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Sonoma Family Life Magazine

Recipe for a Legacy

I love to find or create good recipes. I also love to find and celebrate good people. Today I want to do both. This amazing recipe came from a dear person who recently passed.

Etta shared with me the ingredients for her delicious potatoes a few years ago, and I have made the dish at least 100 times since. I know you will enjoy cooking it up for your friends and family as well. Like all Momma Chef creations, it's quick, easy, and scrumptious.

I first met Etta in the spring of 2000. My boyfriend (now husband) and I were newly dating and in that wonderful but horribly awkward period of meeting each other's friends and family. I remember how nervous my 22-year-old self was, heading to dinner to meet my future sister-in-law, her husband, and his extended family. Lucky for me, Etta was the hostess that night. As I rang her doorbell, my heart was palpitating; I knew that the prime attraction at the dinner table would be Izzy's new girlfriend (ME!). However, from the moment Etta opened her door, she made me feel comfortable, calming my anxiety with her warmth and charm. Even though she wasn't even related to my husband (she was family to his brother-in-law), she made me feel like she was on my side. Etta was one of those rare people who opened her heart when she opened her home.

Little did I know how many more times I would be blessed to spend time with Etta. Our families truly became intertwined: Her daughter is like a sister to me, her grandchildren and my boys are so close they call each other "cousins," and her son and my husband are great friends. We spent countless family dinners, holidays, and vacations together. And no matter what we were doing, Etta always pulled me aside and said, "You know, Karen, you guys are family to us."

Knowing my love of cooking and hosting, Etta gave me the most thoughtful of gifts: beautiful serving pieces, which I treasure as reminders of her kind and generous spirit. Truly, the most cherished gift I received when I married my husband was the opportunity to know her.

Etta's Simply Delicious Roasted Potatoes


3 pounds baby yellow, red,

or purple potatoes

1/4 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons onion soup mix


Preheat oven to 400°F.

Cut the potatoes in half or quarters.

Pour olive oil, onion soup mix, and potatoes into a gallon-size Ziploc bag. Seal the bag and shake all ingredients to mix.

Spread potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet or large disposable pan.

Roast in the oven for 25 minutes until brown.

Flip potatoes once while baking to ensure even cooking.

This article originally appeared on It has been reprinted here with permission.

Karen Nochimowksi, aka Momma Chef, is the mother of three active boys (ages 12, 8, and 5). Find more of her recipes on