Allrecipes Allstar Lisa Altmiller is one of the 60 million cooks who visit every month. Find out more about her prodigious pop-culture knowledge, her love for crème brûlée, and her top recipes.
lisa altmiller cook making cupcakes

Meet Lisa

"I grew up in the kitchen next to my mom, cooking and baking with her. She taught me that the first ingredient in anything you make is love."

About me: I'm 39 and live in Dixon, California. I'm director of administration at a nonprofit that provides vocational services to people with disabilities.

My side gigs: Mom, wife, amateur photographer, and Allrecipes Allstar*.

Food discovery that changed my life: Crème brûlée. The first time I had it, I was 19 and at a steakhouse in Phoenix. When my spoon broke the caramelized-sugar top, I knew my life would never be the same.

Who I cook for: My husband, Jayson. And the kids: Jacob, 17; Gabrielle, 14; and Jackson, 8.

Rare talent no one will pay me for: I am a walking pop-culture encyclopedia, and my brain is full of completely useless trivia (which leaves little room for important things like algebra or where I put my car keys). I am also embarrassingly good at clucking like a chicken and have been known to "sing" songs in my chicken "voice."

Kitchen tool I can't live without: My KitchenAid stand mixer. I've had her since 2003, and she's still going strong.

Best cook I know: A tie between my mother and my husband. My husband is a phenomenal cook and really should have his own restaurant. He manages to whip up great meals using only a handful of ingredients.

If I could have a superpower: It would be to eat all my favorite foods and not gain an ounce—just like my brother Alan.

My closest thing to an actual superpower: I type 100 words per minute and can sing the alphabet backwards.

Few people know: My grandfather Gilbert was a renowned gunsmith who provided guns for The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, and The French Connection.

Best advice I ever got: Don't look back, you're not going that way.

My kitchen is: The room in my house that brings my family together.

Why I love being an Allrecipes Allstar: I've been an Allstar since Day 1 of the program. I love it, and it has allowed me to meet so many wonderful people who I now consider friends and family. It has also given me the opportunity to try new foods and recipes I wouldn't have otherwise.

For my last meal on earth: I want cheese pizza from Fazarri's (my favorite pizza

place in Clarkston, Washington) and a brownie sundae.

Pet projects I have going: I've always wanted to be a photographer, so as a birthday present to myself, I signed up for photography classes at my local community college.

At Home With Lisa

The Kids: Jacob's a great cook, Jackson's learning from all of us, and Gaby's a fabulous baker.

lisa altmiller family photo

Jayson and I just celebrated our 10-year wedding anniversary.

lisa altmiller cook and boyfriend

Our dog Penny loves long walks in the park, barking at anything that moves, sleeping all day, and American cheese.

lisa altmiller dog

Lisa's Favorite Recipe

banana cupcakes
Credit: Brie Passano

"Grandmother Lottie died before I was born, but I've heard so many stories about how sweet, beautiful, and funny she was — and most of all that she was a phenomenal cook and baker. When I turned 30, my mom gave me the greatest gift: Lottie's 1960s-era yellow recipe box. Most recipes were handwritten, others typed. These cupcakes have been a huge hit." —Lisa Altmiller

Top Lottie's Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Lisa's Banana Butter Frosting:

Beat 1 cup mashed banana, 1 tsp. lemon juice, and 1/4 tsp. salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed 30 seconds. Beat in 1/2 cup softened butter until creamy, about 1 minute. Slowly beat in 7 cups powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until smooth. Makes 4 cups.

Follow Lisa on to get more of her recipes.

This article originally appeared in the April/May 2020 issue of Allrecipes Magazine.