summers last breath

so that happened fast!  summer was here and summer ran away...a few weeks of heat on the east coast followed by a bit out west.  in new york and the northeast, it went out with a bang.  a huge lightning and thunder storm slammed through and brought with it the cool beginning of fall on its coat tails.  although we are ready for a nice light jacket and strolls through the city without a full sweat, we will miss the days of cold beer, summer foods, boat rides and fireflies.  a little homemade ice cream is our last gasp at holding on to summer, and even as our hotter days end its never really offseason for ice cream in our book. so before the soups and stews set in, lets enjoy a few more weeks dreaming of that fantastic summer.


for our tart cherry buttermilk ice cream we used a mix of sour and bing cherries, but you can use whatever you have on hand.  the buttermilk ice cream is a great base for whatever fruit is in season- try peaches sautéed in brown sugar and cinnamon or plums cooked with honey and cardamom!

2 cups pitted cherries
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbs water
12 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split in half and seeds scrapped
2 cups buttermilk
pinch of salt

in a medium saucepan, combine cherries, sugar and water and bring to a boil over high heat.  reduce to medium and cook until slightly broken down and tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.  cool completely.
whisk eggs yolks and remaining sugar in a medium bowl. in a large saucepan, bring cream to a boil over medium heat. slowly drizzle the warm cream into the yolks, whisking constantly and adding all the cream in a slow steady stream.  pour the mixture back into the saucepan and add vanilla bean seeds and pod.  cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
remove from heat and pass through a mesh strainer into a bowl.  whisk in buttermilk and salt.  let cool completely and freeze according to your ice cream maker's instructions.  remove ice cream from the machine and fold in the cooled cherry mixture. transfer to an airtight container and freeze overnight.

all images © andrew purcell 2013


back down south

a few weeks back we spent a fantastic week down south in birmingham, al..  while shooting for cooking light magazine, we ate and drank our way through a town full of fantastic food.  we were showed lots of amazing southern hospitality, eating way too much fried okra, drinking lots of good people beer and connected with great friends like hector sanchez and mairin cooper carins.

this version of our pimento cheese is one we made for our friend dimity's birthday party. she had bbq flown in from butts to go, which we were also lucky enough to hit up while in al – they also happen to have the best potato salad we ever tasted. by no means are we experts on southern food and we definitely don’t discriminate – any bbq , bourbon cocktail or pimento cheese dish is good in our book! here’s what we think is a simple tasty recipe that’s perfect for any summer gathering and has an unexpected kick from easy refrigerator jalapeno pickles.


4 medium jalapenos, thinly sliced
½ cup white wine vinegar
1 Tbs granulated sugar
pinch salt
½ tsp whole black peppercorns
½ tsp whole coriander seeds

combine jalapenos, vinegar, sugar, salt, peppercorns and coriander seeds and shake well. refrigerate for at least 3 days and up to 2 weeks.

8oz cream cheese, softened
½ cup mayonnaise
4oz sliced pimientos
12oz shredded sharp cheddar
½ tsp sweet paprika
¼ tsp salt
2 green onions, chopped
½ Tbs fresh black pepper
Saltine crackers to serves

in the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together cream cheese and mayonnaise, until blended.  add Pimientos, cheddar, paprika, salt, onion and pepper and stir until just combined. can be made and refrigerated up to 1 day ahead. serve with saltine crackers and top with pickled jalapenos.

all images ©andrew pucell 2013


summer cool down

as most of the people living back east already know, its been hot hot hot for too many days in a row...and for those in other parts of the world, you have no doubt heard all of us complaining about it, and we promise, its justified!  here is a drink we cant stop sipping and one that we think is a perfect cool me down treat on a hot summer weekend.  

we have started to get some amazing produce from our local csa in the last few weeks, and recently received some strawberries that were to die for.  we quickly remembered this great strawberry cup recipe from gourmet in print a few years ago.  we made the shrub syrup (the gourmet recipe without adding the soda water and ice cubes), added a little adult enhancer and a bit of cucumber and we think it pretty delicious, let us know what you think!

strawberry cucumber cocktail
makes 1 drink

1 oz. strawberry shrub syrup (recipe)
1.5 oz. quality vodka
2 oz. soda water
garnish with persian cucumber ribbons

combine with ice and stir

all images ©andrewpurcell 2013



well, here we go…after a bit of downtime on the blog (ok, a looooong break), we are newly inspired with some great recipes and images to share. we did a bit of a redesign and made room for some larger photos.  pictures and pancakes will most likely be a fun work in progress, but we really hope to get more images, recipes and those that inspire us up on the blog a lot more often in the second half of 2013!  let us know what you think and maybe what you might like to see. 

this recipe is a simple summer soup that’s refreshing, quick and takes advantage of tomatoes at their peak ripeness. tomatoes that are a bit soft or almost overripe are perfect for this soup! your average red or your favorite heirloom varietal can work just as well as yellow tomatoes and feel free to garnish with whatever veggies you have on hand.

we love eating anything out of these gorgeous bowls from the fabulous Nikole Herriott of .  made in england by sue paraskeva, we'd love a set of 12.  and if only we could have one of everything from the shop our kitchen would be complete…

we are heading to Birmingham, AL soon for work – any restaurants or shops we shouldn’t miss?

