What Can I Bring? Cookbook by Anne Byrn (And a Chance to win a copy of this book!)

Over 200 great-tasting, easy to tote dishes for parties, picnics, potlucks, barbeques, holiday dinners, and any get- togethers.

I purchased this book recently on a  trip to the North Shore.  Browsing through the books being offered in one of the many (MANY) touristy type gift shops… my eyes landed on this book.  It was pricey, (I can tell you I paid over double what I see it is on sale for at Amazon now…) but I really was drawn to this book.

I am that girl who has a stand by item or two that I bring to every outing we are invited too.  One is my baked bean dish.  You know the one that has baked beans, bacon, lima beans, hamburger…. yup that’s my “go to” dish to bring to outings… when I have time to mess with it.  When I do not have time, I make my fresh salsa and grab a bag or two of good tortilla chips. 

Nothing that I bring is “the dish”.  I am not the coveted person that has to attend because what I bring makes the party.  Nope, if not for my witty and fun personality, I may not be invited at all ( ha ha – I jest).  I think…. 😯

So now you see the need for this book to get into my hands.  Hard cover, square, appealing to the eye book with almost 500 pages of ideas…. I could not wait to read!

Author Anne Byrn is known to millions of fans through her Cake Mix Doctor, The Chocolate Cake Doctor, and Dinner Doctor cookbooks. She has had over 200 television appearances on Good Morning America, Roker on the Road, QVC, as well as local stations.

Ok… in my opinion, this book is a rave!  From fun down to earth parties like back yard potlucks and kids parties, to house-warming gifts, or something a little more formal this book covers it all from, packaging, transporting, serving…  LOVE IT.  Each page has a right side bar space to record who you made the recipe for, prep notes, what not to forget, special touches and if this is an item you should bring again.  It is a book that makes me want to go through and try everything just so I can make notes.  😀

So here are a few little items that caught my eye (there were many more…. but this is a sample)



French Toast Slices (to be used for bruschetta, or spreads)

Slice a loaf of French bread diagonally about 1/4 inch thick.  You should get two to three dozen slices depending on loaf size.  Place on baking sheet and lightly brush with olive oil.  Sprinkle bread lightly with kosher salt (if desired), or dust with Parmesan cheese before baking.  Bake at 400 until slices are crisp and browned – 15 to 18 minutes.  These will store in plastic bags for up to three days.

(I may make this tonight to go along with spaghetti)




Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

1 large head of iceberg lettuce

 1 tablespoon vegie oil

1 pound ground chicken

3 med garlic coves, minced

1 cup chopped scallions (green part only from a bunch)

1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger

3/4 cup hoisin sauce

4 tsp. soy sauce

1 teaspoon Asian (dark) sesame oil

3/4 cup finely chopped water chestnuts

Fresh cilantro (optional)

Use a small paring knife and cut the core out of lettuce.  Wash and dry on paper towels. 

Place the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.  Combine in the chicken, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Add the garlic and cook, stirring until the chicken is cooked through – 4 to 5 minutes.  Turn off the heat.  Stir in the scallions, ginger, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, and water chestnuts.  Cook this filling over medium low heat stirring until it bubbles and is heated through – 2 to 3 minutes.  Keep the filling warm if you are serving immediately. 

When ready to serve, carefully pull apart the head of lettuce to separate the leaves.  Pat the leaves dry with paper towels and pile them around the outer edge of a large platter.  There should be at least 12 large leaves.  Spoon chicken filling into the center of the platter and garnish with cilantro.  Serve at once.  To eat – spoon chicken mixture into lettuce leaf and wrap the lettuce around it and eat like a burrito. 

Ok scrap the spaghetti idea for tonight… I may try this one instead if I can find the Hoisin sauce.




Taco Ring

*you can prep this ahead of time and not bake until you arrive to whatever event you made it for…)

For Taco Ring:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 – 2 pounds ground lean turkey or lean beef

2 packages taco seasoning

1 cup water

2 packages refrigerator crescent rolls (reg or reduced fat)

For serving:

reduced fat sour cream

shredded iceberg lettuce

chopped tomatoes

shredded cheddar cheese


Pre heat over to 375.  Place the olive oil, if using, in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the turkey or beef and break up with a wooden spoon.  Cook, stirring, until cooked through – 3 to 4 minutes.  Add the taco seasoning and stir to mix.  Then add the water.  Increase heat to medium high and cook stirring until all liquid has nearly evaporated, 4 to 5 minutes.  Take off burner and set aside.

