So many collections of simple recipes are appearing these days that it takes the market-targeted titles to tell them apart. Some are for ""everyday""; some take us ""back to basics""; some are for ""no-fuss quick cooking""; and this, one of several Chalmers contributions to the genre, is aimed at the ""first-time cook."" Hence the obligatory instructions for hard-boiling an egg as well as the now obligatory but certainly more daunting homemade pasta recipe. Here, Chalmers, novice audience notwithstanding, assumes a pasta machine and kneading know-how. Her collection runs the gamut from plain meatloaf and standard chili to some gussied, up, though not difficult, fruit and wine desserts, with an assembly of oft-recycled imports in between. They're all prefaced by an alphabetical list of tips and techniques, from handling asparagus to chilling and meting out wine (this last a little on the stingy side by some standards), but nothing like a primer in real cooking.