By Megan Harlan
Updated September 27, 1996 at 04:00 AM EDT

Cookbooks on CD-ROM may seem pointless: Only geeks keep a computer in the kitchen — and they don’t cook, do they? What’s more, printing out recipes feels redundant. Yet plain old text with pictures can’t offer some of the snazzy features here. A database enables you to choose a dish by entering a food category and desired preparation time; for the hard-of-cooking, 26 video clips demonstrate basic culinary techniques (from poaching eggs to making piecrust); and in a stylish interface that resembles an animated cafe menu, the editors of Elle serve up 2,000 international recipes (with color photos, suggested wines, and preparation tips). And the emphasis on French regional cuisine only serves to make Elle Cooking more appetizing. A-