, really delicious tasting ingredients to help a meal along, then don’t be afraid to try them!”
Drummond recently launched her own ready-made food products, the Pioneer Woman Frontier Ranch Dressing & Dip ($2.97, Walmart) and Pioneer Woman Spicy Southwestern Ranch Dressing & Dip ($2.97, Walmart), so this advice clearly goes with her ethos. And, starting things off with two ranch dressings, she really couldn’t get more Southern! We can definitely see ourselves adding these sauces to our favorite salads, sandwiches, and other recipes that could use a little extra zing.
Of course, relying on store-bought ingredients can also help you save time and money on your dishes without sacrificing any yummy flavor. We’re big fans of anything that can make our life easier and still fill our bellies with delicious food.
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