ice cream by window

Well, in case you haven’t already heard, it snowed here in Chicagoland last weekend. The snow itself wasn’t a big deal, just a light dusting on all the trees and cars and buildings, but the fact that it came, right after a week of warmth and sunshine and 60-degree evenings where I rode my bike like I was 12 years old again, was a grim reminder that no matter how late the sun stays out, no matter how many times I don’t need a jacket, no matter what the calendar says, it’s still not exactly spring yet. It still can snow.

ice cream in a bowl

Now, fellow Chicagoans, I know, I know what you’re going to say: Hello? This happens every year! It’s only March! Last year, it snowed in April! I know.

But listen, it’s still kind of a bummer. It’s like when you apply for that job you really want, the one close to home and with great benefits, and just when you’ve had your third interview and thought you’d gone and aced it, you get a rejection letter. Or when you’re ten years old, watching the snow outside, thinking for sure you’ll get a snow day, and you don’t. Or when you bake bread for the eighth or ninth time, all hopeful and expectant, and you end up with weird ribbons inside the loaves that you’d thought were perfection. Dashed dreams make the heart sick.

dixie cup

Of course some people would say there’s an easy solution to this problem, one that’s pretty simple: lower your expectations. Wish for less, and you won’t be hurt as often. There’s truth in that. And I guess it makes sense.

But me?

popsicle and dixie cup

Monday, just as quickly as the snow came, it melted, revealing again the green (!) grass and blue skies that hint winter is ending, and despite myself, despite the snow, despite knowing this all can change in a moment, despite possible heartache to come, I found hope.


And, to celebrate what I believe to be winter’s maybe-not-today-but-sometime-soon end, I combined POM Wonderful and Simply Orange juices to make homemade ice cream! And homemade popsicles! Just like the ones my grandma used to make us when we’d been playing outside all day! Because as long as we’re waiting, we might as well have tastes of spring—or better, summer!—to eat. I mean, hello? There’s nothing heartbreaking about that.

POM-Orange Ice Cream/Sorbet
Adapted from Cafe Liz

A few notes on this recipe:
1) Coconut: To add a coconut flavor, I whizzed coconut flakes in the food processor for a few minutes—good flavor, but makes for slightly chewy bits throughout, so next time I’d try coconut extract, as you’ll see in the ingredients below.

2) Ice Cream or Sorbet? I don’t really know which is the right term here, and I’m sure one of you out there will, but the issue is: this frozen dessert has milk in it, but not as much as the juice, and it turns out like a creamy sorbet. Maybe that’s what I should call it? Creamy sorbet? Yes. That’s good.

3) The juices! Thanks again to POM Wonderful for the juice and also to Simply Orange for giving me some of theirs. I hadn’t thought about it before, but I always used Simply Orange juice when I made my favorite orange sherbet. It’s 100% juice, the only kind to drink, especially when you look at juice labels. High-fructose corn syrup should be eliminated.

1 1/4 cup Simply Orange juice
1 cup Pom Wonderful juice
1/2 cup milk
1/8 cup sugar
2 teaspoons coconut extract
pinch salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Mix everything together in a bowl, and stick it in the fridge to chill. Then run it through your ice cream maker until it forms a soft sorbet. Freeze to harden, and let thaw a bit before serving.

Bonus! Pom-Orange Popsicles
If you have those cool popsicle makers, they’d be great here. If you don’t, there are plenty of ways to improvise. I used dixie cups and lollipop sticks (which I’d bought a long time ago to make cake pops?).

POM Wonderful Juice
Simply Orange Juice

Fill cups 2/3 full with one type of juice, freeze for about an hour and add the other juice. You can add the sticks halfway through or when you add the second juice; you just want to get them in there before it’s all frozen, so they’ll stick.

Shanna Mallon

Shanna Mallon started Food Loves Writing back in 2008, as a way to remember her grandma and write about her life through food. Since then it's become a place leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, keep up with Food Loves Writing on Facebook and stay inspired with the monthly newsletter.

This Post Has 24 Comments

  1. carolyn

    you’re never too old for homemade popsicles! so cute. and i love the addition of some coconut extract.

  2. Hannah

    I love that you bought that lollipop sticks to make cake pops – I did the same thing and they’ve been hanging out in my cabinet ever since. Turns out I don’t really care about cake on a stick, but I do care about popsicles. This looks so tasty. I wish I had some pom juice!

