New Takes on Classic Thanksgiving Side Dishes

classic Thanksgiving side dishesThanksgiving is all about food. That’s why we put together a list of classic side dishes, helping you to prepare the perfect holiday meal. Some of the following Thanksgiving side recipes have a modern twist, creating bold flavors that the whole family is sure to enjoy.

According to Better Homes and Gardens, one of the most iconic dishes for the holiday is mashed potatoes. Whether you like them lumpy or smooth, everyone can agree that it’s not quite Thanksgiving without the potatoes to accompany the turkey. Try making rustic garlic mashed potatoes this holiday season by adding garlic and chicken broth to the dish—a surprising combination that will make your mouth water.

Green bean casserole is also a classic, though this dish has gone downhill over the years. If you’re looking for something more than soggy beans in a mess of cream-of-mushroom soup, make sure to get fresh, French-cut beans, fresh mushrooms, and bacon. Adding fresh ingredients to the mix and topping with bacon will really make that flavor pop.

Everyone will be asking for seconds of the stuffing if you add some secret ingredients. Fresh is always better than the box, so be sure to get carrots, celery, bread, and onions. The real secret is adding roasted chestnuts, a subtle flavor that really sets the mood for fall.

Be sure to try some of these classic Thanksgiving side dishes this year. Your whole family is bound to enjoy some refreshing takes on traditional recipes.

Tips for Thanksgiving Travel: The Best Ways to Enjoy the Holiday

tips for Thanksgiving travelThanksgiving can be one of the busiest travel days of the year. That’s why it is important to follow these tips for Thanksgiving travel. You’ll find the best ways to get ahead on the holiday, helping you to enjoy the time you spend with your family rather than worrying about travel. Read on for some helpful tips.

According to the Travel Channel, one of the best things to do is start planning at least a week ahead. Map out the best route by taking holiday travel into consideration, and consider the best time to leave (Sunday afternoon is the worst time to drive or fly). Also, make sure you are stocked for any long trips, including the emergency first aid kit.

Travel as light as possible. Eliminating unnecessary baggage will make the ride more comfortable for everyone, especially if you have to travel for several hours. Make a list of everything you need, and cut it to the bare essentials. If possible, see if you can arrange for laundry accommodations if you stay for several days. This will make it easier to leave some clothes behind.

Finally, relax and have fun. One of the quickest ways to ruin the holidays is to stress out. Work on delegating tasks to other family members to help ease the burden on single family members, and be sure to set reasonable expectations.

Trick or Treat Safety for Kids

trick or treat safety

Halloween is around the corner, and you know what that means – trick or treat! Come the 31st, there are going to be lots of little kids running around in costume looking to get their sugar fix. Maybe you have a child of your own that’s excited to dress up for free candy. Here’s some trick or treat safety tips that can be put to good use this Halloween season to make sure everybody gets their treats without any tricks.

First of all, trick or treating with your child is crucial. No child under 12 should be allowed to go out without an adult, and those who are old enough to go without supervision should stay in well-lit, familiar areas.

Children should be instructed to walk safely. Don’t let kids play on their mobile devices; they should keep their heads up to see where they’re going. Only cross at corners and stay on the sidewalk when not crossing the street. If possible, plan a route in advance to minimize the amount of times you’ll need to cross the street.

Keep an eye out for dangerous costumes too – masks obstruct children’s vision, and if the child is wearing a dark costume, have them wear reflective tape or carry a glowstick.

Trick or treat safety is important. Even if you aren’t taking the kids out, it’s important to drive safely around costumed trick or treaters, too. Let’s keep our kids and our community safe this Halloween!

Fun Fall Activities in Clinton, NC

fun fall activitiesLooking for something to do this fall? There are plenty of fun fall activities in Clinton, North Carolina.

Old School Sorghum Festival: Technically in Roseboro, only a 17 minute trip away from Clinton, this festival introduces guests to a tour of the old school as well as vendors, historical exhibits, interactive activities, and much more. Check it out on October 15th.

