Here are five random cooking ideas I've learnt in my brief cooking obsession thus far.
1. The internet. It's totally underrated as a cooking tool (or simply not considered) by way too many people. Google is already answering all your other pressing queries, so why not try asking it what to cook? Try putting ingredients you have in your fridge in as your search terms, e.g. "carrot and tomato recipes" and see what comes up (I did this once, and ended up making tomato-carrot soup), or if you have an idea for something but aren't sure how to go about it or if it's a good idea, put that in, e.g. me and the pear bread pudding.
2. Rice. If you're in doubt about a good side dish, try rice; it goes with pretty much everything. Making rice intimidated me for the longest time, but it's pretty simple. After yelling at the mr. once for doing it wrong, I found boiling water first, then adding the uncooked rice and proceeding works best. Also, keep the lid on so it can steam properly. Experiment with different kinds too, basmati is great. If you want to funk it up a bit or more advice, I once watched a video on the Rachael Ray website with a how-to. (Note: Rachael Ray isn't in it, if you're worried about that). If you still have crunchy rice, add more water and let it cook more. It'll turn into normal rice eventually.
3. New ingredients. Branch out in your cooking repertoire by acquiring something new at the supermarket. Splurge a little if you can afford it, sometimes something simple like a new kind of vinegar or oil will really add a different (good different!) taste to your food. Especially with pantry supplies, you could end up useing them a lot and having them last for a long time (like spices).
4. Fruit with ice-cream. This is a good way to eat more fruit and make a fast dessert. I don't remember where I read it, but it created happy times in summer.
5. Roast. Make friends with your oven, the rewards are great. This is the most important thing I learnt from Veganomicon. You can throw most any vegetable in your (pre-heated) oven at 400 degrees F (205 C) on a baking sheet with a little olive oil and salt, and keep them in there til you can pierce them with a fork (generally 30 minutes for smaller things, 45 minutes to an hour for big things, like half of a giant pumpkin). Especially good for those pumpkins, sweet potatoes, carrots and pumpkins. Make sure to either oil your baking sheet or line it with some parchment paper.
Anyone have others to share?