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Mirin Caramelized Brussels Sprouts

I’ve reached a goal of sorts, and I wanted to tell you about it. When I started this blog in 2011, it was as a direct response of having to put my 4 month old in the arms of stranger, turn around, and drive to an office.

Tater 6 months I love my job, and I love my babysitter, she has become a part of the family. But at the time, I didn’t know her, she was just the woman who had babysat my friends daughters. If you’ve never had to leave your baby,  it might not sound that terrible, but at the time it felt like a part of my heart was being torn out.


Every morning when I left her I cried, and my babysitter understood. She has four grown boys of her own, and started watching babies as a way to stay home with them, "I’d worry about you if this didn’t bother you. It’s OK, everyone cries when they leave their babies," She had told me. Somehow, that made me feel better.

I decided to try and find a way to work part time, in order to stay home with her more and maybe, when I decided to have Baby #2, I would be able to stay home longer. For some reason, a blog was my brilliant idea. It wasn’t until after I had fallen in love with blogging that I discovered that the average blogger only makes $40 a month. Although I am lucky enough to make much more than that off my ad revenue, it isn’t enough to quit my job. Even though the income isn’t what I hope, my complete love and utter obsession with food writing, blogging and recipe develop makes up for that. But I needed other ways to make money. Little by little, small job by small job, I’ve been able to nickel and dime my way to part time.

I’m part time!

I only have to go to an office 3 days a week. It really is amazing. One of the ways I’ve been able to do this is freelance writing. I wrote an article last year for Honest Cooking that I was so proud of, I just have to tell you about it. More than 100 food writers and bloggers pitched for only 10 slots in the new Honest Cooking iPad magazine and I was given one of those spots. I was so grateful, but once I got the green light, I froze. Could I do it? Could I really write something I was proud of, that could stand up to the work of real life food writers? Writing this article I was able to prove to myself that I am able to do this. It was a turning point for me, proof that I really can do this. I can move forward in this world I so badly want to be part of. And next time, maybe I wont have to put my infant in the arms of a stranger.

The article I pitched was on a non-profit that I’m a bit starry eyed over. Homeboy industries helps Los Angeles gang members get out of gangs by turning them into chefs and bakers. It’s an incredible organization and for so many people, the only way out of gang life. It is the most successful gang rehabilitation program in the world.


I spent three days interviewing ex-con, ex-gang members, visiting "urban gardens" spread across East Los Angeles, farmers markets and Homeboy Cafes. I left so inspired, by the people, their stories and the fight they fight daily to pull themselves out of the gangs they were often born into and give themselves and their children a good life.


So, please, if you have an iPad, please download the app and read my article. It’s a free app full of great food related articles and inspiring stories.

honest cooking

I also have some Brussels sprouts for you! I love these vegetables, but so far, my husband isn’t a fan. I’ve tried so many methods, braising, bacon fan, roasting and yet he remains unimpressed. Until I poured some Mirin  into a cast iron skillet. It gets a bit sweet and caramelized, giving a new life to there little green guys.

He loved these, more than even the bacon fat version. I hope you do too.

Mirin Brussels Sprouts

Beer and Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Adapted from Claritha's Fried Chicken, Ruth Reichl, Tender at the Bone


  • 3 lbs chicken drumsticks
  • 1 to 2 cups kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups blonde ale
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 tsp packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • Yield: 4servings


  1. Place chicken in a wide bowl. Cover with salt, place uncovered in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Remove chicken from the bowl.
  2. Rinse the chicken well and clean the bowl to remove all the salt. Add buttermilk, beer and onion slices to the bowl, stir to combine. Add the chicken back in the bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight, 8 to 20 hours.
  3. Add the flour, salt, cayenne, brown sugar, and pepper to a bag, shake to combine. Drain the chicken. add chicken to the bag, shake until the chicken is well coated. Place chicken on wax paper or parchment paper. Allow to sit at room temperature for 1/2 hour.
  4. In a large skillet melt the vegetable shortening and butter over high heat. Add chicken (working in batches if necessary), cover and lower heat to just above medium. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown, turn and cook on the opposite side for about 8 additional minutes or until cooked through.

Mirin Brussels Sprouts3

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Gerry @ Foodness Gracious January 18, 2013 um 6:53 am

I just assumed you you were a stay at home mom! I think because how the heck do,you maintain 2 blogs and work part time and be a mom ( tipping my hat) superwoman?


Gerry @ Foodness Gracious January 18, 2013 um 6:53 am

I just assumed you you were a stay at home mom! I think because how the heck do,you maintain 2 blogs and work part time and be a mom ( tipping my hat) superwoman?


Jackie January 18, 2013 um 9:23 am

Awwww, thanks 🙂 I never even though I would want to be a stay at home mom (especially after spending so much on a Masters degree) until I had that tiny baby in my arms. I like the part time things a lot. Maybe even more than full time stay at home mom.


Jen @ Savory Simple January 18, 2013 um 6:56 am

We’re so incredibly lucky that blogging us brings us all of these wonderful opportunities. Thank you for reminding me about the article! I’m going to read it today. Also, I love anything with brussels.


Jackie January 18, 2013 um 9:24 am

It really is a great way to build a resume and get your work out there, even if ads don’t bring in the revenue we hoped for. It is nice to be seen for what we can do!


chinmayie @ love food eat January 18, 2013 um 7:36 am

Congrats Jacky! This is wonderful… I am very happy for you.
I have been fortunate to be able to stay at home with my daughter and I thank God for it every single day but I salute women like you who do it all!


