My luggage and I have done quite a bit of bonding this year.
In early April, we voyaged out west to visit my sister and brother-in-law pre-baby, followed by a gluten-free expo in The Windy City a few weeks later. May took us to Atlanta for the BlogHer food blogging conference. Later in the summer, we hopped aboard another plane and flew west for a post-baby trip where I met my nephew for the first time. And last week, I made my way through security checkpoints and narrow airplane aisles once again en route to Dallas for the Gluten & Allergen-Free Expo, all with my trusty luggage in tow.
No matter how many times I come and go from home, though, it never gets old to pull into my own neighborhood, to climb back into my own bed, and to cook in my own kitchen. With its familiarities and simple comforts (like the taste of purified water), home never fails to welcome me back with open arms again and again.
As we made our descent into Madison yesterday, I peered out the airplane window and marveled at the crisp sapphire sky and the carpet of lush grass blanketing the earth below. Trees are turning here in the Midwest, offering a brilliant display of reds, oranges, yellows, and greens. I squinted my eyes and the landscape turned into an autumnal watercolor, inviting in thoughts of pumpkins, holidays, and my favorite fall foods.
I created this pumpkin pudding last week with the intent of sharing it with you upon my return from Dallas. Now is really the perfect time to enjoy it, no matter where you live or what the climate. It’s no-bake and requires just a few simple ingredients. Enjoy a small bowl as a treat or spread it like frosting on slices of quick bread, muffins, cakes, or cupcakes.
With autumn upon us, I’m glad to be home for a while now so that I can enjoy one of Wisconsin’s most beautiful seasons. Although my luggage and I will part ways for a bit, I’m sure there will be plenty of cooking and eating to make up for its absence.
Dorothy really did have it right. There’s no place like home.
Maple Pumpkin Pudding (or Frosting)
Serves 3 as pudding (or makes about 1 cup of frosting)
2/3 cup pumpkin puree (see ingredient note below)
3 tablespoons creamy roasted cashew butter
2 tablespoons dark maple syrup, preferably Grade B
8-10 drops liquid stevia
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
Pinch of sea salt
Blend all of the ingredients together in a food processor fitted with the steel blade, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
If serving as pudding, divide among 3 small ramekins or bowls and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. (Can be topped with toasted nuts or shredded coconut just before serving, if desired.) If using as frosting, refrigerate in an airtight container for at least 1 hour or until ready to use.
Ingredient Note: I used canned pure pumpkin puree. You could certainly use homemade puree, but just make sure it is well drained and thick so that the pudding is not too runny.
Don’t miss this week’s festival of healthier food, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, for more great recipes.