Lisa Cooks

I graduated from the California School of Culinary Arts, Le Cordon Bleu program in Hollywood, CA in August of 2008. But that’s not why I started this blog.

Just after finishing culinary school, my Grandma and I started cooking together once a week. She is Armenian so most of what we made was her or my great-grandmother’s recipes from the old country. Lots of instructions “to taste” and “a handful” or “until it feels right”. I had been wanting to write down more accurate recipes, but that’s not the only reason I started this blog either.

In 2008, I decided to use my favorite search engine to look up some of these recipes. There’s a huge Armenian population both in Los Angeles, and in the midwest, believe it or not. I figured there had to be tons of recipes for the dishes I grew up on. I was wrong. I found loads of articles on where to buy Armenian food and describing what it was, but very few recipes. The recipes I did find were completely different from my Grandma’s way of doing things.

My great-grandmother was from a small village in Turkey called Hadjin. She fled during the Armenian genocide at the age of 12 on a boat by herself. That’s a whole other story I may tell someday on here. The reason I mention it now is, Hadjin had its own dialect and, as I’m finding out, its own food. The food is similar to other Armenian and even Greek and Lebanese food, but just enough different that I felt it should be documented somewhere.


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21 Responses to “Lisa Cooks”

  1. Jen/pinkgerbil Says:

    So are you going to make a cook book too? You totally should. I would be the first in line!

    • lisapotato Says:

      I’m just gonna start with this and see what happens. A book is not out of the question though!

  2. Jesse Says:

    Nice work. I’m looking forward to reading more.

  3. Bexx Says:

    SWEEEET!!! this is gonna be awesome.. I kinda wanna get me a cookin’ blog too – with all the crud I’ve been making!

  4. Selbor Says:

    When I worked at Yahoo!, there was a site that sold Armenian shirts with Armenian slogans on them. My favorite featured a crudely-drawn, slightly tilted smiley head with the words “I (heart) DOLMA” gleefully declaimed below it.

    I personally do not, but I loved that shirt.

    Is there a word like “phallic” for when things look like boobs? Maybe babillic? titapomorphic?

    Those cinnamon buns are titapomorphic.

    • lisapotato Says:

      Well, I DO love dolma and my very next post will be about yalanchi – the cold vegan version of dolma!

      • Selbor Says:

        Too often do “cold” and “vegan” go hand in hand. I’ll wait patiently for hot and spicy with MEAT!

  5. Cathlin Says:


    I am so impressed with the whole graduating from culinary school thing and then to have this blog with your grandmother’s recipes is totally over the top awesome!

    Three cheers for Lisa!

    I remember those cookies you brought to work….mmmmmmmcookies!!!

    Can’t wait for your next posting!

    Love, the Polvanis

  6. Martha Barton Says:

    KWell you’re off to a great start! I’m looking forward to reading this, and to trying out some of your recipes!

  7. Greg Barnett Says:

    I love that you are doing this Lisa. Subscribed to your RSS! Have a great weekend! Hope to see you both soon!

  8. The Loss Adjuster Says:

    Yay! It’s Lisa Potato’s time to shine, now!

  9. Cinchy Says:

    I just love that your doing a blog…and cannot wait for the cookbook.

  10. Kar3n Says:

    Aaaaaaand bookmarked. 😀

  11. Charlise Tiee Says:

    What a great idea! I’m looking forward to trying some of these recipes.

  12. Auntie Pammi Says:


    OMG! you are amazing. You make me hungry and missing the good cook in my family. I think I really want to try to make lamajoons.I love you.

  13. Linda Says:

    I am so excited to find your posts. I grew up with an Armenian grandmother also. Unfortunately she has passed away taking many of her recipes with her. One of my favorites is a soup she called “beans leaf” soup which has yogurt, prunes, and onions in the soup as well as farina wrapped in beans leaves (like sarma but much smaller). I have been looking everywhere for a recipe but to no avail. I was hoping your grandmother might remember the recipe for this soup? Your recipes are a lot closer to the ones my grandmother used. Thank you for your blog!!

    • lisapotato Says:

      Hi Linda! Thanks for your comment. I’ll see my Grandma Tuesday so I’ll ask her about that recipe then. It doesn’t sound like anything I’ve ever had, but maybe she will know more about it.

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