build your own s'mores bar // www.jojotastic.com #destinationsummer #kohls

Have you seen the #DestinationSummer virtual road trip from Kohl’s? It’s truly one of my favorite ideas in a long, long time. Basically, Kohl’s asked a bunch of bloggers to step away from the computer and show the world our respective hometowns. And, because I’m still so new to San Francisco, I basically got to be a tourist in my own city! I decided to use this as the perfect opportunity to indulge in two favorites: the beach and s’mores.

build your own s'mores bar // www.jojotastic.com #destinationsummer #kohlsWe cruised out to a favorite spot of mine, Muir Beach. About 30-45 minutes from San Francisco, the drive to the beach is stunning in and of itself. Once you cross the Golden Gate bridge, follow a windy road to the beach, catching far-off glimpses of the Pacific as you go. I recommend making the trip right at golden hour for that perfect California glow.

build your own s'mores bar // www.jojotastic.com #destinationsummer #kohls
Using tons of picnic-friendly tools, textiles, and serving pieces, I laid out my ultimate s’mores bar. To start, I gathered supplies from a few of my favorite neighborhood staples here in Hayes Valley: sweets (such as graham crackers, fancy marshmallows and chocolates, and tonsss of toppings) from Miette, plus sausages and other grillables from The Fatted Calf. Don’t forget firewood!

build your own s'mores bar // www.jojotastic.com #destinationsummer #kohls
To create your own s’mores bar, here are a few tips:

  • Mix up your toppings: from gummy bears to honey to lavender, it’s always fun to explore different flavor combinations.
  • Another fun way to experiment is to offer different alternatives to the traditional graham cracker. I suggest everything pretzels, Nilla wafers, even peanut butter cookies! (While shooting, I discovered that Kimberley has a gluten-free diet, so we thought it would be fun to replace crackers with thinly sliced apple!)
  • Don’t forget the fresh fruit, especially here in SF. Since moving here, I can’t stop devouring local blackberries. They are unlike anything I’ve ever tasted.
  • Last, but not least, chocolate is king. Splurge on the fancy stuff, in all different flavors and textures. I may have chosen a few based on packaging…

build your own s'mores bar // www.jojotastic.com #destinationsummer #kohlsSeriously, what is more fun than playing with your food??

build your own s'mores bar // www.jojotastic.com #destinationsummer #kohls
It can get pretty chilly when the sun goes down, so I recommend bringing extra layers. I like to rock a men’s flannel shirt with vintage cut offs for a casual, borrowed-from-the-boys vibe that will also keep me a bit warmer.

build your own s'mores bar // www.jojotastic.com #destinationsummer #kohlsBeing 100% honest with you, I was really blown away by the awesome outdoor dining pieces I found at Kohl’s. The colors, the materials… even the prices were so good. I definitely plan to use these pieces for more picnics and outings going forward.

links: double old fashioned / pitcher / melamine salad plate / enamel camping bowl and plate / grilling fork / bamboo cutlery / mesh food covers / jute round placemat / acacia tri-server / striped tablecloth / beach towel / flannel shirt

build your own s'mores bar // www.jojotastic.com #destinationsummer #kohls
photography by Kimberley Hasselbrink

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Kohl’s. All opinions are my own, and I would never endorse something I didn’t completely love. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Jojotastic going.

organic Strauss yogurt, coffee flavored oats, and cashew butter berries.

Living in San Francisco has some serious perks, one of them being the food scene. A couple weeks ago my good friend Vivien surprised me with hard-to-get reservations to Naked Kitchen. Basically, Naked Kitchen exists to create an environment where “chefs have the creative freedom to explore something new in a casual and relaxed space.” What this means is that they prepare extraordinary dishes, none of which ever repeat, in an environment that is beautiful, relaxed, and encourages sharing, conversation, and storytelling. It is truly an experience not to be missed. And the food… well, I should let the photos speak for themselves because chef Anthony Yang truly outdid himself.

We started out with organic Strauss yogurt, coffee flavored oats, and cashew butter berries (above).

toasted sourdough english muffin, corn pudding, squash, and ham
Toasted panorama bakery sourdough english muffin, corn pudding, squash, and ham (this was my absolute favorite).

koshihikari rice porridge, togarashi pork, homemade pickles, poached egg
Koshihikari rice porridge, togarashi pork, homemade pickles, poached egg.

black truffle wafflesblack truffle waffles
Black truffle waffles (these were to die for).

If you are in the Bay area, I urge you to check out the upcoming events from Naked Kitchen. It is well worth it!

photography by Jojotastic

san francisco adventures // the ferry building

While admittedly a bit touristy, there’s something to be said for The Ferry Building here in San Francisco… and the amazing food scene within. Just picture it: row and row of cured meats, locally grown produce, flavorful ice cream, the best coffee this side of the Rockies. It’s a foodie paradise. I stopped by with my friend Ash for a leisurely afternoon of treats, people watching, and wandering.

san francisco adventures // the ferry building
First stop, Blue Bottle of course. I recommend a super-sweet and creamy New Orleans iced with a side of the most perfect waffle ever. Crispy on the edges, doughy in the center… topped with giant, crunchy bits of sugar… this waffle is truly perfection.

