I am someone who actually thought of himself as competent at cooking, though most of my dishes were baked fish and sometimes chicken breasts. I found this site because I am trying after one failed attempt to make what is suppose to be very easy cookie dough. I think I may have misread the directions when they use terms like "cream" and "combine." I am just being overly cautious as I make my second attempt. I do not like wasting food and in my first attempt the dough would not cling at all -- I had to throw it all away. This is why I searched these terms and found this site, and I am glad I did! I look forward to learning more through this site and this forum!
Overall, "cream" means to beat the heck out of whatever you are creaming, whether with a whisk, hand mixer, or stand beater, the end result should resemble very soft butter, no sugar granules or chunks.
"Combine" simply means to mix together.
She who dies with the most toys, wins.
I think cooking is much more forgiving than baking. You can adjust ingredients, quantities to your own taste when you're cooking, but baking pretty much has to be exact. My grandmother would disagree with me though, when she was throwing handfuls of flour into the cookie bowl!! LOL