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

    Truly, a brilliant concept for a cookbook, because really, everything DOES taste better on a stick! I’d love to try my hand at veganizing some of the recipes. :)

  2. Diane P says

    Foot long corn dogs on a stick!!!! Yumm-O!!! What a cleaver idea for a book! What fun it will be to tell my family dinner is being served on a stick!!

  3. says

    Can I tell you my stomach hurts, just a little, looking at some of those photos? :) Thank you for taking one for the team and trying some of the things that I would be too chicken to try! I have to say, my kids LOVE food on a stick – the fair is such fun with them! Can’t wait to see the book!!!

  4. says

    What a fun concept…and we know the photos will be amazing. I need your creative nudge I guess…I’m thinking my only ‘stick’ food is the standard grill skewers with a meat/veggie assortment!

    Big congrats Matt.

  5. Marilyn says

    Congratulations Matt! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I win a copy.
    j dot marilyn dot evans at gmail dot com

  6. Margie says

    ON A STICK!!! Congratulations on the accomplishment! Looking forward to reading it!

  7. belmontmedina says

    I had no idea you could put this many things on a stick! Uh, spaghetti and meatballs? YES PLEASE

  8. says

    What a grand idea for a cookbook! I visited Beijing a few years ago and was definitely amazed at all the food-on-a-stick options. The craziest seafood and bugs you can imagine. Don’t worry, there were some really tasty (at least for me) options too. Goes to show that no matter where you are in the world, food on a stick has fans.

  9. Erin says

    In Seattle there’s a bar that does corndogs (both regular & veggie) covered in cream cheese, grilled onions & sriracha. Yum.

    Also, congrats on the book!

  10. says

    Congratulations on your bouncing baby book!

    The hot dog covered in fries blew me away. I visited Korea about ten years ago and I don’t think they had this culinary delight back then, but if they had I confess- I would have skipped the bibimbap, the kimchi, the everything of it all and gone right for this awesomeness.

    Wish I’d seen this sooner- the panzanella skewer would be perfect for the Mother’s Day picnic I’m being expected to throw together at the last minute this weekend. My mother decided no restaurant this year and what better way to pull a 180 than to go the steak on a stake route?

    Congrats again! 😀

  11. says

    Congratulations Matt! My first on-a-stick experience was the summer I moved to the states (and more specifically, to Minnesota) when I attended (duh) the State Fair. What a sight to behold, all those things on sticks. Giant bacon on a stick, corn dogs on sticks, chicken fried steak on a stick…the list goes on. I’d love a copy of your book!

  12. Liz Morlock says

    I just started following you on twitter and am so glad I did! I love the idea for this book: food on a stick is very appropriate for recent college graduates (me!). So perfect for dinner parties that my friends and I throw…I can’t wait to try some of the recipes; especially for summer (the coconut shrimp paired with some fresh sangria sounds delish)

  13. says

    Mazel Tov! I’m so so so so happy for you! I’m so excited to see the book. It looks as amazing as I knew it would. I’m sure I can find a way to fit these beautiful treats into my new eating lifestyle. And the Panzanella … well, that’s a given! It will be the first recipe I try. If I don’t win, I’m heading to Amazon for my own, albeit unsigned copy.

  14. Jen says

    Skewers of steak, pineapple, bell peppers, and mushrooms are so in my future.

  15. sandee says

    This book looks awesome, I am always trying to get the food on a stick movement to catch on with my family!

  16. Jenn Gray says

    Matt! I’ve loved coming to your site for a long time now but this is the first time I’ve commented. I’ll go ahead and admit that you won me over with the corndogs. I’m a fiend for food on sticks and can’t wait to see this book! Nice job and thanks for helping me feel that my limited palate MIGHT just have a place in the “real world.”

  17. says

    I love the chocolate dipped waffles and the chicken and waffles. I just love waffles! I’d buy the book, but can’t afford it. Need to fund a hip replacement instead. Congrats on your continued success instead.

  18. says

    I love the chocolate dipped waffles and the chicken and waffles. I just love waffles! I’d buy the book, but can’t afford it. Need to fund a hip replacement instead. Congrats on your continued success.

