Shrimp with Cilantro Cream and Rice Pudding Cheesecake

It is well know that Cinco de Mayo celebrates the Battle of Puebla where Mexico defeated the French Army, but here in the United States this celebration has evolved into a celebration of Mexican heritage.  Living in Texas Mexican heritage is widely seen day to day, and I am truly blessed to live in a State that embraces our culture.  It amazes me how two cultures can easily blend together and form a tight bond within our family. My girls as I was were raised to be proud of our Mexican culture, but also to believe in the world where we  lived.  We were born in America which is truly a great country and lived in Texas a state which has it’s own very powerful impact on our lives as well. Our family celebrates Cinco de Mayo by paying tribute to great people who have inspired our lives.  We celebrate the lives of

Hector P. Garcia from Corpus Christi, Texas who founded the American G.I. Forum

Rodolfo Gonzales equal right movement for  Mexican American

Dolores Huerta  United Farm Workers of America with Cesar chavez

The list is endless but, these are just a few of my inspirations.  Happy Cinco de Mayo, may you have a glorious day….now let’s eat!!

We start our celebration with Mexican sodas in flavors of Jamaica (hibiscus), Limon (lime), Tamarindo (Tamarind) and Coca-Cola. I actually find the Cocoa- Cola from Mexico has a stronger flavor.

For the adults a traditional margarita on the rocks with a twist…

We made our own salt mixes to rim our glasses.

1.  lime zest, lime juice and salt

2. achiote, paprika and salt

3. Chamoy and salt- this mixture was a little moist, but it did add a twang to the drink.

For starters a mini tostadas with re fried Ranch Style Beans, a Texas favorite and lettuce simply dressed with sour cream, lime zest and lime juice.

I first made this queso fundido for my sister’s baby shower, ever since it has been known as Nina’s queso.  Onions, poblano and garlic are sauteed, add a splash of tequila,  your cheese and broil just until edges are lightly browned, top with chorizo, tomato and cilantro.

No party is complete without a fresh salsa, our was a tomatillo will be suprised at how easy this is to make.

Avocados were served sprinkled with lime and salt.

Love cilantro? Have you ever cooked shrimp with the stems of the cilantro, this dishes uses the stems of the cilantro to give flavor and texture to the dish.  The stems are sauteed until tender, shrimp and cream is added.  A squeeze lemon and serve.

A great dish to serve family style, my 5yr old loved this, she said it was “the bestest!”

Of course the party ended with dessert, the crust was made with Maria cookies from Mexico – they taste like animal crackers. Pecans are also added for crunch.

The cheesecake filling has rice, vanilla, mexican cinnamon and cream cheese….

Then the cheesecake is drizzled with warm dulce le leche….

We had a wonderful feast, I hope you enjoy these recipe. Love Sweetlife.

Nina’s queso fundido

by sweetlife

serves 4

1/2 cup chopped, seeded fresh poblano pepper

1/3 cup chopped onion

1 tbsp olive oil

1/3 cup tequila

1 1/2 queso quesadilla shredded

2 tbsp flour

garnishes– cooked chorizo, chopped tomatoes, cilantro

In a large skillet add oil, pepper and onion- cook until soft about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and add tequila (be careful when adding alcohol to heat). Return skillet to heat and simmer for 30 seconds, letting the alcohol evaporate.

Place mixture into 4 oven safe dishes. Mix cheese with flour and add to dish. Broil until edges are slightly crisp and cheese has melted. Top with your fav garnishes.

Eat with tortillas or along side chips.

Green Salsa

by Roberto Santibanez

from Rosa’s New Mexican Table

1 pound tomatillos, husked, washed, and coarsely chopped

1 jalapeno or 2 small serranos, sliced

2 small garlic cloves

2 tbsp chopped white onion

10 fresh cilantro sprigs, torn into rough pieces

2 tsp salt

Put the tomatillos into a blender jar and add the remaining ingredients.  Blend at high speed until smooth. The salsa can be made up to 8 hours in advanced- no longer or it will begin to loose it’s fresh taste. keep covered at room temp.(tomatillos contain alot of water,  if you feel like it is not blending, just pulse do not add water).

