I love when good things happen to good people, don’t you? Matt Armendariz is someone that inspired me to start this little food blog. His photography is beautiful, his zest for life contagious, and he is a really witty and charming writer. Not to mention that he is married to a food stylist, so his sets and props are simply amazing. His blog pushed me to create beautiful and simple pictures and to write from my heart. Matt recently had his first cookbook published, On A Stick, and I could not be happier for someone if I tried.
This book is a love letter to all foods that happen to find themselves on a stick. Who knew that spaghetti and meatballs belonged on a stick? I am game, are you? Chicken and waffles? Brilliant! This book was created for me because I hate to get my hands dirty when I eat. How fun would a party be featuring all foods on a stick? Everything is more fun when served on a stick, don’t you agree?
I decided to try the pizza skewers first because my oldest son was leafing through the book and thought that it was the best idea that he has ever heard of. I was the coolest mom ever (for a very brief moment, you know how fickle children are) when that evening, he was served the recipe that he oohed and ahhed over that morning. Really though, it was the most fun dinner we have had in awhile. Eating something that we normally eat in a new and different way really is amusing. My baby, asked for “pisa pop” for the next 5 meals.
I made a pesto version as well and it was divine. I am thinking that at my next birthday party, that we do a few versions. Some normal kid ones, but also some more grown up pizza skewers. Maybe a prosciutto, arugula, and blue cheese one or some really fancy dipping sauces, like a puttanesca. Grab this book and be prepared to have fun. And then really, really, want to throw a cocktail party in the near future.
skewers (I found corn dogs skewers that were sturdier and worked perfectly)
1/2 cup flour for rolling
pizza dough (I used 2 Trader Joe’s premade crusts)
1 jar pizza sauce
2 cups grated Mozzarella cheese
2 sticks butter
1/4 cup garlic cloves minced
Roll out your pizza dough into a 12-inch square. Mine is not so much a 12-inch square, but you get the idea. Spread some pizza sauce and cover with cheese.
Roll the pizza just like you would a cinnamon roll.
Cut the log into 1-inch slices and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet or one lined with parchment.
Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 12 minutes. Take the pizza rolls out and top with another spoonful of sauce and some extra cheese. Matt mixes his leftover sauce and cheese together, but I did not follow directions. Bad girl. Put the pizza rolls back into the oven for an additional 5 minutes or until the cheese is golden.
See those brown bits of cheese on the cookie sheet? Yeah, I’ll fight you for them.
You want to try the pesto version? Just swap out prepared pesto for spaghetti sauce. And no, you still cannot have any of the burnt cheese bits. All mine.
Insert a skewer and you are in business. My house smelled so garlicky that I was distracted and forgot to take a picture of the garlic butter sauce. Melt the butter over low heat in a saucepan until it melts. Pour the butter through a fine mesh sieve and throw the solids away. Put the butter back into the saucepan and add the minced garlic. Simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes.
I also served mine with ranch and extra red sauce.
This dude was in heaven.
His mother probably should have rethought the white shirt.
I know that the idea of Matt’s book is really for parties, but it got me thinking, I could probably get my kids to eat just about anything if it is on a stick. Thanks for the ideas Matt, here is to getting my kids to eat more fruit!