Blueberry Bread


One of my high school friends recently pointed out to me that it has been 10 years since we entered our first year of high school. It just seemed so odd to me that 10 years have already passed since we were those gawky 15 year olds stumbling our way through 9th grade. And this got me thinking…if 15 year old me could see where I am now, would she be happy with where I ended up? My immediate answer was yes. I have a very happy, full life, so of course the 15 year old version of myself would be happy to see that. But I also think she would be pretty surprised and perhaps a bit confused when learning about the career I chose. When I was fifteen I flip flopped back and forth about “what I wanted to be when I grew up.” Some days I wanted to be a chef and other days I wanted to go into musical theatre. But no matter how many times my “dream job” changed it always involved either food or music. If you’ve read this blog for a while, I’m sure it comes as no surprise that food always had a part in my future ambitions. But perhaps the music part is a bit of a surprise. Yet once upon a time, music was a huge part of my life. I started singing when I was 5 years old, and couldn’t really get enough of it.


My high school days were spent in choir practice and voice lessons and there weren’t many things I loved more than singing in front of a big crowd. A pretty odd hobby for someone as shy as I always was, but somehow it just worked. Eventually I retired from my short lived singing career, but my love of music never went away. So I’m sure the fifteen year old me would be surprised that I ended up not as a singer or a chef…but a hotel sales manager. But even though I always scoffed at the idea of working in a hotel and even worse, working in sales, I truly love where I ended up. Because as strange as it may sound, my job actually allows me to be surrounded by both food and theatre. I get to spend half of my time planning catered events and creating menus for my clients. And because my hotel is located in the heart of Detroit’s theatre district, the other half of my time is spent working with the company managers of all of the Broadway musicals and plays that come into town. I even get to attend many of the new shows that visit the city. So I’m hoping fifteen year old Colleen wouldn’t be too disappointed with her 25 year old counterpart.


And even though the “food” part of my job doesn’t exactly involve cooking, I think I make up for that on the weekends. Last weekend I whipped up this sweet blueberry bread, with a few simple ingredients I already had in my kitchen. The bread is cake-like and would be delicious drizzled with a simple lemon glaze. I kept mine simple, but feel free to add a glaze or frosting to sweeten things up a bit.

Ingredients: Makes 1 loaf, Adapted slightly from AllRecipes

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries, thawed and drained


  1. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar together until smooth
  2. Beat in milk and oil until well incorporated
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, salt and baking powder together
  4. Gradually add flour mixture to egg mixture until well combined
  5. Fold in blueberries
  6. Pour batter into a greased loaf pan and bake at 350 for 50-65 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the loaf

Berry Salad with Cornflake Crusted Chicken


Whenever I go out to eat, I’m drawn to salads that are filled with an interesting mix of produce and topped with a delicious source of protein. But then I’m left wondering why I just spent $15 on something I could easily make at home. So this past Sunday I did just that. I wandered through the produce aisle, and just picked out a few different items that sounded good. Like a fresh mix of berries and a perfectly ripe avocado. I love the contrast of the creamy and mild avocado with the sweet and slightly tart berries. And since I wanted to give an added punch of protein (and I had a certain guy coming over that would NOT eat a plain salad for dinner) I decided to throw together some healthified crispy chicken strips. And rather than use Panko breadcrumbs, like I usually do, I decided to use cornflakes as the main component in the crust. And I thought it had fantastic results. The chicken is perfectly tender with a crunchy and flavorful crust. I made a large enough batch of the chicken strips to have leftovers for quick dinners throughout the week, but you could easily divide the chicken portion of this recipe in half to have just enough for a couple salads. And there you have a perfectly light spring meal. Enjoy!

Ingredients: Makes 2 large salads and 12 chicken strips (plenty of leftovers!)

  • 2 packages thinly sliced boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 cups cornflakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4 cups mixed greens or chopped romaine
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced into strips
  • 1/2 cup mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries & blackberries)
  • Raspberry Vinaigrette


  1. Place chicken strips in a 13 x 9 inch baking dish and cover with buttermilk; place in fridge and let sit for 3-4 hours
  2. Place next 5 ingredients in a food processor (cornflakes through mozzarella) and grind until mixture resembles coarse crumbs
  3. Place cornflake mixture into another 13 x 9 inch baking dish and dredge chicken breast in mixture until completely coated
  4. Place cornflake crusted chicken strips on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes
  5. To assemble salad, mix greens, avocado & mixed berries together and top with cooled chicken
  6. Drizzle with raspberry vinaigrette to taste