Warm Up with Hot Cocoa

hot chocolate

There’s no better way to stay warm in the winter than with a nice cup of homemade hot chocolate. Making your own hot chocolate is easier and tastier than using packaged alternatives. Follow these simple hot cocoa recipes to stay warm and put yourself in the holiday spirit this winter.

Creamy Hot Chocolate

What you’ll need:

  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup boiling water

Cooking instructions:

  1. combine the cocoa powder, sugar and a pinch of salt together in a saucepan.
  2. Stir the boiling water into a saucepan.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring continuously. Be careful not to scorch the mixture.
  4. Stir 3 1/2 cups milk into the mixture and heat until the entire combination is very hot. Do not boil the mixture.
  5. Remove the entire combination from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
  6. Disperse the mixture between four mugs.
  7. Add the cream into the mugs to cool it to a desirable drinking temperature.

White-Hot Hot Chocolate

What you’ll need:

  • 6 ounces white chocolate (chopped)
  • 3 1/2 cups 2-percent milk
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Cooking instructions:

  1. Warm a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water. Place the white chocolate in the bowl.
  2. Let the chocolate melt while stirring occasionally. Stir the cayenne pepper and cinnamon into the mix.
  3. Whisk the egg into the mixture until smooth.
  4. Gradually whisk one cup of milk into the mixture until it is completely incorporated (about 2 minutes)
  5. Whisk in the remaining milk and heat the mixture until it’s hot but not boiling.
  6. Serve when the hot chocolate has reached your desired drinking temperature. Garnish with cinnamon.

Visit Jack Link’s Auto

Stop by Jack Link’s Auto today to test drive a new vehicle or to schedule maintenance service.

Hacks to Help Deal with Snow

shoveling snow

Dealing with snow in the morning is something we all approach with a deep sense of resignation. Just something to get done in order to move on with the day. Save yourself some time and effort with these smart life hacks.

Put Non-Stick Cooking Spray on Your Shovel

As anyone who’s shoveled snow can attest, there are different types. While some slides right off the shovel, there are snows that like to clump up and weigh down your shovel and refuse to come off. This can make shoveling extra tedious. You can avoid this issue completely by spraying non-stick cooking oil on your shovel’s surface. Snow will slide right off when you want it to.

Wear Socks Over Your Boots

It may sound funny, but they add extra traction to your footing and make sure you don’t lose your balance. Just buy a pair of extra large socks that have the space to accommodate your boots or shoes and see how well you can stay on your feet without slipping and sliding.

Avoid Shoveling Altogether

To avoid snow and ice altogether, put tarps down wherever you wish no snow to be in the morning. Just stretch the tarps down tight over sidewalk, driveway, or even your car and weigh them down with cinderblocks. In the morning, simply peel the tarps up and you’ll have a clean car and a beautiful stretch of concrete to back it down.

Visit Jack Link’s Auto Supercenter

Now that you don’t have to work so hard to get your car out in the morning, maybe it’s time to honor that by heading over to Jack Link’s Auto Supercenter and test driving a new vehicle. If you have to shovel a vehicle out of some snow, at least make it a nice vehicle. We can help set you up with something at Jack Link’s Auto Supercenter.

Holiday Side Dishes Your Family Will Love

Homemade Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Make something a little different for Christmas dinner this year. When you plan to head out for ingredients, do it on a day when you have an appointment for service at Jack Links Auto or when you are stopping by the showroom to test drive a new vehicle. You’ll be able to combine shopping and vehicle errands into one day to save time.

Corn Casserole

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 8 ½-ounce package of dry cornbread mix
  • 1 15-ounce can of whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 14.75-ounce can creamed corn
  • 1 cup sour cream

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a 9-inch by 9-inch baking dish. Combine the butter, eggs, cornbread mix, the whole corn, the creamed corn and the sour cream in a medium bowl.

Pour the mixture into the baking dish. Bake the corn casserole for 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Serve hot.

Ultra Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 5 pounds red potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon powdered garlic, more to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Boil the potatoes until they are tender. Drain the potatoes. Put them back into the cooking pot. Add the butter, salt, pepper and garlic. Mash the mixture. Gradually beat in the heavy cream. Adjust spices to your taste.

Best Green Beans

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound frozen or fresh green beans
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 slices of thick-sliced slab bacon, cut into quarters
  • 1 tsp. Garlic powder
  • Pepper to taste
  • Bacon bits

Instructions:

Cook the bacon in a saucepan until it’s translucent. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook until the beans are heated through. Garnish with bacon bits.

