Joe’s Sunday Dinner Recipes

Bruce Von Stiers

Joe Fitzpatrick is a real estate agent. He also has a membership in a Washington state trucking association. But his passion is for cooking. That passion led to family Sunday dinners that were a treasure to his wife and children. And finally, with some coaxing from them, Joe decided to put some of his better recipes into a cookbook.

That resulting cookbook is called Strictly Sundays. This soft covered book has 146 pages and has full-color photos of the recipe results. Joe touts his unofficial title of The Blue Collar Gourmet in the author credits.

Joe begins the book with appetizers. He offers up some of the standard pre-dinner fare of guacamole, crab cakes and spicy wings. But an unusual recipe is for Mustard Seed Pancakes With Smoked Salmon and Caviar. It uses Bisquick, Dijon mustard, a couple of tablespoons of mustard seeds, milk and lemon juice for the pancake batter. Once cooked, the pancakes are topped with caviar, smoked salmon, sour cream and a bit of chopped red onion and dill.

In the main dish section, Joe provides a few barbeque recipes and a quick down-and-dirty steak marinade along with a couple of decent rub concoctions. Joe has included a recipe for flank steak that is pretty good too. The marinade for it has dry white wine, Worcestershire sauce and beefy onion soup mix as some of its main ingredients.

You would think that pot roast is too simple a recipe for a cookbook. But you are certain to like Joe’s version of it that he calls Perfect Pot Roast. It utilizes v-8 juice and beefy onion soup mix for the liquid base and flour coating the five to six pounds of beef. Joe does limit his vegetables in the recipe to potatoes, carrots and onions.

Also included in the main dish section are decent recipes for chicken, pulled pork and even enchiladas. One recipe that was of particular interest was one called Lady Vi’s Lasagna. It used both ground beef and Italian sausage. A good many recipes leave off the sausage. Which is really a shame. The sauce has tomato paste, tomato sauce, black olives, diced tomatoes, oregano and a bit of Italian seasoning.

Some people like salads whereas others could care less. For those who like salads, Joe offers up a few pretty decent recipes for them. Instead of a Caesar Salad, how about a Caesar Coleslaw? This recipe has the usual coleslaw trappings with some Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, a raw egg and even some anchovies thrown in. There is a pretty fair potato salad recipe and a delectable lettuce salad recipe with almonds and sesame seeds called Debbie’s Chinese Salad.

I love jalapenos. So I was very interested in a soup recipe that Joe included in his soup section. It is called Roasted Jalapeno Soup. This delicious soup has roasted and pureed fresh jalapenos along with chopped red bell peppers, tomatoes and three quarts of heavy cream. Included in the soup section was also a really, really good chili recipe called Sunday Night Football Chili.

Main dishes aren’t the whole story of a Sunday dinner. Joe also has several side dish recipes. These include a Bisquick infused tomato pot pie. There are also recipes for scalloped potatoes, mushroom covered potatoes and a delicious one that calls Italian sausage to be chopped and browned, then added to a potato and mustard mix.

Joe ends the book with five salsa recipes.

I really enjoyed the recipes in the book. A few of the recipes were just slight variations of others that I have seen and used in the past. But there were quite a few original recipes in the mix as well. The only disappointment that I had was that Joe didn’t include any dessert recipes. Depending on the meal, dessert is often my most favorite part. I would have liked for Joe to have added a few dessert recipes.

Strictly Sundays is available through and other online venues like Barnes & Noble. You can also order a copy directly through the cookbook’s web site. That site can be found at


© 2011 Bruce E. Von Stiers