I am so confused to what you are saying here. I added one forum (no larger than the General Beekeeping Forum) which also list child boards - WHICH are the shortcuts to the proper forum you are looking for in the cookbook. No need to click on cookbook, then click on type of meals, then sub category from there - just click a child board and if it has sections, you are just a click away.
Let me ask you (nicely of course) which forums would you do away with to get to the FARMING FORUM, would you move the farming forum higher up - Honestly, there are two ways to have the cookbook, (technical terms now - Forum is the whole site, category is what we commonly call a forum (as in the General Forum) and BOARD are the collapsible GROUPINGS that all categories are placed in) so for example:
NOTE: I just realised that the only board you cannot collapse is the first where Bylaws and admin are, all the others you can!
To test this, go down to Farming, Garden and Outdoor - you can collapse this board (using the "-" and "+" key tabs in the boards upper LEFT hand corner - you will see a minus sign there now if the board is opened - click the minus and it shrinks to just a header. If you try this, you can collapse the entire forum where nothing but headers are present, but still the "New MEssages fsince last vist) and all search features still work.
The second and only other alternative is to have the cookbook in its own BOARD at the bottom of all the other boards, removing the CHILD FORUM LINKS and having a MASSIVELY long page with over 30 categories making the page massive.
To see this in terms I'm maybe not explaining well, check the HELP TAB under your avatar image. it explains: what a Forum, Board, Categories and child forums are - and that is the order from largest to smallest directory setup.
I honestly don't understand how one category takes up so much space, it should not have the ability to expand out on your screen because it is not a board - it should really look no different that any other category (AKA forum) on the site. Please help me understand.