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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Gina @ Skinnytaste May 5, 2011 at 6:07 am

Love the concept, I’ve always admired your work, this book is genius!! Made me think of all my favorite foods I can make on a stick, ceviche? empanadas? why not!!

Ivy May 5, 2011 at 6:32 am

I came to visit from Bakerellas site & I’ve only read
Your 1st post & I’m already in love with you!
& this book sounds flippin amazing!!!!! ;)
I want to try ALL of the things u showed pics of
Specially that coconut shrimp!
Yum yum in my tum tum!
Congratulations on your new book ;)

Amanda Thompson May 5, 2011 at 6:43 am

You had me at fried pickles…

Samantha May 5, 2011 at 6:51 am

Who knew so many things would look so delicious on a stick?!?
Can’t wait to test some of the recipes.

Julie M. May 5, 2011 at 7:58 am

Me! Me! I can’t wait to check out the new book! Congrats guys!

Sheri May 5, 2011 at 8:01 am

Can’t wait to get my copy of ‘On A Stick!’ I was just about to order one but I’m holding off for now in hopes that I could win an amazing autographed copy instead! ;-)

Emily | Nomnivorous May 5, 2011 at 8:28 am

Um, I DO love corndogs. A lot.

Alecia @ Hoobing Family Adventures May 5, 2011 at 8:29 am

I just had a baby on Sunday and one of my final meal cravings while pregnant was a corn dog.

Love your blog! Would love your book! :)

Angela May 5, 2011 at 8:49 am

All of those pictures made my mouth water!! I would love to try some of those recipes. Oh, and I do love corndogs! :)

Dr Fred May 5, 2011 at 8:59 am

I’ll bet your new book will be a flash point equal to the invention of corn dogs!

Hilary May 5, 2011 at 9:06 am

Would love to drool my way through your book!! But only if it’s delivered on a stick…

Nick (Macheesmo) May 5, 2011 at 9:12 am

SO awesome. Congrats Matt! Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy. ;)

Beth May 5, 2011 at 9:35 am

OMG! I just found your site today. What luck! I love, love, love food on a stick. I will definitely be buying this book and trying the panzanella on a stick first thing. I’ll be baaaaaaaaaaaaack!

Heather Johnson May 5, 2011 at 10:04 am

Totally makes me hungry! Looks like a fabulous book!

Tina May 5, 2011 at 10:23 am

So fun…can’t wait to have a week of “on a stick” themed meals…the fam is going to love it!!

Angel May 5, 2011 at 10:42 am

Chicken + waffles on a stick = GENIUS!!! And I’m with you on Roscoe’s–nobobdy does it like them.

Diana May 5, 2011 at 11:00 am

I don’t need to win a copy of the book, I expect mine to arrive soon! I just wanted to say that I’m so proud of you! WAY TO GO!

Jaci Gerber May 5, 2011 at 11:08 am

This book looks amazing! What fun. Love to have a copy ;)

Claire in CO May 5, 2011 at 11:39 am

My 15 year old son would love this book! Any food on a stick is his favourite :)

Monica May 5, 2011 at 11:47 am

WOW! What an interesting concept and so glad you turned it to a book! My mouth fell opened when I saw the chicken and waffles on a stick but the best one ,the ultimate jaw dropper, was spaghetti and meatballs. What an amazing imagination you have. I’ve been following your blog for awhile but this post might just take the cake….okay so I think I will make cake on stick…yeah yeah cake pops!

Krystal May 5, 2011 at 11:53 am

I just found your blog (googling fried mashed potato tacos) and I think I’ll be spending the next few days here. :)

And your book? Right up my alley!

Jeannette May 5, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Spaghetti on a stick! Yes please! :)

patti morfeld May 5, 2011 at 12:09 pm

so happy for you! Congrats-the book looks beautiful and I too look forward to spaghetti and meatball on a stick!

Emma May 5, 2011 at 12:16 pm

This is incredible! I have a theory that everything should be eaten on a stick. With this book, I will test that theory.

Marla Solano May 5, 2011 at 12:23 pm

I heart sticks + i heart food = I heart your new book! congrats!

Alana D May 5, 2011 at 12:35 pm

I am sooo happy for you,I cant wait to get a copy of my own.

Marilyn May 5, 2011 at 12:37 pm

You’re book looks awesome. As awesome as food on a stick! It’d be awesome if I could have a copy with your awesome autograph!!!!! Thanks : )

Ken Burke May 5, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Food. Cool, fun food. On a stick! It’s the perfect fusion of well-crafted cooking with casual dining! A veritable cornucopia of one-hand wonders! Look Ma, one hand! Fun, funny, flavorful, fantastic, festive! Food that’s almost too much fun to eat!

