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.

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

Hacks to Help Deal with Snow

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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.

What to Keep in Your Car’s Winter Emergency Kit

emergency Items close up

Whether you are someone who travels extensively or you commute a short way back and forth to work, you should have an emergency kit in your vehicle, even if all of your driving is city driving. You never know when something might happen even to a new vehicle, or when Mother Nature might have a hissy fit and cause you to get stranded in ice or snow. As soon as you pick up a vehicle from Jack Links Auto, move your emergency kit into it or make a kit for the new vehicle.

Seasonal Items

During the cooler months, make sure you have extra blankets and a large tarp in your emergency kit. Each person in the vehicle should have a heavy, warm blanket. During the warmer months, a light blanket for each person will be enough. The tarp will help protect you from the weather and will provide warmth if you cannot stay in the vehicle.

During the winter also be sure to have a change of warn dry clothing. During the spring months, the extra set of clothing just needs to be dry, but preferably not shorts.

Items that Expire

You should always have extra water and extra food in the vehicle. Rotate these items every month. The food should be non-perishable. You don’t have to rotate the food out as often as water and if it has clear expiration date, rotate it out about a month before the expiration date. Don’t forget that batteries have an expiration date, too, and you should have at least one extra set. Two sets are better.

First Aid

Make sure you have a large first aid kit and not something with very little in it, especially if you plan on traveling or a long distance. You should have various sizes of bandages, gauze, medical tape, an Ace bandage, splints, eye wash, tweezers, needle and thread., unopened Super Glue, anti-bacterial cream, cotton swabs, alcohol wipes and a thermometer.

Visit Jack Links Auto

Stop by Jack Links Auto today to test drive a pre-owned certified vehicle or three and to learn more about your favorite model’s features.

Gear Up With 4-Wheel Drive This Winter!

Though helpful year round, 4-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicles offer superior traction and handling, which can help immensely in winter road conditions or any time of year where the roads in less than desirable conditions. Check out one of these models, featuring 4-wheel or all-wheel drive, if you’re considering a new vehicle this winter.

2015 Ford Explorer Limited

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The 2015 Ford Explorer Limited features AWD to help you conquer any winter road condition. You’ll remain firmly in control no matter what the road throws at you.

Enjoy the flexibility of the 3.5L 6 cylinder engine, which runs on either gasoline or ethanol.

Features such as a reverse camera, Bluetooth syncability, tow package, and SiriusXM Satellite radio make driving the Ford Explorer a joy.

2013 Chevy Silverado 1500

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The 2013 Chevy Silverado 1500 features 4WD and a 4.3L 6 cylinder engine.

This is a perfect vehicle if you’re looking for a rugged and dependable work truck for winter conditions and beyond. With only 30,112 miles clocked, this work truck has plenty of life left in it for whatever work you throw its way. From hauling materials to towing a trailer, this truck can handle it all.

Visit Jack Link’s Auto Supercenter

Ready to check out or even test drive a 4-wheel or all-wheel vehicle before winter really sets in? Stop in at Jack Link’s Auto Supercenter to tour the inventory with a friendly associate today.

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.

Tips to Winterize Your Vehicle

Lonely car in motion blur on the road in winter landscape

When you pick up your new vehicle from Links Auto Supercenter, you’ll want to winterize it as soon as possible. Some of the things will already be in place from the dealership, but some things you’ll have to add yourself. If you have a vehicle that is just a couple years old and are not ready for a new car just yet, you’ll still need to winterize it; and you’ll need to check everything on the list.

Tires

If you prefer to use summer and winter tires, changing them out at the season changes, check your vehicle’s winter tires for dry rot and low tread. If they look great, it’s time to dig them out and put them on. If not, you’ll need to get another set or switch to all-season tires.

If your vehicle has all-season tires on it, check to ensure that the tires have enough tread to get through the winter, are balanced properly and that your suspension is properly aligned.

Mechanical

Have your vehicle checked over carefully before the first snow falls. Even if it’s not time for regular maintenance, you should bring the vehicle in to have our technicians check the tires, brakes, belts, hoses, battery, alternator and other mechanical aspects. Also, if your owner’s manual recommends a different weight oil for the winter, you’ll need to get an oil change.

Emergency Supplies

Emergency supplies are often overlooked, especially with those that rarely travel outside the city. However, even in the city, they could save your life. In a bad snowstorm, you may not be rescued from your situation for hours. Those extra blankets and warm clothes, and the food and water could come in handy.

If you often travel on less populated roads, you should definitely have an emergency supply cache, including the blankets, extra clothing, first aid kit, matches, flashlight, extra batteries, extra water and plenty of non-perishable, high-energy food to last everyone in the vehicle for at least two days.

Visit Links Auto Supercenter

Stop by Links Auto Supercenter to test drive a new vehicle or give our service department a call to set up an appointment to winterize your vehicle.

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

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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

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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

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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.

What the Dashboard Icons Mean

Tachometer red-line with warning indicators

The dash has warning lights for a reason – they tell you that something is wrong with your vehicle. Depending on which light comes on, you should tow or drive your vehicle to Link Ford in Minong to have it checked by our service department.

“Dummy” Lights

Most vehicles have gauges for the oil and water, but some, especially older vehicles, have dummy lights for the oil and water. When these lights come on, it’s usually too late. The oil light lights up when there is next to no oil pressure or no oil pressure. You should shut the vehicle off immediately. The water light means that the vehicle is overheating. The problem with overheating is that even when you shut the vehicle off, it has heat sink and could still damage the engine.

If you don’t have gauges for the oil and water, you should have aftermarket gauges installed. You could check the oil and water every week, but that is not a guarantee that you will catch a problem before the lights come on.

Service Engine Soon Light

The service engine soon light means that something is wrong with the vehicle’s fuel management system. The sensors communicate with the computer to tell it how much gas and air to dump into the engine to make it run. When you press on the gas, the throttle position sensor tells the computer you want to go faster, and in turn, the computer instructs the injectors to dump more fuel and the air intake to allow more air to keep the proper mixture.

If the service engine soon light comes on, it means that one or more of the sensors are not working. If the light is giving a soft oxygen sensor code, that usually means that the mixture of gas and air is incorrect. If the dealership pulls the codes and finds erroneous codes or several codes that don’t make sense, you could have a bad powertrain control module.

Visit Jack Link Ford

While you may be able to scan the codes and erase them yourself, you should bring your vehicle in to Link Ford in Minong to have it scanned and properly diagnosed so you are not throwing parts at the vehicle. Everything on the engine affects something else, so a bad plug, wire or anything else could be affecting the sensor’s communication with the powertrain module.

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.