Monday, November 24, 2008

Herbes de Provence Sablé (and a lightbox)

We used it!

We received these herbes de Provence from Dhanggit a while back. To fully showcase its flavor, we decided to use them in some sablé cookies.

I used the Lavender Sable recipe from French Food at Home. However, something must've been lost in translation as my cookies melted into one giant cookie in the oven.

I wonder what went wrong. I don't know if it's me or the recipe!

In any case, I simply cut them into rectangles after cooling a bit and we enjoyed them just the same.

And if you're wondering, "Why the gratuitous cookie shots?"

I was testing out our recent "lightbox" purchase.

This is a laundry hamper from IKEA. It works all right. We still haven't mastered working with it, having issues with lighting and such. But, in a pinch, in our current no-sunlight-by-3pm world, this does just fine.

[eatingclub] vancouver French food:
Trout Grenobloise
Provençal Onion Tart
Pork Chops with Grainy Dijon and Capers
Prawns with Tarragon and Orange
Herbes de Provence Sablé
Roast Pork Belly with Puy Lentils
Duck and Orange Crêpes with Orange-White Wine Sauce

We're submitting this post to Weekend Herb Blogging, a world-wide food blogging event (created by Kalyn's Kitchen, now maintained by Haalo of Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once) with the goal of helping each other learn about cooking with herbs and plant ingredients.

If you'd like to participate, see
who's hosting next week. WHB is hosted this week by Scott of The Real Epicurean.


  1. Hey! Not only fine... looks fantabulous :D :D

    Just came back from Budapest and there it went dark at 4:30... the day is so short!

    That huge cookie is fun ;D

  2. Brilliant lightbox! It's funny cause I used a cheap $10 ikea lamp to light all my photos (you know the ones with the fake rice-paper shades?). On the cookies, not having seen the recipe, I'm guessing one of 2 things went wrong. 1) The dough was overmixed once you put the flour in. 2 The dough wasn't cold enough when you put it in the oven. Because there's usuallly a lot of butter in sables, it needs to go from cold to hot very quickly otherwise it will melt all over the place. With your new lighting setup they still look tasty though!

  3. How clever using the laundry hamper. We have everything to build a light box from a cardboard box we just need to actually do it ;)

  4. Cute light box idea - really. But the cookies look great - great flavors too I bet.


  5. I can think of many worse fates than to have one giant, massive cookie with herbes de provence. I like your light box idea - it's creative and thinking outside the box. So to speak. Er, never mind. I like the idea.

  6. Love all of it -- the cookies look fabulous (I'm simply in love with Herbs de Provence, and this seems it would showcase the flavor of the lavendar nicely!)... and the lightbox idea is great :)

    Good luck getting the hang of the new set-up. I'm with you that these short days are wreaking havoc on my photography skills (which can use some work as it is!)

  7. YUM! This looks great. I use a TOTO umbrella light, and some cardboard as a bounce in these dark at 3pm times! It works well enough for me.

  8. nice cookies and I love herbes de provence. Glad you found a lighting solution :)

  9. Thanks for the lightbox idea...IKEA here I come. As for the cookies, it could be that you over mixed the batter - that can happen.

  10. I'm loving the lightbox idea. Thankfully down here the daylight hours are growing, but lighting is still a major pain in the arse (right up there with colour reproduction).

  11. Very creative lightbox idea! :) I'm sure the cookies are yummy as well.

  12. Núria:
    Haha. I guess I can always say I intentionally made one big cookie. ;D

    Marc @ NoRecipes:
    Wow, really... just an IKEA lamp... So it's tje photographer not the equipment that makes the photos! =)

    Thanks for the tips! Hmm, I think I was too impatient. I put the cookies in the cooler first before baking... but they didn't quite cool down, I think.

    Yes, that was us too (cardboard box and everything) before the purchase. As you can see, we didn't actually make get around to making one. =D

    Darius T. Williams:
    The hamper works fine, I think... maybe just a little small. =)

    Fearless Kitchen:
    Next time I'll just make one big cookie! =)

    Yeah... at least let there be light until 5pm or so! but, no.....

    matt wright:
    We've never tried using cardboard to reflect/bounce light... will try that too, eventually... probably when there's a BIG dish that won't fit in the lightbox.

    Peter M:
    We saw a bigger version of this hamper a long, long time ago. I think it has been discontinued. This "smaller" one is sometimes small if you have a big platter of something.

    Long days... that was the prime of our photos. LOL. Color reproduction? Is that adjusting the colors of the photo? We have to do that when the light is all yellow.

    Thanks! I thought people (our family people, that is) would be put off by the lavender, but not really. =)

  13. OOH! I so so want a light box. I have been begging Lon for one. Do you love it?

  14. Hi,
    Thanks for visiting my site.
    And these looks absolutely delicious irrespective of what happened in the oven..
    Thats something new to me the Lightbox ..Looks very Handy and useful...
    Hugs and smiles

  15. hohoooo i am loving the shot of your light box! i want one too!!!

  16. Love the IKEA "lighbox"! I think we should have an event where food blogger have to take 3 steps back and take a pic, showing a wide-angle view of the area where they are actualyl photographing food - just to see the weird lighting arrangements, the clutter in the background.... the real world :)

    As regards the one-big-cookie phenomenon, I'd say either too much butter, or the dough (and therefore the butter in it) was too warm. Still, they were salvageable and look fantastic!

  17. Jessica@Foodmayhem:
    It certainly frees us from the worry of "is there going to be enough light?" when taking pictures.

    Thanks! =)

    Mochachocolata Rita:
    Buying a laundry hamper may be the way to go if you make one yourself.

    Thanks for the tips!

    Haha, actually, that -- wide-angle view of food shots -- is a pretty good idea... You should start that event! =)

  18. The Ikea laundry hamper probably works better as a lightbox than as a hamper. What a brilliant idea!


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