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birthday boy and lucky lentils


Today is Connor’s 25th birthday. Dave, Connor, and I are celebrating at Universal Studio’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Los Angeles. We are having the best time! Our only wish is that our expert in all things Harry Potter could be here with us. We miss you, Marissa! The photos above are from Sunday.

president connnor

Yesterday, Monday, we spent the afternoon on Hollywood Boulevard and at Warner Bros. Studio. The tour at the WB is pretty darn great. Not only do you tour the lot on a tram, but you get off and walk around all sorts of cool spots. My favorite stop was the props building and that is where we found the Oval Office set from The West Wing. Connor is very presidential!

central perk

And if your favorite sitcom of all time is Friends, then no trip to Warner Bros. is complete without a photo on the set of Central Perk.

Connor, I love you, adore you, and could not be more proud of you and the loving, kind, and generous man you are. xoxo

Getting back to the Friday the 13th Dinner Party – we are nearing the end. Tomorrow will be the main course and then only dessert remains.

The lucky ingredient in today’s dish is lentils. The legumes are considered lucky because of their coin-like appearance. Additionally, when cooked, lentils are plump, symbolizing growing wealth.

lentil salad with mushrooms and onions

Lentil Salad with Wild Mushrooms and Caramelized Onions

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large red onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 pounds fresh mushrooms; a mixture of white, crimini, oyster, shiitake, etc.
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup capers, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup dry black lentils
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 bag baby arugula
  • 1 cup fresh pomegranate arils (seeds)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill


carmelized onions

Heat a large skillet, add olive oil and onions and sauté the onions until they are lightly browned and caramelized, season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to come to room temperature. Do not wash the skillet.

melt butter

Wash, dry, and chop all the mushrooms.

saute mushrooms

In the same skillet, melt the butter and then add the mushrooms, season with salt, pepper, and thyme.

release water

Sauté until the mushrooms have released all their water and are nearly dry.


Stir in capers, taste and season with additional salt and pepper as needed, and transfer to a bowl.

Bring the broth to a boil in a medium saucepan, add salt and lentils and cook for about 20 minutes or until the lentils are fully cooked without becoming soft and mushy.

lentil salad

To assemble the salad: Line a large platter with the arugula and top with the lentils, mushrooms, and lastly the onions. Sprinkle with the pomegranate arils and dill.

Serves 8 to 10

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1 Lori Vento { 05.24.16 at 9:30 AM }

Oh my gosh!! So jealous- we are the biggest Harry Potter nerds ever! Have so much fun and keep the pictures coming! 🙂

2 Tram Mai { 05.24.16 at 10:52 AM }

Awww HAPPY BIRTHDAY CONNOR!!! I’m not even a big Harry Potter fan and I WANNA GO!!!! Hope you had the best birthday evahhhh!!!! 🙂

3 Marissa { 05.24.16 at 11:34 AM }

Just sitting here at work being sad.

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