Cooking is one of my most favourite things. It's relaxing, inspiring, fulfilling, exciting, curious, delicious and (usually) social. Yet so many times I hear from friends, "I don't know where to start", or "It's too much work", or "I don't have time". I promise you, it's easy, it can be simple, and it can be done in really no time flat.
What cooking can bring you is a sense of accomplishment. It can be a creative outlet. An edible, wondrous, succulent outlet. And you know what? If it fails, so what. It's easy to try again. It's easy to just order pizza instead. It's OK if it takes you longer than you thought; it's just more time for conversation and wine. Isn't conversation and wine what some of us live for anyway? Food is a necessity, and it can easily be one of the most enjoyable ones. Right up there with the best night's sleep.
Okay, so let's assume I've piqued your interest in actually trying a bit of home cooking. Where to start? Epicurious.com is one of the best sites around to find incredible recipes. They have a multitude of filters (from 'quick' to 'chef recipe'), and what's better is recipes are rated by users. Chances are, if more than 5 people have tried the recipe and don't recommend it, WALK AWAY. Find another one. Don't waste your time.
What else? Well, over time, you'll learn what you like and what you don't. You'll learn what you think goes well together, and what might not. It's all about personal preference. Sure, there's some science that goes into a truly mind-blowing meal, but you needn't make it a Michelin 3-star night each time you cook! Some of my simplest meals have garnered the highest compliments. And my friends are not those who blow smoke up your ass just for the hell of it.
So the next time you reach for the frozen dinner, think again. Pick up 4 ingredients. Make a meal. It's easy. I'll even come over and help you figure it out the first time around ;)