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Jen Ha | Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography

Homemade Momofuku Milk Bar Cereal Milk Ice Cream

RecipesJen HaComment

We just got back from a short trip to New York City where we finally got to taste the greatness that is Momofuku's Cereal Milk ice cream!! Did this even exist three years ago when I was going to school in New York?! If so, I mourn the lost years of not knowing it's deliciousness. I mean, we literally went there everyday since we discovered that the Momofuku Milk Bar in Midtown was only a dangerous five minute walk from where we were staying. And then we craved it so much back here in LA that we decided to make it ourselves by modifying this Food52 recipe to our tastes. This stuff is crack, I'm telling you. CRACK. 


3 Cups Corn Flakes

2 1/2 Cups Whole Milk

1 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream

1/2 Cup White Sugar

1/4 Teaspoon Salt

4 Egg Yolks

1 Teaspoon Vanilla


  1. Preheat the oven to 300° F. Spread the cornflakes out on an ungreased baking sheet, and bake until lightly toasted, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely.
  2. Combine cooled Corn Flakes and whole milk in a pitcher or large jar and stir vigorously. Let steep for 20 minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve, pushing the cornflake mush against the sides with a spatula to get out all the cereal milk goodness. Put aside until ready to make the ice cream.
  3. In a small pot over low heat, stir together milk, cream, vanilla, sugar, and salt until the sugar dissolves, about five minutes.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the yolks. Add a splash of the warm milk mixture into the yolks, stirring vigorously with a whisk. Pour the tempered yolks back into the pot with the milk, and put the whole thing over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for about five minutes, or until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  5. Chill the mixture in a bowl of ice or chill in the fridge until completely cooled. 
  6. Churn your ice cream according to the manufacturer's instructions. Right after it's churned, it will have more of a soft serve consistency, or you could put it in a quart container or tupperware and store in the freezer until needed.
  7. Top with crushed, toasted Corn Flakes!

A very happy (belated) National Ice Cream Day! 

Garden Update: Cacti and A Micro Green Salad

Ha Farms, GardenJen HaComment

This past Sunday started like any other, except for the immense physical pain we were in for hiking Mt. San Gorgonio the day prior. We had dim sum for brunch then stopped at Home Depot (of course) where we bought some copper spray to help fight the pesky blight plaguing our tomatoes for the past two gloomy, humid weeks here in SoCal. I also picked up some green support sticks for my ever-leaning, top-heavy ficus lyrata annnnd, two new plants for my succulent collection, including a cactus that I've been wanting forever and ever. 

To the left is my taller ficus standing nice, tall and straight with its new green crutch. The shorter one seems to be doing fine with less support, for now at least. And on the far right, is a lazy shiba falling asleep watching us busy ourselves with boring human stuff. 

So Home Depot decided to sell these cacti in pairs for some reason and the concrete pot that I had bought for my intended cactus could only fit one. The prospect of having to transplant a prickly plant was already daunting enough, but now we also had to figure out a way to remove these two from the same pot they've been sharing since they were little cact-lings and carefully separate their intricately tangled root system. Bring out the ski gloves! Given the precarious nature of the task at hand, we amazingly only pricked our fingers once or twice. 

Thirty minutes later, our new cacti siblings were living happily in their new homes. The one on the left has been aptly named Old Greyback to commemorate our Gorgonio experience. It seemed fitting as it is the tallest succulent in our collection, as well as the prickliest. 

Here's our carrots and lettuce, loving life, growing wild and free and in serious need of a thinning. I had very "noobily" (is that a word?) planted way to many carrot seeds in a row, which meant I had to thin out a ton of carrot leaves. It seems silly, but it was heartbreaking to cut down so many so that there would only be one plant every one to one half inches. At the very least, it gave me comfort knowing the leaves would be thrown into the compost bin and recycled. 

With our thinned out lettuce leaves, we actually ended up with a decently sized micro greens salad! Back in the house, we threw in some tomatoes, rotisserie chicken and tossed it lightly in sesame dressing. It was so fresh and delicious! A part of me still can't believe we grew our own salad, but now that we've had a taste, we can never go back to store bought bag salad. There's just something about going into our own garden to cut some fresh salad leaves on an as-needed basis. And the best part, it's really easy to grow!

Closing Time

HawaiiJen HaComment

My mom retired last week, wrapped up the sale of our home in Hawaii and moved back to Hong Kong to enjoy retired life with my dad. After raising my sister and I by herself for years in Hawaii while my dad supported our family from Hong Kong, I couldn't be happier for her to finally get the endless, relaxing vacation she so deserves. Although I still have family in Hawaii, including my husband's side, it all still feels bittersweet, like the official end of an era that defined much of my childhood. I haven't lived at home in years but this time there's this sense of permanence, like goodbye for real. Here are some snaps from my last visit home last November when I went back to clear out some of the things accumulated over 30 years of life and savor the things I love about the place that will always be home, which is something that even in the absence of a physical house, can never be taken away. 


