On A Stick! My new book is out today! And a giveaway!

by Matt on May 3, 2011

My sister Angela got her book yesterday. Thanks Amazon!

Well whatddayaknow? Today is the relase of our first book, On A Stick!

I’m thrilled, elated, a bit nervous but happy that this book hits store shelves today. It was an incredibly fun project that required some state fair visits, tons of research and plenty of taste testing and you should know I gave 150% of myself to this book. Especially the tasting part :)

On A Stick! is a book about – wait for it, wait for it – FOOD ON A STICK. Ok, I’m being silly and knew you’d figure that part out, but this book is where high brow meets low brow, where favorite recipes meet new fangled ideas in some fun and silly ways. Are you seeing the parallel between me and the book? God I sure hope so!

When I began to discuss the idea with Quirk, my publisher, I knew there’d be so many fun moments in store but I also knew it’d be quite a bit of work to produce a cookbook. While I’ve photographed several books for others, this was the first that landed on my shoulders but you should know it was a team effort. None of it would have been possible without my rock, my live-in stylist and my husband Adam. And the same goes for Jenny Park, my tester, writer and assistant stylist. And also to Haley White, my intern at the time, who kept me company and provided valuable assistance and feedback during the process.  And also to our friend Eddie Vasquez who helped me sample item after item after item at a State Fair last year. Who says I don’t take my work seriously?

Top: Adam and Eddie conduct serious research at the San Diego State Fair last year and yes, they are Fine Art. Bottom: Adam enjoys a Hot Dog Covered In French Fries in Seoul, South Korea last week. The work never stops!


But back to the book!


I did my best to cover all my favorites on a stick, from party food to street-fair food to appetizers and desserts. And because there’s that natural thing that happens when you have food on a stick – you simply must dunk or dip it – I included several recipes for dips, marinades and sauces.

And then there are the photos. Fresh off of Susan Russo’s The Encyclopedia Of Sandwiches, I began to rub my eyes and pound my fists a few times as the challenges of photographing food stuck on sticks began to wear me down. It wasn’t easy! Luckily Margaret McGuire, Editor Extraordinaire, was there every step of the way to assist and inspire me with words of encouragement. And with Adam’s styling I think we pulled it off.

Let’s have a look at a few of the book’s images, shall we?

Chicken and Waffles On A Stick.  If you aren’t familiar with the concept of Chicken & Waffles then you need to get up on this! Based on the dish I love at Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles I wanted to put it on a stick and drown the whole thing in syrup. Oh. My. God. No, you shouldn’t eat this everyday but for something different on a stick I do love it.

Coconut Shrimp. Not everything in the book is on a giant long stick reminiscent of state fair cuisine. These tender shrimp are dipped in shredded coconut and fried, a flavor combination creation in Heaven above. Serve with mango salsa and you have yourself a cute little appetizer. They pair wonderfully with cocktails, I’m telling you.

Fried Pickles. Oh puhleeese quit looking at me that way. You know you want some. And if you love them already then you know where I’m coming from. Again, excellent with cocktails or beer. Not that I drink all that often.

This Panzanella on a stick was the very first recipe I wrote and tested. I took them to a 4th of July bbq last summer (it’s been that long already!?) to test on a crowd and you know what? They loved them. It’s fresh, summery, with enough chewy croutons to give these skewers some substance. Secret admission: I was kinda hoping people didn’t like them so I could eat them all myself. I’m serious.

Popcorn Balls. Is there anything better than a sticky face and sticky hands? Not really. When we shot these I told Adam to leave them on my computer stand just in case I needed to photograph them again. I AM SUCH A LIAR! I left them there to eat over the course of the day which I did. Sticky camera and mouse be damned.

Fruit Salad Skewers. These make me happy. They’re easy to assemble and great for kids, but you know the best part about them? The fluffy sweet sauce that they’re dipped in. I’m going to leave it at that and encourage you to make them. And invite me over.  I’ll bring extra sauce.

Spaghetti & Meatballs On A Stick. When I traveled around with my advance copy of the book this photo was always met with laughter. Was it good laughter or bad laughter? No one would tell me. But go ahead, laugh if you want, this dish is delicious, silly, a bit labor intensive but guaranteed to make you, um, smile. C’mon, it’s on a stick. Enjoy and delight in the silliness of it all! Besides, it’s the only time you’ll be able to eat spaghetti and meatballs with one hand while holding a glass of red wine in the other. Another drink reference, must I see someone about that?

