… with Archer Farms. aka Target. aka… my favorite place on Earth.

If you’ve read this blog for, oh, like five minutes you might just know that Target is my Disneyworld. I’m like a kid in a candy store. Sometimes literally. The amount of chocolate I purchase there borderlines on insane. So I was just a weeeee bit thrilled when given the chance to partner with them and throw together some quick treats using Archer Farms products.

Full deets: I was given a Target gift card (um… yeah) to purchase whatever Archer Farms products my little heart desired. Now, let’s really talk about being a kid in a candy store. Oh my gosh. That shopping trip may have been the best day of 2013 so far. The only thing was… I was a bit concerned – while I adore my local Targets, they don’t have GIANT selections when it comes to food. So I knew my options may be a little slim… but I was making it happen.

First up, I nearly died when I found some edamame in the freezer section. Half the time I can’t even find it at my grocery store and have to trek to a speciality grocer. I thawed these little green beauties… then I sort of fried them. Yep, I definitely fried them. I made sure they were super dry then added about two or three tablespoons of canola oil to a hot skillet. After tossing the edamame until golden and slightly crispy, I seasoned it with grated parmesan and black pepper.

Then I ate it. This might be my new favorite snack, for real.

I’m one of those people that has a cereal addiction, meaning I could eat bowl after bowl and never get sick of it. I have an ongoing love affair with the Archer Farms granola (before I was married I occasionally survived on this for days), and here I just made some (slightly boring but seriously delicious) little greek yogurt parfaits. I chose my two favorite flavors: the strawberry flax and the vanilla almond crunch and whipped the vanilla yogurt until it was really creamy. I threw some fresh strawberries in there too and my brother and I ended up fixated on these things. I have no idea what makes granola, yogurt and fruit taste so wonderful when it’s layered.

It’s the little things.

Next, I used some of the Archer Farms gnocchi and pesto cream sauce to make a creamy caprese pasta salad. What I loved about this is that you can serve it warm or cold. After tossing together one package of the cooked gnocchi with about half a jar of the pesto cream, I folded in a pint of halved grape tomatoes, some fresh mozzarella pearls and tons of basil, salt and pepper. This.was.fantastic.

I was a weird child and loathed most pasta, but gnocchi was always my go-to. Wasn’t totally sure how it could work in a “pasta salad” but… digging it. Recreating this in a million ways this summer.

Above are some quick + dirty ideas. First up: put some chips on your sandwich. I am not kidding. I think we’ve talked about this before? I’ve been putting potato chips on my sandwiches since I was maybe six years old and it takes life to a whole new level. Next week, we’re going to make a grilled cheese with potato chips, oh yes we are. And yes, WE.

One of my most purchased products at Target are easily their kettle cooked potato chips. so.freaking.good. My standard chip is the perfect salt ‘n vinegar one… but I also go a little crazy for their smokey bbq cheddar chips and their buffalo wing chips. The latter two are what’s on those sandwiches. Uh huh. They also have some sweet thai chips… wowza. They used to have hummus chips which were out of this world. I can no longer find them. It’s devastating.

I had a minor panic attack when I found the summer salsa above -  it contains, strawberries, pineapple and kiwi and well, you know how I am about fruit salsas. I threw some inside the Archer Farms whole wheat tortillas along with a bunch of freshly grated cheddar and grilled those suckers. Fruit and cheese… yes. This salsa is still on the savory side so it just works.

The salt and lime corn chips – which my dad renamed “salt and lime fritos” – are the perfect dippers for guac. No really… not sure I’ve have a better chip inside my smashed green stuff.

I saved the best for last. Obviously.

These flipping cookies. Please tell me you’ve tried them? White chocolate amaretto wafers – they practically melt in your mouth. This was my favorite product out of everything I bought and by far the most popular. We all went a little crazy. I stuffed the insides with some plain vanilla ice cream and rolled about a third of each sandwich in sprinkles. Just when I thought the cookies couldn’t get any better, they became covered with melted ice cream. Goodness.

I’m going and buying more of these today. I foresee a serious issue arising.

Finally, I made some mocha coconut macaroon milkshakes! Oomph.

Ever since I‘ve been trying to learn to love coffee, Archer Farms has been my favorite brand because they have insane flavors that I go nuts for.  I made some of the coconut macaroon in my french press, then let it chill a bit in the fridge. I filled the bottom of these glasses with some chocolate fudge syrup, then blended together the coffee, a ton of vanilla ice cream, a little ice and some extra coconut. Topped it all off with obnoxious piles of whipped cream and toasted coconut. Done for.

