Weekend Reading: Mise en Place, Fictitious Restaurant Reviews, and More

What we're reading, cooking, and clicking this week

Homemade Granola with Apricots, Blueberries, and Almonds

Homemade Granola

Lightly sweet, perfectly crunchy, and with a mild vanilla flavor, this addictive granola is perfect served over yogurt or as an on-the-go snack.Farideh Sadeghin

Breakfast has always been touted as the most important meal of the day, but recent research from several different universities could change the way we think about our morning eggs and toast. The studies, published in the August issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, each focus on how eating breakfast can affect a certain aspect of the body (weight loss, resting metabolic rates, cholesterol and blood sugar levels). The findings are surprising: study participants largely remained the same as they had been at the beginning, whether they consumed breakfast or not. For someone like me who can't bring herself to eat anything within a good hour of waking up, these findings are like a personal victory. I guess skipping breakfast isn't so bad after all. —Andrea Kang, digital editorial assistant, @andreakang1

Last week, NPR's blog explored mise en place, the French term for the way chefs gather all their prepared ingredients and necessary tools before starting to cook. About more than just the process of cooking, mise en place is truly a way of life for a chef—I know it is for me. Wylie Dufresne, Bill Telepan, and other chefs agree; in this piece from NPR's The Salt, they weigh in on how the idea of mise can be expanded for the rest of us, putting us all in a more organized, productive, and calmer frame of mind. The SaltFarideh Sadeghin, test kitchen director, @sadeghin

Surf Rider, the surfer-based environmental group, has a new campaign to bring awareness to the damage that plastics are doing to our ocean-based food source. From carrying your own cup and lunch box to going fully digital with your tunes, they suggest all sorts of easy things for us to do to turn the tide on the ocean becoming a "plastics soup." Check out the genius PSA they've created, and then tell me, want some wasabi on that? [Surf Rider] —Betsy Andrews, executive editor, @betsyandrews

Read at once the marvelous blog Tables for One, which is home to reviews of such establishments as the Museum of Sad Cuisine; Utnsl, a restaurant pioneering "New Silverware" ("...There are tiny snares made of fishing line that are lassoed around a chicken drumstick or an asparagus, then hauled towards the eating hemisphere of the face"); and Frito Be You and Me, with a menu built around Fritos ("I was not daring enough to try the Fritozanella salad...but I'm told it's transformative. And that's exactly what I'm afraid of"). The establishments reviewed are fictitious; the effect of reading about them peculiarly transportive. This is the Einstein's Dreams of food blogs. [Tables for One] —Karen Shimizu, senior editor, @karemizu

One of my favorite things about summer road trips is that it gives me a good excuse to indulge my love of fast food without all the guilt (A. No one I know will see me. B.) What the heck else is there to eat when you're driving on the nation's highways these days?) In this piece from Deep South Magazine, writer Micah Conkling gives us the lowdown on some of the South's most famous fast food favorites, from the chicken-finger plate at Zaxby's to the "Mega Meal" at Milo's. [Deep South Magazine] —Keith Pandolfi, senior editor, @KeithPandolfi