It’s Christmas Time in the City

Despite what you may have believed given the onslaught of businesses jamming X-mas tunes, we're just now getting there. Just breathe. We know this is a tough time of the year for a lot of people. Hell, we only spent 20 minutes in the mall the other day and, like, it was awful. So awful. But we'll grin and bear it for our families and we'll act like that fruit cake grandma sent isn't totally sitting the trash can right now. Excelsior! And since The Fork has been busy cramming so much goodness into the year-end double issue of SFR (visit for more on that), we're gonna keep it short, sweet and simple right now with some food-related holiday advice:

-First of all, if you're someone who doesn't celebrate for personal or religious reasons or whatever, nobody will blame you for heading out into the world to grab a bite. We understand it's tougher for you than us (because we get prezzies), but please remember that foodservice people who do celebrate would probably prefer to be at home. Just be extra nice is all we're saying. And maybe don't sit for hours. And maybe don't say things like "Oh no! Wouldn't you rather be at home?" They would.

-It might sound obvious, but the fine folks at Yin Yang Chinese Restaurant (418 Cerrillos Road, in the Design Center, 986-9279) tell us they're open all day on the 25th. Live your own Christmas Story fantasies and get down on that egg foo young. You can also order online. Score.

-It's way late in the game, but you could try calling fine dining locations in town and asking them what's up. Surely some reservations have canceled? Good luck. And use the advice from above. We won't name names, but some of the places we called were really scary when we asked about those rezzies.

More Tidbits

-The Fork didn't mean to seem blasé about the Mario Batali revelations and apologize if it came across that way. Obviously we don't condone sexual harassment in any form. Further, Batali's "apology" was pretty absurd and contained a recipe for cinnamon rolls. Seriously.

-The Fork's brother doesn't subscribe to this newsletter because he's a jerk, but we got him a bunch of fancy mini-bottles of booze at Cost Plus World Market (4250 Cerrillos Road, Suite 1220, in the Santa Fe Place mall, 424-7077). We think that's smart and would make a great gift. Just sayin'.

-It's not food, but we happen to know that if your trash pickup day is a Monday, the city will still take it on holidays. See? The Fork is helpful.

Also …

Digital Manager Brianna Kirkland has yet another recipe for all y'all, and she will wrest control of the keyboard…right…NOW:

Will you be getting up before the sun with little ones on Christmas morning? If so, I've got a breakfast recipe so simple you can even execute it before you've had your coffee. The secret to saving your sanity is doing the work the night before.

So the thing about most of my recipes, is that they're really more of a method than a strict recipe. I like the flexibility to improvise and adapt based on my mood or what ingredients I have on hand that day. This one is very flexible; a quick Google will give you lots of ideas for variation. It also works well when you need to change the proportions. I usually make a half-sized batch for my small family. Once you get the hang of the method, sub in whatever ingredients your family likes best, and you've got a simple, make-ahead breakfast that is perfect for a hectic Christmas morning.

Breakfast Casserole

Serves 12


  • 9 slices of bread cubed
  • 2 cups diced cooked ham
  • 1 1/2 cups diced mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup scallions
  • 16 ounces cheddar cheese
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • butter for greasing the pan


  1. Lightly grease the inside of a 13” x 9” baking dish. Layer bread, ham, mushrooms, scallions and cheese in the prepared dish, finishing with a layer of cheese.
  2. In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, half and half, milk, parsley, thyme, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Pour the mixture evenly over the bread cube mixture, making sure everything is moistened. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Remove the casserole from the refrigerator at least 30 mins prior to baking. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Bake with the foil on for the first 45 mins, then remove the foil. Continue cooking 10-15 more minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.


We understand that everyone is busy, but were still sad we didn't get more food-related gift ideas. That's OK, though. We do want to take this time to shout out to Fork reader Michael who points out that come the end of January, the entirety of Ta Lin Market will be closed, dumplings and all. Last we heard, they may just open up a space that's fully full-on all about dumplings and have already kicked off home delivery in Santa Fe, but in the meantime, get over there on non-holiday Mondays if you want 'em.

Have a great holiday, everyone! We'll be taking next week (Dec. 28) off, and we'll see you in the new year!