Unroll the crescent rolls; you will have 16 triangles of dough.  Place an ungreased baking sheet or pizza stone about 14 to 16 inches, ona work surface.  Arrange the dough with the large side of the triangles facing the center of the sheet and the points hanging over the edge.  Leave a 3 – 4 inch empty space in the center.  Press dough together where the triangles meet to connect them.

Spoon the turkey beef mixture in a ring on top of the joined dough, leaving the center empty (you can put a bowl of sour cream there when serving).  Carefully pull all the points of the of the crescent rolls, twisting them together to seal over the filling.  Do not get too fussy about this as after the taco ring bakes, it looks gorgeous no matter whether the filling os completely covered by the rolls. 

Bake the taco ring until golden brown – 20 to 25 minutes.  Let it cool 3 to 4 minutes before transferring to a serving platter.  If you do not have a platter large enough, cur sturdy cardboard into a large enough piece and cover with foil.  Put bowl of sour cream in the middle and arrange the rest of toppings in pretty little bowls around the ring.

*Note – it is just as easy to make two rings as it is one.  If baking later, cover with plastic wrap and keep cool.

Ok – scratch everything I said above… I am making this tonight!  😀

These few recipes are barely scratching the surface of the recipes that caught my eye in this book…. main dishes, sides, appetizers, desserts, breads, soups, marinades…. and party planning.   I will get many years of use out of this new treasure in my home.


To win a copy of this book:

In my excitement over my new find – I am offering a copy of this book to be mailed to one lucky commenter between now and Thursday morning.  Open internationally – I will mail directly to you from Amazon.  *Simply leave in the comment section what your favorite item is to take along to a potluck or gathering type event. 

Amazon Rating

Goodreads Review

The 2011 WHERE ARe You Reading map has been updated to include What Can I Bring? Cookbook

I purchased this book in Grand Marias Minnesota… “Mini” Girls Weekend

This review is part of Weekend Cooking – the awesome weekend meme

hosted by Beth Fish Reads

75 thoughts on “What Can I Bring? Cookbook by Anne Byrn (And a Chance to win a copy of this book!)

  1. I have made the Taco Ring above, but we always called it Circle Taco. Real original. 🙂 This isn’t something that has to be cooked, but I often bring a Mexican Layer Dip which is always a hit. It’s quick and easy. When I bring it to a party, it’s very seldom that I bring leftovers home.

  2. Sign me up for that giveaway 🙂 Sounds like a book that will be used a lot.

    I like to take either artichoke dip or hashbrown potato bake – both very easy things to make and people love them.

  3. This sounds like an excellent book. I have started bringing something called Cowboy Caviar to gatherings, but my go to thing is a Strawberry Lemon Tart and my kids just got into Rice Crispie treats and we’ve tried making them on sticks and in ince cream comes covered in chocolate (tastes great but on hot days the chocolate can be a bit messy for little one and big ones alike!)

  4. I love the idea of this book, Since I never “know” what to bring, I usually volunteer for browniea and then try to dress up a box mix version. My friends would love for me to wi this book!

  5. I also love the idea of the note space and think that, in itself, would motivate me to try things in this book!

    My go to dish this time of year is refrigerator sweet pickles with diced heirloom tomato — make the pickles 4 days or longer ahead (in practice, I make them whenever I have a few minutes and cucumbers so they are ready for any event, including supper at home), add the tomato just before leaving the house and it’s an instant cucumber-tomato salad.

  6. Some potlucks I have attended specified dessert so I usually bring one of two dishes, Decadent Brownies or Shirley’s Heavenly Delight. Both high calories and fat but so incredibly delicious!

    For other occasions I have taken Caesar Salad with Renee’s Caesar dressing or taco salad. For an ethnic potluck, I have taken cabbage rolls. I also like Chinese Cabbage Salad or Ambrosia salad as take alongs. I’m sure I could come up with more, but you did just ask for one, didn’t you? 😛

  7. I’ve made the Taco Ring before, as well! It’s delicious.

    I tend to bring Nacho Bake (macaroni and cheese + nachos fixings) or Peanut Butter Lover’s Candy Cookie Bites. Both are big hits 🙂

  8. I love Taco Ring, we make it often. Meatloaf Wellington is my signature dish for home cooking, and I have a butter pecan cake that is requested for funerals at my church but I don’t have a specific potluck recipe that’s a go to. I think If I don’t win this book I will definitely have to but it!

  9. I am so terrible at taking things to potlucks. I usually just make a box of brownies and call it good. I definitely need help in this area. 🙂

  10. I have made that Taco Ring and it is wonderful! I used to bring those beans you make, mostacciolis or tator tot casserole to potlucks but recently I love to bring Coconut Poke Cake. It’s cool and very good. This book might be a good source of new ideas.