Visit Jack Links Auto

Call the service department at Jack Links Auto to schedule an appointment for maintenance or stop by our showroom to test drive a new vehicle.

Car Organization Tips

Dusting inside the car

We spend hours in our car and on the road. Whether we are commuting to work, running errands or taking a long deserved vacation, our car is a point of pride. It’s hard to be proud of a dirty cluttered car, which is why keeping it clean and clutter free is so important.

  • A good wax will help keep your car protected from dirt and scratches longer than washing alone. Make sure to leave the wax on your as long as recommended before wiping it off.
  • Regularly schedule a time to wash your car. If you establish a routine, it will be much easier to stick to and much more likely to get done.
  • Keep a trash bag in the car. If you have a bag for garbage you are much less likely to just leave it around your car.
  • Find a place for all the items you use regularly. For example, sunglasses can be clipped to the visor or stored in compartment near the driver.
  • Make a point to clean out the car at least once a week, and to throw away trash every time you get out of the car. Remember that routines are easier to stick to, and will eventually become a habit.
  • Try using hanging organizers. These are great for the back seat, and really come in handy if you have kids. You can store small toys, books, and maps here.
  • Make good use of mats for the front and back seats. If you don’t have them already, get some. Mats help keep the floor from getting dirty, which makes clean up a breeze. They can easily be taken out of your car and shaken out or sprayed down.
  • Keep baby wipes handy – or other disposable wet wipes. They are great for cleaning up small spills and sticky fingers. If you have a habit of eating in the car they are invaluable.

Jack Links Auto has plenty of new and used vehicles that you could be proud to own. We also offer high quality service and car parts for all your repair needs, so that you can continue to be proud of your car for years to come.

Delicious Turkey Side Recipes for Thanksgiving

Homemade Flakey Buttermilk Biscuits

No Thanksgiving meal is complete without biscuits or cornbread. You can make your favorite recipes or try these great tried and true recipes. When you’re out picking up the items you need to prepare Thanksgiving dinner, be sure to stop by Links Auto Supercenter to test drive a new vehicle if you’ve been considering something new before the end of the year. This way, you’ll have something new to drive if you plan on taking a holiday weekend trip.

Melt in Your Mouth Biscuits

This recipe “cheats” by using Jiffy Mix. Make the biscuits as directed on the box, except substitute buttermilk for the liquid. If you use whole, thick buttermilk, you may need to add more than what is called for in the recipe.

Mix 3 tablespoons of butter with 1 tablespoon honey until the honey and butter are thoroughly incorporated. If you prefer a sweeter taste, add a bit more honey. Put the mixture in the microwave for 2-3 seconds and stir. Repeat until the mixture is loose enough to “paint” the top of the biscuits with a brush.

Paint the tops of the biscuits with the honey butter. Bake according to the instructions on the box. You may want to check them early, especially if you are using dark, nonstick pans. The honey butter will cause the tops to brown up quite a bit.

Sweet Cornbread

This is another “cheat” recipe that you can get away with calling homemade. You’ll need a cast iron pan and either lard or bacon drippings, with the drippings being the first choice. Coat the sides and bottom of the cast iron pan with the bacon drippings.

Mix up two boxes of Jiffy Cornbread mix as directed, but use buttermilk instead of milk or water and add ½ cup of granulated sugar to the mix. Pour the mix into the prepared pan and bake as directed. Keep an eye on it – the dark pan makes it done sooner than the times listed on the box. The cornbread is done when a toothpick comes out clean when tested near the side of the mix.

Visit Links Auto Supercenter

Stop by Links Auto Supercenter to test drive a new vehicle or give our service department a call to schedule an appointment for service or maintenance.

Top Tailgate Picks

Sometimes you need a new vehicle because yours has gotten a bit old. Sometimes you need a new vehicle because you need something with better fuel economy for that new job that’s a bit out of the way. Sometimes you get a new vehicle because you want to throw epic tailgate parties from the back of a truck or SUV.

Hey, all valid reasons. With that last one in mind, check out these great buys currently available at Jack Link’s Auto Supercenter.

The 2016 Ford Explorer XLT

1fm5k8d82gga99531-1c

This handsome 2016 Ford Explorer XLT is full of convenient amenities that will pair perfectly with game day. The Bluetooth audio system and Wifi capability, paired with the ample 3rd row seating and storage space, means that you’ll have no issue transporting both the crew and the gear to the stadium.

Outside of tailgating, this Explorer comes equipped with all wheel drive, a V-6 engine, navigation system, reverse camera, keyless entry, and flex fuel ability (gas or ethanol).