Sampson County History Museum: This museum has a “Historical Hauntings” event coming up on Halloween, but if spooky stuff isn’t your thing, you can come any other day for a fun and educational glimpse into the past of Clinton and the surrounding Sampson County area.

Halloween on the Square: Downtown Clinton offers trick-or-treating for youngsters on the Square for the 4th year in a row! With pumpkin carving, a ghost hunt, live music, and, of course, plenty of free candy, this is a great way to do something different and fun for Halloween.

Hubb’s Corn Maze: Hubb’s is open the rest of the year under the name Hubb’s Farm, but the famous corn maze is only open from September 17th through November 12th. There are tons of activities and games for kids onsite besides just the maze like Corn Hole, a Tire Mountain, a Giant Sandbox, and much more.

Fun fall activities aren’t hard to come by in Clinton. Check out one or all of the events listed on this blog and you’re sure to have a good time.

The Best Fall Road Trips in North Carolina

best fall road trips in North Carolina Snacks? Check. Water? Check. Music? Camera? Check, check. Pack up your Nissan and get ready to hit the road. Autumn is coming and the roads are calling, so check out this selection of some of the best fall road trips in North Carolina to take in your Nissan.

Coast the Coast

North Carolina brings people from all over the states to visit its beaches during the summer, so fall is a great time to take in the sites without a huge swarm of tourists. Start at the northeast corner of the state and head down the Outer Banks National Scenic Byway. This drive is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the Intercoastal Waterway, and will take you by some gorgeous dunes, towering lighthouses and plenty of charming beach towns to explore. Or, head south on Route 421 to explore the city of Wilmington. Stroll through its historic downtown, walk along the Riverwalk or tour World War II battleship USS North Carolina.

Admire the Foliage

Drive an hour and a half west to visit Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve. Home to many longleaf pines, North Carolina’s state tree, this nature preserve is also a great place for bird watching or exploring wildflowers. Don’t worry—among these evergreens are deciduous trees, too, with boldly changing foliage for you to enjoy.

Sip Some Wine

North Carolina is also home to some fine wineries. October is filled with several festivals that pay homage to the beverage, including Great Grapes! on October 1st in Charlotte. Head over to taste plenty of wines from local vines. (But maybe plan to stay the night for this one!) Or, drive 30 minutes southeast to Duplin Winery, where you can tour the vineyards and enjoy a glass or two.

What To Do When You Hydroplane

what to do when you hydroplane Hydroplaning is a common and scary experience for drivers of all ages. Whether it’s raining, pouring or just a little damp out, it’s a real possibility. Hydroplaning happens when your tires lose their traction with the road and begin to roll on water instead. It can be scary to feel like you’ve lost control of your vehicle, even if only for a moment. Learning what to do when you hydroplane will make you a better, more confident driver.

If you begin to hydroplane, the most important thing to remember is not to panic. Do not overcorrect, and avoid the temptation to hit the brakes. Sudden braking may cause you to lose more control. Instead, ease off the accelerator gently until you feel you’ve regained control. If necessary, gently steer your vehicle towards an open space, or to the side of the road. If you’re shook up from the event, pull over for a few minutes to rest. But, be sure not to brake until you feel your car make contact with the road once more.

To decrease your chances of having to manage a hydroplaning vehicle, be sure to regularly check your tire pressure and treads. Bald tires are one of the biggest causes of hydroplaning. Proper tire maintenance makes for safer driving in wet conditions.

Nissan BladeGlider Sport EV Prototype

Nissan first revealed the all-electric BladeGlider Sport concept in 2013 in Rio, Brazil. The car quickly generated plenty of hype all on its own as Nissan, known for staying away from more creative designs, seemed to be thinking outside the box. The hype died down in the following years but now Nissan is proving its mettle. Say hello to the Nissan BladeGlider Sport EV prototype!

That’s right—Nissan is going full throttle with its futuristic hotrod, and that isn’t just a figure of speech. Under the hood of this all-electric sports car are twin 130 kW motors that can produce a whopping 268 hp and 521 lb-ft of instant torque. That gives this crazy car a zero-to-60mph time of under five seconds. Boasting a top speed of 115 mph, things are about to get exciting with the Nissan lineup.

