The Adventure Begins

Hi there!

Some of you may know me, but those of you who don’t, nice to meet you! My name is Jaymi, and I’m trying something new here.

I absolutely love to cook and bake, and try unfamiliar things out in the kitchen. I love cooking so much, I decided to start a blog and accompanying Instagram account (@thecookingcactus) about my adventures in the kitchen. This blog is going to include my favorite recipes, trial and errors, food pics, basically anything food related I want to share with you all. I am so excited to see what comes of this! Now with that being said, please try to bear with me as I figure all of this out. I promise it’s going to be quite the adventure!

Thanks so much for being here!

Sea Salt Caramel Cookies

Sea Salt Caramel Cookies

Hello! For this post, I want to keep it fairly short and sweet. So for those of you here for the recipe only, you are welcome!

Who doesn’t love a good cookie?! This cookie is pretty basic to make, and is so tasty! It’s like a basic chocolate chip cookie, just tweaked a liiiitle different!

These are rich, and I gotta say, best when eaten warm and with a glass of milk. Shall we get started?


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cup of flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 bag of sea salt caramel chips (I used the Hershey brand)

Let’s Bake!

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 ° .
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars together until smooth.
  3. Add the vanilla, and then the eggs. Continue mixing until thoroughly combined.
  4. Slowly add your baking soda and flour to the mix, and mix until combined.
  5. When it’s all mixed, stir the sea salt caramel chips in.
  6. Scoop onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, or a greased baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until golden brown. (For my oven, I found the 16 minutes to be perfect.)
  8. Let cool on a baking sheet, and enjoy!

There you go! Pretty easy, right?

If you enjoy this recipe and like what you see, give me a follow here or @thecookingcactus on Instagram!

Thanks for stopping by The Cooking Cactus!

Beet and Tomato Salad

Beet and Tomato Salad

Hello again! Summer is coming to an end, but there is still plenty of time to make this yummy salad. It is light, fresh, and super easy to make!

This was my first time ever cooking with, or eating beets. Ever. I felt like Dwight Schrute from The Office the entire time I was making this salad, and it was great. Since it was my first time trying beets, I wanted to include ingredients that I loved (like what I did with the brussels sprouts), to try and ensure I’d like them. I have to say, the beets tasted better than I thought they would! Definitely making this salad more often.

Fun fact: the beets and tomato used were grown by Austin’s parents!

The beets do need to be roasted and chilled, so make sure you give yourself a few hours head-start! Any questions? Just ask!


  • 2 beets
  • 1 extra large tomato, or 2 medium tomatoes
  • spinach
  • goat cheese
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°
  2. Scrub the beets clean, and then wrap in foil, individually.
  3. Roast in the oven on a baking sheet for 45 minutes.
  4. Once the foil is cool to the touch, peel the beets. It should slide off by hand, but a peeler may be needed.
  5. Chill beets in fridge until ready to make salad.
  6. When ready to make the salad, dice the beets and tomatoes into similar sized pieces.
  7. Take a handful of spinach (or more if you’d like), and cut into long thin strips.
  8. Combine the beets, tomatoes and spinach in a bowl. Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil, followed by a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
  9. Mix ingredients together, and salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Finish with goat cheese and enjoy!
Beet and Tomato Salad

I hope that you all enjoy this recipe if you try it! I would love to hear your thoughts!

If you enjoy this recipe and like what you see, give me a follow here or @thecookingcactus on Instagram!

Thanks for stopping by The Cooking Cactus!

Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Hello! I am back with another yummy dinner recipe for you guys! This one was so much fun for me to make. All of the vegetables I used to make this were grown in my boyfriend’s parents garden! You all know how much I love to use fresh vegetables, so you can imagine my excitement in making this dish.

Normally I make stuffed peppers with bell peppers, but I wanted to try another pepper and tweak my filling a little. (I’m so glad I did!) There will be a lot of leftover filling, unless you decide you want to do more peppers than the 4 I have included in the recipe. I like having the leftover filling to eat on its own, like in the picture above. It can also be used for tacos or burritos the next day!

This recipe takes about an hour to make from start to finish. That includes the prep and baking time. If you have any questions about the recipe, just ask!