  19. Ann says

    Corndogs are simply the most amazing food evah. Congrats on your book – wishing you all success!

  20. Colby says

    Congrats on the book, I’m sure it will do really well. It’s 10am and now I’m starving for corn dogs (preferably with an appetizer of fried pickles on a stick)!

  21. Gumbogirl says

    I do love food on a stick! My favorites are corndogs made with andouille sausage and a creole sauce for dipping.

  22. Cheryl Stoy says

    Congrats! I am so proud of you. And I want you to know that the pictures had me singing songs from the old musical “State Fair” and looking out on the patio with much longing at our BBQ (which just yesterday had a light coating of late season snow) . Can you say “Springtime in the Rockies”?

  23. Maggie Drake says

    Wowie Zowie I want to have a bite of each of the scrummy yumptious items pictured in the article. Stick food is my kind of food; I am rather barbaric and embarrass my husband often when we are out by picking up whatever I can with my fingers. My favorite summer dinner is eating skewered bbq-ed yummies and throwing the empty sticks in the open fireplace–dishes done!

  24. says

    Yay, what a fun book! I will definately make the spaghetti and meatballs on a stick for my 8 year old daughter. The style of the book is so cute, I want to eat it all up! I never realized you could put so many things on a stick to eat, and like you say, it leaves the other hand free for refreshment, perfect, just in time for summer!

  25. Maggie Drake says

    ps I think jai should get a book. I had 2 hip replacements, and the difference in my life is amazing, but it’s not an easy (and it’s expensive) thing to go through.

  26. Alison says

    Once, I ate chicken on a stick, or so I thought. Turned out it was alligator. I’m not a fussy eater, I don’t know why my friends didn’t tell me until later!

    (It was delicious!)

  27. Margie says

    The spaghetti and meatballs on a stick has me intrigued. Oh my goodness. Bad idea to read the food blogs before lunch.

  28. Ann Eason says

    OMGGGOSKSSSSSSSSS… I love “Stickfood” cannot wait to check out your new book!! Hope I am a Big Winner!!!

  29. says

    Congratulations! I so love how much fun you’re having with the cookbook–so refreshing to see a cookbook that doesn’t take itself too seriously. :-)

    Also–spaghetti and meatballs on a stick? I think you just accomplished the impossible.

  30. Amy Cantilina says

    Found your blog from my friend Carrie Vitt. Your foods on a stick look yummy! I’m hungry now…need your cookbook so I can fix some of these foods on a stick myself!

  31. says

    oh my gosh this book looks so amazing! i love your photography – combined with your sense of humor in your writing style – wins all around!

    if i win can it be shipped to my bff who lives in the US…i live in Canada…

  32. Estie says

    In L.O.V.E. with the spaghetti and meatballs on a stick! Congrats-the book looks super fab!

  33. Steve says

    Great concept! First time I see spaghettis on a stick.
    Added to my wishlist


  34. Lori Tracy says

    Hey … you stole my idea! Awesome … can’t wait to see it and make some of your dishes. Fun, fun, fun! Now you need to write the next book in the series “On a Stick – Cocktails!” If you do, I want credit for it. Send me a book or I’ll have to go out and hunt one down! Yippee for you from Columbia, Maryland!

  35. says

    YUMMY YUMMY! Your book is coming in the mail as we speak but I’ll gladly take a signed edition and pass my amazon.com one to a friend :) I can’t wait to read/try recipes in the book ! (and yes, I love food on a stick.. I have to admit I definitely ate a corn dog for breakfast…. shh don’t tell)

  36. says

    Congratulations! Those coconut shrimps look incredible. I am entering my husband Bob, he lives in the States. Good luck with the sale of the book.

  37. Sharon Miro says

    I love this concept and just sent this link to a few people that NEED to buy this –for themselves and for me. What a fun party it would make

  38. says

    Congratulations Matt! What a thrill this must be for you to have your work in print! I have enjoyed following along with your adventures. Cheers to you!