Even before Ree Drummond, AKA The Pioneer Woman, claimed a spot on the Food Network, she was a hard-working blogger who shared her recipes for classic Southwestern dishes. From comforting recipes to epic kitchen hacks, the celebrity chef has taught home cooks a lot through her quirky quips and tips. With so many to choose from, here are our favorites.

Your Freezer is Your Friend.

We all love a good freezer meal, but Drummond notes that you only need to freeze the basic components, not a fully prepared dish. Meatballs, for instance, are a great example. If you make unseasoned ones, then you can thaw them and decorate them with any sauce or spices that suit your fancy at the moment. That way you can use the same base, but avoid having to eat the exact same meal six times in a row.

Dry Mustard is a Must.

If you own a jar of dry mustard, it has probably hung out on your shelf for the past several years untouched. Well, now is the time to open it up and give it a try. Its subtle tang is what makes it an irresistible addition to classic recipes like mac and cheese or onion rings. The Pioneer Woman showed us all how good it could be when she unleashed her famous mac and cheese recipe into the world.

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Waffle maker pizza! Hilariously good.

A post shared by Ree Drummond - Pioneer Woman (@thepioneerwoman) on

Own a Waffle Iron.

It turns out that waffle irons are not just for breakfast. Drummond courageously broke the mold (so to speak) and showed us all that these machines are also perfect for grilling panini and making pizza when you’re in a pinch. Not to mention that the holes are perfect if you want to dip your pizza in extra marinara sauce or add some garlic olive oil. It also works for hashbrowns too!

Doctor Your Pantry Staples.

It may seem so basic that you never even thought about doing it, but there are so many things that we regularly keep in our pantries that can easily be jazzed up. Be it nuts, boxed cake mix, or saltine crackers. With just a little imagination and very few extra ingredients you can take prepackaged goods and turn them into a gourmet sensation.

Lay on the Cream Cheese!

No, cream cheese is not just for bagels or gravlax or cheesecake. In fact, it is a secret ingredient that can be used to deliver the creaminess of dairy with an extra dollop of smoothness. Very specifically, it is unequaled as an addition to mashed potatoes. You’ve never before experienced the velvety smoothness of potatoes if you haven’t introduced them to an eight-ounce package of cream cheese.

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(Photos via The Pioneer Woman)