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

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!


  1. says

    Ohhh Stick it to me… do I want the book… :::raising hand:::: me!me!me!

    Seriously … Congratulations…. and I just realized that I may have missed the dealine… RATS!

  2. Jean Marc says

    I love YOUR “corn dog” Matt! j/k

    But seriously congrats and much success and even if I don’t win, I will support my sistah!


  3. says

    congratulations! fried pickles shot is my fave in this line up. what are they sittin gon? and i do love the idea of wine in one hand, pasta in another. can’t go wrong there.

  4. melissa mcgee says

    matt! SO excited for you!!! the photos look GORGEOUS and i can’t wait to see it in full, glorious color so i can run my fingers across each page! as a texan and a lifelong statefair corndog enthusiast, i know in my heart of hearts that all good things do indeed come on a stick!

    congratulations to you, my friend!!! i’m beaming from ear to ear and thrilled beyond words for you!!! xoxoxo

  5. says

    Since I’m in Europe and have already preordered your book in Amazon, I’m not up for the giveaway… just wanting to congratulate you and ill tell you all about my love for the book (since I’m positive I’m just going to looooooove it) when I get it.

    Congrats, Matt!!!!!!!


    PS. Para cuando una visita al País Vasco???
    PS2. I’m loving the Korean Hot Dog coverd in French fries… I’m so finding that the next time i go visit.

  6. Kristi says

    It is quite possible that a whole book devoted to food on a stick is my dream come true. Fancy versions of fair foods, plus less fancy versions of fancy foods…swoon!

    And do I spy chocolate covered waffles on a stick? Want.

  7. says

    Yes! What a gorgeous looking book. Please send one to Australia! . I’ll spread the word;)

  8. Cristy G says

    Oooh I’d love to have some super-fun parties with the recipes in there!! Congratulations on the book, can’t wait to page through it.

  9. says

    Yea, Matt! Gosh, I’m trying to think of a pithy “stick” pun, but it’s too early in the morning, yawn. So excited about your book, and I want one with your name on it — literally :-)

    Congratulations, well deserved!

  10. says

    I love things that are deep fried on a stick! I think my favorites from my last fair were the s’mores and the cream cheese with pepper jelly dipping sauce.

  11. says

    Hi Matt!!!

    My son, Leo is blown away by your spaghetti and meatballs on a stick. He’s 8 and the concept of food on a stick is right up his alley!!! He’d like to recommend waffle battered sour cherries from our trees. Come on by in June.
    Love the photos! Love the blog!
    Best of Luck!

    jackie and leo

  12. says

    I live in Hungary in Europe so I don’t have a chance to win. Because I love tofu I would do tofu with something on sticks. I need to figure out what that something should be. :)

    Congratulations on your book!

  13. says

    Congrats on the book, Matt! Who doesn’t love food on a stick? I have such good memories of cornd0gs. My dad isn’t much of a cook, but he loved to make corn dogs for my sister and me when Mom was away. To this day, it’s kind of our “special thing” with dad. That and his clam pasta – but I don’t think that would work on a stick 😉

  14. says

    Food on a stick has new meaning to me now. As a new mother (of a 10 1/2 week old), I’ve learned to eat all my meals with one hand. So, probably fate that I saw your tweet this morning when I’m hardly on the computer these days.
    Congrats on the book release!

  15. says

    I want a copy!!! I just want to say how much I enjoy reading your blog. You’ve worked your way up into my list of favorite food blogs! I live in Philly and I’m a huge Quirk Books fan, too. Keep photographing awesome food and making awesome books. :-) Congrats!

  16. Vicki says

    I think I want to try that hot dog covered in fries on a stick! It would be like a dream come true!

  17. anna says

    Yay & congrats on your new book. couldn’t have wished for a better subject. i love street food on a stick!

  18. Debbie says

    WOW – I have to tell you, if I don’t win one of these books I’m definitely going to run out and buy one. I have two Granddaughters that I watch fulltime – coming up with things that they want to eat during the day can be a challenge, but On a Stick looks like it’s going to offer a lot of “fun time” with their mid day meals! Thank you so much for doing all the research and taking the time to put it all in one place!

