Snickerdoodles and Orzo w Spinach and Balsamic are Holiday Faves


Snickerdoodles and a “nice, decadent side dish to serve with beef tenderloin”. These 2 recipe requests popped up this week. 

Snickerdoodles are a family favorite from daughter-in-law, Jessie. Such a popular holiday cookie, and homemade is much better than store bought. That’s what Terry, a “loyal” reader said when she asked for a from scratch recipe.

The reader who wanted the side dish for beef tenderloin said he was not counting calories for a holiday dinner he was going to cook. “Once in a while it’s fun to just enjoy really good food with really good friends,” he said. I couldn’t agree more. 

The snickerdoodles make a yummy gift from the kitchen. The orzo side dish is spectacular, both in looks, and in taste. You’re welcome…


Crisp on the outside edges and just soft enough in the centers. Jess found this on Pioneer Woman’s site. I’ve met Ree Drummond, and I think she’d be tickled to know this cookie is that much loved. 


2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1-3/4 cups sugar, divided

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon cinnamon.


Preheat oven to 400 and line baking sheets with parchment.

Whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Cream butter and 1-1/2 cups sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 3–5 minutes. 

Beat in eggs, scrape bowl, then turn to low and slowly add flour mixture until well combined. 

Mix remaining 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon together. 

Use a 1-1/2 tablespoon cookie scoop to measure out dough balls. Roll each in hands to even out, then roll in cinnamon sugar to thoroughly coat.

Place on baking sheets, 2-1/2 inches apart. 

Bake 8–9 minutes, until just barely golden around edges. 

Cool several minutes before taking off sheets.

Makes 24-36.

Orzo with spinach, Parmesan, and Balsamic vinegar
Cook spinach while orzo is cooking so that you can assemble final dish easily.

Ingredients orzo

1 cup orzo

1 clove garlic

2 cups vegetable or chicken broth

2 sprigs thyme, 4” long each

1/4 to 1/3 cup whipping cream, warmed just a little

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese


Cook orzo according to package directions, adding garlic and thyme with broth and removing garlic and thyme stems after cooking. Drain if necessary.

Stir in cream and cheese. Place in bowl or on platter. 

Ingredients spinach

1 bag spinach, about 10 oz.

1 nice clove garlic, minced

Red pepper flakes – go easy on this


Balsamic vinegar

Parmesan cheese


In large pot, pour in enough olive oil to film bottom of pan. Add garlic and pepper flakes.  Add spinach, rinsed (leave some water clinging to leaves).  Put lid on and cook on high until wilted, stirring a couple of times.  Season with salt. 


Make well in orzo.  Pour spinach mixture in.  Drizzle with vinegar and sprinkle on more cheese. 

Serves 3-4 as a side.

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