Well, there are terms that I call "chase terms" -- words you read within a recipe that tend to chase away amateur cooks like myself. These terms signal difficulty. Here is an example of chase terms:
- cheese cloth
- clarified butter
- dry yeast
- bouquet garni
- parchment paper
- creme of tartar
I noticed that Cooking.com posted this forum, asking visitors to name "the most difficult recipe" they had ever prepared.
I like to cook, but I also have a busy job and an active social life. Eating and cooking should fit into my life, not control it. So, for the time being, when I scan a recipe, I will keep looking for those chase terms.