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A couple friends and I periodically hold our own "Iron Chef" competition, but I have generally been cooking for guests. Hosting is entertaining, and an opportunity to treat and share in camaradery with people. It can be simple, but if done smoothly and with humour, can be very pleasing.

Much of my approach to cuisine is taking ingredients and putting them together rather than following a recipe, and when I do follow one I often end up subbing elements anyway. It is indeed more an art than a science, but the baking side does require precise measurements. I have been successful in the baking category and can claim that I have made my pie and eaten it too.

Barbequeing, I think, is a skill that every man professes to in one form or other. Perhaps it is the primal need to make fire (ungh lookit me do, me make burn grow big, make food hot and taste better). What I find is a personal preference to the charcoal method versus the gas method. Simply, the flavours that come from a true fire is superior to what I believe is just a portable gas stove. I will start some arguments with that statement I'm sure.

I also like to eat at restaurants and try to reverse engineer what I enjoyed later at home. Shhh.
Like what some of the chefs on the Food Network profess, it can be quite easy to make things spectacular, and with a little though can be done completely from scratch.  An example is when I take, say a preroasted chicken from the local supermarket.  I will take the remains and throw it into the slow-cooker along with handy veggies to make broth for use later in soups.  If started at night, in the morning it can be put into jars and frozen for future use.  I generally keep a "stock" of stocks of chicken, beef, and fish.  Homemade soup beats the canned stuff, or the packaged stuff with all the thickener in it.
Now that I have a Kitchen-Aid mixer, doughs, purees, burgers and meatloafs are child's play.  The machine is like a second set of hands.  In time, one can invest in the accessories and add pasta making, and grinding one's own meat stuffing.