One of the best things about my relationship with The Bat is our shared love of cooking and food. However, living in a household in which both members thoroughly enjoying being in the kitchen can create a bit of tension when it comes to figuring out who will do the cooking, and when. Clearly it is an embarrassment of riches. Despite the challenge (and sometimes competition), we have found a way to strike a reasonable balance: I prepare a few big meals during the week, supplementing with large salads and leftovers to fill in the gaps, whereas The Bat is responsible for all weekend food preparation, when he has the time to do the necessary shopping and the freedom to play in the kitchen.After a recent mouthwatering shrimp stir-fry success (Stir-Fridays have also become a thing), The Bat decided that shrimp tacos would be the next weekend cooking adventure, complete with dinner guests as taste-testers and fancy, fruity cocktails.Despite some initial wariness from the chef (and mostly not to be outdone), I insisted on making hard taco shells from scratch – and a few chips to snack on throughout the night. Making your own hard taco shells is extremely easy. Heat about 1 ½ inches of vegetable oil in a large, wide skillet until it bubbles and pops when flicked with a bit of water. Using a pair (or, if you have tiny hands, two) of kitchen tongs, lower your tortilla into the oil, folding into a taco shape as you go. Hold in this shape while the oil bursts and bubbled around you, until the shell is slightly hardened and can be flipped over for the other side to cook – continue to cook, a few minutes on each side, until golden. Drain the excess grease, upside down, on paper towels until ready for tasty, taco construction.Once the shells were done and I was finally out of the kitchen, The Bat went to work. Shrimp were de-tailed and a marinade was prepared from copious amounts of crushed garlic, minced jalapeno, olive oil, a pinch of chili powder, salt and cracked black pepper. Mixed together well in a Ziploc bag, the shellfish were allowed to marinate for (at least) 30 minutes at room temperature. Following this rest, they were cooked, quite quickly over medium-high heat, about (no more than) 2 minutes per side, until the garlic started to turn crispy brown and the shrimp were seared.We stuffed our tacos with several piping hot (and spicy) shrimp, cabbage, cheese, sour cream, sliced avocado and salsa and dug in. Served along side was a quick rice pilaf made with sautéed red onions, garlic and using diced tomatoes and their juice in place of water (next time I’ll use a few of those jalapenos and/or some salsa instead for some much needed spice). To drink, The Bat concocted a dangerously delicious tropical beverage to compliment the dinner by blending strawberries, pineapple, guava nectar, white rum and a bit of seltzer, all served over ice (somehow these were not recorded for posterity – boo).The tacos were a resounding success, with four of us demolishing all 2 lb. of shellfish in no time flat. I unabashedly declare that these were the best shrimp tacos I have ever had. In fact, in reviewing details for this post, we’ve both agreed that these need to happen again, sooner rather than later. This dinner was one of several informal housewarming get-togethers we have hosted over the past few weeks, and it has been such a joy to welcome friends and family into our home and to our table – even if I have to admit that The Bat is clearly in the lead to win the ‘best party food’ house award.