Best of all, Nissan has revealed not just one, but two working prototypes, proving the automaker is serious about futuristic designs. While the BladeGlider Sport EV still isn’t heading to the production line, it does hint at what’s yet to come, perhaps what is to be under the hood of the Nissan LEAF.

We here at Nissan of Clinton can’t helped but be amazed at the technology behind the Nissan BladeGlider Sport EV prototype!

Essential Items to Bring on Road Trips

Essential Items to Bring on Road TripsIf you’re going on a road trip soon and you’re not sure how to avoid packing too much or too little, just follow this list of essential items to bring on road trips!

First: food and water. Especially during the summer, it’s important to stay hydrated. Bring foods that won’t go bad quickly like granola bars, trail mix, and dried fruit, and avoid eating heavy food. You don’t want to be sick to your stomach when you’re driving a long distance. Pack up a cooler to bring some more substantial things like sandwiches, grapes, and carrots—healthy stuff that won’t make a mess.

Obviously, pack whatever clothes you need, electronics you want to bring, and chargers you need for them. And entertainment is key! If you have rear-seat DVD players to keep the kids occupied, great! If not, pick up some handheld games, books, and audiobooks for the ride, and brush up on your car games.

You’re going to want to be comfortable on the drive, so bring pillows and blankets along, as well as a first aid kit, and any medicine you or your passengers need to take regularly! And come prepared. Bring spare keys in case you lose yours, paper products and wet wipes to clean up spills, and emergency supplies for if you break down like a flashlight and tire jack.

Nissan LEAF Technology to Include Range Extender, Semi-Autonomy

Nissan LEAF technologyLately, between hype over upcoming vehicles like the Chevy Bolt or the new Tesla 3, it seems like automakers are racing to compete in the increasingly more popular electric vehicle segment. Now, the next-generation LEAF is preparing to hold its own against the competition. New Nissan LEAF technology will include a new-and-improved 60kWh battery, which boosts the upcoming LEAF to an over 200-mile electric range and puts it neck-and-neck against the other two big contenders in the segment.

While a launch date has yet to be revealed, the new battery is a major upgrade from the current model’s 24kWh battery and 70- to 80-mile range. Nissan’s global director of EV and HEV engineering Kazuo Yajima announced the new battery in talks with AutoblogGreen, stating, “It’s coming. I’m sorry I cannot say when,” and “In the near future, I believe, we can produce an electric vehicle that doesn’t have any driving range problem.”

Advances in Nissan LEAF technology is just another stride for the brand towards a greener future. Gareth Dunsmore, Nissan’s zero-emission business unit director, expresses hopes that by 2020, twenty percent of the Nissan-branded vehicles on the road will be electric vehicles. Those are big dreams, but with the strides being made in the EV segment, they may be a possibility after all.

Experience Downtown Clinton in North Carolina

Experience Downtown ClintonClinton, North Carolina sits at the heart of Sampson County, where a host of activities and attractions ranging from local businesses and restaurants to a taste of North Carolina culture to a friendly, tight-knit community await you. Whether you like the arts, the outdoors, shopping, or local cuisine, you don’t know Clinton until you experience Downtown Clinton.

For those wanting a bit of a cultural experience, places like the Sampson Theatre or the public art piece known as “Milling Around” might be good stops for you. The Theatre has been in operation for forty years and boasts historical architecture, while “Milling Around” presents a stunning visual centerpiece for the downtown area for passersby to admire. There’s also the Sampson County History Museum and the Historic District for history buffs.

Also make sure to stop by the Farmer’s Market & Tree Park. It’s a great way to experience locally-grown produce while supporting nearby farmers. Plus, the park is beautiful as well! Even if you stop by on a day the market isn’t open, the park is available for a leisurely stroll or a nice picnic.

Experience Downtown Clinton and get a taste of the charming regional atmosphere unique to the city of Clinton, North Carolina. There’s nothing quite like it.