If you love to cook then you really should be growing basil, a fantastic herb that you can grow on a windowsill or in the garden.
To grow I like to thinly sprinkle a few seeds onto a a small pot filled with a good quality multipurpose compost, and then cover over with a fine layer of compost. Water lightly and place your pots on a warm windowsill, keeping moist until they germinate after a couple of weeks.
About 5 weeks after they germinate you should transplant your seedlings into individual pots, gently tease them out taking care not to damage the roots and plant them carefully. You can then grow them on indoors permanently or plant them out. I always grow some on a windowsill over winter but prefer to grow outside in the summer, the plants seem to do better.
They like a moist but well drained soil - so a large pot or raised herb garden is ideal. Keep them in a sheltered bright spot.
You can pick the leaves as soon as they are big enough but its best not to pinch out the tips unless you want to make the plant bush out more - it can slow them down a little.