You can read all the cooking tips in the world, but if you're getting the basics wrong, chances are you'll never whip up dishes quite like those in the recipe books. There's no shame in taking a look at the fundamentals and making sure you're getting the little things right.
Over at Cooking Light, there's a meaty piece on 48 common mistakes amateur (and downright disastrous) cooks make when they put pot to stove (or pan into the oven). Here's one I'm guilty of when I make chilli con carne:
18. You try to rush the cooking of caramelised onions.
Result: You end up with sautéed onions, which are nice but a far cry from the melt-in-your-mouth caramelised ideal.
If you want real, true, sweet, creamy caramelized onions to top your burger or pizza, cook them over medium-low to low heat for a long time, maybe up to an hour. If you crank the heat and try to speed up the process, you'll get a different product — onions that may be crisp-tender and nicely browned but lacking that characteristic translucence and meltingly tender quality you want.
Bottom line: Know that caramelised onions take time, and plan to cook them when you can give them the time they need.
This happens my hungry usually overrides any patience that I have. Any mistakes you'd like to admit to?
The Most Common Cooking Mistakes [Cooking Light]