I is for Isotopes Baseball #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

One nice thing about Albuquerque is that they have a Minor League Baseball team! The Isotopes are part of the Pacific Coast League and are the Triple-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies.Albuquerque Isotopes logo from WikipediaAlbuquerque and New Mexico is often associated with nuclear research and technology (Sandia National Labs, Los Alamos, and the Manhattan Project), the name is very appropriate. And the Isotopes do have an interesting connection with The Simpsons television show.They play at Isotopes Park, and in 2016 they have their home opener on Friday, April 15th.While not being huge baseball fans (it's a snoozer to watch on TV, in my opinion), the Isotopes games are a lot of fun to go to. There's a good variety of food to eat, and they have some fun giveaways and theme nights.xoxo Sarah...
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H is for Hatch Chiles #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

If you talk to anyone who's lived in New Mexico, the chile season (which runs each fall) begins and ends with Hatch.Hatch is an area (the Hatch Valley, and the village of Hatch) that grows New Mexico green chile (no, they're not jalapenos--they're their own thing, and a specific type, of which there are several varieties).The green chiles are sharper in flavor and have more front heat, while the ripe red ones tend to have a more complex flavor and less front heat but more back heat.In the late summer and early fall, the chile harvest begins. You'll start to see crates of Hatch chiles showing up in grocery stores, and there will be chile roasting areas, too, where if you get a certain amount, you can get them roasted for free.If you can't get to New Mexico to get some fresh roasted chile or to the Hatch Chile Festival in early September, Hatch does sell it online.Picture from Hatch Chile...
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G is for Gambling #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

Casinos aren't uncommon in New Mexico, and, like many in the U.S., a good number are run by Native Americans on their lands.There are a few in Albuquerque itself, but a good number are outside of the cities on the Pueblos. Santa Fe has quite a few nearby as well.As with most casinos, you'll encounter plenty of gambling but also buffets, restaurants, and shows. If you're looking for something a little different, or to see a concert, they might be a good bet.xoxo Sarah...
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F is for 505 #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

New Mexico actually has two area codes: 575 and 505.The 505 dates back to being one of the original area codes established in 1947.Due to the demand for new numbers, the 575 was created in 2007. It actually covers more of the state, but the areas with higher populations are still under 505.Still, the state had one area code for so long that "The 505" is considered a slang term for New Mexico.Picture from Wikipediaxoxo Sarah...
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E is for Enchantment #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

New Mexico has a pretty fabulous nickname: Land of Enchantment. Surprisingly, it only became the official nickname in 1999.What makes the nickname so great is that it encompasses so much of the state's history and landscape. Not only does New Mexico have stunning views (enchanting, perhaps?), but it was inhabited by indigenous peoples for a long time before Europeans explored the New World.The gorgeous scenery combined with the rich history of many peoples combines to make a truly enchanting place.Gorgeous morning! #nofilterneeded #nofilter #albuquerque #abq #sandia #sandiamountains #newmexicoA photo posted by Sarah Allan (@sarahallanauthor) on Nov 18, 2015 at 10:52am PST xoxo Sarah...
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D is for Desert (High Desert Climate, to be precise) #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

Albuquerque's climate is considered to be high desert. It has extremely low humidity levels, which makes even the heat of the summer where temperatures average about 90 degrees F bearable. At night in the summer, it's not uncommon for temperatures to swing lower by 40 or 50 degrees--if you go out, layers are a must.Winter is dry for the most part, and definitely colder--sometimes just a sweatshirt will be adequate, and other times you'll need to bundle up. They do get snow, but it's more common in the Sandias.What a difference a half hour makes! #abq #albuquerque #snow #firstsnowA photo posted by Sarah Allan (@sarahallanauthor) on Nov 16, 2015 at 1:45pm PST Spring and autumn are more temperate, with pleasant temperatures and lovely weather.Some folks ask if the weather is like it is in Arizona, and the answer is no, at least not in ABQ, because of the elevation. It doesn't get nearly as hot for as long as in...
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C is for Central Ave (US Route 66) #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

The place where the song says you can get your kicks runs right through Albuquerque!Pic from WikipediaHistoric highway U.S. Route 66 is better known as Central Avenue in ABQ. It runs concurrently with I40 through a good chunk of the state, but in Albuquerque it's a centerpiece.Along Central Ave, you can find plenty of unique restaurants and even the UNM campus. The city has made an effort to embrace the historical route, and often you'll see signage that reminds you of the 1950s and 1960s. Pic from WikipediaIf you get a chance to make a road trip through New Mexico, check it out if you have a chance!On to D tomorrow.xoxo Sarah...
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B is for Breaking Bad #AtoZChallenge #BreakingBad @AprilA2Z @BreakingBad_AMC

Breaking Bad is, probably, and I'm not exaggerating, one of the best-written television shows I've seen in a long time. I almost did an "Awesome Writing in Media" feature on it, but figured I could do this first.Full disclosure--hubs and I didn't watch it when it aired; we binged on it from start to finish over a period of a couple weeks recently. Thank you, Netflix.Because when we moved to Albuquerque, most of the time the first question out of someone's mouth was, "Have you seen Breaking Bad?" So it was mandatory viewing. "Yeah, bitch!" as Jesse Pinkman would say.Even only having been sort-of familiar with the city (we've lived in New Mexico since last summer), it was evident that the location was its own character on the show. No, it didn't overshadow Walter White or Jesse Pinkman, but the city shone in its own way. I'm one of those people who Googles stuff about shows afterward--trivia, filming locations, etc.--and...
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A is for Albuquerque #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

Albuquerque--New Mexico's largest city (but not the capital--that's Santa Fe), is probably best known to most folks due to a certain cartoon rabbit's wrong turn.But it's so much more than that. It's relatively in the middle of the state, and sits at about 5,000-6,000 feet above sea level. The population of the area is a bit over half a million people.Bordered by the Sandia Mountains on the eastern side and sloping down westward, the sunrises and sunsets are something to behold. The scenery is lovely--yes, it's mostly brown, but there's something beautiful about it.There's a lot to do, a lot to see, and so. Much. To. Eat.So instead of making that left turn at Albuquerque, stop by for a bit.I'll be hitting a lot of Albuquerque stuff in the coming days as well as New Mexico as a whole. I hope you enjoy my A-Z Challenge posts!Lovely morning! #abq #albuquerque #sandiaA photo posted by Sarah Allan (@sarahallanauthor) on Oct 13,...
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#FoodieFriday: Roasted Asparagus #vegetarian

This is the last Foodie Friday I'll be doing for a few weeks due to my participation in the April A-Z Blogging Challenge, so I wanted to give you guys something easy.Picture from Simply StacieSpringtime is prime asparagus season, and nothing is more awesome than simply prepared vegetables.In this case, Simply Stacie has the answer: Roasted Asparagus.My personally favorite way to prepare asparagus is to grill it, but this recipe is more universal in that most of us have an oven but not everyone has a grill.Basically, trimmed asparagus+olive oil+ salt & pepper and you're done. She uses garlic, which I think would also be fabulous, but I haven't used it when I've made this recipe yet. I'm lazy like that.10 minutes in a 450 degree F oven, stirring/turning once at the halfway mark, and BOOM.Such an easy side.I hope you guys tune in for my A-Z Challenge posts!xoxo Sarah...
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