On my last few visits to the Bay Area, I tried on several attempts to visit Sno-Zen, a snow shaved ice spot that has become very popular. Several friends have told me how much they liked it and I definitely wanted to check it out, but for some reason they were always closed when I went.

Finally, on my most recent trip home, I was able to check it out. Sno-Zen has been doing quite well, even opening a second location a few weeks ago. We went to the original location in Mountain View. Even though the business has been around for close to a year, they don’t yet have any permanent signage.

Snow ice is a dessert originally from Taiwan that began making its way to the US a few years ago. It’s a cross between shaved ice and ice cream because the blocks of ice are frozen with milk or cream already mixed in. As a result, the texture is soft and creamy and falls in delicate ribbons when shaved. It’s reminiscent of snow when you dig in, hence the name. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know my obsession with snow ice. I feel the need to try every place I know of.

Sno-Zen offers the typical flavors of snow including taro, coconut, green tea, mango, etc. They also have a few limited edition flavors. Toppings and drizzles all cost extra, which is a little unusual. Usually places allow a free drizzle or two free toppings.

Taro with strawberries, bananas, mochi and chocolate drizzle

This one came out so pretty. It actually looked just like a photo they had on display which probably influenced my friend in his choices.

This easy Nutella cookie cooks in under one minute. It’s soft and cakey and full of chocolate and Nutella flavor.

I needed this cookie today. Okay, maybe I didn’t need the three I actually inhaled. This is the problem with easy recipes.

It’s been a long, not-so-great day. I won’t bore you with the details. I just really want the weekend to be here.

It’s less than two months until my first book comes out and I’m excited to finally share a little more about the book, reveal a few preview photos, and offer signed bookplates for pre-orders.

Signed Bookplates for Pre-orders

If you plan on purchasing the book, a great way is to pre-order it. It’s currently available for pre-order at most of the big online merchants (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indie Bound, Indigo, Bookish). You can also buy from the publisher. For international readers, you can order from Book Depository (thanks Belinda!) The great thing about pre-orders is that most companies have a price guarantee, so if the price does drop between when you order and when the book is released, you will be charged the lowest price. Also you aren’t charged until the book is shipped, so you can pre-order it and forget about it, and it will be shipped to you when it’s released.

In addition, as an added incentive for pre-ordering, I have 100 signed bookplates to give to the first 100 pre-orders. Simply be one of the first 100 to send me an email with 1) proof of purchase, 2) who you want the signed bookplate to be addressed to, and 3) mailing address for the bookplate to be shipped. Bookplates are basically an insert which you can stick into your book, so that you have a signed book.

The publishing company has already printed out 100 of them for me and they look like this.

I will sign the bookplate with a message and Mr. K has also agreed to contribute with a Kirbie icon sketch similar to the one you see on my blog and social media, but this one is customized for the book.

I am also working on putting together some giveaways that I will be raffling off to pre-orders such as mug sets, cooking tools and more.

By The Numbers

95: the number of written recipes in the book. There are also additional suggestions for other variations to some of the mug cakes, so you really have more than 100 recipes to choose from. I originally wrote 100 recipes for the book, but we ended up adding in fun toppings, frostings and decorations and in order to fit those all in, we cut out a few recipes.

515: the number of mug cakes I made in writing this book. For each recipe, I went through 3 to 7 variations in order to determine the best one. I tasted them all (I spared my taste testers with only the best versions).

65: the number of new recipes I created for the book. Some of them will be shared on the blog but many will remain exclusive to the book. Some of the new recipes include: flourless Nutella cake, Hostess cupcake, dulce de leche cake, Thai tea cake, mimosa cake, just to name a few.