This weekend, it was just too hot to figure out how to use a knife and fork.

(I realize that’s something I should have been taught years ago.  And I’m sure I was.  But I’m just a spoon/eat-with-your-hands kind of gal.  And so it’s been years, people.  Years.

Apparently, it’s not like riding a bike.  You don’t just wake up one day and remember.  Once it’s gone, it’s gone.)

So when my Team In Training mentor buddy, Pam, and I decided to co-host a dinner party for our new mentees.  I did my best possible to avoid showing the world (which consists entirely of my teammates, coaches and physical therapist) just how culturally inept I can truly be.

Sticks.  I thought.  Sticks are the way to go.


Quite fortuitously, I was recently sent Matt Armendariz’s On A Stick to review.  It was like a treasure trove of prevent-Joanne-from-embarassing-herself recipes.

You can find a way to eat anything on a stick, is what I instantly realized upon paging through it.  Mojitos, waffles, pasta.

Really, it was eye-opening.  (And eye pleasing seeing as how every recipe is accompanied by a stunning photo!)

I might never have to be that weird girl sitting in the corner eating lasagna with her fingers ever again.  Which means I might actually go on a date in the next century or so.

This book.  Is.  Life-changing.


For the party I prepared lots of finger foods (enough for the 20 people we were expecting to have!), which I’ll share with you in good time.  But the sticks were some of my favorites.

Not only are they delicious and fun, but they serve as prime blackmail photo ops when olive oil inevitably ends up dripping down your coach’s chin and marshmallow somehow finds its way into your physical therapist’s hair.  And you’ve just happened to have brought your camera because, well, you’re a food blogger.  That’s what you do.

And, possibly the best part, when you’re done eating, you have a stick.

You can duel with it.

You can use it in lieu of mace when you’re running in Central Park at weird hours of the afternoon and are affronted by various members of NYC’s homeless population.

Multi-purpose. I love it.


On A Stick is divided into two sections – savory sticks and sweet sticks – and I knew I wanted to make one recipe from each.

The savory section is fairly meat heavy and while I would be okay just substituting tofu in for beef, I had a feeling that wouldn’t quite fly with the omni crowd I was cooking for.

So I went caprese.  You can never go wrong with caprese.  Mozzarella, tomato, and basil?  That is the holy trinity of summer food.  What makes these extra special is the sun-dried tomato touch.  It provides a great textural and flavor contrast and adds a bit of complexity to the caprese that we all know and love.

The sweet section proved to be much more difficult to pare down.  After much hemming and hawing and nail biting, I decided on marshmallows.  Because, while the caprese sticks were a safe bet, choosing to make marshmallows for 20 people when you’ve never ever before in your life even thought about making marshmallows?  Just a tad bit risky.

The idea kind of stuck especially when I realized that I could dye them purple, which is Team In Training’s color.  There was no going back after that.

Thankfully. Because these were also a huge hit.  It might have something to do with the “wow factor” of homemade marshmallows.  But then, there’s also chocolate and graham cracker crumbs.  And let’s be honest.  Can you resist these three things when combined?

Given how many of these sticks I ended up inhaling. I obviously can’t.

At least I have an ample supply of ammunition to show for it.  Which is good.  Because after realizing how much I ate…there are a lot of Central Park runs in my future.  A. Lot.

Picnik collage

Homemade Marshmallows
Makes 1 9×13-inch tray of marshmallows, adapted from On A Stick

bamboo sticks
1 cup sugar
4 tsp light corn syrup
4 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 tbsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
3 egg whites
powdered sugar, as needed

1. Line a 9×13-inch baking sheet or dish with parchment paper.  Stir gelatin into 2/3 cup water.

2. Place sugar, 2/3 cup water, and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.  Bring to a boil, stirring, and cook until sugar dissolves and temperature reaches 240.

3. Carefully pour sugar mixture into gelatin mixture, stirring constantly.  Let sit 5 minutes.

4. Using an electric mixer, whip egg whites until soft peaks form.  With mixer on medium-low speed, pour sugar-gelatin mixture into egg whites in a slow, steady stream.  Continue whipping until stiff peaks form.

5. Pour mixture into baking sheet or dish and refrigerate until stiffened, about 3 hours.

6. Turn marshmallows out onto a surface sprinkled with powdered sugar.  Peel off parchment.  Cut into squares and insert a bamboo stick in each.  (I skipped this step and just cut my marshmallows sans powdered sugar.)

S’Mores Sticks
Makes 1 9×13-inch tray’s worth, adapted from On A Stick

2 cups graham cracker crumbs (I used 6 sheets total)
4 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I used a mix of choc chips and 70% dark chocolate)
Homemade marshmallows (Recipe Above)

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place graham cracker crumbs in a shallow dish and set aside.  Spear marshmallows with sticks (if not already speared).

2. Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Allow to cool to room temperature.  Dip marshmallow sticks in chocolate, one at a time, and let excess drip fall off.  Roll in graham cracker crumbs adn place on prepared baking sheet.  Serve immediately.  Or, if you’d like the chocolate to set, refrigerate about 1 hour before serving.


Caprese Sticks
Makes 12, adapted from On A Stick

12 cocktail picks
1 cup small fresh mozzarella balls (I used marinated bocconcini)
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 bunch fresh basil leaves
Sea salt and extra virgin olive oil

1. Arrange mozzarella balls, both kinds of tomatoes, and basil leaves onto cocktail picks, mixing and matching in varied combinations.

2. Before serving, sprinkle with sea salt and a quick drizzle of olive oil, if desired.

DISCLAIMER: Although I received this cookbook for free, I did not receive any monetary compensation for doing this review. My thoughts and feelings on it are entirely my own.


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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81 Responses to Caprese Sticks and Homemade Marshmallow S’more Sticks…Review of On A Stick!

  1. These look SO fun! Hope to hear about more “on a stick” recipes in the future!! I could see becoming stuck on sticks… 🙂

  2. Jessie says:

    Dude! You made marshmallows FROM SCRATCH?? I am more than impressed, Joanne! I’ve tried a couple of times and always ended up with a sticky, gooey disaster (mostly because I’m too impatient while cooking the ingredients). Yours look professional!! I love how you dyed them purple – Joanne, always going above and beyond! 🙂 Your caprese sticks look like the perfect finger…er, stick food, too! Looking forward to seeing some more sticks!

  3. Simply Life says:

    nice work! what a fun dessert idea!

  4. Anything on a stick is better! I do a lot of kid parties and the fruit kebobs on a stick are always the most popular. Dangerous too with a bunch of preteens.

  5. Purple s’mores, that is so cool! Love the idea of a fresh tomato and a roasted one. So I’m betting everyone wants to be on your team with all that good stick food!

  6. Oh how much fun! How much fun to make and eat! I am now NEEDING that book of on a stick. I am so glad you posted this today because I am throwing a little party here in a few weeks and this is a perfect idea as the theme of the party! Yeah! Oh and those marshmallows. Lets just say if I would have been making them not sure if any would hve actually been left for the guests! LOL!

  7. Gorgeous photos! I love when food at big parties is easy to eat like this. So jealous of all your mentees getting to eat that food!

  8. OohLookBel says:

    Food on sticks is awesome. Purple food on sticks is heaven (on a stick).

  9. You do use fork – your fingers are like natural fork! Yes ammunition, airlines have not banned this yet. They probably will after getting ideas from your blog

  10. Joanne says:

    I’m hanging with the wrong crowd. I need to come to one of your parties …

  11. I just love the addition of sun dried tomatoes… great review. they sent me a copy as well, haven’t done my post yet, but there was chocolate, bananas and BACON involved.

    Purple marshmallows were a great idea… Well done!

  12. Kristen says:

    Those caprese sticks are more in line with my current diet, but the purple marshmallows have me drooling! What a fun review!

  13. Kim says:

    On a Stick is the very next cookbook I’m buying. It’s just too much fun to refuse. Your caprese sticks look gorgeous, but it’s those homemade marshamallows, chocolate, and graham crackers that are calling my name!

  14. Wow, I’m seriously impressed with the marshmallows. Attempting homemade ones is something I’ve been meaning to do…if for no other reason, purely to tell people that i had 😉 Yours look delicious! Silverware is SO overrated.

  15. vanillasugar says:

    hello! i can eat this way. everything delish on a stick? no dishes, no plates to clean up when it’s 1000 degrees outside. GENIUS

  16. megcjones says:

    these look so awesome! i keep reading reviews for on a stick on my food blogs…i really need to go out and buy it. those caprese sticks look perfect!

  17. Anything is better on a stick. Beautiful photography, Joanne!

  18. Lyndsey says:

    So…do you think it is because of school getting to you …or is it the heat? 😀 Ha! jk, I love the purple marshmallows. I never thought to make them myself either, but it’s good to know it’s a crowd pleaser! And how could you not love caprese on a stick?!! I think everything tastes better on a stick (I have several on my blog) hehe! You can’t go wrong, but I like your idea of dueling with the sticks when they are empty.

  19. Shannon says:

    Love foods on a stick! Forks are so overrated.

  20. Lora says:

    I am in love with those purple marshmallows. Wow.

  21. Amy says:

    Utensils schmensils. Who needs ’em, really. Cavemen did just fine without a knife and fork. And I bet they made their own toothpicks! Food on a stick…gosh if I served our food like this, Haley and Trevor might actually never move out. Ever.

