Lessons learned: cook good food
Good food doesn't have to be fancy to taste good. In fact, some of the best recipes I make at home are very simple and take little time to prepare. I like to let the ingredient shine but that means buying good ingredients. If you've been following this thread, you already know how much I love shopping the farmers market. I know the fruits and vegetables are at their peak of ripeness so they'll taste like they should.
When cooking at home, I think it's also important to have a set of basic skills: chopping/slicing, sauteing, searing, roasting, and braising. Having good knife skills makes you faster and more efficient in the kitchen. Knowing how to properly sear a piece of meat adds flavor. Braising is a great way to cook less expensive and less tender cuts of meat, especially during the winter months.
If you feel like your culinary prowess is a bit lacking, maybe it's time to brush up on your skills. If you need some inspiration, visit the Cooking With Tse channel on YouTube. I'm trying to create more simple, straightforward recipes that taste incredible and are good for you. I also want to teach you new skills so you'll be a better cook at home.
If you'd like more formal instruction, how about asking your friends who are good cooks to show you a couple skills? Or check out a local cooking class. Many locations have classes that focus on a technique, like knife skills, or a particular ingredient, like fish.
If you feel like you've run out of ideas, how about checking out a cookbook from your library and trying a few recipes? Copy the ones you really like before returning it.
Julia Child once said, "You don't need to cook fancy - just good food from real ingredients."
I think that's great advice. So what are you going to make?