Cooking is an art, but fortunately for those of us not born with a wooden spoon in our mouths, it's an art that can be learned. The Barnes and Noble, Borders or other bookstore may prove overwhelming, particularly to a beginning chef. So how do you choose the right cookbook for your needs? Start by deciding what you want to make and ask yourself these questions:
* Are you looking to make simple, quick meals or elaborate dinners?
* Do you need to cook for large amounts of people or only a small family?
* What cuisine do you eat the most? Is it Italian, Mexican, Indian? Try to buy a cook book focusing on food from a certain culture that you know you will like and eat often.
* Consider your ingredients. Do you need recipes for meatless dishes or vegan dishes? There are specialized cookbooks for any eating preference.
* Flip through the cookbook before buying. A book may say it has "easy and quick meals" but they may be more complicated than a beginner can manage. Check out a few recipes and make sure you will get use out of your cookbook.
Who out there hasn't watched a cooking show and wished they could make at least one of those recipes on their own? Fortunately, many chefs with their own cooking shows have also written books, detailing their great recipes and making them more manageable for your kitchen. Check out some of the titles below.