I am not a talented chef. My husband can walk into the kitchen, grab a bunch of ingredients and whip up some fabulous concoction. Me, not so much. However, I can follow a recipe, so with a bit of planning I can fake it rather well.
I love to browse through cook books looking for inspiration when I have a spot of free time. These are the books that I use time and time again. The recipes work and are delicious.
Julia Child's' Mastering the Art of French Cooking - the book that has taught me the most about cooking.
I especially love Delia Smith, but the soufflé recipes in Park Avenue Potluck are worth the price of the book for those alone. They are heavenly. A definite for when you want to impress!