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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Brian May 3, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Everything tastes better on a stick! Looking forward to getting a copy. Nice job.

Theresa Hauenstein May 3, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Ooo! Pick me! Pick me! Love your blog!

Lilah Warn May 3, 2011 at 10:01 pm

So much fun!! I love food on a stick! Your book looks great– so creative and yummy.

Spring May 3, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Oh goodness! Does it get any better than food on a stick? No, no it doesn’t. Put any food on a stick and it immediately makes it fun. I think this is the coolest cookbook concept I’ve seen in ages. My husband will die when he sees this. Hmm, maybe I shouldn’t show him then…

SJS May 3, 2011 at 10:34 pm

spaghetti and meatballs on a stick!?! Are you SERIOUS?? done and done. First recipe I’m going to try out. =D

Angella May 3, 2011 at 10:34 pm

Thank you to Bakerella for sharing your site just in time to find out about this book!!! Love your site!
Oh my… I so need to taste those pickles.
And those popcorn balls.
And that fruit dip would be GREAT for my daughter!

Alda May 3, 2011 at 10:37 pm

The book looks yummy! A great treat, especially with summer coming up!

Lil @ sweetsbysillianah May 3, 2011 at 10:44 pm

have you ever tried grilled stinky tofu on a stick? discovered them on my last trip back to taiwan, and they are awesome! i dare ya to try if you ever get to visit! ;) they have great corn dogs too!

congrats on the awesome book…the spaghetti and meatballs on a stick is genius!

Jill May 3, 2011 at 11:50 pm

Your new post and book just took me back to 1996 Tokyo where we went to a Yakatori restaurant that was amazing. Food on a stick is universal! Good in any language!

Emily R May 4, 2011 at 12:14 am

I am so excited to have come across you blog, and would LOVE to win your book!! My 5 year old so has autism/sensory processing disorder and cannot stand to get anything on his hands, therefore, EVERYTHING he eats must he properly skewered! Even chicken nuggets and burgers are eaten with a fork stabbed through the middle in our house!!!!
I would love to get some new “clean-finger” food ideas, and I think you spaghetti and meatballs on a stick would especially be a hit!!!
Congrats on the book!!!! Best wishes!

sophia May 4, 2011 at 12:44 am

Holy shit! The first thing I’m gonna make is that Spaghetti & Meatballs On A Stick!!!

Cinderella Gatcheco May 4, 2011 at 1:06 am

You had me at Corn Dog.

Congratulations on the new cookbook. Looking forward to checking it out.

Sally May 4, 2011 at 1:45 am

Not Fair, I’ll pay the postage to Australia. I need all the help I can get – our”food on a stick” culture starts & stops with Satay. It would be educational! Aside from my NEED of your new book, I love, love, love your site & only wish we could get half of your ingredients here.

Kathryn May 4, 2011 at 3:34 am

This book looks so exciting! I’m in Asia and everything is eaten on a stick and it’s fabulous. The other day I had quail eggs on a stick – delicious. I can’t wait to put some of my American favorites on sticks. I get back this summer and I’m starting with the Panzanella – a perfect summer treat!

Charlotte Moss May 4, 2011 at 3:41 am

I’m totally desperate to try that spaghetti and meatballs recipe!

Julie May 4, 2011 at 4:19 am

What a fun book! And as a mom of 3 I know that I can almost sell any food to my kids if it’s on a stick :) I’d love to try the chicken & waffles!

Dory May 4, 2011 at 4:26 am

The spaghetti and meatball on a stick made me giggle then made me want it really badly! Something I would definitely serve at a get together. It would be great!

Jamie May 4, 2011 at 4:44 am

food on a stick? absolutely. thank you taking all our favorite dishes and placing them on the end of a stick. fun, convenient and genius.

Lori May 4, 2011 at 4:45 am

You’ve got everything there but a stick on a stick! This looks wonderful. Congrats and much success. I hope you come to my part of the country on a huge book tour.

KateMC May 4, 2011 at 4:55 am

Wow! Such dedication, you deserve a break after so much work. The book looks wonderful. So many ideas. Spaghetti and Meatballs would have to be the first recipe I would try. What fun!

When is the book tour?

snippets of thym May 4, 2011 at 5:07 am

I was just here yesterday enjoying your new cookbook launch. I am back again today to offer up my recent rhubarb recipe from “White on Rice” blog. Here it is:
How apropos too. I just discovered rhubarb this year. I was attracted to this recipe photo in the Martha Stewart Living magazine for April – “Poached Rhubarb with Elderflower Sabayon”. First, I learned that rhubarb is scarce in the South. When I saw some, I latched on to it. Second, poaching the rhubarb didn’t look like much, and I got a little skeptical. Third, in conclusion, this was one of my best desserts ever. The look mysterious but the subtle, sweet, tangy flavors were divine. I snatched more hard-to-find rhubarb and made a “rhubarb mostarda” to go with my grilled pork chops this past weekend. Savory this time but none the less delicious; perfect pairing with pork. Here is the “Poached Rhubarb with Elderflower Sabayon”…

Jeff May 4, 2011 at 5:40 am

Holy spaghetti on a stick that is freaking awesome. Lol what a great idea for a cook book. My wife has a bunch of sticks in the kitchen cabinets hummm if i win the cook book ill be able to get rid of them. Well even if i don’t win it ill have to go buy it and do the same.

