Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything, Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition: 2,000 Simple Recipes For Great Food
($35) is full of basic but not boring recipes explained in terms appropriate for those new to the kitchen who aren't yet confident in their cookery skills.
Aida Mollenkamp's Keys to the Kitchen: The Essential Reference For Becoming a More Accomplished, Adventurous Cook
($35) by Aida Mollenkamp
Martha Stewart's Cooking School: Lessons and Recipes For the Home Cook
($45) by Martha Stewart