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Tips on surviving the holidays (and mini muesli pita bread puddings)

This post is sponsored by Ozery’s Pita Break

Here we gooooooo…. Silly Season has officially begin this week for me… Until now, I’ve actually felt like I was fairly in control of my holiday chores (we’re going away so, while there are not presents to buy or meals to cook, there are houses to clean for house sitters and packing to be done!) but all of a sudden this week it’s started to feel like “Yikes – where has the time gone?!”

Over the next week I have a bunch of holiday parties to attend (and host) and I know I must not be the only one who looks upon all the commitments over the holidays with both joy and a little bit of trepidation… How am I going to manage to get everything done that I need to and attend holiday parties looking and feeling fabulous? Here are a couple of my top tips for surviving the holiday party season intact:

1. Eat breakfast.

Yes it really is the most important meal of the day. It’s a good idea to eat something a substantial on days when you know you will be really busy – holiday cooking, baking, shopping etc… so that even if it’s hours before you sit down to lunch, at least you have a little energy to start the day with. On a weekday, I try to eat some fruit, cereal and maybe a yoghurt; on the weekends, I try to scramble or poach an egg and have some toast and fruit to keep me going until lunch.

2. Don’t be without a snack

I am very rarely without snacks – in my purse or at my desk at work. I like to have a variety of things available – fruit, granola bars and crackers – so that if I am not able to sit down to a proper lunch (or I am stuck in transit), I have something to munch on. I tend to get really grumpy if I am hours without food so it’s important that I have my snacks available!

3. Drink water

It sounds like a no-brainer but during party season, it’s SO important to make sure you are drinking water during the day as well as during a party. Keeping hydrated is key for me – if I’m drinking enough water, I definitely make better choices in terms of what I eat at a party (a lot of the time when I think I am hungry, I’m just thirsty) and often I find that I’m eating things I normally would not, like salty snacks so drinking water is more important than ever.

4. Eat a balanced diet

If you know you will be going out for a party or an indulgent meal, try to make sure you eat light for the rest of the day. If that means prepping a salad to bring to work for lunch, make the extra time the night before – you’ll be glad. So often when we are pressed for time, we make bad decisions about what we eat, but a little extra pre-planning can make the difference between an entire day’s worth of eating out

5. Get some sleep

Not as easy as it sounds in the season of parties even on weeknights. I try to make sure I get at 6-7 hours of sleep during the week but it’s not always possible. On weekends, I try to catch up a little on the sleep I might have missed during the week but I rarely sleep in very late (because, you know, things to do…). I might, though, take 20 minutes in the weekend afternoons to recharge my batteries – power napping for the win!

Ozerys-Pita-Break-Logo

This holiday season, I’ve been trying to make sure I eat breakfast and always have healthy snacks available with the help of Ozery’s Pita Break.  Ozery’s is a brand I am thrilled to partner with because I have been enjoying their products for many years – they are a small, family-owned bakery established in 1996 from the back of the family sandwich shop in downtown Toronto. The Ozery brothers’ grandmother introduced them to a love for baking tasty, nutritious food that they have been exploring ever since as the company has grown from strength to strength.  In 1998 they began selling their pitas to local specialty and health food stores in downtown Toronto. As demand for their products grew, they opened a small commercial bakery, eventually settling at a much larger facility outside Toronto.

Ozerys lavash crackers on cheese board on eatlivetravelwrite.comI’ve been eating the Lavash Crackers for years, initially attracted to them because of the ingredient list (the Flax and Honey variety contain: filtered water, unbleached wheat flour, stone ground whole wheat flour, flax seeds, honey, sesame seeds, wheat bran, semolina, extra virgin olive oil and sea salt) which is full of ingredients you recognize and would bake with yourself. I always have a box of the lavash on my desk at work and they are a key player on any cheese board I prepare.

I’m also a huge fan of the Morning Rounds – perfect for toasting up in the morning – and was thrilled to discover the Just Minis (mini versions of the breakfast pitas) recently. The Minis now live in my freezer at both home and work – they are the perfect size for a morning or afternoon snack with a little granola or a piece of fruit and they are the star of today’s recipe – a mini bread pudding made with the Muesli Just Minis.

Muesli pita bread pudding on eatlivetravelwrite.comOver the holidays, many of us have much more time to prepare a special breakfast and for me, that will generally focus on savoury items.  When it comes to breakfast, I have to be honest and say whilst I love the idea of French toast, pancakes and waffles, I rarely order or prepare items like that mostly because at the end of a more substantial breakfast, all I want is a tiny bit of sweetness, not a giant portion and when you are eating out it’s hard to order a “small” portion of those types of dishes (unless you are under 12) and at home it’s just as much of a hassle to prepare a smaller amount of something as it is to prepare a large portion.

These mini bread puddings are perfect because you can mix up the batter the night before if you choose, then they only take a short amount of time to prepare and can bake whilst you enjoy the savoury part of your breakfast. They are the perfect hit of sweetness (but not too sweet) to end your breakfast with and set you on your way to a productive, happy day!

Mini muesli (pita) bread pudding

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 50 mins

Individual bread puddings made with muesli pita bread rounds.

Serves 6     adjust servings

Ingredients

  • 200 mls milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon maple (or regular granulated) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon custard powder
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 Just Minis Muesli
  • 2 small apples, grated

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350˚F.
  2. Butter six 6oz ramekins
  3. In a large jug, whisk together eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, and custard powder. Set aside until ready to use.
  4. Tear up the Just Minis pitas roughly and divide evenly amongst the ramekins.
  5. Divide the grated apples between the ramekins, placing both on and under the bread pieces.
  6. Pour the custard over the bread and apple mixture, only filling the ramekins about ¾ of the way up the side. The mixture will puff up when it cooks.
  7. Bake for about 35 minutes until the tops are golden brown.
  8. Dust with icing sugar and serve with maple syrup.

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 Ozerys muesli pita bread in a bread pudding on eatlivetravelwrite.comWin an Ozery’s Holiday Prize Pack!

Thanks to the kind folks at Ozery’s I have one prize pack valued at $65 to give away to one lucky Canadian reader!  The prize pack contains products from Ozery’s like the Lavash Crackers, Just Minis, a wooden cheese board, a set of cheese knives, some olives and jam – perfect for all your holiday entertaining needs! Enter here!

Disclosure: I received compensation in exchange for developing a recipe using Ozery’s products. As always, opinions are 100% my own and I only work with products I can highly recommend myself. In this case, I was thrilled to partner with Ozery’s because I have been eating them for years anyway!

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