Katie K May 4, 2011 at 6:09 am

Hurray! Food on sticks = awesome.

victoria May 4, 2011 at 6:13 am

What a fun recipe book! Can’t wait to win it :)

Louise May 4, 2011 at 6:25 am

So happy for you Matt. I just love corn dogs. I know they are not good for me but……. I hope to win your On A Stick cookbook. Thank you for all your great recipes.

Lauren May 4, 2011 at 6:51 am

I never ate corn dogs growing up but all your foods on a stick look so good I may have to give them a try! Thanks for all your hard work and tasting for the book, looks amazing.

Karla Gore May 4, 2011 at 7:14 am

I really want to have an “On a Stick” party! Everything looks so good…..especially the smores (which I saw on another site). Please pick me!

Danny May 4, 2011 at 7:18 am

if they could combine stinky dofu on a stick with fried chicken… man, heaven.

Jenn May 4, 2011 at 7:26 am

Congrats on the book! In hope of winning a book I would love to share with you where my love for corndogs began. It all started back years ago when I was in highschool working in the mall at a store, which will remain anonymous, that sold nothing but pretzels. Don’t get me wrong…I still crave a pretzel with cheese and mustard whenever I have a lay over in Las Vegas…but there was nothing better than taking a break to grab a huge corndog from the store next door to break the monotony of my pretzel prison. To this day whenever I have a corndog I always experience a tiny sense of breaking away.

Jen May 4, 2011 at 8:10 am

Genius idea for a book! Sometimes eating food while taking a stroll is one of the loveliest thing, and when it’s on a stick it make it all the more enjoyable and convenient. While I do like corndogs, I’m more intrigued by the food I’ve seen so far in the photos… my roommates will begin to think me insane… because for the next week I’m going to be putting everything on a stick!

Melissa May 4, 2011 at 8:26 am

I’ve been experimenting with grilled meatballs on a stick. Never thought to add spaghetti! Can’t wait to try it.

heather May 4, 2011 at 8:28 am

I wonder if Matt’s spent any time at the Wisconsin State Fair — we love our food on a stick apparently! The book is crave-able.



Christy S May 4, 2011 at 8:39 am

How fun. Food on a stick turns every meal into a party.

Nicole May 4, 2011 at 8:49 am

Too much fun! I can’t wait to see the looks on my kids faces when I serve them spaghetti and meatballs on a stick!

Celeste May 4, 2011 at 8:49 am

Love your blog! Can’t wait to love your book! Congratulations!

gianna pini May 4, 2011 at 9:32 am

I like a lot the idea.
My mother did it always when I was a child.
I remember how amusing it was!

Jaycen May 4, 2011 at 9:34 am

I’ve always felt that there needs to be more food on sticks.

I’m a total sucker for anything served on a stick (weak pun intended). What a beautiful book!

Sarah May 4, 2011 at 9:38 am

Congratulations! The book looks fantastic.

Spaghetti & meatballs on a stick? Pure genius.

Erica May 4, 2011 at 9:41 am

Such a fun & yummy book! Congratulations!

Alyson May 4, 2011 at 9:42 am

Who doesn’t like food on a stick. Anything that makes food more portable is great. A toothpick is a very tiny, stick, right? So on that line of thinking, it would have to be a pig in a blanket.

Benjamin May 4, 2011 at 9:58 am

Wow, I love the photography of your delicious creations. Chicken and Waffles on a stick is a surefire brunch success. Mimosa me.

Kay May 4, 2011 at 10:19 am

I love the fried pickles!

Cari May 4, 2011 at 10:19 am

“On a Stick” makes me nostalgic for the state fair where EVERYTHING comes on a stick!

Stephen May 4, 2011 at 10:44 am

I love food on a stick! Sometime I even put a stick in my cup just to use a stick with everything I can! Please give me the book so I can have more ideas where I can put a stick!!

Quyen May 4, 2011 at 10:55 am

Oh my gosh! I love this concept…I’m a big fan of corn dogs and can’t wait to see all the fun party food recipes and photos!! Congratulations on your book!!

Jess May 4, 2011 at 11:57 am

the spaghetti and meatballs on the stick is giving me cravings! this book will make for some fun weekends :)

Haley May 4, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Everything looks delicious!! I saw a pic of the smores on another blog- beautiful!

Peter May 4, 2011 at 12:47 pm

I made myself sick one year tryin’ all the deep fried foods at the Orange County Fair. Although, I haven’t tried deep fried butter yet.

penandra May 4, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Congrats on your book — and that your [obviously proud] sister already has her copy! I am quite intrigued by spaghetti and meatballs on a stick!

Nicole May 4, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Ooooh. I want. I would buy a copy online, but I want you to write sweet nothings in it.

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