Happy Birthday, Kristen!

 Tuesday, July 16, 2013

My sous chef, Kristen, loves her birthday more than any person I've ever met. I quickly learned this last July after realizing that her birthday celebration went on for several weeks. We now jokingly (or not so jokingly...) say that she celebrates her birthday month.

Birthday Gifts: She's also a cat lady
Kristen also hates cake,  loves ice cream cake, and I happen to love making ice cream cakes. I first started making them when I was a cook at Maialino and was tasked with the job of making one of our favorite cook's going-away cake. The hardest part was figuring out what that Cool Whip-like frosting was, but once I cracked that mystery, it was no time before I was frosting the cake in the meat freezer, sprinkles flying everywhere, all over Lady Gaga's food (that's a story for another day).

Last year for her birthday, I quickly threw together an octopus ice cream cake, but this year I had time to plan. Because Kristen loves owls, I decided to make an owl-shaped cake. You need to work very quickly when it comes to ice cream cake (especially in the month of July!) and my decorating options were kind of limited. On top of that, a major project popped up this week (more on that in the future) and I had limited spare time. She had made me an amazing Wall-E cake for my birthday this year, so I made sure to make the time to get her cake completed...especially since she had been dropping hints to everyone that she wanted a cake for weeks prior.

I stashed the cake in the far depths of the walk-in freezer, hoping that she wouldn't snoop. Saturday was finally the big day, and we gave her the cake during our pre-shift meal. I wouldn't say she was surprised (...Kristen, were you snooping?), but she was definitely really happy. Cutting the monster was a challenge. The cake was 4 inches tall and a solid ice cream brick. We have a huge staff, and it was a huge cake!

After a long night at work, pickleback shots


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