Thursday, January 29, 2015

Gluten Free Brownies that are awesome

Well hey there all. How has everyone been?
Lots going on behind the scenes here at Oliver and Rust. Hopefully some exciting news to report in the next little bit but for now mums the word.
Today I bring you my favourite kind of recipe. It is not terrible for you, ABSOLUTELY FULL OF FIBRE so it keeps you moving....... and tastes quite decadent.

As I have mentioned here before I have a bit of a gluten intolerance. Now being a bread lover that is like a hissy fit death sentence. (not a real one obviously as there are many bigger problems out there) but it does put a damper on my eating fun sometimes when the old stomach starts playing the cramping feel like you're having a child fun.

I have learned over the past 2 years what my body can and cannot tolerate and in what quantities for a peaceful existence.

This recipe today is completely gluten free and if you really wanted to push the envelope could easily be made sugar free as well. I enjoy recipes that are good for you but taste terrible for you. It is my kind of healthy eating. I don't want to feel like I am eating cardboard. These are the former. They taste like they are quite bad for you which I suppose could also get you into a lot of trouble.

The first time I made them was just for Trevor and I. He came in at the end of me preparing the recipe so he had already tried the batter and then saw the can of beans and did a roger rabbit eyes out of head move. Are there beans in the brownies?
Sort of.
The first platter of brownies didn't see the second day.

I made a second batch for a family dinner as I love trying these kinds of recipes out on regular food eating people especially my brother who prefers his food to be made in the original manner with gluten involved and no coconut oil substitutions for butter etc.

He even liked them, although stating "they have a Meaghan taste to them (which means he suspected me) but they are pretty good"
That's an A+ in my book.

I found the original recipe here.

If you were really just interested in the gluten free thing and not the low cal thing you could totally do these up with a pound of chocolate icing and no one would be the wiser really.
I left all the weight watchers information as calculated on the source page in case any one was interested in that.
I used coconut oil for the oil, and 1% milk instead of almond milk.
I also used a stand mixer to mix and then just an immersion blender to grind smooth instead of trying to scrape and clean my actual blender out afterwards.

Amazing Flour-less Brownies
Servings: 16 • Size: 1 brownie • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 144 • Fat: 5 g • Carb: 26 g • Fiber: 3 g • Protein: 4 g • Sugar: 17.5 g
Sodium: 150 mg • Cholesterol: 23 g

  • 1 (14 oz) canned low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar (could use a substitute like Stevia)
  • 1/2 teaspoon oil (coconut oil)
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk (or dairy, skim)
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground coffee or instant coffee
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided 


Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Grease a nonstick 9 x 9-inch square baking pan with baking spray and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides.
Blend the black beans, eggs, cocoa powder, sugar, oil, almond milk, balsamic, baking soda, baking powder and coffee in the blender until smooth and pour into a bowl. Fold in 1/2 cup chocolate chips until combined.  Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan.  Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips evenly over the top of the brownies. 

Bake the brownies until a toothpick comes out clean, about 30 to 32 minutes.  Allow the brownies to cool completely before slicing them into squares.



Monday, January 19, 2015

Spare Bedroom Reveal: The room that got painted twice

Yep, you read that right. I painted this room the week before Christmas. I bought the test pots of the colours I was considering, painted them on the walls in multiple spots and chose wisely. Right? Soo wrong! The colour I chose was Sherwin Williams First Star and it looked on the chip and test swatch like a light grey. It went on the walls, I did all the trim which had not yet been done in this room. I added all the stuff back in, fought with a DIY curtain rod from hell and holy crap the room was BLUE. SKY FRICKIN'BLUE!
My absolute least favourite colour decor wise. I shouldn't even say least favourite as it doesn't belong on a favourite list it belongs on the most disliked list instead.

I like it up in the sky where it belongs not on my walls. I'm sorry if you love light blue, we can still be friends just not on the same team lol. Goes to show you even us bloggers can totally screw it up sometimes. 

Well anyways, Christmas came and went so I couldn't pull the room apart again. I was making the effort to like it but it's like a scab once you pick it, it just keeps on driving you nuts. Family that wandered up there loved the colour but it just wasn't what I was looking for, she says ahem ..... obviously as you just ranted about it for the last 5 minutes.

