Learning to cook can be so overwhelming when you're starting from the basics. I remember when I was eating pasta with butter and parmesan nearly every night in college and thinking that that was a real meal. I quickly learned that if I was going to support myself for, well, the rest of my life, I'd want to get some variation in the kitchen. These are a few of the steps I made to learn how to cook (and how to enjoy it!)
Before moving to LA I decided it was time I learned to really cook, not only for myself, but also to enjoy a new way of entertaining. For graduation I requested from most of my family members that they pass along to me some of their favorite recipes. I wanted to be making things my family had been eating for years! I highly recommend doing this when you're first starting out as it is easier to consult family about anything that might challenge you!
Try a Meal Delivery Service
Secondly, for graduation I also received 6 months of Blue Apron as a gift. This not only helped me immensely with my finances just getting started, but it also provided me with detailed instructions and eliminated me having to go to the grocery store and experimenting with new and different types of produce. For anyone just getting started cooking I HIGHLY recommend trying out one of these services (i.e. Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, etc.). These days there are so many to choose from and the pricing is so sensible that it doesn't make sense not to try it! Make sure that you try one of the brands that sends you the recipes and ingredients rather than the finished product! The whole point of this is to follow their step-by-step instructions and to get comfortable cooking certain types of food.
As soon as I started cooking I became obsessed with Pinterest. As I already use it frequently for home decor inspiration, it was an easy transition to start pinning as many recipes as I could find. I now have a huge collection of recipes that I've either tried or will try soon just sitting in my beautiful Pinterest board Bitchin Kitchen. Check it out if you're looking for some fun recipes as well! The best part about Pinterest is that it usually gives you the ingredients list right away, and then when it's time to cook most of the recipes link to blogs that give wonderful instructions on how to prepare the meal.
Around the house I constantly have food network on now. Where I used to just straight up binge Gossip Girl over and over again, I now leave on Food Network whenever I'm hanging out around the house. Even if you're just passively watching, you'll be surprised at how much detail you'll pick up on. I fell in love with using my cast iron skillet from watching, and learned the importance of using up every bit of the cooking remnants in the pan for a delicious baste/sauce.
Once you're relatively comfortable using the kitchen and start to understand spices, flavorings, different cooking methods, etc. It's time to start experimenting. I've now started taking random cooking classes whenever I can fit them in, and spend lots of time just playing around with flavors and new combinations. You'll either end up with a funny story, or a delicious meal. Either way it will be fun!
Make sure to turn cooking into a labor of love. Make it your me time and you'll surely learn to enjoy it. Turn on some good music, pour yourself a glass of wine, and enjoy the process of cooking. It can be very relaxing if you take your time and follow the instructions carefully. Even better, make it a cooking date night! There's nothing better than serving up a delicious meal and impressing your guest(s). So turn that glass of wine in to a bottle and have a unique date night of cooking together and chatting all night!