Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything was recently gifted to me, and I have yet to break it in!
On first browsing, it seems to be a solid basics book with a lot of short simple recipes and a great indexing system.
Have people found recipes in here that are real gems? Something that was surprisingly tasty, or a recipe that helped you make something you'd never made before?
The lemon souffle looks good to me right now, but I'm hoping for a point in the right direction with all the savory foods.