My original inspiration is my Mother.  I remember the days when she had a houseful of children and would bake us homemade bread, fried dough, cookies.  Mmmmm her Jumbo Molasses cookies are my absolute favorite.  Baking never seemed to stress her out and she was always willing to let little hands help, go to my school and show my classmates how to bake bread. My mom taught many people how to bake.  My Mom is now a diabetic and is learning to adapt her way of baking and continue to make her delicious treats using Splenda.

As far as "professionals" one of my absolute favorites is Ina Garten.  She makes absolutely wonderful dishes and again seems to LOVE what she is doing, she truly enjoys herself and her recipes are phenomenal and for the most part very easy to make.  Rachael Ray is another professional cook that I adore and it's more her bubbly personality.  I find most of her recipes are expensive and not my taste but she LOVES what she does!

Pat and Gina Neely, Paula Deen and Giada De Laurentis round out my top fives.  I have tried many of the recipes they have cooked on their shows.  While not always the fanciest they are delicious and again they inspire me because they LOVE what they are doing. They are enthusiastic but not over the top.  They have fun and enjoy what they are doing.

I also find inspiration on many of the blogs I am following and I do try to link them on my blog roll for others to discover and enjoy as well.