What I love about it:
1) The tips and explanation diagrams. From substitution ideas to pictures of different cuts of meat to selecting fresh fruits and vegetables to the complete kitchen tool guide - if there is anything you weren't sure of in recipe directions these pages will answer it for you. Photo step by step guides to tricky preparation processes are also valuable.
2) Favourite standard recipes. While there are some neat new ideas to try, this cookbook contains all your standard recipes you would want to know how to make. Scalloped potatoes, barbecue chicken, muffins, smoothies...so many easy simple recipes especially for someone just starting to cook.
3) Variation ideas: lots of recipes has variation ideas. In the latest revision, there is also a feature called "make-it-mine" which lets you start with a list of basic ingredients and then lets you choose from a list of different ways to change up the flavour. For example, the basic list might say "meat, condensed soup, vegetable, topping" and then you can choose from the list what meat you'd like, what soup flavour, what type of vegetable and what kind of topping.
4) No crazy long ingredient lists and very few one-off ingredients. I consider a "one-off" ingredient one that I have to buy specifically (and usually only) for one recipe. I usually end up tossing the rest, since so few recipes actually use it.
Leafing through my new, revised edition, I'm getting excited for when I'm back up and running again. Remember the concept of the book/film "Julie & Julia" where a woman decided to make very single item in Julia Child's cookbook? I'm feeling inspired to try something of the same with my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. I spent an hour flipping through the pages today and truly felt like I could try almost every recipe in there. And so, come summer, I just might!