Double Dutch

You are all AMAZING!

Thanks to all of your generosity, and the promise that the last few donations will come in the next couple of days, the Online Flea Market for Pancreatic Cancer raised….

**Drumroll Please***


I kind of can’t believe it! The 5K Run/Walk is next weekend, and my donation page is open until then if you didn’t get a chance to donate yet. Every little bit helps!

A huge thank you to all of you who donated gorgeous and delicious items! I’m beyond grateful!

With all the excitement of the Flea Market, I neglected to tell you about the last meeting of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pans! Since we’ve all been super busy this Spring so far, we opted instead of cooking to meet up at a relatively new restaurant on the north side of Chicago.

Vincent is an “American cafe with a strong Dutch accent”, featuring food and flavors that were new to most of us. They emphasize sustainable and humane meat and fish, as well as amazing recipes.


Upon walking in, we were welcomed by warm, smiling faces, a red light in the front door, and a homey and rustic bar area.



The menu was full of fun, consonant-filled words, and you all know from my trips to IKEA that I love fun words. Cocktails were ordered, and the one featuring the black licorice pictured above was a hit at the table. It was spicy and sweet, and had just a hint of ginger. Liz thoroughly enjoyed hers.



Our server was extremely helpful and explained each dish well, and we all appreciated his honesty about them.


We decided to order a couple of appetizers and soups for the table to share, and it was a great idea. The food was delicious, but extremely rich!


Pork Bitterballen, fried meatballs with grainy mustard. Unreal, and extremely rich!


Caramelized Cauliflower Soup, also rich, but I will be replicating this sometime soon. It was like a dream on a spoon!

Not pictured: Zaansemosterdsoep (Dutch Mustard Soup)- crab salad, smeerkaas, tarragon pesto…9

Caramelized Cauliflower Soup – swiss cheese, candied bacon, pickled red onions, brown bread

For my entree, I opted for the special, a pan-cooked tilapia with giant clams, ramp pesto, potatoes, and a tomato broth:



(sorry for the blur, it was quite dark in there!)

Around the table, there were a variety of other dishes as well:


Roasted chicken with mushroom barley


Snert, a very thick Dutch pea soup


Grilled lamb burger


Spicy pork ribs


Mussels Provençal

Each and every dish was extremely flavorful, delicately spiced, and overall delicious! I’ll definitely be going back to Vincent to try other things on the menu. Since it had gotten late, my mom and I left as we had early mornings the next day, but after we left dessert arrived. Amy was nice enough to send me a couple of pictures!


Chocolate cake with peanut butter mousse


Pound cake with fig and lime sauce, candied lime

I kind of wish I’d stayed for dessert! Next time…

Saturday was spent with a couple friends of mine doing a photo shoot! They were nice enough to let me use them as guinea pigs as I build my photography portfolio, and we had an absolute blast! First, I shot a bunch of photos of my friend Melissa and her husband Joe. They’re expecting their first baby in June!



And then I did a group of photos with my friend Amanda and her husband Rockey. They get their photos taken every couple of years, and have the best collection of photos in their house that I’ve ever seen! I hope these get added…



So, Dutch food and a double photo shoot… and today is Easter! We’ll have our celebration with Eo’s family next weekend, so for all of you celebrating, Happy Easter! For all of you, one of my favorites:




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9 Responses to Double Dutch

  1. VeggieGirl says:

    AWESOME grand total!! yay!!

    And gorgeous photos – you’re so talented, dear Mara!
    VeggieGirl´s last blog post ..Unlike Other Bloggers

  2. Diana Hayes says:

    Very nice food and fantastic photos.

  3. Love the color and saturation on the couple’s photoshoot. Dinner looks and sounds great too. Too bad you missed out on dessert. That’s our favorite part!

  4. Christina says:

    Ohh the cauliflower soup sounds wonderful! I hope you nail it.

    Cool pics! I love the one on the dock and the one w/ the cool roots. You have an eye for finding unique places/poses. Then the photos look natural and not all forced and awkward. (cringes) I have gotten SO many compliments on my engagement pics and everybody says the same – that we just look natural, like us, like we’re having fun, etc. and I LOVE that about them. You do a great job capturing the realness, instead of it being a creepy shoot.
    Christina´s last blog post ..Pan Can Fundraiser

  5. Lizz says:

    I want Snert!!

  6. Damn girl… you get to eat some of the most badass food I’ve ever seen! And your photo shoot photos look great!!
    Christin@purplebirdblog´s last blog post ..Pre-Birthday Carb Fest

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