One of my favorite cookbooks is How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. Mark Bittman was a journalist for The New York Times up until January 2011. He is the published author of 12 books.
This is the edition I have, but I noticed there is an updated 10th Anniversary edition available. I can't vouch for that one, but I would think it was good. Mark Bittman is known for cooking real food--he even uses butter!
This book will really show you how to cook everything--from chicken stock to Roasted Sea Scallops, even popcorn and hot cocoa! Here are some of the recipes I use:
Cream of Broccoli (or Any Vegetable) Soup
White Bean Soup with Vegetables
Easiest and Best French Bread - this is a staple in my house. I use it for so many things. I should do a separate post just for that.
Traditional Egg Pasta Dough - I make this for our Chicken Noodle Soup
Orzo "Risotto"--we make this often.
Basic Muffins - I like the banana and blueberry varieties.
So, go check it out. You can by it on Amazon, or your local library may have it.