This week's column is dedicated to Mother Nature, who has given us a beautiful fall!


Quick Blueberry Muffin


1 cup vanilla ice cream, softened


1 cup self-rising flour


1 cup fresh blueberries


1 tablespoon butter


2 tablespoons sugar


In a large bowl, combine ice cream and flour. Fold in blueberries. Spoon into 6 greased muffin cups. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. While hot, brush muffin tops with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Serve warm.



Pickled Beets


8 medium fresh beets


1 cup vinegar


1/2 cup sugar


1/12 teaspoons whole cloves


1 1/2 teaspoons whole allspice


1/2 teaspoon salt


Remove and discard greens and all but 1/2 inch of the stems from beets. Cook beets in boiling water until tender, drain and cool. Peel and slice, place in a bowl and set aside. n a small saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, cloves, allspice and salt. Bring to a boil, boil for 5 minutes. Pour over beets. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Drain before serving.



Roasted New Potatoes


1 1/2 pounds new potatoes, quartered


2 tablespoons olive oil


2 teaspoons minced garlic


1/2 teaspoon salt


1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed


1/2 teaspoon dried thyme


1/8 teaspoons pepper


In a resealable plastic bag, combine all ingredients, shake to coat. Pour into an 13-by-9-inch baking dish that is not greased. Bake, uncovered at 450 degrees for 35 minutes or until potatoes are tender.



Tilapia with Jasmin Rice


3/4 cup water


1/2 cup uncooked jasmine rice


1 1/2 teaspoons butter


1/4 teaspoon ground cumin


1/4 teaspoon seafood seasoning


1/4 teaspoon pepper


1/8 teaspoon salt


2 tilapia fillets (6 ounces each)


1/4 cup fat-free Italian salad dressing


In a large saucepan, bring water, rice and butter to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Combine the seasonings, sprinkle over filets. Place salad dressing in a large skillet, cook over medium heat until heated through. Add fish, cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve with rice.



Lemon Chess Pie


1 9-inch unbaked pie shell


4 eggs


1 1/2 cups sugar


1/2 cup lemon juice


1/4 cup butter, melted


1 tablespoon corn meal


2 teaspoons flour


1/8 teaspoon salt


In a bowl, beat eggs for 3 minutes. Gradually adding sugar, beat for 2 more minutes or until mixture becomes thick and lemon-colored. Beat in the lemon juice, butter, cornmeal, flour and salt. Pour into a pastry shell. Bake at 350 degrees or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.



Our thought for the week: "Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others." — Cicero