Monday, July 16, 2012

Creamy Mediterranean Pasta Salad & A Virtual Summer BBQ

Well folks, summer is in full swing in most of the country.
Is it hot enough for ya?
I'm so very thankful for air conditioning.  
I don't know how those ladies did it way back in the olden days with all those heavy dresses in this southern summer heat.

Without AC.

And I don't think they had deodorant back then either. Ewwwww.
Must have been a stinky world in those days.
I'm thinkin' I was born in a good generation.

Anyhow, it's not easy to segway into a recipe after talking about stinky, sweaty southern women. 
But nevertheless, that's what y'all came here for so I'll do my best.

A great way to beat the heat and not fill like a bloated stuffed pig in the summer is to eat cooler, lighter meals.
Pasta salads fit the bill and they can be very affordable since you can eat leftovers for a few days.
It makes a lot and it keeps cold.
And once you make it -you got your work lunch for the rest of the week.

This pasta salad I'm sharing today comes from Kraft and uses Philadelphia Cooking Creme for a pop of flavor. 
It has all those great Mediterranean flavors like lemon, herbs and feta cheese.
You could even add some Kalamata olives or grilled chicken too if you like.
That's the great thing about these types of salads. You can really tailor them to your tastes.

Ingredients:
3 cups medium pasta shells, uncooked
1 (10 oz.) tub Philadelphia Savory Lemon & Herb Cooking Creme
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups chopped baby spinach leaves
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup red onions, chopped
1 (4 oz.) package crumbled Feta cheese
You can use any type of medium-sized pasta you like. I chose bow ties.

This is the tub you want to look for.  
It's found in the cold food section, usually near the blocks of cream cheese.

Directions:
Cook pasta as directed on package, omitting salt.

Drain pasta and place in a large bowl.


Add cooking creme and milk.

Toss to coat.

Add spinach, tomatoes and onions.
Mix lightly.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap (or a lid).
And pop it in the fridge to cool for several hours (or until chilled).
Once cool, add in crumbled Feta cheese.
Gently stir.
And serve!
Enjoy!

I'm very excited to announce a fun contest coming up on Thursday, July 19th.
I, along with another food blogger, have invited some of our good food-blogging friends over for a Virtual Summer BBQ!  
And you, the Country Cook reader, will get to vote and decide on your favorite Philadelphia 

Cooking Creme recipe.

I invited:

Krista from Everyday Mom's Meals
Stacey from Southern Bite
Holly from Life as a Lofthouse
Heather from Basilmomma

They have been hard at work creating cool and original dishes using Philadelphia Cooking Creme and 

they are going to share those dishes on their blogs on Thursday and I need you to decide which one is your favorite.

The creator of the winning recipe will win $500 and a year's worth of Philadelphia Cooking Creme!
So this is a big deal, folks.

(prize provided by Kraft foods)

I will have all the details about voting on Thursday so be sure to come on back!





10 comments:

Angie's Recipes said...

A lovely pasta salad. Even great for the picnic.

Melissa said...

That looks sooo good! I wish it was chilling in my fridge right now, so it would be ready when I get home from work tonight!

Pooja S said...

You have an awesome blog, I have nominated it for one lo9vely blog.

Becky said...

We love pasta salads, and they are great for the hot weather. I will ahve to try this one soon.

Cat Nap Inn Primitives said...

you always post the best recipes..I am printing it as we speak..can't wait to try this for a potluck.;) have a wonderful week;)

Ellen B Cookery said...

This looks amazing! I love the pasta dish. Wish that cooking cream was available in Canada too.

Rosemary said...

Looks great . . . creamy, cheesy. I'm a sucker for pasta salads, bow ties in particular!

Dawnye7 said...

Love this creamy salad idea. Thanks for sharing this one.

The Better Baker said...

Oh Brandie - what an awesome idea for using that yummy creme! Sounds like a great virtual BBQ party too. You're always so full of fun!

kellisretrokitchenarts said...

This looks so good! I can't wait to try it - I never can make anything I make with those creme things taste good so I'm glad you are having a contest! I WANT to like them, but I just haven't been able to find anything good tasting yet....Can't wait to vote!!