Heidi Swanson is my favorite Northern Californian. Not only is she a solid photographer and world traveler, but she knows what she's up to in the kitch'. She cooks naturally and is non-pretentious. I like her style.
If you're thinking of jump-starting your cookie ambitions on this snowy day, her website is a great place to start: Heidi's List
If cookies aren't your thing, check out photos from her last trip to Rome.