Pan Pizza: Mindfulness

by simplylife on November 28, 2012

It’s a chilly day in Boston.  The holidays are in full-swing.  As I write this, I have the joy of sitting in Starbucks for a few minutes before heading into work for the day.  It’s a rare glimpse of the city I’m not sure I’ve ever had. Sitting warmly indoors and simply observing as people hustle and bustle to get their weekday started.

While you may thing it’s a stressful and chaotic scene to watch, it’s actually quite beautiful and peaceful.  Families are walking together through the wind with strollers, babies wrapped in warm blankets and toddlers skipping along.  Businesses are turning their lights on, making sure decorations are hung brightly and welcoming their first customers.  Cars are whooshing by as others wait for that perfect parking spot (okay, this part might be a bit chaotic).

Inside the Starbucks is a different scene.  People shed their hat and scarf with a deep sigh as they walk through the front door.  The baristas know customers by name and drink.  Students settle in with their stack of books and laptops.

Day after day, I take the same drive into work and the same drive home.  I’m usually too lost in thought or captured by an NPR story to focus much on what is actually happening in the moment.  My routine allows me to ignore many of the details I pass every single day.

There’s a good chance it’s simply the caffeine talking, but this morning after changing my routine just slightly, I am reminded of how beautiful, vibrant and alive this city is and how fortunate I feel to be apart of this “scene.”  It’s amazing how changing the smallest details can really bring us into the present moment, being mindful of our surroundings.

(Yes, I am about to transition from mindfulness to pizza 🙂 ) For the last few years, I have been making pizza on a regular basis.  I have found my favorite crust that makes an appearance on our dinner table at least a couple times a month.  I have the 4-ingredient list memorized and can predict exactly what the fluffy, warm bread will taste like.

While we still love and devour this pizza crust every time we eat it, I decided to just slightly change the preparation.  Instead of placing the dough on a pizza stone to cook, I spread it in an 8′ x 11′ baking pan to bake.  It is amazing what a simple change can do; the texture felt even lighter and fluffier and serving my first “pan pizza” made an ordinary dinner feel extra-special!  If you are someone who loves the crust, then you need to make this!


To make this pizza, I followed the directions for this pizza crust.  I preheated the oven to 375 then sprayed an 8″ x 11″ baking pan with cooking spray.  I spread the dough out in the pan then evenly spread about 1 tbs. olive oil over the dough.  I topped it with mozzarella cheese, green pepper, mushrooms, olives and sun-dried tomatoes.  I sprinkled a bit of oregano on top then baked for about 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.  Serve and enjoy!

~How do you practice mindfulness? 

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  • Belinda @zomppa

    I LOVE Boston around the holidays…always something in the air…

    • Simply Life

      It really is a beautiful place to be!

  • Emily

    I can definitely see how changing the pan really made this pizza something new and exciting!

  • Colleen

    What a wonderful idea, to make this pan pizza! It looks just perfect!!
    We made pizza last night. It’s SUCH a great, easy go-to meal. 🙂

  • Amy B @ Second City Randomness

    Your love of Boston sounds similar to my love of Chicago. It’s nice to sometimes just stop the routine and observe those around you…

    • Simply Life

      Yes! I also LOOOOVE Chicago!! =)

  • Mom

    Okay, that’s it. I’ve been planning to make pizza and this just pushed the intention into a plan. Your pizza is so amazing looking and I love the pan you’ve used…I’ve never tried this…yeah, something new that works! I love your view insight of life from a coffee shop! I try to relax and enjoy the atmosphere whenever and as often as I can!

  • Nell

    both pizzas, the ‘old’ and the ‘new’ one, look great though the recipe is not for lazybones. good crust really takes time and it is reasonable to make enough for future use. will you kindly tell how you prepare frozen dough for the baking?

    • Simply Life

      I actually haven’t tried freezing the dough yet. What I do is make the dough and refrigerate half for usually up to about 4 days.

  • Singerinkitchen

    Yes, pan pizza please! Gotta try this for sure. I try to practice mindfulness daily . I force it because otherwise I feel like a robot.

    • Simply Life

      Such a good practice to do!

  • Colleen

    I’m always in such a hurry on weekday mornings, I never think to switch things up like this. Great post! (And delicious looking pizza!)

    • Simply Life

      Thanks! 🙂

  • Jolene (

    I practice mindfulness when eating. I try to enjoy and savour each bite.

  • Urvashi Agarwal

    I try not to hurry but when it comes to pizza I can’t help it – especially yours 😀


  • Kari

    That coffee shop scene sounds so delightful 🙂 And this pizza looks delightful!

  • Joanne (eats well with others)

    Actually I think I appreciate NYC most when I’m sitting in a coffee shop just people-watching. it’s the best. And pizza = totally seriously craving it now. yours looks awesome!

    • Simply Life

      I bet NYC is the BEST place for people-watching!!!

  • wearenotmartha

    I love that you baked the pizza crust in a pan! This looks delicious.

    One of the things I miss the very most about working from home is sitting in a coffee shop in the morning or middle of the day and just watching life. Don’t get to do that much in an office 🙂


  • Amy (Savory Moments)

    I love homemade pizzas, but don’t make them nearly enough for some reason. I need to get better at practicing mindfulness….

  • managedmacros

    I am pinning this. My boyfriend LOVE a thicker crust pizza and I am a ‘thinner the better’ type. He would Love, Love, LOVE this!!

    • Simply Life

      Oh GOOD! Enjoy! 🙂

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