As I was putting these together, I realized the only time I really use a recipe is when I'm baking. Cooking, on the other hand, usually just comes right out of my fingers, into the pan, and is generally some sort of black magic. I don't know if this can be taught or not... but the trick is to keep foods around that you like and don't be afraid to experiment. I've only ever made one thing that I didn't like, but no one else seemed to complain (but then, Mike will eat anything. :-P).
The Number ONE recipe site, in my book. Mostly because it is so easy to compare recipes for the same thing and play with them.
Cooking By Numbers
This site is cool if you don't know what you are in the mood for, and you don't seem to have enough ingredients to make anything.
Get new ideas for you chili here.
Sargento Cheese recipes
Because no meal is complete without cheese
I use this site mostly to get ideas for spices. *yea* spices
Cooking strategies -- short cuts and tips for cutting down on prep time. Recipes, too.
I've never used this site or really gotten a chance to look at it. But it's got a California section! woo!
Copy Kat Recipes
I haven't actually tried anything from this one, but it is just fun to look through. :-)
Egg Drop Soup
Yummy. Definitely go slow with the corn starch. I used less than half of what was suggested.
I do something different with this every time... add different vegetables... different meats... whatever, just have fun. The key thing is that it is cooked long enough and that there is enough soy sauce.
Brocoli Cheese Cassorole
Exactly like my Aunts recipe. Very good. Don't hesitate to put 12oz of cheese, though. But then, I just love cheese.
One last thing. Spices are the key to any meal. And you don't have to break the bank buying them. I've gotten some of my best spices for just a buck or two. Try the brand Baker's Secret. They usually carry it at the dollar store. Red and Black label. The Garlic Pepper and the Pizza Seasonings are particularly yummy. :-)