Before i got this book i could cook pasta,eggs,toast,heat up frozen items, microwave ready meals and a 'stew' (can of minced beef with carrots and potatoes thrown in)that my boyfriend is NOT a fan of.It was a sad existence. Then i finally had enough money to buy some cookbooks from Amazon. The others i have scanned and discarded,because this book is much clearer and is the book i have been looking for all my life.
It has a list of 'Useful Equipment' and 'Useful Ingredients' so you have an idea before you attempt any recipes what you will need/should have already.
All those annoying (as in you have no idea what they mean) cooking terms are listed with an explanation at the beginning of the book.It's one of the reasons i have been put off recipe books in the past.I don't have time to google 'Braise' half way through cooking.This has them all explained from 'saute' to 'Broiling'(an american term). Then the book goes on to show you in both pictures and words how to chop vegetables,for example how to chop an onion to help stop you crying,which was very useful.
Another great thing is that in every recipe there are 2 or 3 types of measurement milliliters/pints/cups,so you just pick the one you have ,if you dont have a measuring jug then you can go for the cup option.You don't have to do any converting which is quite frankley blissful and makes cooking fun.Nor do you have to flick pages looking for converstions.
Anyhow to conclude my first review of anything online ...i have had this book for 3 months now and am still using it,my food shopping is cheaper as i can plan meals and buy fresh food,rather than frozen meals and yet more pasta sauce jars -Bleurgh! (Used to have 3 nights a week). And my boyfriend loves my cooking,he even made me some dishes! So yes if you want to learn how to cook for the first time ,then this is the book you are looking for! It's simple and straightforward and there is no patronising tone, like some books. :)