Shrimp with cilantro cream

by Roberto Santibanez

from Rosa’s New Mexican Table

6 servings

1 1/4 pound peeled and deveined small shrimp.

2 tbsp vegetable oil –I used olive

1 cup chopped thick cilantro stems (from about 2 bunches; trim root ends and wash before chopping).

1 small red onion, finely chopped about 1/2 cup

2 jalapenos, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1/2 tsp dried oregano, crumbled

1/8 tsp ground cumin

3/4 cup heavy cream


juice of 1/2 lime, or to taste

Pat the shrimp dry with paper towel and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cilantro stems, red onion, jalapenos, garlic, oregano, and cumin and cook just until the stems and onion are softened, about 2 minutes. Pour in the heavy cream and bring to a boil. cook until the cream is reduced by about two thirds and thickened (there should be just enough to lightly coat the veggies) Add the shrimp to the pan, season with salt, and toss to coat the shrimp with the sauce. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and cook, stirring, two or three times, until shrimp are cooked through and there is just enough fairly thick sauce to coat them generously. Remove from the heat and squeeze in lime juice to taste. Add salt if necessary, and serve immediately.

Rice pudding cheesecake

by Roberto Santibanez

from Rosa’s New Mexican Table

serves 12

for the crust

3 ounces Maria cookies or graham crackers, crushed (about 1 cup)

1 cup pecans toasted and coarsely ground

1 tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp ground mexican cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

for the filling

four 6 inch mexican cinnamon sticks

2 vanilla beans

4 cups heavy cream

4 cups milk

1 cup basmati rice

pinch of salt

1/4 cup water

1 envelop plus 1/ 1/8 tsp unflavored gelatin

2- 8ounce pkgs of cream cheese, cut into pieces, at room temp

2/3 cup sugar

dulce de leche

Make the crust

With the rack in the center position, preheat the oven to 350degrees. Stir the crushed cookies,pecans,sugar,cinnamon, and salt together in a mixing bowl. Stir in the melted butter until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Press the crust mixture into an even layer over the bottom of a 9inch springform pan. Bake until the crust is lightly browned and firm, about 15minutes. Let cool completely.

Make the filling

While the crust cooks, cut a 6 inch square from a double thickness of cheesecloth. crumble the cinnamon sticks onto the square, add the vanilla beans, and tie the cheesecloth into a neat bundle. Put the cream, milk, and rice in a large saucepan. drop in the spice bundle and heat, stirring to a simmer. Add the salt and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender, about 15minutes.

While the rice is cooking, soften the gelatin; pour the water into a small bowl. sprinkle the gelatin over the surface, slowly and evenly to prevent lumps from forming. Whisk with a small fork until the gelatin is softened and the mixture is fluffy.

Stir the sugar into the cooked rice and remove from the heat. Stir in the cream cheese until the cheese is melted and the sugar dissolved. Pour half the rice mixture into a sieve set over a bowl and using a wooden spoon, mash the rice against the sieve to squeeze as much of the liquid from it as possible. Some rice will pass through the sieve too; that is fine. Scrape the mashed rice from the bottom of the sieve into the bowl with the liquid. Transfer  the rice in the sieve to another bowl, and repeat with the remaining rice mixture. Measure out 2 cups of the reserved rice and stir into the liquid; discard the remaining rice. Whisk about 1 cup of the rice mixture into the softened gelatin until the gelatin is dissolved then stir back into the rice mixture until thoroughly blended.

Pour the rice mixture over the cooled crust. Refrigerate the cake until completely chilled and set, at least 4hours, or up to 1 day.

To serve, release the sides of the springform pan-run a knife dipped in warm water between the cake and the sides of the pan to free the cake completely. Cut the cake into wedges, making sure to cut all the way through the crust, and serve, passing the warm dulce de leche to pour over.



  1. says

    Oh my gosh can I please come over and eat all of this right now? I know the post is old, but can we celebrate early? Holy guacamole. I can’t wait to try the cilantro stem trick! Thanks for making me starving at work (as usual) :)

  2. says

    You always have such beautiful and delicious looking dishes! That cheesecake looks amazing along with every other single dish you featured here. The queso definitely has my attention!