Annnnd that’s a wrap. I’m crazy over some of these products now so I am dying to know: favorite Archer Farms product? I am also wild about their trail mixes (best ever), nuts (they have a smoky bbq mix that is freakishly good), peanut butters, granola bars and fruit strips. They are like grown up fruit roll-ups. Everyone wins.

[this post is brought to you by Archer Farms at Target.]
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85 Responses to “Eight Seriously Simple Summer Snacks.”

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    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — May 14, 2013 @ 7:20 am

    Love all of the snacks! I am the biggest Target fan ever! Love all of there products! I have a pantry full of Archer Farms!!

    Reply

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    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — May 14, 2013 @ 7:23 am

    Oh my gosh, i want it ALL! I could eat edamame all day long for weeks and never get sick of it. This is going to blow your mind, but we just got our first Targets here in Canada a month or so ago, and I STILL haven’t been. How crazy is that?!?! The nearest one isn’t really near my house at all, but I still want to go check it out. I don’t expect to find all of these lovely food products that you guys have in the US, but I’m still super curious!

    Reply

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    Averie @ Averie Cooks — May 14, 2013 @ 7:28 am

    Surprised to see a Tuesday morning post from you! And a great one at that!

    Archer Farms does have great flavored coffees, and trail mixes, nuts, dried fruit and snacky stuff. I can’t even go down the aisle at Target if I’m hungry or it’s impulse buy mania :)

    Reply

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    Liz @ The Shrinking Owl — May 14, 2013 @ 7:33 am

    OH MAN. This all looks SOOOOO good. I am going to have to find that coffee because coconut coffee is my favorite ever.

    Also… is the chip bag in the guacamole pic upside-down on purpose? Just curious. :)

    Reply

    • Jessica — May 14th, 2013 @ 10:06 am

      yes!

      Reply

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    Colleen — May 14, 2013 @ 7:44 am

    Those cookies….. Oh my!! Confession…. I’ve never bought food at Target)

    Reply

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    Maria Tadic — May 14, 2013 @ 7:59 am

    What a fun post to write! You really sound so excited!

    I’ve never heard of Archer Farms…is that brand specific to target? Some of their products look super yummy! I really can’t wait to try out that gnocchi pasta salad. What a great idea!

    Reply

    • Jessica — May 14th, 2013 @ 10:06 am

      yep, it is a Target brand!

      Reply

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    Melissa Minkow — May 14, 2013 @ 8:10 am

    Hi! I am a Business Analyst in Merchandise Presentation for Target. If you’re ever in Minnesota, email me and check out headquarters!

    Reply

    • Jessica — May 14th, 2013 @ 10:06 am

      thanks melissa!!

      Reply

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    Jessica S — May 14, 2013 @ 8:18 am

    My favorite product is Archer Farms dried Montmorency Cherries. I haven’t tried their fruit strips, but I’ve been referring to these cherries as grown up fruit wrinkles (remember those??) ever since I first tried them a few years ago. Can’t wait to try the cookies!

    Reply

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    Liz (Little Bitty Bakes) — May 14, 2013 @ 8:18 am

    Ahh, Target. I agree, it’s like Disneyworld. As for Archer Farms products, I always stock up on the nuts and dried fruits. But now thanks to you, I’ve got a slew of other items to check out! It all looks delicious.

    Reply

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    Tieghan — May 14, 2013 @ 8:19 am

    Ok, I have been waiting for target to recognize their number one spokesperson for years!! Seriously, this post was made for YOU!!

    Mand the thing I would do with a target gift card!! That would be awesome! I think my favorite thing is the mocha coconut macaron milkshakes with a side of the chips on a sandwich and then some gnocchi and then an ice cream sandwich! Ok, I ove it all!

    Oh and I love target. That is my favorite store for sure!

    Reply

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    Allison @ thebakingyear — May 14, 2013 @ 8:32 am

    love all of these ideas!! especially the ice cream wafer sandwiches :)

    Reply

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    Kristina — May 14, 2013 @ 8:42 am

    grilled cheese has always been my favorite. adding (salt vinegar!) chips was the best thing I have ever done, and I have not made a “plain” grilled cheese since. SO GOOD.

    and yes. those cookies.

    Reply

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    FashionEdible — May 14, 2013 @ 9:04 am

    I’m a HUGE fan of AF. I love that their ingredients are wholesome. We love their ice cream but for some reason, our store doesn’t carry it any longer. Yes, it was a sad day when we realized this. The espresso chip and Belgian chocolate are AMAZING!! We love their blue corn chips and their spinach/artichoke dip. Ohhh….and I can’t forget their feta and roasted red pepper dip – it is *the* best dip ever. Basically, it tastes good with anything!

