People who know me are as surprised as I am at my food posts these days. It wasn't all that long ago that I barely cooked anything at all. It's an ongoing process; I continue to try new things and put off trying others.
Watching Food Network is always great, because looking at a recipe will usually turn you off if you didn't want to cook in the first place. Watching someone do it before you read it, however, is a different story. You get to see what you'll need to do and what to expect instead of worrying that you didn't get what the instructions expect you to do.
The show I think is the best for new cooks is 5 Ingredient Fix
. Since the recipes are limited to five ingredients (plus salt, pepper, and water), they're a lot more reasonable for those who don't have a well-stocked pantry or spice rack. Plus Claire is funny and cute, which never hurts.
A bit of a warning, though. She often says that if you're only buying a few ingredients, you may as well buy the nicer ones. And she means it. She doesn't bat an eye while melting $16 worth of gourmet chocolate to dip homemade churros in. Just remember that you might want to substitute or splurge sometimes, and you'll be fine.
If you don't get Food Network, there's tons of cooking videos online. The newest Food Network star, Aarti Sequeria, made a bunch
before she won her show. Youtube is how I learned to make banh hoi
and quite a few other things.
One more thing to keep in mind about cooking at home that people don't say often: some things are just cheaper if you don't make them yourself. If something has a lot of ingredients and you don't need very much of any of those ingredients to make one serving, you'll end up eating the same thing too many times in a row or wasting a lot of food. If you're cooking at home to save money, be sure you actually are. This is especially important if you live alone.