Back to the drawing board. I stared at the chips in the white folder from Sherwin Williams but none of them were striking me. All were looking too yellow, too blue and quite frankly I was just not feeling it. I went and grabbed my Benjamin Moore chips and found my favourite chip set. The one with Baby Fawn, old faithful White Dove and settled on Dove Wing OC-18.

Warning this is a load of picture and a load of yapping post.

I had the people at the Sherwin Williams store colour match it as I am really loving the Sherwin Williams paint and wanted to continue using it.
Therefore welcome to our newest space. The spare bedroom and garden room. 

I made my own set of botanicals from plants I pressed back in October in one of our book presses. I found a fantastic vintage floral fabric at a thrift store a few months ago and paired it with my favourite black and linen ticking on the bed.

The gallery wall that was here has been dispersed and replaced with a huge window and my collection of antique shoe forms. I made the shelves with Trevor and painted them the exact same shade as the walls. (yes that means I painted them twice too lol)
The shelves were super simple; cut, glue and nail. These were good directions if you were looking to make your own.

As you can see, I have collected quite a few and up until these shelves were up, they were all over the house. They now have impact and they look great all together. I found another really rare one on etsy but I have been waiting over a month to receive it from a not so communicative seller that will remain nameless here but I am slightly irked at their customer service skills especially when I am also a seller and know the work and effort I put in to keep people happy.

The black and white photo on the top clipboard is a photo of my father in laws grandfather who was a shoe cobbler. Neat eh?

My little horticultural table of happiness. I have 5 orchids getting ready to bloom right now. My secret? Water and a cold house.
Seriously, I don't remember to fertilize them most of the time maybe twice a year. We keep our home cool and this room is farthest from the furnace. It stays cool at night and cool-warm during the day and gets great afternoon sun. Bada boom blooms!
The curtains here are Restoration Hardware baby & child black and white ticking on a diy electrical conduit rod with ends that were apart of the footboard of the new bed.

The first of the bloomers just started opening last week.

I found this book last week in an antique shop. The title and colour was a no brainer.


So I looked around for the way to properly label botanicals to no avail and actually found an etsy seller that had prints of her original botanicals. I used her description to make my labels. I tea stained the paper, added the plants all sourced from our yard with some glue and filled out the labels I made. I used simple clip frames as I wanted the plants to be the focus and not the frames. I originally bought 6 from Michael's but they discontinued their line so I picked up the rest at Hobby Lobby in the states.

Oh yes I did. A BRASS BED.
I sent Trevor to pick up this baby and he thought it was a win win because if I hated it, it was worth what we paid in scrap. I know horrors but.....
I loved it.

The duvet cover is Hudson's Bay caribou line from my parents for Christmas. I have had to wash it a few times and it just keeps getting softer and softer.

I found the old thread holder at an estate sale. It was still attached to the sewing desk in the basement where it had been for about 50 years. We had to blow off the lint and use a screwdriver to get it off but I wasn't leaving that house without it.

A closer look at the drapes and the neat burlap tiebacks I found at Hobby Lobby.

Oh and did you notice the fantasimo new old industrial light fixtures. Yup sent Trevor to pick that sucker up too. Good grief I took advantage of his good nature and his direct path by some of the people on Kijiji selling good junk. In all fairness he found these and showed them to me so that was the first mistake because he knew that I would love this light.

Hey you made it to the end.

Well what'd ya think. Are you a plant hoarder like me?

Thanks for visiting and as always

Have a great day,


a stroll thru life
the scoop
savvy southern style
miss mustard seed

Friday, January 16, 2015

Let's cook something and chat.

So if you follow me on Facebook you saw a few weeks ago that I watched the movie The Hundred Foot Journey with Helen Mirren. I am still thinking about it now and I can't remember the last time I enjoyed a movie so much and the fact that it just completely whipped me back into inspiration mode with my cooking was worth every minute. I am not a food blogger mostly because my cooking happens at 830-9 at night and that does not produce photos worthy of the great and powerful Pinterest but I adore cooking. I am truly terrible at following recipes with non-baking related food as I always end up with other ideas but it usually turns out pretty yummy if I do say so myself. Last night Trev and I made our first set of homemade potstickers and they were delish!

