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22 Creamy, Cheesy, Milky Recipes for a Very-Dairy Shavuot

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Your impulse on Memorial Day may be to trade in dark colors for light, winter boots for toe-baring Tevas, heavy stews for zippy watermelon salads, but not so fast! A cheese feast awaits.

Because it's also nearly Shavuot, and for Jews who will be celebrating on Tuesday night, that means tucking into rich and creamy dairy dishes.

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The holiday of Shavuot commemorates the day that the Israelites received the Torah from God, seven weeks after fleeing Pharaoh in Egypt. So why the dairy fest? Since the Torah was given to the Jews on Shabbat, no animals could be sacrificed in celebration, causing the people to look to dairy instead. Milk is also considered a symbol for the Torah itself, which nourishes the Jewish people as does a mother's milk. (Some Jews also make a connection between the numerical value of the three Hebrew letters that make up the word for dairy—chalav—and the number of years the Jews wandered in the desert: Both equal 40.)

So break out the Lactaid pills (I know I'm not the only one!), bring the cream cheese to room temperature, and ready your springform pans. We've got 22 milky, creamy, silky recipes—sweet and savory—for celebrating Shavuot until the cows come home (or, you know, meeting your weekly cheese quota).

savory

Barbara Kafka’s Creamy Lemon Pasta
Barbara Kafka’s Creamy Lemon Pasta
Green Khachapuri (Georgian Cheese Bread)
Green Khachapuri (Georgian Cheese Bread)
Alice B. Toklas' Asparagus in Salt & Pepper Whipped Cream
Alice B. Toklas' Asparagus in Salt & Pepper Whipped Cream
Baked Ricotta and Smoked Salmon Dumplings in Gyoza Skin
Baked Ricotta and Smoked Salmon Dumplings in Gyoza Skin
Baking Sheet Macaroni and Cheese
Baking Sheet Macaroni and Cheese
Cheese Toasts
Cheese Toasts
Asparagus, Leek, and Ricotta Quiche
Asparagus, Leek, and Ricotta Quiche
Ricotta Toast
Ricotta Toast
Mushroom Stuffed Giant Shell Pasta
Mushroom Stuffed Giant Shell Pasta
Gabriella's Farmers Cheese Gnocchi
Gabriella's Farmers Cheese Gnocchi
April Bloomfield's Ricotta Gnudi
April Bloomfield's Ricotta Gnudi

SWeet

Mascarpone Blintzes with Blueberry and Lemon
Mascarpone Blintzes with Blueberry and Lemon
How to Make Noodle Kugel Without a Recipe
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How to Make Noodle Kugel Without a Recipe
Meyer Lemon Cheesecake with Biscoff Crust
Meyer Lemon Cheesecake with Biscoff Crust
Crème Fraîche Cheesecake with Apple Cardamom Compote
Crème Fraîche Cheesecake with Apple Cardamom Compote
Max Falkowitz' Best (and Easiest) Frozen Yogurt Recipe
Max Falkowitz' Best (and Easiest) Frozen Yogurt Recipe
Irene's Middle Eastern Knafeh with Orange Blossom Syrup
Irene's Middle Eastern Knafeh with Orange Blossom Syrup
Gran's Gifted Cheesecake
Gran's Gifted Cheesecake
Ricotta Cheesecake Pie with Chocolate-Coffee Ganache
Ricotta Cheesecake Pie with Chocolate-Coffee Ganache
Sour Cream-Raisin Pie
Sour Cream-Raisin Pie
Alice's Vanilla Ice Cream 2.0
Alice's Vanilla Ice Cream 2.0
Lemon Bar Cheesecake
Lemon Bar Cheesecake

What's your favorite recipe for celebrating the glory of dairy? Tell us in the comments below.

Automagic Holiday Menu Maker!
Automagic Holiday Menu Maker!