You're Using a Liquid Measuring Cup to Measure Dry Ingredients
If you have a pyrex liquid measuring cup, you shouldn't measure dry ingredients in it. You will not be able to do the "pack and level" trick, which is extremely important if you want to get your measurements as accurate as possible without weighing them.
Always Cook With Wine You Like
For some reason, the idea of using inexpensive wine to cook with has become the norm. In some people's eyes, if they're not drinking it, then what's the point of buying good wine? Well, it's still a key ingredient in the food you're cooking, and you should focus on good ingredients exclusively.