  19. Debbie says

    WOW – I have to tell you, if I don’t win one of these books I’m definitely going to run out and buy one. I have two Granddaughters that I watch fulltime – coming up with things that they want to eat during the day can be a challenge, but On a Stick looks like it’s going to offer a lot of “fun time” with their mid day meals! Thank you so much for doing all the research and taking the time to put it all in one place!

  20. Martha says

    These recipes look good – even if the subject matter is hard to take seriously! :) Can’t wait to see the book, it looks fantastic!

  21. Janet Morrissey says

    The pictures look luscious!
    I use very sturdy rosemary sticks for cooking veggies and meat chunks on the grill. It gives a really nice flavor to everything.

  22. says

    Please, please, please, my kids will eat anything on a stick…….. but oh, so picky otherwise! Normal food, mac and cheese, apples, carrots, and, you guessed it, corndogs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. says

    I tasted my first corn dog in California back in the early ’70s. Thought it was the most fabulous taste sensation. While on vacation, I consumed about 10–one each day. Since then, I’ve sought out foods on a stick wherever I go–unbelievable what foods you can actually put on and eat off a stick!

    Congratulations on your book—you’ve got quite a following, friend!

  24. Libby says

    Congrats! I must bring the “stick revolution” to Palm Beach! Tee hee hee.

  25. Beth Tatum says

    Food on a Stick!!! How awesome! Would love to try these recipes out on family and friends here in Kentucky!!! Congrats on your book and hope sales are crazy wild for you!

  26. George J says

    As always beautiful photography, love the “not taking it too seriously” topic and yet amazing food. Who would have thought chicken and waffles on a stick?? I WANT the book!!! 😉

  27. Sally says

    Great concept for food! I’m going to take this idea and offer it up to our board of directors for our next sanctuary fundraiser! elmiraswildlife.org

    And I love coconut shrimp and chicken on a stick too!
    I bet the tigers would as well … uncooked for them of course 😉

  28. Diane Conroy says

    I am a baker at our local farmers’ market…this would be the perfect book of recipes to make and sample at our markets!!! Just think of all the things I could collect to put on a stick!!!! It’s great for kids and all of us who are still kids at heart!

  29. Bonnie says

    Congratulations on the release of your book. Who wouldn’t want a book where “high brow meets low brow”? Food and fun is what it’s all about!! Eating food on a stick is how we roll in MN. ;D

  30. says

    Matt, My mother’s favorite dish is spaghetti and meatballs. At 85 years old, she is still lots of fun and always up for new experiences. I can’t imagine how much fun it would be to surprise her with spaghetti and meatballs on a stick! I promise to send you a picture of her, chowing down on your inventive take on her old favorite. Though it won’t be as artistic and wonderful as your fabulous shots, I can guarantee that it will warm the cockles of your crazy-recipe-creating heart.

  31. LaJuana says

    How good of you to sacrifice for your art! I look forward to trying lots of these treats…bet they bring out the kid in everyone! Congrats!

  32. R Smith says

    ON A STICK!!!!!WOW!!!! That is the neatest thing!!!!! I Would Love to Have This Book!!!! I Have Kids, and putting things in a STICK would be so exciting!!!! Kids Love Stuff Like That, Sooooo do I !!!!!

  33. Pam Richards says

    I have to admit-I really don’t like corndogs-but everyone else in the house loves them…LOL
    I do love other things on a stick though and I’d love to have a copy of your book. Thanks for this opportunity to win one..

  34. Kaitlan says

    This book looks so cool. a great way to get kids to eat different foods they normally wouldn’t. Great Job!!!

  35. Alison says

    I’m so excited to get this book! I love corn dogs and the panza-whats-it looks a amazing!

  36. Lynne says

    Congrats on the book….but seriously, how about posters of the goodies on a stick…..I have a spot in my kitchen for it?

  37. says

    I had such fun looking at your photos above! Everything on a stick. What a creative twist on finger foods. My kids and I loved the french fries on a hot dog (on a stick). I would love one of these cookbooks as I am always trying to come up with fun finger foods for teens!


  1. […] On a Stick! – I met Matt at SXSW.  We were on a panel together and had a great time.  His new book, On a Stick!, just came out this week and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.  What a fun idea for a book.  Chicken and Waffles on a stick anybody?  (@ Matt Bites) […]