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. Tres Amie says

    Hmmm… looks like my original post didn’t make it in! I would so love to have a copy of your book. So you either have to send me one or I will have to buy one 😀

  2. says

    I have lived in Seoul and eaten the tater tot/french fry hot dog! and chicken on a stick….my blog has a post about food on a stick! pick me pick me!!!!

  3. Waltzing Aurélie says

    I know, I know I’m not living in the United States and even if I can’t enter for the Giveaway I would like to say how great your pictures are and that I’m looking forward to the book it’s gonna be fun 😀

  4. says

    I am already craving the Mojito Melon. YUM!

    Do we get bonus points for tweeting about the giveaway? Because, I did!

  5. Elizabeth Mendoza says

    I followed you from Bakerella’s website… wow. Congrats on the new book.
    I can’t wait to try some of your ideas! Food on a stick…love it!

  6. says

    I definitely think the spaghetti and meatballs brings the good kind of laughter! I’m actually a bit jealous that I don’t have one right in front of me right now! =)

    Even if I don’t win the book, you better believe I’ll be snagging myself up a copy soon! =)

  7. Heather S. says

    Now I’m craving a corndog for breakfast! That’s perfectly normal, right?

  8. Melissa says

    Ah! This book looks amazing! Congratulations! I absolutely love your blog, and can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of your book.

  9. Donna says

    I was intrigued to see all the varities of foods you were able to put on a stick. I love many of them, but don’t have them often. The fried pickles are delicious, who would have ever thought. Would love to get my hands on a copy of the book.

  10. Jocelyn says

    This looks fabulous! I’m always trying to figure out what to bring to potlucks and this book is just in time for all those spring BBQs. Great job!

  11. says

    This looks so yummie! Kids will eat anything on a stick and to tell the truth, so will I. Your pictures look very delicious. I would enjoy recreating those delicious treats. I learned about your book from Nick at Macheesmo. =)

  12. Sophie Jeffery says

    Found you via Bakerella, where I went to brush up on cake pop tips before my daughter and I attempt strawberry cake pops coated in chocolate, and now you’ve got me wanting fried pickles and fruit dip instead! The book looks fab, and will definitely purchase if I don’t win one of these :)

  13. says

    I absolutely have to try spaghetti and meatballs on a stick now!! Although I’m thinking I would wind the spaghetti around the meatball like you see those rubber band balls on people’s desks. LOL Although it wasn’t Panzanella, I did spend much of last night spearing salads to go with tonight’s cookout. Varied combinations of bocconcini, grape tomatoes, artichokes, pepperoni, olives, sweet/hot peppers, etc. I don’t particularly care for seafood, but your shrimp picture is so beautiful it really made me want some!! I hope I win! Was supposed to get a review copy, but I got two copies of The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches from Quirk, so I’m thinking I got put on that list twice rather than on each list once. :(

  14. says

    I hope you made it the MN State Fair, we know how to do things on a stick around here. I found your blog through Macheesmo today. I’ll be back often.

  15. natalie says

    love the concept. reminds me of the good old iowa state fair. :) looking forward to making the panzanella.

  16. Vivian says

    I’m so “on the stick with this!” Best way to eat food IMHO. So, stick it to me…please.

  17. Joey says

    When we were little kids our mom wouldn’t let us eat corn dogs. I think it was a feminist stand against Hot Dog on A Stick. Thevwomrn have to wear tight shirts, rainbow phallic hats, and pump that lemonade on a raised platform with mirrors behind their back. But imagine my surprise in college to discover that corn dogd were AMAZING. I thank my mom for instilling good values in us but nit for depriving us of 18 years of corn dog goodness!

  18. KatieLou says

    Love your blog, love this book! I really want some coconut shrimp on a stick now. Mmmm.

  19. Sly Samonte says

    This is fun both for kids at heart and kids!!! The world loves food on the stick and I hope to be enjoying your book soon :) I wonder I’d your recipies will work in an air-fryer?! Congrats on the book Matt!

  20. Claire says

    Fantastic idea, congrats on the book! I love food on a stick, somehow it always makes me feel like I’m at a fun special event, like a gala for a museum opening, or a state fair!

