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
Cut broccoli and cauliflower into bite size florets.
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.
In a separate pan, combine butter and garlic and over medium-low heat cook until butter is melted.
Coat vegetables in garlic butter, season with salt and pepper to taste and place in a baking pan.
Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes when ready to serve.
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
Remove seeds from tomatoes and dice them small along with the bell peppers, jalapeno and red onion.
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
4 Portions of Haddock Blackening Spice 2 Tablespoons, Canola Oil/Olive Oil Sea Salt
Dry off salmon portions with paper towel and coat one side with about half a teaspoon of blackening spice.
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.
Once spices have started to blacken, flip the fish and reduce heat to low. Continue cooking until fish begins to flake apart.
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!
Nova Scotia wild blueberries
Preheat oven to 425F
Pour blueberries into oven-safe deep-dish pie plate- add sugar & lemon juice
Stir well, place dish in oven and bake berries uncovered. 10 to 15 minutes for fresh berries
While the berries are in the oven, make the biscuits: in large bowl whisk flour, baking powder, sugar and salt to mix.
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.
Crack egg into a measuring cup and top with milk to 3⁄4 cup
Mix egg and milk with a fork
Add to flour mixture and blend with fork until combined — mix in any remaining dry bits with hands.
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)
Carefully cover dish tightly with aluminum foil and return to oven
Bake, covered, 15 minutes
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
Allow to cool 10 minutes or so —the longer the grunt sits, the more blueberry liquid the biscuits will soak up- delish!!
Serve warm with ice cream
Adding Whipped cream to your seaside blueberry grunt makes an excellent addition too (even if you’re already using ice cream)!
This Schawarma style marinade is a delicious way to prepare for a Mediterranean feast. With a little prep-work and a some patience, your chicken kebab will be the talk of the town!
200 ml Canola Oil
4 tsp Cumin
4 tsp paprika
2 tsp allspice
1 ¼ tsp turmeric
½ tsp Garlic Powder
½ tsp Cinnamon
Mix all ingredients and marinate your chicken kebab skewers overnight (minimum 6hr).
PRO TIP :
This recipe can be used for more than just chicken kebabs! Try this on beef skewers, or simmer down with stock and to make a delicious gravy. Don’t forget, schawarma and garlic sauce go hand-in-hand too!
We all have those weeks. Things didn’t go right, you’re not feeling yourself, and you can’t wait for the weekend to come. We believe it’s important to embrace these weeks and instead of choosing to find the negative in the week, find the positive in the ending. It’s time to unwind that stress.
It is a proven fact that reading can help reduce stress – it provides a wonderful escape from reality. Simply by opening a book, you allow yourself to be invited into a literary world that distracts you from your daily stressors. Find a book or magazine that piques your interest, anything from a thrilling paperback, to a gardening magazine, or even a cookbook. Set aside 30 minutes to read in a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted. It will do your mind good!
3. Spend time with people who make you Happiest
This one seems simple, right? Far too often, in the midst of stressful situations, we fail to realize that the thing we need most is just time with those that bring us comfort. Your kids, your partner, your parents, your friends, even your pet; take some time to enjoy their company. Like the old saying goes “spend time with people who pull the magic out of you, not the madness.”
We don’t need to tell you that meditation reduces stress because you already know. But why aren’t you doing it more? Many people are intimidated by meditation; which is the exact opposite of what it’s intended to do. Take 5 minutes to clear your mind and focus on your senses. Sit down somewhere comfortable and close your eyes, what do you see, smell and hear? Pay attention to your breath as you inhale and exhale. It’s not about thinking; it’s about being. Being present, being clear and being connected to your inner self.
5. Listen to music
Tried, tested and true, music improves the quality of our lives. It’s a distraction that can also improve productivity, and help us unwind. It brings people together, and can make time alone even more enjoyable. The best thing about music is, there are many kinds and many ways to enjoy it. Spend time listening to your favorite songs or embark on a journey of discovery to find you new favorite. No matter what you choose, enjoy it. You deserve it.
