My brother sent me a box of salted caramels. I was hesitant about the combination at first, but I fell in love with them. They gave me the inspiration for the salted caramel glaze on my cake.
Julia Child -- she was the first one to cook on television and there was something about her that made it look like it was OK to fail and OK to try. Also, I grew up in San Diego, so there were a lot of cultural influences on my cooking -- Latin, Asian, Thai. It was a great place to grow up and come into your own cooking style. For me, my cooking influences were more places than people.
When my husband and I first got married I wanted to make him a pie because his mother makes such great pies. I was going to make a boysenberry pie and we were in Idaho at the time. We went into a Marie Callender's store where they made their own shortening. I thought it would be great for the pie, but didn't realize the shortening was rancid, so that didn't go over very well!
My husband can't get over the fact that I just don't like avocados! It's unthinkable to him, especially since I grew up in California.
It changes all the time, but I love fresh seafood. That's one thing I miss about living in California.
I think I would travel to Tuscany -- I like rustic, fresh, seasonal cooking.
We always have olive oil, peanut butter, and baking supplies on hand, but I try and cook fresh as much as I can, so I don't have a lot of pantry staples.
I make my own homemade brioche, but I don't make it all that often because it's pretty labor intensive.