It’s not often that a recipe book captures our imagination so much that we go on a crazed hunt for a variety of sticks – but this one did. It’s called On a Stick, and it’s food blogger Matt Armendariz’s (of mattbites.com) first cook book.
We’ve got to hold our hands up and say we love a concept cook book. Our shelves groan with long tomes on classic cooking, but this is something else – a great dollop of quirky fun as well as food that is unlike anything else we’ve seen. His recipes are perfect for summer parties and barbecues and, even though some seem a little strained, most of them benefit from being on a stick.
There’s classic antipasti skewers, kebab-type skewers (we loved the chicken teriyaki recipe) and plenty for dessert, like a deconstructed strawberry cheesecake that went down really well here. Recipes are easy to make, require a smallish number of ingredients and, even though this is American, there’s nothing we couldn’t get here in it. And the photos are really inspiring.
Which leads us to the sticks. The book begins with an overview of the different types of sticks you need for the recipes. There’s your basic cocktail stick, then the harder to find bamboo sticks and forks. It wasn’t until shopping in Biarritz that we came upon the holy grail of sticks and found each and every one in the book, and bought them all.
We can’t wait to have a summer ‘on a stick’ themed party, with mojito cocktail cubes, frozen bananas, fish and chips on a stick, crispy coconut shrimp and breakfast pancake dogs*. If you like the sound of the book, why not head over to our shop to take a closer look. Go on, stick it to the man!
*Warning: some recipes are seriously bad for the waistline…
Considering how much we like making up our own recipes, it’s impressive to see that we’ve made plenty from this book already, and it’s splattered with food from the kitchen. Inspirational.
Of the 80 recipes, some don’t hit the mark: do we really need a recipe for bratwurst (sausage) or pizza on a stick? And things like deep-fried macaroni and cheese and deep-fried ravioli make our arteries panic.