Thursday, February 10, 2011

Disability Claims, Valentine Roses and More Chocolate

Yesterday I spotted an article about Disability Tax Credit frauds which made me sit up and take notice because we have such a credit. It turns out that in Winnipeg, Manitoba, a company has been charging people (quite heavily) to get them all kinds of unjustified refunds from government disability taxes. It is a fact that people don’t know they can get these refunds and credits, but there shouldn’t be any charge for them. There are a couple of guys who live in Kitchener who have been explaining to people, for some years, about what they can do, which forms they should fill (they keep the forms with them to hand out) and it is all done for free. Some people who have been disabled for a long time, get a hefty refund although the government did end up setting date limits on how far you could go back. You can, in fact, download the form from the internet if you go to the Canadian government web pages. Your doctor has to sign that you are truly disabled in one way or another.

There is an article on GMA about Valentine flowers. Apparently thousands of flowers are imported into the USA every day (presumably into Canada too – its too cold to grow flRosesowers right now) and many of them turn out to be carrying bugs and diseases which are not native to this part of the world.  Er, Matt, no roses please. The flowers are inspected at the airports, but it is possible not every bug or disease is caught. Lovely as roses are, I prefer Carnations anyway because they last longer, roses droop very quickly. Although I am not into the language of the flowers, I know red roses are supposed to say “I love you”, nevertheless give me carnations.

I found these in the FoodNetwork newsletter, they are so simple, albeit very messy, to make. I see why she adds “Little Black Dress” to the name.

Little Black Dress Chocolate Truffles

Yield : 80

These truffles are the "little black dress" in my culinary wardrobe. Relatively simple, deliciously sublime and perfect for every occasion.
Courtesy of Jennifer Hamilton,


225 grams of the best dark chocolate you can locate, chopped into small pieces (about ¼")

300 millilitres of heavy whipping cream

Optional Toppings

Cocoa powder

Chopped nuts

Finely ground instant coffee or espresso crystals

Cookie decorations

Cinnamon Sugar

Brown Sugar

Sweet Coconut

Chopped up Caramels

Crushed candies

Finely chopped up dark or milk chocolate

a few flakes of Maldon or crystallized sea salt (with chocolate it is divine)


1 kilogram 1kg of good quality chocolate for coating, if you want to dip/coat the truffles

  1. Place the chocolate in a large heatproof mixing bowl. In a saucepan, heat the cream until it just begins to bubble around the edges. Immediately pour over the broken chocolate to melt it. Stir until chocolate is completely melted and cream and chocolate are combined.
  2. Transfer to a casserole dish or deep baking tray and leave to cool in the fridge, which will take at least one-and-a-half hours.
  3. Dust your hands with icing sugar to keep the chocolate from sticking too much (this is messy, just accept that). When the mixture has set, use a teaspoon to spoon out bite-sized portions and roll into balls in the palms of your hands.
    1. At this point you have a choice of finishes. You can coat the truffles with a crisp coating of chocolate, or for a simple no fuss finish; just roll them in any of the above coatings or something else of your choice. If you are coating them in melted chocolate, return the formed truffles to the fridge. If rolling them in other coatings, do it now and then store in the fridge.
    2. Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler until smooth. Turn off heat. Remove truffles from the fridge. With a truffle on one fork, use a second fork to help dip and coat the truffle in the melted chocolate until well covered. You can still coat with one of the above decorations at this point, too. Store truffles in the fridge, allowing at least 10 minutes at room temperature prior to serving.

    Have a great day


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