For those of you who have begun to think about the holidays (I don’t know how you can avoid it, since the media is doing its best to bombard us), I have come across something that will be of interest to many whether you are a baker, would like to be a baker or like to pore over books that have scrumptious pictures of baked goods.

The book is titled Ovenly and it’s co-authored by Agatha Kulaga and Erin Patinkin. If Patinkin’s name sounds familiar, it is because she is from Riverside and is the daughter of Kathy and Stuart Patinkin and the sister of Dan and Seth Patinkin.

Erin credits her mother with her beginning interest in the kitchen, where the two would spend time trying out recipes and filing away those that were meant to be made again. 

In their treasured file were also recipes from Erin’s grandmother, carefully filed. She writes how while her brothers were going through their collections of baseball cards and coins, she was sifting through recipes kept in a cabinet drawer. 

Erin continued her education at the University of Wisconsin. Even after pursuing a master’s degree in arts management, she kept constant her interest in food. After graduation she worked before deciding to take the plunge and move to the Big Apple. 

It would be another two years before she met Agatha Kulaga. In September 2010 the two launched a bakery called Ovenly in Brooklyn in May 2012. It soon became known as one of New York’s finest bakeries.

The book is an excellent gift for the seasoned baker or the novice. Not only is it filled with recipes that will make you drool, they are written in a simple form so that even a novice baker can create a culinary masterpiece. 

Most helpful in the beginning of the book are lists of essential tools and ingredients which can easily be found without having to scour the Internet. Helpful conversion charts and pictures showing preparation methods make this book one of the best I have seen and one of the simplest to follow since I was a child and had a Rombauer cookbook for kids.

The book is published by Harlequin ( So thank you to local girl Erin and co-author Agatha for helping with holiday baking suggestions and for a great gift. I know who I will be purchasing one for!