fun, simple, chic living

Zebra facing East

I am so thrilled to add two new prints by David and Melissa Narcizo of Lakuna Design to the shop. These are amazing, graphic, bold digital prints which will transform a space.

David began his career in art and design while recording and touring with 4AD/Warner Bros. recording artists Throwing Muses. Melissa honed her skills as a projection artist for Dakana Designs, providing projected artwork for touring rock shows as well as special events for MTV and VH1. They formed Lakuna Design in 1999, a graphic design agency based in Newport, Rhode Island.

The limited edition prints are available in two sizes, 40″ x 30″ and 30″ x 24″.

"colorful bottle openers"

chic and colorful bottle openers

Oh hi. We are so excited about Spring, and flowers, and all the good springy stuff coming our way. There are a few new products to see, Pint Size Spanish Wine Glasses, a very cool Turquoise and White Peshtemal for the beach or a tabletop, and a whole selection of cheery and bright bar utensils from Claude Dozorme including bottle openers, ice spoons and little cheese knives.

There is new art on the horizon and as always lots of inspiration for fun, simple, chic living.

xo Leslie

Life sometimes takes unexpected twists and turns. Empire Delicious has been on the back burner for 2013 thus far due to what has been a roller coaster of a time for me and my family this year. In a nutshell, here’s what happened:

My mother, Pamela Banker, started an interior design firm in the 1960s in NYC. The business was a part of the fabric of my life growing up and from 1999 to 2007 I worked with my mother at her firm. We wrote two books together, The Pocket Decorator and The Pocket Renovator, we developed a line of fabrics for Cowtan & Tout, and we worked on many great interior design projects together.

Then, in 2007 my husband and I moved to Rhode Island, we had a baby, and I launched Empire Delicious. Last summer, I was itching to get back to NYC. So, when my mother suggested I come back to work with her I jumped at the opportunity and my husband, daughter and I moved back to NYC last September.

Mom was diagnosed with melanoma right around then and that’s when life turned upside down. She died on April 22nd, 2013 and I am now running Pamela Banker Associates.

It is a pleasure to bring Empire Delicious to the forefront again. And, our collection of accessories compliments the interior design business very well.

Please stay tuned for new items to be added to the shop shortly. You can sign up for our occasional newsletter to hear about trunk shows, specials, and new products. You can see our classic items here and read more about us here.

It feels great to be back! I look forward to hearing from you.

xo Leslie


One of my all-time favorite spots was this greenhouse that my mother and father converted into a guest house and a party room–it was either that or tear it down. It was right next to our regular house. There was a small bedroom in the old potting shed and the actual greenhouse had a table down the middle and big cushions to lounge on. There was a simple kitchen along the wall, behind the photographer. The downside was that it got really hot during summer days, it was perfect though at night or for lunch during the fall. It was a really fun place! Lots of great parties there.

Do you have a room or a place that absolutely reminds you of your childhood in a really good way? I just came across this photo of my family’s living room in Southampton circa 1978. We used to have Grease themed slumber parties on that shaggy rug and now, today, I have those hand painted ottomans in my house. Most of all I love the white painted peacock chairs. When you’re eight years old, a chair like that seems like the biggest, safest place in the universe.

I am so thrilled that these prints, and more, from Edible Rhody magazine are now available as artwork through Empire Delicious. These stunning fruit and veggie images bring the bounty of Rhode Island straight to your house year-round. They are perfect for a kitchen, dining room or wherever!

"Edible Rhody Tomatoes"

Very delicious! These are museum-grade prints produced using HDR pigmented inks on archival air-dried fiber paper. Each image in the Empire Delicious collection was taken exclusively for Edible Rhody by renowned food photographer Carole Topalian, co-founder of Edible Communities. Edible Rhody is a quarterly magazine that celebrates the bounty of Rhode Island, season by season, through stories and images that capture the essence of its local foods community. They were the 2011 James Beard winners. Edible Rhody is a member of Edible Communities, a publishing group of over 70 magazines in the United States and Canada and recipients of the James Beard Foundation Journalism Award. To find out more, visit

"Edible Rhody Roots"

Photos by Carole Topalian are the property of Edible Rhody, LLC and may not be copied, reprinted or used without permission. © 2012 All Rights Reserved.

I love it when you look inside the refrigerator and get a delicious brainstorm. This happened to me the other day. There were eggs, potatoes, a red pepper, half a purple onion, grated parmesan cheese, and an ear of corn, which made me say to myself: Frittata!

It was easy to prepare and excellent for a summer lunch (could be dinner too). I winged it like this:

In a frying pan put a little olive oil and saute the chopped onion.

While that cooks, wash and chop up about four medium sized potatoes then add them to the frying pan.

As those soften, chop up the pepper and cut the kernels off of the corn. Add them to the frying pan.

Meanwhile, Mix up 6 eggs in a big bowl and add some parmesan cheese.

Turn on broiler.

Then, add the potato mixture to the big bowl of eggs. Stir gently. Clean up the frying pan a bit, add some more olive oil and pour the entire mixture back in it to cook on medium heat for about 5 or 6 minutes. When bottom looks golden but top is still runny, place the entire frying pan into the broiler for about 2 minutes.

Place the frittata onto a big plate and let it cool to room temperature.

Voila! Enjoy! The beauty of this recipe is you can use whatever you have in the fridge–a zucchini, for example, or mushrooms would be great.


It’s my favorite summer salad: brown rice salad. It’s easy to make, it tastes even better the next day, and it is generally a crowd pleaser. I usually call it simply “rice salad” as some people in my household are suspicious of things that sound too healthy. Here’s how I made this one, it was particularly good:

Cook 1 1/2 cups of brown rice (start with 1 1/2 cups of uncooked rice).

While the rice cooks, prepare approximately half a cup of a simple vinaigrette mixing together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and a spoonful of mustard.

Steam three ears of fresh corn. When they are ready, cut the kernels off the cobs and put into a bowl.

Chop up half a purple onion.

Chop up a red pepper.

After rice is cooked and has sat cooling for 20 minutes, transfer it into the bowl you’re going to serve it in, and pour the vinaigrette over it. Mix well.

Add the corn kernels, onion, and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.

*Instead of the corn, onion, pepper combo, you can really use anything. In a pinch I use frozen corn and peas, or frozen spinach.


I love summertime but I’ve been missing my winter drink, the hot toddy. So, the other evening I was feeling rather inventive and created what was surprisingly good: an iced hot toddy. It’s perfect for a summer cold or just a change of pace. The downside is it takes a little forethought.

Here’s how to make an Iced Toddy:

A couple of hours ahead, pour hot water into a mug with 2 or 3 Tablespoons of honey. Stir, and put the mixture into the refrigerator.

Then, when the cocktail hour arrives:

Get out your cocktail shaker, fill it with ice, and add:

The honey & water mixture

The juice from a lemon

Two to three ounces of Goslings Dark Rum (or lighter rum, or whiskey)

Shake, shake, shake.


My Mom just gave me the Abercrombie & Fitch picnic basket that she got as a wedding present in 1966. I’m can’t wait to take it for a spin. And, what to fill the two huge thermoses with? Hot toddies in the fall? Cold martinis in the summer? I love this kind of camping!

I think I’ll bring on a picnic one of our Turkish towels (as pictured above) to sit on and some of our cocktail napkins.