1. The view from our lanai towards Diamond Head. 

2. My POG collection from third grade.

3. Mana Bu's, arguably the best musubis on the island.

4. The view from our lanai towards Waialae Nui Valley. 

5. A healthy acai bowl from Diamond Head Cove Health Bar.

6. A not-so-healthy malasada from Leonard's.

7. The view from the drive from Kapiolani Park, around Diamond Head, and into Kahala. 

8. A shot of the colorful interior of Diamond Head Cove Health Bar. 

Garden Update: May Gray, Go Away

Garden, Ha FarmsJen HaComment

"May Gray" is officially here in not-so-sunny Southern California. And everyone in the Ha house is suffering from a mild case of S.A.D., including the dog and the plants! Some plants do seem to be doing better than others. For instance, a few weeks ago, we realized that our zucchini was growing so out-of-control that we had to remove it from the bench and give it its own little plant stand so it couldn't block the sun for its neighbors. A single leaf is now bigger than the palm of my hand! As a reminder, this is how it looked just 20 days ago. It hasn't even started flowering/fruiting yet, but we've heard that it's practically unstoppable. Can't wait to see if our plant produces the monster zucchinis we've heard so much about! 

Some not-so-good news in the tomato category. May not only brought on the gray clouds, but also a few days of rain. I know Southern California is really thirsty, so I shouldn't be complaining, but boy did the tomatoes suffer for it. Our short rain spell brought on the blight, a plant disease caused by fungus and thrives in humidity. It started with our Black Krim and spread to the Sun Golds, and then to the Ace 55. We noticed that all the lower leaves were spotting, yellowing and dying (see exhibit A below). We did our best to remove all the infected leaves (which ended up being about half of each plant!) and as you can see, they are looking quite sparse now (exhibit B). Thankfully blight does not affect the fruit and we're hoping that with the forecast for some sun in these next few days, our tomatoes will pick right up and keep growing and producing where it left off. If the blight persists, we'll have to take more drastic measures that will involve copper and baking soda. 

 Exhibit A

Exhibit A

 Exhibit B

Exhibit B

In the thriving department are the lettuce and carrots we planted just a few weeks ago. They are loving the mild weather and settling into their true leaves. We thinned out the lettuce last week, but have yet to do so with the carrots. It's looking bushy because I think I may have dropped in far too many seeds (noob mistake!) 

And finally, our strawberries are finally starting to look like real strawberries!! I think of all the plants in the garden, I am most excited for this one! So far, we have three forming berries (one for each of us) and hopefully much more on the way. 

Angela + Kris Invitations

New Work, WeddingJen HaComment

I opened the mailbox today and found these letterpressed beauties in the mail! My friend Angela asked me to design her wedding invitation suite and then lovingly, painstakingly letterpressed each one of them by hand. She even lined each envelope herself (even the little RSVP ones!) I think the whole set turned out beautifully. Congratulations to the future Mr. & Mrs. Sukanich! 

Welcoming More Veggies to the Farm

Ha Farms, GardenJen HaComment

As you can see, we went a little garden crazy this past week and had to kidnap our patio bench to accommodate a second row of veggies! (Sorry patio bench.) Hoku's job is to guard our plants from birds and squirrels and let me tell you, he is excellent at it. 

The lettuce and carrot seeds that were sown just one week ago (in those longer containers to the right) have already started growing! The lettuce seedlings came out first last Thursday, followed by carrots just yesterday. After days of waiting and watching the dirt and crossing our fingers, the first signs of life were incredibly exciting to witness! 

Lettuce (pictured above) and carrots (pictured below). 

Please welcome to the Ha Farm spring lineup:

→  Lettuce
→  Short Carrots
→  Japanese Eggplant
→  Yellow Bell Peppers
→  Basil (transplanted to the yard from our kitchen window sill)
→  Japanese Cucumbers
→  Gold Zucchini 

Compost Bin

Ha Farms, GardenJen HaComment

After an unfortunate series of events forced us to turn around early on our San Gorgonio hike last Sunday, we found ourselves back in the car around 9:00am (we started hiking at 5:30am) and realized that we still had the whole day ahead of us to do whatever we wanted. So we decided to be productive and drown our sorrows at our favorite store (Home Depot) by picking up materials to start our very own composting bin!

We loved the idea of being able to create nutrient rich soil for our garden by simply recycling our kitchen scraps and yard waste, instead of tossing it in the trash and sending it to a landfill to create harmful greenhouse gasses.

We ended up purchasing a shovel and a very basic black trash bin with a lid and drilled holes around the sides for ventilation. Then we tossed in some mulch to line the bottom and some random green waste lying around in the yard. They say compost should be a mix of 50% green material (fresh grass clippings, veggie scraps, fruit peels) and 50% brown material (tea leaves, coffee grounds, wood chips, dead leaves.) 

This is what our compost bin looks like after 3 days. We've already thrown in a bunch of chopped up banana peels, strawberry stems, and dead/fallen leaves from the garden and mixed it all up with our shovel. And surprisingly, it doesn't smell bad at all, which was one reason why we had been hesitant to start a compost bin earlier! In fact, it's already smelling a bit like fresh soil. Can't wait for the gardeners to come tomorrow and throw in all our grass clippings so things can really start heating up in there!