It has only 20,558 miles on the odometer and is available at the low price of $28,675 (that’s $14,320 of its retail value!).

The 2014 Toyota Tundra

5tfcw5f14ex016998-1c

Looking to tailgate in the more traditional truck? How about this 2014 Toyota Tundra? The truck bed is convenient and versatile on game day and equally so doing your day to day errands.

The extended cab means that you’re not sacrificing passenger space. The truck comes equipped with 4 wheel drive, a V-8 engine, and is flex fuel capable as well, working off either gas or ethanol.

It has only 10,749 miles on the odometer and is available at the bargain price of $33,630 (that’s $6,365 of its retail value!).

Head to the Next Packer’s Game in Your New Vehicle

Once you have one of the above vehicles in your driveway (or any other great tailgating vehicle on our lot) take it out for its inaugural game. Better yet, be the tailgate party-throwing hero to your friends and family!

Seeing as how you bought a vehicle in Wisconsin, chances are better than not that you’re supporting the Packers. Here are the Green Bay Packers games for the rest of the season. Home games are highlighted in bold.

  • November 6 vs Colts
  • November 13 at Titans
  • November 20 at Redskins
  • November 28 at Eagles
  • December 4 vs Texans
  • December 11 vs Seahawks
  • December 18 at Bears
  • December 24 vs Vikings
  • January 1 at Lions

Visit Jack Link’s Auto Supercenter

Didn’t manage to grab one of the featured vehicles before they sold? No problem, we’ve got plenty of others! Come in and test drive any vehicle at Jack Link’s Auto Supercenter. From tailgate-ready trucks and SUVs to economical sedans, Jack Link’s Auto Supercenter has a vehicle to fit your needs and budget.

The Perfect Halloween Candy to Handout

shutterstock_324890210

On your way home from Link Ford Minong, whether you just had your Ford serviced or just picked up your new vehicle, be sure to stop by the store to pick up some Halloween candy. Make sure you have enough so that you don’t run out. You can always freeze extra candy if you don’t think you’ll eat it fast enough.

What is the Perfect Halloween Candy?

The perfect Halloween candy depends on your tastes. Since you want to make sure you don’t run out, you’ll want to buy a bunch, so the perfect candy is something you like to eat, just in case you have leftovers. Since it will most likely be cool, you don’t have to worry about the candy melting, so grab all the chocolate you want.

Big Bars or Small Bars

The best thing you can get is the smaller bars. This allows you to buy several different kinds so you can offer a good mix by just grabbing two or three for each child. And, this gives you a variety for yourself if you have candy left over.

Sealed Candy

Don’t choose something like a large bag of M&Ms that are not individually wrapped. It might be tempting to make something with unwrapped candy, but it will just get thrown away by parents since they won’t be able to tell whether it’s been tampered with. Make sure any candy you get for Halloween is sealed. You can pick up large bags of assorted candy at most drug stores and many grocery stores. Each piece is individually wrapped and won’t be wasted.

Visit Link Ford of Minong

If you are taking your kids out for Halloween and are driving to a trunk or treat event or are driving the kids around the neighborhood because it’s cold, you’ll want to make sure your car is working properly, especially the heater. Call Link Ford Minong to make an appointment for maintenance and to have your vehicle’s HVAC system checked before Halloween.

How to Get that New Car Smell Again

Air freshener hanging in the car on green natural background

Love that new car smell and want to keep it around longer? Lost it and want it back? There are ways to do it.

If you didn’t know, that new car smell actually comes from the chemicals that are used in the materials of the interior. These chemicals are a varied number of adhesives and sealers along with plastic softening chemicals that evaporate over time, which makes the car lose that new car smell. Knowing this, how do you get it back?

Keeping the different interior types in good shape, such as the leather and carpet, are key factors in keeping your Ford smelling like new. Stick to a weekly schedule for cleaning your carpets and any other cloth upholstery. This doesn’t take a lot of time when done regularly. Vacuuming will pick up the dust, dirt and other build-up that can make your vehicle smell stale and unpleasant.

This also includes shaking out the mats regularly, which get dirty fastest. Shake them out every other day. If you have a leather interior, you can purchase leather or vinyl cleaners and conditioners that remove grime and smells while replacing moisture. They also keep leather from cracking and drying out over time.

