Cookbook Review: On a Stick! by Matt Armendariz

Well, the Husband and I are back from our trip out East.  We had a nice roadtrip to visit friends in NYC, and since we drove, were able to enjoy a few stops along the way!  Niagara Falls and Cooperstown being two of them.  I have a TON of great recipes to share this month, along with some giveaways to celebrate the one year anniversary of my blog!

One of my favorite things about summertime festivals is eating foods served on a stick.  For some reason, anything on a stick catches my eye.  Whether it’s a corn dog, a pickle, or some crazy bacon-wrapped, deep-friend concoction.  So when I came across this opportunity to review Matt Armendariz’s new cookbook entitled, “On a Stick”, I knew I couldn’t pass it up!  Matt had done some very thorough research at fairs in numerous states looking for inspiration from food vendors for his book, and consequently has a little bit of everything in here.  Matt has a great blog entitled Matt Bites, and it is full of wonderful photography and recipes.

The cookbook is divided up into two categories:  savory and sweet.  There’s also brief sections on ideas for sticks and skewers, as well as dips and sauces to accompany the recipes.  Every recipe is accompanied by a picture, which I love, as Matt takes wonderful photos.  Not every recipe is complicated either, but are all given a fun twist by (as you would expect) putting it on a stick!  It’s always nice to have some easy recipes, especially when preparing food for a crowd.  There are quite a few deep-fried choices, but he balances it out with some skewered ideas for fruits and veggies.

Overall I think that this is a really fun book.  It has recipes for various skill levels, and would even be fun for kids.  I have already tried a handful of recipes, and plan on making more very soon.  So far I have made the beef teriyaki, chicken satay, fried mozzarella with marinara sauce, fresh mango and chili powder, and cocktail cubs which consist of fruit juice and fresh fruit.  There are many more recipes I’d love to try.  Chicken and waffles on a stick, the breakfast pancake dogs that grace the cover, and the candy apples will be fun to make in the fall!


So far, mine and the Husband’s favorite recipe was the teriyaki sauce for the beef teriyaki skewers.  It was great on the beef, but we also enjoyed it on chicken the next night, and it would be great tossed in a veggie stir fry.  I really enjoy making sauces and dressings from scratch, and this recipe is definitely a keeper!

Beef Teriyaki

from “On A Stick!” by Matt Armendariz

(Serves 4)

12 wood or metal skewers

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

Teriyaki Glaze:

1 cup low sodium soy sauce

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 Tablespoons honey

1 Tablespoon mirin

1 teaspoon ginger

1 Tablespoon minced garlic

1 Tablespoon cornstarch

1/2 pound sirloin, thinly sliced into 5-inch strips

2 teaspoons sesame oil

salt and pepper

  1. Soak skewers in water 30 minutes. Preheat grill or grill pan to medium -high and brush with vegetable oil.
  2. Make the teriyaki glaze: In a small saucepan, stir together soy sauce, brown sugar, honey, mirin, ginger, and garlic. Simmer over medium heat 15 minutes. Meanwhile, stir cornstarch and 1/4 cup cold water in a small bowl until cornstarch dissolves. Whisk cornstarch mixture into soy sauce mixture and continue simmering an additional 5 to 7 minutes, until thickend. Remove from heat and let cool.
  3. In a bowl, toss beef strips with sesame oil. Thread each strip onto a skewer and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Grill skewers 5 minutes on each side. Then brush each with teriyaki glaze and grill an additional 4 minutes. Serve warm, brushed with additional glaze as desired.

This book is filled with great ideas for summer party foods – so run out and buy it now so you can have some friends over and enjoy it while the weather is still warm!

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