Cooking With Amar’e: 100 Easy Recipes for Pros and Rookies in the Kitchen

Happy 4th of July, everyone!

Source: It Books
Hardcover, 272 pages
On Amazon and on Kobo

Cooking With Amar’e: 100 Easy Recipes for Pros and Rookies in the Kitchen by Amar’e Stoudemire and Chef Maxcel Hardy III is not only 100 easy recipes that are well balanced, but also the recipes are broken down from easiest to hardest.  Moreover, this is a journey — the journey of NBA pro basketball star Amar’e Stoudemire learning how to cook for his own family, from learning what basics he should have in his pantry to how he should hold a knife with his large hands and chop vegetables to meet the needs of a recipe.  Recipes are labeled with basketball terminology, with the easiest recipes called layups, those that require a little bit of skill are considered jump shots, and the most challenging recipes are called slam dunks.  Each recipe also includes tips on storage, serving suggestions, and how to streamline preparation.

This cookbook also outlines what equipment essentials are needed in the kitchen, but cautions that good equipment can be purchased within the household budget.  And Chef Hardy III cautions that fancy gadgets should be considered on an as-needed basis, such as a superb blender for those who have shakes and smoothies on a regular basis.  Another cool tidbit is the inclusion of a special blend of spices that the chef uses in quite a few recipes, allowing users to make a bunch ahead of time and store it for use in later recipes.

For my husband’s birthday, I made The Ultimate Burger recipe, with a few modifications.  The recipe was easy to gather ingredients for — scallions, onion, the special spice blend, 2 pounds of ground beef, egg, garlic, kaiser rolls, cheese, and pickle spears.  It calls for the ground beef to be mixed with onion and the spices thoroughly before making the patties that you can either grill or in the pan.  This recipe is considered a jump shot, perhaps because of the preparation it takes for the meat, but I found the recipe relatively easy.  Only modification I made was to use provolone and Swiss rather than the Muenster cheese the recipe called for — we also didn’t use the mayo for the buns, but these are all personal preferences.  Overall, everyone seemed to enjoy the burgers I made for my husband’s birthday dinner.  Anna’s husband said the burgers were “moist, flavorful, and delicious.”  He also said it was one of the best homemade burgers he’s had.  Anna and her daughter both liked the burger, calling it juicy.

Cooking With Amar’e: 100 Easy Recipes for Pros and Rookies in the Kitchen by Amar’e Stoudemire and Chef Maxcel Hardy III is an excellent cookbook for those looking for new twists on American staples like hamburgers, but also looking to get a little more adventurous in their cooking.  From homemade sweet potato fries to fried okra and baked brie.

About the Authors:

Amar’e Stoudemire is a power forward for the New York Knicks and a six-time NBA All-Star. A married father of four, Amar’e is dedicated to helping children learn. Along with his wife, he founded the Alexis and Amar’e Stoudemire Foundation to creatively inspire youth to get an education and avoid poverty, and he authored a semiautobiographical children’s series, STAT, to inspire young readers. Amar’e is also an actor, producer, motivational speaker, and co-owner of Hapoel Basketball Team of Jerusalem.

Chef Maxcel Hardy III is a chef to the stars and the personal chef for NBA All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire. With more than thirteen years of culinary experience, Chef Max has created for award-winning musicians, actors, athletes, and dignitaries. Outside of the kitchen, he created Chef Max Designs, his chef apparel line, and in 2011 he founded One Chef Can 86 Hunger. The foundation’s mission is to fight the hunger crisis in America and educate people on a healthy lifestyle cost-effectively; the foundation has also created culinary programs for inner-city communities.

41st book for 2014 New Author Challenge.


  1. I’m curious about the other recipes in the book.

  2. I heard about this book at BEA and it sounds like a good one. I love that you got Anna’s family to critique the burgers for you!

  3. Personally, as far as I’m concerned, the only easy recipe goes “peel back corner and vent.” LOL

    • LOL you are too funny, Jill. I love trying out new things, but sometimes they do not always turn out like they are supposed to.