6. Spend time by the Ocean
Do not underestimate the healing powers of the ocean. We may be a little biased, but there’s something about the salty air and the sound of the waves crashing that puts us at ease. Here in Nova Scotia, we are extremely blessed to live so close to the ocean – so take an hour and get yourself to the oceanside. We’re certain you’ll leave calmer than you arrived.
If none of the above works: Book a night at Oceanstone where you can unwind and exhale in our little oasis by the sea!
Strawberry Shortcake: A Great All-Occasions Recipe
Strawberry Shortcake is a time-tested classic. Though you may think of strawberries as a summer time treat, Strawberry shortcake is wonderful any time of year. Depending on your choice of base, it can either be a light and fluffy end to a meal, or a rich and decadent dessert. Paired well with just about any meal, you’ll be a fan in no time.
4 ea Fresh Tea Biscuits
1 pt Fresh Strawberries
2 cups Whipping Cream
4 TBSP Icing Sugar
½ cup Cranberry Juice
4 sprigs Fresh Mint
Wash berries and remove green stem and leaf
Slice tea biscuits in half
Slice one half of the berries
In a blender combine the other half of berries, 1 TBSP of icing sugar and cranberry juice
Blend until smooth
Whip cream with remaining 3 TBSP of icing sugar to stiff peaks
Place bottom half of tea biscuit in a shallow bowl, top with sliced strawberries
Pour enough of the blended strawberry mixture over sliced berries to form puddle of sauce around biscuit
Top this layer with a dollop of whipped cream
Place top half of tea biscuit on whipped cream layer
Place a dot of whipped cream on top of biscuit
Finish with sprig of fresh mint
PRO TIP : As you can imagine, toppings and pairings can be varied with strawberry shortcake! Try adding a dash of strawberry liqueur, or perhaps a chocolate drizzle to your finished masterpiece. Many people also enjoy adding ice-cream to this classic recipe for a little extra richness. If you’re feeling fancy, why not try poundcake, or angel food cake instead of a tea biscuit?
We truly believe that you should have fun and experiment with your favourite desserts!
One of our most asked for recipes- and its gluten free!
Espresso cake is a rich and delicious end to any meal. When you make it just right, these cakes are pure bites of heaven! Espresso cake is great when paired with berries or fruit for a little extra flavour. Alternatively, try accompanying them as you would your favourite specialty coffee.
If you have flavoured coffees, you can experiment with your Espresso Cake. You may be surprised at how versatile this recipe can be!
Bring espresso, sugar, Kahlua and butter to a boil
Melt chocolate in double boiler
Add melted chocolate to espresso mixture and whisk until smooth
Beat eggs to blend
Wisk in eggs to chocolate mixture
In a prepared spring form pan bake at 350 for 1 hour
Garnish with edible flowers and fresh berries
PRO TIP : If you’ve never melted chocolate for desert before, you must take special care to make sure it doesn’t burn. Chocolate can burn easily in microwaves or on the stove top if you are not careful.
A double boiler helps a lot with this. If you do not own a double boiler, you can get the same effect using a heat-resistant bowl, and pot of the appropriate size. Bring water to a simmer on a medium low heat, and place your chocolate in a bowl that can cover the pot’s opening. Place the bowl on top of the pot while it simmers. Stir the chocolate until it has melted, and voilà! Rich, velvet smooth chocolate ready to be used in any desert!
Chocolate covered strawberries are one of those treats that is easy to make, but OH so delicious. These chocolate covered strawberries make great no-hassle deserts for parties, and are the perfect finish to a romantic dinner date. The red of the strawberries with the darkness of the chocolate looks and presents well too! They’re also fun to experiment with by adding different accents or decorations. Try out many different flavour combinations and chocolates!
• Large ripe strawberries, cleaned and dried
• Good quality Dark or milk chocolate (whatever your favorite is. We like to use LURE Chocolates at Oceanstone!)
