Anita Liles Sims of Calhoun City and formerly of Bruce, has always gone for the easy, simple recipes--probably because with three sons she was usually rushing to a ball game. With those days past, she still enjoys simple, including crockpot recipes like chili and potato soup, and now all the boys--Brandon, Stephen and Aaron--like to grill, and granddaughter Raegan likes to help her in the kitchen.
Anita spent time in the kitchen with her mother, the late Helen Liles, who was “the best cook” and made good biscuits. Anita liked to watch her make jam and jelly from blackberries they picked.
This year for the first time Anita made pear honey and strawberry fig preserves. The idea came after noticing how full the fig tree was while she was mowing the yard, and a neighbor who shared some pears. She got the pear honey recipe from one of the Paula Deen cookbooks Brandon had given her.
Usually for the church harvest meal at Derma, Anita takes pork tenderloin, green bean casserole and Butterfinger cake. The youth like the cake for any occasion and Morgan Bollinger has already requested one for her 16th birthday. Jalapeno appetizers start off their family’s Christmas morning breakfast, and that recipe came from Shelley Hall and mother Carmen?“Smokey”?Hall from west Texas, who she and husband, David, worked with in Arkansas.
The hominy casserole recipe came from the late Ora Lee Baker, who Anita worked with at Stubbs’ Dept. Store years ago, and her family prefers it made with sausage.
The Peanut Butter Pie is from niece, Maggie Ellard, who brought it for a family get-together. Since then, Anita says it has become a favorite dessert of her boys and her granddaughter, instead of birthday cake.
Once after making the crust with the actual Oreo cookies and layering it, “If I remember correctly, Stephen said I could make the peanut butter pie like this anytime!” she said.
The Mexican cornbread is Wanda Watkins’ recipe from an old Bruce Methodist Women’s cookbook which Anita has worn the cover off of.
She says she has made it too many times to count and it is a favorite of Brandon.
12 Jalapeno peppers
12 slices of Bacon (cut each bacon slice in half)
Preheat oven to 350°. Wash and cut off stems of jalapeno peppers. Cut lengthwise and remove all the seeds. Fill inside of peppers with cream cheese and wrap in bacon. Place into baking dish or baking sheet and cook until bacon gets to desired crispiness.
1 lb. sausage or ground beef
1 can diced Rotel tomatoes
2 cans (15 oz.) yellow hominy (drained)
1 small onion (chopped)
Grated cheddar cheese
Brown meat with diced onion. Drain. Add Rotel tomatoes and hominy. Mix well. Pour into casserole dish and cover with grated cheddar cheese. Bake in 350° oven until casserole bubbles and cheese melts.
1 ½ cups corn meal
1 cup milk
2/3 cup Wesson oil
1/4 to 1/2 bell pepper, chopped fine
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup cream style corn
Mix all ingredients except cheese. Pour half the batter into hot greased skillet. Add cheese, and then add remaining batter. Bake at 350° for 30 to 45 minutes.
Peanut Butter Pie
8 oz. package of cream cheese
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup chocolate syrup
1 chocolate Oreo pie crust
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup Cool Whip
Allow cream cheese to soften. Mix cream cheese, sugar, peanut butter and Cool Whip together until smooth with electric mixer. Pour into chocolate pie crust. Drizzle chocolate syrup over the top of pie. Refrigerate an hour before serving.
(I have made this variation on this recipe and my family likes this just as well. One time I couldn’t find a chocolate pie crust at the store, so I bought a package of Oreo cookies and crushed about half the package. I then alternated layers of crushed cookies with the pie mixture in a crystal bowl and drizzled the chocolate on top.)