  • 4 poblano peppers
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil


  1. Start cooking the rice as directed. If using a rice cooker, you can do 1 cup of brown rice with 1/2 cups of water.
  2. While rice is cooking, prep the peppers. Cut the tops off, and clean the insides out, making sure to get all the seeds. Set peppers aside.
  3. In a pan on low heat, add some olive oil, onions, and the garlic. When those have cooked for a few minutes, add the ground beef and turn the heat to medium. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350°
  5. When the beef is browned, turn the heat off and add the rice, tomatoes, and cheeses to the pan. Mix together well, and salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Now time to stuff the peppers. Add the filling to the peppers with a small spoon, and place in a baking pan after. Once all peppers are filled, drizzle a little olive oil over the peppers and top with Parmesan cheese.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes, and let cool for 5 minutes.
  8. Once peppers are cooled, enjoy!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! I served ours with some toasted cheesy bread I made, and it was delicious!

If you enjoy this recipe and like what you see, give me a follow here or @thecookingcactus on Instagram!

Thanks for stopping by The Cooking Cactus!

Grain-Free Dog Treats

Ragnar and I with his Treats

If you’re like me, you’re crazy about your fur babies. We adopted this little guy a few months ago, and I decided he was only going to have the best of everything! These treats are great for so many reasons. They only have 4 ingredients, they are grain-free, and they are pumpkin and peanut butter flavored (which every dog loves!). Seriously. Ragnar will devour his treat and then spend the next 5 minutes licking the spot he ate at. Only treats he does that with!

I wanted to have his treats come out in a bone shape, so I went to the store and found a cookie cutter. Mine was at Walmart for less than $1 if you were interested in getting one! I also put some of the treats in little balls to make some training treats, because everyone knows a 4 month old puppy needs a lot of training!

The most expensive part of these treats is the flour. Since I wanted these treats to be grain-free, I opted to go with coconut flour. Don’t worry, I did lots of research and it’s safe for your furry friends!

This recipe does need to be chilled in the fridge for 1-2 hours, so keep that in mind when you plan to make these! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

With that being said, lets get baking!


  1. 1 1/2 cups coconut flour
  2. 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  3. 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  4. 2 eggs

How To:

  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. The mixture will be lumpy and crumbly, and should somewhat resemble the consistency of play dough.
  2. When mixture is ready, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. This makes it easier to roll out and cut out the treats later.
  3. After the mixture has been chilled, it’s time to roll and cut.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 ° .
  5. Sprinkle some coconut flour on a cutting board, and ball up some of the mixture. Mixture may be crumbly, so be sure to press firmly together before rolling.
  6. Roll it out with a rolling pin until it is about 1/4 of an inch thick.
  7. Use the cookie cutter if you have it, and if not, use a knife to cut out squares. You can also roll the mixture into little balls like I did to make smaller treats.
  8. Place treats on an ungreased cookie sheet, and bake for 25-35 minutes, until the treats start to brown.
  9. When treats are done, they should be hard and like a biscuit.
  10. Let cool completely, and then your dog is ready to enjoy their new treats!
Ragnar Super Excited to eat a Treat

I hope your fur babies enjoy these as much as mine does! I love this recipe because it is so easy, and you know exactly what is going into your dog.

And just because I can’t get over how cute he is, here’s another picture of Ragnar waiting for a treat.

Ragnar Waiting for a Treat

If you enjoy this recipe and like what you see, give me a follow here or @thecookingcactus on Instagram!

Thanks for stopping by The Cooking Cactus!

Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad

Hey ya’ll! Here is another easy recipe that I love: chicken salad. It only calls for a few ingredients, and you can make it according to how YOU like it. It can have more of an ingredient or less of an ingredient. All I know is, however you make it, it’s easy and fast!


  • chicken breasts
  • mayonnaise
  • celery
  • red onion
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Start by boiling water in a large pot. When water is boiling, drop chicken in and cook until done- about 8-10 minutes.
  2. While chicken is cooking, dice up your celery and red onion.
  3. When chicken is done, it needs to be shredded. Easiest way is to use your stand mixer on medium speed with the dough hook attachment. (Shout out to my friend Tina for this trick!) If you don’t have a stand mixer, that’s totally fine! You can shred the chicken manually with forks.
  4. Once the chicken is shredded, it’s time to combine all the ingredients.
  5. Add the diced celery and red onion, salt and pepper.
  6. Add mayonnaise to the chicken mixture as well. You want enough to coat all of the other ingredients.
  7. Mix together, and add more mayonnaise as needed.
  8. Season with more salt and pepper if needed.
  9. Enjoy!
Chicken Salad Sandwich

I like to eat my chicken salad on toasted sourdough bread, with a little more mayonnaise spread on the bread, and lettuce. This is seriously one of my favorite and easiest recipes.

If you have any questions feel free to ask!

If you enjoy this recipe and like what you see, give me a follow here or @thecookingcactus on Instagram!

Thanks for stopping by The Cooking Cactus!

