10 Facts About (and Recipes Using) Pomegranates

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1. Also called a Chinese apple, the pomegranate is a basically round fruit, usually of a deep red color, with a funny little crown at the top.  (All hail King Pomegranate!) (Want some roasted sweet potatoes with pomegranate glaze?  Go here.)

2.  Pomegranate means “seeded apple.”  (Hell, takes the poetry out of the name, that does.) (Try an eggplant-lentil stew with pomegranate molasses here.) More

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10 Facts About Cradle Cap

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1.  Cradle cap is the layman’s term for seborrheic dermatitis.  (Cradle cap sounds so cute; seborrheic dermatitis, on the other hand…)

2.  So what is it?  Basically, it’s scaly little (or sometimes not so little) patches on a baby’s head. More

10 Facts About (and Recipes Using) Yogurt

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1.  Yogurt is produced by the bacterial fermentation of milk, which is sounds kind of gross.  Fortunately, it tastes better than it sounds.  (This recipe for lasagna primavera uses yogurt in place of ricotta cheese.)

2.  Sure, most of us are familiar with yogurt from cow’s milk, but it can be (and has been) made from the milk of goats, sheep, horses, camels, water buffaloes, and yaks.  (Hey, cow is exotic enough for me, thanks.) (Here’s a recipe for stuffed zucchini and yogurt suace. ) More

10 Facts About Meningitis

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(No jokes today.)

1.  Meningitis refers to an inflamed state in the meninges, the membranes that cover the spinal cord and the brain and help to protect them.

2.  Viruses, bacteria, fungal infection, parasites and some drugs can bring about meningitis; viral and bacterial meningitis are the more common forms. More

10 Facts About (and Recipes Using) Shrimp

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1.  The term can be applied broadly to cover a wide range of stalk-eyed swimming crustaceans with long bodies (mostly tail) and thin little old legs, or more narrowly to just the Caridea infraorder of Crustaceans.  (But that narrow definition leaves out prawns, so forget it!)  (Try a Chipotle lime shrimp recipe at http://cookingwithjeffandcristina.wordpress.com/2012/09/19/chipotle-lime-shrimp/.)

2.  They’re not well represented in fossil records, but the oldest identified members go back to the Lower Jurassic and Cretaceous periods (roughly as far back as 200,000,000 years.  Not bad for a little feller!)  (Feel like shrimp tortillas?  Try this: http://1019litefm.cbslocal.com/2012/09/13/the-nite-lite-kitchen-70/)

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10 Facts About the Black Death (Plague)

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1.  The Black Death was a horrible and devastating pandemic that reached its peak in Europe between 1348 and 1350.

2.  Recordkeeping in the 14th century wasn’t as thorough as it is today (and, of course, many records didn’t survive), so the exact extent of the Black Death’s damage isn’t known, but it’s estimated that it killed 30% – 60% of the people living in Europe, reducing the world population from 450,000,000 to between 350,000,000 and 375,000,000.

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10 Facts About (and Recipes Using) Plums

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1.  Also called the gage, the plum is a stone fruit with a waxy coat that usually measures 1 to 3 inches in diameter.  Little guy, but powerful.   (Yummy plum cobbler can be made from a recipe at http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/plum_cobbler/.)

2.   While the color plum is in the purple family, the actual fruit comes in several other colors, depending upon its variety, including dark yellow (Mirabelle plum), green (greengage plum) and red (Satsuma plum).  (A yellow plum salad recipe is at http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/yellow-plum-salad-50400000113764/.)

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10 Facts About Vitamin K

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1.  There are two kinds of “natural” vitamin K, called K1 and (wait for it) K2.  (Didn’t see that coming, did you?)

2.  There are also synthetic forms of vitamin K, known as K3, K4, and K5.  But I’m not into synthetics (my collection of leisure suits to the contrary), so we’re doing to ignore them.

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10 Facts About (and Recipes For) Brussels Sprouts

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1.  Yes, it’s the baby brother of the cabbage family.  (A recipe for golden crusted Brussels sprouts is at http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/goldencrusted-brussels-sprouts-recipe.html.)

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10 Facts About (& Recipes Using) Broccoli

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1.  Broccoli is a member of the cabbage family.  (Here’s a tasty broccoli-artichoke dip recipe – http://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipe/hot-broccoli-artichoke-dip/)

2.  It’s not fond of very hot weather and does better in cool weather (64-73 degree) climates.  (A white pizza with broccoli and mushrooms recipe is at http://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipe/white-pizza-with-broccoli-and-mushrooms/)

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