If you want to be a master chef, then you have to master the art of the side dish. Nothing exemplifies this better than the Vegetable Hodge Podge: the side-dish king.

Baking vegetables is such a simple and delicious thing. We often take our baked veggies for granted. Not anymore! Though still simple, you won’t forget how to bake this delicious side-dish ever again. Long live the Hodge-Podge!

Vegetable Hodge Podge

Your side-dish will need

6 Carrots, peeled, cut in half and sliced on a bias
3 Red Peppers, large dice
½ lb Baby Red Potatoes, sliced
1 head Broccoli
1 head Cauliflower
½ Cup Butter
1 Tbsp Chopped Garlic
Salt + Pepper

Method

  1. Cut broccoli and cauliflower into bite size florets.
  2. In boiling salted water, blanche carrots, broccoli and cauliflower in separate batches until al
    dente. (approx. 1min 30 sec each) Place in ice water to cool.
  3. In a separate pan, combine butter and garlic and over medium-low heat cook until butter is
    melted.
  4. Coat vegetables in garlic butter, season with salt and pepper to taste and place in a baking pan.
  5. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes when ready to serve.

View all our recipes!

This is a great summer dish for the back patio. With just the right amount of kick and freshness, you’ll devour this blackened haddock. If you prefer something a little less spicy, try adding a little bit of avocado to the pico, and soften the flavour. Not a fan of Haddock? This spice makes an excellent addition to pork and poultry, and even to other fish. If you’ve had it once, you’ll want to try it on everything. We love to bring it to summer BBQs and cook-outs.

You will Need

For the Pico de Gallo:

½ Red Bell Pepper
½ Yellow Bell Pepper
3 Tomatoes
¼ Red Onion
½ Jalapeno
¼ Cup, Chopped Cilantro
½ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
¼ Cup Lime Juice

Method:

  1. Remove seeds from tomatoes and dice them small along with the bell peppers, jalapeno and red onion.
  2. Combine ingredients in a bowl with lime juice,  season to taste with salt and pepper and reserve in the refrigerator for at least 20 mins

For the Blackening Spice

2 Tablespoons Black Pepper
2 Tablespoons Onion Powder
1 Tablespoon Cajun Spice
1 Tablespoon Cumin
3 Tablespoons Paprika

Method:

  1. Combine ingredients in a bowl and mix well

Blackened Haddock

4 Portions of Haddock
Blackening Spice
2 Tablespoons, Canola Oil/Olive Oil
Sea Salt

Method:

  1. Dry off salmon portions with paper towel and coat one side with about half a teaspoon of blackening spice.
  2. Place a frying pan over high heat with canola oil and heat until the oil begins to smoke. Then carefully lay the salmon into the pan spiced side down. Be careful not to over crowd your pan or the spices will not blacken.
  3. Once spices have started to blacken, flip the fish and reduce heat to low. Continue cooking until fish begins to flake apart.

Need a desert? Try some of our other recipes!

If we told you that we LOVE the ocean, would you be surprised? 😉 

The ocean covers 71 percent of the planet. It’s home to important species and ecosystems- but it’s also home to us. Our resort is nestled on the coast of Nova Scotia overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and we can’t imagine our lives without it. 

The sights, the sounds and the smells of the ocean are three of our favorite things. There’s just something so special about the ocean and the way it makes us all feel a little more calm and grounded.

Unfortunately, the ocean cannot speak for itself and it needs our help. 

Here are five things you can start doing right now to help our oceans.

Enjoying a cup of coffee (in a regular mug!) early morning at one of our ocean front cottages.

1. Use less plastic!

It’s been estimated that more than 17 billion pounds of plastic leaks into the marine environment from land-based sources every year—that’s roughly equivalent to dumping a garbage truck full of plastic into our oceans every minute. Plastics that end up as ocean debris contribute to habitat destruction and entangle and kill tens of thousands of marine animals each year. To limit your impact, carry a reusable water bottle, store food in non-disposable containers, bring your own cloth tote or other reusable bag when shopping, opt for no plastic straw (or a reusable straw) and recycle whenever possible.

Peggy's cove lobster selection

2. Make safe, sustainable seafood choices

Global fish populations are rapidly being depleted due to demand, loss of habitat, and unsustainable fishing practices. When shopping or dining out, help reduce the demand for over-exploited species by choosing seafood that is both healthful and sustainable. Check with your local grocery store to find out which in-store options were sustainably caught, or ask your server where the seafood is sourced from. For a quick reference guide on safe sustainable options, click here. 

A family visiting our property and taking a stroll by the ocean.