  21. Jessica says

    The images look so cool and inventive … can’t wait to try a few of those myself!

  22. Craig says

    Six words — Mac and Cheese On A Stick!!

    Tastes awesome! Try it if you haven’t already!

  23. Michele says

    As a consultant dietitian working in nursing homes – these are great ideas for finger foods. At times, our residents cannot use utensils, and we try to provide foods that are appropriate for eating with their fingers. Great ideas here. Spaghet & meatballs on a stick – wow – now they can eat that too.
    Thanks for being so creative.

  24. Karen C says

    You are awesome! Your style and humor are the right ingredients for stick food. I can’t wait to entertain with these recipes. Thanks!

  25. amy says

    oh my goodness. i am trying to contain the drooling over my desk. everything looks heavenly and delightful! the fruit skewers look perfect for summer. i’m curious to see what’s sprinkled on top… coconut? i’d love another fruit dip recipe too. and bruschetta on a stick!? LOVE it! pleeeaase, STICK ME! i’ll love that book to pieces!

  26. Kathleen says

    Do you prefer skewers or popsicle-flat style sticks? Just curious. These are so creative, I love it! I had ribbon fries on a stick this year & am still dreaming of them

  27. Cindy says

    The recipes look Fab. Can’t wait to try them out at our upcoming lawn party – where yes, cocktails pair with almost everything.

  28. says

    This is incredible. You just inspired me on what foods I am having at my wedding, foods on a stick, the caprese, the coconut shrimp, I love it. Now off to get the book so I can show the caterers. And yes, my love of corn dogs burns strong from Hot Dog on A Stick in the original Mission Viejo Mall to the Swap Meet at the Orange County Fairgrounds (before it was called The O.C. Fair).

  29. says

    My boyfriend makes fun of me because I like corn dogs. He says I’m eating “little kid food”. Screw him, corn dogs are PHENOMENAL.

  30. says

    Congratulations, Matt!! You are a constant inspiration and no one deserves it more than you! xo.

  31. Syd says

    I can’t tell you how excited I am that there is a whole book devoted to the artistry and enjoyment of food on a stick. From the good old fashioned corn dog (which I have been addicted to since I was a kid despite its role in the premature loss of my front baby tooth, and when I learned to not bite into them with such voracity) to the those elegant Panzanella skewers, I’ll make it all, eat it all, and like it. Thank you for bringing such a bold and tasty subject to the forefront and I wish you much success with it. I promise if I get a copy, I will yell it from the rooftops :)

  32. terra says

    I would love this book. My husband used to always talk about a restaurant that served everything on a stick. I would laugh, but it looks like it could be done!

  33. says

    Congratulations, Matt!!! So excited to watch your continued success! (and, yes – totally crazy about the corn dog!)

  34. says

    This is SOOOO COOOOOL!!! I love food on a stick! My favorite is this fried cheese on a stick that I had as a kid at a renaissance fair.. have never been able to find anything like it again.

  35. lisa says

    Matt!!! I didn’t even realize there was a void in my life until I saw a posting about your fabulous new book, and now I am keenly aware of it. I can’t stop daydreaming of food-on-a-stick parties!

    So, I have a small obsession with the corn dog, and possibly everyone in my small town (ehm, very small town) knows. I really need your book, because we have no street food here, and it’s just cruel to have to wait all year for a pronto-pup (what we affectionately call our corn dogs at the fall fest) or anything on a stick for that matter. I am willing to dive into your book and bring it to the people! – for their sakes of course. :)

  36. says

    Food on a Stick has always been a favorite of mine and now that I know you can have just about everything on a stick, it probably just moved to the top of my list.

  37. cindy says

    Great for my grandkids. Fun for everybody. Great at parties and receptions and picnics. I love it. I also love corn dogs and chicken on a stick at chinese is one thing all the grandkids love. Congrats!

  38. Marilyn says

    Sooo I have a whole bunchaa spare sticks at home that I’m just dying to use..If you give me a copy of your book, On a Stick, then maybe my sticks will for sure be put too GREAT use : )