The Fork

The Fork: Be Grateful

Food-based reasons for gratitude (and maybe a cake recipe, too)

A friend of ours has been doing this thing lately wherein they text us on the regular to let us know about three things for which they’re grateful on any given day.

They’re doing this, they say, to try and be more mindful, but also in a public attempt to deprogram some of their more negative leanings. It works, they swear, and word on the street is that they’ve gone from pessimism to feeling pretty OK in a few short weeks.

For our part, we don’t mind getting texts that are like, “I was glad today because my kid made me laugh,” or “I thought they stopped making this particular pair of pants I love, but I found several at the outlet mall near my house,” or even, “I just feel pretty good today.”

In a nutshell? We want in. And though The Fork will not now become some sort of rainbow-infused, written monument to abject positivity (we believe that toxic positivity is a real thing), we did get to thinking about how it’s cool to have a job wherein we get to eat food and talk shit. So bear with us while we rattle off three food-based things about which we’re feeling pumped:

Chile roasting season is firing up soon

New Mexicans know the two signs that summer is basically wrapping up come when Zozobra gets got and when you start smelling that heavenly green roasting in grocery store parking lots. We’re also weirdly grateful to be a part of the soooooo incredibly New Mexico-specific traditions, that the smell factor and the love factor compound into some kind of magic natural high. Pro tip? We’re always hearing about how chile is gonna become scarce, so stock up. Also, if anyone has any good recipes for chile, we’d love to hear about them.

There are still so many restaurants we haven’t tried

Our editor hit up a restaurant he’d been putting off for ages this week (you can read about it in the food section at and it got us thinking about all the places we’ve not had a chance to try yet. Think of the possibilities! Think about chef Alex Hadidi moving into the CHOMP Food Hall with his excellent bagels and likely new items...think about all the food trucks on the Southside just waiting to taco us up. With more vegetarian and vegan options popping up all the time, that doesn’t hurt, either.

Tres leches cake exists

We just like tres leches cake, and why wouldn’t we?!

So what’re you grateful for, dear readers, in the food milieu?

“Remember me, the one you got the technique from?”

Pretty Easy Tres Leches Recipe

A friend of ours who shall go unnamed bakes cakes for a grocery store in California that shall go unnamed and agreed to share the recipe they use for tres leches cake (which they’ve altered slightly to serve more like 10 or 12 people as opposed to the massive store ones). Use it or don’t!

You’ll Need:

For the Cake Part

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar (though you can get away with 3/4 cup, they say)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • like, three bowls at least

For the Milk (aka tres leches) Part

  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • *note those last two generally come in 12-ounce cans, which is, luckily, what you want

For the Whipped Cream Topping Part

  • whipped cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

The Steps

For making the cake:

  • Preheat your oven to 350
  • In a bowl, combine your flour, baking powder and salt then whisk together
  • In another bowl, separate your egg yolks (but keep those whites in yet another bowl) and add the sugar (to the yolks only)...then kinda whip/stir them with a fork until they’re sorta fluffy
  • Add vanilla extract to the yolk/sugar fluff and mix well
  • Add your wets to your dries and stir together, then add that milk and stir together
  • Whisk them egg whites until you’re like, “Oh, dang, this looks almost like whipped cream!” at which point you’ll add 1/4 cup sugar and then keep on whisking til it’s smooth and pretty
  • Fold into the batter you made before
  • Pour your batter into a greased, 9x12 or 9x13 (we’ve seen both) cake pan and bake for 30-ish minutes or until it looks like it’s a pretty nice cake

For Milking the Milk:

  • Combine those three milks, which is the tres leches part, and stir them
  • When your cake has cooled to room temp (you want it a little warm), use a fork or toothpick or whatever to poke holes all over it, then soak that bad boy in those tres leches, cover and chill (overnight is best, but at least a few hours is fine, we guess)

For the Whipped Cream Part:

  • Combine the cream, the sugar and the vanilla and whip it til it’s whipped
  • Slather and spread all over your cake
  • Serve it, maybe with strawberries...yeah, strawberries sound good


-Did you know that Santa Fe eatery Arroyo Vino hasn’t held a grand wine tasting since 2019? Amazing how the years fly by when everything is terrible. They’re back to it, though, on Saturday, Aug. 20 with a special tasting on their new covered deck. Word is, you’ll be looking at over 100 wines, and that the $50 cover is refundable when you purchase a case of something. Call (505) 983-2100 for more info or to make reservations, which are required.