3. Take care of the coastlines

Whether you enjoy diving, surfing, hiking or relaxing on the beach, always clean up after yourself. Explore and appreciate the ocean without interfering with wildlife or removing rocks and coral. Better yet, participate in or organize local beach cleanups. Clean Nova Scotia’s Beach Sweep program encourages and engages communities in the removal of trash and debris from shorelines throughout province. Get involved!

Right whale leaping from the ocean.

4. Travel the ocean responsibly

Practice responsible boating, kayaking, and other recreational activities on the water. Never throw anything overboard, and be aware of marine life in the waters around you. Ship strikes and entanglement in fishing gear have been identified or suspected in the deaths of North Atlantic right whales in recent years. 

Remember, small changes can make a big difference.

It’s easy to get caught up in our own lives; balancing work, relationships, social connections, health and all kinds of responsibilities – but what would this world look like if we all made a little more effort to create kindness; for ourselves, for the earth and for the people and places around us?

You could win your stay at Oceanstone for starters.

Join us this Month for the Oceanstone Kindness Challenge. Add the below challenge graphic to your instagram stories and cross things off as you complete them. (and don’t forget to tag us!) 

Bonus points if you capture photos or videos of the acts! 

  • STEP ONE : Save our bingo image to your Instagram stories.
  • STEP TWO: Check things off as you complete the bingo card.
  • STEP THREE: Tag us in your photos and videos of you filling out the bingo card!

We’ll be sharing our kindness at he end of the month; we’ll perform an act of kindness to one lucky participant and gift them a 1-night stay at Oceanstone.

“No act of kindness, no matter how small is ever wasted” — Aesop 

BE KIND TO THE PLANET

Pick up trash from the beach
Our oceans are in trouble, and every bit helps. Bonus points if you organize a full beach cleanup!

Go plastic free for a week!
Show us what steps you’re taking to go trash free. It’s harder than it looks.

Choose Sustainable seafood
Choosing the right seafood can greatly help our oceans. By the way, lobster is one of the recommended alternatives.

KIND INTERACTIONS 

Give a gift, just because!
You don’t need a holiday or birthday to show someone you care. Our favorite gift is the gift of experience.

Hold the door open for somebody.
Tried, true, and easy to do. Sometimes the simplest ways to show kindness are the best.

SELF KINDNESS

Relax by the ocean
What can we say? We love the sea, and it helps to center us.

Discover something new at home
Be a tourist in your own neighborhood, community or province! Find those great places that you haven’t discovered yet!

Take time for a nice breakfast
Slow down and enjoy! Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Whether you’re doing something home-cooked, or enjoying a brunch at Rhubarb, you’ll feel better all day!

RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS 

Donate unwanted toys or clothing
Everyone has something they don’t need, that someone else could use. Sometimes clearing out our old things can be a self-kindness too!

Shop or eat at a locally owned business
Show community support by visiting a small locally owned businesses or restaurant and help them grow!

Volunteer
Help is always needed. Choose a cause you are passionate about and donate your most valuable asset – your time!

Get ready to get hungry as we whip up a seaside blueberry grunt! It’s Nova Scotia blueberry season after all, so why not celebrate with an incredible recipe? Who doesn’t love wild blueberries and fresh biscuits? Top it off with some vanilla ice cream and you get pure summer joy!

Ingredients

4 cups Nova Scotia wild blueberries
1 cup sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp sugar
1⁄2 tsp salt
1⁄2 cup butter
1 egg
1/2 cupmilk

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F
  2. Pour blueberries into oven-safe deep-dish pie plate- add sugar & lemon juice
  3. Stir well, place dish in oven and bake berries uncovered. 10 to 15 minutes for fresh berries
  4. While the berries are in the oven, make the biscuits: in large bowl whisk flour, baking powder, sugar and salt to mix.
  5. Break butter into pieces with hands and add to flour mixture. Cut the butter into flour with a fork until butter and flour are combined in small crumbly pieces.
  6. Crack egg into a measuring cup and top with milk to 3⁄4 cup
  7. Mix egg and milk with a fork
  8. Add to flour mixture and blend with fork until combined — mix in any remaining dry bits with hands.
  9. Take hot blueberries out of oven – scoop biscuit dough with a 1⁄4 cup measuring cup and arrange
    on top of hot berries (approximately 11 biscuits)
  10. Carefully cover dish tightly with aluminum foil and return to oven
  11. Bake, covered, 15 minutes
  12. Remove dish from oven and carefully remove foil. Place dish back in oven and continue to bake, uncovered,  for 10 minutes or until biscuits are lightly golden
  13. Allow to cool 10 minutes or so —the longer the grunt sits, the more blueberry liquid the biscuits will soak up- delish!!
  14. Serve warm with ice cream

Adding on

Adding Whipped cream to your seaside blueberry grunt makes an excellent addition too (even if you’re already using ice cream)!