There are so many more recipes in this book, not all silly, either.

To celebrate the release of On A Stick!, I’ll be giving away 5 autographed copies! All you have to do is leave a comment below, it can be stick related or you can tell me how much you love corndogs, I’m easy! Just leave a comment and next Monday, May 9th I’ll pick 5 winners and write sweet nothings in your book and mail them to you! EASY! Unfortunately you must be in the United States to win and must leave your comment by 9am PST time on Monday the 9th. I’m so excited to send some lucky winners a book that I may just throw in a few secret surprises!

Visit Amazon.com to buy your copy today!

{ 14 trackbacks }

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Kelsey May 8, 2011 at 8:51 pm

Love the pictures!

Deanna May 8, 2011 at 9:15 pm

I have fond memories of HOT DOG on a stick in California. The girls would wear tall hats and serve CORN DOGS! YUMMY!

Kelley @ The Culinary Enthusiast May 8, 2011 at 9:25 pm

Congratulations on book Matt! I can’t wait to win a copy so that I can start making all of my meals on a stick! :)

vanessa May 8, 2011 at 9:29 pm

i’ve been waiting for a book EXACTLY like this since cameron dias and ben stiller discussed their love of meats on sticks in ‘something about mary’. thank you, matt bites, for making my food on a stick dreams come true.

danielle s May 9, 2011 at 12:57 am

love the book idea. my faves on a stick are both sugar related. maybe i’ll learn more savory (like the pickle) from your book. i enjoy cake on a stick , cakepops!!! and i work at a gelato shop and they make gelato bites and gelato pops on a stick dipped in chocolate.

helen May 9, 2011 at 2:20 am

congratulations! i am looking forward to the chicken and waffles on a stick. roscoe’s is a LA institution and a great place to chow down.

Chrystin May 9, 2011 at 2:22 am


Rebecca May 9, 2011 at 5:24 am

I’ve got 2 boys and another little boy on the way- anything that makes getting food into my belly on the run is a win in my book! Looks great!

Lisa May 9, 2011 at 5:37 am

Hey there… saw your recipe for corn dogs on design sponge. came over to check out your blog. Love it. Can’t wait to try out the corn dog recipe as my whole family is corn dog crazy. Who wouldn’t be. Looking forward to all the other recipes in the book too! Breakfast on a stick! Woop woop!

Faith May 9, 2011 at 5:44 am

How fun!

Meghan May 9, 2011 at 5:46 am

Those look delicious. I have little kids who love anything on a stick.
Congratulations on the book.

Kim May 9, 2011 at 6:26 am

Just found your blog today. Thanks to Bakerella’s plug. OMG!! I have to get your book. I’m already excited about the panzanella and coconut shrimp and fruit skewers (need that sauce) and popcorn balls and ….. Can’t wait to see what else is in the book!!!

Kristin Bundy May 9, 2011 at 6:27 am

Congratulations on the book Matt! Genius idea….I’d love to eat all of my food on a stick and I bet I can get my kids to eat a lot more food now too!! All the best!

Brandy May 9, 2011 at 7:16 am

I just found your blog from
Bakerella and I love it! Your book looks great! Congrats!

Ivan May 9, 2011 at 7:20 am


Congratulations! What a fun book!

Whether tacky at the Texas State Fair (corn dogs, fried dpickles to fried beer-ugh) to food on the run at Asian street vendors with a generations-old creation on a stick, food on a stick can become a Feast on a Stick when done with panache. Just the few enticing photos from your book tell me it’s a Hit on a Stick!

(Damn, there goes my waistline….!)

Maggi May 9, 2011 at 7:25 am

OMG! That book rocks!

Tiffany May 9, 2011 at 7:46 am

This morning I decided to pursue a life in culinary or at least make delicious meals for my family. I just so happen to come across your blog in A List of the Best 100 Culinary Blogs. Your photography are so quirky and you are definitely getting bookmarked. Congrats on the new book!

R Smith May 9, 2011 at 8:23 am


Abby May 9, 2011 at 10:01 am

I’m an hour too late to qualify for a freebie, but I have to comment about how excited I am for this book. I’m already planning my first party on a stick.

Karen Lazar May 9, 2011 at 10:22 am

Can’t wait to see your new book. It looks yummy! Congrats!,

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