Cover image for The dinner doctor
The dinner doctor
Byrn, Anne.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Workman Pub., [2003]

Physical Description:
vii, 536 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
General Note:
Includes index.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TX737 .B97 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
TX737 .B97 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
TX737 .B97 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
TX737 .B97 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
TX737 .B97 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



A marriage of the fast and fantastic, The Dinner Doctor proves that it's possible to cook meals for your family that taste great--and require little time, preparation, or hassle.

This is cooking that's not only about coping, but about pleasure. The first and most important step is choosing ingredients wisely. For the Dinner Doctor, that means prepared foods, whether canned, frozen, jarred, dried, or fresh from the salad bar or deli counter. Then comes the doctoring.

Jarred roasted red peppers are puréed with canned chicken broth and sour cream, and garnished with fresh chives for a memorable chilled soup for a summer dinner party. Bagged coleslaw mix is dressed up with nuts, bottle ranch dressing and pre-crumbled cheese for a Blue Cheese, Walnut, and Apple Slaw. Jars of marinara turn into Linguine with Red Clam Sauce (just add a can of clams, dry white wine, and parsley) or a zingy Saturday Night Fever Pasta--with the help of black olive paste and capers.

Even deli potato salad, as tasty as it often is, can take on a variety of personalities--enhance it with crumbled cooked bacon, or prepared horseradish, or curry powder and chopped scallions and shredded carrots. And bland chicken tenders--those saviors of quick cooking--are reinvented as Chinese Chicken, Chicken Piccata, and Curried Chicken and Apple Stew.

Making excellent use of slow cookers, embracing myriad shortcuts, boosting flavor and freshness with hundreds of ideas and quick touches, The Dinner Doctor brings all the joy of serving from-scratch meals into harried lives.

Author Notes

Anne Byrn is a national-award-winning food writer who has appeared as the Cake Mix Doctor on "Good Morning America", "Later Today", "All Things Considered", "QVC" (regularly), and over 75 other TV and radio programs. She lives with her family in Nashville, Tennessee.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

For her latest book, the Cake Mix Doctor Byrn turns her attention to doctoring other convenience foods to produce tasty home-style dishes. A QVC regular, Byrn tackles appetizers, salads, main dishes and her trademark desserts with her customary aplomb. The result is full of flavor and easy to produce in a minimum amount of time or supervision, a must for the busy homemaker in today's hectic world. Interspersed among the clearly laid out recipes are sidebars full of helpful tips, such as sizes of dishes to use and ways to doctor French bread. Scattered at intervals are her groups of "15 Ways to Doctor" which covers everything from spicing up canned tuna to putting a slow cooker to best use. From using coleslaw mix in the light sweet-and-sour Fast Asian Slaw to the microwave in the Micro-steamed Hoisin Fish and Vegetables, all the recipes are included for their ability to help cooks save time without giving up flavor. Although she overuses such staples as cream of chicken or celery soup, Byrn certainly shows that she's able to doctor more of the meal than just dessert. Nonetheless, the dessert recipes are the ones that really shine in this book. Whether it's luscious Triple-Decker Peanut Butter Cake or Slow-Cooker Chocolate Chip Pudding Cake, the desserts in this book will satisfy even the sweetest tooth. 16-page full color insert not seen by PW. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Library Journal Review

Byrn's two Cake Doctor books-recipes based on cake mixes doctored with various additions, fillings, and other garnishes-have sold more than 1.5 million copies. Now she provides easy recipes for the rest of the meal, using prepared convenience foods of all types. Andrew Schloss's recent Almost from Scratch also offers "convenience cuisine" recipes, but though there are certainly some combinations here that will make purists blanch, overall Byrn's recipes seem fresher and more imaginative. In addition, many of them are super-quick, taking no more than ten minutes to put together. There are also dozens of ideas for other dishes, such as "15 Ways To Doctor a Deli Roast Chicken," along with hundreds of timesaving tips and helpful hints. Some fans may be disappointed that Byrn has tackled savory dishes rather than sweets this time, but this book is sure to be in demand. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



