The Aunt Donna Legacy: Making Pizza!

At the end of a long day, when I am too tired for creative meal preparation and too cheap for takeout, there is one perennial favorite recipe that resurfaces, coming to my rescue time and time again.

Aunt Donna’s Pizza CrustMy Recipe Book

Seriously, in my ever-growing Family Recipe Compilation Notebook, this is by far my most turned-to recipe. Take a closer look:

recipe 2Could this get any easier? I think not. Six ingredients, one of which is WATER. If you don’t have these in your cupboard, it’s time to go shopping. Once you follow the recipe process, the assembly is a cinch!

Step 1: Choose what you will use as toppings (think outside the box, here, people).

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Step 2: Prepare your work Area.

step 1

Step 3: Spread the dough onto your (greased) Pizza pan.

step 2

Step 4: Select your sauce of choice. I’m obsessed with using barbecue sauce, and Trader Joe’s Carolina Gold is my hands-down favorite. When your dough is saucy, sprinkle it with onions, peppers cherry tomatoes, whatever you happen to have handy of the vegetable persuasion.

step 5

Step 5: Add more than you think you want. Pizza with stuff is always better. Balance the amount of bread out with obscene amounts of vegetables.

step 6

Step 6: Cheese.

step 7

Step 7: Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from oven and resist the urge to eat immediately, as studies show that this will result in a burnt tongue.

finished pizza

Step 8: Slice and ENJOY YOUR PIZZA!

sliced pizza

The Beautiful Day Remedy

Occasionally, in the whir of daily life, it is easy to lose track of the small things that are so lovely about being alive. If you, like I sometimes am, are feeling cooped up or even just slightly stifled by the routines to which you remain relatively faithful, I have the perfect remedy.

More Happy


Step 1: Be Productive, but don’t overlook the smile-bringing moments of your day!

For Example: 

Today, my students were working independently on a French History Project when I overheard the following conversation:
Student A: What’s your era again?
Student B: The second Napoleonic Empire.
Student A: Aww, I’m the third republic! Isn’t that PRUSSIOUS!

Step 2: Soak in some sunshine, however you can get it!

If you just happen to live in driving distance from the Coolidge Reservation in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, I highly recommend it!

Ocean's Lawn

Step 3: Get reacquainted with your local public library, paying specific attention to the old books that nobody ever remembers to open!



(Page 1 of This Side of Glory, by Gwen Bristow)

Step 4: Bake yourself a delicious pizza with whatever you might have on hand


(tip on awesome pizza crust: 2 &1/2 cups flour, 1 pkt/1 Tbsp yeast, 2 Tbsp oil, 1 Tbsp sugar, 1 tsp. salt – mix it good, let it rise 15 minutes and then top with whatever you have lying around – bake at 400 for about 20 minutes and voilà!)

Step 5: Own an adorable cat.


Step 6: Watch the  movie “Leap Year” (courtesy of the Library)

. . . and fall a little bit in love with Matthew Goode’s character Declan, who has a pretty wonderful accent. And even if you don’t fall in love with him, it’s an adorable movie. Plus, if you’re lucky, you also got Taken at the library, so there is an option if Leap Year doesn’t quite do it for you!

Oh. Man.


Finally (Step 7), wrap up your day with a healthy dose of warmth…

Think about the good things that filled the day, forget the moments that made you angsty (because they pale in the beautiful sunshine that dazzles Ocean’s lawn and you can’t even see them beyond the forgotten stacks of glorious forgotten books. Just take a moment to feel good and tuckered out before snuggling down for the night – holding on to the beautiful facets of the day you just lived.

good dayvia