I have never before entered a cooking contest, but I've decided to jump in with both feet. I'm entering the 45 annual Pillsbury Bake-Off. I'm fairly certain I won't be walking away with the million dollar prize, so don't start planning on hitting me up for a loan. But one of the smaller $5,000 prizes? Oh, I got that.
There are four categories you can enter recipes into: Breakfast & Brunches; Dinner Made Easy™; Entertaining Appetizers or Sweet Treats. Your recipe also has to use two ingredients from the list of qualifying ingredients. (The list isn't weird or crazy things like Himalayan Pink Sea Salt or Yak's milk or anything. Don't worry.) You can submit as many recipes as you'd like. (Insider tip: The winner of the million dollar prize in 2006 is a friend of a friend. I have it on good authority that she submitted over 70 recipes that year.)
There are a few restrictions on entry, though. You can't enter if you're a professional chef or culinary school attendee/graduate. You also can't be a paid food blogger. You also can't enter if you've previously won the contest or been a finalist more than three times. It's nice to know that you're not competing with professionals or someone who already has the million dollars.
I encourage you to give it a try. You have nothing to lose and your family and friends get to eat all your "rough drafts." If they're anything like my family, they're dying to help out.