  3. says

    Mi ha fatto molto piacere la tua visita al mio blog ^__^ passare da te mi ha fatto venire una fame!!! Tutto ottimo e adoro l’avocado…la cheesecake…l’insalata di gemberetti…insomma non c’è nulla che non mi assaggerei, quando passo a trovarti? 😉

  4. says

    as always, fabulous pictures and food you got there. The coke from Mexico “is” stronger. When I was south of the border for some tacos, my friend native there told me the coke has about double the caffeine what we have.

    I want to so try those jarritos drinks but every time I hit up a place with them, the menu items were cash only. In this day and age I’m quite spoiled with everything electronic and forbid walking around with cash. The only other mexican “soda-pop” drink I’ve ever had was Sangria but that can be found at Trader Joes.

    btw, I learned avocados don’t brown if you leave the seed in them. Anyone know why? Btw, thanks for the concern. If marrow is indeed a cause for vertigo (which I’m sure was coincidental), I’d be happy to go for a couple more rounds of it. Soooo buttery.

  5. says

    Where do I start? I’m completely blown away by these recipes! Mexican food is my second comfort food! I’ve never heard of flavored salted rims for margaritas! I love margaritas. The cheesecake…divine! The dishes…heavenly! Revisiting this blog!

  6. says

    oh dear lord in heaven!!! i’m such a fan of really, really good Mexican food, NOT the fast food crap they try to sell as Mexican. Every single one of these recipes will find a home in my repertoire! And those custom salts??? Swoon.

  7. says

    Hey Bonnie, I was just checking in on you guys to see what your’e up to-hope all is well.
    By the way, i don’t know if it registered in my brain that you have a photo of Jarritos last time I looked at this post. I used to love Jarritos when I was younger-haven’t had one in a long time…

  8. says

    WOW looks fab as usual. Cinco de Mayo is my daughter’s birthday, so we we throw a fiesta as well. That cheesecake looks amazing! Hope you guys rocked on your finals!

  9. says

    I don’t think I’ve ever even heard of any of this =] except for the salsa…haha. But it looks delicious!
    I love the cheesecake the most……especially with the dulche de leche poured over it- yum!

  10. says

    Very cool little history lesson there, love it ;).
    It’s good that you and your girls were raised to be proud of your heritage and to appreciate your current location, I wish I had been raised like that.
    All that food looks so good, and the rice pudding cheesecake sounds so cool! Never would have thought of that.
    I wanna come over to eat =).

    &Happy Mother’s Day, sweetlife!

    ~Kurious Kitteh

  11. says

    I cannot even express how amazed I am by this Cinco de Mayo feast!!!! (Happy Cinco de Mayo btw, i’m a couple of days late :( ).
    Looks like the eatin’ was good, and I’m sure the company was even more amazing.

    I just went into a food coma.

  12. says

    Dear Bonnie, Chuls, Pips & Mr.Sweetlife – Happy Cinco de Mayo & Happy Mother’s DAY especially to Bonnie! Wowzaa!

    What a wonderful way to celebrate your heritage. It is wonderful to see our country in the faces of so many cultures – we truly are one big melting pot. For those of us with kids, I think we make it a point to introduce them to both sides so they always know where they come from.

    Your heartwarming post and food is overflowing with the love for your family and heritage. It is what makes you so very special and THANK YOU for sharing this :)

    Miss the Marie biscuits and that is one but kicking cheesecake. I can’t stop thinking about those prawns though……:)

    Big hugs!!

    Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  13. says

    Everything looks delicious. I almost licked my screen when I saw the shrimp dish and that cheesecake. OH sweet cheesecake, I miss you so much. Have not had a slice in AGES and it’s one of my favorites.

    HAPPY (late as always) CINCO DE MAYO!

  14. says

    OMG, what droolworthy dishes! I’d love to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with you ;-P. Everything looks perfect and so tasty. Nice mortar!



  15. says

    WOW, Wish I could have been at your house! You know how to celebrate:) It all looks wonderful, and that cheesecake…Oh my!