  22. Danielle says:

    I keep saying Im going to attempt marshmallows one of these days – I love that you made them purple (my favorite color).


  23. I love on the stick foods but this is brilliant Jo,trust u to have the most wonderful reviews!
    Sorryyy , havent been around in a bit but see that i have lods of deliciousness to capture here.
    I wanna make a book of all those grogeous recipe from ur blog!
    Right from the coconut potato curry with basil to all the pastas and the CCC dough cupcakes and oh the crisp, babe u make me hungry and i still have an evening round of Power yoga and cardio weights to go to complete my workout for the day and cant stuff myself before that 🙂
    Deliciousness galore with lods of good reading ,love ur blog , always!

  24. Barbara says:

    I’ve heard about this book, Joanne. Sounds like fun! I’ve done the caprese sticks and also have made fruit sticks and sprinkled them with sauterne. But the s’more sticks are a killer recipe. OMG. Only you would make purple mallows!!

  25. Candace says:

    What a fun post! I love that you added sundried tomatoes to the caprese sticks. And the s’mores? Yum! I will be looking forward to more on a stick recipes!

  26. So “wow factor”! These are fun, stunning and delicious looking .

  27. I love food on a stick! It’s just so fun. Caprese looks like a delicious choice for a stick, but I can’t stop looking at those marshmallows. I would like to eat five, thank you.

  28. What a fun post. In the summer, food you can eat with your hands is the way to go. No shame in that!

  29. Hannah says:

    What a mallow- And bright purple, no less! I can imagine that kids of all ages would go nuts for that treat… And that includes 20 or 30+ year old kids. 😉

  30. Catherine says:

    Dear Joanne, Isn’t eating on a stick fun!!! I love both of the recipes. I agree being a foodie ~ blogger you must have a camera with you. Have a wonderful, blessed day. Catherine xo

  31. Megan says:

    I got that book to review as well and am looking forward to trying some of the recipes. I did think some of them were a little too far-fetched though… and things I would never think to put on a stick. But I like your logic… it’s always good to have a stick to use afterward… I mean what if someone tries to take a second marshmallow? You’d have to ward them off with a stick.

  32. That Girl says:

    My homemade marshmallows turn out so sticky!

  33. Gloria says:

    I love homemade marshmallows and these look wonderful Joanne! gloria

  34. Fun! Stuff on a stick makes the eating experience fun. I now have the urge to make kebabs.

  35. Amy says:

    “You can duel with it.”

    Dude. I thought the SAME THING. When my bro and sisters were little, we would have some epic swashbuckling toothpick fights. We also loved to pretend we were fierce ninjas who could break a a massive stack of boards. And we could…when those boards were toothpicks.

    I can’t wait to check out this book. People really can’t resist food on a stick, and I’m always looking for great tapas/appetizers.

  36. Julie says:

    eating food off of sticks is such a summer-fun thang and i can’t pretend to not be THRILLED about this! although i do really hate marshmellows there are pleeenty of treats that can be munched off sticks.

  37. Pam says:

    I’ve heard that book is excellent! I’ll take the caprese on a stick while I am SURE my kids would love the s’mores on a stick.

  38. Your homemade marshmallow is second to none! Gorgeous! Those caprese sticks look so lovely.

  39. Katie says:

    You could serve basically anything on a stick and people will think it tastes better. 🙂 It’s always more fun!

  40. woww.. awesome pictures.. Yumm 🙂

  41. Wow Joanne, that is the best thing and concept I have seen yet in blog world, absolutely adore it, especially the s’mores one. How or why is your marshmallow purple?

  42. Anonymous says:

    You are so right. You really can never go wrong with caprese. In fact I’m thinking of making that caprese salad I did a few posts ago for father’s day. Now the marshmallows. Definitly ballsy. I like it. And I’m sure I would have stuffed a lot of those in as well and been running right behind you.


  43. My kids are s’more obsessed and they have a serious love for food on a stick- making this recipe one that must be tried. Great post, love the photos!

  44. Since the State Fairs serve everything imaginable on sticks I think it only fitting there should be a book devoted to them 🙂

    Love the caprese sticks with the sun-dried tomatoes!

  45. Kim says:

    Everything you make is so beautiful and tasty. I think this would be the ideal meal! Who needs other sides when you can have all foods on a stick?!

  46. Love this idea! I agree – food on a stick is awesome.

  47. daphne says:

    i have always wondered how to make mashmellow-u did it even better becuase it is PURPLE! oh and i love food on stick! less messy and more fun.

  48. Wow, these two trios of flavors are ones I am absolutely unable to resist…. and even if I could, why would i want to??

    Great choices!