The cooking and dining happen in our kitchen and dances its way into our dining room amidst the candlelight and music.

Here's what these rooms are looking like right now for the winter months.

Right around Christmas I got an idea to move the mugs we have been collecting off the wood shelf above the toaster and hang some of them underneath the cupboards on little mug hooks. Easy access and neat and tidy at the same time. I used the tiniest drill bit we own after measuring and marking to pre-drill the holes and then just screwed in the hooks.
The wood shelf now holds more of the dry goods we use regularly like my green tea, matcha teas, cranberries, and chia seeds etc.

This time of year especially promotes lazy leisurely meals in the dining room. We are generally eat at the table people unless there is a movie we want to watch on and with our hectic work lives it is our time to catch up. Trevor reads my blog via email subscription like many of you. He doesn't always get to it the same day so he came home Tuesday night and mentioned to me that Monday's post was funny and kinda vulgar "it read like I was talking to you". Now don't go getting excited I was't dropping f bombs but I was writing the post as we were yapping at the table so it blended together and it also made me think and realize that sometimes as of late I may not always be writing as myself. I mean no one else is writing these words but this IS a blog not a running advertisement so I am going to work to keep these words real. 

I think as I have been working on this blog over the years, sometimes I tried to make myself into something more people will like and lost some of my voice. Although no one in my real life would believe that as I tend to not be able to shut up sometimes.
 I write this blog for myself selfishly and am glad that so many of you love my thoughts and home. Yes I show pretty photos of our home and nice DIY photos but lest you forget that behind this blog, is a curly haired outdoor loving, dirt digging, atv riding, jeep driving, dancing audiophile, sometimes trucker mouthed tomboy with an affinity for old things, home decor, sewing and shoes.

The getting to be infamous green buffet sees a bit of a simple look for the season without too much change. I really just love the look of the black lamps and the mirror so I haven't felt any need to change it up.

This season's current centrepiece is an old moose shed and a large brass candleholder only. Super simple and elegant. 
The crystal ashtray is our wine holder. We have quite a few of them and you can pick them up at the thrift store for 1.00 usually but they prevent the big rings from wine bottles, sangria pitchers, margaritas, beer bottles.......
Jeez raging alcoholics over here.

There has also been a few things listed in the shop over the last week. I am trying to add more often. I list a few times a week now and these pieces went in last night I have been self teaching myself a new technique with sewing and was watching a you tube video last night where the lovely woman beyond the age of 70 was a seamstress and using a sewing machine older than dirt and in the middle of the video her thread came out of the needle and she proclaimed "oh crap" I was dying laughing and felt better knowing even people who have mastered this technique for years can have an "oh crap" moment.

Have a great weekend and whip up one of those Pinterest recipes you have been sitting on and get inspired.


thoughts from alice

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Winter neutrals and Where's Sammy and Oliver?

So today's tour of some of our winter home (I enjoyed my own photos so added quite a few and decided to split the main floor into 2 posts) reads more like a where's waldo of cats. Those 2 turkeys followed me around this time I had the camera out and make a few appearances in the photos.

The living room this winter has many neutral pillows in grain sacks, blacks and whites and tie into the mantel and chalkboard wall. They add interest without being the interest if you get my drift.

i added a few small books and black and white photos to this lovely ironstone tureen

i decided to group some of my crockery together with the rooster that usually lives in the dining room. i added the small clock for another hit of black. i am really enjoying grouping my collections as of late and love the impact they have.

the front foyer got straightened out. by straightened out i mean i straightened the angle i have had the rug, chair and crate on for some time and just have everything standing at attention now. the pillow got switched out for a great wool polyester black and white stripe and i found some of my favourite house plants the "white kalanchoe" for the tin on the island.

again with the grouping. i moved more of my cameras into one location and my cigarette lighters joined them on our crate shelf.

i found this lovely little rug on etsy before christmas for the bathroom and it adds the perfect hit of vintage colour. the shelves got some re-styling and are back to their collected pre-holiday selves or shelves lol

Have a fantastic day everyone,


thoughts from alice
the scoop
savvy southern style