  16. says

    oh MAN, i would’ve loved to have been a part of your celebration–what a feast! i love your salt mixes, nina’s queso, and most of all, that luscious cheesecake. wowza!

  17. says

    I love cilantro, but I never thought about adding it to cream! This shrimp dish looks absolutely delicious and I’d love to try it!!

  18. says

    thanks for reminding us what cinco de mayo is really about. And for providing us with all of this awesome food! God you have made my night with all this…especially that cheesecake.

  19. says

    What a feast! I could inhale every single thing you made for Cinco de Mayo! Yum! You made my day here, now I am going to be drooling for a while, lol!

  20. Vianneybonnie says

    @christine–how sweet- I bet you would be the best neighbor..
    @claudia–thanks and glad you stopped by
    @denise- heels babe, no thanks glad you are feeling better
    @stella –from dallas, how cool we love dallas..
    @KM –thanks for the bookmark, i have enjoyed the cheescake-yum
    @vanesssa–thanks my friend –your writing–wow!!
    @chadnani–we are well oiled machine, ha ha the kitchen has seen better days-

  21. says

    What a great feast. Look at the varieties. How long did it take to make all those? The cheesecake looks like to die for. yum yum and the yummiest.

  22. says

    You had me drooling from the moment I started reading…but then came the cheesecake and I literally had to pick my jaw off the floor. That must be the cheesecake to end all cheesecakes. Your cooking, recipes, photos and writing are awesome. You know my friend and I have been talking about a Mexican evening for a while and something tells me, we’d better get started.

  23. says

    OK, the queso looks awesome, but that cake… that cake! I want to reach through the screen and grab it! Amazing! All of my favorite things in one place! I can;t wait to make it. Yum!

  24. says

    Everything looks wonderful, Bonnie! I miss Mexican (and Tex-Mex) food. The ingredients are so hard to come by in this part of the world.

    I’m intrigued by the rice cheesecake. I’m bookmarking this and will give this a try when the weather cools down.

    I agree, the stems in the cilantro are the most flavorful. In Thai cooking, the roots are used in curries. It has a different aroma compared to the leaves and stems. So don’t throw away the roots next time you buy cilantro! Use them to make your own curry paste if you’re into them.

    Happy Cinco de Mayo!

  25. says

    Holy Mexican Food Fiesta! Good for you for celebrating Cinco de Mayo and paying homage to the culture of your fellow man.
    Looks AH-mazing. Especially the cheesecake. Looks like a little slice of heaven. Beautiful photos!

  26. says

    Beautiful feast! The salt mixes look delicious! I’d love to try them with a margarita! Oh, and that cheesecake. I think I could eat the whole thing in one sitting. Yum!

  27. says

    What a feast. Your cheesecake looks fabulous. I hope you had a wonderful holiday. Have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  28. says

    Hi Bonnie, you’ve been busy! I feel like I’ve missed so much.
    This meal looks wonderful. I kind of love Texas b/c of its mix of peoples-the culture is so special and the foods (authentic Mexican, authentic american & Tex Mex) are all so good). Your’e lucky to be from a place with such a rich culture.
    By the way, Cauldron Boy is from Dallas…

  29. says

    Hey Bonnie – Felize Cinco de Mayo girl! Woohoooo! Looks like you guys really know how to kick up those heels and have a great time! Love the spread and I think I’d grab one of those perfect avocado halves first! LOL We have those cookies over here too – look exactly the same, probably taste the same too but we call them “Marie Biscuits” 😀 Oh and, thanks for peeking in on me – I am doing much better :)

    Btw – got some stuff for you at my place but don’t fret – there’s no passing long awards and all that. All you gotta do is take em, if you want em. I hope you want em LOL See ya soon?

  30. says

    Wonderful post. Great photos…job well done. I can feel your pride in your writing. Jarrito’s Jamaica…that is priceless. Cheers!

  31. says

    What a feast! I was drooling by the time I got to the end of your post… I don’t know what to make first, everything looks so good.

  32. says

    I will come here again and again. There is so much to savor. A true feast worth of the day and the beautiful blending of heritages.


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