Soy Rice Pudding

It's supposed to be summer, but here in Philadelphia we've been stuck with rainy, 50-degree weather for the past few days. In some ways, it's made staying inside to study for finals much easier, but mostly it's just made me even hungrier for summer. It's no fun to drink smoothies and play with summer produce when you're bundled up in sweatpants. So yesterday we decided to embrace the chilliness with a warm and comforting dish for afternoon snack: rice pudding.

As I was "working" yesterday, I stumbled across a recipe for rice pudding with leftover rice that works with soy milk or regular milk. I happened to have some leftover rice in the fridge, and the rest of the ingredients in my cabinets. Even though I usually don't like mushy foods like Jello or pudding, this recipe looked so appealing that we literally started making it immediately.

Now I have one extremely debilitating problem in the kitchen: I am truly awful at judging volume, and I always use bowls that are too small for my ingredients. Because Alex wasn't supervising when I began cooking, I started to make the pudding in a pot that I now realize was way too small. It boiled over once, and I moved it to another burner. It boiled over again, and Alex intervened, making me transfer the rice to a larger pot. My entire stove flooded with soy milk.

Yet despite this minor incident (and Alex's doubts about my ability to pull it off), the rice pudding turned out wonderfully. It took very little time to make, and the soy milk didn't change the flavor at all. Very soothing to eat warm, and just as delicious cold later on.

2 cups leftover cooked white rice
3 cups soy milk (or skim, or whole)
1/2 cup sugar
small pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cinnamon sticks or 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (or both, or neither)
pinch nutmeg, optional

Combine cooked rice, milk, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and stir in vanilla and add cinnamon sticks if you are using them. Cook until almost all of the milk is absorbed (30-45 minutes). Stir in cinnamon and/or nutmeg, if using, and serve.