A few weeks ago, we had a big meeting at work at which our department Director would be in attendance.  Since she is retiring at the end of December, my manager asked me to bake a cake as a farewell to her.  It was a cute little (maybe not so little!) cake that everyone just loved.   Some of the people that were responsible for organizing the formal retirement party for our Director were also at that meeting, and approached me about making the cake for that day as well.  Of course I agreed. 

I had every intention of making a simple chocolate cake to feed anywhere from 40 - 80 people (since we had no idea how many people were to show up!), but then the wheels started turning and when I found out she was passionate about fishing and planned to spend a good amount of her retirement out on her dock, I just couldn't help myself...

Making your own hummus is really quite easy.  All you need are the right ingredients and a food processor (or blender).  Plus, when you make your own, you get to decide how thick or thin you want it.  I like it thicker for dipping, but thinner for wraps.  You can also add your own unique touch to it like I did here with the chipotle, which adds a nice spicy and smoky flavour.

MAKES: approx. 2 cups
TIMES: 15-20 minutes

Sometimes I like to give tree ornaments as gifts during the holidays.  I like to wrap up a present, decorate the box with a ribbon, make curls with the tails, then tie them around the loop of a tree ornament.  This way, instead of a bow the recipient of this gift will eventually throw out (after they're done sticking it to their hair, sweater, other people's sweater, etc.) they get an ornament they can keep and use.   The downside to this is that a bag of 50 bows will run you about 2$, whereas a single ornament can cost up to 20$!  (That's Hallmark wallet raping you, in case you didn't know.)

The solution? Make your own ornaments.  This particular ornament is for that yarn lover (or even cat lover?) on your list.