    Reply

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    Monica — May 14, 2013 @ 9:16 am

    Oh, I can totally relate! I go to Target once a week and buy way too much but I never regret it. Everything I’ve tried from AF has been good as far as I can remember. I love the maple syrup, honey, spices, sauces, and other things that I can’t remember right this moment…

    Reply

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    Carly @ Snack Therapy — May 14, 2013 @ 9:21 am

    Snacks make me positively swoon <3 and all of these snacks look perfect.

    Reply

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    Faith @ Pixie Dust Kitchen — May 14, 2013 @ 9:51 am

    Ohmygoodness those wafer cookies. They look absolutely delish!

    Reply

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    Erin — May 14, 2013 @ 9:53 am

    1. There is a white cheddar shells mac & cheese that I used to buy all the time in college. I loved it.
    2. Roasted Garlic Cous Cous. This brand is what introduced me to (and got me hooked on) cous cous in the first place!
    3. They used to have these boxed pasta dishes that came with noodles, a sauce packet, and you just had to add milk, mayo, and cream cheese. Obviously not healthy… but I loved it. The creamy chipotle was my favorite.

    Reply

    • Erin — May 14th, 2013 @ 9:54 am

      oh! they also had these key lime cookie straws that are to DIE FOR. Also cheddar cheese sourdough twists. But I would eat the whole box in one sitting so…. not really worth it? Or does that make it completely worth it? i’m not sure.

      Reply

      • Jessica — May 14th, 2013 @ 10:04 am

        um agreed, those things are insane.

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    Lacy — May 14, 2013 @ 9:56 am

    ARCHER FARMS: BRING BACK THE HUMMUS CHIPS!!!! #STOPTHEMADNESS

    Reply

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    Mindy@FindingSilverLinings — May 14, 2013 @ 10:10 am

    I just lived vicariously through your “Target gave me money to shop there” moment.

    And died a little.

    I have a coconut fixation and that last coffee concoction has me wiping the saliva off of the collar of my new shirt. Making this.

    Reply

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    Lauren — May 14, 2013 @ 10:17 am

    Doritos on a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich was my favorite as a kid. I’m not joking. It sounds so gross but God, it.was.delicious.

    Reply

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    Danae @ thereciperunner — May 14, 2013 @ 10:23 am

    Target and Archer Farms are the best. I have a Target 4 blocks from my house…it’s a dangerous situation! I love the Archer Farms Corn and Black Bean Salsa, eat it every day on my omelet. So glad you shared these snacks, I’m definitely making another trip there this week to get the amaretto wafers!

    Reply

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    Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie — May 14, 2013 @ 10:36 am

    Holy crap I need those white chocolate amaretto filled wafers. Target is such a dangerous place! <3 it and all of these ideas!

    Reply

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    Emily ~So Domesticated~ — May 14, 2013 @ 11:14 am

    I heart Target as well! Love all of your yummy creations!

    Reply

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    chelon — May 14, 2013 @ 11:17 am

    the mango salsa and the sea salt & caramel indulgent mini granola bars. mmmmm!

    Reply

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    Meagan @ A Zesty Bite — May 14, 2013 @ 11:19 am

    Ahh Target is my weakness! I can never exit with just items from my list, I always come out with more products.

    Reply

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    elizabeth — May 14, 2013 @ 11:20 am

    This is what happens when I shop at target. http://crappypictures.com/shopping-at-target/

    Reply

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    Marie @ Little Kitchie — May 14, 2013 @ 11:20 am

    I absolutely adore Target, but hardly ever do any food shopping there – going to need to change that after reading this post! That gnocchi salad, oooomg.

    Reply

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    Sue — May 14, 2013 @ 11:22 am

    My favorite Archer Farms product is…wait for it…dill pickle cashews!! I can only buy them in single size serving packages and only once in awhile because I can go nuts on these nuts. And if you’re thinking “gross,” I only ended up trying these when they were handed to me at a run expo for free. Yummy.

    Reply

    • Jessica — May 14th, 2013 @ 11:23 am

      ummm you are talking to the girl who dips her potato chips in pickle juice. those sound AMAZING.

      Reply

    • Jessica S — May 14th, 2013 @ 6:48 pm

      Sue, I was super excited when I read your comment that AF makes dill pickle cashews….but then I went to my local target and they don’t carry them. :-( They sound soo good! I’ll just have to keep my eye out when I’m in a different Target!

      Reply

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    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — May 14, 2013 @ 11:24 am

    I am a total nut for Archer Farms products! Love your creativity in this post!

