Brooke Cooks - Dairy-free chocolate mousse fruit cup.

9:14 PM

Back in May my mom asked me what I wanted for my birthday treat, and since I've recently become dairy-free (or rather, dairy-limited...since I still indulge in it a bit) I wasn't sure what to answer. I took to pinterest to find a dairy free recipe for my birthday. There were all sorts of things that I found, but the dairy free chocolate mousse was what really caught my eye. I found this recipe here and the whipped cream recipe here.

After making the chocolate mousse, I topped it with various fruits and then the coconut milk whipped cream. It was super good and I was impressed with how close to the real thing it tasted.
For the chocolate mousse you need:

A mixer
A bowl
1 can coconut milk (1 can will make about 4 servings)
2-3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon raw honey, stevia, or sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Put your coconut milk in the fridge for a few hours or over night, so that the creamy fat part settles on top.

2. When you open the cans, scoop out the white part and either save or empty the remaining liquid (I know it can be used for other recipes, so that's why you would save it).

3. Add the cocoa powder, honey/sugar/stevia, and vanilla.

4. Whip with your mixer until it is as fluffy as you want it.

Next, I spooned this mousse into the bottoms of glasses. It's pretty rich depending on how much cocoa powder you put in, so it doesn't take that much.

Then, I washed raspberries, blueberries and strawberries. After cutting the strawberries into smaller pieces, I layered them on top of the chocolate mousse.

For the whipped cream topping you need:
A mixer
A bowl
1 can coconut milk (1 can = about 4 servings)
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
Optional: Pinch of sugar/stevia

Throw it all in your bowl and use the mixer to whip it up. I finished off my cups by adding the whipped topping to them (and some chocolate chips! This is optional.) and storing them in the fridge until after dinner. Super yummy and dairy free :)

The cool thing about this is that it's vegan and delicious. I've been contemplating the vegan lifestyle recently and came back to this recipe, since ice cream is, like, my only vice.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and try it out yourself. Let me know if you have any questions regarding anything in this post! Do you have any dietary restrictions and/or any yummy recipes you like to make?


Girl Power: Experiment Shows Women Favor Women More Than Men Favor Men.

8:30 PM

I'm not the kind of person who likes tearing others down to bring myself up. So men, understand that I'm not trying to do that with the study I'm about to talk about. I'm just trying to show people that the thought that "all women hate each other" is completely, scientifically wrong.

You've heard it said a million times before: Women hate other women. They're jealous and catty. Or: If women could just learn to get along and like each other, we could rule the world.

Brain blast, sisters, studies show that women like women more than men like men. In case you didn't hear, the 2004 study done by Laurie Rudman and Stephanie Goodwin used experimental methods that came out with some pretty cool results. In their four experiments they tested in-group bias, identity, self-esteem, caregiving, and sexuality. Using the experiments, they drew one large conclusion: women are more likely to like women than men are men (Goodwin & Rudman, 2004). I've said it a lot, but just soak it in, okay?

Why is this? You might be wondering.

There's a lot of reasons. 

One answer lies in our internal mechanism that promotes our own group bias; it draws from our high gender identity (Goodwin & Rudman, 2004). This would be what I refer to ask the group bathroom effect (do not quote me...that's not even a thing and I just made it up). Girls are more likely to invest emotional energy into the relationship than men are, making women favor women more than men. (Um, did I just notion that going to the bathroom together is investing emotional energy into the relationship...maybe. Take that any way that you want to).

Another reason lies in stereotypes. Women are perceived by both men and women as more safe, which links them to warmth, whereas when men are linked with power it's triggered as a threat. Even men are more afraid of men than woman are (Goodwin & Rudman, 2004). Go figure. I'd probably be really afraid of dads if I were a boy; they seem to get yelled at more often. I won't name this effect to save myself some embarrassment.

You need another reason? Well Goodwin and Rudman have it: mothers. As the primary caregiver, mothers set the tone for what their children think of women. If you are raised by only a maternal figure, you're more likely to be more pro-female. If you're raised by a good, caring mom, you probably like women, whether or not your father was in the picture at all. However, if you're raised by a bad mom, you might not like women very much (Goodwin & Rudman, 2004). I'm not lying, people are trained to like women from the moment they transfer from womb to world.

Look, I know that this study is 11 years old and that it might be considered outdated by some sources (that being said, I think it should be replicated). However, are the above reasonings not true today, 11 years later? They're still true, at least in my case.

So what can we take from this?

First, let's not say that women hate each other, because according to this experiment, we don't. We actually really, really like each other for a lot of reasons.

Let's take this as a fact. Girls like girls. With that, let's take it to the next level and tell our family and our friends - promote the spread of girl positivity. It's already there, I think it's sometimes a little bit downplayed by the objectification of women in the media. Women are taught by media that to be the best is to be the skinniest, prettiest, to be the alpha-chick. It's also true that women are taught by natural selection to be warm, caring, friendly, and sensitive. Let's use the natural side of ourselves and ignore the media side.

I strongly encourage you to read the study (linked above) and let me know what you think. If you don't have time to read the whole thing, skip down to the heading where it reads Why Do Women Like Women More Than Men Like Men? I promise it's worth the read.



Laurie, R., & Stephanie, G. (2004, June 7). Gender Differences in Automatic In-Group Bias: Why Do Women Like Women More Than Men Like Men? Retrieved May 26, 2015, from

ps. I'm sorry for the lack of post last week. I've been incredibly worn down by work and such.


Hiking | Northern Michigan

10:14 AM

I've been spending my time in Northern Michigan this summer, working at a bookstore. On my days off, I go hiking at all the national trails. In the mornings I usually take a hike in my grandparents backyard which, yes, has a trail.

Hiking has rapidly become my favorite form of exercise. I'll be sad when I go home and there aren't any trails around.

Why I love it:
1. The scenery is beautiful.
2. It's good for thinking/reflection.
3. It brings me closer to God.
4. I sweat, but don't feel like dying (unlike running).
5. I don't get tired of it.
6. It's peaceful.

I wanted to share some of my hiking photos with you. I hope you enjoy!

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