It wasn't long after the first Cake Mix Doctor was published that many of the readers who were pleased with the recipes for great easy-to-make desserts started asking me what I cooked for the rest of my meals. What soups did I simmer in the winter, what salads did I toss in the summer, what appetizers did I throw together when guests were at my doorstep? Did I bake bread? Did I have speedy pasta sauces that would wow company and quick casseroles to feed a crowd of teenagers? What did I prepare mid-week after tennis and piano lesons, soccer, school, meetings--when I was pressed for time and it felt as if every ounce of creativity had been drained from my being? I guess they thought that anyone who spent so much of the day creatnig desserts couldn't have a whole lot of energy left over to prepare much of anything else. They were right. Like so many others whose days involve balancing family and career, my time is tight. While I enjoy preparing meals, I can't spend lots of time fussing over them. So, I thought, what better way to answer all those questions than to gather them up here in The Dinner Doctor , a collection of recipes that tackle the rest of dinner head on. Starting with appetizers and ending with those cakes and other sweets I love so much, this book brings to the whole meal the tried and true doctorig techniques I used in my \ baking books. It will show you how to turn supermarket convenience foods into dishes that taste so good you will think they are made totally from scratch. You'll be able to make the most of a can of pre-seasoned tomatoes and a package of cheese tortellini, a deli-roasted chicken and a can of mushroom soup, a package of frozen corn and a bag of pre-shredded coleslaw. When doctored using the recipes I've included, these ingredients become stand-out dishes. Cans of white beans and diced tomatoes combine with fresh zucchini for a quick winter soup, while chicken and coleslaw mix join with ramen noodles for a healthy and light summer one. Boxes of couscous turn into fast salads; frozen peeled pearl onions are easily creamed for Thankgiving; store-bought cleaned shrimp make a fuss-free skillet supper--I have found the possibilities for delicious dinner doctoring endless, and the challenge of streamlining favorite but complicated recipes exciting. For a dish to make it into this book, the final results had to taste fantastic but be simple to assemble. Take, for example, that mushroom soup and chicken combination. We have all eaten too many bland casseroles that relied on cream of mushroom soup. But mushroom soup is too handy to ignore. So I asked myself, what if that casserole also included quartered jarred artichoke hearts and used the soup, enhanced with curry powder, as a thickener? Well, the combinaion worked beautifully and the soup did its job, without announcing itself as canned (the Curried Chicken and Artichoke Casserole is on page 222--do try it and see for yourself). This book has been a joy to create, a real sharing of good food with my family that I'm pleased to be sharing with you. Ideas for family meals take precedence here, but there are plenty of recipes that double up as great for guests. Along with full recipes, each chapter contains super-quick suggestions for doctoring pantry items like canned tuna, baked beans, chicken noodle soup, pasta sauce, cream cheese, deli potato salad, frozen spinach, and much more. The savory flavors of the lasagnas, sesame noodle salads, fun cornbread-wrapped hot dogs, warm cheesy breads, and cozy chicken casseroles you'll find in this book have made my kids more cheerful and my husband arrive home from work relieved to know that dinner isn't going to be a slice of chocolate cake with a side of pie! So, here's my prescription for feeding the busy, hungry family. It will relieve stress and have you feeling good in no time. Excerpted from The Dinner Doctor by Anne Byrn All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Introduction: A Prescription for Dinnerp. 1
Dinner Doctor 101p. 4
Amazing Appetizersp. 12
Super Soups and Stewsp. 64
Salad in the Bagp. 116
The Main Dishp. 160
One-Dish Comfort Foodp. 220
Pasta Prestop. 270
Hands-Off Cookingp. 316
Veggie Heavenp. 350
Side Dishesp. 352
Main Dishesp. 390
Savory & Sweet Lightning Fast Breadsp. 404
Desserts from the Doctorp. 448
Miracle Cakesp. 450
Tarts and Piesp. 483
Other Yummy Dessertsp. 502
The Dinner Doctor Pantryp. 522
Conversion Tablesp. 526
Bibliographyp. 527
Indexp. 528