Thursday, December 16, 2010

Guest Blogger -Dolly from Xmas Dolly

This is so much fun! I love getting to know all of you a little bit more.
I really love hearing about other families' traditions at Christmas. When this is all over I'll have to take a minute and share my answers with you all too!

Our guest blogger today is Dolly!
She is also giving away "I Caught Santa" photos.
Check out her blog to see how you could be a winner.
She is the author of XMas Dolly

Dolly is a blogger I met, probably because of the Christmas theme, and probably because we are both in the Over 40 and Bloggin' club. LOL! You should definitely visit her blog and you can check her out on facebook as well. She has the most awesome giveaways on her blog!

Now for the interview:
MC: Why is your blog called "XmasDolly"?

DOLLY: My mom past away in 2006, and I have this doll that's all dressed in red my Mom got from my Dad on a Valentines Candy Box. She always put it out at Christmas time & said that was her Christmas Dolly when I was little. When mom passed it was passed down to me and now I not only have it out at Christmas time, but all year long. A picture of it is on my button. It reminds me of her & the love my Mom & Dad shared.

MC: We have already started with the food around here, and our grand-daughter is baking cupcakes for her son's 1st birthday, so it smells wonderful in here.

So what is your specialty to cook/make/bake at Christmas?

DOLLY: Due to so much Turkey being passed at Thanksgiving (we have two big dinners because the family is so large) that we're (pardon the pun) stuffed with Turkey, so I've been making Lasagna on Christmas Day. The kids love my Lasagna. My grandmother taught me how to make it.. who was born in Palermo, Sicily. Need I say more?

MC: I have heard so many wonderful recipes this year, do you think you could share this recipe with us . . .or is it a family secret?

DOLLY: Lasagna:

For my sauce:
I use: 2 large cans of Tomato puree, 2 stewed tomatoes, 1 can of tomato sauce, 1 can of tomato paste. I use one can of water in one of the large cans of tomato puree and rinse all the other cans with that water first, and then pour all in the pot.

Spices: 3 chopped garlic cloves, salt, pepper, powdered onion, oregano, 1 bay leaf, garlic powder and accent. *These same spices are used in the sauce, hamburger (minus the bay leaf) & on the sausage (sausage optional) except I add a little meat tenderizer in the hamburger, and the Italian sausage.

Problem is I can't tell you how much of this seasoning to put it I shake it until it covers the top of the sauce, stir and taste. So, it's all by taste. Once the hamburger is mixed with spices I then fry it with slice mushrooms in olive oil. When it's done I pour the whole thing into the sauce, and simmer for about an hour or two. If I put up the flame higher only for an hour. While it's simmering, and half way done I add six to eight packages of Splenda (sugar) and stir. While sauce is simmering I cook the noodles (always add oil and the salt to the water), when done rinse well.

After it's done you get your lasagna pan first a layer of sauce, then noodles then ricotta cheese, and shredded mozzarella, sauce, noodles etc. Once this is done to three levels the top level is noodles sauce (no ricotta) mozzarella shredded and then Parmesan cheese. Put it in the oven on 300 degrees for 20 minutes. WAH LA!!!

*Sometimes I add a layer of fresh (frozen) spinach in the middle. I do have a confession to make though. One time this girl asked me for my recipe, and I didn't like her very much. She was a bit of a snob. Anyway, I didn't want her to make Lasagna the way I do because everyone does like it, and our secret ingredient is adding the grease from hamburger, and if you make sausage you add the grease from there too, and just cook sauce a tad longer, and the Splenda. Well, I just happened to forget those two things from my recipe. Oooooops! ~snicker-snicker~ then she asked me how come mine doesn't taste as good as yours? Gee, I don't know I said~ did you follow the recipe? ~hehe~ I'm a bad girl!

MC: I love it! You really ARE bad. LOL!!! But I am going to try this recipe.

MC: For Christmas dinner do you have ham or turkey, (or something totally different)?

DOLLY: Lasagna as I said, but sometimes we have Turkey it depends what the kids say. They want it, I make it. My daughter loves my stuffing. I like the fried parsnips. We have ham on News Years.

The most special thing at Christmas is traditions for me. Christmas decorations, hanging stockings, lighting Christmas candles and playing Christmas music always puts me in the spirit for Christmas.

What is your absolute favorite Christmas tradition . . . the one where if you could only have / do this one tradition it would be enough for you to have a wonderful Christmas?

DOLLY: After Halloween I do my spring cleaning, and I put things away, so my house doesn't look cluttered when Christmas decor comes out. My tradition is I love to decorate. The first thing that goes up is my Christmas village then my tree the day after Thanksgiving with lots and lots of lights everywhere. I should have stock in Com Ed in December!

MC: Do you send Christmas cards? Why or why not?

DOLLY: Oh yes. I have relatives and a few friends out of State and what better way to say Merry Christmas. E-mail just doesn't seem to be enough at Christmas time for me. I love to get the cards too because I decorate my doors with them & then I decorate my Christmas boxes with them when the holiday is over. I save the real pretty ones & put them up the following year on my kitchen door because I can't wait for the cards to start coming.

MC: What is the typical holiday routine at your house? You know, Christmas Eve at home, Christmas morning at your mom's or Aunt Betty's . . . what do you guys do?

DOLLY: Christmas Eve is usually with my sister-in-law and her family (it use to be his Mom too, but she passed the same year my Mom did in 2006. We take turns who's house dinner is at, and that's usually Chinese food & we exchange presents. Christmas morn is just for the hubby and I and phone calls. Then my children (4), and their families trickle in including my brother and his wife. So, it's a house full. Let's see that's 12 adults & 9 children. Now that's just if nobody brings anyone. Ooops, make that 13 adults. My grandson has a girlfriend. She always comes. She's sweet.