Double Fried French Fries

Double Fried French Fries

Hello everyone! So sorry for the long wait in between posts. I talked a little about it on a post on my Instagram story, but for those of you that don’t follow my Instagram (which I would recommend doing!) here’s a quick update before I give you a yummy recipe.

On July 4th and 5th, my small town of Ridgecrest had a 6.4 and 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit. Luckily my little family was safe and our damage was minimal compared to others. We’re still trying to recover on the mental side of things (hence my absence), and that’s going to be the biggest challenge. It took some time to clean up, but things are getting back to normal now and I’m so thankful for the help we’ve received.

Okay. Now that that’s out of the way, how about we get back to cooking and fun stuff?!

Double. Fried. French. Fries.

That’s right, I said double fried. Is there any other way to make fries? I think not. These are hand cut fries, and one of my favorite snacks. This recipe is a little time consuming, but SO WORTH IT!

As always, if you need help with anything just shoot me a message or leave a comment!


  • 9 russet potatoes
  • Vegetable oil (a lot!)
  • Water
  • Salt

Let’s get frying!

  • Peel your potatoes.
  • Set a large bowl off to the side so you can place the cut potatoes into it when they’re ready.
  • Next is cutting. I like to have thinner fries, so here’s how I cut mine: slice your potato in half lengthwise. Place both halves cut side down so they have a flat surface. Slice lengthwise into thin slices all along the potato. Take those slices, and cut into smaller, fry-like shapes and set aside in the large bowl. Repeat for all potatoes.
  • When potatoes are all cut, they should resemble this:
Sliced Potatoes
  • After all the sliced potatoes are put into the bowl, fill with water until they are all covered and set aside for 2-3 hours.
  • When the potatoes are done soaking, drain the water. Place potatoes on a baking sheet and pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Now we’re ready to fry!
  • For this I would recommend a deep fryer, but if you do not have one, a large, deep pan will work. Fryer: fill with oil to the max fill line and set to 350°. Pan: fill halfway with oil, and heat until the oil reaches the same temperature.
  • When oil is ready, take a handful of the potatoes and slowly add them to the oil. Do not just drop or throw them in as the oil will splash more and can burn you.
  • Cook until the potatoes start to get golden, about 2 minutes. Remove from oil and place on a baking sheet to cool.
Right to Left: Un-fried Potatoes, Frying Process, Once Fried Potatoes
  • Repeat until all of the potatoes have been fried once.
  • When the potatoes have all been fried, it’s time for the double fry that makes them crispy and delicious.
  • Same process of frying, but instead of cooling on a baking sheet alone, place a cooling rack over the baking sheet. I find this helps keep them crispy.
  • While the fries are on the cooling rack, salt to taste immediately.
  • Continue the frying and salting process until all have been double fried.
  • Once all the fries are done, you’re ready to serve them up with a juicy cheeseburger or eat alone!
Double Fried French Fries

We served ours with a cheeseburger since we just got a new grill. Let me tell ya, SO GOOD!

Double Fried French Fries and a Cheeseburger

And there you have it! A little time consuming, but you get the satisfaction of knowing you did everything by hand- something I love!

If you enjoy this recipe and like what you see, give me a follow here or @thecookingcactus on Instagram!

Thanks for stopping by The Cooking Cactus!

Roasted Crispy Potatoes

Roasted Crispy Potatoes

Hi everyone! The 4th of July is tomorrow, and this is the perfect side for your BBQ!

To cut my potatoes, I used a mandolin to help get even slices. Don’t worry if you do not have one though- you can still cut your potatoes into thin slices with a sharp kitchen knife!

Best part is- it is extremely simple to do! There are only 6 ingredients and little prep.

Between the prep and cooking time, it takes about an hour, and you won’t regret it. This recipe is good for 2-3 servings, so if you are planning on making this for a party I would definitely double it.


  • 6 red potatoes
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic salt
  • Italian seasoning

Let’s Get Cooking

  1. Start by preheating the oven to 350°.
  2. While oven is preheating, rinse off your potatoes.
  3. When potatoes are rinsed, cut into thin slices. If you have a mandolin I would suggest using that, but if not, grab your favorite kitchen knife!
  4. Once the potatoes are sliced, place them in a large bowl.
  5. Drizzle olive oil over the potatoes until they are mostly covered. Season with the salt, pepper, garlic salt, and Italian seasoning.
  6. Toss all the ingredients together until potatoes are evenly coated.
  7. Spread out over a baking sheet lined with foil.
  8. Bake in oven for 45 minutes to an hour. Potatoes are done when they are slightly golden and crisp.
  9. Enjoy!

If you like what you see, give me a follow here or @thecookingcactus on Instagram!

Thanks for stopping by The Cooking Cactus!