Once you buy the first house upgrade in Harvest Moon: Back to Nature you can use your new kitchen to cook up various recipes. For every 8 different recipes you cook you’ll get 1% added to your farm percentage and there are a total of 64 recipes in the game.
After you have your kitchen you can buy the cooking utensils on Saturday by watching the entire show on the Shopping Network in the videogame. After you’ve watched the show head over to the inn and you can use the phone near Doug to place an order. The utensil will be delivered the next Tuesday (or Wednesday if Tuesday is a festival or something).
The order in which you buy the utensils is as follows: Knife (3,000g), Frying Pan (2,500g), Pot (2,000g), Mixer (2,500g), Whisk (5,000g), Rolling Pin (1,500g), Oven (5,000g) and finally Seasoning Set (5,000g).
You have to buy the utensils one at a time each week until you have them all. The last one that you can buy is the Spice Rack which will contain an unlimited amount of the spices required for many of the recipes in the videogame.
You can hear about new recipes by getting to be really good friends with the characters or by watching the "Delicious Hour" show on Tuesday or a New Years special early in the Spring. They won’t be recorded in your recipe book until you cook them though. You don’t need to get the recipe from a villager though. You can just take this list and cook them all up yourself.
There are certain ingredients and utensils that you must use in each recipe in this videogame. There are also a ton of optional ingredients and utensils that you can use which supposedly can make whatever you cook "taste better" which just means it will restore more stamina when you eat it. I don’t think it makes a character like it any more if you give it to them as a gift.
If you fail to cook something in this game then you’ll end up with a "Food Fiasco".
Make sure you save one stone when you’re clearing your field at the start of the videogame. There’s no way to get one of those stones if you break all of them and you need one for the Roasted Potatoes recipe.
You also need to make sure you get at least 2 Chocolates from some girls on the Winter Thanksgiving because once you get married none of the girls will give you chocolate during this festival again. You can only get Chocolate from a girl who likes you a decent amount (purple or blue heart) on Winter Thanksgiving. If the girl likes you too much (green to pink heart) she’ll give you Chocolate Cake instead which isn’t useful for recipes.
You need Chocolate to make Chocolate Cake and Chocolate Cookies.
If you want information about a specific recipe in this videogame you can jump to it using this convenient alphabetized list.