Bree January 18, 2013 um 7:36 am

Good for you! And you are pretty darn amazing! These brussel sprouts look good enough to turn even the haters into lovers 😉


Jackie January 18, 2013 um 9:25 am

Haha! It worked for my husband, he actually liked these a lot! Never though I’d see the day..


RavieNomNoms January 18, 2013 um 7:56 am

Um, I love brussel sprouts. They are amazing!! This is great for you, congrats!


claire @ the realistic nutritionist January 18, 2013 um 9:11 am

YAYAYAY!! I’m so proud of you for going part time! You deserve it. And yes. brussel sprouts for the win, always.


Cassie January 18, 2013 um 1:29 pm

You are such an inspiration to me. I loved the Homeboy story and I can think of nothing better to write about…I love your passion for this organization and these people! And I never knew when starting my blog that I could make an income from it. It’s such a great feeling to get paid for doing what you love. PS – I love mirin + Brussels sprouts!


Jackie January 18, 2013 um 2:09 pm

It really is the best feeling ever when someone is willing to pay you to do something you love, and probably would have done for free!


Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies January 18, 2013 um 1:43 pm

I had always assumed you blogged full-time. How in the world do you keep up with 2 blogs while working–I am in awe! Congratulations on your article too. I’m sure it will be one of many!


Jackie January 18, 2013 um 2:09 pm

I’m slowly making my way that direction. But with the student loans that come along with a Masters Degree as well as giving up that salary, it’s a lot of ground to cover! I didn’t grow up with a lot of money and I always wanted to give my daughter the activities, and family vacations that I never had, so staying home and not making an income just was not an option for me. But I’m getting there!


Liz January 18, 2013 um 5:22 pm

I still haven’t sold my hubby on Brussels sprouts…but even if these don’t change his mind, I luck out b/c I can eat his share! Congrats on the article…what a marvelous non-profit!!!


Julie @ Table for Two January 18, 2013 um 6:36 pm

what an inspirational story and you’re just so awesome in all that you do! haha, like everyone above, i thought you were a full time blogger too!! i guess a lot of people assume we all are at the rate we whip out posts. congrats on your article – you’re a rockstar. jason would absolutely FLIP over these brussel sprouts. guess i gotta make ’em now, huh? 😉


Jackie January 19, 2013 um 10:50 am

Isn’t it funny how we always assume other bloggers are full time bloggers and they always assume we are full time? When in reality it takes SO much blogging to make up for an entire salary at your regular day job. I gave myself 3 years and after 2, I’m about 1/2 way there. I’m happy with that so far!


Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. January 18, 2013 um 8:50 pm

You are a busy lady with two blogs and another job! But, I get you. I work full-time. I dream of being able to just blog, but it’s not going to happen any time soon for me! lol


Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious January 18, 2013 um 11:30 pm

You are so amazing, Jackie! I’m so jealous that you are able to go part-time. I’m hoping the blog would be big enough in the next 5 years so that when Jason and I start popping out kids, I can be a stay-at-home mom.

Oh and these brussel sprouts? I don’t even like brussels sprouts but I would eat these no problem!


Jackie January 19, 2013 um 10:51 am

You’ll get there for sure! I wish I’d started blogging 5 years before I popped out a kid!


Monica January 19, 2013 um 7:49 am

Hey there just wanted to say that I really liked these. Even though I cooked mine too long and they were a little soggy, they were still really good.


Jessica January 19, 2013 um 2:43 pm

Your post touched my heart. Your daughter is so beautiful! And it’s wonderful to hear such a story of success, I can’t imagine what it’s like to have to leave a baby to go to work…I have a hard time just leaving my cat and my husband. My mom often describes the same feeling you talk about here, when she had to leave me to go to work years ago. Congrats on becoming part time and succeeding with your writing! Also, nice brussels – love those.


Jackie January 19, 2013 um 3:04 pm

I never even thought for a second I would want to be a stay at home mom until I had to leave her, so much harder than I imagined. But I feel so grateful to be able to be home more now 🙂


M D January 20, 2013 um 9:33 pm

Mirin Caramelized Brussels Sprouts look delicious!


Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mama January 21, 2013 um 4:40 am

Jackie, I do not know how you do it! I have all I can do to juggle my blog and kids… and you have a day job. I am always in awe of how much working moms have on their plates. My hat goes down to you!

Also these sprouts look mighty tasty. I can sit down with a bowl of just caramelized brussels sprouts for dinner. One of my favorites!


ashley – baker by nature January 21, 2013 um 1:21 pm

You have so much to be proud of, Jackie! You’re such an amazing women, and truly an inspiration. I can’t wait to see what else you come up with 😉


Julia | January 22, 2013 um 5:07 pm

You’re so well-disciplined and organized to keep up with everything on your plate! And the brussels sprouts look amazing!


Valerie @ From Valerie’s Kitchen January 22, 2013 um 6:04 pm

Congratulations Jackie! I’m glad you will have time to focus more on your blog and your babies. That’s great news.

What a great opportunity to write about that amazing organization. Oh, and btw, you just made brussels look yummy 🙂


Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl January 22, 2013 um 7:35 pm

I absolutely adore roasted brussel sprouts, but have never tried to carmelize them. Thanks for sharing this recipe :).


alana martini January 23, 2013 um 11:44 am

How-do-you-do-it? i can barely do 1 job and no kids.


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[…] Mirin Caramelized Brussels Sprouts – Domestic Fits […]


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