  11. I’m so on board for this one. I love to bring potato dumplings as they are easy to make, taste great, and are even better as leftovers if there are any.

  12. I can never decide what to make and always seem to end up bringing a dessert of some sort. My go to dessert is a mocha streusel cake. For a coffee lover like me, and so many of my friends, this is the perfect ending to a potluck but it isn’t complete without a hot cup of coffee to go with it!

  13. i always bring diet coke (i don’t like other “diet”colas) and usually shrimp or a fruit platter….someone has to be the healthy one!!!

  14. Being originally from India, I am often asked to bring an ethnic dish. My go-to is BASMATI RICE PILAF. I add onions, mushrooms, raisins, cashew nuts, peas along with the standard cumin seeds, cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon sticks.

  15. I’m always asked to bring my cob loaf; you remove the bread from the loaf and fill with a warm philly cheese, bacon, onion and cheese dip and use the toasted bread pieces as your dipping piece … yummo!

    Thanks for the giveaway, my mouth is watering just looking at some of the recipes 🙂

  16. Hi! Your cookbook choice is fabulous…
    When it is hot, I like to take a cold spaghetti salad
    to a potluck. When it is cold outside, I have a corn
    casserole that even our two sons will eat!
    Many thanks, Cindi

  17. Thank you for your cookbook giveaway! My most recent favorite take-along dish using fresh summer produce is a black bean/tomato/sweet corn salsa with a rice vinegar and lime dressing topped with chopped cilantro. I serve it with warm toasted whole grain pita triangles. Yum!

  18. This looks like a great cookbook! I love to write in my cookbooks, so what a grand idea to actually have that space provided! I like to bake, so sweets – cranberry bars, rhubarb bars, brownies, whatever – is what I usually bring! Although I find myself running to our new Trader Joe’s lately and picking up a grand old candy bar and a bag of pretzels!

  19. Brining your own dish is I think a more Western approach to entertaining. Here in Sri Lanka I have never taken a dish to a meal I have been invited to!!! If I was asked I would say my Roast Chicken with stuffing on the side would be what I would like to take as I do it best.

    1. Great comment! I had not thought of that. 🙂 Not all meals are bring a dish, but it is our culture to ask, can I bring something… I like a good potluck as you can try things you may not normally get to.

      OOH roast chicken…. yum!

  20. Great giveaway – thanks!

    I have been very popular with my very simple sweet potatoes fried in the over with some sesame seeds. They ALL went. And fast, too! 🙂

  21. I usually bring the dessert because cooking is not as much my thing as baking is. This might come in handy to give me some new inspiration 🙂
    I will look for it at my library.

  22. There are a number of things that people ask me to bring … buffalo wings, spinach/artichoke dip, baked beans. I even had someone ask me once to cook up some of my greens! But I think the most popular are my five-spice wings, which are super-easy to make and disappear the minute I set them down. I bake the wings for a little bit, adding a TINY bit of salt and pepper, then I take them out, dip them in a mixture of soy sauce, garlic and five spice, and put them back in the oven. Sometimes, when I’m feeling particularly ambitious, I’ll make up a glaze with the sauce by adding some brown sugar and simmering it til it thickens, then brushing the wings with the glaze right before taking them out of the oven for the final time.

  23. This sounds like a great book. My go to dish is “taco” dip. It’s salsa and cream cheese blended together. Garnish with shredded cheese, lettuce and chopped tomatos.

  24. Great book, I would love to win it! The dish I often bring is an awesome hot dip. I actually got the recipe from my cousin who lives in Iceland (she is Norwegian like me though). It’s made of philadelphia cheese and salsasauce in two layers. Put lots and lots of shredded cheese on top an put it in the oven so that the cheese melts. Serve it with Doritos/nacho-chips and I guarantee you, it will be gone before you know it! Hugs from Anette in Norway

  25. Funny, I just saw this book in a store last week (probably Borders clearance sale), and it caught my eye, too. In fact, I am trying to figure out what to bring for a gathering this week. It looks good. Let us know how the recipes turn out!


  26. In a hurry – bar-b-q meatballs, using the frozen meatballs. Otherwise tropical cheesecake with blueberries/raspberries on top or rice krispie fudge bars.

  27. I’m so tired of always bring the same things. I need something new! In the winter I bring a lasagna and in the summer I bring a macaroni salad. This book sounds like something I could really use! Thank you for the giveaway!

  28. I have the standard bean hotdish (so easy, and so yummy), or my chicken stuffing casserole (yum-o) as my standards picks for a potluck.
    I COVET this cookbook! Pick me, pick me!!

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