KosherEye "Foodie" Friend & Baker Extraordinaire
KosherEye has featured chefs, professional bakers, cookbook authors and cooking instructors. Now we are delighted to feature a personal friend, Lisa Koonin...who can hold her own in the baking arena, with the very best! After tasting her Passover treats, you will think she is a professional baker.
We have known Lisa for many years and have devoured her scrumptious Passover baked "goodies", also for many years. We decided it was time to "share her" with the world!
Actually, Lisa doesn't need KosherEye to introduce her to the world. As a nurse practitioner and epidemiologist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, her job takes her all over the US and the world consulting with Ministries of Health and teaching others how to plan for a severe pandemic. Additionally, In fulfillment of a long held goal, Lisa recently began a doctoral program at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. A very busy and talented lady — and she bakes!
Lisa started cooking when she was 16 years old, learning the basics from her mother Harriet, who is also an exceptional cook. She has taken the occasional cooking class and reads cookbooks like novels! We can relate to that! "My work at CDC is serious and scientific, so I cook and bake as a creative outlet. Plus, I love to make people happy with delicious, healthy food. I especially like to cook for family and friends."
Her passion for Passover baking began about 15 years ago when she attended an out-of-town Seder and thought "why do Passover desserts have to be SO BAD? I decided that there had to be a way to make Passover desserts delicious. So the next Passover, I started experimenting by adapting a non-Passover flourless chocolate torte recipe to a Passover recipe." Each year Lisa would make the recipes that had worked well in the past but would create at least one new dessert.
Lisa told us, "Also about 8 years ago, I made an agreement with one of my wonderful sisters-in-law — she would host the Passover Seders at her house and I would be responsible for desserts.What a great deal! So that meant I had to produce great dessert as my part of the bargain! For about a week before Passover, I research a new recipe so I can surprise my family with a new Passover dessert."
Lisa has shared three of her outstanding Passover dessert recipes with KosherEye; they are fabulous! We have tasted each of them and did place a special request for the Almond Cake with Peach-Apricot Topping recipe– it is divine!
• Almond Cake with Peach-Apricot Topping
• Passover Pecan Bars
• Passover Lemon Meringue Pie
For more of our interview with Lisa —how she creates her dessets, her favorite Passover ingredients and kitchen tips—please read A KosherEye Chat with Lisa Koonin.
Lisa would be happy to answer any Passover baking questions; please send them to KosherEye at ContactUs.