On a Stick, a book worth biting into

Monday 23 May 2011

Quirk Books recently sent me one of their newest cookbooks to review. I was thrilled to do so . . . a gal can never have too many cookery books! (Contrary to what Todd may think. What does he know. He's a man who doesn't cook!)

Matt Armendariz is a man who cooks however! Writer and photographer of the popular food blog, Matt Bites, he has recently published his first cookery book, On A Stick! A witty, beautifully photographed and tasty little book which dares to answer the question, which must be on everyone's lips . . . "Why do the world's most delicious foods taste even better served on a stick?"

It's a book just filled with dozens of delightfully tasty recipes for party/street/junk food and more . . . all served on a stick. Hors D'Ouvres, nibbles and every day fare for even the most discerning tastes . . . it is a happy and witty compilation of quite a variety of foods and tastes, with recipes for everything from tasty salad skewers to scrummy dessert kabobs, as well as a delicious variety of sauces and dips to go with them! (I hope he doesn't mind me borrowing this picture of him from off his page. I thought you would enjoy it and it might give you a taste of the flavour of this lovely book!)

Deep Fried Pickles served with some tasty Ranch Dressing anyone???

How about some delicious Chicken and Waffles skewers??? Tasty chicken tenders in a buttermilk marinade, coated in a waffle batter, deep fried and served with a scrummy maple butter syrup!

Or maybe some tasty Coconut Shrimp with a yummy Mango Salsa is more to your taste???

It's not all fried though . . . there's also tasty offerings such as Panzanella skewers with a tasty Sherry Vinaigrette! Those intrigued me and so I made my own version with what I had on hand in the kitchen . . . A Greek Version, with cucumber, Kamata Olives, Cherry Tomatoes, Green Peppers and Feta Cheese, drizzled with an Oregano Vinaigrette and they were really good too.

How about a Fruit Salad Skewer with a tasty Sweet and Fluffy Dipping Sauce???

But do you want to know which recipe really caught my eye and had me totally intrigued????

It was the Spam and Pineapple Skewers. I don't know why? I was not even sure that I liked Spam . . . but I did wonder . . . was it possible to make tinned mystery meat taste like something you might want to serve to a guest???

I made a smaller version as there are only two of us here in this house.

Know what?? They weren't half bad! I rather enjoyed them and I can tell you, if that man can make Spam taste this good . . . then this book is a winner! I can't wait to try out more of the recipes! There is a little bit of something in this book to please just about anyone's tastes. I highly recommend. Thanks so much to Quirk Books for having given me the opportunity to test it out, and thanks to Matt for having written a book that is not only colourful and fun, but also very tasty!

*Spam and Pineapple Skewers*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe
I wasn't sure about this, but went for it. They were incredibly tasty!

4 wooden skewers
spray oil
2 (12 ounce) tins of Spam. each one cut into 2 inch cubes
(You'll get about 4 cubes from each tin if you cut it this size)
2 cups of fresh pineapple cubes, cut the same size as the spam
3/4 cup of low sodium soy sauce (6 fluid ounces)
1/4 cup pineapple juice (2 fluid ounces)
1/2 cup soft light brown sugar (3 12 ounces)
1/4 cup sugar (2 ounces)
1 TBS peeled minced fresh ginger root
2 spring onions, thinly sliced

Soak the skewers ino water for about 30 minutes.

Whisk the soy sauce, pineapple juice, brown and white sugars and ginger root together in a saucepan. Simmer and stir over medium heat until the mixture thickens into a glaze. Let cool and then stir in the spring onions.

Preheat your grill or grill pan and spray with oil.

Thread the spam and pineapple onto the skewers, alternating them. Grill the skewers for about 6 minutes per side. Brush with the glaze and grill for an additional 2 minutes, turning over once. Serve warm.


  1. I saw the book on Matt's site and it's on my wish list. I had hoped he had a recipe to go with his picture of a hot dog covered with french fries. Since he doesn't I plan to try Spaghetti and Meatballs on a stick first. Today I'll be making another round of your Raspberry Buns. This weekend it will be your Almond and Custard Apple Dumplings!

  2. What a fun cookbook! I love that you're asked so often to endorse products--pretty good gig, Marie! And no wonder, for you always do them justice!

    I haven't tried Spam since I was a girl....you're ALMOST making me want to give it another try!

    Wishing you the most beautiful day, dear friend...sending so much love your way!


  3. Sounds like a great idea - that coconut shrimp and mango salsa does it for me!! Delicious -
    have a great day
    Mary oxo

  4. What fun!

    I baked bread. Photos on my blog, From the Heart.


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