I am a big fan of Rachael Ray. I don't watch her show, being cable-free, but I have several of her cookbooks, and they are great for so many reasons...
1) Her recipes leave room for error; mis-measuring that olive oil won't result in a ruined meal.
2) She doesn't use any specialty equipment or ingredients, so it is easy and affordable to buy the ingredients you need.
3) Her "30 minute meals" really do take only half an hour to make!
My favorite cookbook of hers is Rachael Ray 365: No Repeats, which is only $11.77 at Amazon. It's eligible for free shipping with orders over $25, so throw it in next time you need to push your order price up.