• Wooden skewers (remove splinters first)
• Baking sheet and parchment paper.
Melt chocolate in microwave (or double boiler but the microwave just as easy). Make sure the chocolate doesn’t burn by stirring midway.
Skewer the strawberries from top to bottom.
Roll each strawberry and cover it in the delicious hot, melted chocolate.
Cover the baking sheet with parchment paper, and lay the strawberries on top to cool.
Don’t worry about a flat spot on the chocolate. Trust us: chocolate covered strawberries disappear pretty fast!
Eat when cool- or surprise someone you love!
PRO TIP :
You can add additional decorations if you’d like to give your work some extra flare. Try drizzling on some white chocolate for a sweet presentation, or adding a touch of sea-salt. Customize this easy recipe to your heart’s content! Bon Appetit!
Homemade Chocolate covered Strawberries Ready to Eat
Before we begin, we must warn you that this post may lead to serious cravings. 1. THE CANADIAN Canadians are maple-syrup lovers. We can’t deny it. So what is a Canadian s’more without maple-syrup flavoured marshmellows? Instantly ‘Canadianize’ any s’more with these bad boys! Top it off with one of our exclusively Canadian chocolate bars, that you won’t find south of the border, like Crispy Crunch or a Crunchie bar , that will go perfectly with that maple syrup flavour. If you really want to go full blown Canadian, grab some Tim’s doughnuts on your way, slice one in half and use in replacement of graham crackers.
Pair with an ice cold Canadian craft beer, and call it a celebration.
2. PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE S’MORE Peanut Butter and Chocolate are a match made in heaven, there’s no doubt about it. Toss a Reese’s Peanut Butter cup on your s’more as a substitute for chocolate, or spread some peanut butter on your graham cracker before layering your ooey gooey ‘shmellow on there. Your average s’more will never be the same!
Not a peanut butter fan? Replace it with Nutella and prepare for love at first bite.
3. LURE CARAMEL S’MORE Of course, this is an Oceanstone favourite. Next time you stop by, make sure you pick up a box of LURE caramel chocolates from Rhubarb restaurant on your way in. These are hand-made caramels, dipped in delicious chocolate that will melt in your mouth. They are made from start to finish right here on our property, so we can assure you, you’ll have a fresh batch. You can pick from a variety of sea salt, pecan, almond, or ginger, but we recommend you try them all. Check them out here.
4. THE COOKIE S’MORE If you want to seriously step up your s’more game and impress your guests… whip up a batch of fresh made chocolate chip cookies before your fire and use as graham crackers. Need we say more? Short on time? Pick up some Chocolate Chip cookies from the grocery store, or a pack of oreos!
5. THE HEALTHY S’MORE
Now that we’ve got your mouth watering, we thought it was best to leave you on the right track. Try out a healthier option for everyone’s summer guilty pleasure by swapping out milk chocolate for dark, making your own marshmellows with this recipe. For the finishing touch, be sure to check out recipes like this one for a healthy alternative to store-bought graham crackers!
Try one, or try them all! Either way, let us know what you think. Have any other to-die-for s’mores recipes that we should add to the list? Let us know!
We had the absolute pleasure of a one-night getaway at the Oceanstone Seaside Resort. This lovely resort is located in Indian Harbour, only 40 minutes from Halifax and about 75 minutes from the Annapolis Valley. It’s the ideal location for weddings, corporate meetings and of course a staycation.
The property is stunning! It’s truly a beautiful and magical escape from the stress of everyday life. Oceanstone Seaside Resort is far enough outside of the city to allow for complete relaxation. Plus, it’s right on the ocean! Take a stroll along the beach (the freezing cold temperatures didn’t stop us!) and soak up the salt air. There’s something rejuvenating about being surrounded by nature and within a stone’s throw of the ocean. This getaway will give you the chance to chill out and regroup…