Smiling broadly, Sgt. 1st Class Rene Ramirez posed for photos with Gloria Govan, the former star of the reality show “Basketball Wives,” and her longtime friend Marlena Attinasi, who visited Fort Hood’s Clear Creek Main Exchange on Monday to sign copies of their new cookbook.
The two authors presented him with a free signed copy of “A Mixed Girls Favorite Recipes,” along with their thanks for his military service.
“I think it’s awesome,” Ramirez said. “It will be a chance to get my family to cook together.”
Govan’s cookbook celebrates her Mexican and African-American heritage with recipes that explore a variety of cuisines. Her husband, Matt Barnes, NBA player for the Los Angeles Clippers, also is bicultural, with Italian-American and African-American parents.
“I wanted to combine all these cultures into a family-style cookbook so we could have something to give to our children that represented our heritage,” Govan said. “We put a lot of time and effort into the book, and it’s very genuine and from the heart.”
Attinasi co-authored the cookbook and shares Govan’s passion for food and family.
“The project took about one year with a lot of cooking parties to test the recipes. Every dish is named for a family member,” she said.
Designed with cooks and noncooks in mind, the book features an easy-to-read, menu-style format.
“It was a lot of fun and work but we loved every minute of it,” Attinasi said.
The authors were impressed by their first visit to Fort Hood, where they said everyone is so polite.
“I really respect and appreciate what every single soldier does for our country,” Govan said. “This will not be our last time coming to Fort Hood.”
Veronica Marks is a big fan of “Basketball Wives” and watches each episode for all the drama. She purchased a cookbook Monday because she likes to cook and bake.
“I browsed some of the recipes and it looks like the type of cooking I enjoy doing with lots of flavor,” she said.
Govan is eager to begin work on a second cookbook with her friend.
“Our next book will be a sports-oriented cookbook that we’ll start this summer,” she said.