The toughest part of competitive cooking is editing. Prepping for a cook-off is mostly a question of picking something strong conceptually and then making it taste really good, which would be easy (OK, not easy, but easier) if the task weren’t so open-ended. Tacos?? That could be almost anything on earth, and when you consider all the amazing things that are normally put in tacos, then combine that with the possibility of anything tasty at all that could be put in a taco…well, you get my drift. That’s a lot of editing.

I had a little taco tasting get-together on Saturday and I think I have a solid concept. However, I will not be divulging that here! No siree bob, because we taco cook-off contestants were just informed that the top prize for the audience vote is two tickets to Mexico. No, I am not making that up. So things just got a little high stakes around here! Although, I could probably buy a round-trip ticket to Mexico for what I’ll have paid in ingredients when you count the tests and the final recipe, so really, it’s about the experience not the prizes. As long as I win. Just kidding!

Here is a little photo of a quesadilla I made for dinner last night with some of the leftover taco ingredients, but of course I will not reveal what they are or whether I’m actually using them. You’ll have to buy a ticket for Sunday for that! I also made a simple salad, which I will tell you about, with baby spinach and blood orange segments. Just a simple red wine vinegar and olive oil dressing and some salt and pepper made it just the right tangy balance for the cheesy quesadilla.