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With July here, the season of road trips has arrived. If you’ve taken a lot of road trips like me, then you might call yourself an expert. To make the road trip less stressful, you should have a pre-trip checklist. Read on for how to get ready for a last minute road trips, sans stress.
Before embarking, I like to make sure the car is ready to go and that includes basic maintenance. It’s important to keep your vehicle in tip-top condition and that starts with performing a quick DIY oil change. I like to perform my own oil changes because it gives me a sense of accomplishment to try new things. I’m a handy person and like to challenge myself. Plus, there’s nothing more stressful waiting for an oil change when you have to be on the road at a certain time, am I right?
To speed up the process, I went to Canadian Tire for some oil for the car. In particular, I picked up the Quaker State® Advanced Durability™ Motor Oil which is made for road tripping because it can withstand many conditions you’re bound to face such as stop-and-go traffic, idling and extreme temperatures. This oil is proved to deliver twice the wear protection of the industry standard throughout its life and it gives you more durability and more honesty. Quaker State is a great oil at a great price, especially at Canadian Tire: Made for life in Canada. Keep in mind safety first, always make sure to take all necessary safety precautions. Another important thing, always make sure to use the oil necessary for your car, as specified in your owner’s manual, be sure to check local Canadian Tire stores for availability.
Where to find the product in store:
Performing a DIY oil change is quite easy and it doesn’t take that long either.
I always like to bring a pal along on a road trip, Bella is ready to go.
Once your car is good to go, you can start working on your recipes that you’re going to make. Because last minute road trips are bound to happen in the summer, I like to opt for easy and quick recipes.
These include my go-to’s of fresh homemade salsa and flavourful watermelon and feta salad. Both of these recipes are perfect for a summer road trip where you might pack a picnic for road side stops. Some of my favourite memories from when I was young road tripping with my family are packing a picnic and finding a beautiful stop along the road. That’s why I’m happy to be continuing this tradition now that I’m older. While Canadian Tire is the leader to purchase auto parts and supplies, there are a wide variety of items available. For instance, I picked up some Frank chips that are exclusively sold at Canadian Tire for some easy munching while on the road. I also picked up my handy First Aid Kit which I always like to have with me, just in case. Keep on reading for my trusty road trip recipes.
Homemade salsa recipe:
Makes about 3 cups, prep: 20 minutes, chill: 1 hour (super easy recipe for summer entertaining!)
- 1 1/2 cups finely chopped tomatoes (3 medium)
- 1 fresh Anaheim pepper, seeded and finely chopped, or one 4-ounce can diced green chili peppers, drained
- 1/4 cup chopped green sweet pepper
- 1/4 cup sliced green onions (2)
- 3 to 4 tablespoons snipped fresh cilantro or parsley
- 2 tablespoons lime juice or lemon juice
- 1 to 2 fresh jalapeño, serrano, fresno, or banana peppers, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- In a medium mixing bowl stir together chopped tomatoes, Anaheim pepper or canned chili peppers, sweet pepper, green onions, cilantro or parsley, lime juice or lemon juice, jalapeño pepper, garlic, salt, and pepper.*
- Cover and chill at least 1 hour before serving. Serve as a dip for chips or as a condiment for appetizers or main dishes. Makes about 3 cups.
*Note: For a slightly smoother salsa, place 1 cup of the salsa in a food processor bowl or blender container. Cover and process or blend just until smooth. Stir into remaining salsa.
Watermelon and feta salad recipe:
Serves 4, prep: 10 minutes.
for the honey vinaigrette
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- pinch of salt
for the watermelon salad
- 1 5 lb watermelon, peeled, cut into cubes
- 1 English (or Hot House) cucumber, cubed (about 2 cupfuls of cubed cucumbers)
- 15 fresh mint leaves, torn
- 15 fresh basil, torn
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, lime juice, olive oil and pinch of salt. Set aside for a moment.
- In a large bowl or serving platter with sides, combine the watermelon, cucumbers, and fresh herbs.
- Top the watermelon salad with the honey vinaigrette and gently toss to combine. Top with the feta cheese and serve!
Once the food is prepped and packed, I like to grab some other road trip essentials such as a sun hat, bags to put my things in and some books and music too, for the drive.
I hope these tips helped inspire you to take a road trip of your own this summer. Getting ready shouldn’t be stressful if you are prepared and know what kind of maintenance to perform on your car. After all, it’s about the journey, not the destination.
Canadian Tire is my one stop shop as there’s a huge variety of items to choose from. No more having to run around town looking for everything, get it all in one go.
Happy road tripping!