Be aware of the smells you bring into your new car. If you bring in other smells, you can take away from the new car scent. For example, if you smoke or eat in your car, it can easily begin smelling of ash, smoke, or food items. Keeping a vehicle smelling like new is a lot like cleaning your house. After you clean, you will have a house that is fresh and clean with a great scent for a while in your home. But if you make a pot of coffee, smoke a cigarette, and cook dinner, there goes the clean scent again.

Visit Jack Link Ford in Minong

If it’s been a while since you’ve enjoyed that new car smell, come check out a new Ford at Link Ford Minong. Providing auto sales, service, parts, and accessories in Minong, Link Ford is your go to dealership for a new car and that new car smell.

October Events in Wisconsin

richardsons_octevents

If you think that October is all about spooky events, then Wisconsin is the place for you. Here are some of the spookiest happenings in Wisconsin this October.

Haunted Hearthstone Tours – October 7 (recurring) in Appleton, WI

Haunted Hearthstone explores the Victorian customs with death, the supernatural, and mysticism. Glimpses of Hearthstone’s ghostly past will be revealed. Tours will be held every Friday night in October (the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th) from 6-8pm with a special even on the 28th from 8:30-10:30pm.

5K Zombie Run – October 8 in Spooner, WI

Head to Spooner for a creepy fall evening 5K Zombie Run that will take runners through the haunted woods of Spooner!  5K Zombie Run participants are encouraged (but not required) to dress up in their scariest zombie attire. While registration is on an individual basis, racers are encouraged to run with friends (you may need a hand to hold!). Water stations will be located at the approximate half-way point and at the finish line. Course will be clearly marked. The course terrain will contain paved trail and road/sidewalk. Cash prizes awarded for 1st place finishers (men’s and women’s divisions). Prizes also awarded for 2nd & 3rd place for both men’s and women’s divisions and Best Zombie Costume. Rain or shine. Once registered, look for an email detailing more race specifics closer to race day. Register online now! All racers will be required to sign and turn in a waiver before participating.

Gothic History Tours 2016 – October 21 (recurring) in Cedarburg, WI

The 90-minute docent-led walking tours begin and end at the Cedarburg Cultural Center with stops at mysterious sites in downtown Cedarburg’s National Historic District and the Zur Ruhe Cemetery. Tours also scheduled for the 23rd and 28th.

Ghosts of Galloway: Family Vintage Halloween – October 23 in Fond Du Lac, WI

Don your favorite costume and head to the Galloway House & Village for a vintage trick-or-treating adventure bursting with fun. Join in the Halloween Parade from one Treat Building to the next to collect goodies. Classic Halloween games and activities to include bobbing for apples, pumpkin decorating, crafts, three-legged sack races, and hoop rolling contest are just part of the fun. Activities included with admission. Suitable for ages Toddler to 12. Takes place from 1-4pm.

Visit Link Ford in Rice Lake

Drop by Link Ford in Rice Lake this October to view our inventory of new and used vehicles. Link Ford in Rice Lake offers auto sales, service, parts, and accessories in Wisconsin.

Tips for Driving With Your Pet in the Car

jacklinkauto_04

When you pick up a new vehicle from Link Ford in Minong, you will probably pick up something while keeping your pet in mind. Some vehicles are better for taking your pet with you than others. Whether you choose a sedan or SUV, there are ways to keep your pet safe.

Crating

When possible, keep your pets crated in the vehicle. If you should get into an accident, the crate will hopefully hold together so that your pet doesn’t get loose on the highway. It would be a shame for your pet to survive a bad accident only to get hit on the highway. Also, a crate keeps your pet from being thrown into the front seat or into the windshield should you have to come to fast stop or should you hit something.

Seat Belts and Harnesses

Sometimes, it’s just not possible to create your pet. Have fun trying to fit a Great Dane-sized crate in a vehicle, even an SUV. Your best option is to get a harness for your pet. This keeps the pet from sliding around the seat, trying to jump in the front, distracting the driver and keeps your pet safe in the event of an accident. Most harnesses attach to the seat belt.

Look for a harness that has been crash tested, that has a broad padded chest plate, that is compatible with your vehicle’s seat belts, that is adjustable to your dog’s size and that has all metal hardware. Other attributes should include the ability to function as a walking harness and that it has a good seat belt loop.

Car Sickness

If your dog gets car sick, you can still take it with you. Check with your vet about the proper dosages of Dramamine. You just have to remember to give it to the dog about a half hour before you leave. This will keep you from having to clean up any messes in your vehicle.

Visit Link Ford Minong

Visit Link Ford in Minong for auto sales, service, and accessories. Our salespeople will help you find something that suits every member of your family, including your pets.