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!

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!

Mussels and Clams in a Garlic Butter White Wine Sauce

Mussels and Clams in a Garlic Butter White Wine Sauce

So last night I had a craving for seafood. Mussels and clams to be exact. Austin has never had mussels, so clearly we had to have them for dinner.

I wanted to do something that is seemingly fancy, but actually pretty easy to make. I like mussels and clams because they do not take a long time to cook, and you hardly have to do anything at all.

For both the mussels and clams, the trick is to remove them from the heat as soon as they open up. Since they open at different times, just leave a bowl with a lid near the pan so you can easily transfer the open shellfish while the others cook.

It seems like a lot, I know. If you have any questions about the recipe, shoot me a message or leave a comment and I will gladly help!


  • 1/2 pound mussels
  • 1/2 pound clams
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 3.5 tbsp. butter
  • white wine (about 2 cups, your choice of wine)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • pasta (optional)


  1. Start by rinsing your mussels and clams. This helps to get sand out of them so it does not end up in the dish.
  2. In a large pan, heat 1/2 tbsp. of butter and add the diced onion. Cook the onions until they start to turn translucent and remove from pan. Set aside for later.
  3. In the same pan, add 1 tbsp. of butter, the olive oil, and minced garlic. Cook on medium.
  4. When the garlic is browned, add 1.5 cups of white wine to the pan and bring to a low boil.
  5. Add the clams and 1 tbsp. more butter to the pan and cover. Check after 3-4 minutes to see if any clams are opened, and if so, set them aside in a covered bowl. Keep steaming the clams until all are opened.
  6. When all clams are open, add more of the white wine if needed. (You want to make sure the entire bottom of the pan is covered in wine.)
  7. Add the mussels ad remaining tbsp. of butter to the pan and cover. Mussels cook faster than clams, so check in about 3 minutes to see if any are opening.
  8. Once the mussels start to open, add the onions and clams back into the pan.
  9. Mix together to make sure all components are covered in the sauce.
  10. When everything is opened up, you are ready to enjoy!

These can be eaten on their own, or you can serve over pasta like I did. If you serve with pasta, be sure to pour some extra sauce over the top- you wont regret it!

Mussels and Clams in a Garlic Butter Sauce Served With Pasta

Please let me know what you think of this recipe! I would love some feedback!

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

Thanks for stopping by The Cooking Cactus!

Sautéed Broccolini

Sautéed Broccolini

Hi everyone!

I shared this recipe on my Instagram account, and had to share it here as well! This is another easy recipe, but full of flavor!

If you have not tried broccolini, don’t worry. It tastes basically the same as broccoli, except it is a bit more mild and definitely more tender. It is a nice change from broccoli because the smaller stalks and florets tend to soak up more of the flavors you are cooking with.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!


  • broccolini
  • grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • salt and pepper
  • Parmesan cheese


Heat the olive oil on medium heat and add the garlic and onions. When the onions start to turn color add the broccolini and butter. Once the broccolini starts getting tender, add the tomatoes. Cook together for about 2 more minutes and season to taste. Top with Parmesan cheese and enjoy!

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

Thanks for stopping by The Cooking Cactus!

Balsamic Marinaded Pork Loin

Balsamic Marinaded Pork Loin Served with Pesto Rice and Garlic Cheese Bread

Who is ready for another meat recipe? I know you all need some proteins to go along with the side dishes I have been sharing lately.

This balsamic marinaded pork loin is one of my favorite recipes. It calls for 4 ingredients, and takes hardly and work at all.

This is a marinade, so make sure you do this at least 1 hour in advance from you would like to cook. I will say, the longer it marinades, the better it tastes!


  • 1 pork loin
  • 3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • salt
  • pepper


  • Place pork loin in an oven safe baking dish.
  • Cover pork with balsamic vinegar.
  • Make sure pork is well coated in the balsamic and season all sides with salt and pepper.
Pork Loin Marinading
  • Cover and set in fridge for 1-3 hours. (Remember, longer marinading time is better!)
  • When marinade is done or almost done, preheat oven to 400°
  • Cook for about 40 minutes, or until pork temperature is 165°
  • Take out of oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes.
  • Serve and enjoy!

I served mine with pesto rice (seriously, so good) and garlic cheese bread. Yum! Leftovers that we had were used for sandwiches the next day, and did not go to waste!

If you have any questions, leave a comment or send a message!

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

Thanks for stopping by The Cooking Cactus!

Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar and Goat Cheese

Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar and Goat Cheese

I can’t lie, I absolutely HATED brussels sprouts growing up, and haven’t eaten them in years. My boyfriend talked me into giving them another try, and let me tell ya…


These were so tasty, and I will definitely be making them again. Which I still can’t believe I’m saying…or typing.

Since I never eat these, and was dreading trying them again, I wanted to cook them with ingredients I like and that I know work with other vegetables I eat. So input my go-to ingredients: balsamic vinegar and goat cheese!

I did know that brussels sprouts are best steamed, so I did a version of that. If you have any questions about the recipe, or any other suggestions for ways to eat brussels sprouts, feel free to reach out!


  • brussels sprouts
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • balsamic vinegar
  • 1.5 tbsp. goat cheese
  • salt
  • pepper


  1. In a large pan, add the butter, water and brussels sprouts. Cover with a lid and steam on medium heat for about 6 minutes. stirring occasionally.
  2. When most of the water is evaporated and brussels sprouts are tender, take cover off of pan.
  3. Drizzle balsamic vinegar all over the brussels sprouts and add goat cheese. Stir together and cook on low for an additional 1-2 minutes.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Enjoy!

Slow Cooked Pork Shoulder

Slow Cooked Pork Shoulder Served with Rice

Okay so this one was a first try on a recipe for me. I sort of threw it all together in my slow cooker and let it do its thing for 8 hours. It turned out great!

I think the pork turned out really well, but it can always be improved. Next time I make this, I’m going to add a lot more liquid. For this, I only used 1/2 a cup of water and 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar during the cooking process. Like I said, the meat was great, but if I had more liquid, the bottom would be a little less cooked and there would be more of the broth to pour over at the end.

I’m going to list the ingredients that I used and the amount used as well. However, I also am going to add my suggestions for improvement next to the ingredient listed. If you try it with the suggestions, please let me know! I would love to hear your thoughts. Even if you try the original recipe, I’d love to hear from you!


  • 1 lb. pork shoulder
  • 1 bunch rainbow carrots, sliced (about 6 carrots total)
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Italian seasoning
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup water (suggested – 1 cup water)
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (suggested – 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar)
Ingredients in Slow Cooker, Before Cooking

In a large slow cooker, place the pork shoulder in the middle.

Add the carrots and onions around the pork, and add garlic all over pork and vegetables.

Liberally add salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning to the mixture, and place a bay leaf on top of the pork.

Pour the water into the crock pot, and then the balsamic vinegar.

Cook on low for 8 hours, or until the pork easily falls apart.

Ingredients in Slow Cooker, After Cooking

Once the pork is cooked, it is ready to be enjoyed! Anytime I make a roast or anything like it, I like to serve it pulled and over rice. That way you can pour the broth from the cooking process over the top and have something to help absorb that flavor.

For this pork, I drizzled a little more balsamic vinegar on the top of everything to give it that added sweetness I like. (If you haven’t noticed yet, I LOVE balsamic vinegar!)

Slow Cooked Pork Shoulder Served with Rice

If you like this recipe, please give the blog a follow or you can find me @thecookingcactus on Instagram!

Thanks for stopping by The Cooking Cactus!