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Hey y’all! Alicia Dowell here from Simple Words by A. I have the honor of being the September blogger of the month. It was a complete shock when the email arrived. I had to read it again a couple of times.alicia dowell

I grew up in southwest Arkansas middle daughter of three. College was at Southern Arkansas University where I met my wonderful Hubby. We married three years after meeting and didn’t wait to start our family. 

I started blogging almost six years ago as a way to keep in touch with family and a way to write more. I always have had a crazy dream of becoming a published author and thought blogging might help encourage me. This was all while juggling being a new mother and working two jobs. Nothing like trying too much!  I never imagined  where my little blog or myself would end up. It has been a long journey but so many great memories and friends have been made.

I look forward to serving as September’s blogger of the month and look forward to sharing with all of y’all.





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 By Talya Boerner of Grace Grits and Gardening

cheddar rice souffle- gracegrits

In the early 1980s, I loaded all my belongings in my yellow corvette (for realz) and headed to Texas. Moving was simple when my belongings consisted of clothes and a bulky stereo.

Today? Not so much. Moving back to Arkansas thirty-three years later is a tad more challenging. There are certain things that can’t be transported by a moving company across state lines. Obvious things like hazardous chemicals, but bourbon and wine? Hmmm. And my plants! Huh? Yeah, I’ll be the crazy person driving a carload of ferns and herbs to Arkansas.

What about food, you ask? Although pantry foods can be moved, I’d rather fill the expensive moving truck with other things. So in light of this food issue, for the past month I’ve been on a mission to cook only from our freezer and pantry. Thus, every night is a pantry raid at our house. I create whatever I can, using what’s on hand. And what’s on hand often includes rice.


Riceland Foods, Stuttgart, Arkansas

Apparently I have been stockpiling rice. Arkansas rice to be specific. My family farms rice in Northeast Arkansas, so when I eat Riceland Foods rice milled in Stuttgart, Arkansas, I am buying local. That makes me happy deep in the heart of Texas.

This cheddar rice soufflé (tweaked from my grits soufflé recipe) served as our main supper course one night last week. The soufflé part of the equation combined with rice made the dish light and fluffy. Although this is not a difficult recipe, there is planning involved so set aside two hours for prep, stovetop cooking, cooling and baking. The final result is well worth the effort. I’ll be making this cheddar rice soufflé again soon.

Cheddar Rice Souffle
Serves 8
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  1. 2 cups cooked long-grain Riceland rice
  2. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  3. 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  4. 1 ½ cups whole milk
  5. 1 ½ cups sharp cheddar cheese
  6. 2 tablespoons minced green onion
  7. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  8. 1 teaspoon Worcestershire
  9. ½ teaspoon salt
  10. ½ teaspoon Tabasco
  11. ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
  12. 3 eggs (room temperature) separated
  1. Melt butter on low heat in a heavy saucepan. Add flour. Stir until smooth. Gradually add milk. Heat until thick and bubbly like gravy.
  2. Add rice and all remaining ingredients except eggs. Stir over low heat until mixed well. Mixture will be thick.
  3. Remove pan from heat and let cool for at least thirty minutes.
  4. Beat egg yolks on high speed until lemony yellow color.
  5. Add egg yolks to cooled rice mixture and mix well.
  6. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  7. (When beating egg whites, make sure there is no water, oil or yolk residue inside your mixer. Even a drop will affect your whites. Egg whites should be at room temperature before beating.)
  8. Gently fold egg whites into rice mixture.
  9. Pour into 1 ½ quart ungreased casserole dish. Bake at 325 degrees for approximately 50 minutes (ovens vary) until knife in center comes out clean and top has a nice golden color. (During baking, resist opening the oven to peek at your dish.)
  10. Serve immediately.
  1. This is a great way to use leftover rice too!
Arkansas Women Bloggers

talya crop

Talya Tat
e Boerner
Owner, Grace Grits and Gardening
Facebook: Grace Grits Gardening

As the daughter of an Arkansas cotton farmer, Talya grew up making mud pies and does her best thinking wearing gardening gloves. Although she has lived in Dallas since college, she has a continued passion for the Mississippi Delta and returns home to the family farm often. Talya freelances for Front Porch, Bourbon and Boots, East Dallas Advocate and Only in Arkansas. She is working on several writing projects including her first novel.  Follow her heartfelt stories about food, farm, garden and life at Grace Grits and Gardening.   

The winner of our Giveaway for two Bacon Bowl tickets from Petit Jean Meats is Keisha P.  Congrats.  Petit Jean Meats will be in touch.



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Honeycomb and Brie with Apple {Blogger of the Month}

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By Ceri Wilkin, Miss August 2014 When we travel, we are inclined to stay away from the comfortable familiarity of chain establishments, we like to explore the local Farmers Markets, local supermarkets and of course, the local restaurants. Local food and fare are my preferred way to discover the culture of a town or country. We [...]

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Attending #AWBU2014?  Leave a comment telling us what you are expecting. It’s time for #SundayLinkUp! Come join the fun. #ARWB Click To TweetPowered By CoSchedule

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Petit Jean Meats Bacon-Wrapped Dates & Giveaway

August 22, 2014

  One of our long-standing friends and supporters of #AWBU is Petit Jean Meats, an Arkansas-based company.  Today’s Foodie Friday post is a quick and tasty appetizer that will be served by K-Mac Catering of Rogers during our Friday evening event and features delicious hickory-smoked bacon from Petit Jean Meats. Feast your eyes on these delicious [...]

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