Read all of our favourite recipes

We all know the Peggy’s Cove lighthouse – but have you ever stopped to wonder who the heck this Peggy actually is?

The Peggy's Cove Lighthouse

You can ask 50 different people in this area about her and you’ll hear a variety of different stories, most of which originate with the name Margaret.

Did you know: The name Margaret has a variety of different nicknames. Some are obvious, as in Meg, Marg and Maggie, while others are downright strange, like Daisy. But over time, Meg & Maggie morphed into the rhymed forms Peg and Peggy – making peggy, widely known as a nickname for Margaret. 

Saint Margaret’s Bay

The first recorded name of the cove was Eastern Point Harbour or Peggs Harbour in 1766. Many believe that the village is named after Saint Margaret’s Bay, which Samuel de Champlain named after his mother Marguerite. 

Peggy's Cove Sign

Geographically speaking, Peggy’s Cove is located at the entrance to St. Margaret’s Bay. So the next theory is rather obvious; the cove was once known as Margaret’s Cove because of its location. When shortened, it became known as Peggy’s Cove.

William deGarthe

Another theory derived after local artist William deGarthe wrote the book ‘This is Peggy’s Cove’, which tells the story of a woman named Margaret; the lone survivor of a shipwreck near Halibut Rock, just off the point on which the famous Peggy’s Cove lighthouse sits. The schooner washed ashore during a terrible storm on a very dark October night in the 1800’s, everyone on board was lost except for Margaret, who swam ashore and was finally rescued by the people on shore.  Margaret stayed in the area, eventually marrying one of the local men. People from near-by places began to say, “let’s go see Peggy of the Cove,” and as such; Peggy’s Cove was born! 

While deGarthe claims that Margaret was a young woman at the time of the shipwreck, another theory suggests that she was a toddler. Too young to remember her own name, the little girl from the ship was adopted by a local Nova Scotia family who decided to call her Peggy. When she grew older, she married a resident of the cove in 1800 and became known as “Peggy of the Cove”, attracting visitors from around the bay who eventually named the village Peggy’s Cove, after her nickname.

Oceanstone Seaside Resort, located 15 minutes from Peggy's Cove.

No matter how she got her name, one thing is for sure: Peggy’s Cove is a beautiful Nova Scotian treasure. We’re happy to know her – and be located 5 minutes down the road from her. 

Three tips for planning your corporate retreat at Oceanstone Seaside Resort

We’re going to let you in on a little secret : breaks are good for business.

Growingly, more and more employers are realizing the benefits of hosting a corporate retreat. Aside from an excuse to get out of the office for a couple of days, it gives staff the opportunity to reconnect as people – not just coworkers – i.e. important.

The overall goal of a retreat is to provide an atmosphere of relaxation. A welcoming, inclusive atmosphere in which creative solutions to current business issues will arise. It’s also an opportunity to get to know each other better.

Here are three things to consider when planning your company retreat:

LOCATION

When planning a business retreat, seek out a location that is conducive to both work and pleasure. Of course, things like high speed internet and a coffee machine are a must – but don’t underestimate the power of nature sights and sounds on productivity.

We recommend a quiet, remote place with limited distractions. Not only will this allow you to avoid the noise and distractions of a typical city hotel, but you will get more done. Of course- we say that with the most obvious of biases 😉 but it’s easy to stay focused when you can hear the waves crashing on the beach.

TEAM BUILDING FOR BUSINESS

Despite its reputation for being, well, lame; team building is an incredibly important part of your retreat. It builds trust, mitigates conflict, encourages communication, increases collaboration and best of all; it breaks up the work. Effective team building means more engaged employees, which is good for company culture and boosting the bottom line.

The most successful, memorable team-building activities are things that don’t feel like a day at the office. Activities that overtly aim to draw in leadership lessons or practical takeaways are less powerful. Spending time together, sharing an experience or working towards a common goal allows bonding to happen more organically and far more effectively.

Some examples of team building activities at your Oceanstone Executive Retreat:

  • Private cooking class with Oceanstone’s Chef
  • Paint Nite
  • Board Game tournament (Jenga is a crowd favorite)
  • Yoga class

THE GOAL for your BUSINESS

Like most things in life, the key to a successful retreat is establishing a solid plan. In creating a plan, you are ensuring that everyone in attendance feels like the time spent away was worthwhile; like they’ve learned something new, gained (and grown) friendships and fresh perspectives.

Be sure you define objectives and create an agenda that ensures you accomplish them.Keep your goals simple, clear and, if possible, measurable. Structure each day in a way that balances work and play.

Once all the planning details are taken care of, you get to focus on what’s truly important: building great work relationships and having fun with your colleagues. Enjoy – and don’t forget to turn on your out of office message!

Get more information about hosting your next corporate retreat at Oceanstone.