(That might have been a bit over-the-top. Just a little. What can I say? Exuberance!)

Deb May 5, 2011 at 12:57 pm

I found your site by linking from Bakerella. What a great site! Your book looks awesome – I would love a copy!

rebecca May 5, 2011 at 1:05 pm

I think it’s a good laugh (at least from me)- something fun and different; a bit daring; and definitely unique! Can I have your autograph?

Terris May 5, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Food on a stick? Oh that is what I call pure genius. As a parent, I think you rule, because kids will eat anything on a stick. I can’t wait to see the book!

laura gillispie May 5, 2011 at 2:49 pm

I LOVE this idea! I can’t wait to get this cookbook, and hopefully it will be sign by you(hint hint!!). How can you laugh at spaghetti on a stick, when you so wisely point out that you can hold your wine in the other hand?!
I think you are awesome!

Ana May 5, 2011 at 3:17 pm

The photography in this book looks amazing! and I’m sure the recipes are as good at the photos!
I want a book! to make those cool waffles with chicken :)

Lael Gilbert May 5, 2011 at 3:19 pm

I need a book. Is the book actually on a stick, because that would be very cool. A little inconvenient, but very cool.

Kat Gray May 5, 2011 at 5:11 pm

haha you are definitely one of my favorite blogs to follow. I love that you love what you do and this book looks uh-mazingly fun!

Jeannie May 5, 2011 at 5:45 pm

Food on a stick and fried pickles… you’re my hero.

Amanda J. May 5, 2011 at 5:59 pm

I’m looking forward to your new book! I can already see from your sneak peek that gorgeous food abounds!

JenS May 5, 2011 at 6:01 pm

So amazing and fun! Your book looks like it’s full of new ways to present and eat off of sticks. Who knew? Fantastic. Can’t wait to get my hands on it to use for a kid’s party or adult fun night.
Congrats on the new website too. It looks great.

deva May 5, 2011 at 6:22 pm

usually, i get the stick. but if i got a book about food on a stick, that would be a major upgrade. also i get the shaft, but i’m not holding out for food on a shaft. that would be, you know, great too.

carol May 5, 2011 at 6:53 pm

I want that pickle on a stick with a good amber right about now. omg I might have to suggest that to my favourite pub. yum!

Kayshin May 5, 2011 at 7:00 pm

hmm…thinking of where i can buy me some cute sticks :) any suggestions for re-usable sticks? i know, probably not worth the hassle, but in the interest of being less wasteful?

congratulations on your book!

Catherine Christensen May 5, 2011 at 7:06 pm

I LOVE anything on a stick and anything fried!! Fried on a stick? AWESOME! Unfortunately, that is why I have never nor will I ever be a stick! Can you say pear-shape! Mmmm…. Pears on a stick… fried!! Gotta go find sticks and a fryer!!

Jenni May 5, 2011 at 7:11 pm

First of all, congratulations on being published! That is amazing!

Second, I have never been here before (I don’t think), and I wander over today only to see Foods on Sticks–one of my favorite things ever! Kismet!

When the fair rolls around, I always say to my Beloved, “Hey! The fair’s in town! Let’s go have Meat-on-a-Stick! Yay!” For real. I always say that.

And last, I love that you have come up with a dizzying variety of keen foods on sticks–not just fair food, but lighter fare, as well!

Again, sincere congratulations on your On A Stick!

Magycmyste May 5, 2011 at 7:52 pm

Mmmm…….. I’m already imagining the impaled yummy goodness! Congrats on the book!

Beth Cox May 5, 2011 at 8:19 pm

Love the blog and the book idea! I came here because of the Bakerella site and boy and I’m glad I did!

Carol May 5, 2011 at 10:18 pm

Congratulations on your book! Looking at all the pictures definitely made me hungry!

Jamie May 5, 2011 at 10:23 pm

I can’t wait to go out and get this book!!!! I just have to try the spaghetti and meatballs on a stick. It is a favorite of my two year, who only eats chicken nuggets, waffles, and spaghetti. Hopefully I will win one but if not I will be at the store next weekend buying a copy and planning my next party just for an excuse to eat for on a stick (like I need an excuse).

Cindy May 5, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Congrats on the book! LOVE the concept…and everything looks so good. I definitely love corndogs too, and can’t wait to try out the coconut shrimp!

memur May 6, 2011 at 12:34 am

send me one to Turkey, plz

Zhen May 6, 2011 at 1:35 am

Looks delicious! Awesome..

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