Welcome, again, to DC.
In my estimation you have become a part of one of the most helpful cooking resources on the Internet.
I, too, recommend viewing cooking programs...but for the simple reason of seeing (learning) how flavors work together and to see some of the different cooking techniques.
If you can see any of the Alton Brown shows, you'll get a very good education. He is an excellent teacher and is exceptionally good at explaining the "why" of cooking procedures, etc.
And, don't be afraid to try things you think are a bit out of your range. You may discover that you are more skilled than you thought.
Now, I'm going to share some advice that Julia Child offered, plus one suggestion at the end that is mine. You might want to cut it out and post it on your refrigerator when you need a boost.
1. Not reading the recipe carefully. (Read from start to finish before
2. Not getting out all the ingredients before
starting. (This will prevent getting halfway through a recipe before realizing you don’t have a necessary ingredient. However, following suggestion “1” above should prevent it, too.)
3. Fear of failure. So what if you have a “flop?” Learn from your mistake(s) and try again. There are no mistakes, just lessons.
4. Not really following directions. For example, properly measuring flour.
5. Taking cooking too seriously, not having fun doing it. It is
6. Not reading, really
reading, the recipe – all the steps – and visualizing the process before getting started.
7. Finally, my suggestion
, being in a hurry. Take your time to do it right. By following step “6,” you should be able to form some idea of the time needed to prepare your selected recipe.
One thing to remember, too, is that the worst thing that can happen when you've had a cooking failure is that you might have to order pizza delivery for dinner.
It's not a world crisis when you've flubbed.