-The Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta is coming up Sept. 21-25, and we just learned today that Napa Valley winery Frank Family Vineyards has been selected as Winery of the Year from a pool of more than 90 others. We know there’s a whole month and change between now and then, but we just thought you should know.

-To keep the wine thing going, New Mexico winery Gruet has announced updated Happy Hour times, which will now go down Monday-Thursday, 1-4 pm at their tasting rooms in Santa Fe and Albuquerque. Simply present your New Mexico ID to get $2 off glass pours. We also hear you can rent out those tasting rooms for special events now, which is pretty cool, too.

-To keep the updated hours thing going, note that Railyard restaurant Opuntia has some new ones going, which means they’re now open for dinner 5-9 pm on Thursdays, 5-10 pm on Friday and Saturday and 5-9 pm on Sundays. We’ve had trouble finding good coffee on weekend evenings, so we’re into the change.

-To keep the coffee thing going, we hear downtown coffee shop Crash Murder Business (those are groups of rhinos, crows and ferrets, respectively) is hiring afternoon baristas. We like the shop, honestly, and have had many a tasty/clever concoction there. If you wanna learn more about its deal, click this freaking link right now, jeeze, and follow on Instagram if you want to apply. Or maybe just stop by and quaff a drink and apply—we don’t know, we’re not your mom (as far as you know).

-To circle back to the tasting thing, Rio Chama Prime Steakhouse is hosting a special bourbon tasting dinner on Wednesday, Aug. 17. At $150 per person it’s a little steep, but bourbon is amazing, so...your call. Call (505) 955-0765 for more info or to make reservations.

Ummmm........Taj Mahal AND Ry Cooder? Sick.

More Tidbits

-H/t to reader Matthew Z. for sending the article about Choco Taco replacements. For those of you who missed it, the Choco Taco is soon to be discontinued, and ain’t nobody wants to live in a world wherein their ice cream cone isn’t taco-shaped. Sadly, the article was behind the paywall at the San Francisco Chronicle (which we’re linking in case people already have a subscription or want to start one), so we’re going to share a link to a story about other people on the case that’s free.

-National Mochi Day is coming up on Aug. 8. Do with that information what thou wilt. What’s mochi, you ask, you poor bastards? It’s like a little frozen and sweet Japanese rice cake kind of thing, but think of it more like chewy/kinda ice cream-adjacent (KIND OF, WE SAID) than rice cracker-ish (just in case you were making that connection like a weirdo).

-Good news for any Taco Bell whiners out there who were all wigged out over the discontinuation of the Mexican Pizza—it’s back permanently and, according to the company’s CEO, other discontinued items could return as well.

-Can strawberries make your teeth whiter? So wonder the nerds at USA Today. What’s the bottom line, though? Nope. They can’t. They sure taste nice on a tres leches cake, though.

-We just wanted to note how we’re seeing press for that Hulu show The Bear literally everyplace lately, but we want you to remember who told you about it first—The Fork, that’s who.

-It seems ubiquitous spice company McCormick is feeling the not-quite-hip-enough-for-this-modern-world blues, meaning there are new spices in the lineup and, according to Eater-dot-com, a real robust online presence. Now, The Fork LOATHES when people act like a company’s Twitter account blasting out dumb stuff like, “Hey, fellow young people—you know when the squad fams the lit fam, squad? You KNOW the squad fams the lit fam, squad. No cap! Ship! Stan! FAM!” means they’re not a company, but we admit that we couldn’t care less about what happens in the spice saga. Anyway, spice your food, dang, but also? Get real, vitamin breath.

-Lastly in not-just-local news, find here a rather thorough breakdown of companies making fake meats around the fake meat-o-sphere. We’re down to clown.

A Totally Scientific Breakdown of The Fork’s Correspondence

In the print edition of this week’s SFR, our once-vegetarian editor caved to pork pressure like a coward and took that pork show on the road across four venues in a few short weeks.

Number of Letters Received


*And many of you explaining to us that there are veggie burgers that aren’t about simulating meat.

Most Helpful Tip of the Week (a barely edited letter from a reader)

“I never thought I’d care about a fake taco, but here we are.”


Actually Helpful Tip(s)

Matthew Z.’s reminder that Choco Tacos are not the only choco tacos—we needed to hear that.

*We also like regular tacos

Hashtag Grateful,

The Fork

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