  3. kickpleat

    I’m getting shivers just looking at these pops! Can’t wait for warm weather, soon!

  4. Caitlin

    Just as the temperature drops into the single digits in Wisconsin, you bring up *these*?!? Now I really can’t wait for summer!

  5. Kim

    I love homemade popsicles. In the summertime, when our apartment is so hot we come home from work and change into bathing suits to sit on the couch just a few inches away from a fan, well, homemade popsicles sure cool ya down!

  6. Jessica

    Oh my gosh the color on that is amazing. Gorgeous. I have to admit, I’ve had bad homemade popsicle experiences so I tend to stick with smoothies, but I might have to give it another try!

  7. Tim


  8. Jessica

    The color of these alone makes me want to run to the store right now! I have popsicle molds, but I think the Dixie cups make a perfect old-fashioned shape.

  9. jessiev


  10. Jenious

    It’s snowing in Boston today, so I’m right there with you. :) Your popsicles look bright & lovely.

  11. Megan Gordon

    “lower your expectations and you’ll be hurt less–” wow, resonated with me in more ways than popsicles. Thanks for such a thoughtful post.

    I remember when I lived in Colorado and we were convinced it was spring, would go into class in shorts and flip-flops and come out to a snow-storm. Craziness.

  12. Joanna

    Big shocker…it’s warm here in TX :) I’m gonna have to make me some of this over the weekend.

  13. Danielle

    I like the idea of Creamy Sorbets! Love the flavors and beautiful colors on your popsicles, like hope on a stick :)

  14. Shannalee

    Carolyn, Indeed! Love knowing you’re never too old for popsicles!

    Hannah, I knew I liked you. Popsicles beat cake pops any day.

    Kickpleat, I know. Is it just me, or did the weather get colder as soon as I made these? Ho hum. I am still hoping.

    Caitlin, Me too, me too!

    Kim, That seriously reminds me of my grandma. She didn’t really have A/C, just a small window unit in one room, and popsicles were our lifesaver.

    Jessica, I think the color is what wowed me most too – so deep and dark! You’ve gotta try it!

    Tim, Did you really comment here at 9:38 on Thursday? Hmmmn.

    Jessica, I thought so too – so classic and, best of all, freeeee.

    JessieV, Yum!

    Jenious, Ugh, snow!? Soon it will end!

    Megan, That is the only thing keeping me from Colorado – hot, cold, hot, cold, crazzzy!

    Joanna, Yesss! Do it!

    Danielle, Thank you – love that phrase, hope on a stick. Makes me happy.

  15. Susan

    The weather in Boston has been just like that. Those pops look so good and so fun!

  16. Shannalee

    Susan, Then you totally understand. And thanks!

  17. Lisa (newRDcook)

    Yup – in Philadelphia, as well, we are on a weather roller-coaster. Last weekend I went running in shorts and a t-shirt, this weekend I’m in a sweatshirt and jeans drinking tea to stay warm. That being said, I picked up some ice cream at the market this weekend despite the cold – here’s to hoping the ‘maybe-not-today-but-sometime-soon end’ of winter is right around the corner!

  18. Shannalee

    Lisa, Amen! And to ice cream!

  19. Joanna

    SO good.

  20. Maddie

    I love how the popsicle sticks are just off-center…reminds me of the (far more) lopsided juice pops my little brother and I made so many summers ago. Lovely post…makes me crave warm weather even more than I had been. :)

  21. sheena

    I am so happy to have found your blog!! We have been celebrating all things spring these last few weeks as well….and then we too got snow on Friday. But if you are eating sorbet….then is MUST be spring, right??

    This looks so yummy….I have to try it, spring or not.

  22. Shannalee

    Joanna, yesssss!!!!

    Maddie, Ha! I love it too, because it is so, so me. In every way. And here’s to that warm weather, which is coming soon!

    Sheena, Thank you for the sweet comment! Big bummer about the snow BUT that must be the last time, right? It must. Here’s to sorbets that remind us of what’s coming…. and soon!

  23. Shawna

    this blog is such a treat to read and a joy to discover! thank you for this. your writing is refreshing, the pictures are delightful and the way you blend life & food is remarkable. consider me a new avid reader. :)

  24. Shannalee

    Shawna, Thank you so much! It’s a treat and joy to hear from you as well and ps – your name is spelled exactly how mine sounds! :)

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