As it is, the gameplay of Cataclysm largely depends on getting access to books for learning some of the more useful recipes. What if instead, learning recipes were tied to level + available ingredients?
In this way, if I picked up one of the ingredients (or however it goes) there would be a message “I think I could do something with this.” Boiling water and cooking meat/vegetables would be level 0 recipes, but then you get oatmeal, and there is the recipe for oatmeal now. More intuitive than just recognizing that since I sewed a pair of pants that I know how to make fur gauntlets, etc.
If you only had to see the object once to get the recipe, then it’d save a substantial amount of time, as you’d only need to check on pick-up. There could be some trade-off with difficulty, so every three levels requires roughly one more component seen.
This could remove a LOT of the tedium of learning recipes, as requiring that specific books bottleneck skill growth is pretty frustrating.