1. Don't let fear guide you: relax in the kitchen and your food will naturally taste better - I promise!!
2. Let your creative juices flow: As you begin to navigate your way through recipes and cookbooks, start using them as a guide rather than sticking to them word for word...learn how to substitute ingredients and you will find your own "groove".
3. Be as prepared as you can possibly be: there is nothing worse than starting to cook and then not having the right "stuff" to proceed (I will do a post soon about a well stocked pantry). The things you use on a daily basis are important to be within reach so you can change things up quickly.
What does "being prepared" look like to me? Well on a daily basis, that means having the things I use everyday within an easy grab as I'm cooking...no pulling open a drawer, no walking into the pantry, and no running to the cellar.
On either side of my stove, I have a few containers (make them pretty - mine all came from Winners so the are cheap!) to hold my tried and true daily "things".
First, above, is a vase I bought to hold my wooden utensils. You may think this is excessive, but you need at least one round (I have 3 or 4), and one flat to scrape the bottom of a pan (I have 2). I also have wooden tongs (totally not necessary, but kinda cool).
What do you have beside your stove? I'm think a nice glass of red would be nice :):)...hhhmmmmm....