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Dairy highlights Shavuot meal

Confetti cookies and lemon ricotta tarts with chocolate chips
Confetti cookies and lemon ricotta tarts with chocolate chips

At Shavuot, certain culinary customs have developed to give due honour to the holiday. Sweet dairy dishes that characterize Shavuot meals, such as cheesecake, are served on the first day of the festival. That being said, we now can go ahead to celebrate the revelation on Mount Sinai.

Various reasons have been put forward to explain this tradition. For example, the Bible compares the Torah to milk and honey. Therefore, it is encouraged to partake of honey on Shavuot as it represents sweetness. And if there is one thing everyone knows about Shavuot, it is that Jews eat lots of dairy foods.

Milk is considered to be a symbol of the Torah, which nourishes the people unquestionably, as milk does for an infant. First and foremost, milk serves as sustenance, the source of life for the Jewish People. This Shavuot, enjoy this delicious dairy meal. Accompanied with a salad and some fruit, you have all you need to observe and rejoice on the holiday.

Easy cheesy vegetable Parmesan

o 2 large eggplants, peeled and sliced 1/2- in. thick

o 3-4 zucchinis, sliced 1/2-in. thick

o 1 1/2 cups pizza sauce

o 1 1/2 cups grated Mozzarella cheese

o 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Prepare a 9×12-in. Pyrex baking dish with olive oil spray. Preheat oven to 350.

Squeeze some sauce in the bottom of the dish and place a layer of eggplant, more sauce, a layer of zucchini and 1/2 cup of the Mozzarella cheese. Repeat until all the vegetables, sauce and Mozzarella cheese are used up. Sprinkle Parmesan on top.

Bake for 30-45 minutes or until vegetables are tender and cheese is melted.

Confetti cookies

o 1 box yellow cake mix

o 2 eggs

o 3/4 cup canola oil

o 1/3 cup skim milk

o 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

o 1/2 cup multi-coloured sprinkles. Plus more if you wish them to be on top of the cookies as well.

Prepare 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350.

Combine eggs and oil. Add in milk. Blend in cake mix and baking powder until well combined. Add in sprinkles and gently mix them in. Use a 1-in. ice cream scoop to place batter about 2 in. apart on the parchment paper. Sprinkle with addition multi-coloured sprinkles if desired. Bake for 10 minutes and place baking sheet on a wire rack to cool. Cookies should not be handled until they are cool.

Lemon ricotta tarts with chocolate chips

o 24 tart shells

o 3 eggs

o grated lemon rind

o juice from two lemons

o 1 tsp. pure vanilla

o 2 cups low-fat ricotta

o 3 tbsp. sugar or honey

o 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Pre-bake tart shells as directed on the package. Finely grate lemon zest from only 1 of the lemons and then juice both. Process ricotta, sugar, eggs, lemon rind and juice until smooth. Pour into baked pastry tarts and sprinkle with chocolate chips. With the end of a spoon press chocolate chips into batter until just the top surface of each chip shows. This is to prevent the chocolate chips from burning. Bake for 40 minutes or until set. Cool. Keep refrigerated until serving.

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