Hi folks, I'm 22, a new wife, and pretty new to the cooking world - though I do have quite a passion for it! So I've been cooking consistently for about two years now...but not once, and I mean not once, have I ever not followed a recipe. I do vary from recipes a little sometimes, I make my own chicken stock and freeze it - I'm very very money conscious - but the thing is, to save even more money, I've been trying to figure out ways to pair up what I can find in coupons with what I cook.... ....And I have a hinting suspicion this can be done without recipes? I'm an English major and a writer, so creativity does not lack within my soul, but for some reason I'm terrified of screwing up food in the kitchen. I watch Chef Irvine and Chef Burrell and Chef Ramsey and Iron Chef and Good Eats, and I realize there is a way to just know what you have and make things out of it, but for some reason I'm not quite understanding the method to this. I don't know why. I just don't know where to start. ANYWAY, so I guess my question is...should I be working on technique, taste, style or weaning myself off of recipes...or...what? It's a little overwhelming. I absolutely adore the kitchen and would like to expand my knowledge, but I'm trying to make sure I take it one step at a time. So what do you wonderful people (I have been lurking) think should happen? I know I read one post about getting a decent chef's knife, which I do not have, but other than that I'm still sort of lost. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Thanks y'all.