  49. Vivienne says:

    next time i visit central park ill be sure to carry with me some food on a stick!

    caprese + sundried tomatoes sounds awesome!

  50. You made your own marshmallows???That is so cool!! I love the color of your team uniform- purple in all shades is my abs fav.All this food on sticks-totally rocks.

  51. Dana says:

    Can’t wait to hear more about the party. I’m sure it was a smashing success. I got a copy of that book too and kind of dismissed it – a lot of meat for this veg. But clearly I need to take another look. I know I say this every other post, but your photos are looking truly smashing.

  52. I loveee the purple and I love anything on a stick!

  53. Natalie says:

    just when i thought smores couldn’t get any better…you went and dyed the mallows purple. pure awesomeness. i want to go to your parties!

  54. Dear Stick Lady,
    Your photos are beautiful. Stay cool!

  55. Deborah says:

    Ok, I’m going to HAVE to get this book now!!

  56. Johanna GGG says:

    sticks sounds like fun. The caprese sound yum but the purple marshmallow stole my heart – so gorgeous – and so timely! I have just had my first attempt at making vegan marshmallow – from a packet – and still have a packet to try so maybe some colour will sneak its way in next time – good luck with the heat (my mum and dad were in new york recently and said the heat was terrible)

  57. Food on sticks rock! Cutlery is over rates and lets be honest, if used incorrectly, dangerous.
    The marshmallow is fab! Well done 🙂 I wonder where they sell graham crackers in Sydney. Im on the hunt!

  58. Beth says:

    I love those S’more photos. Love them! I’ll have to bookmark and try them this summer.

  59. Claudie says:

    WOW. Just wow. I love those purple marshmallows! I’m catching up with my RSS after coming back from Europe and seeing those pics are shaking me out of my half-asleep state way better than my cup of coffee! 🙂
    I also love the fact you choose to go for sticks. Although, they’d definitely be dangerous in my hands, cuz I’d be grabbing one after the other!
    Oh, and of course, your caprese sticks also look great — I love the sundried tomato you’ve included!

  60. Corina says:

    If my husband sees me looking at this post I know what I’ll have to be making! He loves marshmallows!

  61. Oooo, the caprese sticks! I’ve had them before! YUM!

  62. Claudia says:

    Love how the color just pops on those purple marshmallows. I’ve got to try making some, especially since my grandson’s birthday is just a few days away.

  63. LisaA says:

    Yum! I first heard about Matt’s book from the Smitten Kitchen blog, and am so glad to hear you love it, too. Definitely want to try both recipes.

    Love that you made your marshmallows purple! Can you tell me how much and at what point you added the food coloring? Does it matter?

  64. Shannon says:

    marshmallows are still on my to-do list!! these look awesome, and i love finger—er, stick– foods 🙂 fabulous idea for a party! and i want to see some of those photos 🙂

  65. Well now I guess I’m going to need some sticks! 🙂 The little Caprese salads look yummy, and those marshmallows are spectacular! 🙂

  66. Carolyn Jung says:

    Talk about striking — those marshmallows are so beautiful in color. What a fun idea for a party. And just think, you only have sticks to toss rather than so many dishes to wash afterward. 😉

  67. I absolutely LOVE this!! You have totally inspired my next dinner party. Everything is better on a stick for sure. The marshmallows look so beautiful. Really wonderfully done.

  68. Sundried tomatoes are the often forgotten player in the Caprese game, love that theyre on the skewer!

  69. Reeni says:

    I love how you fed your team in training marshmallows! Even better than that is the s’mores! So pretty in purple! The caprese skewers rock too with the intense flavor of the sun-dried tomatoes.

  70. It is such a great book isn’t it?! I love how you made your marshmallows purple–festive and fun.

  71. Jeanette says:

    What fun – love the Caprese sticks especially – perfect for a summer appetizer! Bite size foods on a stick are loved by kids and adults!

  72. Chris says:

    I’m really enjoying ON A STICK! and the caprese are one of the ones I want to make.

    Don’t you just envy Matt’s selection of cocktail skewers? I haven’t found anything like them here locally.

  73. Karen says:

    Love the s’mores! I made marshmallows once… they were so much better than store bought. I should make another batch!

  74. Nicole says:

    The caprese sticks looks frickin amazing! I so want some right now and can’t wait for my next party to make those… although i’m thinking the ingredients might not last enough to get on the sticks… 🙂

  75. Mo'Betta says:

    Food on a stick is so much more fun! And purple marshmallows…the bomb!

  76. grace says:

    you picked the best possible recipe to review, and i’m sure about that. i love the delicate hue!

  77. Eliana says:

    I seriously don’t need another cookbook in my collection. But just with these two recipes alone, this one looks too good to miss out on.

  78. Both these sticks look amazing!

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