Zoe Takes Tastee-Freez

Growing up, I lived approximately 1.5 blocks away from the prized landmark of my small Chicago suburb: Tastee-Freez.

In summer, I would walk with my mom with some change in my pocket to the small, wooden ice cream house, and wait in a line that sometimes stretched three blocks down the street. Families would come to Tastee-Freez after dinner, after a soccer game, before bed, at sunset, after a long day of work, with their grandkids, because it was a Monday, because it didn’t rain that day, because it did rain that day, or because it just seemed like a pretty great idea at the time. (Isn’t any time a good time for ice cream?)  

Grayslake's very own Tastee-Freez

Grayslake's very own Tastee-Freez

My mom and I would wait in line, where I would agonize over what I would order. A vanilla shake? An M&M freeze? A half and half? Sprinkles? Extra sprinkles? (As you can probably guess, my orders almost always consisted of extra sprinkles.) My mom and I would always see someone we knew in line: my classmate, a fellow Girl-Scout, a coworker. One night, my golden retriever Zoe, a free spirit, ran away from our yard and took herself to Tastee-Freez. It wasn’t until the owner of the ice cream shop called our house that we noticed Zoe was missing. We soon learned that our dog had sprinted to the shop, stood on her hind legs, placed her paws on the counter, and stuck her nose in the window as if she was there to order her own hot fudge sundae. They gave her a pup-cup (Vanilla soft-serve in a cup with a dog treat garnish) and lots of love until we came and brought her home.

Doesn't Zoe look innocent?

Doesn't Zoe look innocent?


Revenge is sweet

Revenge is sweet


Zoe in her younger days, about 1 year old.

Zoe in her younger days, about 1 year old.

Tastee-Freez was always a fun journey, and on the last night of summer before the new school year started, my mom would take me to Tastee-Freez where I could have ice cream for dinner; a tradition I continued for myself even through graduate school. Now, ice cream for dinner to me always marks the end of summer. It so gracefully wraps up gobs of free time, the sprinkles of adventure, and the sweetness to be savored until the next summer break rolls around.

In the ice cream for dinner tradition, I present to you my own version of Paleo Death by Chocolate Ice Cream. Its very rich, doesn’t contain dairy, and doesn’t have a speck of refined sugar. I hope you savor this one!


4-Ingredient, Paleo Death by Chocolate Ice Cream

Makes 1 pint of ice cream

Can be stored for up to 30 days in the freezer, but tastes best if consumed within 1 week.

  • 2 cans, or 24 oz. coconut cream
  • 2/3 cup raw honey
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla
  • 7 oz. dark chocolate, divided
  1. Combine coconut cream, honey, vanilla, and 4 oz. dark chocolate in a saucepan. Heat on low, whisking constantly, until all ingredients have melted and are combined. Be careful not to scald or burn. It is best to watch your pan very closely.
  2. Remove from heat, and place mixture in a covered bowl. Chill in back of refrigerator for at least 12 hours, until very cold.
  3. Melt remaining chocolate and set aside.
  4. Remove the chocolate ice cream mixture from the fridge and pour into your ice cream maker. Following the manufacturer instructions for your ice cream maker, and churn until mixture has turned into ice cream.
  5. Slowly pour melted chocolate into ice cream while still churning. This will create specks or small chips of hardened chocolate into your ice cream. (Like stracciatella.)
  6. Remove ice cream from maker and enjoy immediately if you enjoy a soft consistency.  Store in an airtight container in freezer if you would like a harder consistency.

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Someone has gotten great at posing for photos. 

Someone has gotten great at posing for photos. 


Suspicious of snow. Aren't we all?

Suspicious of snow. Aren't we all?