The first meal I ever "made" the hubs was a frozen burrito. I stuck it in the oven at the same time I turned it on and "cooked" it for the recommended amount of time. Of course during most of that time the oven was still preheating so when he cut into the burrito...it was still frozen.
I've gotten much better at cooking since then (I now refuse to even buy frozen burritos - I make my own!) but I'm still very much a student. I can follow recipes with the best of them but when it comes to the why behind the directions, there's a lot I don't know.
Which is why I was so excited to pick up a copy of Tyler Florence's "Inside the Test Kitchen" at the library. It does a great job at explaining the science of what happens in the kitchen so you're not only able to ace the enclosed recipes, but apply the same principles to recipes of your own.
Some of the provided recipes do require tools I don't even have but the majority are ones most home chefs can easily do. The directions are really easy to understand and some of the tips will blow your mind. I almost felt like whipping out a pen and pad of paper to take notes!
Bottom line: I'm probably going to end up buying this book, it's that good.