the third day of the month blues

blues pl n

1. a state of depression or melancholy

2. a feeling of depression or deep unhappiness

I recently observed that I am in a state of depression or melancholy every third day of the month. It has happened without fail for three consecutive months, so I’m convinced it’s a thing. Terrible things will happen to you every third day of the month.

Exceptionally, 3rd January 2014 went by smoothly. This affliction started with 3rd February 2014. It was the day I was to have my first mediation session at the Family Courts. I could make or break a person’s day (sort of). I had to actually make submissions (sort of) before a judge. I’m not good at public speaking stuff and needless to say, I was terrified. And sleep deprived. This was also the Monday right after my trip to Penang over the CNY weekend, where I had barely nine hours of sleep over three-and-a-half days. On top of everything else, I was fighting holiday withdrawal symptoms while trying to adequately prepare for the mediation session. Of course, it was no surprise that I was depressed that day. The mediation was fairly successful however (I was deeply grateful that there were no emotional scenes), but I returned to the office to get told off by my boss on another matter. She must either have been in a bad mood that day or simply pissed off at me because she could not stop calling me that day to scold me on several other matters. Obviously, it didn’t help that I was still facing holiday withdrawal symptoms and sleep deprived. Talk about feeling the blues that day. Since too many things had happened to make it a memorable lousy day, I didn’t think the blues had anything to do with the fact that it was the 3rd of the month.

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we’ve had pretty sky days recently

Before I knew it, February was over and I was overwhelmed with work on 3rd March 2014 (thanks to irritating clients who instruct us at the last minute), managed to piss of my boss (again, I’m really good at this apparently) and naturally, I was depressed. Melancholic. In a state of deep unhappiness. Surprisingly, I was perfectly fine the next morning. Perhaps all my whining (to whoever I could get hold off) helped. Or maybe it was because the sun had set and rose in the east again and the date on the calendar changed from the 3rd to the 4th. Whatever it was, I was flooded with work (to be fair, everyone was flooded with work, and there isn’t a public holiday in March. We officially hate March) but despite all of that, I was happy that month.

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shophouses and skyscrapers

I thought I was (finally) getting the hang of things, but 3rd April 2014 had to come along and the pattern repeated itself. AGAIN. Such that I am convinced the third day of every month is guaranteed to be a bluesy day. A depressing one. Things will happen that will make you pissed off at yourself (I mean, myself) and the entire world in general. You will lose your patience at the slightest thing, and also lose your appetite (which is really sad. I love food.) I hate being depressed. And I dislike crying, though I know I do it often enough that people can’t help but think otherwise. Come 3rd May, I’m more than sure a feeling of depression or deep unhappiness would overtake me. It’s unavoidable.

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Now that we know this is a guaranteed affliction, we need to be prepared. Such as by having some form of chocolate within easy reach, so that you can stuff your face when the blues hit you. Even if you lose your appetite, chocolate will still be welcome (If even chocolate doesn’t help, it’s too serious and professional help is likely needed.) Since I only just discovered this condition, I didn’t have anything at hand to ward off the blues on Thursday (the evil 3rd day of the month). Friday went by smoothly enough, but I still needed comfort, so today, I treated myself to a single serving chocolate lava cake. Which turned out beautifully melty. I’M SO HAPPY NOW.

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I added a toblerone triangle in the centre of the ramekin to up the melty factor – it worked!

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I was so glad it turned out beautifully. A failed attempt might have been too much for me to take. By the way, the recipe for this gorgeous creation is found in the inaugural post. By gorgeous, I mean the recipe/innovation is a thing of beauty. Not my work.

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Can I have more, please?

chewy cocoa cookies with chocolate chips

That’s a pretty long name for chocolate cookies.

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Note, these are not chocolate chip cookies, but cocoa cookies with chocolate chips. The recipe is from one of the first blogs that introduced me to the world of food blogging, the Orangette blog (Molly writes so beautifully), and I fell in love with these cookies the first time I made them. And proceeded to persuade everyone I knew to bake these asap, because I wasn’t willing to share the cookies that I had baked. I wanted them all for myself.

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This time, I was a lot more mature and brought some to share with my colleagues.

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The recipe makes a substantial number of cookies with just 57 g butter and yogurt is also part of the mix (an unusual ingredient for cookies, right?) yet each cookie is perfectly rich and chocolatey, like you would want a chocolate cookie to be. The only downside is that they’re not very photogenic, but other than that, these cookies would be anyone’s favourite! Unless you don’t like chocolate, in which case, I’m not sure if we can ever be friends …

Chewy Cocoa Cookies with Chocolate Chips

Recipe from Orangette blog 

Ingredients

1 cup AP flour

¼ tsp baking soda

⅛ tsp salt

57g unsalted butter

⅔ cup granulated sugar

⅓ cup light brown sugar

7 tbsp cocoa powder

⅓ cup plain yogurt

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ cup chocolate chips

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.

3. Melt butter. Add the sugars and sift in the cocoa (if there are lumps in your cocoa). Stir to blend well. The mixture will look pasty, like wet sand.

4. Add yogurt and vanilla and stir to mix thoroughly. Add the dry flour mixture and stir to just combine. Add the chocolate chips and stir to incorporate.

5. Use a tablespoon-sized measuring spoon to drop the dough onto the baking sheet. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until the tops of the cookies have crackled slightly and look set.

 

single girl chocolate lava cake

I didn’t have to think very hard for my first post.

I have wanted to make Joy the Baker’s “single girl melty chocolate cake” ever since I acquired her cookbook sometime earlier this year. The recipe itself is pure genius. I mean, chocolate cake for one! With simple everyday ingredients, so you can bake this up whenever a chocolate craving strikes.

But despite my well-stocked kitchen (NOT), I was lacking ramekins. Or anything similar to ramekins that one could use to bake melty chocolate cake.

simple ingredients!

simple ingredients!

I finally bought a couple of ramekins at Daiso (i wasn’t sure if $2 per ramekin was the most affordable option available, so i restricted myself to buying just 2). I didn’t set out to buy PINK ramekins, but they didn’t have white ramekins in stock and the brown ones were not the “made in japan” variety so i grabbed these pink ones and set out to make a chocolate cake all for myself.

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pink ramekins

i think this is six squares of chocolate. which should be equivalent to 1/4 cup chocolate chips because the cake turned out fine.

i think this is six squares of chocolate. which should be equivalent to 1/4 cup chocolate chips because the cake turned out fine.

four tsp sugar, but looks like a lot right?!

four tsp sugar, but looks like a lot right?!

Okay, so I intended to eat the cake all by myself. But I wanted some feedback. So I let my younger sister try a little. She said it was awesome, heavenly and RICH. Well duh. Did I really need feedback for a chocolate dessert?

Also, I’m never ordering chocolate lava cake / molten chocolate cake / howsoever it’s described at restaurants again! Unless I’m on a date and my date wants it. (And other exceptional situations if/when I think of them.)

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The recipe for this heaven-sent dessert is found at page 170 of Joy Wilson’s Joy the Baker Cookbook. Start baking now! Oh btw Joy calls it “single girl melty chocolate cake”. I like the sound of “lava cake” so I prefer “single girl chocolate lava cake”.

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It’s actually pretty classy, I would probably make it if I needed to make a special dessert for two. It’s the perfect size if you’re sharing with a girlfriend. I thought it was kinda big for a single serving. But I’m weird so you probably shouldn’t trust me.