Once cool weather comes around, I go deep into comfort food mode and don't generally snap out of it until March. Words like "creamy", "hearty", and "robust" float around in my head when I'm planning menus, and I gravitate towards simple, homey recipes. As far as desserts go, nothing fits the bill quite like homemade vanilla pudding. Thick, creamy, and comforting, this particular recipe has a buttery, melt-in-your-mouth texture that will make anyone who tries it an instant fan. I use lots of vanilla: vanilla extract, vanilla bean seeds...I even leave the whole vanilla bean pods in the pudding to steep while it cooks to maximize the vanilla flavor (just don't forget to take them out again - nobody likes to bite into a vanilla bean!). Vanilla pudding, in and of itself, might not sound too swoon-worthy - and it certainly is a plain and simple, nothing fancy kind of dessert - but trust me when I tell you it's so good, you won't care that it's not fancy.