san francisco adventures // the ferry building san francisco adventures // the ferry building
Not to be missed, this is the cone of meat from Boccalone. Their tagline is “tasty, salted pig parts,” so you just know it’s gonna be good. I’m starting to think that the cone is my preferred way of eating while shopping for even more things to devour on the go…

san francisco adventures // the ferry building san francisco adventures // the ferry building
I always like to end on a decadent note and, being more into savory than sweet, we opted for Hog Island Oyster Co. There’s just something so fancy to me about oysters, even if they are served atop rough hewn planks and you’re seated family style. I prefer mine to be briney (my favorites were the Well Fleets from Massachusetts) and topped with just a drizzle of lemon.

san francisco adventures // the ferry building
photos by Jojotastic

skill exchange in SF

This past weekend, I was lucky enough to attend the Fire + Fish + Beer Summer Skill Exchange at Storefront Lab. If you’re not familiar with Skill Exchange, basically it’s the brainchild of designer and founder Kate Koeppel. It’s a workshop series designed to inspire the community “to use their hands and learn traditional, hand making and self-reliance skills in a fun, social setting,” This particular workshop was seriously mind blowing in the best possible way. Essentially, we learned all the skills needed to make an incredible summer spread.

skill exchange in SF
Here’s the menu of everything we ate.

We kicked off the day with a session led by Galen Garretson of the Town Cutler. He taught us the basics of how knives are made, how to sharpen knives, and how to best care for our knives.

summer squash pasta with green goddess dressingWhile this was going on, we were lucky enough to preview a recipe (summer squash pasta with Green Goddess dressing) from Kimberley Hasselbrink of The Year in Food. She’s got a new book coming out, titled Vibrant Food (pre-order here!). I got to sneak a peek and let me just say… this is a must buy.

skill exchange in SF // how to make kimchi
From there, we were led by Austin Durant of the Fermenters Club in how to make kimchi. I have to say, this guy seriously knows his stuff. And how awesome is his t-shirt??

skill exchange in SF
This next tutorial was my absolute favorite: we learned how to buy sustainably caught fish and then how to clean the fish.  I’m almost embarrassed to admit this, but I shucked my very first oyster during this section of the workshop. This one was taught by the incredibly knowledge Anna Barr Larsen from Siren Fish Co. She seriously knows her stuff. Plus, I love Siren because they offer a CSA, but with fish! If you’re in San Francisco, you should check it out here.

skill exchange in SF
We also learned the proper way to get a grill goin’, a skill that I’m sure will last me past this summer. Led by Edible San Francisco Magazine editor Bruce Cole, we learned how to make grilled little gem lettuces with creamy dressing, grilled king salmon with yuzo kosho crème fraiche, grilled sardines with parsley pesto, and grilled peaches with 25 year old balsamic vinegar. Is your mouth watering yet?

skill exchange in SF
skill exchange in SF
Lastly, we toasted the event with a delicious saison beer by HenHouse Brewing Company.

skill exchange in SF
If you’re in the San Francisco Bay area, I highly recommend checking out all of the coming workshops from Skill Exchange. It was a Saturday very well spent!

skill exchange in SF
photos by Jojotastic

party provisions from Food52

Whether you’re setting your table for Easter, brunch, or just cocktails with the girls, serve it up in style with these adorable and handsome party provisions from Food52. With the goal of “better kitchens for everyone” in mind, Food52 has carefully curated an assortment of serveware, barware, and even party decorations that make for great gifts (or a treat for yourself…). I love the amount of detail on these pieces: from a gentle swoosh of glaze on a platter, to pony-topped drink stirrers, these pieces are like modern heirlooms.

party provisions from Food52
I love the idea of setting a table and using such a wide range of materials, like copper, clear and colored glass, brass, even dipped enamel. Plus, it’s always nice to throw in a punch of color to perk up a neutral and sophisticated table.

party provisions from Food52

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sequins and cashmere from Calypso St. Barth #calypsostyle

If you’ve been following along on Instagram, you know that I popped up to New York last week for some shopping, visits, and way too much eating. I started off the day shopping at Calypso St. Barth, where I was lucky enough to pick out two of my favorite pieces. I ended up walking away with this goooorgeous hand-embellished sequined tank and a dreamy ivory cashmere cocoon wrap. I’ve been wearing the cocoon non-stop — it’s seriously just like wearing a cloud. Now I just need a fancy occasion for my sequins…

mexican sushi
While in New York, we stumbled upon Taka Taka, a Mexican + Japanese restaurant. The concept is pretty funny, but I loved it because it combines two of my favorite types of food. Most of the sushi rolls were spicy, which I loved, and the michelada was awesome (I got the cucumber version). Plus, you can’t go wrong with conveyor belt sushi.

wine at all'onda in new york city
The last stop for my New York trip was a visit to All’onda, a recently opened restaurant by Chris Jaeckle. The food is to die for (um, hello squid ink pasta), the ambiance is gorgeous, and the drink menu is spectacular. I highly recommend visiting this Union Square spot immediately.

photos by Jojotastic — follow me on Instagram!

Cookie Exchange Party #ziploc #holidaycollection

‘Tis the season for parties! I like to shake things up a bit though. Potlucks don’t feel so special anymore, so this year I thought of a fresh idea… a holiday cookie exchange!

I invited each of my friends to bake their favorite cookies and bring them over! We had a blast sharing recipes and munching on mountains of cookies (we even gossiped a bit). I highly suggest inviting your girlfriends over for this super fun seasonal party! Your tummy will thank you!

Head over to Ziploc to see more of my guest Creative Director posts, including the Cookie Exchange Party and a really awesome video, my first ever!

Cookie Exchange Party #ziploc #holidaycollection
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Ziploc and inspired by The Holiday Collection. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Jojotastic going.

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