Recipe: caprese sticks
There is a slight dilemma when the weather fines up around here. On the one hand, I want to invite friends up to our place and feed them, because it’s absolutely glorious in the mountains come summertime. On the other hand, I don’t feel like digging into elaborate cooking projects because it’s hot and because I’d much rather spend my hours outside in that glorious mountain summer. A couple of weeks ago I had a small wine and cheese party and planned a few appetizers to go along with the wines and cheeses. As if someone somewhere had read my mind, I received Matt Armendariz’s new book On a Stick! in the post just days before the party.
oh the possibilities
Jeremy rarely if ever takes interest in the cookbooks I receive, but we both spent an hour flipping through Matt’s book together because it is so damn creative and beautiful and cute and fun – just like Matt. Sometimes when I get books for reviewing I feel as if it’s a chore to find a recipe that I really want to make. I’m not the type of person who likes to be told what to cook and when to cook/shoot/post it. Completely different feeling with Matt’s book – I couldn’t wait to make more than half of the 80+ savory and sweet recipes. They’re simple and clever and so appetizing.
these are the fanciest toothpicks i own
sun-dried tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, pearl mozzarella
Slap these elegant babies together in mere minutes. Seriously. These are especially perfect in summer when you can get your hot little hands on some fresh cherry tomatoes and basil. I mean, if you can stab a tomato with a toothpick, you’ve got the skills necessary to produce this lovely appetizer.
pierce the tomato and basil
top it off with a mozzarella pearl
It’s colorful, fresh, and the flavors dance about in your mouth – mellow, tangy, spicy, tart and sweet. My friends loved them, as did I, as did Jeremy, as did my parents. My mother even said, “I’m going to do this at my next cocktail party!” Leave it to Matt to impress my mom! There’s something in the book for everyone. Kebab-type skewers, fruit skewers, corn dogs (I’m so doing these next), deep fried everything (candy bars, pickles, mac and cheese – holy moly!), doughnut holes, Asian appetizers, lollies, chocolate-covered cheesecake, sangria pops. The recipes are accessible – nothing insanely complicated and they look like fun. I don’t know how to emphasize that enough. Matt is such a sweet, witty, and gifted artist. It really comes through in his book and takes the chore out of cooking for me. And isn’t that what cooking should be? Fun? Thanks for bringing me back to fun, Matt.
drizzle some olive oil
serve to guests before you eat them all yourself!
Full Disclosure: I received a free copy of On a Stick! from Quirk Books.
12 cocktail picks
12 basil leaves
12 cherry tomatoes
12 small fresh mozzarella balls (ciliegine)
6 sun-dried tomatoes, sliced in half
extra virgin olive oil
Pierce a basil leaf, cherry tomato, sun-dried tomato half, and a mozzarella ball with a toothpick (arrange in whatever order floats your little boat). Repeat until you have 12 Caprese sticks. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle sea salt over the Caprese sticks. Serves 4.