The Ha Farm Spring Fruit & Veggie Lineup

Ha Farms, GardenJen HaComment

We started planting about a month ago and I am so excited to finally show you what we have going on in the garden this spring! We learned a lot from the mistakes we made last year and invested in some legitimate support for our tomatoes (stakes for the indeterminate varieties and a cage for the determinate). This year, our three new tomato varieties are joined by some exciting new neighbors. In the Fruits & Veggies category, we have (left to right):

→ Everlast Strawberries
→  Black Krim Heirloom Tomatoes
→  Sun Gold Hybrid Tomatoes (currently fruiting)
→  Ace 55 Heirloom Tomatoes (currently fruiting)
→  Burpless Bush Hybrid Cucumbers
→  Zucchinis
→  Green Bell Peppers
→  Orange Bell Peppers
→  Green Onions

Not shown are our carrots and lettuce, which were sown just this past Monday and currently germinating in the shade. 

In the Tree category, our little Meyer lemon tree which scared us by losing almost all its leaves last Fall after being transplanted into its new whiskey barrel home, is now blossoming and growing 1 big lemon and 6 little lemons. We didn't expect it to produce fruit so early since it is still a young tree, but we're definitely not complaining! Our Hass avocado tree just started regaining its leaves, though the harsh SoCal sun was not kind to the young growth and some of the new leaves literally got fried. It has since been moved to a shadier corner of the garden to recuperate. (Can you spot our first and biggest Meyer lemon below?)

Lettuce update! Only five days after planting, we're already seeing some tiny lettuce sprouts! Nothing yet on the carrot front, but we read that carrots could take up to three weeks to begin sprouting. 

Six Pack of Peaks Map

South Pointing Fish, Illustration, New WorkJen HaComment

If you've been following us on Instagram, you'll know that David and I were bitten by the hiking/peak-bagging bug after our initial on-a-whim, snowy climb up to Mt. Baldy with Hoku back in February. So naturally, I made a map to commemorate this journey of ours to complete Mr. SoCal Hiker's Six Pack of Peaks, which he created initially to help outdoorsmen and women train for more difficult adventures such as Mt. Whitney, Half Dome, and thru-hikes like the John Muir Trail. So far, we have completed (in this order): Mt. Baldy (twice), Cucamonga Peak, and San Bernardino Peak. The only bummer about completing the Six Pack challenge is that Mt. San Jacinto (the second tallest peak) does not welcome dogs. We were really hoping that Hoku could join us for every leg of this challenge, but sadly he will only be able to join us for 5 of these 6 peaks, which would still be an accomplishment in itself! Next up, San Gorgonio!

Snapshots Around LA

Dining Out, Los AngelesJen HaComment

Even though we technically live in LA County, "LA" LA feels worlds away (the beach, the amazing restaurants, the museums.) It's always such a treat to make the drive out to try a new brunch place or see a famous LA landmark. Having family in town this weekend was even more reason to bring out the camera and capture some of these awesome experiences around our new city. First stop, the LACMA! 

I couldn't get enough of this cool yellow noodle installation. It was so simple, yet fun and fascinating! (I could totally relate to the little kids who refused to get out and rejoin their parents, or in my case, my husband.) 

This big rock is the "Levitated Mass" installation. We spent a lot of time shamelessly trying to perfect those touristy perspective shots that made it look like we were holding it up with one arm. 

It was a typical hot Southern California day, so naturally ice cream was our next stop! We drove into Larchmont Village to try the famous ice cream shop from Portland, Salt & Straw. They use local ingredients to build their menu of flavors and it was all incredibly delicious.  

The next morning, we went to try the beautiful fancy pants brunch spot Bottega Louie in DTLA. I mean, to say the space is gorgeous in an understatement, from the high ceilings to the glass displays of desserts and colorful macarons. Their brunch was good, but desserts here are the clear winner

Dim Sum Sundays

Dining OutJen HaComment

We go out for "yum cha" almost every weekend at our favorite place in Arcadia. If you happen to stop by on a Sunday morning, we'll probably be the couple sitting in the corner giving off old Chinese grandparent vibes. David's gotten pretty good at ordering all our favorite dim sum (pictured above) in Cantonese and "yum cha" etiquette in general, like tapping your finger on the table to say, "Thanks for refilling my tea cup!" Here he is with the Dim Sum book he got in his stocking stuffer for Christmas last year. 

Afterwards, we usually pick up boba from Half & Half Tea Express, go to Home Depot to give their gardening department all our money, then spend the rest of our day hanging out in the garden and watching Hoku catch bees. 

Hug A Forest

Sew Much FunJen HaComment

I went a little crazy this past week and sewed myself a forest of stuffed trees. I am officially out of green fabric, but I couldn't stop at just one tree...so I ended up with six! Can't ever have too many trees, am I right?