MC: What is one Christmas tradition that you used to do (maybe when you were a child) that you don't do now?

DOLLY: St. Nicholas Day is December 6th. When I was little my brother, and I use to put our shoes by the door, and in the morning they were full of goodies, and one small present. When I had children I did that with my children. Now, there's no children in the house on that day unless one stays over-night then I do it. Otherwise that tradition is gone. ~sniff-sniff~

MC: That's a different tradition I haven't heard of before.

Gifts are so great, but I love to give gifts more than receive gifts. I love to watch people's faces light up when they open a gift.

MC: What is the most sentimental gift you have either received or given?

DOLLY: You see my mom was a cryer, she cried over everything. She was too funny & my daughter & I would play this game who was going to make gramma cry that year. Now that she's gone we play it on each other. I gave my daughter (NightOwlMama) an 8X10 of her grandparents & she fell to pieces. She was grandpa's girl.

MC: What was the biggest dud gift you have ever given someone?

DOLLY: You know that one gift that just didn't go over like you thought it would. Last year I bought the kids their favorite toy when they were a kid (as kind of a gag gift) I even went on E-Bay to get a few of them. My oldest daughter - The Operation Game. My oldest son, army men. My youngest boy - action figures - Turtles and my youngest - Rainbow Brite. NOTHING! I got this look like huh? Biggest Dud ever! I felt really bad too. I was all excited & it really took a lot to find all that. Oh well.

MC: What is the best toy or gift you received as a child (that you remember most fondly)?

DOLLY: My dad bought me a Cupie doll from the circus & the cross I wear.

MC: What is the best surprise you EVER received on Christmas?

DOLLY: My daughter bought me a Christmas present with her first pay check at her first job. I was pleasantly surprised & my husband bought me a video camera I loved it.

MC: Would you rather be the surprisER or the surprisEE on Chrismas morning and why?

DOLLY: The surpriser because I love watching people glow & me putting that glow there.

MC: Where you live is winter the season when Christmas comes?


MC: Do you want snow at Christmas? Why or why not?

DOLLY: SNOW, SNOW, SNOW, SNOW... I can hear Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye now. White Christmas is one of my favorite movies. I love them all.

MC: So around here Santa and I don't play Santa anymore. Do you play Santa for your children? Why or why not?

DOLLY: Yes, and why not? One time I went running through the house shaking these big bells I had & deep voice HO HO HO and I took the broom & hit the ceiling like reindeer were up there.

MC: How funny! Did you ever get caught playing Santa?

DOLLY: I think I got caught eating his cookies. It was a long time ago.

MC: I just love blogging! And I am so glad I got to meet you, XMas Dolly and got connected with you. Now I know even MORE about you.

MC: How long have you been blogging and why do you do it?

DOLLY: My daughter taught me how, and got me started. Being as I'm retired now and on disability I had time on my hands. The more I learned the more I wanted to learn, and I met so many nice people, and of course there's the meme's and the give-aways which are always fun.

MC: How many posts do you typically do per week?

DOLLY: I try to do one a day.

MC: Do you advertise on your blog? Why or why not?

DOLLY: Only my sponsors and for as long as their give-away is up or sometimes to the end of the month.

MC: Do you have anything special you want to share with readers?

DOLLY: I have a meme on Monday's called Monday's Music Moves Me. For the whole month of December our theme will be Christmas music. I hope y'all stop by and say hi or play along it's tons of fun. My husband even joins in from his little blog he keeps for his music. He has a band & writes music at "The Moody Mix".

Also, Merry Christmas to you and yours, and thank you very much for everything
MC: No thank you, Dolly! Thanks to all my wonderful readers, followers and friends. Hope you are having a blessed Holiday Season and that all the celebrations and well wishing reminds you how much Jesus Christ loves YOU.

Be sure to check out Dolly's blog.

Keepin' Company Thursday! Link up and find new friends.
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  1. Thank you for interviewing me. I guess I'm boring or not loved. :( Oh well, maybe later huh? You're a real sweetie for doing it anyways. Let me know when you try out my recipe. Remember I believe it was 8 packages of Splenda (that's the biggest secret ingredient that I don't tell the snobs.LOL) Hugs, and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

  2. What a great interview! Lasagna on Christmas sounds like a great tradition, especially if the recipe is as good as it sounds.

    I didn't know St. Nicholas Day was on December 6th. I had heard of the shoe tradition but have never known anyone who practiced it.

    I love the snow too - my wife loves Christmas music and I love all music except for James Blunt and Lenny Kravitz.. well, there are some others but this isn't about me anyway.

  3. what a fun and fabulous interview! even tho' i personally know dolly, i've learned even more about here. she would be a great stand in for Mrs C if ever one was needed!!!

    merry christmas and happy holidays. i want some of that lasagne!!!

    hugs :)

  4. Ahh I love Dolly! She is a gem. Love reading more about her too.

    I especially love that St Nicks tradition with the shoes. It's a shame for it to die out.

    We don't get snow...bah.

    Happy holidays.

  5. WOW, what a fantastic interview.
    I love Dolly to death, she is the sweetest, nicest person you could ever know. You captured all of that in the interview.
    I am definitely going to incorporate some of your "secrets" into my lasagna recipe, I mean how can you go wrong, since it came from a Sicilian???
    Merry Christmas to you all.


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