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Here in Australia, we are blessed with an abundance of beautiful fresh produce, and our multi-cultural background has given us lots of wonderful tastes and styles.
I've loved food almost all my life (except for a bumpy early start...ate nothing but a slice of apple and a slice of cheese a day for my first two years!).
For me, cookbooks are a springboard - I have a taste "on my tongue", I search for appropriate inspiration and voila! something that owes a little to the book, my creativity, and whatever is in my kitchen! That said, I adore Vikki Leng's "A Vegetarian Kitchen" and travel happily through Sheila Lukin's "All Around The World Cookbook". Jamie Oliver is also a favourite, and I've just discovered the Williams-Sonoma baking books!
I love all kinds of foods, but I've learnt to listen to my body, and I had chosen not to eat dairy products anymore, nor very much red meat. However, since my pregnancy and birth of my DS (I'm breastfeeding), I've "slipped myself off the leash", as it were! (Lots of lovely cheese and yoghurt - and you can't beat butter for flavour in baking...or at least that's my excuse LOL)
Left to myself, I'd probably be demi-veg, eating mostly chicken, fish, legumes, grains and lots of fresh fruit and veges. My husband is a bit more of a carnivore, raised on the meat-&-three-veg regime, so I strike a balance. He's used to me making everything with rice milk now.
My family and friends love my baking - cakes and muffins and biscuits and breads don't last long around here.