One thing I would advise is that you avoid baking until you know the basics of cooking. Baking is very unforgiving because you often have to follow the recipe exactly and know the techniques.
Also, a few basic tips to get you started.
Always follow the instructions on food when you first start cooking.
I have been cooking since I was 9 and I am now 49. British people tend to use Delia Smith's How to Cook - she is a kitchen guru par excellence and this book gives you, literally, the very basics and some recipes that I still use today.
From my own experience, here are some things that books don't tend to tell you...
Cooking in ovens - fan ovens cook faster when the fan is on and can dry out the food, so if a recipe says use a fan oven, it means it (and vice versa).
Always taste food that is in a pan after about 20 mins. Put a spoon in and taste a small bit of it. Add salt and pepper if it needs a bit more taste to it. Spices and herbs become stronger in flavour as the cooking process lengthens and in dishes with liquid, taste gets more intense as the sauce thickens.
When a recipe says fry off onions, it means on a low pan heat (2 electric, 1-2 gas) and preferably with the lid on the pan so the onions don't dry out. It can take anything from 5-10 mins. If it says caramelise them, leave the lid off and they are caramelised when they look golden brown. Cooked onions can be used to intensify flavours, especially red meats and cheeses.
Look at your meat before you cook it to see what it looks like raw. If you see anything that is still that raw colour (or similar) after cooking, then it is still raw and needs cooking. Pan frying that bit of raw meat will generally cook it - just heat the pan and then add the raw bit of meat to that part of the pan and cook until it looks cooked. If you are unsure about a piece of meat being raw, cut it with a knife to check if the middle is raw. Meats that must be cooked all the way through are generally white meat, like chicken, turkey, bacon and pork. Red meat like beef and lamb can be red in the middle and cooked on the outside, though some are horrible if too raw (like lamb).
Simmering - If you are using a pan and leaving it for a while, always go for a low heat like 2 (electric) and 1 or 2 for gas. Put the lid on as it keeps the liquid in, but go for a pan that has a glass lid with a hole in it to let some of the steam escape - this helps stop the liquid from boiling over onto the cooker surfaces. Each cooker has a slightly different setting, so don't assume that because your cooker simmers great on 2, your friends cooker may not work better at simmering on 1 or 3. Check the pan after 5 mins and if liquid is boiling over the edges of the pan, take it off the heat and drop the heat by 1 (or take off the lid if you are already on 1).
Boiling in a pan - leave the lid off if the water is within an inch of the top of the pan (it will make your kitchen steamy so if you have an extractor fan, put it on full to suck away some of the moisture or open a window in the kitchen). If your food in the pan is not covered in water, get a bigger pan.
Thinning a sauce or pan of food - If sauce, soup or pot-based meals look like they are getting too thick in a pan you can always add liquid to make it more runny. Milk or cream can be added if you want to add a creamier flavour, yoghurt makes sauce slightly sour, red or white wine work, though the best and simplest is water. Stir it well once you have added the liquid. Taste after stirring it in.
Thickening a sauce or pan of food - If food is too runny, you can add a whole range of different thickening agents, but be careful because some thickeners are savoury and some are sweet. Potato, cornflour (mixed into a paste with melted butter or marg), red lentils and breadcrumbs are good savoury thickeners, but add a little (half a handful) at a time and leave it for five minutes before adding any more. To thicken a cheese sauce, just add cheese. Sweet thickeners are more specialist, follow the recipe.
Cheese in sauces - find a basic cheese sauce recipe and follow it to the letter, but you can try different cheeses. In my experience, if a cheese can be grated or crumbled, it will make a sauce. Mozzarella makes the typical stringiness that certain cheese dishes have, so if you want stringy cheese, add Mozarella.. The stronger a cheese flavour, the stronger the sauces flavour, though a really strong blue cheese sauce can become quite sour in a sauce.