    Reply

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    allie@sweetpotatobites — May 14, 2013 @ 11:25 am

    the cookies! the fruit salsa – it all looks so good! i try not to go to target too often because i always end up dropping too much $$ there, but i may have to make an exception for these treats.

    Reply

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    Bianca @ Track Pants and a Tot — May 14, 2013 @ 11:34 am

    Target never looked so good! I agree that a trip to Target is a field day for me. I guess it’s good my baby doesn’t like Target at all, he fusses. So mama only walks out with what she went to get in the first place. So it saves some cash, right? Just bookmarked this post for some quick meal ideas.

    Reply

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    Katie @ Blonde Ambition — May 14, 2013 @ 11:41 am

    Oh man, I am really in for it next time I go to target and check out the food section (which until now, I’ve rarely done)…and let’s be clear, by “I” I totally mean “my wallet”

    Reply

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    Amanda — May 14, 2013 @ 11:56 am

    I love the Archer Farm trail mix. I am not a huge fan of trail mix, but theirs is DELISH!

    Reply

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    Adrienne — May 14, 2013 @ 12:08 pm

    I have been a HUGE fan of that Coconut Macaroon coffee for about a year now. I live in Florida and bought it for the first time to bring on my summer vacation to the Gulf. But, last fall when the weather started cooling off, i adopted it as my “need to feel like it’s still tropical outside” beverage of choice :).

    Reply

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    Rachel Wilkerson — May 14, 2013 @ 12:17 pm

    God bless Target.

    Reply

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    Sarah @ The Cyclist's Wife — May 14, 2013 @ 12:33 pm

    Nice sponsorship, that rocks! I’ve always found the Archer Farms products to be tasty and good quality. All of this stuff proves it!

    Reply

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    Nora @ Buttercream Fanatic — May 14, 2013 @ 12:57 pm

    I am all over that edamame! What a great idea!

    Reply

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    Larry — May 14, 2013 @ 1:22 pm

    I work directly across the parking lot from a Target… that I used to work for. I’m the mayor on Foursquare, if that’s not a tell-tale sign that I LOVE THAT PLACE, I don’t know what would be.
    Maybe having them contact me to rep them? hahaha oh, a boy can dream.

    Reply

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    Melissa @ Treats With a Twist — May 14, 2013 @ 1:40 pm

    OH yes! Absolutely love the Archer Farms line! That granola is crazy, right? I love the chocolate chunk biscotti one, so I have to buy it in the little individual packets or else I’d eat the whole box :)
    And that was the ONLY place i could find edamame for the longest time!

    Reply

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    Brianna — May 14, 2013 @ 1:47 pm

    I love that basil pesto cream sauce on pizza with some asparagus and tomato. So good!

    Reply

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    Katharine — May 14, 2013 @ 2:21 pm

    This makes me want to run to the nearest Target ASAP. And that gnocchi pasta salad – genius!

    Reply

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    Tara — May 14, 2013 @ 2:56 pm

    I cannot even handle all that is going on with this post! So.much.good.food!!

    I hardly ever get food/snacks at target (since I get too much of everything else there) but you really worked it out!
    Goodness!!
    aand I will be hitting up Target on my way home : )

    Reply

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    Holly — May 14, 2013 @ 3:13 pm

    dumb question, did you pop the soy beans out before frying? or after you fried them?

    Reply

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    Jess — May 14, 2013 @ 3:31 pm

    um the garlic parm chips? Can’t even buy them anymore because they’re gone before I get home and out of the car. #issues

    Reply

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    Emily — May 14, 2013 @ 3:41 pm

    Seriously great article! I read a real simple article today about the “best healthy snacks” and everything was outrageously expensive or not filling enough to be a wholesome snack. Love your ideas! Thanks for making the products your own. Love your ideas!

    Reply

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    Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner — May 14, 2013 @ 3:44 pm

    Archer Farms Blue Corn with Flaxseed Tortilla Chips are my favorite chips ever. So good! Thanks for all the great new ideas–I love Target!

    Reply

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    Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat — May 14, 2013 @ 3:47 pm

    I agree…Archer Farms does have some great food products! The basil pesto cream sauce sounds soooo yummy! I think I need to take a trip to Target now! :-)

    Reply

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    Jen — May 14, 2013 @ 4:08 pm

    Buffalo Mac and Cheese

    Reply

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    Moni Meals & Fitness — May 14, 2013 @ 6:00 pm

    I love this all! Great round up. Target gets me in trouble everytime! :)

    Reply

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    Sommer @ ASpicyPerspective — May 14, 2013 @ 8:37 pm

    I’m definitely a snacker! Love this great round-up! :)

    Reply

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