Yellow Tomato Gazpacho
makes 4 cups

2 pounds ripe yellow tomatoes, cored & chopped
1 small cucumber, peeled & chopped
½ to 1 small jalapeño, seeded & diced
1 clove garlic, smashed
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs red wine vinegar
½ tsp salt
2 whole cloves garlic
1 rustic loaf, sliced and grilled
garnish with thinly sliced candy stripe beets and lemon cucumber, finely diced red onion, thai basil leaves and freshly ground black pepper

in a food processor or blender, combine tomatoes, cucumber, jalapeño, garlic, olive oil, vinegar and salt and puree for about 5 minutes or until your desired texture. chill for at least 1 hour.

slice a bit of the root end off garlic cloves and place in a square of foil. drizzle with a teaspoon of olive oil each, close the foil pouch and roast at 400 F for about 1 hour or until tender and soft. let cool slightly and then squeeze out garlic paste to separate from the clove.

divide soup between bowls and garnish with beets, cucumber, onion, basil and pepper. serve with grilled rustic bread spread with roasted garlic.

all images ©andrew purcell 2013


summer tart

with such an early hot summer this year, the tomatoes at the market have already been full of delicious flavor! here's a simple tomato tart that makes a great lunch or dinner with some fresh greens on the side and a cold glass of white wine.

lots of new work to share with you soon. we've both been busy working for great clients like People, Food Network, Reader's Digest, La Cucina Italiana and more. we'll post some pics later this week but check out the july/aug Food Network mag for Andrew's cover and a beautiful feature on cherries! also check out both of our websites that have been recently updated with new work & tears.

are you on Instagram yet? both of us are and so are lots of other big leo artists - we love sharing behind the scenes, studio views, pretty props and of course lots of food! hoping to escape the city heat soon & really looking forward to this at the end of the month.

have a great week!

Roasted Tomato Tart
serves 4

4 medium roma tomatoes, halved
3 medium kumamoto tomatoes, halved
4 small vine ripened tomatoes, halved
4 tbs olive oil
1 sprig thyme
salt & pepper, plus more for garnish

12 oz all butter puff pastry

2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
4 cloves roasted garlic, smashed into a paste
1 teaspoon kosher salt
12 cherry or yellow pear tomatoes, halved

preheat oven to 350 degrees F. combine tomatoes, olive oil, thyme salt and pepper and spread out in a single layer on a large sheet pan, cut side down. roast for 45 min to 1 hour or until slightly wrinkled but not too browned.

increase oven to 400 degrees F. place puff pastry in a square false bottom tart pan and press up against the edges. prick bottom all over with a fork and fill with foil and baking beads or dried beans. blind bake for 20 minutes. remove foil and beans and return to oven for 8 to 10 more minutes.

in a bowl, combine eggs, milk, goat cheese, garlic and salt and whisk well. carefully arrange roasted tomatoes all over pre baked tart shell and add cherry or yellow pear tomatoes. pour egg mixture over and around tomatoes, filling until almost full but not covering tops of tomatoes. bake 18 to 22 minutes or until crust is golden and filling is set. let cool 15 minutes before slicing.


covers & stuff

just a quick hello - wanted to share andrew's new Food Network Magazine cover that's on newsstands now. check out a few other shots from the inside here and pick up a copy soon!

also excited to share some new work i did for the Williams-Sonoma summer catalog - you can see a few of the spreads here. also check out my recently updated website here!

can you believe it's almost june?! we are excited for a quick trip to Block Island, to fill our bellies at the Big Apple BBQ Block Party and for some fun work projects this month. hope you had a great memorial day weekend - summer is here!


sometimes it take a little nudge from a friend to get things going. we've been a bit absent from this space, figuring out how to balance everything - we've still been cooking and eating, just not shooting and sharing. our good friend jen, gave us that push when she asked for a guest post on her blog, nectar. check out the recipe for pea & feta crostini, our 46 & mint cocktail and a spring mix playlist here!

now that spring has sprung, we have a fresh outlook and are feeling inspired! check back soon for new posts, recipes and work.


happy new year

happy new year! we had a long overdue vacation over the holidays and spent 3 weeks with family and friends in AZ and CA. back in NYC & we feel recharged for a wonderful 2012! we had some great meals at old favorites like gulfstream, amazing fish tacos at bear flag fish co. and a great dinner in phoenix at noca.

we're working on lots of fun projects we can't wait to share and are feeling inspired by the large stack of cookbooks from our xmas list - especially excited to start cooking and baking from momofuku milk bar, off the menu, & american flavor. before looking forward, it's always good to look back as big leo did for a year of photos - we were so happy to be a part of creating many of these beautiful images over the year!

for the healthy breakfast inspiration above, andrew shot the fit to eat feature from the january 2012 issue of martha stewart living. enjoy!