Reluctant cooks will find a friend at http://www.reluctantgourmet.com. The skimpy From A to Z glossary section defines cooking terms and ingredients such as “al dente” and “bouquet garni” but goes only to “Worcestershire sauce.” More are promised soon.
The Cooking Primer explains basic techniques such as roasting and braising.
Many of the site’s recipes have stories with them about their origin, and some have a photo. It is a very homey place to look for recipes.