Eight Seriously Simple Summer Snacks.

… 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.]