Book Review – On A Stick! by Matt Armendariz

I came in from the mailbox carrying a large padded envelope.

“Ohhhh, what did you get Mom!” My daughter runs into the room and takes a giant leap onto the couch.

“I am hoping this is my new cookbook On A Stick! by a fellow blogger named Matt Armendariz. He wrote a cookbook all about foods you can eat on a stick. Suddenly a light bulb went off in my head. “You know, you might like this one.”

At this, she tartly shakes her head and turns away from me,”Nope I don’t like cooking.”

I open the package and begin flipping through the book. All I see are bright colorful photos of dozens of different foods on a stick. Awesome. Pretty pictures should help pique her interest.

“Wow! There is Beef Teriyaki on a Stick, that’s one of my favorite fair foods.” I rip a strip of note paper from the deck near the door and wedge it in the spine to save the page. “Here are Breakfast Pancake Dogs and Fried Pickles, you love pickles! Pizza Skewers…”

Her head whips around to face me, “Wait, pizza on a stick? Can you even do that?”

“Yea! He even has cool deserts. I flip to the back half of the book. “Looks like we have Caramel Popcorn Balls on a Stick, Deep Fried Candy Bars and Fudge Pops…

She snatches the book from my hands. “Deep fried candy bars!”

I leave her with the new book silently thanking Matt for his creative genius. I knew this book was full of great party food, but I never thought about my picky 7 year old. After sifting through the pages for a half an hour she had made a list of a dozen things she wanted to try. And most were from the savory section. That’s like triple the things she was willing to eat before. Who knows what I will be putting on a stick next.

So far we I have made Pizza on a Stick, Doughnut Holes, Smoothie Pops, Virgin Cocktail Pops and Fudge Pops. The pizza rolls were fun to make, but I didn’t get a single one that looked pretty. So it must require some practice, or maybe a different knife, to get the pretty pizza whorls that Matt has in his book. Brae ate two for lunch and actually sat at the table and watched me make them instead of refusing to have anything to do with the process. That was nice (thank you Matt!).

The doughnuts were awesome and fun to make. Tender clouds of dough covered with a vanilla sugar glaze and best eaten the day they are made. I didn’t have a small round cookie cutter so I used the smallest ornament cutter I had in my Christmas cookie set and ended up with small doughnuts. To avoid gaining any more weight I gave them away to everyone who crossed my path. They all raved. Brae said, “The taste was my favorite part. They were awesome!”

The two recipes that have found a permanent place in our everyday lives are the smoothie pops and the virgin cocktail pops. It’s become a habit to make them every morning with my breakfast smoothie. Half the smoothie for breakfast, the other half is poured into small cups with sticks and put into the freezer. By 4 pm they are ready for our afternoon snack. The cocktail pops are even easier. Just fill a cup with berries, frozen or fresh, then fill with juice (or alcohol), add a stick and freeze. Takes 30 seconds. Believe it or not the plain orange juice ones are my daughters favorite.

Banana Berry Smoothie Pops

Inspired by my breakfast smoothie and Matt’s Buttermilk Smoothie Pops from On A Stick!

  • 1 small banana
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (I use my homemade stuff)
  • 1/4 cup frozen berries
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup ice

1. Blend all ingredients together in a blender. Pour into popsicle molds or small paper cups. Add popsicle sticks and freeze for 3-4 hours or until frozen solid.

Makes about 4 pops depending on the size of your molds.

Virgin Cocktail Pops

From Matt’s Cocktail Pops from On A Stick!

  • frozen or fresh berries and/or other fruit cut into small chunks
  • fruit juice (orange, apple, pomegranate or a mixture of your favorites)
  • popsicle sticks

1. Fill small paper cups or popsicle molds with fruit. Add popsicle sticks in the center. Add enough juice to fill the cup and freeze for 3-4 hours or until frozen solid.

Matt’s book is a great addition to a family or hostess’s bookshelf. There is something for everyone in here. You can find Matt’s book On A Stick! at your local bookstore or on Amazon.

*This review is my honest opinion of Matt’s book. I was not paid to write this, but I did get a free copy of the book to review. I only write reviews for books I like and those I feel my readers would enjoy. If you would like me to review your food related book please contact me.